The Quebrada Cliff Divers are a group of professional high divers, based in Acapulco, Mexico. They perform daily shows for the public, which involve diving 35 meters (115 ft.) from the cliffs of La Quebrada into the sea below. The depth of water in the “Gulch” can vary from 6 to 16 feet depending on the waves, with an average depth of 12 feet. Timing is crucial for the divers. During the night, they often hold torches while diving. Acapulco cliff diving was regularly featured on weekend sports television programming in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s when the USA High Diving Team competed with the La Quebrada Cliff Divers annually during the Acapulco Christmas Festival. The 2002 Guinness Book of World Records lists this as “the highest regularly performed headfirst dives” in the world.
La Quebrada, Acapulco, is the site of the famous cliff divers performance. Since 1934 this has been one of Mexico’s feature attractions. The divers leap from cliffs 136 feet above the crashing Pacific, landing in an 11 feet deep inlet. There are five performances daily, including four evening shows, performed with divers carrying torches – an unforgettable spectacle. Best viewing is from La Perla Nightclub at the Cliffside El Mirador Acapulco (a cover charge applies).
Anyone who has watched Acapulco’s cliff divers plunge the 136 feet to the crashing sea may wonder how difficult a task this may be. Jorge Monico Ramirez Vasquez, member of a three-generation family of cliff divers, says, “Timing is the key. Three seconds it takes to arrive at the sea. Only five seconds of high waves tide – a two second span for any error.”
Jorge works out from 8 to 10 am for his twice daily plunge into the water, five times a week. Meditation and prayer is also part of his routine. Each time fear precedes the dive no matter how much practice or experience. If the diver starts his career at 17 and ends it at 45, he will take 15,560 plunges into the Quebrada during that time. Many cliff divers have been involved in accidents, most caused by the strong impact with the water. Remarkably, no deaths have been recorded