2021 Best of Manzanillo, Mexico Tourism
Manzanillo lies along the Pacific Mexico coast, between Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco. It is located 98 km (61 mi) west of the City of Colima and 276 km (172 mi) south of Puerto Vallarta. This port city comprises two bays; Santiago and Manzanillo, which are divided by the Santiago Peninsula and boast several nice beaches.
Manzanillo “the emerald of the pacific” is a beautiful destiny of beach in the country. It is located 90 km south of the city of Colima, capital of the state with the same name, in the region of the same coast of the pacific. Its climate is warm (with a minimum humidity) with an annual average of temperature between 26° and 28° C.
Manzanillo is the major port town along the Pacific Coast, not a luxury class tourist resort. As such, it has parts that feel quite industrial and it lacks the overabundance of tourist amenities found in some resort towns. However, while it doesn’t have the nightlife of Acapulco or the dozens of luxury class resorts of Cancun, that also means it doesn’t have throngs of tourists or much crime either. If you are looking for a more laid back location with a very Mexican feel, then Manzanillo is worth a visit.
Town Hills Market
Steep knolls punctuate Manzanillo’s downtown. Residents climb precipitous cobbled alleyways, too narrow for cars, to their humble (yet luxuriously perched) homes overlooking the city. For an interesting little detour, climb one of the staircase lanes that angle uphill off Av. Juárez, around the city hall.
An even steeper hill rises behind the cathedral- the brushy slope of Cerro Vigía Chico- where colonial soldiers kept a lookout for pirates. Above and beyond that towers the cross decorated summit of Cerro Cruz, the highest pint (about 1,000 feet) above the Bay of Manzanillo. Every May 3, the Día de la Santa Cruz, pilgrims climb to its summit.
A Manzanillo downtown walk wouldn’t be complete without including a stroll down Av. México, past a dozen old-fashioned little shops-papelerías, farmacias, dulcerías, panaderías- to the Mercado (turn left at Cuauhtémoc) at Calle 5 de Mayo. Here you can wander among the mounds of bright produce, admire the festoons of piñatas, say a good word to the shrimp- sellers, and stop to listen to the harangue of a sidewalk politician or evangelist.
The adventurous can seek out Manzanillo’s many hidden corners, beginning right downtown. Playa Viejo is often missed, tucked in a little cove over the hill and accessible by path only. Wear walking shoes and a hat, and take your bathing suit, water, and a picnic lunch. Follow Calle Balbino Dávalos past the cathedral. Bear left up the narrow street and climb the steep concrete staircase (on the left) to the hill-top schoolyard. Continue down the other side along a wooded arroyo trail to the beach. The dark sand beach is strewn with shells and surf-rounded rocks. If you’re fortunate, you may find a dry, grassy perch, good for camping above the surf.
Also beginning from downtown, the steep trail to Cerro Vigía Chico and Cerro Cruz will challenge fit hikers. It leads to the top of the highest point in Manzanillo for a breezy panoramic view of the city, bay, and ocean below. Allow about an hour and a half roundtrip for Cerro Vigía Chico, about twice that for the very steep continuation to Cerro Cruz. Take plenty of water, and avoid midday hat by going early in the morning or late afternoon.
Cerro Vigía Chico
Head south along Av. Carrillo Puerto from the jardín. Notice the sastrería (tailor shop) Aguayo at no. 223 on the left-hand side, where the master tailor sews suits by hand. Turn the corner at the tortillería at Nicolas Bravo and head along the upward lane, past little hillside-perched houses. Ask the local people if you get lost. Say “¿A Cerro Vigía, por favor?” They’ll help keep you on the right track.
You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see the white FM radio transmitter station atop the hill.
Extra-fit hikers can gather breath and push ahead, along the steep, forested uphill path from the radio station to the summit of Cerro Cruz. There, a majestic panorama spreads below: from the Gibraltar-like headland of Juluapan in the north, past golden beaches, over the villa-studded Santiago Peninsula, past the white city to the huge expanse of the Laguna de Cuyutlán, where power stanchions leapfrog across the lagoon from the gargantuan, smoke-spewing seaside power plant.
Crafts in Manzanillo
In Manzanillo unique craft works elaborated with natural materials can be acquired, such as: the figures done with dry coconut, as well as the typical palm hats called “colimotes”. It is also found necklaces and earrings of snail, miniatures paintings on seashells, details of seashell, coral and sea turtle, and engravings in seashells of mother pearl. All this craft works put in evidence the fantastic creativity and ingenuity of their craftsmen. They also emphasize the woven furniture of great format with natural fibers or with parota wood, which is very common in the region. In the flee markets, beaches, and shopping malls exist a great range of thread or silk hammocks and the cabinetmaking works.
In this destination the atmosphere of celebration and festival is during the whole year. Along with the start of spring, the carnival which is one of the main celebrations of the port also begins. The carnival generates great participation where colorful allegorical cars go trough the main streets of the city. The carnival also gives a passage to the traditional fair of Manzanillo which is celebrated the last days of April and the first days of May, that is when the very famous “fiestas de mayo” are inaugurated, in them is celebrated the calling of Manzanillo as The Port of Height. During these feasts the artistic expositions stand out, varied cultural, traditional and folkloric events, as well as charro-bullfightings celebrations and jaripeos.
Food in Manzanillo
The typical meals combine together the essence of the colima racially kitchen, incorporating in them the delights of sea with a succulent taste of the region. Of the most traditional stands out the colimense ceviche prepared with shattered meat of sailfish, sawfish or mero, seasoned with chile and serve in tostadas. Other very popular and also traditional casseroles are “tatemado” and “chiloyo”, which are elaborated with pork backbone. We can not stop mentioning the “caldo michi” with white fish and the world wide famous “sopa de mariscos” (seafood soup).
Among the traditional drinks in the port we found the refreshing and very nutritious “tejuino” that is elaborated with fermented corn and served with ice and lemon. It can also be enjoyed “el bate” elaborated with chia seeds, as well as the “ponche de comala” (comala punch), and the creamy and very tasty “ponche de coco” (coconut punch).
For typical deserts of the region is the exquisite “alfajor de coco y piña” (coconut and pineapple alfajor).
In Manzanillo you can visit the University Museum of Archeology that offers a very complete vision of the different cultures that were established in the West of Mesoamerica during the pre-Hispanic time, particularly in the region that today occupies the state of Colima. In its five rooms the museum exhibits more than 1800 pieces of the Capacha, Los Ortices, Periquillos, Colima and Armeria cultures. It stands out a reproduction of two “tombs of shot” that belonged to the Comala phase (100-700 d.C.)
The museum is located in Glorieta San Pedrito s/n, Blvd. Miguel de la Madrid; open from Tuesday to Saturday from de 10:00 to 14:00 hrs. Sunday from 10:00 to 13:00 hrs.
Diving in Manzanillo
Manzanillo offers several rocky formations and corallines with abundant sea life that makes them the ideal places to practice snorkel and diving.
La Boquita Beach
Very popular and its located west of the Santiago Bay. Ofsmooth waves and very fine dark golden sand, it’s ideal to practice different water sports. It’s also excellent to practice snorkel, since in its waters you will find parts of a sunken boat and at north corallines formations with abundant sea life.
The beach is also famous for its tens of regional typical restaurants that offer fish and fresh seafood. The atmosphere is excitement and your stay will always be accompanied by the music interpreted by trios or mariachis.
By its smooth waves this place is also preferred by the families to bring their kids. The rent of snorkel equipment, the boat trips to see the rocky formations, the banana and more, are also available.
Las Hadas Beach
It’s located in the Manzanillo Bay approximately 3 km east of Santiago Beach. It’s found very well protected by a creek that allows enjoying of a smooth surge of weaves. It’s ideal for the beginners to practice diving.
La Audencia Beach
It’s located in the Santiago Bay in Peninsula de Santiago. This beach of golden gray sand of medium texture, gentle slope and moderate surge. Is a place that allows the practice of several land and water activities. Its sandy and rocky fund has a maximum depth of 12 meters, aspect that turns a perfect place to practice diving and snorkel with in equable taste of adventure. You can rent the equipment in the zone.
El Arrecife Beach
It is located southwest of Manzanillo, in a high point of the Juluapan Peninsula, next to Vida del Mar Condominiums. In its depths of twenty meters approximately you can observe a spectacular submarine landscape.
The Elephant Rock
It is located in the Juluapan Peninsula, southwest of Manzanillo, twenty minutes in boat from Miramar beach, an hour from Manzanillo Port, and five minutes from La Boquita Beach. In its depths it’s found a submarine tube inhabited by multicolor fish, ideal for the practice of diving and snorkel.
Extreme Sports and Camping
Manzanillo outskirts, gifted of exuberant vegetation, offer incredible natural scenes ideal to practice camping, mountain cycling and extreme sports; in some of this places you will find basic services as food, security and all necessary to enjoy this activities.
It is located northeast of Manzanillo, highway num. 98 Manzanillo- Minatitlan km 1.6 Ecologic Camp, where you will appreciate the typical vegetation of the coast. Its main attractive are the facilities elaborated with eco-tourist techniques. The place counts with a special zone to camp; it offers the services of restaurant, restrooms and showers, has security, which contributes for you to enjoy with peace the direct contact with nature.
For the lovers of mountain cycling in this place roads with different degrees of difficulty exist. For those who begin in this sport counts itself with a special circuit, and for advanced a slope is offered that allows experiencing the emotion of a descent at extreme velocity.
For the extreme adventurers in Manzanillo and its outskirts rivers that sail among abundant vegetation are located where kayaking can be practiced. Other extreme adventure can be experienced in a tourist complex of Isla Navidad, where currents inhabited by crocodiles exist, aspect that turns the route in an experience reserved for those that dare to experiment great emotions.
It is located in the ejido El Centinela, 46 km northeast of Manzanillo by the highway num. 200. It’s a river of tranquil water, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, where kayaking in sure form can be practiced; ideal for those that like direct contact with nature.
It is located in La Culebra Peninsula, 64 km northeast of Manzanillo by the highway num 200. Considerate as one of the best places to sail in kayak.
If your preference is surf, in the outskirts of Manzanillo you will find the Boca de Pascuales Beach, located in Tecoman, 40 km southeast of the port, it offers an extensive ideal beach for the surf lovers. In this place lenders of services exist who very please will give you an exhibition or as well give you a brief class of this sport encouraging you to live the in equable emotion of this activity fill with adrenaline.
Manzanillo Eco-tourism & Bird Watching
Near Manzanillo two beautiful natural scenes exist where it is possible toappreciate and enjoy the wonderful floraand fauna with which the region counts. It’s ideal to make a photographicsafari and capture among other events, the flight of hundreds of birds.
It is located right in front of Playa de Oro coasts, 40 km northeast of Manzanillo, by the highway num 200; to getthere is necessary to rent a boat. It’s a naturalrefuge for thousands of water birds, which turns it into an ideal place for bird watching.
It is located in the Cuyutlan Lagoon, 14 km east of Manzanillo by the highway num. 200. It is a perfect place for the observation of different types of birds as wonderer’s ducks, pichiches, among other species, that fly around the calm waters of the lagoon.
Fishing in Manzanillo
Since 1957 Manzanillo is recognized as the “World Capital of Sailfish”, it is the annually host of important tournaments of fishing in which the best international fishermen of the orb participate. Besides sailfish, during the tournament in the waters of the port is also captured in abundance dorado, marlin and tuna.
San Pedrito Beach
Located in the east end of Manzanillo Bay, is the beach where is found the facilities of the Sports Fishing Club of Manzanillo. Place where year after year important national and international tournaments of sport fishing are organized and made.
Dorsey Internacional Tournament
Is one of the competitions of sport fishing of greater tradition in Manzanillo and one of the most prestige at world wide level. It is celebrated annually between the months of November and February. The categories that participate are dorado, wahoo, marlin and of course sail fish.
Nacional Tournament of Sailfish
It takes place, generally, during the month of February. Also exist the international version that for the season of October/November. The categories that compete are: tuna, marlin, dorado and sailfish.
In Manzanillo you will find several options to enjoy the night, since a walk by the malecon, to the magnificent environment that is enjoyed in many bars where in addition to excellent cocktails, in many of them is also possible to enjoy live music during the weekends. In the port options for all the tastes exist, so much for the lovers of pop music, as for those that prefer the rhythm and tropical flavor.
The beaches of Manzanillo of fine sand of dark golden color with their waters of an intense blue one are ideal to practice infinity of water activities as diving, snorkel or sailing. Of course that to be relaxed and to rest while the skin under the rays of the sun is tanned is generally the activity preferred.
Olas Altas Beach
Located in Santiago Bay, 3 km west of Santiago beach. It is ideal to take the sun and to enjoy the landscape. Its surge is moderated.
Located in Santiago Bay, 3 km west of Olas Altas beach. Of very fine sand, smooth surge and slope moderate, is one of the most popular since it offers lodging and food services. It counts with services of rent of the necessary equipment for the practice of water sports in all its modalities.
It’s located on the eastern extreme of the Santiago Bay, 3 km west of Las Hadas Beach. Is a beach with fine sands and calm surge where you will find enough lodging and food services to make your stay very pleasant and fun.
La Audiencia Beach
It’s located in the Santiago Bay, 3 km south of Santiago Beach in the Peninsula de Santiago residential area. This beach with golden gray sand of medium texture, gentle slope and moderate surge, is an ideal place for the practice of several water and land sports. Is the favorite beach of the ones that visit Manzanillo. There you can rent boats and equipment to practice fishing, diving and snorkel. From the viewpoints of the Queen and the Lighthouse is possible to enjoy the beautiful and stunning scene that distinguishes destiny.
La Boquita Beach
Located west of the Santiago Bay. Of very smooth surge and moderate slope of fine golden sand, is very propitious to practice different water sports. With an extension of approximately one kilometer through which restaurants that offer the regional kitchen are located, in one of the favorite’s beaches by the families who visit this port.
Las Hadas Beach
Located in Manzanillo Bay, 3 km east of Santiago Beach. Is considered one of the calmest and best oriented beach in the Manzanillo Bay. From its viewpoints has a fantastic vision of all beaches set framed by the abundant vegetation that surrounds this place.
Playa el Arrecife
Located southeast of Manzanillo in a high point of the Juluapan Peninsula, next to the Vida del Mar residential complex. The cliffs that surround this beach create a romantic landscape. Besides having a general view of the Juluapan Peninsula, the spectacular shock of the waves against the rocky coasts of the Ensenada de Higueras can be admired.
San Pedrito Beach
Located in the east end of Manzanillo Bay, is the beach where the facilities of the Sports Fishing Club of Manzanillo are found. Its moderate surge and its abundant vegetation turn it in a spectacular beach ideal simply to rest and enjoy.
Golf in Manzanillo
Manzanillo counts with excellent and spectacular professional golf courses that are host of important national and international tournaments.
Las Hadas Golf & Marina Resort
It is located in Av. de los Riscos s/n, Las Hadas, Península de Santiago 30 min. from the Internacional airport Playa de Oro. Designed by Pete and Roy Dye, it was chosen by the Golf Digest magazine as one of the best hundred courses in the world. Counts with 18 holes and is a par 71, open to public in general. Tel.: (314) 331-0101.
Campo de Golf Isla Navidad
It is located in Paseo Country Club s/n, 25 min. from the airport Playa de Oro. It was designed by Robert Von Hagge and is a course of 27 holes par 72, surrounded of lagoons, sea and mountains. Open to public in general. Tel.: (314) 331-0500.
Club de Golf Santiago
It is located in Av. Camarón 1-A Club Santiago. It’s a club designed by Larry Hughes of 9 holes. Open to public in general. Tel.: (314) 335-0410 y (314) 335-0370.
Manzanillo Hotels & Resorts
Camino Real Las Hadas
Luxury resort made famous in the movie “10”, the white spires and domes of this Moorish village contrast against the beautiful blue manzanillo skies while the narrow walks, plazas, fountains, pools and tennis courts wind their way through lush tropical vegetation. Simply paradise! All the amenities you could want, at a price of course.
Located on Ave de Los Riscos and Vista Hermosa, Peninsula Santiago, Tel. (333) 4-0000.
An all-inclusive luxury resort that towers over Playa Audencia, with a sweeping pool/patio where guests play water volleyball and polo all day, a swim-up bar where the drinks and the music flow, chic restaurants, nightly live music in the bars, designer clothing and fine crafts in the shops.
Located on Ave de La Audencia #1, Peninsula Santiago, Tel. (333) 3-2000.
Plaza Las Glorias
A moderately priced hotel with fantastic views of the Bahia De Santiago, comfortable rooms and various activities including watersports, golf, tennis, swimming, and volleyball. The staff can also arrange fishing excursions for you.
Located on Avenida Del Tesoro. Tel. (333) 4-1054
Hotel Vista Playa De Oro
Another property from this chain of all-inclusive resorts, offering 245 garden view rooms and numerous amenities and recreational opportunities for your vacation.
Located on the Manzanillo-Cihuatlán Hwy at km 15.5, Tel. (333) 3-2540.
A budget hotel with a breezy beachfront location, rustling palms, a small pool, bar/restaurant, and simply furnished rooms with either a fan or AC and a family atmosphere.
Located on Blvd. M. de la Madrid at km. 9.5, Tel. (333) 3-1105.
Hotel Fiesta Mexicana
A moderately priced hotel right on Playa Azul, with rooms rising in tiers around a lovely patio with a meandering pool, a large restaurant with an ocean-view veranda, and smallish but comfortable rooms.
Located on Blvd. M. de la Madrid at km. 8.5, Tel. (333) 3-1105.
- 2021 Best of Manzanillo, Mexico Tourism