Manzanillo

Destination Location

Manzanillo
  • 19.0522, -104.3158:primary
  • 19.144778, -104.55863:secondary

Overview

Are you ready to visit Mexico's best kept secret on the Pacific coast?
Manzanillo is not your typical seaside resort town with ideal tropical weather. All at once, this coastal city is a luxury beach destination; a bustling commercial port; and a pristine, undeveloped, eco-friendly region. Premier beaches, deep sea fishing, and water sports abound in this gold coast destination.

Start packing those fishing rods and reels, because Manzanillo is the Sailfish Capital of the World. This port city has hosted important national and international fishing competitions, such as the Dorsey Tournament, since 1957. There are plenty of fishing spots, both guided and unguided – perfect for beginners and fishing enthusiasts alike.

Destination basics

Manzanillo has some of the best weather in Mexico. From November through April the daily temperature averages 27 C (81 F), while nights cool off to a comfortable 23 C (75 F). In May, the climate starts to change--becoming more humid, and building up to the beginning of rainy season in June. But don't worry, this means it only rains about once a week.

Like most popular resorts, Manzanillo offers a wide range of cuisines to whet your appetite. Sit down to a traditional plate of camarones a la diablo, or spicy shrimp, one night and an Italian-style pizza the next. Virtually everywhere you go, you’ll find fresh seafood prepared using local secrets and refreshing drinks like agua de tuba, fermented coconut water with peanut bits.

El Centro
Downtown Manzanillo is packed with restaurants. Most are authentic and affordable though you’ll see a few more modern, upscale establishments. Favorite among visitors is Chantilly, which is as good a place to stop for a morning cappuccino as it is for guacamole and a cold brew on a sunny afternoon. Walk along the Malecon in downtown Manzanillo and you’ll find something to snack on, no matter your craving.

Zona Hotelera
A neighborhood dedicated to accommodation, Zona Hotelera also comes with a variety of dining options. Many of the larger hotels in the area have restaurants on site where you can enjoy extensive menus and buffets. Most also offer either beach or restaurant bars where you can sip on a scrumptious cocktail.

Las Brisas
The sandy stretch between Las Brisas and Peninsula de Santiago is a hub for bars and restaurants. On the southern end in Las Brisas, you can enjoy seafood and the sound of the ocean at La Caribe, which specializes in local cuisine and serves excellent margaritas. Just up the way are two more highly rated Manzanillo eateries. Rock Food is set up right on the beach, giving it an unbeatable ambiance, and its fusion menu is sure to delight your palate. You also have Pacifica Del Mar nearby, which has an elegant ambiance for a beach restaurant and outstanding service. Head here for great food and better views.

Peninsula de Santiago
Quaint establishments can be found throughout the Peninsula de Santiago neighborhood. Blueberry Cafe, whose decor is as charming as its name, is a favorite among both locals and visitors. It offers a great location near the sunny Playa Audiencia and a delicious menu featuring everything from chilaquiles smothered in green sauce to full stacks of pancakes. Explore the many eateries in the immediate neighborhood or head to Playa Azul for a family-friendly experience at the El Fogon steakhouse. Most nights, you'll get to hear Mariachi while you chow down.

Centro Comercial
There are several fast-food chains in Centro Comercial, including KFC, Burger King, and Dairy Queen. You’ll also find familiar chains like Starbucks here, as well as inexpensive local eateries.

Manzanillo is known for two things: its bustling port and lively resort scene. From harbor views in charming El Centro to open-air seafood restaurants in Las Brisas, there’s something to love in each of these Manzanillo neighborhoods.

El Centro
Though not the literal center of Manzanillo, El Centro is considered the heart of the city and home to its illustrious port. Many of the landmarks in El Centro, like the mile-long Malecon and beautifully landscaped town square, are lovely places to bring a picnic, people watch, and take in the local culture. There are also numerous shops and eateries to choose from in El Centro, most of which offer Pacific views as a bonus.

Count the many fabulous sculptures decorating the waterfront, marvel at colonial architecture while meandering quaint streets, and enjoy live music and dance at the Jardin gazebo at night. Before you leave, be sure to get a photo in front of the giant blue Marlin statue.

Zona Hotelera
The Zona Hotelera, or Hotel Zone, stretches approximately seven kilometers (four miles) along the coast. As its name suggests, the neighborhood holds most of the hotels in the area, which range in the types of vacation experiences they offer. Watersports are popular among visitors to Manzanillo, and you’ll find plenty of opportunity for seaside fun-in-the-sun here. Zona Hotelera has been nicely refurbished, offering shady spots to take a rest and a reliable bus system.

Las Brisas
Once the premier hotel zone in Manzanillo, Las Brisas now houses predominantly budget hotels and various restaurants. It sits on Playa Las Brisas, which shares the long coast with Playa Azul. You’ll find succulent seafood all throughout the area, meaning opportunities to dine on fresh delicacies in the refreshing Pacific Coast breeze after working up an appetite at the beach.

Peninsula de Santiago
North of Playa Azul is the Peninsula de Santiago, which plays host to a number of fashionable condos and luxury accommodations. Scenic and serene, you’ll make the most of the area on a romantic stroll in the sand or winding drive through the hillside. When you want more than just a view, take a dip on the west end of the beach where the water is calmer. Golf enthusiasts will also find a handful of courses in this area.

La Punta
Head toward the tip of the bay on which the Peninsula de Santiago lies and you’ll hit La Punta, a gated community made up of the most expensive properties in Manzanillo.

Centro Comercial
Centro Comercial is inland of Las Brisas, as well as most of the attractions and hotspots in town. Here you’ll find superstores like Comercial Mexicana and Soriana, and shopping centers like Plaza Manzanillo. The area also houses several American fast-food franchises and various specialty stores. While there isn’t much entertainment in the Centro Comercial, there are a couple golf courses nearby.

Entertainment in Manzanillo largely centers around the natural landscape. Whether you prefer lounging on sun-drenched beaches, snorkeling in vibrant Pacific waters, or getting friendly with the native wildlife, you’ll get swept up in your surroundings when visiting Manzanillo.

Outdoor Activities
Tourists flock to Manzanillo for its golden beaches, which number quite high. The beaches surrounding Santiago Bay are some of the finest around. Head to Playa Audiencia if you’re in the mood to swim or snorkel. The waters are calmer than those at Miramar Beach, which attracts surfers, windsurfers, and kiteboarders.

Water sports enthusiasts will be equally thrilled by the Manzanillo Bay beaches, which include Playas Azul and Las Brisas. There is excellent diving just offshore, where you’ll find snorkelers, anglers, and sailors. Beyond water-based fun, these beaches are also scenic locations for nature walks and horseback rides.

Wildlife Venues
One of the best attractions around downtown Manzanillo is the Iguanario Archundia. The wildlife sanctuary hosts an impressive number of iguanas, as well as select other species. Though you’ll have no trouble spotting the hundreds of lizards housed at the Iguanario Archundia, don’t forget to look up to see the magnificent creatures nestled in the trees.

Once you’ve had your fill of fauna, head to the Ola Brisa Gardens for a flora-filled excursion. Palm trees are the star feature at the botanic garden, which houses more than 160 varieties of palm alone. Learn about native species and marvel at the collection of exotic plants. You’ll find tranquility at the Ola Brisa Gardens.

Golf Courses
Lovely golf courses are scattered around Manzanillo. Two of the most popular are at the Isla Navidad Golf Course, which offers a 27-hole course situated on the Navidad lagoon, and Las Hadas Golf Resort and Marina, which boasts a classic 18-hole course with beautiful views of the water. Other courses can be found at Club Santiago, El Corazon Golf Club, and El Tamarindo Beach & Golf Resort, located roughly an hour outside Manzanillo.
Manzanillo

State: Colima

Country: Mexico

Manzanillo by the Numbers
Population: 184,541
Elevation: 20 meters / 70 feet
Average Annual Precipitation: 104 centimeters / 41 inches
Average January Temperature: 26°C / 79°F
Average July Temperature: 30°C / 86°F

Quick Facts
Electricity: 110 volts, 60 cycles, AC

Time Zone: UTC-6; Central Standard Time (CST)

Country Dialing Code: 52

Area Code: 314

Did You Know?
Manzanillo has been called the “Sailfish Capital of the World,” attracting sport fishermen from all over the world.

Orientation
Manzanillo is located on the west coast of Mexico on the Pacific Ocean. It is about 549 kilometers (341 miles) from Mexico City.
In 1522, Hernan Cortes sailed the Pacific seas in search of treasure, discovering the Manzanillo area in the process. Cortes left not long after dropping anchor in the Bay of Salagua, leaving Spanish explorer Alvaro de Saavedra to discover Manzanillo Bay in 1527. A port was soon established in the bay, renamed Santiago de la Buena Esperanza, which quickly became an exit point for notable expeditions.

Over the next few centuries, the area attracted significant piracy. Cortes returned to the Manzanillo Bay on two occasions, shortly after his departure, to safeguard his wealth from Portuguese marauders. The area also suffered attacks from British, French, and Spanish pirates, halting development in the bay for some time.

The Port of Manzanillo opened in 1825, just a few years after Mexico declared its independence from Spain. The new moniker reflected the lush natural environment, deriving from the abundance of manchineel trees found in the area, many of which were utilized for shipbuilding. A few decades later, Manzanillo was officially declared a city, creating the modern-day destination we cherish today.

Points of interest in Manzanillo

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