Not only is Manzanillo a well-known resort destination, but Manzanillo port was the first shipping yard to open in Latin America in 1531 and today, it’s the most important commercial seaport in Mexico. Located along the central Pacific Coast of Mexico overlooking the twin bays of Manzanillo and Santiago, Manzanillo is situated in a region with diverse natural landscapes. It’s a favorite destination for beach activities, ecotourism and adventure sports.
The weather in Manzanillo is pleasant year-round, and Manzanillo beach sees an average of 350 days of sunshine each year. Manzanillo’s close proximity to the Sierra Madre Mountains helps to keep temperatures slightly cooler than many of the other well-known resort destinations located up and down the Pacific Coast. The best time to visit Manzanillo is during the winter months from November to April. The summer rainy season lasts from June to October when afternoon rainstorms turn the entire region a lush, tropical shade of green.
The recently refurbished centro historico (historic center) of Manzanillo is a lovely place to explore, and pedestrian walkways make it easy to explore on foot. The main plaza overlooks the bay and is surrounded by local bars, restaurants and shops. There are also some excellent seafood palapas (thatch roofed restaurants) lining the beach. Manzanillo’s zona hotelera (hotel zone), located five miles north of the downtown area, is where you’ll find some of the best beaches, luxury resorts and golf courses.
Manzanillo beach has been dubbed the “Sailfish Capital of the World,” and marlin, sailfish and other are abundant in the waters just offshore. Each year the town hosts international fishing tournaments that attract sports fisherman from around the world. In addition to fishing, visitors to Manzanillo beach can partake in a variety of aquatic sports including swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving and surfing at the nearby beach in Cuyutlán. Manzanillo beach is also home to two world-class golf courses.
Manzanillo cuisine incorporates a variety of fresh local ingredients and seafood. You’ll find several popular local dishes on the menus at Manzanillo restaurants, including the region’s signature dish, Colima ceviche. While in Manzanillo beach you’ll also have the opportunity to sample local sweets and drinks unique to this region of Mexico, including agua de tuba, a local specialty made from the juice of the coconut palms and tejuino, a fermented corn beverage.
There are numerous activities and attractions in the region surrounding Manzanillo. Travel a short distance inland to visit the capital city of Colima for sightseeing in this historic and culturally rich city and get a taste of the local cuisine. Nearby the magic town of Comala is home to one of the top attractions in the region, the Nogueras Hacienda and Alejandro Rangel Hidalgo Museum. Nature lovers interested in ecotourism can tour the nearby national park and biosphere reserve.