Dive Into Manzanillo
This secluded little spot is all about nature. Dive right into the crystal-blue waters or adventure through the lush jungles for a real back-to-nature experience. With breathtaking natural sights, you'll have plenty of great photo opportunities. But if you want something more than a photo to take home, you can stroll through the quaint downtown to purchase handmade gifts for your friends and family. If you don’t get a chance to do that, the adventures you'll have here will give you enough memories for a lifetime. When we say Manzanillo is a great place to remind you what life is all about–we mean it.
Mapping Out Mexico
Why is Mexico everything to everyone? A quick visit to the east coast sums it up. Cancun’s got nightlife and a party scene while Cozumel offers outdoor adventure like diving and snorkeling. The west coast has even more to boast. Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta both offer beaches, world-class hotels and great golf courses, making them perfect family vacation spots. However, adventure-minded travelers will want to head to either Mazatlan to explore historic ruins or Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, which has a similar vibe, but with the feel of an upscale city. For the escapist, Huatulco and Manzanillo boast virtually untouched natural beauty. While each destination is uniquely different, they all have their own special way of showing you the magic of Mexico.
Bag a Trophy Fish
The turquoise waters off Manzanillo’s shores are teeming with marine life, with marlin and sailfish splashing through the waters year-round. Located on the central Pacific coast overlooking the twin Bays of Manzanillo and Santiago, this little spot is a must-see for active travelers and sports enthusiasts alike. In fact, Manzanillo is known as the Sailfish Capital of the World. If you travel to Manzanillo during the months of November through March, you can watch and even join in on a number of international fishing competitions that date all the way back to 1957. If you’ve wanted a trophy fish to hang above your fireplace, now's time to catch ‘em—hook, line and sinker!
Get Your Shopping Fix
Downtown Manzanillo has a number of retail shops surrounding the Jardin, or town square, where you'll find plenty of places to spend those pesos burning a hole in your pocket. On any given day, you can walk around the Jardin to explore a number of market-side vendors who sell hats, belts, clothes, T-shirts and many other hand-made items for a low cost. Snap up a souvenir to take home and remind you of your incredible stay here.
Ride the Wave
Surf’s up! The port of Manzanillo is made up of two separate bays, divided by the Peninsula of Santiago. Both bays are more than five miles long and offer a variety of water sports activities. Year-round, you can enjoy scuba diving, parasailing, sports fishing or a casual swim in the cool, clear Pacific waters. If you've been looking for a chance to hang ten, grab your favorite board and start riding the waves!
Reconnect with nature as you explore some of Mexico’s most pristine locations and sample its freshest fruit! Manzanillo is part of Mexico’s Pacific Riviera which is known for exotic tropical vegetation, plantations of coconuts, bananas, limes and some of the most beautiful and unpopulated beaches in Mexico. If you find yourself wanting a vacation that is truly an escape from the sights and sounds of the city, then Manzanillo is the place for you.
Work on Your Tan
Playa la Audiencia is one of Manzanillo’s best beaches. It’s got a shallow depth and very slow, gentle current, which makes it the perfect spot for swimming, diving and snorkeling. While it’s a small beach, Playa la Audiencia is very inviting. Don’t want to get wet? There are plenty of umbrellas available for shade if you’d rather just work on your tan. If you’ve come to play in the water, there are plenty of boogie boards, kayaks, jet skis, snorkel equipment and more available for rent as well. No matter what you do, there’s plenty of fun at Playa la Audiencia to keep you busy throughout the day!
Manzanillo Quick Facts
Language: The main language in Manzanillo is Spanish, but many in the tourism industry speak English.
Currency: The official currency is the peso, but USD is also accepted.
Electricity: The standard electricity supply is 110 volts with two-prong outlets.
Passport/Immigration: All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport when traveling to and from Manzanillo.
Drinking Water: To be safe, it is recommended to drink and brush your teeth with bottled water ONLY.
Time Zone: Central Standard Time (UTC/GMT -5 hours).
Peak Season: The peak travel season for Manzanillo runs from December to April.
Tips & Transportation
Hit the Jackpot at Playa de Oro
Otherwise known as the “Beach of Gold,” Playa de Oro is one of the last untouched beaches for travelers who want to enjoy the seclusion and unparalleled beauty of pristine nature. While the water features strong under-currents, swimming is not recommended at Playa de Oro. However, many still enjoy lying on the sandy beach to work on their tan or walking around Playa de Oro’s soft shores. Historically, Playa de Oro came to be known as "The Beach of Gold" due to a shipwreck that occurred off its shore in the early 1860s. The ship was known to be carrying a load of gold, so it’s not surprising to find a gold coin on the shores from time to time. Whether or not you hit the payload during your time here, Playa de Oro is still a great place to enjoy the beauty of Manzanillo.
Get Your Kids (& Fish) at Marildo's
Long known to be a favorite of curious travelers, Marildo's is a fantastic seafood restaurant that is as fresh as they come. The dishes feature the freshest ingredients, so fresh that you are welcome to pick out your own fish, lobster and shrimp before they are prepared! With red snapper being their specialty, be sure to order the pescado sarandeado, which is a delicious red snapper filet grilled over a mesquite fire. While not charged based on an entree, guests are charged based on the weight of the fish they select. Remember, this is all about you, so pick a good one!
Grab a Quick Bite at Tacos Ramon
For cheap, super-fast street tacos, look no further than this local favorite. A local hotspot, this little taco stand features a unique variation on tacos where they cook their meats in a savory broth. What does that mean to you? You can look forward to each savory bite as it melts in your mouth. If you find yourself there around lunch-time, be prepared to wait a little while as the taqueria fills up fast with workers looking for a quick-fix.
Get Your Feet Wet at Scuba-Scuba Shack
Looking to explore the beautiful waters of Manzanillo, but don't have the gear or experience? Let the experts at Scuba-Scuba Shack help you get your underwater skills up to snuff. Scuba-Scuba Shack caters to everyone, from first-time divers to the well-seasoned explorers of the deep. This is the place to go to schedule professional diving expeditions or get a few classes under your belt to help you get started. If you aren't sure exactly what you want to do, talk to Wendy and she will take care of all the details, so you can start enjoying the beautiful multi-colored fish, sea turtles and more!
Get Your Grub at Pedro's Cazuela Grill
If you find yourself with a hankering for some traditional tortas, guisada or another scrumptious Mexican dish, be sure to stop by Pedro’s Cazuela Grill for the best Mexican dishes and even some American favorites in Manzanillo. With friendly service and entertaining locals, you’re sure to have a blast at this local hotspot. Be sure to order Pedro's succulent Shrimp “Kiss me Darling” or his wife's homemade tortilla soup.
Playa de Oro International Airport (ZLO), also called Manzanillo Airport, services the entire area and is the biggest airport in Colima. It’s about 40 minutes from Manzanillo. A quick note- this airport is located near wetlands and can be a mosquito haven at sundown.
Immigration & Customs
When you reach the arriving terminal, you will be guided to the immigration hall where you will form a line and wait for your turn with the immigration officer. You will supply the officer with your passport and answer a few routine questions about the nature of your stay. Regarding customs for US and European travelers, all you need to do is produce a current passport in order to enter and leave Manzanillo.
Getting to Your Hotel
Travelers can take advantage of local services such as taxis and public buses. Contact your resort directly for more information.
Getting Around Manzanillo
While there isn't a bus route to or from the airport, most resorts have shuttle vans. If you need to get around Manzanillo, local buses are an easy way around the bay to San Pedrito, Salahua, Santiago, Miramar and beaches along the way. The buses depart every 10 minutes and generally run from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM. If you'd rather take a taxi, there are plenty of choices in Manzanillo. Be sure to agree on a fare before you get into the taxi.