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Manzanillo, Mexico - Overview

In the Mexican state of Colima lies Manzanillo, a secluded town with unspoiled beaches and warm hospitality. Manzanillo also boasts a year-round average tempature of 81 degrees Fahrenheit.

Located on the Pacific coast, Manzanillo is dubbed the” Sailfish Capital of the World.” For many years, Manzanillo has hosted world class fishing tournaments. No worries for vacationers, private charters can also be arranged.

From bird-watching to exploring the rugged terrain of the Sierra Madre foothills, lagoons, and jungles; an ideal haven of natural beauty in Manzanillo, to golfing, there’s plenty of activities.

Manzanillo is a destination that considered “off the beaten path” making it a honeymooner’s paradise. Take advantage of this lesser-known Mexican treasure and visit today!

Most Popular Beach Locations

The pristine beaches of Manzanillo have been featured on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” - Playa Audiencia, on the Santiago Peninsula, offers the best swimming as well as snorkeling, but Playa San Pedrito, shallow for a long way out, is the most popular beach for its proximity to downtown. Playa Las Brisas offers an optimal combination of location and good swimming. Playa Miramar, on the Bahía de Santiago past the Santiago Peninsula, is popular with bodysurfers, windsurfers, and boogie boarders. It's accessible by local bus from town. The major part of Playa Azul drops off sharply but is noted for its wide stretch of golden sand.

Traveler Facts

Travel & Transportation  – When traveling to Manzanillo, many major metropolitan cities have direct flights to Puerto Vallarta or to Guadalajara and Aero Mar has a direct flight from San Diego to the airport in Colima. You can arrange for transportation to and from any of these airports through expomanzanillo. You can also rent a car and drive yourself to Manzanillo, or take a first-class bus.

Manzanillo is only four hours south of Puerto Vallarta, so rent a car. It's a beautiful, safe drive along the Pacific Coast. Be sure and get insurance! Mexican laws are different; and Mexican insurance will protect you. Make sure you get a 24-hour phone number to call in the event of a car problem. You will be required to leave an open credit card voucher with the car rental agency. You must have a credit card and a valid driver’s license.

The drive to Manzanillo is almost all toll road (cuota, in Spanish), so be sure to pick up about $20.00 in pesos at the airport currency exchange. Once out of the city, the drive is interesting as you cross prairies and mountain passes, deep gorges and salt water lagoons. You'll see miles of coconut and banana plantations, small Mexican villages, and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean! The road, although a very good two-lane, has a few hills and curves. You'll reach an altitude of 4,400 feet, where you'll enjoy a forest of pine trees and wonderful smells, and you'll drop down to sea level to experience the ocean breezes.

If you choose to take a bus to Manzanillo instead of driving yourself, a taxi to the bus depot will be about $8.00 USD. There's a bus leaving for Manzanillo every half hour and look for the bus lines ETN, Primera Plus, or La Linea Plus. (Be sure and ask for the "directo" bus; it's a 4-1/2 hour trip with only one 15 min. stop at the bus station in Colima. If you don't get the direct bus, you'll enjoy about an 8-hour bus trip with about 20 stops in between.) Cost, depending on the bus line, is about $10-15.00 USD, but bring the peso equivalent.

Entry Requirements; passports, visa, etc. Traveling to Manzanillo, México doesn’t require a passport only an official ID. However, effective December 31, 2006, passports are required for all U.S. citizens traveling to or from the United States regardless of destination. If you are not a citizen of the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, or most Western European countries, you will need to have a visa.

Languages Spoken / official language – Spanish is the official language of Manzanillo.

Currency – The Mexican Peso is the official currency in Manzanillo.

Tipping – Since most travelers in Manzanillo, Mexico come from the United States and Canada, it is generally the practice to tip the same people one would tip in the United States or Canada. Ten to fifteen percent is a good tip for good service.

Even though All-inclusive tours say that tips are included, it’s always appreciated in Manzanillo if you tip for good service, whether it be the bar, restaurant, or other service. Also a tip at each meal and for the bellboy is always appreciated.

Taxes – Sales tax in Mexico is known as IVA (Impuesto al Valor Agregado). Mexico has two sales tax rates: Zero and 15 percent. The current rate of sales tax on all goods and services classed for the application of IVA is 15 percent.

Electricity: 120V 60 Hz

2 parallel flat prongs - "American" type

Other (immunizations, health issues) - It’s highly recommended that you buy bottled water during your visit to Manzanillo. Bottled water, depending on size, typically costs 30 - 50 pesos ($2.77-$4.62 USD). Otherwise, do not drink the water unless your hotel has a water purification system. Most of the resorts in Manzanillo have purified water at all of the facilities located inside the resorts including the bars and restaurants. The upper-scale restaurants usually have purified water as well, but the water outside of these areas is not safe to drink.

Marriage Requirements, Licenses & Wedding Information

Getting married in Mexico has become an extremely popular option for couples from all over the world, who often combine their wedding ceremony with their honeymoon vacation. Civil ceremonies are the only ones recognized in Mexico. A religious ceremony can be had, but it isn't considered official.

In order to get married in Manzanillo you will need the following:

• Certified copies of Birth Certificate or valid passport.
• Blood tests for STD and HIV, preferable 15 days before, at the most, before the wedding.
• Copy of your tourist permit.
• Four witnesses.
• If one or both have been married before, you will need to present a copy of the divorce certificate, if a widow or widower is getting married, then they will have to present copy of the death certificate of the spouse.

Tourism Office address, phone and Web site

Fideicomiso de Turismo de Manzanillo
Blvd. Miguel de la Madrid No. 875-A
Manzanillo, Colima
Telephone Number
314.333.2080 (fax)

Other Manzanillo Web Sites

Climate Information - When is the best time to travel

Tropical (hot and Humid) -most of the year Manzanillo has a high of around 90F and a low of 65 F, depending the season. The year-round average temperature is 81 F.

High & Low Season for travel - The peak tourist seasons in Manzanillo are during December and during the mid-Summer, with brief surges during the week before Easter and surges during Spring break at many of the beach resort sites which are popular with vacationing college students from the United States.

Map of Manzanillo

Map of Manzanillo

Local Attractions & Must Do’s

When you visit Manzanillo, take time to get away from the hotel and from town and learn about the area. Visit the turtle sanctuary and see the cities of Colima and Comala, take a walk through the central market in Manzanillo, or take a trip up into the Sierra Madre to see and learn about the coffee growers. Snorkeling is also a great option. There is great bird watching and lots of exploring of the Sierra Madre mountains to keep you busy. 

The Las Hadas Golf course in Manzanillo has been named as being among "the 100 greatest in the world" by Golf Digest magazine and the finish destination for the classic 2,500-mile San Diego to Manzanillo Yacht Race is at Las Hadas 70-boat marina.

Known as "The World Capital of Sail fishing", Manzanillo hosts great and famous fishing tournaments every year. Deep-sea fishing is one of the most important attractions for the tourism that comes to Manzanillo is fishing. 

Be sure to visit Canoas hidden waterfall, a legendary cascade that locals say spouts fresh water all year round.

Top 5 Most Popular Hotels

The Barcelo Karmina Palace is an All-Inclusive, all-suite luxury resort nestled between an 18-hole golf course and the sunny Pacific coast in Manzanillo. Stretched along the Las Hadas Santiago peninsula, this magnificent resort offers the highest standards in luxury, service and quality, with an exotic design modeled after the majestic pyramids of the ancient Mayans. Spend peaceful days along a broad stretch of tranquil beachfront, or refresh yourself within the calm blue waters of the Pacific. You will enjoy spacious, comfortable accommodations, and guests of all ages will discover an abundance of services and activities sure to deliver an unforgettable vacation! 324 air-conditioned suites.

Puerto de la Navidad - Grand Bay Hotel in Manzanillo offers the discerning traveler superb luxury and service in a dramatic resort setting. This beautiful new hotel is set amid 1,200 acres on the exclusive peninsula of Isla Navidad, just 25 minutes from the airport. Enjoy a variety of unique restaurants and lounges featuring some of the worlds' finest cuisine. The 27-hole golf course offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and bay.

Your dreams will come true at Las Hadas Golf Resort and Marina as it offers a world of options for a magical holiday. Relax in your beautifully appointed room, or experience magnificent views of Manzanillo Bay from the privacy of your terrace. Enjoy outstanding cuisine in the exclusive restaurants, and spend long afternoons on the 18-hole golf course. Optional Modified American Plan including buffet breakfast, and lunch or dinner, taxes and gratuities is also available. This resorts boats 233 air-conditioned rooms and suites.

In a magical setting with magnificent vistas across the bay of Tenacatita and the Pacific Ocean, the Punta Serena Villas and Spa resort is a rare and exquisite adult’s only All-inclusive resort is the epitome of rest and relaxation. Free your mind spirit and soul while visiting Manzanillo, with a stroll along the beach, a swim in the pool or soak in the outdoor Jacuzzis. Enjoy spa treatments under open skies to the soothing rhythm of the surf and the music of exotic birds, or watch the gorgeous sunsets and breathtaking views from our cliff side Jacuzzis, the perfect vantage point to watch dolphins and whales swim in across the bay.

The majestic Sierra Manzanillo stands in the secluded bay of La Audiencia. Located on the Santiago Peninsula, Tesoro Manzanillo is only 10 minutes from downtown and 25 minutes from the airport. Take part in a variety of water sports or a game of tennis, and then relax by the large pool. 332 air-conditioned rooms and suites.