Manzanillo Travel Guide

Manzanillo is a Mexican Riviera resort town with wide, curving beaches, legendary sport fishing, and a highly regarded diversity of dive sites. Golf is also an attraction here. One reason for its popularity could be Manzanillo’s tropical geography with vast groves of tall palms, abundant mango trees, and successive coves graced with smooth sand beaches. To the north, mountains blanketed with palms rise alongside the shoreline. And Manzanillo has perfect weather, with balmy temperatures and year-round sea breezes.

Manzanillo is both Mexico’s busiest commercial seaport and a tranquil town of multicolor houses flowing down the hillsides to meet the central commercial area of simple seafood restaurants, shell shops, and salsa clubs. The activity in Manzanillo is divided into two zones: the downtown commercial port and the luxury Santiago Peninsula resort zone to the north. A visit to the town’s waterfront zócalo provides a glimpse into local life. The exclusive Santiago Peninsula, home to the resorts and golf course, separates Manzanillo’s two golden-sand bays.

Manzanillo is one of Mexico’s safest destinations. Law enforcement is around and there to help if you need it. Standard precautions apply about watching your possessions, and it’s best to avoid walking around the port at night. Area beaches are a mixed lot; La Boquita and Miramar are regarded as safe for swimming, but others less so.  To learn more about all the beautiful beaches of the Mexican Riviera, visit here.  Now view our Manzanillo Travel Guide to help plan your next Mexican Riviera vacation!

Manzanillo Weather – When to Visit

The best time to visit Manzanillo would be a time when you can completely soak in the experience. The weather of Manzanillo is the most enjoyable with the best of activities during June thru December.  This is their peak season.  The temperatures range between 48℉ and 91℉ making it the perfect time to head out and check out the best things to do in Manzanillo. 

Manzanillo Attractions

Isla Navidad, Manzanillo, Mexico, Mexican Riviera, things to do in Manzanillo, Manzanillo beaches, Mexican Riviera Beaches, best beaches of Mexico, best Manzanillo hotels, Manzanillo attractionsIsla Navidad

This slice of paradise on earth harmoniously blends reefs, cliffs, and golden beaches that surround the tourist developments, like the Grand Isla Navidad Resort, which is home to an extraordinary 27-hole golf course that’s considered one of the best in Mexico.

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Downtown Manzanillo, Manzanillo, Mexico, Mexican Riviera, things to do in Manzanillo, Manzanillo beaches, Mexican Riviera Beaches, best beaches of Mexico, best Manzanillo hotels, Manzanillo attractionsDowntown

Downtown Manzanillo offers cultural attractions for a fun family outing. Take a photo alongside the famous sculpture of the giant sailfish and watch the dancing fountain show in the evenings. Go out for a walk and enjoy a traditional “nieve de garrafa” (home-style sorbet) in the main square. This is also where you’ll find the city’s marina and commercial port.

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Colima, Manzanillo, Mexico, Mexican Riviera, things to do in Manzanillo, Manzanillo beaches, Mexican Riviera Beaches, best beaches of Mexico, best Manzanillo hotels, Manzanillo attractionsColima

Colima is the capital of the state of the same name. Located just an hour from Manzanillo, this picturesque colonial city is a great place to visit. It is situated in a fertile valley with two towering volcanoes, one of which is still active. The city is home to several beautifully preserved colonial buildings, three plazas, and many interesting museums.

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Comala, Manzanillo, Mexico, Mexican Riviera, things to do in Manzanillo, Manzanillo beaches, Mexican Riviera Beaches, best beaches of Mexico, best Manzanillo hotels, Manzanillo attractionsComala

Located less than an hour from Manzanillo, Comala is famous for its traditional outdoor restaurants, its beautiful colonial architecture, and the cultural attractions and archeological sites that are located nearby.

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University Museum of Archaeology, Manzanillo, Mexico, Mexican Riviera, things to do in Manzanillo, Manzanillo beaches, Mexican Riviera Beaches, best beaches of Mexico, best Manzanillo hotels, Manzanillo attractionsUniversity Museum of Archaeology

This modern space is dedicated to the sharing of information about the cultures of western Mexico. The layout of the museum consists of five halls displaying more than 1,800 archeological artifacts (from a collection of 18,000). It also features the reproduction of two shaft tombs that correspond to the Comala Phase, which date from 300 to 500 AD.

Manzanillo Tours & Activities

Manzanillo ATV Adventure Tour

Ride the rugged mountain trails of Manzanillo on a 3-hour off-road ATV experience with an experienced local guide. Leave the city behind then get perfect views of the scenic countryside from the slopes of Cerro del toro. Roar along trails in the shade of towering hardwood trees, and spot blooming flowers and ripening fruit in the thick.  Read more about Manzanillo ATV Jungle Adventure Tour

Horseback Riding

On this tour you will enjoy the adventure of traveling by horse, as this fascinating journey to play a sport, while you can interact with a different culture. Beach and Jungle Horseback Riding.  Read more about Horseback Riding

Barra de Navidad Tropical Tour from Manzanillo

Spend six hours traveling through the tropical landscapes of Jalisco and Manzanillo on this day tour of fishing villages that showcases the best of local life and includes a stop at Christ of the Fallen Arms Church, where you’ll hear stories of local miracles. Spend the day escaping the urban landscapes of Mexico and head into the countryside.  Read more about Barra de Navidad Tropical Sightseeing Tour

Boat Trip Party through the Bay of Manzanillo

Enjoy a pleasant tour of Manzanillo Bay and get to know the secret corners of the sea. During the walk you will also have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the warm waters of the Pacific and get to know the marine flora and fauna. Ideal activity to complement your holidays in Manzanillo.  Read more about Boat Trip Party through the Bay of Manzanillo

Waterfall Tour

Tour to rural areas and natural waterfalls where you can swim and canoe.  This is an excellent place to escape the heat. You can bathe in the pools that are filled with natural water that springs from the Sierra.  Read more about Waterfall Tour

Best Manzanillo Restaurants

El Marinero  $11 – 30

This restaurant’s superb ocean front location makes it an ideal place to enjoy the essence of Manzanillo, long beaches, sun, and some great sea food dishes. While the menu does not offer endless options, it certainly makes a smart and well thought out choice of local and Spanish-inspired cuisine such as fish, meat, and chicken fillet dishes, mariscos paella, cream corn soups and cannelloni. El Marinero is a perfect location to enjoy an elegant-yet relaxed-meal in Manzanillo.  Telephone:  52-314-333-1103  Web:  El Marinero.

Toscana Ristorante  $11 – 30

Toscana serves some of the best fine dining cuisine in Manzanillo. It offers a perfect romantic setting with breathtaking ocean front views, candle lit tables and live music. The Italian-inspired cuisine includes classics like green pepper steak, artichoke salad, and Italian pasta dishes, but also grilled lobsters and other fresh seafood. A popular place among expats that are looking for a sophisticated menu in a unique location.  Telephone:  52-314-333-2515  Web:  Toscana Ristorante.

Mariscos Carlos  $  11 – 30

If you are looking for the real delicious mariscos cuisine, Mariscos Carlos in  downtown Manzanillo is the place to go. Offering a variety of local sea food dishes like fresh camarones (shrimps) tacos, tostadas, pescado zarandeado (fresh grilled fish), and pulpo a la Mantequilla (octopus cooked in butter), it is widely considered to be one of the top places to try local cuisine. The restaurant has ample space to accommodate big groups and is overall good value for money.  Telephone:  52-314-336-5458  Web:  Mariscos Carlos.

Paraiso Restaurant  $  11 – 30

Paraiso Restaurant has picturesque views of the gorgeous bay of Las Hadas, making it an ideal place to enjoy Manzanillo’s natural beauty and high end charms. Its stunning high patio is decorated with colourful tables and chairs, set under a grand thatched roof. Paraiso restaurant offers popular Mexican classics (including fresh fish dishes) and a variety of international dishes like pizzas, pastas, burgers, salads and fantastic margaritas. A small piece of paradise in Manzanillo.  Telephone:  52-314-334-1515  Web:  Paraiso Restaurant.

Bistro Marina  $  31 – 60

In the marina near luxurious Las Hadas hotel, Bistro Marina is an elegant spot to wine and dine in style. This classy French inspired bistro offers refined menu options like lobster bisque, chateaubriand, chicken breast with a balsamic glaze and apples, as well as a good selection of wines and fresh cocktails. The ambience has an air of exclusivity with the tables set right in front of the yachts in the elegant marina of the bay of Manzanillo. A rooftop balcony is also available from where you can enjoy more dramatic views.  Telephone:  52-314-336-5006  Web:  Bistro Marina.

Best Manzanillo Bars & Nightlife

Bar de Felix

Bar de Félix is a large bar with crimson faux-velvet settees; a dance floor for Latin tunes, Spanish rock, some American oldies, and electronica; and a giant-screen TV.  Telephone:  52-314-333-9277  Web:  Bar de Felix.

Colima Bay Café

People of all ages enjoy a night out at the lively Colima Bay Café, with its whimsical style, jazzy background music, and variety of seating options—including pigskin barstools. Call ahead to ask what’s on the schedule for the evening; some nights get pretty rowdy here.  Telephone:  52-314-333-6187  Web:  Colima Bay Café.

Vog Disco/Vog Bar

Vog Disco invites its guest to dance all night to the throbbing beats in its lively disco. This disco opens its doors at 10 p.m. and the music continues into the night until 3 a.m. As it nears midnight, grab an ice cold drink from the bar and get ready to enjoy the exciting light show. Vog Disco is one of the nicest night clubs in town and is frequented by a younger crowd ready to let loose. Right next door is Vog Bar which satisfies with its great selection at the bar and numerous pool tables.  Telephone:  52-314-333-1875  Web:  Vog Disco.

Bare Club & Music Hall

Visitors are encouraged to come comfortable, enjoy ice cold cocktails and dance until they can’t dance anymore.  Telephone:  52-222-192-6236  Web:  Bare Club & Music Hall.

Best Manzanillo Hotels

Pepes Hideaway


A private nature reserve offering accommodations in luxury thatched-roof bungalows with spectacular views and awesome sunsets – all nestled in a tropical garden of giant coconut palm trees, towering cacti, brilliant bougainvillea, and producing banana tress. Pepe’s believes in the adage that the land does not belong to us, we belong to the land. The accommodations are picture perfect palapas with 20 foot ceilings, a sitting patio, native equipales (hand made chairs and tables) to take in the awesome sunsets, the nature show in sea in front of you, the magnificent coastline and distant mountains.

Barceló Karmina – All Inclusive


The Barceló Karmina hotel, distinguished with the 4-diamond AAA recognition, is located right on the beach in Manzanillo. Its spectacular architecture, inspired by Mayan temples, together with the tropical gardens and a private beach, make this hotel a paradise for relaxation and entertainment for the entire family.  The hotel  has all you need for a pleasurable stay, from a magnificent spa to a range of daily performances and activities.

Hotel Villas Los Angeles


Villas Los Angeles features Junior suites and Villas with 1-3 bedrooms, fully equipped kitchens, telephones, flat screen TV’s with cable and a beautiful pool with the best panoramic view on the peninsula. The carefully-manicured grounds offer you a delightful array of birds and flowering tropical plants.  All Suites and Villas are designed with your comfort in mind and include free internet access in your suite and near the pool area.

Hotel La Posada


Hotel La Posada, located directly on Manzanillo’s best swimming beach, offers you a truly different vacation. The atmosphere is strictly informal and comfortable.  Rooms, at La Posada, face the beach where you can watch the incredible Manzanillo sunsets or enjoy a casual swim. The heart of La Posada is the “sala” or living room. Breakfast (included in the rates) and snacks are served here, and cocktails are available at the bar.

Mar Celeste – All Inclusive


Providing guests with an atmosphere of tranquility and total relaxation, taking advantage of the impressive view of the sea and the beautiful sunsets on Miramar .  Relax while enjoying a massage under the gentle sea breeze or while enjoying the delicious dishes and drinks in the fresh palapa of their restaurant Oceanides.  Mar Celeste has six exclusive rooms equipped with luxury furniture and amenities, and an impressive view of the sea that you can enjoy from every point of your comforting room.

26 Comments

  1. Mr. Progress

    Hey Leahrae! Never heard of this place, but it looks incredible. We have been looking for a Mexican Beach Vacation, and found your wonderful site! So much information, and so many choices. Manzanillo seems to be the place we are interested in. Thanks for the extensive article, and we are looking forward to planning our trip to Manzanillo!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks for reading Maarten! Yes, it is an incredible place and I am glad you decided to make this your next beach vacation. Please let me know if you need any additional information for planning.

      Reply
  2. Andrew

    You have certainly put the town of Manzanillo on the map and as a holiday guide i am sure it will prove to be quite popular.There appears to be plenty to do and see with some superb looking restaurants. A great and well put together post.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Andrew for taking the time to comment on my Manzanillo Travel Guide.

      Reply
  3. Nadia

    I love the scenery of Manzanillo, as it seems everything is around a beautiful beach. With resorts at the waterside and a downtown scene, this sounds great! Especially since you say it is fairly safe. Thanks for the detailed review of Manzanillo!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Nadia, and thanks for taking the time to comment on my Manzanillo Travel Guide 🙂

      Reply
  4. john

    Leahrae,
    Complete information for anyone planning a trip to the Manzanillo area. I like how you have included the travel cost from the airport. Never been to the beach areas in Mexico, your article gives me a great deal of information when planning a vacation trip.
    John

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great John! I am glad my Manzanillo Travel Guide was helpful. Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com.

      Reply
  5. andrejs

    Your article about Manzanillo returned me back when I was working on a ship as a navigational officer. At that time our ship carried fruits from Chile, and I spent three wonderful days in this friendly and beautiful city. It was a mid-December and weather was just fine. My main goal was to have bought a genuine sombrero, and I did it. The only problem was later in Los Angeles airport and an airplane as the hat size was too big for convenient storage. Luckily there were unoccupied sits on the flight to Amsterdam. Manzanillo has remained in pleasant memory for me.  You have brought me back to that time, and I am looking forward to planning my next vacation to Manzanillo.  I am looking forward to going back!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Sounds like that Sombrero was fairly large!  We have a genuine one too, so they are big.  You will love going back to this beautiful Mexican Riviera destination.  Thank you for taking the time to comment on the Manzanillo Travel Guide!

      Reply
  6. JT

    Hi Leahrae, this is a great travel guide post for Manzanillo. I have been wanting to visit here, as some friends of mine went and had a wonderful time. I am glad I found your website, as everything I need to plan my trip is right here on this travel guide. You have done an outstanding job providing everything I could need. Thank you for making it easy for me, cheers!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi JT,

      I am glad you enjoyed reading the Manazanillo Travel Guide. Your friends are right about it being a great beach destination where you will have a wonderful time. Please let me know if you need any help with your vacation planning and thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com.

      Reply
  7. Neil

    Leahrae,
    I thank you for post about the weather and in particular, the information regarding hurricanes. It would seem we had a particularly rough season this year. I was wondering if somewhere in your manzanillo guide, I missed anything about earthquakes. What it impacted by the recent earthquake in Mexico? Sometimes I think those 2012 people were just a few years off. Ha!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      The last earthquake was the Colima earthquake in 1995.  So they do not happen very often in Manzanillo.  I think that they can probably occur anywhere really.  Thank you Neil for visiting the Manzanillo Travel Guide.

      Reply
  8. stefanie

    Manzanillo looks fabulous and you really sold it to me with your great review. You know your somewhere tropical when there are mango trees! This looks like my dream holiday as it has a bit of everything for everyone and my favorite things especially, such as good restaurants, water sports and cultural places to visit. I would definitely go and check out the colonial city of Colima as it looks stunning. Thanks for the information’

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Glad you enjoyed reading the Manzanillo Travel Guide Stefanie! Please come back again when you are ready to plan your dream vacation.

      Reply
  9. Alex Chong

    This is such a detailed and helpful travel guide.

    Manzanillo and the areas around it do sound very interesting. To me, the most important thing with travels is the safety and I am glad to know that these places are safe for tourists. Can’t wait to start planning my vacation here…. and as you have recommended, the best time to visit is around the end to beginning of the year.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I agree Alex that safety is something to consider when planning a vacation. Manzanillo has it all for sure and is beautiful on top of it. Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com.

      Reply
  10. Laila

    Manzanillo looks like an awesome place. We are looking for a vacation this upcoming winter and have been considering Mexico. With all the resort towns, we really were not sure which would be best for us. I am so glad I found your website! You have a ton of information on various beach locations. I especially like Manzanillo for the safety factor. I was a little concerned about that. You have provided everything in your Manzanillo travel guide to help us plan our trip. Thank you for that!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Laila! I am glad I could help narrow it down for you to your vacation destination of Manzanillo! If you need any additional information, or would like help planning your trip please don’t hesitate to ask. I know that I can find you great deals on airfare and accommodations. Thanks for reading the Manzanillo Travel Guide.

      Reply
  11. Dorothy

    This place looks incredible and I never heard of Manzanillo before. I have always been a bit worried about going to Mexico but this place, as you mentioned seems safe so it may be worth it to go! Im going to show my partner and ask if he wants to go haha…you always nail it being unbiased and very informative! You also make it hard for us to decide where we want to go on our next vacation. I know that we both love beaches, so it is easy. Your site has everything we need!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I hope you will get to head to Manzanillo soon Dorothy. It should be an easy sell 🙂 This place is beautiful and you both will enjoy a great time together. Please let me know if you need anything else. Thanks for taking the time to leave me some comments.

      Reply
  12. Maurice

    Your reviews on beach vacation spots have always been so extensive and in-depth in the type of information any traveler would love to have. Yes I have visited your site before. That is why I endorse and trust this site honest and with no bias opinions.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Maurice! I am so glad to hear, and I hope that when you are ready to plan your next vacation, you will be back. Thanks for visiting the Manzanillo Travel Guide.

      Reply
  13. Jo Morris

    Sounds absolutely beautiful,

    I have been looking for a Mexican beach destination that is a little less known, and Manzanillo seems to be the place to vacation to! Thanks for sharing all the information, very well written and loads of useful information. xx

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Jo, thanks for taking the time to comment on the Manzanillo Travel Guide. I am glad you found what you were looking for! Please let me know if you have any questions.

      Reply

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