Manzanillo Travel Guide

Manzanillo is a Mexican Riviera resort town with wide, curving beaches, legendary sportfishing, 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!

Weather

From November – April, the daily temperature ranges from 75 to 82 °F, while nights cool off to 63 to 75 °F.  In May, the climate starts to change and become more humid, with the onset of the rainy season in June.  Rainy season doesn’t mean it rains all day, every day. Usually it rains every three or four days, when the humidity finally builds up enough to create a soft rain shower in the late afternoon or evening, cooling everything off.  Hurricane season is from mid-June thru October.  However, the last serious hurricane was in 1959.

Best Time to Go

Manzanillo is at its best in winter (December through February), with temperatures of 70°F–80°F. The off-season brings humidity, mosquitoes, and heat, but also emptier beaches, warmer water (about 70°F), and less-crowded streets.

Manzanillo’s biggest local festivals are in the early days of May and December. The Fiesta de Mayo begins near the end of April, runs for two weeks, and concludes around May 10. Events include art exhibits, parades, concerts, native dances, and a carnival. The Fiesta de Guadalupe celebrates the city’s religious patron, the Virgin of Guadalupe, from December 1 through 12. Parades and costumed dancers pay tribute to the Virgin.

Getting To Manzanillo

To fly to Manzanillo from the United States or Canada, you will need a valid passport. All visitors must also get a tourist card. If you’re arriving by plane from the United States or Canada, the standard tourist card will be given to you on the plane. They’re also available through travel agents and Mexican consulates and at the border if you’re entering by land.

You can fly to Manzanillo from the United States and and other points in Mexico including Mazatlan and Mexico City. The airport resides about 25 miles (40 km) away from Manzanillo on the north side, and there is plenty of ground transportation to get you into the ‘hotel zones’. Your return trip to the airport may be booked with your hotel in advance.

Getting Around in Manzanillo

By Bus

Local buses marked ‘Santiago,’ ‘Las Brisas’ and ‘Miramar’ head around the bay to the towns of San Pedrito, Salahua, Santiago and Miramar, and beaches along the way. Bus 8 does a circuit of the Península de Santiago.

By Taxi

Taxis are plentiful in Manzanillo. From the main bus terminal, a cab fare is around M$50 to the main plaza or Playa Azul, and M$80 to Península de Santiago or Playa Miramar. But northbound buses also stop at the Santiago bus terminal, closer to the Playa Santiago area. Always agree on a price before you get into a taxi.

Car Rental

Having a car is a plus, since the city is extremely spread out, and you can rent one at the airport upon arrival.  Vasa Rental Car is the best and most reliable with cars in good mechanical condition.  For more information call 52-314-334-3610, or visit them on the web at Vasa Car Rental.  

Must See Places

Isla Navidad, Manzanillo, Mexico, Mexican Riviera, things to do in Manzanillo, Manzanillo beaches, Mexican Riviera Beaches, best beaches of MexicoIsla 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.

 

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

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.

 

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

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.

 

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

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.

 

 

University Museum of Archeology, Manzanillo, Mexico, Mexican Riviera, things to do in Manzanillo, Manzanillo beaches, Mexican Riviera Beaches, best beaches of MexicoUniversity Museum of Archeology

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.

Outdoor Activities

Aquatic Sports and Adventures, Manzanillo, Mexico, Mexican Riviera, things to do in Manzanillo, Manzanillo beaches, Mexican Riviera Beaches, best beaches of MexicoAquatic Sports & Adventures

Dive Manzanillo Mexico! Scuba Diving, Snorkel, Training, Certifications, Retail and Rentals with an authorized PADI Resort Facility. For more information call 52-314-334-6394, or visit them on the web at Aquatic Sports & Adventures.

Discover Manzanillo, Manzanillo, Mexico, Mexican Riviera, things to do in Manzanillo, Manzanillo beaches, Mexican Riviera Beaches, best beaches of MexicoDiscover Manzanillo

They are located inside Barcelo Karmina Palace Deluxe and Las Hadas Resorts. High flying marling fishing, Blue water scuba diving and a wide variety of water-sport activities offering professional service with first rate equipment. English speaking first class guides and instructors, ready to make your water-sports experience amazing.  For more information call 52-314-164-3242, or visit them on the web at Discover Manzanillo.

Double Trouble Sports Fishing, Manzanillo, Mexico, Mexican Riviera, things to do in Manzanillo, Manzanillo beaches, Mexican Riviera Beaches, best beaches of MexicoDouble Trouble Sport Fishing

Come and Enjoy a day of fishing in the sailfish capital of the world aboard our boat, Double Trouble II, where you will live the incredible experience of reeling in a Sailfish, Marlin, Dorado among others, while being guided by our experienced bi-lingual crew, or if you like something different- take a sunset tour around the twin bays of Manzanillo! .  For more information call 52-314-109-9091, or visit them on the web at Double Trouble Sport Fishing.

Tours Acuaticos Mahi-Mahi, Manzanillo, Mexico, Mexican Riviera, things to do in Manzanillo, Manzanillo beaches, Mexican Riviera Beaches, best beaches of MexicoTours Acuaticos Mahi-Mahi

In Mahi-Mahi Aquatic Tours they offer the best service in aquatic activities. Their specialty is sport fishing! They also have kayak rentals, boat tours trough the bay and snorkel trips to the coral reef of Manzanillo. For more information call 52-314-358-2121, or visit them on the web at Tours Acuaticos Mahi-Mahi.

Oasis Paddle Boarding School, Manzanillo, Mexico, Mexican Riviera, things to do in Manzanillo, Manzanillo beaches, Mexican Riviera Beaches, best beaches of MexicoOasis Paddle Boarding School

Stand Up Paddle Board Lessons, tours, rentals, professional training! Stand up Paddle Board surfing and more!!  For more information call 52-314-106-1176, or visit them on the web at Oasis Paddle Boarding School.

Best Rated Restaurants

$-Inexpensive     $$-Moderate     $$$-Pricey     $$$$-Ultra High End

$$ – $$$  El Marinero

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.  For more information call 52-314-333-1103, or visit them on the web at El Marinero.

$$ – $$$  Toscana Ristorante

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.  For more information call 52-314-333-2515, or visit them on the web at Toscana Ristorante.

$$ – $$$  Mariscos Carlos

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.  For more information call 52-314-336-5458, or visit them on the web at Mariscos Carlos.

$$ – $$$  Paraiso Restaurant

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.  For more information call 52-314-334-1515, or visit them on the web at Paraiso Restaurant.

$$$$  Bistro Marina

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.  For more information call 52-314-336-5006, or visit them on the web at Bistro Marina.

Bars & Nightlife

Bar de Felix, Manzanillo, Mexico, Mexican Riviera, restaurants and bars in Manzanillo, Manzanillo beaches, Mexican Riviera Beaches, best beaches of MexicoBar 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.   For more information call 52-314-333-9277, or visit them on the web at Bar de Felix.

Colima Bay Cafe, Manzanillo, Mexico, Mexican Riviera, restaurants and bars in Manzanillo, Manzanillo beaches, Mexican Riviera Beaches, best beaches of MexicoColima 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.  For more information call 52-314-333-6187, or visit them on TripAdvisor at Colima Bay Café.

Vog Disco, Vog Bar, Manzanillo, Mexico, Mexican Riviera, restaurants and bars in Manzanillo, Manzanillo beaches, Mexican Riviera Beaches, best beaches of MexicoVog 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.   For more information call 52-314-333-1875, or visit them on the web at Vog Disco.

Bare Club & Music Hall, Manzanillo, Mexico, Mexican Riviera, restaurants and bars in Manzanillo, Manzanillo beaches, Mexican Riviera Beaches, best beaches of MexicoBare Club & Music Hall

Visitors are encouraged to come comfortable, enjoy ice cold cocktails and dance until they can’t dance anymore.  For more information call 52-222-192-6236, or visit them on the web at Bare Club & Music Hall.

Top Manzanillo Hotels

Isha Judd Mexico – Meditación, Yoga, Mindfulness

This property is a 6-minute walk from the beach.  Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. This is a meditation and Yoga Center. Staying here means you will learn the meditation tools that can transform your life. Is not just to come and sleep, but to do a deep process and take something really valuable for your life!  For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Isha Judd Mexico.

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. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Barceló Karmina.

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. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Hotel Villas Los Angeles.

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. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Hotel La Posada.

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. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Mar Celeste.

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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