Your Ultimate Manzanillo Travel Guide 2023
Manzanillo is a beautiful coastal city located in the state of Colima, Mexico just south of Sayulita. Known for its stunning beaches, picturesque landscape, and welcoming locals, Manzanillo has become a popular destination for travelers from all over the world. Whether you are looking to relax on the beach, explore the local culture, or indulge in some delicious cuisine, this city has something for everyone. In this ultimate Manzanillo travel guide, we will highlight some of the top things to do, see, and experience during your visit. So, grab your sunscreen and get ready for an unforgettable vacation in Manzanillo. If you are visiting Manzanillo you may also want to check out our Zihuatanejo travel guide.
Top 5 Things To See And Do In Manzanillo
- Visit The Beaches: Manzanillo is known for its stunning beaches, and with over 12 miles of coastline, there are plenty to choose from. Playa Miramar is one of the most popular and offers golden sand, crystal clear water, and a lively atmosphere. La Audiencia Beach is another top choice, with calm waters perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and water sports.
- Go Fishing: Manzanillo is known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World,” so if you’re an angler, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to fish these waters. Head out on a fishing excursion with one of the local charters and try your luck at catching a big one.
- Explore The Historic Center: Take a stroll through the heart of Manzanillo and explore the historic center. Visit the Nuestra Señora del Carmen Church, dating back to the 19th century, and stop by the nearby Museo de Arqueología e Historia de Manzanillo to learn about the town’s history.
- Take A Jungle Tour: For a unique adventure, book a jungle tour and explore the lush rainforests surrounding Manzanillo. These tours will take you through the tropical flora and fauna, with chances to spot monkeys, birds, and other wildlife.
- Visit The Colima Volcano: Take a day trip to the nearby Colima Volcano, one of the most active in Mexico. The volcano is surrounded by stunning scenery and offers hiking trails, hot springs, and scenic vistas.
Best Manzanillo Tours
Tours in Manzanillo are an excellent way to explore the sights and nearby areas. Unless you intend to rent a car in Manzanillo (which we don’t recommend), tours offer the most convenient means of transportation while keeping costs in check. The expenses for getting around can accumulate rapidly, making tours a wise choice for navigating the country.
Where To Stay In Manzanillo
- Santiago: Santiago is a tranquil neighborhood located in the southern part of Manzanillo. It’s known for its pristine beaches, vibrant nightlife, and excellent seafood restaurants. This neighborhood is a great option for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city center and enjoy a peaceful getaway.
- Las Brisas: Las Brisas is a luxurious residential area located in the hills overlooking Manzanillo Bay. It’s home to some of the most exclusive hotels and resorts in the area, offering breathtaking views and top-notch amenities. If you’re looking for a high-end experience, this neighborhood is the perfect choice.
- Salagua: Salagua is a popular neighborhood located on the northern side of Manzanillo. It’s known for its laid-back atmosphere and easy access to some of the town’s best beaches. You’ll find a range of accommodations here, from budget-friendly hostels to mid-range hotels.
- Downtown Manzanillo: Downtown Manzanillo is the heart of the town, located near the port area and commercial district. This neighborhood offers easy access to local restaurants, markets, and shopping centers. It’s also a great option for those who want to immerse themselves in the local culture and experience authentic Mexico.
- La Audiencia: La Audiencia is a picturesque neighborhood located in the southwestern part of Manzanillo. It’s known for its beautiful beaches and stunning ocean views, making it a popular destination for tourists. You’ll find a variety of accommodations here, from beachfront resorts to cozy vacation rentals.
Top Manzanillo Hotels
- Las Hadas Golf Resort and Marina: This iconic resort is the most famous in Manzanillo and has hosted countless celebrities over the years. Its standout feature is its white, Moorish-inspired architecture and the fact that it’s located on a private bay. The resort has a range of rooms and suites to choose from, some with ocean views and private balconies.
- Barceló Karmina: If you’re looking for a luxurious all-inclusive experience, look no further than Barceló Karmina. The resort is located on the beach and has a range of pools, restaurants, and bars on-site. Its rooms and suites are spacious and feature balconies with views of either the ocean or the tropical gardens.
- Grand Isla Navidad Resort: This sprawling resort is located on its own island, surrounded by a marina and golf course. The rooms and suites are elegantly decorated and feature views of either the ocean or the marina. There are several on-site restaurants, a pool, and a spa for guests to enjoy.
- Costa Alegre Hotel & Suites: This charming hotel is located on a quiet street just steps from the beach. The rooms are simple but clean and comfortable, and many have balconies with ocean views. There’s a small pool on-site, and the hotel is within walking distance of several restaurants and bars.
- Hotel Marbella: If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, Hotel Marbella is a great choice. It’s located in the heart of Manzanillo’s downtown area and is just a few blocks from the beach. The rooms are simple but clean, and the hotel has a small pool and restaurant on-site.
Where To Eat In Manzanillo
Manzanillo has a variety of dining options that cater to all tastes and budgets. Here are the top 5 places to eat in Manzanillo:
- La Quinta Steakhouse: Located in the Las Hadas Golf Resort, La Quinta Steakhouse is known for its mouth-watering steaks and seafood dishes. The restaurant’s romantic ambiance and beautiful views of the ocean make it an ideal spot for a special occasion.
- El Fogón Del Capitán: This seafood restaurant has been around since the 1950s and is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The menu features a variety of fresh seafood dishes such as ceviche, shrimp cocktail, and grilled fish.
- Barra Vieja: This beachfront restaurant serves some of the best seafood in Manzanillo. Their specialties include grilled lobster and whole fish served with garlic sauce. The laid-back atmosphere and stunning views of the ocean make it a perfect spot for a relaxed lunch or dinner.
- La Toscana: If you’re in the mood for Italian cuisine, La Toscana is the place to go. Their menu features classic dishes such as pizza, pasta, and lasagna, all made with fresh ingredients and homemade sauces.
- Puesta Del Sol: Located in the heart of Manzanillo’s downtown area, Puesta del Sol is a seafood restaurant that specializes in traditional Mexican dishes. Their ceviche and seafood cocktails are especially popular among diners.
Whether you’re looking for fine dining or casual eats, Manzanillo has something for everyone. Make sure to add these top 5 restaurants to your list when planning your trip to this beautiful Mexican city.
How To Get Around Manzanillo
There are a variety of transportation options available for visitors to get around Manzanillo. From taxis to buses and rental cars, here are the most common ways to travel in and around this popular destination:
- Taxis: Taxis are the most convenient way to get around Manzanillo, especially for short distances. They are plentiful and can be found in most areas of the city. You can flag one down on the street, or find them parked at taxi stands throughout the city. Make sure to negotiate the fare before getting in to avoid overpaying.
- Buses: If you’re looking to save money, the local bus system is a great option. The buses are frequent, reliable, and cover most areas of the city. You can purchase tickets from the driver, and they usually cost only a few pesos. However, buses can be crowded and may not be the most comfortable option for longer journeys.
- Rental Cars: If you prefer to have your own wheels, there are several rental car companies in Manzanillo. This can be a convenient option if you want to explore the surrounding areas, but be aware that driving in Mexico can be challenging, especially if you’re not used to the local driving culture. Also, keep in mind that parking in Manzanillo can be difficult to find and expensive.
- Bicycles: For a more eco-friendly and active way to explore the city, consider renting a bike. Manzanillo is fairly bike-friendly, and there are several bike rental shops throughout the city. Biking can be a fun way to explore the city, but be prepared for the heat and humidity if you plan on biking during the day.
- Walking: Finally, if you’re looking for a more low-key way to explore Manzanillo, walking is always an option. Many of the city’s main attractions are within walking distance of each other, and it can be a great way to soak up the local culture and atmosphere.
However, be aware that the streets can be uneven and sidewalks are often crowded, so watch your step. Overall, there are plenty of transportation options available in Manzanillo, so choose the one that best suits your needs and budget. Just remember to be cautious when taking taxis, negotiate fares in advance, and always wear your seatbelt when riding in a car.
Manzanillo, situated in the Mexican state of Colima, experiences a tropical savanna climate that is pleasant throughout the year. It’s always warm, humid, and sunny with high temperatures all year round, but it can vary slightly depending on the season. Below is a detailed overview of Manzanillo’s weather during Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.
- Spring (March – May): During the spring months, Manzanillo has hot, dry days and warm nights with an average high temperature of around 88°F (31°C) and an average low temperature of about 70°F (21°C). The humidity is moderate, and there’s very little rainfall, making it a perfect time to hit the beaches and enjoy outdoor activities.
- Summer (June – August): Manzanillo weather in summer is quite hot and humid with daytime temperatures ranging between 90°F (32°C) to 94°F (34°C) and nighttime temperatures dropping down to 77°F (25°C) to 80°F (27°C). The sea breeze offers some relief, but the high humidity level makes it feel hotter than it actually is. Thunderstorms and rain showers occur in the evenings, making it the wettest season in Manzanillo.
- Fall (September – November): The weather in Manzanillo during fall is similar to summer, with high temperatures of about 90°F (32°C) during the day and low temperatures of 75°F (24°C) at night. However, the humidity starts to decline in the fall, and the chance of rainfall decreases as well. Visitors can still enjoy the beaches and watersports without much concern about the rain.
- Winter (December – February): The weather in Manzanillo in winter is warm and sunny, with daytime temperatures around 85°F (29°C) and nighttime temperatures around 67°F (19°C). The humidity levels are at their lowest during winter, making it a popular season for tourists. It is an excellent time to engage in outdoor activities such as golfing, fishing, or hiking.
Best Time To Visit Manzanillo
The best time to visit Manzanillo is during the dry season from November to April. During these months, the weather is warm and sunny with little chance of rain. This makes it perfect for beach activities and water sports. The temperatures during this time range from 80-90°F.
The wet season from May to October is the least ideal time to visit Manzanillo due to the high humidity and frequent thunderstorms. However, if you don’t mind a little rain, this can be a great time to visit as there are fewer tourists and hotel prices are cheaper. One thing to keep in mind is that Manzanillo can get quite crowded during peak season which is around December and January. If you prefer fewer crowds, then you might want to consider visiting during the shoulder season which is from May to June or September to October.
Overall, the best time to visit Manzanillo really depends on your preferences and what activities you want to do. If you are looking for sunny beach days, then the dry season is the best time to go. However, if you are on a budget and don’t mind a little rain, then the wet season might be the perfect time for you to visit.
How To Stay Safe In Manzanillo
Manzanillo is a generally safe city, but it’s always wise to take some precautions to ensure your safety while you’re on vacation. Here are some tips to help you stay safe in Manzanillo:
- Be Aware Of Your Surroundings: Just like in any city, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings when you’re in Manzanillo. Pay attention to your surroundings, especially in crowded areas.
- Keep Your Valuables Safe: Be cautious when carrying your valuables like jewelry, cash, and other items of value. Always keep them with you or locked up in a safe if you’re staying in a hotel.
- Avoid Isolated Areas: Try to avoid walking alone in isolated areas at night. If you need to go out, stick to busy and well-lit streets.
- Be Cautious When Using Public Transportation: Be mindful when using public transportation like buses or taxis. Always verify the license plate and the driver’s identification before getting in a taxi.
- Follow Local Customs: It’s crucial to respect the customs and culture of Manzanillo to avoid any unwanted attention or misunderstanding. If you’re unsure about the customs, do some research before you go.
- Avoid Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Avoid excessive drinking in public places, as it can lead to poor judgment and make you vulnerable to theft or other crimes. You should also avoid buying weed or other narcotics from vendors.
By following these tips, you can stay safe and enjoy your vacation in Manzanillo without any hassles. It’s always good to stay aware and cautious to ensure a pleasant experience.
Manzanillo Customs and Etiquette
As a tourist, it’s important to know the customs and etiquette of the locals in Manzanillo to avoid offending anyone. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Greetings: The locals in Manzanillo are friendly and often greet each other with a hug or a handshake. It’s important to reciprocate the gesture when you meet someone new.
- Dress Code: The locals in Manzanillo dress modestly, especially when they’re going to church or visiting important places. As a tourist, it’s important to dress respectfully, covering your shoulders and knees when entering religious sites.
- Language: Spanish is the official language of Manzanillo, so it’s recommended to learn a few basic Spanish phrases to communicate with the locals. They appreciate tourists who make an effort to speak their language.
- Tipping: It’s customary to leave a tip of 10-15% for services such as restaurants, taxis, and hotel staff. The locals rely on tips to supplement their income, so it’s appreciated if you leave a generous tip.
- Personal Space: The locals in Manzanillo value personal space, so it’s important to respect their boundaries. It’s not customary to hug or kiss someone you just met unless they initiate the gesture.
- Bargaining: Bargaining is a common practice in Manzanillo, especially in the local markets. It’s expected that tourists will try to haggle for a lower price, but it’s important to do it respectfully and with a smile.
By following these customs and etiquettes, you’ll have a better understanding of the local culture and create a more positive experience for yourself and the locals in Manzanillo.
Other Things To Know About Manzanillo
Before you embark on your trip to Manzanillo, there are a few important details to know. Firstly, Manzanillo is a city located on the Pacific coast of Mexico, in the state of Colima. The official currency of Mexico is the Mexican peso (MXN), which can be easily obtained at currency exchange kiosks or ATMs. It’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand, as many small businesses do not accept credit cards.
Spanish is the official language of Mexico, including Manzanillo. While some locals may speak English, it’s helpful to know some basic Spanish phrases to get by. If you plan on exploring beyond the tourist areas, knowing some Spanish will come in handy.
Manzanillo is in the Central Time Zone (GMT-6), which is 2 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST) in the United States. Be sure to adjust your watches accordingly and keep this time difference in mind when making plans or scheduling tours.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that Manzanillo has a rich cultural history and unique customs and etiquette that may differ from what you’re used to. Mexicans place a strong emphasis on family and personal relationships, so taking the time to greet and get to know locals can go a long way in making your trip memorable. Additionally, tipping is expected in many service industries, so be sure to factor that into your budget. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Manzanillo.
Manzanillo Travel Costs
When it comes to traveling, the cost is often one of the biggest concerns for people. But you’ll be glad to know that Manzanillo is an affordable vacation destination. You can easily find budget-friendly accommodations and restaurants, and transportation options are quite affordable too.
- Accommodation: Accommodation costs in Manzanillo range from about $25 to $150 per night, depending on the type of accommodation and location. Budget-friendly hotels, hostels, and guesthouses can be found in the city center and cost around $25 to $50 per night. If you’re looking for more luxury and convenience, there are also several all-inclusive resorts that offer packages for around $150 per night.
- Food And Drink: Food and drink costs in Manzanillo are also very reasonable. Local street food options are available at low prices, while mid-range restaurants usually charge around $10 to $20 per meal. If you’re interested in dining at upscale restaurants, expect to pay around $40 per meal. Drinks at bars and clubs are generally inexpensive, with a beer costing around $2.
- Transportation: Transportation costs in Manzanillo are also very reasonable. Taxis and local buses are cheap and efficient, costing around $1 to $2 per ride. If you’re interested in renting a car, you can expect to pay around $30 to $40 per day.
- Flights: In terms of flights to Manzanillo, prices vary depending on the season and your departure location. However, if you book your flights in advance and use price comparison websites, you can usually find a good deal. As a general rule, flying midweek or during the off-season can save you a significant amount of money.
If you’re on a tight budget, backpacking in Manzanillo is a great option. A suggested daily budget would be around $30 to $50, which would cover accommodation, food, and transportation costs. This would allow you to enjoy all that Manzanillo has to offer without breaking the bank. Overall, Manzanillo is an affordable vacation destination that won’t break the bank. Whether you’re traveling on a budget or looking for luxury, you’ll find a range of options to suit your needs and wallet.
Finding Affordable Flights To Manzanillo
Looking for flights to Manzanillo? You’re in luck! There are many options to choose from, so finding an affordable flight should be easy. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Use Flight Comparison Websites: Sites like Kayak, Expedia, and Skyscanner can help you compare prices and find the cheapest flights available. Make sure to search for flights from multiple airlines and airports to increase your chances of finding a great deal.
- Book In Advance: Flights to Manzanillo can be more expensive during peak travel season. If you’re able to plan your trip ahead of time, book your flight as soon as possible to lock in a lower fare.
- Look For Deals And Promotions: Airlines, such as American Airlines, and travel agencies often offer deals and promotions on flights to Manzanillo. Keep an eye out for these discounts and take advantage of them when you can.
- Consider Flying During Off-Peak Times: Flights to Manzanillo can be more expensive during holidays and peak travel seasons. If possible, consider flying during off-peak times, like weekdays or in the shoulder season.
- Be Flexible: Flexibility with travel dates and times can often lead to lower airfare prices. Try adjusting your travel dates and times to see if you can find a cheaper flight.
With these tips in mind, finding an affordable flight to Manzanillo should be a breeze. Once you’re there, you’ll be able to enjoy all the amazing sights and experiences this beautiful destination has to offer. Happy travels!
Backpacking Manzanillo Suggested Budgets
If you’re traveling on a budget, backpacking is a great option. With plenty of affordable hostels and street food, Manzanillo is an excellent destination for budget backpackers. Here are some suggested budgets for backpacking in Manzanillo:
For budget backpackers, you can expect to spend around $15-$20 per day. This budget would cover your hostel dorm accommodation, street food, and public transportation. You may need to limit your activities and opt for free attractions such as beaches or hiking trails.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more, a mid-range budget of $30-$40 per day would allow you to stay in a private room in a hostel or budget hotel, dine in local restaurants, and enjoy some paid attractions like boat tours or water sports.
For those who want a more comfortable backpacking experience, you can expect to spend around $50-$70 per day. This budget would allow you to stay in a mid-range hotel or Airbnb, eat in nicer restaurants, and enjoy some paid activities like spa treatments or golf courses.
Remember to always be aware of your spending and make adjustments as necessary. With these suggested budgets, you can have a great backpacking experience in Manzanillo without breaking the bank.
Manzanillo Money Saving Tips
When planning a trip to Manzanillo, it’s important to keep your budget in mind. However, there are many ways to save money without sacrificing your vacation experience. Here are some Manzanillo money saving tips to help you make the most of your trip without breaking the bank.
- Travel During The Off-Season: One of the best ways to save money on your Manzanillo vacation is to travel during the off-season. The months of May to November offer lower prices on hotels, airfare, and activities.
- Stay In A Budget-Friendly Hotel: Manzanillo offers many affordable hotel options. Consider staying in a budget-friendly hotel or Airbnb to save money on accommodations.
- Eat Like A Local: While it may be tempting to dine at tourist restaurants, you can save a lot of money by eating like a local. Manzanillo is known for its delicious seafood, so be sure to try some of the local street food.
- Book Activities In Advance: Planning your activities in advance can save you money. Many tours and activities offer discounted rates for early bookings.
- Use Public Transportation: Manzanillo has a great public transportation system that is inexpensive and easy to use. Take the local buses to explore the city and save money on taxi fares.
- Visit Free Attractions: Manzanillo has many free attractions to visit, such as the Miramar beach or the downtown markets. Take advantage of these attractions to save money on entrance fees.
By following these Manzanillo money saving tips, you can have a fantastic vacation without spending a fortune. Remember to plan ahead, travel during the off-season, and make the most of the affordable activities and food options in the area.
What To Pack For Manzanillo
Manzanillo is a beautiful destination with lots to explore and enjoy. As you prepare for your trip to this tropical paradise, packing the right items in your luggage will be crucial to ensuring a comfortable and hassle-free experience. Here are some essential items you should consider packing for your Manzanillo vacation:
- Sunscreen: With sunny weather all year round, it is important to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Pack sunscreen with a high SPF rating to protect yourself from the strong sun.
- Comfortable Clothing: Manzanillo’s warm weather calls for light, comfortable clothing. Bring clothes made from breathable materials such as cotton or linen. Shorts, t-shirts, sundresses, and flip flops are perfect for the beach and other outdoor activities.
- Swimsuits: You’ll definitely want to spend time soaking up the sun at Manzanillo’s gorgeous beaches. Bring a couple of swimsuits so you can easily switch up your beach look.
- Insect Repellent: Although not prevalent in the city, there may be bugs in some of the rural areas. Pack insect repellent to keep the mosquitoes and other bugs at bay.
- Cash and Cards: Make sure to bring enough cash and cards to cover expenses during your trip. While some establishments may accept credit cards, it’s always best to have cash on hand.
- A Good Camera: You’ll want to capture the beautiful sights of Manzanillo and its surroundings. A good camera or smartphone with a quality camera is essential for capturing memories that will last a lifetime.
- Medications: If you’re on prescription medication, be sure to pack enough for your trip. Also, pack a small first aid kit with essentials such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.
- Travel Documents: Finally, make sure to pack your passport, visa (if applicable), and any other travel documents required for your trip.
With these items in your luggage, you’ll be ready to explore and enjoy all that Manzanillo has to offer!
Can You Drink Tap Water In Manzanillo?
It is not recommended to drink tap water in Manzanillo. The water may be contaminated with bacteria or other harmful substances that can cause health problems. It is best to stick to bottled water or use a water filter when drinking water in Manzanillo. This includes brushing your teeth and using ice in drinks. Many hotels and restaurants also offer filtered water, so be sure to ask before drinking anything. Staying hydrated is important, so make sure to always have a supply of safe drinking water with you while exploring Manzanillo.
Other Things To See And Do In Manzanillo
Manzanillo is a hidden gem on the Mexican coast, offering visitors a plethora of exciting things to see and do. In addition to the top 5 activities, there are several other must-see sights and experiences to have during your stay in Manzanillo. Here are a few additional ideas to consider:
- Explore The El Centro Area: A walk around the central district of Manzanillo is a must for those who appreciate beautiful architecture and historical sites. Take a stroll down the street known as “16 de Septiembre,” and you’ll encounter buildings dating back to the 19th century. Additionally, there are plenty of bars, shops, and restaurants to enjoy.
- Visit Las Hadas Resort: Fans of “The Love Boat” will recognize Las Hadas from the show’s opening credits. This iconic resort is located on a hill overlooking Manzanillo’s harbor. Visitors are welcome to explore the grounds, which include a 27-hole golf course, two private beaches, and a world-class spa.
- Go Deep-Sea Fishing: Manzanillo is known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World,” making it the perfect destination for those who enjoy fishing. Charter a boat and spend the day out on the water trying to catch marlin, mahi-mahi, and other fish.
- Take A Day Trip To Colima: The state of Colima is home to some incredible sights, including the Parque Nacional Nevado de Colima and the archeological zone of La Campana. Day trips can be arranged from Manzanillo to visit these and other popular attractions.
- Enjoy The Beaches: Manzanillo is famous for its stunning beaches, including Playa Miramar, Playa de Oro, and Playa San Pedrito. Spend a day soaking up the sun, swimming in the ocean, and enjoying the local cuisine served at beachside restaurants.
With so much to see and do in Manzanillo, visitors are sure to have an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful coastal town.
The Bottom Line
Manzanillo is a beautiful coastal city in Mexico that has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or go on an adventure, Manzanillo is the perfect destination. From its breathtaking views to its rich cultural heritage, this city has a lot to offer. When planning your trip to Manzanillo, be sure to consider the time of year you’ll be traveling. The best time to visit is between November and April, when the weather is mild and the crowds are thin. Additionally, make sure to stay safe and respect local customs and etiquette during your stay.
If you’re looking to save money, consider backpacking through Manzanillo on a budget. This will give you the opportunity to experience the city’s culture and cuisine without breaking the bank. You can also find affordable flights to Manzanillo by searching for deals and promotions. No matter how you choose to experience Manzanillo, be sure to take the time to explore the city’s many attractions. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, hike through the nearby mountains, or sample the local cuisine, there’s something for everyone in this amazing destination. So start planning your trip to Manzanillo today and experience the beauty and culture of Mexico for yourself!