Manzanillo General Information
Manzanillo has long been known as a resort town with wide, curving beaches, legendary sportfishing, and a highly praised diversity of dive sites. Golf is also an attraction here, with two popular courses in the area.
One reason for its popularity could be Manzanillo's enticing tropical geography -- 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 over it all lies the veneer of perfect weather, with balmy temperatures and year-round sea breezes. Even the approach by plane into Manzanillo showcases the promise -- you fly in over the beach and golf course. Once on the ground, you exit the airport through a palm grove.
Manzanillo is a dichotomous place -- it is both Mexico's busiest commercial seaport and a tranquil, traditional town of multicolor houses cascading down the hillsides to meet the central commercial area of simple seafood restaurants, shell shops, and a few salsa clubs. The activity in Manzanillo divides neatly into two zones: the downtown commercial port and the luxury Santiago Peninsula resort zone to the north. The busy harbor and rail connections to Mexico's interior dominate the downtown zone. 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.
256km (160 miles) SE of Puerto Vallarta; 267km (167 miles) SW of Guadalajara; 64km (40 miles) SE of Barra de Navidad There are two main lagoons. Laguna de Cuyutlán, almost behind the city, stretches south for miles, paralleling the coast. Laguna de San Pedrito, north of the city, parallels the Costera Miguel de la Madrid; it's behind Playa Las Brisas beach. Both are good birding sites. There are also two bays. Manzanillo Bay encompasses the harbor, town, and beaches. The Santiago Peninsula separates it from the second bay, Santiago. Between downtown and the Santiago Peninsula is Las Brisas, a flat peninsula with a long stretch of sandy golden beach, a lineup of inexpensive but run-down hotels, and a few good restaurants.
Coast of Mexico shares the same latitude as Hawaii, and thus has a similar climate. From November through April, the weather is very pleasant; you can expect warm days and cool nights. In May, the climate starts to change--becoming more hot and humid, and building up to the beginning of rainy season, which generally runs June through November. It normally rains every three or four days, usually in the late afternoon or evening, cooling everything off. Also, the close proximity to the Sierra Madres, plus two bays provide better wind currents to keep the area fresh and cool. The higher altitudes in the surrounding hills are cooler with stronger breezes and more rain. Along the beach, there is generally a cooling afternoon sea breeze.