View Worlds Aquarium Cruisers Map of Manzanillo in a larger map
Manzanillo 19° 03.457′ N
104° 18.435′ W
Ahh……… Manzanillo, located in the great state of Colima, is one of our favorite stops on the Costa Alegre, happy coast, of Mexico traveling south from the more touristy destinations of Banderas bay. Again this page is written in summertime. Which means rain in the afternoons and absolutely no other cruisers around. We were the only sail boat in Manzanillo and we spent pretty much a full month here enjoying the bay, the culture, the history and the people who inhabit this very unique spot on the west coast of Mexico.
Some of the things that makes the port of Manzanillo one of our favorite stops, besides the great down town ambiance found under the words largest Sailfish, are as follows.
- Ease of re provisioning the boat,
- Fantastic tacos stands,( yes you can still get a taco for 6 pesos here),
- Ridiculously inexpensive tropical fruits of the area.
- La Raza, the people of Manzanillo have been exceptionally friendly, easily living up to the re branding of this area as Mexico’s Costa Alegre!
- Excellent Music & Dancing under the Grand Pez Vela on the Malecon.
Manzanillo el puerto viejo is so far our favorite stop on the west coast of Mexico. The port of Manzanillo has a rich maritime history and that history is proudly celebrated with the many sculptures that abound on its short but sweet Malecon. There are several spots to anchor if you are visiting the
puerto viejo. We have anchored just off of the Malecon in front of the pharmacia Guadalajara and the fishermans markets just east of the old Chinese restaurant Lyn Chee. Our favorite anchoring spot was right in front of the obvious large palapa of the Club de Pesca Deportiva in front of playa San Pedrito. This is literally just a stones through from the entrance of the commercial port and you will be treated to watching some seriously big ass cargo ships entering and exiting the port. Manzanillo is perhaps the safest city in Mexico. You can walk the downtown streets of Manzanillo at 3 a.m. and never feel like you are in danger of being mugged or robbed. With many military bases in the area providing security and training for one of Mexico’s larges naval bases Manzanillo has been almost completely spared of the shoot outs and drug violence that has been sensationalized in other ports such as Vallarta and Mazatlan.
Anchorages: See the custom map above which shows all anchorages that I describe below.
Boca de Juluapan 19° 06.370′ N
104° 29.269′ W
La Boca de Juluapan: If your are approaching Manzanillo from the North it is well worth anchoring at La Boca de Jualapan at the end of Mira Mar beach. Here is were you will find cheap sea food and good snorkeling on the Old wreck of the steam ship San Luciano. You can also kayak the calm in land laguna of Juluapan.
Audiencia: Rich in history La Audiencia is where Cortes had a meeting with one of the local indigenous leaders of the Area. We did not anchor there but you will find quite a few tourist boats at this anchorage with many spectacular houses and resort hotels lining the coast.
Las Hadas 19° 06.070′ N
104° 20.744′ W
Las Hadas Resort & Marina: This was about the calmest anchorage we have found in Manzanillo. Tuck in as close to the beach as you can. The beach at Las Hadas is cordoned off by buoy’s to protect swimmers from jet skis & power boats. We usually anchored in about 25 feet of water just off the buoy’s. The resort is still lovely and well maintained. There are fresh water showers on the beach and you can get over priced food and beverages at the many bars and beach restaurants here. We found it to be a pretty cruiser friendly area and we used the pool several times during our stay. The Marina at las Hadas has aproximately 50 spaces on Mediterranean mooring’s. We considered leaving our 36 foot trimaran there for a quick trip inland to Guadalajara but there were no off season discounts during summer and a month at Las Hadas Marina would have cost us 800 U.S. dollars. A bit to rich for our blood. We did fill our tanks with diesel. August of 2012 prices for diesel fuel were 12 pesos per liter. The fuel dock will scare the hell out of you so try to fill your tanks on a calm day. We were there in calm weather but the dock still swayed back and forth relentlessly while we filled our tanks with diesel. There was no extra charge to fill our water tanks. The docks swayed so much one of my deck cleats, the older weak one of course, was essentially ripped right out of my deck.
Manzanillo El Puerto Viejo:There are basically two places you can drop the hook at. We like to anchor in front of the large palapa of the club de pesca deportiva de Manzanillo. There are public showers and bathrooms at beach San Pedrito as well as
plenty of great cheap places to eat. We loved the taco stand next to the convenience store el Kiosco. There are two sea food restaurants on the beach. Lobster can be purchased from sea food vendors at the beach for 120 pesos a kilo. Perhaps the biggest draw back to anchoring in Manzanillo is the train. The tracks run right next to the road here and there can be train noise at night. The train moves in and out of the commercial port several times a night depending on how busy the port is.
If the wind is north westerly you will want to anchor closer to town just off the public dock by the old Chinese restaurant Ly Chee which has been in business for perhaps 40 years now. You can purchase illegally captured sail fish and doarado at the many sea food markets just off the commercial dock or Dine at the very good sea food restaurant El Delfin located on the second story of the fish market.
Walk into town towards the giant sail fish and you will find great ambiance and plenty of other food options. One of our favorite eateries was the Chantilly’s located right in front of the the Kiosko. Manzanillo also offers free internet on the malecon. You will see several small Wifi areas that allow you to go on line once a day and the definition of a day is 24 hours so once you go off line you will not be able to get back on with the same computer for exactly 24 hours. This is so far the only city on the west coast that we have found that offers free internet to the public. If you anchor in town the signal will reach your boat easily.
Just west of the town square you can hike up to the Mirador and get a nice view of the town and commercial port. Walk inland down Avenida Mexico to La Plaza de Libros. Right by Club de Leones you can visit the Iguanario. Here you will find hundreds of Green Iguanas. Entry to the Iguanario is free and if you enjoy the iguanas you can make a donation. You know you are there when you see the brightly painted murals marking the entrance.