Relax in the beautiful beaches of Manzanillo, Mexico
Manzanillo is situated between Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, the stretch of coastline known as the Mexican Riviera. This undiscovered locale is indeed a subdued place when compared to other Mexican resorts, but its unspoiled charm and authentic Mexican atmosphere offer travelers the opportunity to enjoy quiet beaches and scenic beauty without tourist crowds.
While largely undeveloped, Manzanillo is spread out and is really separated into two sections. The downtown, a commercial port and Latin America’s first shipyard, is not often visited by tourists. The Manzanillo hotel zone on the Santiago Peninsula is found a few miles north and has a handful of resorts, from family inns to luxury properties, sprinkled here and there. Primarily, though, this area is dominated by jungle vegetation, palm trees, golden sands and fruit plantations. To the north of Manzanillo, in the State of Jalisco, lies the Costa Allegre, a largely undiscovered collection of bays and beaches. The drive to Puerto Vallarta along this stretch of the Pacific is definitely a worthwhile trip.
Manzanillo beaches face the open Pacific, and so not all are safe for swimming. Many have large swells and strong undertows and are better suiting for surfing. Playa Miramar and Olas Altas are perhaps the best surfing beaches, and Playa la Audiencia is known for its excellent snorkeling and safe swimming conditions. Playa San Pedrito is a fun beach that attracts locals and tourists alike.
The beaches in Manzanillo are indeed beautiful, and the sand has a golden hue with medium-fine sand. Vacationers staying at one of the area resorts usually have direct access to the beach, although all beaches are open to the public since all Mexico beaches are federally owned.
Manzanillo also beckons to SCUBA divers, offering a number of spots to take an underwater tour without the crowds sometimes found in other Mexico diving locations. Finding a good Manzanillo dive spot is easy, and it is not necessary to charter a boat since many dives are just offshore.
Golf is becoming a big deal in Manzanillo, with several of Mexico’s best golf courses located here. The exquisite 18-hole El Tamarindo course is nestled in a 2,000-acre nature preserve and has 8 holes with unparalleled views of Manzanillo’s rugged coastline and deep blue waters. Another spectacular golf course is the Las Hadas course found at the La Hadas Golf Resort and Marina. Named by Conde Nast Traveller as one of the most beautiful 100 golf courses in the world, this gem has 15 holes over the water, breathtaking views and 4,000 palm trees!
Manzanillo sport fishing is also a very popular activity with charter boats available for hire throughout the year.The International Sailfish Competition is held here each November, attracting fishermen from around the world.