Beautiful La Boquita Beach on Santiago Bay, Manzanillo
Language and Currency
What is Manzanillo Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?
Spanish is the official language, but most residents speak some English. The currency is the Mexican Peso, but US Currency is widely accepted. If paying with a US dollar, you will most often get change in US currency and most merchants and taxi drivers will quote your price in US dollars.
Manzanillo, dating back to 1527, is Mexico's largest port city on the west coast of Mexico. It is made up of two large bays, Manzanillo Bay and Santiago Bay which offer good beaches and lots of ocean oriented activities.
This is a tropical climate that offers many days of sun each year. Daily temperatures range from 72-91°F, with daytime temperatures in the winter often in the upper 80’s. There is only a few degrees difference between winter and summer months. Be sure to pack your sunscreen as the suns rays can get quite intense.
The Statue on the Main Plaza on Manzanillo's Harbor
The ship docks in the Port of Manzanillo and is surrounded by the commercial activity one would expect to find in the largest port on Mexico's west cost. There are many containers in transit and the port facility is quite large. There are taxis available close to the ship and a bus transfer to the center of town for a round trip fee of $3.00. There is not much to see within walking distance of the ship, so you should plan on either taking a ship's shore excursion (recommended) or negotiating for a taxi for the day to explore the area (about $100.00 per taxi.
Manzanillo's Main Shopping Street
There is a main shopping district in the downtown area of Manzanillo. Once you get off the bus, go one block to your right and then enter the street. It goes for 5 or 6 blocks with many shops on both sides of the street and also on the side streets.
You will find many shops selling crafts and souvenirs made from local shells. You will also find a good assortment of larger shells, tee shirts, baseball caps, puppets, ceramics, leather products and other knick knacks. Be prepared to bargain.
Exploring downtown Manzanillo is interesting, but anti-climatic after visiting the other ports on this itinerary. It is as different from Zihuatanejo as night is from day, but still worthy of a thorough investigation.
One of Manzanillo's Back Streets
Exploring the back streets of Manzanillo reveals the lifestyles of the local population. I noted that there is quite a bit of construction going on in the main part of town, so I expect that Manzanillo is gearing up for its burgeoning cruise tourist trade. Perhaps as more visitors arrive in Manzanillo, the shopping streets and infrastructure will change to accommodate them.
Manzanillo's La Boquita Beach
Manzanillo is known for its wonderful beaches and this is certainly a wonderful way to spend you day in Manzanillo. We hired a taxi ($12) to take us to La Boquita Beach on the northern most tip of Santiago Bay. While it was quite a long ride to get to the beach, it was well worth it.
The Restaurants on La Boquita Beach
We set up camp in one of the palapa restaurants and found the food and service to be wonderful. Beers were $1.00 and a huge order of guacamole was only $2.00. There were several beach vendors that would stop by to show you their wares, but they were not at all aggressive.
The Fish on the Reef at La Boquita
Three of us wanted to go snorkeling, so we negotiated with one of the panga operators o the beach. We were able to retain a panga for an hour and one-half for $40.00. This was a great deal. Our first session was on the outer point. There were lots of fish as you can see in the above photo taken from the panga as we left the spot. We then snorkeled inside the point in crystal clear water with tons of fish. Interesting, that when I would turn over rocks the fish would attack me with strong hits to my arms and body (but no penetration). It had me laughing quite a bit. Our final snorkel was on a ship wreck in the center of the bay. There were tons of fish and large schools of fish would exit as one passed over the various holds of the ship.
Santiago Bay wraps around for miles and the beach changes names several times depending on the structure or point of identification of nearby points of reference. Of the ones we saw, I would suggest that you visit La Boquita, as the wave action is blocked by the point and the snorkeling is excellent.
Another beach worth visiting for the day is Las Hadas Beach located at the Las Hadas Resort in Manzanillo. This is where the movie "10" was filmed (actually many of the beach scenes were shot at Audiencia Beach on Santiago Bay). There is a $15 fee for a towel and a lounge chair, but once paid you can use the facilities of the hotel as if you were staying there. Be aware however, that the Las Hadas resort, while architecturally stimulating, has lost much of its luster as a resort.
There are several more excellent beaches located in Manzanillo Bay. Playa San Pedrito is the best known and closest to downtown Manzanillo and offers restaurants, souvenir shopping and protected waters. Other great beaches in the area are Playa Las Brisas and Los Ventanas. All three are within a close taxi ride.
I am not sure anything in Manzanillo measures up to this standard. If you know of something, let me know and I will check it out.
Not that I know of. Do you have any favorites?
60 users found this review helpful.
Manzanillo is BEAUTIFUL. The place where the ship docks is not. Catch a cab to Navidad. We spent the day at the Karmina Palace, it was $70 a day for adults, $35 for...read more
36 users found this review helpful.
Your review is good and does tell about the beach areas in Manzanillo, but for shopping they are also very famous for their COCONUT CANDY and you can buy it at the...read more