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Manzanillo, Mexico's Golden Riviera!

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Manzanillo, Mexico: beaches!
Fine beaches, sailfishing, and water sports abound in this Gold Coast destination, along with opportunities for tennis and golf.  An important seaport since before the Spanish Conquest, Manzanillo is now a popular international tourist destination...

The real attraction to Manzanillo lies not in the town, but in the nearby tourist attractions, numerous beaches and the splendor of the Las Hadas resortManzanillo, Mexico is known as the Sailfish Capital of the World, a reputation which draws annual international and national competition.

Manzanillo is located within the state of Colima on Mexico's Golden Riviera, between Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco on the Pacific coast.

Click for Manzanillo, Mexico Forecast

Manzanillo (mahnzah- NEE-yo) is not a typical seaside resort town.  A certain paradox prevails between resort luxury and bustling commercialism and undeveloped remoteness.  It is a popular weekend destination for Guadalajara residents and also attracts American and Canadian vacationers searching for a less developed, more serene setting.

Geographically, Manzanillo can be divided into two zones.  The downtown area (restored and beautified in 1996) is first and foremost a commercial port.  Thanks to its fine natural harbor and trade with the Pacific Rim.  In contrast, a few kilometers up the coastline you enter Manzanillo's luxurious and pleasantly understated resort zone.

Two large bays of golden sand and sometimes rough surf are connected by a coastal highway that leads past mini-malls, souvenir shops, restaurants and a couple of night spots.  BahÂa de Manzanillo (to the south) carries most of the development, while BahÂa de Santiago (further up the coast) is largely undeveloped except for two resorts, Club Maeva and Hotel Vista Playa de Oro.

The two bays are separated by the Santiago Peninsula, home to the area's significant resort development.  Here is located surely one of Mexico's most opulent beach resort: Las HadasConceived and built in the early 1970's by a Bolivian tin baron as an exclusive, ultra-deluxe private getaway, Las Hadas literally put Manzanillo on the tourist map.  Its Mediterranean village atmosphere and sophisticated amenities have made it one of the super stars of Mexican resorts.  Until the 1980's Las Hadas was one of the only recognized visitor attractions in the area.

Today, Manzanillo's attractions have broadened somewhat.  For many visitors this slow-paced expansion is a blessing, since Manzanillo has remained largely undeveloped and unspoiled.  Tropical fruit plantations and verdant jungle vegetation are abundant.  Long continuous stretches of untouched beach are easily accessed from the area's resorts.

Outside of the bustle of downtown, the pace is slow and casual.  Shopping, dining, nightlife and sightseeing are subdued by comparison to other Mexican Riviera resorts.  A main draw for sports enthusiasts is the areas excellent deep sea fishing.  The sailfish catch here is excellent.

While Manzanillo has yet to fully blossom as a major resort center, the city does serve as a gateway to the unspoiled and littleknown Costa Alegre region of Mexico's Pacific CoastThis coastal area to the north of Manzanillo (towards Puerto Vallarta) is one of Mexico's great undiscovered treasures.  Stretching 240 km along Highway 200, this secluded yet accessible area is sprinkled with some of Mexico's loveliest beaches and bays.

It is also home to several posh resort hideaways and rustic seaside villages.  The Isla Navidad resort complex is in full swing.  The Grand Bay Hotel & Resort opened in early 1997, along side a fine 27-hole golf course and 700-slip marina.

Playa Principal Beach @ Manzanillo, Mexico!
Playa Principal {above): is the closest beach to the main town area.  Numerous restaurants and shops parallel the beach.  Lanchas, or "water taxis" can take you to Puerto Angelito, Playa Manzanillo, or Carrizalillo.
 
 
Puerto Angelito Beach: Manzanillo, Mexico!

Puerto Angelito and Playa Manzanillo are separated by a rock outcrop.  It's an easy walk or swim to go from one to the other.  Manzanillo is only a five minute walk from Eglantina.  Both are protected from big surf, and are excellent for swimming and snorkeling.

Playa Manzanillo Beach, Manzanillo, Mexico!
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