Manzanillo--Why is it Magical?

Manzanillo is a magical place. It’s been described as mystical, spiritual. According to long-time residents and tourists who return again and again, it’s as if an unseen force draws them back to our little spot of Paradise.

It’s these subliminal good vibrations, more than the physical surroundings that make Manzanillo different from Acapulco or Puerto Vallarta. When you arrive in Manzanillo, your heart beats stronger, healthier. Your stress goes away. People recovering from illness get better faster and feel energized. Those who feel depressed find new inner strength and power. The weak get stronger. Others, who have physical handicaps, make rapid progress and are able to live better within the limits their disability. There are less physical ailments and less visits to the doctor.

These were the surprising comments made at a women’s social club luncheon held at Las Hadas. Later that day, men were given an equal opportunity to comment, and here’s what they had to say:

“Manzanillo is my home and it always will be. I’m doing what I want, where I want, and every day, it just keeps on getting better.”

“I have everything I need here, and will never look anywhere else again.”

“I hate to go back to the U.S. with the traffic jams, high prices, crowded bars, and bad weather. There’s nothing like sipping a brew on your balcony and watching the sun set over the ocean.”

“My time is my own to do anything I want. Stress? Forget about it! My health is better, I’m happier (and my wife is happier), we golf, swim, walk, and really talk to each other. It’s something in the water, I think!”

In addition to that mysterious “something” that no one who lives here is quite able to explain, Manzanillo has miles of pristine, unpopulated beaches, and it’s surrounded by the spectacular Sierra Madre mountains.

There is something for everyone who visits:  an active volcano (the background for this story), natural waterfalls, rivers and streams, lakes and lagoons, ruins, cultural events, museums, various water sports activities, more than 150 restaurants, discos and bars, accommodations from budget to luxury villas, and more.

Manzanillo has 2 large bays, with areas for all activities: snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, swimming, jet skiing, boogie boarding, horseback riding, banana boat rides, sportfishing for Marlin and Sailfish, and windsurfing. Where else can you get all of that in less than 15 minutes travel time?

A woman who went to Hawaii last year noted: “Manzanillo is on the same latitude as Hawaii, but in Manzanillo the prices are much less.”

Someone else stated: “I used to live in Minnesota, and with all those lakes, the mosquitoes were big enough to carry you off! And they are HUNGRY! In my 'Minnesota-Manzanillo Mosquito Comparison Survey,' it would be like pitting King Kong against Bambi!”

Other comments:

“Manzanillo is a place you can go to rest, or be active. There’s the full spectrum from ‘chilling out’ to dancing all night.”

“When I came here the first time my heart changed. I had to move here. Now, my entire family feels this way.”

“When I have to leave to return to the states a feeling of sadness comes over me. I can’t wait to return.”

“When I go home (Canada) I get sad and depressed, and I count the days until I get back.”

“When I was a child, I was told all kinds of bad stories about Mexico. They all turned out not to be true.”

“Before I moved here, I’d come every year on vacation. I recorded the waves so I could take home memories of Manzanillo. I’d play the recording every time I’d feel sad or depressed. It helped, but it wasn’t enough. I finally found a way to stay here permanently. Now I have the sound of the waves and the calls of the birds as long as I live.”

One thing everyone agreed upon is Manzanillo’s famous sunsets:

·        “That’s the best part of the day!”

·        “You’ll never find a better sunset.”

·        “If I die tomorrow, the last thing I want to see today is a Manzanillo sunset.”

·        “I have a picture file of more than 100 Manzanillo sunsets.”

·        “A Manzanillo sunrise almost beats a sunset—but they’re both unforgettable.”

·        “I woke up early one morning and went out to my terrace. There were at least 100 birds on the beach facing the rising sun. Everything was totally quiet. It was a spiritual experience.”


A few things everyone liked about Manzanillo:

·        Fresh fruits and vegetables (a 15 minute conversation was held about this topic)

·        Excellent deep sea fishing

·        The water is gorgeous—there’s no pollution

·        You meet interesting people. Some people go to Florida and just get old, but the people who come to Manzanillo are adventuresome and have lots of great stories!

·        Manzanillo’s local people are very kind, generous and helpful when you have problems—even if you don’t speak Spanish!

·        There are enough people who speak English to not feel isolated, but not so many that you don’t feel like you’re in Mexico.  The people in Manzanillo make you feel welcome and wanted.

·        Manzanillo is a REAL town with REAL people. It is not plastic like Cancun with dozens of high-rise hotels, and high-pressure time-share salesmen. And the few Vacation Club salesmen we have are really nice and friendly! Not pushy at all!

·        Wonderful entertainment—like the Ballet Folklorico from the University of Colima.

·        The sun shines more than 320 days out of the year.

·        The state really cares about protecting and preserving the natural resources.

·        It is very safe here, and there is very little crime. You can walk anywhere.

·        The people have a great respect for their culture, but are interested in yours, too.

·        The children are beautiful. Bring some toys and clothes for them when you come.

·        The few beach vendors we have aren’t pushy. You can just say, “no.”

·        There is purified water  sold by bottles, but tap water has been processed and is potable just like in the U.S. and Canada.

·        “I like Manzanillo being a port town. You can watch the big ships come and go.”

·        “Manzanillo has everything that you could ask for when going on vacation, but I think what we most like about it is the LACK of physical, concrete things that make it special— call it Manzanillo Magic.”


More stories:


A long-time resident of Manzanillo tells about her experience with her husband, who has Parkinson’s Disease: “When we have to go back to the United States, my husband is treated rudely, or ignored, as if he were retarded. But here, the Mexican workers, the waiters in restaurants--everyone--treats him like a person, giving him hugs, help, and smiles. There is a difference in attitude here—the way the local people treat the elderly and persons with disabilities. They are gentle, patient, and loving. An older person is a treasure, and this respect is even shown in Mexican songs.”


Another woman recounts: “My car had broken down, and I didn’t speak Spanish. I was stranded on the side of the road. A car stopped with a family, who offered to help, but didn’t have any tools. But they wouldn’t leave me alone. They flagged down a truck, and luckily the men had tools and could fix the problem. Other people came up and offered me food, and a coke. The man had to go and get a part, so everyone stayed with me, while he found the part, brought it back and installed it. They all stayed with me to watch over me until my car was drivable again. The man wouldn’t take any money, except for the car part, but I gave him a tip anyway.”


“One long-time Manzanillo resident who we lost recently at the age of 92, regularly attended our Women’s Club social luncheons. One time, when it was held in Las Hadas, there was a lot of walking just to get to the restaurant. After lunch, two waiters wouldn’t let her walk out. They picked her up in the restaurant chair and carried her up several flights of stairs to the car. Who needs handicapped ramps?"

“One time a man was walking on the sidewalk alongside the golf course.  I watched his wallet fall from his pocket. A taxi driver kept honking at the man, but he ignored him.  Finally the driver got out of his cab, picked up the wallet and handed it to the man, then drove off.”  

A look at Manzanillo's people. A photo page of Manzanillo's sunsets.

(This article was written by Susan Dearing, a 22-year resident of Manzanillo. The stories are all true. More information is available through Susan's tourist guide, "Manzanillo and the state of Colima, Facts, Tips, and Day Trips," which can be ordered by clicking here.