Set on the Pacific shores of the Mexican state of Colima, Manzanillo is a tropical paradise, a perpetually sun-dappled locale bordered by the lapping waves of warm ocean waters. Gorgeous natural landscapes are not Manzanillo’s only appeal, however, the seacoast city also boasts a rich cultural heritage that harks back to the days of Spanish conquistadors…and beyond.
With that in mind, here are seven of the popular vacation destination’s “must see” attractions.
1. El Malecón
Among the most charming features of coastal México are the broad seaside esplanades which fringe its signature cities. The malecón is Manzanillo is particularly beautiful, with sculptures, monuments and dancing fountains, as well as picturesque views of boats asail in the bay. It’s also a fine spot to sample Tuba, a sweet wine made from the sap of coconut palms.
2. The Heron Sanctuary
Laguna del Valle de las Garzas, or Lagoon of the Valley of the Herons, is so named for its elegant population of long-legged, long-necked birds. The herons are a popular draw for photographers, and the lagoon itself provides, in addition to views of its most famous residents, a fine introduction to other local flora and fauna.
3. El Faro de Campos
Lighthouses are a distinctive architectural feature of coastal areas, and typically offer superb elevated views, as well as a treasure trove of nautical memorabilia. That’s certainly the case at El Faro de Campos, which houses a fascinating nautical museum and features stunning panoramic vantages of Manzanillo and the Pacific Ocean.
4. The Historical Center
The heart of historic Manzanillo is its central downtown district, which offers modern conveniences as well as atmospheric glimpses of the thriving port town it once was during the Spanish colonial period. This is an excellent area in which to shop for traditional arts and crafts, as well as to sample representative regional cuisine.
5. The University Museum of Archaeology
A mecca for those interested in Mexico’s Pre-Columbian past, Manzanillo’s University Museum of Archaeology showcases five full halls, each with exhibits dedicated to Pre-Hispanic and Mesoamerican art and culture. It also boasts a library focused on indigenous life in the region.
6. Lookout Point/Window to the Pacific
Manzanillo’s beauty is nowhere more evident than from this scenically situated lookout, which provides a spectacular window to the immensity of the Pacific Ocean. Sunrises and sunsets at this enchanted spots are masterpieces of light and color, and a romantic experience of the first order.
7. Tortugario Cuyutlán
Named for its collection of rare and endangered marine turtles, this ecological center is located some 35 minutes by car from Manzanillo, and also features other living reptile species; most notably, crocodiles and iguanas.