Spending Your Winter In Manzanillo, Mexico: Is Manzanillo A Good Snowbird Location?

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Manzanillo is a resort and Pacific Ocean port city in the state of Colima, Mexico. There are two bays here; The Bahia de Santiago and Bahia de Manzanillo. Its proximity to the Pacific Ocean makes it home to some really delightful beaches like the Playa La Audiencua beach that is known for its calm surf and watersports. There are shipwrecks, numerous coral reefs, and other dive sites located in the waters off the coast. Also, an abundance of marine life creates a rich diverse & relaxing scene for snowbirds that choose to experience Mexico in Manzanillo.

It is a bustling industrious seaport and thriving tourist location with a couple of attractions and activities to engage in. Its dual identity as a commercial and tourist hub allows it to be Mexico's busiest commercial seaport with trade routes as old as 1531. It is a splendid destination for snowbirds looking to enjoy beaches and colonial architecture.

Spend your winter in Manzanillo - Mexico - Is Manzanillo a good snowbird location 1
By Jack Borno – CC BY-SA 3.0

Why should people visit in the winter?

Manzanillo is actually a great place to visit at any time of the year because it has consistently warm weather. There are also activities to keep you entertained throughout their stay, from stunning beaches, wonderful archaeology, and sea life to explore. Snowbirds will also not be missing out on Mexican hospitality and culture.

Climate

The climate of Manzanillo is a tropical one. You can have about 350 sunny days. May has the most sunshine. August is the warmest month with an average high temperature of 90.5°F (33°C) and an average low of 77°F (25°C). Winter in Manzanillo is much warmer than it is in western countries. There's much less rainfall in winter, so you can enjoy your days without worrying about nature interrupting.

For more climate information visit Meteoblue

Safety

Being a tourist and port area, Manzanillo is mostly crowded, and there are some criminal activities. Pickpocketing, bag snatching,  are common forms of crime here. Scams also do happen, but not frequently. Snowbirds ate advised to keep valuables safe at home, instead of flaunting it around town. Be vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times.

Communication, internet, and cellphone in, Manzanillo, Mexico

Spanish is the official and most popular language spoken in Manzanillo. Given the tourist population, English is also widely spoken among locals and business owners. Town signage and Menus in restaurants are usually in Spanish, but there's usually English alternatives.

Once in Manzanillo, you can choose to roam with your phones, but it is advised you know the costs beforehand.  Snowbirds from the U.S. and Canada using Bell, Fido, AT & T, Nextel and Verizon can use their sim cards.

A local sim card can be purchased at stores easily.  Some of the network service providers are TelCel, Movistar, and IUSACEL. A son card costs about $6 (approx. €5, £4, $7 CAD, $8 AUD) and a phone could cost as little as $15 (approx. €12, £11, $19 CAD, $20 AUD). These network service providers offer both call and data plans you could select from.

Things to see in Manzanillo, Mexico

Looking to feed your eyes and curiosity in Manzanillo, there are a bunch of things snowbirds will enjoy seeing across the city. However, in no particular order, here are some suggestions for what snowbirds could see while in Manzanillo.

  • Las Hadas Golf Course: Snowbirds can visit the Las Hadas golf course in the Peninsula de Santiago. It has splendid beaches and top quality restaurants to enjoy.
  • Zocalo: This is Manzanillo's stunning historic square.  There's a large blue sailfish monument here. It is also home to some amazing views of the bay and some of the town's best restaurants.
  • Playa San Pedrito: This is the closest beach to Manzanillo's town center. Here, snowbirds can swim in its calm, warm waters, relax under the shade of palm trees, or enjoy delicious seafood cuisines.
  • Playa La Audiencia: Swimming, kayaking, diving to feed octopuses and eels, are some of the interesting things at this beautiful Manzanillo beach.
Spend your winter in Manzanillo - Mexico - Is Manzanillo a good snowbird location 10
TatehuariCC BY-SA 3.0

Things to see not far from Manzanillo, Mexico

Surrounding Manzanillo, are other interesting things snowbirds can have a great time exploring. You can make a day-trip or weekend fun off these places. Some if them are:

  • Colima: The city has a really thriving shopping scene in Colima state. Snowbirds can enjoy nature around, like the Colima volcano.  There's also the mysterious Zona Magica, where cars & water actually do roll upwards rather than downwards.
  • Melaque: Melaque is a beautiful small beachfront town that's a closely-knit community. It is a popular location for other snowbirds. There's an interesting traditional carpet maker's shop where you can watch his handcraft colorful works of art, and other little restaurants overlooking the seafront and other boutique hotels. The town is also RV friendly.

Activities in Manzanillo, Mexico in the winter

In Manzanillo, you can engage in some thrilling, fun, and relaxing activities.  From land to the ocean, snowbirds are going to have a great time with activities in the area. Some of these activities are:

  • Visit the Largest  Sailfish Statue: Snowbirds can find probably the largest sailfish statue they will ever see, in Zocalo.
  • Shopping: Snowbirds can take advantage of the amazing shopping scene in Manzanillo.  With great stores, boutiques, and hotels to choose from, they all have the most basic needs and other items.
  • Go to the beaches: Manzanillo is located on the Pacific coast and is blessed with sandy beaches that snowbirds can spend time taking in some.sun, or enjoy the view of the ocean.
  • Tour to Iguana Sanctuary: You could visit yourself or go on tours to an animal sanctuary to see protected Iguana habitats.
  • Go Snorkeling: You could snorkel in the warm, calm waters around Manzanillo and explore coral reefs and shipwrecks in the ocean.

Shopping + Restaurants. Are they open in the winter?

In terms of shopping and dining,  Manzanillo has you covered! Within the town, you can easily find major stores and international brands. In the markets and other smaller stores also, Snowbirds can shop to meet their needs at a cheaper rate than back home.

Restaurants in Manzanillo offer delicious tasty dishes, both local and international. There are restaurants you may have to make a reservation and there are some that offer take-away services.

Most shops and restaurants stay open year-round, except those that are solely servicing tourists.

Spend your winter in Manzanillo - Mexico - Is Manzanillo a good snowbird location 11
By Jack Borno – CC BY-SA 3.0

Transport

You will most likely arrive at the Playa de Oro International Airport, which is about a thirty minutes drive northwest of Manzanillo.

Buses are the most prominent means of transportation around town, and they are also the cheapest. They can take you to most locations in the town. Taxis are also available. It is a more convenient and faster way to move around town. Care hire or Driver hire services also operate in Manzanillo and in towns close by.

Health

There are many outstanding hospitals, dentists, pharmacies, and clinics all around  Manzanillo that can handle the minor issues, up to treatment for more serious cases.

While many doctors and dentists have had training in the U.S and speak English, other staff will most likely speak English,  so it will be helpful to speak some Spanish yourself.

In terms of costs, Private health services in Manzanillo are more exorbitant than government services. However, they're usually more efficient and faster. Some notable hospitals are, Hospital General Manzanillo, Central Médica Quirúrgica Manzanillo, and Hospital Médica Pacífico. 

Spend your winter in Manzanillo - Mexico - Is Manzanillo a good snowbird location 12
By Jack Borno – CC BY-SA 3.0

Accommodation

Living in Manzanillo, as expected in concentrated areas, is usually busy and expensive. For snowbirds, staying in less busy parts of town is advisable in terms of cost and crowd. Most accommodations have basic amenities. Some places you stay might have amazing views or even a beach. Rent could range from $250 (approx. €212, £194, $330 CAD, $344 AUD) to as high as $1000 (approx. €848, £777, $1323 CAD, $1377 AUD).

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