Manzanillo is a resort town that’s particularly popular with Mexican vacationers, but it doesn’t have the notoriety nor the commercial feel of the country’s popular resort locations. Instead, the town offers a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere that, similar to Mazatlán further north, conveys an authentic Mexican rhythm and feel.
Historic center, attractive beaches
The historic downtown area of Manzanillo is also the focal point for the town’s principal economic engine: its commercial seaport. As you travel north, you begin to discover the resort areas and main shopping and social attractions located along the two principal bays that are separated by the Santiago peninsula—host to one of the most famous resorts of the town as well as some residential developments. Check the map for reference and a perspective of its geography.
Well-connected by road and air
The town is host to one of Mexico’s most important commercial seaports, and also home to one of the country’s naval bases. It’s situated in state of Colima (one of Mexico’s smallest states) and is a 90-minute drive to the state’s capital, Colima city. A five-hour drive north on the scenic Highway 200 leads to Puerto Vallarta; a four-hour drive northeastward leads to Mexico’s second largest city—Guadalajara. Manzanillo’s international airport offers connections to Mexico City, and several US cities. If you have a boat, Manzanillo offers options for mooring.
Foreign residents in Manzanillo
Although the town has a congregation of existing foreign residents settled here, the influx of new foreign residents has been hitherto modest; far lower than that of nearby Puerto Vallarta, for example; and this is an attractive quality of the location for some people seeking an oceanside location to live in Mexico.
Foreign residents living locally organize social events and participate in a range of activities; some do volunteer work locally helping various charities and social organizations in the locality. While the local activities and cultural events are not as extensive as those found in Puerto Vallarta or Lake Chapala, for example, there is ample scope for residents to organize themselves and propel and shape the development of more events and activities in the locality.
Key attractions for foreign residents
When we researched what existing foreign residents like most about living in Manzanillo, they cited several characteristics that attracted them, which include:
- They enjoy living in a tranquil, safe, and authentic Mexican coastal town without the commercialization and extravagances of the more popular beachside resort locations in Mexico
- Manzanillo is an affordable beachside location: real estate prices have not escalated as steeply as they have in Mexico’s most popular resort areas and everyday living costs remain very affordable with easy access to authentic local markets and local stores
- The town offers plenty of everyday local services and amenities including shops, supermarkets, cafés, restaurants, as well as affordable medical and health care services. Additional specialized services and amenities can be sought in Colima (90-minute drive) and Guadalajara (4-hour drive).
- Manzanillo is well-connected by modern highways and has an international airport with connections to some US cities. It’s also an important seaport, so if you have a boat, options exist for mooring and sailing here.
Warm winters, sultry summers
The climate in Manzanillo is typical of climates in other places along the Pacific coast—offering comfortably-warm fall and winter months, with increasingly hot and sultry weather during the spring and summer. Some foreign residents use Manzanillo as a base for a second home and overwinter here, renting out their house in the summer months. However, some have made Manzanillo their year-round home and make good use of swimming pools, ceiling fans, and air-conditioning to keep cool during the sultry summer season.
Discover more about Manzanillo
Manzanillo offers an affordable and authentic Mexican lifestyle by the coast without the high concentration of foreign residents that nearby Puerto Vallarta has, and without the higher costs that are often associated with places in Mexico that are already popular with foreign residents.
- Learn more about Manzanillo as a place to live, work, or retire by connecting to our guide to Living & Lifestyle in Manzanillo
Meet our real estate partner in Manzanillo, Candy King Real Estate
Candy King Real Estate is a long-established realty agency in the area that offers discovery visits and an experienced and professional bilingual team that can help you find your home in Manzanillo.
Mexico in your inbox
Our free newsletter about Mexico brings you a monthly round-up of recently published stories and opportunities, as well as gems from our archives.