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Location: Manzanillo (Mexico (west))
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On this page you can see an overview of the location, including interactive maps, climate data, and photos.
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Manzanillo, Mexico offers many attractions, but none as breathtaking as its warm, tranquil underwater world. A secret, mysterious realm awaits the snorkeler or scuba diver, no matter what your level of experience. As long as you're visiting the Pacific Ocean, why not see it from a different viewpoint--underwater? According to REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation), Manzanillo has the highest variety of fish and the greatest quantity of fish in the entire Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) region!

Several other exciting things about scuba diving and snorkeling in Manzanillo's Pacific Ocean are its incredible reefs, and its rocky, coral-encrusted coastline. The area is volcanic in origin, and divers are treated to underwater fissures, cracks and crevices, archways that you can swim through, tunnels, and sea mounds with visible lava flows. Every place a boat can drop an anchor is a different dive, and all just a few minutes away.

The unexplored Pacific is known for the unknown. Because Manzanillo is not a well known scuba diving destination, everything in our sea is still natural, alive and growing. There are many different varieties of fish, and several species of moray eels are plentiful. Octopus like our warm water, as do numerous crustaceans and soft and hard corals. On night dives, we see lobster and giant sleeping parrotfish.

The visibility ranges from 25-100 ft. with water temperatures averaging between 78 to 88 degrees F, depending on the location and time of year. There are rarely strong currents in the many dive locations along Manzanillo's rocky coastline.

In addition to diving, the Colima coastline has over 40 miles of unpopulated beaches. There are places for all types of water sports, including kayaking, jet skis, banana boat riades, surfing and boogey boarding, and snorkeling. In fact, one of the most popular dive sites is great for snorkelers too. Our 84-year-old shipwreck, the 'San Luciano,'rests in only 25 feet of water, so divers can explore every square inch and have plenty of air, and snorkelers can swim above it and cross it's 300-foot-long deck.

Some of our most exciting and unique underwater inhabitants inclue several species of seahorses, graceful eagle rays, giant green morays, endangered and protected sea turtles of several species, and tiny colorful nudibranchs. In one area known as Elephant Rock, King Angels surround the dive boat waiting to be fed, and on calm days, short tunnels and swim-throughs excite the visiting divers.

Los Frailes is a popular spot for deep and advanced divers, with it's volcanic formations and canyons. At The Pyramid and Copper Belt, divers will often see turtles and eagle rays. Los Carrizales has everything from a coral reef, to walls and canyons with white sand bottoms. There are also several spots for great and easy beach diving, including Club de Yates beach, Play Audiencia, and the Las Brisas jetty at the entrance to Manzanillo Harbor.

Colima also boasts Mexico's most active 14,000 ft. volcano, pre-Hispanic ruins, museums, waterfalls, the Grotto of San Gabriel (for cave lovers), rivers, creeks and crater lakes. It also has one of 12 biosphere reserves in the world. While there is a small turtle sanctuary in Manzanillo, the larger one in Cuyutlan also offers a lagoon tour, where there is a proliferation of wildlife, including crocodiles, turtles, iguanas, water birds, and even predators, such as eagles and hawks. The Cuyutlan lagoon begins in Manzanillo and end 31 miles away in the small seaside town of Cuyutlan, famous for its sea salt prodution.

Being the largest port in Mexico, with a population (125,000) larger than Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo is touted as 'The Sailfish Capital of the World.' As giant container ships from all over the world cruise in and out of the port, visitors to the downtown area can stroll a beautiful pedestrian walkway for more than 2 miles. Downtown Avenida Mexico is a great place for shopping, and the Bar Social is a fun place to stop for a cold brew or two. (As you walk into the high-ceilinged interior around 2 p.m., you go back in time to what it was like in 1940s Manzanillo. Kick back in a high-backed booth and enjoy free food along with live Mexican music.)

The hotel zone or 'Zona Hotelera' has many fine restaurants, discos and bars, and there is an open air market (tianguis) every Saturday in the neighboring pueblo of Santiago. The market is 20 blocks long and has everything from food to tourist souvenirs.

Special holidays of interest include Sept. 15, Mexican Independence Day, and Deai de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead, All Saints Day) Nov. 2 & 3. Manzanillos 'Fiestas de Mayo,' in honor of Cinco de Mayo, is a two-week-long celebration beginning the first week in May. This celebration includes bullfights, cockfights, a fair, performances by dance troups, such as the Ballet Folklorico, and more.

The state of Colima is also famous for its alcoholic punches, bread made in Comala, hammocks made in Ixtlahuacan, award-winning coffee and sugar cane. A new project, growing the blue agave cactus, which is fermented into tequila and pulque, was just started last year. Colima's rich, fertile soil also grown a variety of natural fruits and organic vegetables.

Submitted by Susan Dearing, a 15-year resident of Manzanillo
and owner of
Underworld Scuba PADI Dive Center#20008
For more information on this very special place, go to the web site:
For Manzanillo diving information go to the above web site and click on diving or go to
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Climate Data:
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Most visitors thought
Manzanillo was:
Ranked as Good by independant reviews Ranked as Good by independant reviews Ranked as Good by independant reviews Ranked as Good by independant reviews
Non diving activities: Some things to see and do.
Language: English, Spanish
Money: USD, CND, pesos
Stability: No travelling problems expected
More Information: Country Bio from Lonely Planet

Rating: Ranked as Excellant by independant reviewsRanked as Excellant by independant reviewsRanked as Excellant by independant reviewsRanked as Excellant by independant reviewsRanked as Excellant by independant reviews95%
Highest ranked My Blue Planet photo shared by Sushi.
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Sixgill Shark
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Whitetip Reef Shark
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