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Manzanillo, State of Colima, Mexico

Coat of Arms
Ejido Land
Saturday Market
Sister Cities
Manzanillo at night across the bay Manzanillo at night - OCV Photo


In the 2010 census the city of Manzanillo had a population of 161,420. It is the second-largest community in the state, after Colima, the capital. The municipality covers an area of 1,578.4 km² (609.42 sq mi), and includes such outlying communities as El Colomo, in addition to many smaller communities. Manzanillo is also a beach resort and, as the self-proclaimed "sailfish capital" of the world, hosts a yearly sailfish fishing tournament. The Revillagigedo Islands, off the west coast of Mexico in the Pacific Ocean, are part of the municipality.

In 1825 the official "Port of Manzanillo" opened. As an important sea port, Manzanillo opened the first telegraph office on the Pacific coast in 1869. Manzanillo was raised to the status of a city in 1873, and by 1890 train service arrived and made coast to coast travel much more convenient. The train boosted the commercial importance of the port, as the only train/port link on the Pacific. The railroad to Colima City (the capital city) was completed in 1889. In 1908, the link to Guadalajara was completed and Manzanillo was named an official port of entry into Mexico. Manzanillo was the temporary capital of the state of Colima for one week in 1915, when Pancho Villa's troops were threatening to capture the Colima City.

According to legend, the beautiful crystaline waters from the rivers and lakes of Colima are protected by the 'chanos', or 'chaneques' (spirits or elfish creatures), these deities of the waters are related to the Aztec god of rain and fertility, Tláloc ('he who makes things sprout').

Manzanillo Coat of Arms

The shield is determined using the five traditional glazes: gules (heraldic red color, red color on a coat of arms), red, azure, blue, sable, black, green, purple, two enamels: gold and silver, are symbols and value gules, daring and boldness, the obligations undertaken are to help the faithful servants.

Manzanillo Coat of Arms Azure is the symbol of justice, zeal, sincerity, loyalty, charity, royalty and serenity. The obligation of who has it helps the faithful servants. The exterior ornament at the top is Mexican Spanish. The symmetry, ostrich feathers that looks like a helmet, used in both civic and personal heraldry.

The helmet or helmet is the main ornament in the armories. The lambrequins, flowers and leaves fall in fancy turns to both sides of the shield. The currency, the temple arm is force on earth.

First: Salahua discovery, made by the Spanish in the upper left partition.

Second: The founding of the port of Manzanillo, in the upper right.

Third: The strengthening of agriculture with the establishment of the Ejido, representing the lower left. (See following section on Ejido.)

Fourth: The development of tourism and water sports Manzanillo who gave the world first Sailfish, represented in the lower right partition.

Fifth: In the bottom center partition, is the figure that represents the geographic heraldic shield of the State of Colima, on the theme "The Temple arm is force on earth".


Ejido system is a process where the use of communal land is promoted by the government and shared by the people of the community. This was a common practice during the Aztec rule in Mexico. Such lands were registered with the National Agrarian Registry. During colonization by the Spanish and other Europeans that the practice began to disappear. It was replaced by an encomienda system which was abolished by the Constitution of 1917. The Ejido system was reinitiated after the Mexican Revolution in some states.

Ejido was introduced as a key component in a land reform program. The procedure to establish an Ejido involved:

  1. Landless farmers who leased lands from wealthy landlords would petition the federal government for the creation of an ejido in their general area.
  2. The federal government would consult with the landlord;
  3. The land would be expropriated from the landlords if the government approved the ejido;
  4. An ejido would be established and the original petitioners would be designated as ejidatarios with certain cultivation/use rights. Ejidatarios did not actually own the land, but were allowed to use their allotted parcels indefinitely as long as they did not fail to use the land for more than two years. They could even pass their rights on to their children.

In 1991, President Carlos Salinas de Gortari eliminated the constitutional right to ejidos, citing the "low productivity" of communally owned land. Since then some of the ejido land has been sold to corporations, although most of it is still in the hands of farmers. Some ejido cooperatives, like the ejido that runs the Tolantongo resort, have found alternative uses for their land other than farming.

Manzanillo City Map

Manzanillo Map


It wasn't until 1825 that Manzanillo received its current name; the name was derived from the groves of manzanilla trees in the area used to make ships in the 16th century.

Manzanillo was the first outpost on the Pacific coast to establish a telegraph office, in 1869. By 1873, the town was raised to the status of a city, and railroad service to the city was inaugurated in 1889. The train linked Manzanillo with the capital city of Colima, boosting the commercial importance of the port.

Soon afterward, during the presidency of Porfirio Diaz, the city's telephone, electrical and potable water infrastructure was constructed. By 1908, the rail link to Guadalajara was completed, and Manzanillo was named an official port of entry into Mexico.

Manzanillo served as the temporary capital of the state of Colima for ten days in late February, 1915, when Pancho Villa's troops threatened to capture the capital city.

During the 1950s and 1960s, the harbor was dredged and modernized, providing access to shipping lines from around the world. As Mexico's largest port, Manzanillo can admit ships of more than 30,000 tons. In addition to its port, the city has become a large manufacturing center. Manzanillo recently became Mexico's largest port, surpassing Veracruz. This is due in large part to the increasing importance of trade with Asian countries. After allocating $2 million to construct a new Cruise Terminal at the port of Manzanillo, the port authorities scrapped the plan in favor of making further improvements to the harbor's infrastructure.


Anticipating further demand in the region, the federal government built a very large, but stinky, electricity generating plant in the 1960s to supplement Manzanillo's own power stations.


In the late 1960s, Bolivian tin magnate Atenor Patino built the resort of Las Hadas as a playground for his jet setting amigos. Back in the day, it wasn't a hotel per se, but a getaway spot for his rich and famous friends. Las Hadas was featured in Blake Edwards' 1979 film 10, which starred Bo Derek and Dudley Moore. The film propelled tourism to Manzanillo like never before.

The people of Manzanillo have their priorities, and they prefer industry to tourism. The tourist boomlet sparked by the movie 10 has long faded, thus leaving Manzanillo's miles of unspoiled beaches for the most part deserted. Tourism has been a mere sideline in commercially-oriented Manzanillo but that is starting to change as visitors move south from crowded, over-commercialized Puerto Vallarta into the more pristine, and more "Mexican" areas along the coast.

Today, Manzanillo offers great beaches and watersports activities. The capital city of Colima is definitely worth a visit, as is the colonial jewel of Comala. The roads throughout the state of Colima are excellent, and crime is almost non-existent.

Bahia de Manzanillo is closer to downtown and is the older tourist section. Bahia de Santiago, to the west, is the newer and more upscale area. The two are separated by the Santiago Peninsula, a steep outcrop on whose slopes are some of the most beautiful hotels. Ship channels are located at the southeast end of Bahia de Manzanillo where large ocean liners enter the port area. Manzanillo was once the scene of piracy and adventure. Nowadays, its peaceful bays and sophisticated tourist and port infrastructure have made it one of the main tourist resorts and trading centers in the west of Mexico.

The Sailfish sculpture at night.
The sailfish sculpture at night - Nathan Peach "Tourmanzanillo" photo.

Downtown - El Centro

The newly remodeled water front park (malecon) and portals on nearby buildings, the classic Bar Social just off the waterfront, the 1940's Hotel Colonial and the new Mercado about 5 blocks off the main street, Calle Mexico.

Saturday Market in Santiago

This is a Saturday experience you should not miss. Around 22 blocks of tents are set up and completely broken down and cleaned up before the next morning. Many Manzanillo residents and visitors come here for great deals on homegrown fruits and vegetables, household items, new and used (cheap!) clothing and footwear, and goodies to take home to friends and family.


  • Playa El Viejo is a tiny downtown area beach accessible by footpath.
  • Playa San Pedrito is another small downtown area beach just across the ship channel from the tourist zone. Restaurants, swimming.
  • Playa Las Brisas begins at the jetty that marks the ship channel and curves westward along the older tourist zone. Swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, windsurfing. At some point the name changes to Playa Azul and then to Playa Salagua. Altogether about 4 miles of beach.
  • Playa Azul: This is central beach area of Bahia de Manzanillo.
  • Playa Salagua is the name of the westernmost stretch of beach on Bahia de Manzanillo.
  • Playa La Audiencia is a small beach located on the western side of the steeply sloped Santiago Peninsula. Swimming, kayaks, windsurfing, water skiing, jet skis, etc.
  • Playa Santiago: The 5-mile long curving beach of Bahia Santiago begins at Santiago Peninsula as Playa Santiago. At the mouth of the Rio Colorado creek it becomes Playa Olas Altas.
  • Playa Olas Altas (high waves) is located just west of Santiago Peninsula in Bahia de Santiago. At some point the name of this gently curving stretch of beach changes to Playa de Miramar. Boogie boarding, surfing, swimming.
  • Playa de Miramar is also in Bahia de Santiago.
  • Playa La Boquita is located at the northwest end of Bahia de Santiago at the opening to Laguna de Juluapan. Seafood palapas, fishing boats, very calm, good snorkeling, scuba diving, offshore wreck in shallow water.
Manzanillo sunset
Manzanillo Sunset - Photo by Nathan Peach, "Tourmanzanillo".

Manzanillo & Sister Cities

Manzanillo has three sister cities including Flagstaff, Arizona; San Pablo, California and Saint Paul, Minnesota.

About Saint Paul, Minnesota: In 1955, the St. Paul-Nagasaki Sister Cities Committee became the first of many Sister Cities affiliations when Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed his "People-to-People" idea. President Eisenhower's intention was to involve individuals and organized groups at all levels of society in citizen diplomacy, with the hope that personal relationships fostered through city, county, and state affiliations, would lessen the chance of future world conflicts.

The St. Paul Sister City program utilizes the following Sister Cities International goals as Sister City committee guidelines:

  • To develop partnerships between U.S. cities, counties, and states and similar jurisdictions of other nations
  • To create opportunities for all people to experience and explore other cultures through long-term partnerships
  • To create an atmosphere in which economic development and trade can be developed, implemented, and strengthened
  • To stimulate environments through which partnerships can creatively learn, work, and solve problems together
  • To collaborate with other organizations, both in the United States and in other countries, that have similar goals

Average Weather For Manzanillo, Mexico


Manzanillo has a tropical savanna climate with dry winters. The area within 40 km of this station is covered by oceans and seas (49%), forests (37%), and croplands (13%). Weather conditions are normally recorded from readings at the Playa de Oro International airport.


Over the course of a year, the temperature typically varies from 19C/66F to 31C/87.8F and is rarely below 17C/62.6F or above 33C/91.4F.

The warm season lasts from June 14 to November 1 with an average daily high temperature above 31C/87.8F. The hottest day of the year is August 6, with an average high of 31C/87.8F and low of 25C/77F.

The cold season lasts from January 22 to May 4 with an average daily high temperature below 28C/82.4F. The coldest day of the year is February 25, with an average low of 19C/66F and high of 27C/80.6F.


The length of the day varies significantly over the course of the year. The shortest day is December 21 with 10:58 hours of daylight; the longest day is June 20 with 13:17 hours of daylight.

The earliest sunrise is at 6:52am on March 31 and the latest sunset is at 8:41pm on July 3. The latest sunrise is at 7:57am on October 27 and the earliest sunset is at 6:18pm on November 24.

Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in this location, starting in the spring on April 1 and ending in the fall on October 28. Clouds

The median cloud cover ranges from 21% (mostly clear) to 81% (mostly cloudy). The sky is cloudiest on July 18 and clearest on March 4. The clearer part of the year begins around October 17. The cloudier part of the year begins around June 8.

On March 4, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 42% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 12% of the time.

On July 18, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast, mostly cloudy, or partly cloudy 41% of the time, and clear or mostly clear 8% of the time.


The probability that precipitation will be observed at this location varies throughout the year. Precipitation is most likely around September 7, occurring in 26% of days. Precipitation is least likely around March 19, occurring in 1% of days.

Over the entire year, the most common forms of precipitation are moderate rain, light rain, and drizzle.

Moderate rain is the most severe precipitation observed during 52% of those days with precipitation. It is most likely around September 5, when it is observed during 14% of all days.

Light rain is the most severe precipitation observed during 24% of those days with precipitation. It is most likely around September 9, when it is observed during 8% of all days.

Drizzle is the most severe precipitation observed during 15% of those days with precipitation. It is most likely around July 14, when it is observed during 4% of all days.

During the warm season, which lasts from June 14 to November 1, there is a 20% average chance that precipitation will be observed at some point during a given day. When precipitation does occur it is most often in the form of moderate rain (51% of days with precipitation have at worst moderate rain), light rain (25%), and drizzle (15%).

During the cold season, which lasts from January 22 to May 4, there is a 1% average chance that precipitation will be observed at some point during a given day. When precipitation does occur it is most often in the form of moderate rain (61% of days with precipitation have at worst moderate rain), light rain (19%), and drizzle (16%).


The relative humidity typically ranges from 64% (mildly humid) to 91% (very humid) over the course of the year, rarely dropping below 53% (mildly humid) and reaching as high as 100% (very humid).

The air is driest around December 26, at which time the relative humidity drops below 70% (humid) three days out of four; it is most humid around September 9, exceeding 86% (very humid) three days out of four.

Dew Point

Dew point is often a better measure of how comfortable a person will find the weather than relative humidity because it more directly relates to whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid.

Over the course of a year, the dew point typically varies from 16C/60.8F (comfortable) to 26C/78.8F (oppressive) and is rarely below 13C/55.4F (very comfortable) or above 27C/80.6F (very oppressive).


Over the course of the year typical wind speeds vary from 0 m/s to 6 m/s (calm to moderate breeze), rarely exceeding 11 m/s (strong breeze).

The highest average wind speed of 3 m/s (light breeze) occurs around June 27, at which time the average daily maximum wind speed is 6 m/s (moderate breeze).

The lowest average wind speed of 2 m/s (light breeze) occurs around November 9, at which time the average daily maximum wind speed is 5 m/s (gentle breeze).

The wind is most often out of the south west (12% of the time). The wind is least often out of the north east (1% of the time), east (1% of the time), north west (1% of the time), and north (4% of the time).

See the weather / temperature chart

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Address: Privada Los Naranjos #30, Santiago, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico  28860
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