Best Beaches in Manzanillo: A sheltered resort city between two bays on Mexico’s Pacific coast, the city of Manzanillo has become a popular tourist destination over the past couple years. Manzanillo is known for its great deep sea fishing, beautiful sunsets, warm weather, and excellent excursions, but the city is most famous for its long, sandy beaches and warm Pacific waters. Manzanillo’s beaches are some of the nicest in Mexico, and make a trip to the city well worth it. If you are planning to visit Manzanillo, here are the top 5 beaches you should be sure to check out on your vacation.
Playa La Audiencia
Playa La Audiencia is one of the best known beaches in Manzanillo. Made famous by the 1979 movie 10, Playa La Audiencia is widely considered one of the “must see” beaches in Manzanillo. Despite the beach’s fame among American audiences as the setting of 10, most of the visitors to Playa La Audiencia are Mexican nationals, and the beach has an authentic Mexican feel.
The waves on Playa La Audiencia are smaller than on many of the city’s other beaches, and the water is generally calmer. A variety of watersports are popular on Playa La Audiencia, including scuba diving and snorkeling, boogie boarding, banana boating, kayaking, windsurfing, and more. There are also plenty of great restaurants and bars in the area where you can pick up a drink or food to enjoy on the beach.
Playa de Oro
The main airport in Manzanillo is Playa de Oro International Airport, which is located right on the coast of the city. Just south of the airport is the secluded and little-known Playa de Oro. The beach is long with white sands and surrounded by palm trees that sway in the cool ocean breeze. The water is cool and deep blue in color, but the undertow can be strong and the waves large, so it is not recommended for swimming. But there are plenty of other ways to keep yourself occupied on Playa de Oro. The beach is great for walking or jogging on, and since it is rarely crowded, there is plenty of room to relax in the sun.
Despite the secluded and rustic feel of Playa de Oro, there are good restaurants in the area serving authentic Mexican food and fresh seafood. Playa de Oro is also a very popular spot for beach fishing, especially among local fishermen. It is possible to buy a fish directly from a fisherman on the beach and have it cooked for you at a nearby restaurant or in your hotel.
Playa Olas Altas
A soft, sandy beach in central Manzanillo, Playa Olas Altas is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The beach is located right on Santiago Bay, but the waves can be strong, so this beach is not recommended for families with small children. Popular activities on Playa Olas Altas include boogie boarding, surfing, body surfing, and swimming, but only strong swimmers should enter the water if conditions are rough.
Whales and dolphins are frequent visitors to the waters off Playa Olas Altas, and even if they don’t make an appearance, the scenery around the beach, including beautiful islands in the distance and rock formations along the shore, make visiting this beach well worth it. Playa Olas Altas is also one of the best places to see the famous green flash phenomenon during sunsets, where the sun flashes bright green as it disappears over the horizon.
Playa La Boquita
A long, family friendly beach that is popular among the locals, Playa La Boquita is one of the nicest beaches in Manzanillo. The beach is beautiful and clean, with miles of yellow sands stretching in each direction, and cool, calm Pacific waters that are great for swimming.
As one of the best swimming beaches in Manzanillo, Playa La Boquita is perfect for kids and the elderly, and it has a wealth of watersports and other activities for people of all ages to take part in. Popular activities on Playa La Boquita include kayaking, windsurfing, and snorkeling. One of the most interesting areas on the beach is a shipwreck located a few hundred meters offshore, which can be reached by boat or swam to, and is a fascinating location to snorkel or swim at.
There are plenty of restaurants around Playa La Boquita where you can pick up food or drinks to enjoy right on the beach if you like. The seafood served in the restaurants is fresh, and there are plenty of authentic Mexican food options as well. You can also rent umbrellas and chairs from vendors right on the beach.
A peaceful and sparsely crowded beach toward the southeast of the city, Playa Miramar is one of the best swimming beaches in Manzanillo. The waters are generally calm and the current and undertow is weak. Depending on the tide, there can occasionally be somewhat large waves on Playa Miramar, but that just makes the beach even better for body surfing and boogie boarding.
Playa Miramar is eight miles in length with soft, golden sands that are perfect for walking or jogging on. Because the beach is rarely crowded, it has a serene, relaxed atmosphere and is a great place to sit back and get some sun. You can rent umbrellas and chairs from vendors right on the beach, and there are plenty of restaurants in the area where you can pick up a drink or a bite to eat.
In the evening, Playa Miramar is a great place to watch the sunset, and look for the famous green flash that is characteristic of Manzanillo sunsets.