Things to do
A Great Vacation
You’ll find much to enjoy in this picturesque village on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Between its lush, jungle-covered hills and the tranquil Bay of Tenacatita, La Manzanilla offers the best of both worlds: modern convenience flavored with old Mexico charm. Plus, because we’re so small, everything is within walking distance.
La Manzanilla’s crescent of golden sand beach is bathed in sunshine and lined with graceful palms swaying in soft tropical breezes among colorful palapa-covered restaurants. The gentle surf of Tenacatita Bay is perfect for all ages, whether you’re interested in splashing, swimming, kayaking, snorkling, boogie-boarding, fishing, or just kicking back.
In the village you’ll find several excellent restaurants, wi-fi service, shops with fresh produce and fish, a number of small grocery stores, boutiques for mementos, a pharmacy, even art galleries and a book store. La Manzanilla also is part of the Costalegre’s extensive eco-tourism program, and our mangrove lagoon featuring dozens of caimanes (American crocodiles) is a must see.
Why do people keep coming – and coming back! – to La Manzanilla? It’s a great spot for weddings, honeymoons, and romantic get-aways. Families find it a safe environment for children, as well as an idyllic retreat from everyday stress. They come for a variety of reasons, but mostly because La Manzanilla is as naturally tranquil as it is beautiful.
La Manzanilla, Costa Alegre, Jalisco
La Manzanilla is a small fishing village on the Pacific coast of Mexico, one hour north of Manzanillo and three hours south of Puerto Vallarta in the state of Jalisco in an area called Costa Alegre, which means Happy Coast. The neighboring towns around La Manzanilla are Cihuatlan, Melaque, Barra de Navidad, Isla Navidad, Tenacatita, Boca de Iguanas, Los Ingenios, Emiliano Zapata, Rebalsito, Careyes, El Tecuan, and Tamarindo.
La Manzanilla’s crescent, golden sand beach is bathed in sunshine and lined with graceful palms swaying in soft tropical breezes among colorful palapa-covered restaurants. The gentle surf of Tenacatita Bay is perfect for all ages, whether you’re interested in splashing, swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, boogie-boarding, fishing, or just kicking back.
In the village you’ll find several excellent restaurants, wi-fi service, shops with fresh produce, tortillas, and fish, a number of small grocery stores, boutiques for mementos, a pharmacy, even art galleries and a bookstore. La Manzanilla also is part of the Costalegre’s extensive eco-tourism program, and our mangrove lagoon featuring dozens of caimans (American crocodiles) is a must see.
Enjoy a peaceful walk along the beach to Boca de Iguanas (3.5 miles). Relax and have an espresso at Boca de Iguanas before heading back.
There are two world class golf courses nearby – Isla Navidad at the Grand Bay Resort in Barra de Navidad (phone: 52 314-331-0500) and El Tamarindo Golf and Beach Club (phone: 52 315-351-5031; Website
There is a bike rental and store about a block South of the Jardin on Calle Tamarindo.
At Palapa Joe’s restaurant (Website). Once per month during high-season. Got some talent and want to present it in front of an audience or watch others perform? Great fun!
“Manos ayudandose” – a great little non-profit store selling used books. It is staffed by volunteers and all proceeds go to the local schools and health clinic. Mostly books in English. Near the Jardin. Opening hours are posted on door.
Is a very nicely designed and appointed Gallery with some nice art and occasional artist’s openings. Located just up the side street from Palapa Joe’s on Calle Perula Sur # 83. Website
Offered by Irma, a dedicated teacher. One on one classes or groups. Phone: (315) 351-5596
Dave Collins offers standup paddleboards and other recreational equipment. Located…
La Catalina Natural Language School
One to four-week Spanish language courses for beginning to advanced students. Held at the Cultural Center. Phone: (315) 351 5362 Website
Every Friday morning at the Jardin.
Bending Tree Yoga Website
Deep Sea Fishing
Several “Launchas” are available for hire for snorkeling or fishing. Inquire at El Cato Restaurant.
Eileen’s Cooking Class
Thai, Indian, Middle Eastern and Mexican dishes. Please check her website for scheduled classes. Website
Visit the waterfalls and basins after the rainy season. Approximately a one hour hike from the riverbed on the South-side of the village upward.
Monday Night. Live-music at Jolanda´s restaurant. Great ambience and great fun! During high season.
La Manzanilla is located on the Bay of Tenacatita, which has some of the best fishing in Mexico including huachinango, tuna, dorado, jack, and sailfish. It also provides safe harbor for many sailboats and power yachts.
SUPlaneta Eco-Adventures include birding tours in the mangrove, whale watching, and stand-up paddle lessons. Website
La Manzanilla Restaurants
There are some great restaurants in La Manzanilla and the surrounding villages. We have listed some of our favorites.
(315) 351-5348 – A La Manzanilla landmark serving fresh seafood, thin crust pizza, hamburgers, salads, casual Mexican selections and famous chunchy chicken tacos with a full bar. Open Tuesday – Saturday 12 PM – 10 PM. Live music – November thru April
Just past the bridge South of the main plaza. Upstairs dining with a nice view of the Tenacatita Bay. Open for breakfast (good omelets) and for dinner (great fish, fajitas, steaks and other upscale menu items). Open every day except Tuesday. They also sell coffee beans from a co-op in the mountains. Reservations at 351-5106.
Beach front restaurant which features Italian and Mediterranean kitchen. Open Tuesday through Sunday. Garden breackfast from 9 to 11 am, Lunch from 1 to 4pm and Diner from 6 to 10pm. Stylish with great ambiance. On the main street across the Posada El Casador. Pizza available from 6 pm to 10.00 pm. Reservations at: 351 55 76
One of the best restaurants and bars in La Manzanilla with delectable dishes by Chef Alex. A popular spot for the evening.
A new addition to La Manzanilla upstairs across from our favorite places to buy groceries Lydia Market.
On the beach near the crocodile mangrove. Excellent place to eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Also a terrific spot to hang out during the day and take dips in the ocean. Drink a tasty fruit drink or your favorite Mexican cervesa.
On the beach in front of The Ejido, next to Restaurant Guacamole. Enjoy great seafood dishes on a quieter corner of the beach.
Comprehensive Restaurant List Below
Compliments of Costa Alegre Properties and La Manzanilla.info
Acevez – 351-5003 – map
Arroz y Leche – 351-7163 – map
Artis Lounge Gallery Bar – map
El Boca’s – 351-5041 – map
Cafe Del Mar – map
Calypso – 351-5124 – map
Cato – 351-5285 – map
Chantli Mare – cell: 044 315 107 9957 – located about 2 miles down the beach.
Mayahuel – 351 7369 – map
Mi Kasita – 3517235 – map
Palapa Sol y Mar – 351 5210 – map
Pedro’s – 107-1343 – map
Taqueria el Chivaro map
Tito’s – 351-5701 – map
Upstairs, near trailer park. Try their Chicken Special (Pollo Estilo Alcatraz) slices of sautéed chicken, onions, green peppers, served in a hot stone bowl. Also excellent, garlic shrimp (with or without shells). Dine in their upstairs palapa while watching the world go by in the streets below. Recommended.
Great lunches; try the shrimp salad. Recommended.
Corner of Gomez Farias and Alvaro Obregon.
On the beach. Restaurant and bar. Happy hour 2pm – 9pm and Bingo on Tues and Fri afternoons. Open late. Good food, popular.
Cafeteria La Marina
Gomez Farias 55 and in front of the beach. Mexican food.
Ceasar’s y Charlie’s
(315) 355-5699. Located in the back of a little shopping center on Av. Gómez Farías, next door to Hotel Monterrey. Walk through the hotel and it’s right there. Good happy hour. Recommended. (11/05) Club Dorado – located on the beach in a large palapa. Open all day, live music sometimes, somewhat pricier than others. Popular.
On the square, open 5 pm – 11 pm. Melaque’s most popular restaurant. No seafood except shrimp, pozole (soup/stew) on Sundays. The pozole is inexpensive.
Alvaro Obregon, 4 blocks from the beach. Homemade tortillas, grilled chicken and steaks. Hamburgesa Maui – Tortas, hamburgers and fries.
Located on Hwy 200 at the main entrance to San Patricio Melaque. Pollos asados, barbeque chicken. English spoken. (5/06)
Located on the beach. Good seafood, hospitality, and economical. Open until sunset. Pedro’s Grill – Vincente Guerrero #6a, near Restaurante Avas. (was Pedro’s Fish & Chips) Fresh fish, prawns, chicken, homemade fries. Recommended. (11/07)
The village market is located on R. Corona at Lopez Mateos. This is a block from the zócalo toward the beach. Small stands serve inexpensive meals including sushi
Popular for breakfast. Open Wednesday-Sunday for breakfast and dinner. Recommended.
Abel Salgado #382. (315) 355-6479. Good food. Service is often slow.
On Abel Salgado St., one block off the beach. (11/05)
West side of plaza. Breakfasts, burritos, guacamole, hamburgers, etc., and very good fresh fruit liquados (milkshakes). Reasonable.
Located about 2 blocks from the bus terminal toward Villa Obregon. Good breakfasts, homemade bread, sticky buns, English spoken, ocean view.
Thrifty Ice Cream
Near the plaza. Lots of flavors.
Barra de Navidad Restaurants
There are a lot of restaurants in Barra de Navidad.
On Veracruz on the lagoon near El Manglito. Known for its molcajetes (lava bowl meals). (5/08) Los Arcos de Jalisco – new restaurant located near Esperanza restaurant. Recommended, moderate pricing.
In the Hotel Barra de Navidad. (315)355-5554. Opens early, best breakfasts in Barra. (2/06) Casa Chips – 198 Miguel Lopes de la Gaspi. (315)355-5555. Restaurant, & bar. Open til 8. Cenadura Esperanza – Av. Veracruz. Chinese food. Recommended.
Mazatlan #122, 1/2 block from Posada Pacifico and a little hard to spot. Open in the high season.
On Playa de Cocos on the Isla de Navidad road. (335) 004-2686. Thai cuisine. Dinner only.
Isla de Navidad, accessed by lancha. Family restaurant. Recommended.
On Jalisco across from the church.
Just out of town along Isla Navidad (take a water taxi).
Yucatan #47, on the lagoon. (315) 355-8520. San Francisco cuisine. Somewhat pricey. Romantic, some people like it.
On Morelos where the boats dock.
2nd story, palapa roof, gorgeous view, sports bar on street side, outdoor bar on ocean side. Run by Jorge Morett (Sea Master family).
Located on Avenida Lopez de Legazpi on the east end of town. One of the nicer restaurants in La Barra.
On the beach, north end. One reader reports having the best fish ever.
Is a real hot spot for nightlife and music. Second story with ocean view, second to last place before the malecón.
On Veracruz on the lagoon, just south of Yucatan. Excellent food at reasonable cost. Recommended.
On Calle Jalisco. BBQ chicken, carne asada. Inexpensive.
Piper y Lover’s
López de Legaspi #154A. (315) 355-6747. Same great prices, music, pool table and Piper. Food often available.
On Av. Lopez de Legazpi across from the Hotel Barra de Navidad. Recommended.
On Veracruz on the lagoon near Isadoras. Somewhat pricey.
Located at the east end of Avenida Lopez de Legazpi near the jetty. Popular with beachgoers during the day. Less crowded at night. Their specialties include avocado piled high with shrimp or fish salad (very good) and shrimp stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon. Great margaritas. Have gotten a couple of negative visitor comments though.
Restaurant/bar near the malecón.
Located on Avenida Lopez de Legazpi on the beach side. Good service, bland food, strong drinks, happy hour.