Manzanillo, a major commercial port city on the mainland of Mexico’s west coast, is the state of Colima’s second largest city with an estimated population of nearly 185,000. Colima is the state’s largest city and its capital. It is located about 60 miles to the northeast of Manzanillo.
Located at approximately 190°N latitude and 104°W longitude, Manzanillo also is about 185 miles southwest of Guadalajara and about 525 miles from the nation’s capital, Mexico City.
The state of Colima is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the state of Jalisco to the north and east, and Michoacán to the south. Colima is the fourth smallest state in Mexico and has the lowest population in the entire Republic, so if you’re looking for a less dense population than the typical Mexican city, Manzanillo could be a good choice.
Like many coastal states in Mexico, there is a variety of ecosystems in the state of Colima, with temperatures ranging from hot along the coast to cool in higher mountain elevations. Three-quarters of the state is covered by mountains and hills.
There are also two volcanoes in Colima, one active and one dormant. The Volcán de Colima, also known as Volcán de Fuego, reaches 12,533 ft. into the sky and is one of the most active volcanoes in Mexico. It has erupted more than 40 times since 1576. El Cántaro is also in Colima, but extinct.
For nature lovers, about 45 miles north of Manzanillo along the Jalisco border, the Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve protects 40 percent of Mexico’s native plant species, about 25 percent of the nation’s mammals and about 33 percent of Mexico’s bird species. This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve spreads over 539 sq. miles of land.
Manzanillo has two major bays, Bahia de Manzanillo and Bahia de Santiago. Santiago is well known for its Playa La Audiencia, which is known for its water sports and gentle surf.
For surfers, head south to the famous beach of Cuyutlán, which lies just 28 miles south of Manzanillo. Cuyutlán’s waters are full of plankton and algae, which makes the water a beautiful green. During the spring, swells have risen to over 40 feet, a real challenge for any surfer.
The state of Colima also has 2,000 sq. km. of sea territory, including several islands that make up part of the Revillagigedo Archipelago, a UNESCO world heritage site made up of four submerged volcanoes, the peaks of which are islands. Travel there, however, is restricted.
Colima is in the Central Standard Time zone and observes daylight saving time, which begins the first Sunday in April and ends the last Sunday in October of each year.