Los colores de La Manzanilla, Mexico

Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Advice + Tips, Beaches, Bookstores, Coast, Ex-pat living, Featured, Food, La Manzanilla, Landscaapes, Local Color, Markets, Mexico | 53 comments

La Manzanilla, Mexico is a sleepy little fishing village and laid back beach town, so what is there to tie a nomad like me down for 6 whole months? Turns out plenty!

First, there’s never a shortage of local color, especially for a photographer …

Endless walks on the 6km stretch of sandy beach enthrall, delight, and soothe the soul day after day after day. Some weekends and holidays are filled with frolicking swimmers and sandcastle-building kids…

…while many times you’ll have the edge of the sea virtually all to yourself!

Ever-changing sunsets greet you each evening…

…including plenty of seats with a view.

And as for activities, where do I start? Perched on the edge of the ocean, La Manzanilla offers fishing, swimming, snorkeling, paddle boarding, boating, beach walking, whale and dolphin watching…

…while on land land look for hiking, yoga, dancing, gallery hopping, theater, and cooking classes!

Don’t forget to check out the crocodile and birding eco-tours.

Or just kick back and read a good book – there are plenty to pick up at the used bookstore, which is also a community charity. Funds go to help several local causes, including student scholarships.

And speaking of community fundraisers, there are lots to get involved in. “A Night Under the Stars” includes music, dance performances and a silent auction, and there are also art and spoken-word events, which benefit such causes as local children’s art programs, health care, animal spaying and neutering, and much, much more.

Festival days add to the color and joy in La Manzanilla (and there are LOTS of fiestas!), including Day of the Dead, Las Posadas, and Semana Santa…

There are lots of sights in La Manzanilla, but also lots of sounds – barking dogs, crowing roosters, chirping crickets, chortling chachalacas, calls of “Hola!” and “Buenos dias!,” the soft rush of waves on the shore, and mariachi bands, as well as nighttime jams…

La Manzanilla is loaded with artists, writers and musicians – you can attend a painting or mosaic workshop, join a writer’s group, or make music with local bands!

Market days are colorful and lively – head to the jardin on Fridays if you want ceramics, rugs, jewelry, fresh veggies, or clothes, or just to stop and chat with your fellow La Manzanillans.

And speaking of local color, check out the flora and fauna – a profusion of flowers blooms everywhere…

…and unusual critters creep, crawl, fly, or swim out to greet you – tarantulas, scorpions, stingrays, jellyfish, turtles, crocodiles, iguanas, pelicans, and cotamundis, among others.

Looking to get around, other than on foot? Options include buses, bicycles, boats, taxis, trucks, scooters, golf carts, and ATV’s. You never know who you might see out driving…

Where should you stay in La Manzanilla? There are big houses with views of the sea for rent, as well as more humble abodes, many with palapa roofs. And the town also sports a few small hotels.

Or what about camping on the beach?!

If you’re wondering about what to eat, in La Manzanilla you’ll find everything from delicious Mexican street food to seafood straight from the sea, plus Italian, American, and even fusion cuisine. And plenty of coconuts!

Or pick up some tortillas and just cook at home.

What’s the climate like in La Manzanilla? And I don’t mean those perfect, cloud-free blue sky days, I mean the political climate. I’ve found that local Mexicans here are most gracious hosts to us invading gringos, and everyone has been friendly and kind. They are patient with my halting attempts at beginner’s Spanish, and generous with their smiles. And sometimes we all come together, young and old, from here as well as several other countries, to support a good cause…

La Manzanilla has taken me in, embraced me, and stolen a piece of my heart. For the many new friends that I’ve made, the beautiful scenery, cultural experiences, and the start of learning a new language, I’m so very grateful for my time here in Mexico.

PS – If you’re looking for a hidden paradise to escape to, you may have just found it in La Manzanilla. But ssshhhhh, don’t tell too many people, por favor!!



  1. Absolutly representative of this beautifull village ….so alive!!! congradulation !

    • Thank you Suzanne! It’s been a pleasure to meet you and share this wonderful place 🙂

  2. This is just so awesome….I love fresh coco water

    • It’s delicious! And a whole fresh coconut will only cost you about $1. After you drink the water out of the coconut with a straw, they’ll even chop it open so that you can eat the coconut meat. Supposed to be very good for you 🙂

  3. Excelente reseña gráfica de tan bonito lugar. Felicidades.

    • ¡Muchas gracias Carlos! Es un placer compartir 🙂

  4. Absolutely fabulous! Complete picture of our perfect slice of heaven…

    • Thanks, Dee – it’s hard to narrow it down to one post, there is so much that’s wonderful here to share!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing all the pictures and insights from your little corner of the world over the last six months Lynn!

    • You are so welcome, Katja! I wish I could bring you all here to see for yourselves!!

  6. Oh how I love the photos but what I truly loved in this blog is that you wrote in a way that invited my feelings and senses to connect to your experience I felt like I was there with you.

    • Thank you Amanda! I wish you were here to share 🙂

  7. I loved every bit of your wonderful descriptive narrative and gorgeous, colorful pictures. And of course, I love spending time there with you and your many friends. It was fun to see some familiar faces and so many familiar sights. Thanks, Lynn, for bringing the world to us, up close and personal.

    • Thank you for taking the time to come visit La Manzanilla, Beth! You know first hand that the beauty in my photos is not exaggerated 🙂 Here’s hoping we can meet here again sometime!!

  8. Wonderful photos, Lynn. I’ve enjoyed hearing your stories in writers’ group.

    • Thanks Judy! And I’ve enjoyed hearing your poetry!

      • Congratulation, Lynn, you’re definitly a pro!
        So real…

        • Thanks, Florence 🙂 I appreciate you taking the time to follow along & to write!

  9. Absolutely perfect!! Well done!

    • Thank you, Susan 🙂

  10. Thank you Lynn, fo your blog. Did you experience the sunsets and the friendly chsts that got together gringos and Mexicanos at the beach in the back of Daniles’ real estate. Evevry night at sunset. Not to be missed.

    • You’re welcome Michel! And yes, I discovered Daniel’s right after I arrived last October and have watched the number of sunset gazers swell and now dwindle down again as the season slides to a close. It’s a prime spot!

      • I got so excited reading your blog! I came to La Manzanilla the past 2 years for my birthday with a dear friend. Last year we brought our hubbies. Your pictures truly captured the quaint small town THAT I LOVE. I came home to the Big Island of Hawaii ready to sell my beautiful home and land, but realize I couldn’t live life away from the islands forever. I look forward to my return next February March to continue the warm embrace of the people and passion of Mexico I do need to learn more Spanish so I can communicate better too. Thanks for sharing.

        • Thanks for your lovely comments, Barbara! It’s my pleasure to share the great places I’m privileged to visit. I’m so glad you enjoy La Manzanilla – it’s a pretty special place. Sounds like you have the best of both worlds, in Mexico and Hawaii!

  11. This is just lovely, Lynn. Gracias! Our family has been visiting La Manzanilla for 20 years, and your words expressed what’s in my heart. I hope to meet you next winter.

    • You’re very welcome, Pat. Wow, you are lucky to have been coming here for so long! I hope to meet you here next year as well 🙂

  12. You did a beautiful job of portraying this wonderful little village that we have had the privilege of visiting as well.

    • Thanks Linda 🙂 And I agree, it is a privilege to be here!

  13. Wow! Lynn, your writing and photography just go together so well…can hardly wait to read your book. So glad I enticed you here – to La Manz. This is a really good representation of what people can find here…makes me want to stay!

    • Thanks Carol! If not for our chance meeting at that painting workshop in California 10 years ago, I wouldn’t be here. So a big thank you for sharing La Manzanilla with me 🙂

  14. Hi Lynn, beautiful portrayal of La Manzanilla. You really captured the spirit. Glad we met you during our stay at Christmas time. Gina and Dan

    • Glad to meet you both too! Hopefully we’ll all get to enjoy more of this wonderful place 🙂

  15. Lynn,
    It has been such a pleasure meeting you! Please keep posting and letting us know how you are doing! Your skill in travel- logging is excellent! Have a wonderful time in your next adventure! See you again real soon I hope! Mary Jo and Tom

    • Thanks Mary Jo & Tom – it was a pleasure meeting you too! I plan to come back, so let’s catch up!! xoxo

  16. I enjoyed your pics and explics of La Manzananilla

    • Thanks Jon, glad you enjoyed the post!

  17. I have enjoyed living in La Manzanilla more than at any time since we started coming here in 2006. And we have owned our own home here since 2009. The pics tell a lot of the story. The people tell the rest.

    • Yes, indeed! I love the people here, both locals and expats. It’s a very creative and friendly community. You are lucky to have been coming here for so long!

  18. Your photo essay holds dear all we cherish about lovely La Manzanilla. Fabulous piece. I look forward to spending more Saturday mornings listening and reading with you next winter. In the meantime, safe journey.

    • Thanks Gail 🙂 So nice to hear from you – we miss you at writer’s group. See you next year, and enjoy your summer!

  19. So well written with such joy & shown by pictures that only you can take with your artistic eye. I can feel the joy and the warmth of the people! I want to come there!!!

    • Thanks Soraya! Looks like I will be back next November – maybe you should come for a visit!

  20. Wonderful blog Lynn. I was in La Manzanilla for 5 wonderful weeks this past January, and lived every minute of this beautiful, friendly little town. Best vacation ever!Thanks for these memorable photos.

    • Thanks Bonnie, I’m so glad you enjoyed both your time here and good memories from my post! Hope you’re planning to return – it’s a place that seems to call people back 🙂

  21. Hi Lynn!

    I am truly enjoying reading this and taking it all in during my coffee time this morning! It looks so amazing, colorful, and full of life! I can’t wait to come visit and experience La Manzanilla…

    Jodi xo

    • Thanks Jodi! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂 I think you will love a winter getaway at the beach and the fun that La Manzanilla has to offer

  22. Lynn! We’ve been home from La Manzanilla for less than a month and are missing it. Traveling through your website brings a lot of that good feeling back. I’m enjoying your writing and photos. Really wonderful. Gary and I enjoyed meeting you. The trip to Melaque was fun.

    • Hi Linda! Thanks for your comments – I’m so glad my post is bring you good memories 🙂 I enjoyed meeting you too! Hopefully you’ll find your way back here someday…

    • Hi Linda,
      Thanks for writing. So happy to hear my post is bringing back good memories! I enjoyed meeting you too 🙂 Hopefully you’ll find your way back here someday…

  23. Thanks for sharing the beauty in such a vivid way – all the sense come alive!
    Your article has helped confirm my decision to visit La Manzanilla and set up an extended stay for next winter. Any suggestions of where to begin checking out inexpensive accommodation, or does that just have to be done upon arrival?
    Muchas gracias!

    • Thanks Valerie, I’m glad you’re inspired! It’s a beautiful place, as you can see. Regarding affordable accommodations – since it’s a small town, it tends to book up a year ahead of time for longer term, affordable rentals. My first visit (Oct 2016-April 2017) I came early in the season, mid-October, and ended up moving 5 times in 6 months, due to things being booked up. At the end of the season, I decided to come back and booked a rental ahead for 6 months, starting Nov 2017. Rentals tend to fall into 2 categories – pricy, well-equipped gringo rentals on line, and more spartan but affordable local rentals, which are not on line, mostly through word of mouth. There are 3 or 4 inexpensive hotels you can stay in while looking. Or google La Manzanilla message board and post a request for what you’re looking for. There are also a few rental agencies you can find on line to check in with. Hope that helps!

  24. Hi Lynn,
    Us being here for 4 months is because of you and we are thankful for it. I am looking forward to meeting your La Manzanilla friends.

    • Hi Daniele,
      So glad you’re enjoying La Manz! Please tell all my friends I say hello while you’re there 🙂 Make sure you attend the many art events and fun fundraisers – a great way to meet people xo

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