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Old 02-20-2013   #1 (permalink)
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Tesoro Manzanillo Rissask Report- February 2013

We went to Manzanillo in early February for one week. It was our third time to this area of Mexico.

The last time (about 4 or 5 years ago) we stayed about a half hour north of the airport up in Tenacatita at an AI, the Blue Bay, for one week and then in a small VERY cool town called Barra de Navidad for the second week, in a hotel.

Manzanillo is in between Puerto Vallarta and Ixtapa in the province of Colima. This area of coastline, from just south of PV in Jalisco and south to ZLO, is known as the 'Costalegre'- the Happy Coast.

COSTALEGRE TRAVEL GUIDE - Designed with Budget Travelers in mind.

It is a very beautiful part of Mexico- mountains right to the winding coastline, with pristine coves and stretches of beach. There is a lot of plantations in this area, mangoes, coconuts, bananas everywhere. All we saw on the half hour drive from the airport was fruit and vegetable crops and stands!

It has perfect weather in winter, no rain all winter,and not much wind. It is very lush and fertile- the hills were still green in early February, whereas if you go to Ixtapa/Zihua or Huatulco on this coast, everything is dead and brown and grey in the hills.


It was a cheapie getaway with our friends Mike and Jocelyn. We got a great deal, booked on www.tripcentral.ca about a month before, for $886 total. The Tesoro Manzanillo is a three and a half star hotel with a five star beach.

We had stayed at the Las Hadas our first time to the area, which is also on the Santiago Peninsula- it's a bit fancier but the beach at the Tesoro is much better, so that is the main reason we chose it.

I won't be writing a proper report- all we did was beach, snorkel, eat, drink, repeat, really. And I don't have a lot of pics anyway- mostly they are snorkel pics!

We did a couple of day trips, to a big flea market in the area on the Saturday, went to a sports bar to watch the Superbowl, went fishing twice, and went to a couple of other beaches to have lunch, people watch, snorkel- that was about it.
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Old 02-20-2013   #2 (permalink)
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The hotel was a typical three star. Super clean, but older. I think it was built in about the seventies and has had very little updating, but it is pretty well-maintained.

Food was average to good, but not a lot of variety. We ate out every night other than the three a la carte dinners we had at the hotel, which were quite good. They have a Mexican and an Italian a la carte. The latter is right on the beach in a large palapa building, great ambiance at night.

There is only one pool but it's a good size and has a swim up bar. Also there was two small kiddie pools.

The hotel gets mostly Mexican tourists/families, and on the weekend it totally filled up to more than capacity with people from DF, Guadalajara, Colima City, etc. The pool was wall to wall people for two days- then they all just left on Monday! It was a holiday, that is why- the Feast of our lady of....Guadalupe maybe?

pool/hotel scenes











friends



sleeping beauties



the beach....







left and right views from hotel room- we were on the 12th floor. Thankfully the elevators worked all week- apparently sometimes there are issues!






LOVE the sunsets on this coast, and we had amazing views every night of them












Sorry I tend to go way overboard on those
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until a week on Isla Mujeres!

until 2 weeks in Huatulco and Puerto Escondido!

Last edited by Rissask; 02-20-2013 at 03:28 PM..
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Old 02-20-2013   #3 (permalink)
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You might notice the sand has what appears to be black areas/streaks in it.

It does, and MAN is that HOT on the feet! The reason is that there is an active volcano (or even two?) in Colima and the sand that is black is volcanic. There are also gold flecks in it, it is quite pretty.

This was the beach where the scenes of Bo Derek running were filmed in the movie 10, remember when Dudley Moore was hopping because the sand was so hot, and he had the waiter carry him to the ocean? yes it is that bad, you always had to wear your sandals down to the water, then toss them back and get in.

but the ocean was beautiful, clear and bathtub warm, and with a surprising amount of marine life. We snorkeled almost every day from shore here, along the rocks on the far right hand side. Saw octopus, lobster, tons of sand rays, puffers of all sorts including bright yellow ones, sea snakes, a moray eel, seahorses, parrotfish, angels, needlefish, and several other species.
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Old 02-21-2013   #4 (permalink)
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Yay, I was hoping you'd post a trip report!! Those sunset pics are gorgeous. One can never take too many beautiful sunset pictures IMHO.

Any pics of the room?
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Old 02-21-2013   #5 (permalink)
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You know...I didn't take any of the room! It was pretty average. King bed (which was surprisingly comfortable!), small balcony, dresser, TV, table and two chairs. Regular sized bathroom with tub- bathroom needed a facelift- clean but very old.

If you wanted to go there and check out the rooms/hotel more, you can look at the traveler photos on Trip Advisor, there are several.

More later. Just a few more pics, mostly.
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Old 02-22-2013   #6 (permalink)
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Glaring deficiency in this trip report: No pics of the extremely easy on the eyes correspondent. Fix ASAP please.

In the meantime, "province" of Colima? Is that an existing regional division or a still used reference to one that is now defunct?
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Old 02-22-2013   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_Toronto View Post
Glaring deficiency in this trip report: No pics of the extremely easy on the eyes correspondent. Fix ASAP please.

In the meantime, "province" of Colima? Is that an existing regional division or a still used reference to one that is now defunct?

Gahhh! STATE!! oops.

And, um, thanks....I think!? .

I don't have many more pics, and most of them are snorkelling ones. I will finish up Monday.
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Old 02-25-2013   #8 (permalink)
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Well, it's Monday so I better finish this.

I was saying how great the snorkeling was- it was actually better than at the Barcelo Palace last winter, which is supposed to have good shore snorkeling. Some of the pics turned out greenish, that is the poor quality camera, but the visibility was excellent.

Not a coral reef, and I missed seeing pretty coral, but rocks with some coral growth, but LOTS of fish. Not bad at all for Pacific coast snorkeling.





gahhh! Sea snake! *shiver*










sand rays (spotted rays?). There were a lot of these. Looks like someone is getting some action, there....







not sure what species this was, but there was always one or two hanging out nibbling on panga anchor ropes...







There is an octopus in here...somewhere...we also saw sea horses!!!










spiny lobster (2 of them here)




We snorkeled daily in front of the hotel along the cove's rocky sides- the right hand side is much better.

We also went to Playa Boquito one day, which is at the far northwest end of Playa Miramar, the long stretch of beach to the north of the Santiago Peninsula.

There is a sunken ship at Playa Boquita that attracts a lot of fish schools and is neat to snorkel over- it's shallow, at low tide parts of the ship sticks up out of the water. And there is a reef in very shallow water than runs along the far end, you can see it in the distance here (EDIT: no you can't...lol, just the breakwater, I cut off the reef side):



You can hire a panga for about 100 pesos to take you over there to snorkel, but we did it the hard way- walked to the end of the beach and over a little bridge, then took a rough path to the jungle for about ten minutes walk, then out onto the rocky beach to CAREFULLY climb over the VERY slippery, algae covered rocks to snorkel.

Next time we'll hire the damn panga.

but the snorkeling was well worth it. Much nicer coral here and more fish. I don't have pics of here though.



Back from snorkeling, Don ordered a dozen oysters with a couple of clams thrown in from a guy selling them on the beach.



It was Saturday (we were escaping the hordes of people who descended on the hotel for the long weekend) and quite busy, so great for people-watching.

There are about ten or so enramada restaurants lined up at this far end. We hung out at El Rey for the afternoon. Great guac, and ceviche, and shrimp and pulpo cocktails! (okay, I skipped the pulpo.)

Lots of locals enjoying the beach for the weekend.



Check out this band! I have no idea what that tuba-like thing was on the far right.

\

Last edited by Rissask; 02-25-2013 at 02:34 PM..
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Old 02-25-2013   #9 (permalink)
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Both Don and Mike love to fish too, so we went fishing two mornings.

I have fished on pangas before lots- but Jocelyn refused to go out 15-20 miles in a small panga with no bathroom. So we rented a bigger boat than usual. It was quite comfortable. I think it was only $300 per couple for the two days of fishing.



The boat was in the Las Hadas marina, the Puerto Las Hadas, a gated community next to and including the Las Hadas hotel and condos. There are three very good restaurants at the marina, the Bistro Marina (French) the Marina Grill (great steaks and fish) and an Italian one that also gets great reviews. We went to the former two but not the Italian.

These restaurants are very close for people to walk to from the Las Hadas and the Tesoro to go to a nice dinner away from the resort, and only a short cab ride from the area's nicest All Inclusive, the Barcelo Karmina.




Manzanillo still bills itself as the 'Sailfish Capital of the World' - well, ok, maybe in the seventies it was, but no more. The fishing is pretty tough there, which we knew going in, but we had a couple of nice mornings on the ocean- plus we saw whales, dolphins, turtles...so it was well worth it.


sun coming up, and then leaving the harbour...









some really fancy villas on the end of the Santiago Peninsula....



One just being built...guess someone has money these days...





big ship waiting to offload or load near the port (the Port of Manzanillo is the largest in Mexico).





Joc caught the first fish the first day...(a bonita). These little suckers fight hard and really wear you out.




Mikey caught a cute li'l dorado/dolphinfish/mahi-mahi...



and a bonita (these are not good eating! )

note how the mahi mahi changes colour- they are usually green/yellow when you first pull them out, and then later change to silver and blue. You can see the colour change in front of your eyes.



which we enjoyed very much at the hotel later. (well, the mahi mahi we enjoyed. The bonita tasted like liver!) All told we had a sailfish hooked that got off (saw it jump) and caught the one dorado and about 14 bonita.

The other day the guys went fishing, they had better luck and caught BIG dorados!

It was just the guys that day and a third guy we met from the hotel. We three ladies slept in, went for a leisurely breakfast, cabbed to the 'Plaza Manzanillo' to do some shopping. I was happy to find a Squalo store at the mall and bought Don some nice t-shirts.

We took the mahi mahi to the Marina Bistro later where they cooked up a feast for us, for 100 pesos each. Garlic butter, sweet chili, and Veracruz style. YUM!!




And that is about it.

This should have been at the beginning. In the airport on the way. I should look happier.




Edit: I should mention this area has the most amazing fresh fruits and vegetables everywhere of all the places we have been in Mexico- because of all the orchards and crops in the area. And at the Marina Grill one night, we had prepared for us, tableside, the MOST WONDERFUL salsa I have ever tasted! It was roasted vegetables, mashed in a molcajete, with just the right amount of habanero, and just heavenly!

Last edited by Rissask; 02-25-2013 at 03:05 PM..
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Old 02-25-2013   #10 (permalink)
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Nice report! That fish dinner looked awesome
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Old 02-25-2013   #11 (permalink)
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Great report Maggie! When are you guys going back to Negril? We were there in January for 2 weeks, it was wonderful. Headed to Isla in April with my best friend for a week, can't wait.
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Old 02-26-2013   #12 (permalink)
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It was really tasty, CJ. I am not a big fan of fish, but mahi mahi is not at all 'fishy' tasting, nice and firm white fish. My favourite.

Quote:
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Great report Maggie! When are you guys going back to Negril? We were there in January for 2 weeks, it was wonderful. Headed to Isla in April with my best friend for a week, can't wait.
Not sure about Negril. Normally it is very expensive to travel there from here, for some reason, much more than Mexico. We got a VERY good deal which is why we went there. I do want to return one day, though, and try staying at Idle Awhile and on the Cliffs.

I miss the food in Jamaica the most! We have a great local Jamaican place here, we just went last weekend, the cook is Jamaican and it's really tasty....but of course not the same as being there. But a Red Stripe and Grace banana ketchup and jerk chicken helped.
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Old 02-26-2013   #13 (permalink)
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Wow! What a great trip! Thx!
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Old 02-26-2013   #14 (permalink)
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awesome pictures! looks sweet. i'd probably pee myself if i saw that sea snake.
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Old 02-26-2013   #15 (permalink)
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Glad you liked it, Sharon.

AJB- I did, actually.
Luckily, I was in the ocean and no one noticed!

Every day we saw at least one sea snake and tons of rays. And once a moray eel, and out of his cave. *shiver*
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