Although small, La Manzanilla has most of the necessities and a few surprises. We have a number of fine restaurants, several markets for fresh fruit and vegetables, butcher shops, fresh fish cooperative, clothing and souvenir boutiques, pharmacy, health center, and taxi and bus service. Residents also enjoy a used bookstore, Internet café, beauty salon and spa, and an internationally recognized art gallery. One of our most popular locations is the multicultural art center with classes in a variety of artistic media, Spanish and English classes, weekend movies, and exercises such as yoga and tai chi. While we don’t yet have a bank or ATM, post office, or gas station, they’re only 10 miles away in Melaque.
More important than the material aspects of La Manzanilla is the spirit of camaraderie and cooperation between the locals and members of the foreign community. Both work hand in hand to improve the quality of life for all residents. Some examples of that close interaction include: working to preserve our mangrove marsh and lagoon, an ecological reserve that’s home to several caimans and an array of tropical birds and plants; Cisco’s Amigos annual spay/neuter and animal health clinic; not-for-profit sales venues which donate proceeds to meet various financial needs throughout the community; and a number of other ongoing programs.
With fewer than 3,000 residents, crime is virtually nonexistent, as is traffic much of the time (except during one of our fiestas – most notably during the Christmas holidays, the rodeo during the first weekend of February, and Semana Santa, the week before Easter). Even after the shops and restaurants close at night, the streets are safe. The locals are very friendly and eager to please and, although Spanish is the primary language spoken here, most people find they can make themselves understood using a combination of the most basic Spanish and hand signals.
Often called the Jewel of the Costa Alegre (Happy Coast), La Manzanilla is within easy driving distance of major urban areas. Located the southwest corner of the State of Jalisco, at 19.2o latitude and 104.5o longitude, we’re approximately a three-hour drive from the Puerto Vallarta airport (PVR), less than an hour’s drive from the airport at Manzanillo (ZLO), and five hours from Guadalajara (GDL). We’re in the Central time zone, a little more than a mile west of Highway 200 near the 16 km marker.
We look forward to helping you find your personal piece of paradise in La Manzanilla!