Colima's 87 miles of coastline is a tourist mecca with a yearly average of
350 days of sunshine. Facilities for sportfishing and unlimited quiet beaches attract
large numbers of Mexican and foreign tourists.
Three-quarters of the state is mountainous. Located where the Sierra Madre
joins the Southern Sierra Madre, Colima contains four major mountain systems. Sharing the
same latitude as Hawaii, the state of Colima has some of the best weather in Mexico. From
November through April the daily temperature ranges from 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit, while
nights cool off to a comfortable 63-75 degrees. In May, the climate starts to
change--becoming more humid, and building up to the beginning of rainy season in June.
After the first rain, which is celebrated among the locals, the hills turn from drab brown
to the vibrant greens of a tropical rain forest.
Rainy season, however,
doesn't mean it rains all day, every day. Usually it rains every three or four days, when
the humidity finally builds up enough to create a soft rain shower in the late afternoon
or evening, cooling everything off, and washing the dust off the tropical foliage. After
more than 6 months without rain, the forest seems to come alive overnight. Most tourists
are unaware of the advantages of visiting Manzanillo in the summer, and miss the
spectacular tropical rain forests, the deserted beaches and lower prices, but for those
who live here year-round, it's a favorite time to enjoy Colima to the fullest.
At higher altitudes, there is more rain, and cooler breezes. Residents who
live in the hills surrounding Manzanillo enjoy cooler temperatures, and stronger breezes.
Those who live on the beach generally have a sea breeze in the afternoon. Overall,
Manzanillo has cooler temperatures than Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Ixtapa or Acapulco. Its
close proximity to the Sierra Madres, and its two bays provide better wind currents to
keep the area cool and fresh.
Hurricane season is generally from mid-June
through October. However, the last serious hurricane to hit Manzanillo was in 1959.
Hurricane warnings are issued, however, from a satellite receiving station near
Manzanillo, so all transmissions use Manzanillo as a home base. These warnings,
pinpointing Manzanillo, can undoubtedly frighten off tourists. In reality, it is simply a
way to pinpoint hurricane locations on the map.
For example, a hurricane may be closer to
Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, but since the tracking station is in Manzanillo, all hurricane-related
information is tied to Manzanillo. A report on CNN might say: "Hurricane Charles is
300 miles southwest off the coast of Manzanillo," but when the hurricane is actually
tracked on the map, it is nearer to Ixtapa. Since Manzanillo is the largest port on the
western coast of Mexico, with cargo and cruise ships visiting from more than 30 countries,
this information proves helpful to the shipping industry, but scares away tourists that
might have chosen Manzanillo as their vacation destination.
Because Manzanillo and its bays are tucked
underneath a point of land known as Cabo Corrientes, most hurricanes are directed to the
north, closer to Puerto Vallarta, or Cabo San Lucas in Baja California. Unfortunately,
it's Manzanillo that get the bad press.
Weather predicting in Manzanillo is usually as
reliable as in the U.S. and Canada. If you wash your car, you can guarantee rain (June
through October only)!