"Pepes Hideaway, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico" Estado de Colima by Pepeshideaway

Estado de Colima Travel Guide: 45 reviews and 99 photos

Mazanillo and Pepes Hideaway

Legend has it that when the galleons of Hern?n Cort?s first dropped anchor
in the shallows off Manzanillo, sailors saw fairies dancing in the moonlit
water. Nearly half a millennium later, visitors are still discovering the
allure of this seaside city ringed by an emerald rain forest and twin
turquoise bays.

Long a favorite among vacationing Mexicans, Manzanillo defies the common
prejudice that a commercial port and a world-class destination resort town
can't coexist. Pollution is kept in check by confining terminal operations
to the Laguna de San Pedrito, a self-cleansing marshland near the old city
center and miles from most hotels. There, white herons and pink flamingos
strut as giant orange cranes unload containers from ships that have traveled
from as far away as Russia. Meanwhile, out in the bays, scuba divers and
snorkelers explore the untouched sea world; along 10 miles of powdery
volcanic sand, sun worshipers soak up the rays, turning a blind eye to the
machinery of international commerce.

Some 7,000 hotel rooms have been constructed since Manzanillo's first resort
hotel, Las Hadas, opened in 1974. Without a cruise ship terminal or a major
shopping district, though, the city has never managed to attract the masses
like Puerto Vallarta or Acapulco. That may change soon. The state of Colima
recently commissioned Jos? Luis Ezquerra, Manzanillo's most celebrated
architect, to remodel the city's tired commercial center in the Moorish
style of Las Hadas (which he also designed). Plans call for a malec?n (pier)
lined with boutiques and restaurants, an upscale 300-room hotel, and a
cruise ship terminal capable of handling 25,000 passengers a year.

Although ground has yet to be broken for the terminal, the sleepy wharfside
plaza, with its gazebos and hibiscus topiary, has already been replanted.
All this means that the time to dance in the moonlight on the black and gold
sands of the playas is now?before the cruise ships drop anchor and those
mythical fairies decide to fandango off to a more deserted shore.



Pepe's Hideaway pepe@pepeshideaway.com
Eccentric gray-haired, pony tailed surfer Pepe Telarana owns Manzanillo's
most unusual inn in the gated community of LaPunta, an assortment of palapas
scattered about a two-acre wedge of jungle. Complete with tropical birds and
monkeys and a crashing surf to lull you to sleep
Each of the seven primitive huts on stilts comes with modern amenities: a
king-sized bed, electricity, running water, and a sunken tub. There's even a
swimming pool, spa, and thatched dining pavilion. Pepe's Hideaway,
52-314/333-0616; http://www.pepeshideaway.com doubles $300, all-inclusive.

What to Do
Although most visitors are content to simply recline in the powdery sand or
soak in the 80-degree ocean, Manzanillo has plenty of pursuits for active
outdoor enthusiasts.



Going Downtown
To get a feel for the real Manzanillo, spend an afternoon in El Centro, the
lively business district. Stall after stall along Avenida M?xico is stocked
with baskets of grain, religious statues, kitchen appliances, fabric?every
conceivable thing, it seems, except bona fide souvenirs. At the indoor
market on Avenida 5 de Mayo (between Guerrero and Cuauht?moc), tables are
piled high with mangoes, limes, papayas, bananas, spices, and layers of
fresh snapper and giant shrimp. All of El Centro shuts down at two
o'clock?siesta. Those who don't venture to their brightly painted houses in
the hills spend the afternoon in the plaza sipping cups of tuba (coconut
palm juice sprinkled with peanuts). A keyboard player livens up the Bar
Social (across from the main square), a jam-packed 1950's cantina, until 4
p.m., when the city goes back to work.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Excellent destination very non touristy
  • Cons:too few to mention
  • In a nutshell:Fabulous experience
  • Last visit to Estado de Colima: Feb 2003
  • Intro Updated Aug 21, 2003
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