Manzanillo was the third port that the Spanish created in the Pacific and in the development of its history there are very important events and characters. This is how we find that on October 30, 1533, Hernando de Grijalva, set sail from the port of Santiago in the brigantines «San Lorenzo», discovering the Revillagigedo archipelago; the pilot was Martín de Acosta, who had separated in the "La Concepción" brig, led by Diego Becerra de Mendoza. A fundamental fact for the development of the entire state happened in 1569, when Álvaro Mendaña, on the return from his trip to the Solomon Islands, arrived in Santiago, resupplied and gave the villagers the coconut palm, who began to exploit its potential, increasing their productivity with the arrival of Chinese slaves, who brought new knowledge to the Colimans, even though their arrival was as slaves.
Manzanillo was given that name by the Spanish, since when they came to this coast, they found many chamomile trees (Ippomane mancinella), which is a euphorbia tree, with poisonous fruit and which produces urticaria when it is close to it; thus, when seeing the great amount of trees that were in this zone and before the necessity to baptize the place, the Spanish decided to put Manzanillo to him; however, in the Nahuatl language, the name of Manzanillo is Cozcatlán, from Cozcatl (necklace or choker) and Tlan (place), which means "Place of jewelry, necklaces, chokers" or also "Where necklaces are made"; judging by the archaeological findings of the region. In fact, Salagua was said to be a supplier of pearls or jewelry to the Mexica during the fifteenth century until the arrival of the Spanish (Brust, 1993).
From that phrase that describes Colima as “Sea and palm trees at the foot of the volcano”, Manzanillo is only touched by the part of the sea and the palm trees, because of the volcano you can only see a tiny part of its peak from Cerro del Toro (the highest in Manzanillo). What does abound in the municipality are the palms, which sway to the beat of the wind coming from the Pacific Ocean; It bathes its two bays, Manzanillo and Santiago, covered by black sand due, precisely, to its volcanic origin.
There is much to tell about Manzanillo's history; It is known that an important activity for the pre-Hispanic groups settled in Manzanillo was to work ceramics, the elaboration of figures and the shell and snail workshops for the manufacture of necklaces; This allows us to suppose that there were divers who collected pearls for this activity, mainly in the old port of Salagua, where, in pre-Hispanic times, an indigenous group was established in a town called Tzalahua.
In 1522, Captain Gonzalo de Sandoval arrived at the port of Salagua, where he traveled and explored the coast, but it was not until July 24, 1527 that Álvaro Saavedra Cerón recognized and explored the Manzanillo bays for the first time. In colonial times, Manzanillo became an important naval center, because the ships that left the expedition led by Hernán Cortés to the Bermejo Sea were built here, seeking the conquest of the Californias in 1531; In addition, it was the starting point of numerous maritime expeditions through the Pacific Ocean and he arrived at the Nao of China, from the Philippines, with his valuable cargo of oriental products.
In 1522, the forces of Hernán Cortés who had defeated the Mexica in Tenochtitlán were looking for new riches in the Pacific, which is why they discovered what they called the "Bay of Good Hope." His forces landed on Playa La Audiencia, among which was Captain Gonzalo de Sandoval, one of Cortés's most trusted sailors, as he himself was the first to defeat the forces of King Colimán.
In 1527 it was renamed by Pedro de Fuentes of the forces of Álvaro de Saavedra Cerón as "Port of Santiago de la Buena Esperanza" in honor of the Hispanic deity Santo Domingo. Since then, the bay has been considered a safe and ideal place to build and embark ships.
The brig “Espíritu Santo” was the first Spanish ship that explored the coasts of the state of Colima. After the first surveys carried out by the brig, three ships manufactured by orders of Hernán Cortés himself were ordered to reconnoiter the surroundings of the Bay. Álvaro de Saavedra Cerón, who was Cortés's cousin, had been in the port of Zacatula, Michoacán since the middle of 1527 in order to embark and undertake a long journey to the Moluccas since Frey García Jofré de Loaysa's fleet set sail from La Coruña on July 14, 1525, in search of discovering a path for the islands of the Specteria and when the Spanish crown of his army, or that of Sebastián Caboto, was not informed, it was ordered that he try to find his whereabouts.
The Spanish brig under the command of Captain Pedro de Fuentes left Zacatula on July 14, 1527 heading west, and after touring the Michoacán coast where he recognized Cabo Motín, he passed through the Colima coast, discovering a bay named Santiago, for having been discovered on the eve of Santo Santiago on July 24, 1527. The Spanish forces of Diego Hurtado de Mendoza and Melchor Fernández set sail on May 30, 1532 from Acapulco under the command of the ships San Miguel and San Marcos. This would be the fleet that would discover the Marías Islands, as well as the port of Aguatán, or Christmas in Colima, where they made food and water. Hurtado de Mendoza and many crew members of his fleet died at the hands of the indigenous people of Jalisco and Sonora.
In 1533, when there was no news about the whereabouts of the ships of Hurtado de Mendoza, and to give assistance to him if he was still alive, Don Hernán Cortés sent a new expedition along the Pacific coast. From the port of Santiago del Mar del Sur, on the shores of Tehuantepec, where Cortés personally supervised the work of the shipyards, on October 30 of that year the expedition that consisted of two ships commanded by Diego Becerra de Mendoza left. In the captain, La Concepción, Becerra de Mendoza and his senior pilot, Fortún Ximénez, took with them three Franciscan friars; and in the San Lázaro, Captain Hernando de Grijalva, and the pilot Martín de Acosta. Le Concepción would also end tragically, first its crew members mutinied against Becerra, whom they killed, then the friars disembarked in Michoacán, later most of the survivors died at the hands of the Baja California Indians, and finally the ship fell into their hands. Nuño de Guzmán, Cortés' deadly enemy, when capsizing on the beaches of Matanchel, in Nueva Galicia. The second boat, El San Lázaro, would discover the Revillagigedo Islands, baptizing what is now called del Socorro, as the Island of Santo Tomás.
In 1536, Don Hernán Cortés, personally, and in command of the army with which he went to rescue Diego Becerra's ships, touched the port of Aguatán, in Colima, where he was supplied with what was necessary to continue his journey to Tehuantepec.
In 1539, Francisco de Ulloa, in command of the ships Santa Águeda, Santo Tomás and La Trinidad, passed through the port of Santiago de Buena Esperanza, where he got to get supplies, on his long voyage of reconnaissance of the northwestern coast of Nueva Spain, to the Gulf of California or the Bermejo Sea. After these preliminary navigations, which touched the ports of Colima, many others followed that indicated them mainly as places of stopover, shelter, hiding place, and very honorably as places of provision of provisions, firewood and water, for which during several centuries of visit It was a must for those who sailed “a longo” off the western coast of New Spain.
Its main activities are of a port, tourist, commercial, mining, transformation, agricultural, fishing, livestock, export, construction, shipping and service industries. It is located 73 km from the state capital.
The gastronomy of Manzanillo, represents a perfect mixture of flavors, fruit of its coastal origin, offers typical dishes of wide variety, among them the ceviche style Colima, the shrimps to the diabla, the broth michi, prawns to the garlic mojo, sailfish cooked on the grill; also the options that do not carry fish such as tatemado, chilayo, menudo and cuachala, each of them will be exquisite options to delight your palate.
The ones allowed on the beach always take place, some sweets for the afternoon or a delicious dessert, is something you can not deprive yourself of; Try the famous carafe snow, the tamarind pinches, the cocadas, among other rich proposals.
And to cool off in the heat of the beach, a glass of tuba water sprinkled with peanuts, a cold tejuino or traditional beer.
Other dishes with a sea flavor that you will find on the menus of Manzanillo are shrimp a la diabla, prawns mojo de ajo, grilled sailfish, and michi broth that is made from vegetables and fish, as well as a wide variety of soups and stews.
Once you have satisfied your craving for seafood, you can taste two other traditional dishes from this tropical region: the "tatemado" which is pork meat seasoned with guajillo chili, tomato, bay leaves, cumin and garlic, and chilayo , also pork with a tomato sauce and guajillo chili.