Costalegre: Manzanillo’s Las Hadas Anchorage – Charming!

Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

Beach chairs lined up at Las Hadas Resort.

Las Hadas Resort Anchorage, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

Overlooking the anchorage from Las Hadas.

Las Hadas Resort and Anchorage, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

The anchorage forms a backdrop for the pool.

Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

The beach where Bo Derek

memorably ran in slow motion.

Las Hadas Resort Anchorage, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

Groovy with beach and palms.

Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

Moorish architecture with gargoyles.

Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

The arch at the main entrance.

Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

A rock wall of arches.

Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

Hibiscus flowers in a stairwell.

Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

The laundromat were a single

load of washing and 28 minute

dry cycle will set you back


Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

The stunning royal blue pool.

Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico Las Hadas Anchorage, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

The anchorage at dawn.

Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

A tiny travel trailer tucked between the boat trailers.

Las Hadas Anchorage, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

Another view of Groovy.

Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico El Velero sculpture, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

El Velero (sailboat) sculpture.

Downtown Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

Downtown Manzanillo harbor.

Sailfish sculpture, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

Sailfish sculpture, locally

nicknamed "the shrimp."

Old town Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

Festive pinatas are strung between

buildings for Christmas.

Getting propane is not easy in Manzanillo

Our propane bottle will be filled at last.

Las Hadas Beach and Anchorage, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

Beach and anchorage at Las Hadas.

Villas next to Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

Villas next to Las Hadas.

Getting diesel in Manzanillo isn't easy either.

Obtaining diesel requires a little effort.

Las Hadas Anchorage, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico

Las Hadas Resort, Manzanillo, Mexico (2)

Early December, 2010 - We were so enchanted by our beautiful

surroundings at Las Hadas resort in Manzanillo that we barely

noticed the days drifting into each other.  Ten days disappeared in

the blink of an eye.

The resort is a photographer's paradise, and I couldn't stop

the camera from clicking each time we took a walk around the

grounds.  "Don't you have a picture of that already?" Mark

would ask me.  "Yes, but it's so beautiful I can't help it!"

For one thing, proud boat owners

that we are, Groovy kept

sneaking into a lot of the shots.

There are arches

of all kinds

throughout the

property, and

some of the turrets

are decorated with

Medieval looking

gargoyles crawling

up the sides.

The resort is built

on many levels,

and it is easy to

get happily lost.

One day we

came across a rock wall

of arches with a rock

stairway going down to

the footpath below.

Las Hadas Resort is

lovingly maintained.

Fresh hibiscus flowers

decorated many nooks

and crannies.

It is a relaxing and

charming fantasy land

where the workaday

world quickly vanishes.

We had certain chores to attend to, however, which

kept us tethered to reality in between lazy afternoons

spent in the pool.  Day by day we ticked our items off

the list.  The first and most critical chore was to tidy

up the boat.  A month of passage making had buried

certain key living spaces in the cabin.  How nice it

was, after a few hours of digging and stowing, to get

our v-berth back.

Next was to do the mountain of laundry that had

piled up.  Long pants, long sleeved shirts,

sweatshirts, and fleece jackets were all begging to be

stored away in some deep locker somewhere.

All those clothes filled three large laundry bags to overflowing.  Doing laundry on a boat at

anchor is not always so easy, however.  I had done some smaller items by hand, but leaving

them out on the clothesline until they dried resulted in clothes that smelled like salt air.  That

would never work for the long term storage of all our winter clothing.

The resort has a "lavenderia" (laundromat) on the premises, with (cold water only)

washers and dryers that looked like they could do the job.  However, a single wash load

cost 60 pesos (about $5.25), as did a single load in the dryer.  Not letting ourselves get

discouraged, we tossed the three huge bags of clothes as well as our detergent and

softener into the dinghy and motored ashore.  Heaving them onto the dock and lugging

them up to the laundromat, we were grateful it wasn't too long a walk.

It was only when we stuffed the machines to the gills

that we realized we really had about five loads of

laundry.  Re-stuffing them into three loads, we

returned to the little store several times to buy yet

more 60 peso tokens for the machines, as we soon

discovered the dryers ran for just 28 minutes.  Some

420 pesos later (about $37), our clothes were

marginally clean and ready to be stored away.

Later we learned that there is a Lavenderia just two

miles from the resort where for half that cost we could

have had our laundry washed and folded for us.

However, it is still not so simple, as the cab ride is a

few dollars, and you would need to make two trips,

one to drop off the clothes and another to pick them

up.  The bus might have been an option, but those

were really big bags...  Bottom line: "sail naked"

started to sound like a really good idea.

It was while cooling off in the pool and pondering

how many beachside beers that laundry could have

gotten us (about 37), that I got talking with another

tourist who was enjoying the pool with his family.

We compared notes on how we ended up in the

same pool, having both come here from San Diego.

It turned out he had traveled here on a cruise ship

that was currently parked across the bay in

downtown Manzanillo.  When the

ship arrived in port for the day, he

got off with his family and hailed a

cab, asking to be taken to a

beautiful resort with a pool and a

beach for the kids.  For $40 the

resort gave them access to all the

amenities, letting them put the

entrance fee money

towards drinks and

food as well.

He was amazed that

we had sailed to this

resort on our own little

boat, but I was

equally impressed

that he managed to

ferret out this idyllic

location on his own

when Carnival Cruise

Lines anchored for

just a few hours.

"You're living the life,"

he said with a big smile.  "Yes, but there's another side to cruising..." I

said, telling him our laundry story.  He nodded and laughed, but then

dropped a beautiful pearl of wisdom: "That's just the price you paid to be

able to enjoy this pool this afternoon."

He is so right.  The scary overnight sailing, the challenges of

taking care of basic necessities while living at anchor, the

discomforts of living in a small home that bounces around on

the waves, those are the price of limitless idyllic days living

anchored next to an exquisite resort.

We had more of those

small prices to pay as

we marched down our

"to do" list.  Getting one

of our propane tanks

filled was on the

agenda, but as we

asked around the resort and marina, it seemed like a task that would have to wait for

another port.  Propane is not easy to find in Manzanillo.

We had noticed a tiny travel trailer parked among the boat trailers at the marina, but

weren't sure whether it was occupied or simply in storage.  When a couple came up to

our boat in an inflatable dinghy and said they weren't from a boat but were from a

trailer, we got our answer.  He was Cuban and she was Mexican, and they had

traveled all over Mexico and the US for months at a time in their 13' travel trailer.

He knew something of boats,

having rowed a raft for four

days from Cuba to Key West in

the 1970's.  He and four friends had trained for six months to be

physically ready for the trip, running, swimming and conditioning their

bodies to survive in the harsh tropical marine environment without

drinking water.  They rowed their raft, made largely of truck inner

tubes, for four sleepless days and nights, keeping a bearing of 5

degrees until they reached Florida.

Tragically, they lost a good friend to the sea when a storm

struck, and that sad memory has never faded.  The survivors

thrived, however, and our new friend lived the American dream

to the fullest, building up a construction business to a size

where he could sell it and retire at age 42.  His RV for winter

travel in Mexico is perfect for rough, small roads and for tucking

inconspicuously out of the way overnight.  Speaking perfect

Spanish, even with a Cuban accent which gets him labeled as a

Gringo, makes his travels here so much easier.

They needed propane for their trailer too, so we were soon off on an adventure

to fill our tanks.  It turned out that the only place to get propane in Manzanillo

was beyond the downtown port in an industrial area, an hour's drive through city

traffic from Las Hadas.  It became an all day project, but gave us a chance to

see another side of Manzanillo.

The city is proud of its maritime roots, and we passed a sculpture called

"El Velero" ("Sailboat").

The heart of the waterfront

downtown is a large harbor

filled with pangas and

sport fishing boats.  There

is a big park and malecón

(boardwalk) lined with

white painted wrought iron

benches.  At the center stood a huge

blue sculpture of a sailfish.  The Port

Captain later told us that the locals have

nicknamed the sculpture "The Shrimp"

because they think it resembles a

shrimp more than a sailfish.

Christmas decorations and festivities had

already started, and as we drove through the

tiny streets of the neighborhoods in the "old

town" area, we saw rows of piñata strung up

between the homes.

Finally we arrived at Global Gas, where for about 38

pesos ($3.30) we got our 2.5 gallon tank filled.  Thank

goodness for our friends being willing to drive us there,

as the cab fare would have been 250 pesos ($22)

each way.

Getting 30 gallons of diesel was the final big project on our "to do" list,

and is something you'd think would be easy at a marina with a fuel

dock.  Not so.  The fuel dock is just 60' long, requiring big boats to

back into the dock and drop an anchor off the bow to keep the boat

perpendicular to it.  Large rocks clearly visible under the water around

the dock add a white knuckle element to the process.  We thought

long and hard about this maneuver and decided in the end to borrow a

boating friend's jerry jugs and make three dinghy trips back and forth to the fuel dock


Pouring diesel from a 50 lb. can into a 1-inch hole under the jump seat while the boat

pitches and rolls in the wake of crazy water skiers is a delicate process.  Fortunately,

our friend had a very cool siphoning device for use with the jerry jugs that slurped the

diesel out of the can and into the tanks.  In no time the project was done, and Groovy

was ready to take us to new places.

Most boats

arriving in


were headed

south to

Zihuatanejo for

Christmas.  We had planned to make Manzanillo our

southernmost turnaround point.  However, the wonderful

tales of fun and frolics in Zihuatanejo that we heard

from all the experienced Mexican cruisers around us

eventually persuaded us to make the trek another 180

miles south to "Z-town" before venturing north.

On our way, we stopped at gorgeous Ixtapa Island ("Isla Ixtapa").

Find Manzanillo on Mexico Maps

Visit Anchorages on the "Mexican Riviera" (northern Pacific coast) to see more cruising posts from this area!

















































































































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