Some 60km north of Manzanillo, just across the border in Jalisco, the Bahía de Navidad is edged by fine, honey-coloured sands anchored by the twin towns of San Patricio-Melaque and Barra de Navidad at the southern end of the bay – here the beach runs out into a sandbar, forming a lagoon behind the town.
Barra is a small, sleepy place, where the main activities revolve around beaches. A continuous arc of golden sand joins Barra with Melaque, running along the bay for some 8km – at Barra it’s known as Playa de Navidad, a fairly narrow and steep section that is often washed away during hurricanes (the last bad one was Hurricane Patricia in 2015).
If you have time, it’s worth taking a panga across the Laguna de Navidad to check out one of the bars or restaurants in the Grand Bay Hotel on the Isla Navidad, back in Colima state, or Colimilla, a small village a bit further along the lagoon. Colimilla is popular chiefly for its seafood restaurants, and as a base for the 2–3km walk over to the rough Pacific beach of Playa de los Cocos.