Welcome to Barra and to Marina Puerto de la Navidad!

Ask any cruiser what they think about Barra and the overwhelming majority will reply, “I should have spent more time there.” There is truly something magical about this place. It’s been described as a beach town, a fishing village, a tourist destination, a working-class pueblo, an expat’s dream, and “Puerto Vallarta 40 years ago.” In truth, it’s all those things. And if you’re staying in the Marina, you can add “Four-Star Resort” to the mix.

We hope you find this guide useful and that it enhances your stay. However, it is by no means comprehensive—so please explore, experience, and report back. We’re always looking to add new favorite restaurants, businesses, and services to share with future cruisers.

Also, don’t forget that you’re on “Mexico Time” and that all listed Hours/Days of Operation are subject to change depending on season, circumstance, weather, and whim.

Recommendation, Questions, Comments? lovebarra@outlook.com


Marina Staff ………. 2

Cruiser Communication ………. 2

Panama Posse ………. 3

Maps of Barra ………. 4 & 5

Port Captain ………. 6

Emergency Services & Tourist Information …. 7

Boat Services …….. 9

Getting Around ………. 11

Health & Well Being ……….14

Got Pets? ………. 18

Useful Stuff ……….19

Groceries, Specialty Foods, & Provisioning …. 24

Restaurants & Bars ………. 30

Thing to Do ………. 34

Holidays & Festivals ………. 36



You’ll be hard pressed to find a friendlier or more accommodating staff than at Marina Puerto de la Navidad. The office is located in the villa across from the entrance to F Dock.

Office Hours: Daily 9:00 am to 2:00 and 3:00 to 6:00 pm

Phone Number: 314.337.9014

Email: harbormaster@islaresort.mx

Hailing Channel: 16

Secundino “Dino” Alvarez, Harbormaster

Your host at Marina Puerto de la Navidad and the Grand Isla Navidad Resort.

Myriam Ortega, Secretary & Concierge

If you need help with anything at all—marina services, recommendations, shipping/receiving, rental cars, etc.—think of Myriam as your personal assistant. Her direct number is 315.110.0796.


Hailing Channel: 22

Morning Cruisers’ Net

Monday through Saturday at 9:00 am (high season only) on Channel 22

Arrivals & departures, announcements, upcoming events, weather, and “Treasures from the Bilge” are just some of the topics covered.



Dec 5th: Route Planning & Navigation

Dec 6th: Communications, Weather, & Safety

Dec 6th Evening: Official Panama Posse Kickoff Party!

Dec 7th: Satellite Charts, Open CPN, Good Nautical

Dec 8th: Provisioning & What to See and Do/Recap & Q&A


Please make sure to sign up with Line.me so you can participate in our weekly LINA calls on Mondays at 16:00 UTC and be part of the 24/7 chatroom!

Once you have downloaded it, find dietmarpetutschnig ( Carinthia ) and we’ll add you to the 2019-2020 Panama Posse group.


All of the nautical knowledge from the last few years resides within Good Nautical! With your paid registration, you will have received your login credentials. Please login and check out your route and points of interest. We will have a full day of seminars to over all the details and encourage you to share information.

Good Nautical is passion project and is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization so please consider a donation next tax season.








All boats are required to check in and out with the Port Captain! Bring your paperwork and don’t forget USCG docs, passports, zarpe from previous port (even if it’s another Mexican port), Temporary Import Permit, crew lists, etc.

Port Captain (Capitania de Puerto)

Calle San Pedro #64

48987 Barra de Navidad, Jal 315.355.5779

Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm

The most straightforward way there…

From the Water Taxi stand, take a right onto Avenida Veracruz

After a couple very long blocks, Ave Veracruz will jog to the left at Calle Sonora (look for the giant tree on the corner—it’s hard to miss!)

Continue up Ave Veracruz all the way through town and past the Marlin Statue Turn right onto Puerto de la Navidad (right before Ave Veracruz widens)

Turn left onto Calle San Pedro

The Port Captain will be a block and a half up on your left

Or grab a taxi! The drivers all know where to go and they’ll gladly wait for you…all for less than 100 pesos round trip.



In case of emergency: Dial 911

Civil Protection System: FIRE, RESCUE, DISASTER

The Civil Protection Paramedics Group (Proteccion Civil del Estado, Region Melaque) provides ambulance, rescue, firefighting, and disaster relief services. Contact them directly at 315.355.6375.

Police (Policia Municipal)

Avenida Veracruz #179 (next door to the ATM) 315.355.5399 or 315.355.8549

Supposed to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but the rust on the padlock seems to indicate otherwise. To contact the Federal Police, the number is 333.629.5072.

Tourist Police for Barra and Melaque (Policia Turistica)

315.100.7451 (English Spoken)


Dr. Luis Fernando Cota is the resident doctor at the Grand Isla. To contact him, call the front desk at 314.331.0500 and ask them to send him to your boat. If you don’t have a phone, someone from security or the marina office can radio or call. Dr. Cota maintains a medical facility onsite and has an ambulance at his disposal.

Omar Sanabia, a licensed nurse, works at the resort in a non-medical capacity but can also be contacted for emergencies. He, too, will make boat calls. His number is 556.804.5912. He provides home (or boat) health care services as well.

Emergency Health Clinic (Centro de Salud)

On Calle Puerto de la Navidad just a half block off of Hwy 80 315.355.6220

24-hour emergency services

Regular clinic hours: Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm and 5:00 to 7:00 pm


Purportedly, the Red Cross (Cruz Roja Mexicana) is the only organization that provides an ambulance service with an EMT on board. For a medical emergency, they can be contacted directly at 315.335.5230. They will rush you to Manzanillo where there are several well-equipped, private hospitals. Red Cross ambulances are free of charge, although a donation is expected.

Other ambulance services will merely ascertain your needs, then take you to the Centro de Salud of your choosing (Barra, Melaque, Cihuatlan) where a doctor will then determine if you need to go to Manzanillo. These ambulance services may be obtained through the Civil Protection System at 315.355.6375 or through the police station in Melaque by calling 315.355.5080.



US Consulate

Paseo de los Cocoteros #85

Sur Paradise Plaza, Interior Local L-7

Nuevo Vallarta, NAY


Open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 to 12:30 pm

For after-hours emergencies, call 800.681.9374 or 555.080.2000, ext. 0

Canadian Consulate

Plaza Peninsula Local Sub F

Blvd Francisco Medina Ascencio 2485

Zona Hotelera Norte

Puerto Vallarta, JAL

322.293.0098 or 322.293.0099

Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

For after-hours emergencies, call 800.706.2900 or 555.724.7900




Pancho and Arturo are the recommended go-to guys for boat services including washing, waxing, bottom scrubbing, varnishing, and stainless polishing. Need some help with plumbing? Carpentry? Upholstery? Hull paint? Give one of them a call. If they can’t do it, they know someone who can.




Jonco Marine Repair

315.355.8158 or 315.104.3382 (cell)

Jonco services and repairs engines, transmissions, outboards, hydraulics, electrical, and cooling systems. He also puts up a mean whiskey.


Hogin Sails Mexico – Bob Hogin

Calle San Pedro #104 – one block down from the Port Captain 315.355.8390

Email: bhogan@hotmail.com Open high season only


Neil on S/V Raven (Blue ketch at the end of C Dock) is set up to do TIG, Aluminum, and Stainless welding as well as Plasma Cutting. Call him at 314.217.2800 or knock on the hull (loudly as it’s thick!)



La Casa del Pescador

Calle 28 de Agosto in Santiago (Manzanillo) 314.335.3095 www.lacasadelpescador1.com

This seemingly small shop has been the go-to place for local sport-fishermen for over 30 years.

Yet amongst the fishing gear are a surprising variety of boat parts, fixtures, and accessories. From deck fittings and bilge pumps to fenders and dinghy motors, you never know what you might find. And what they don’t stock in-store may be ordered through their catalog—a copy of which is available for perusal in the Marina Office.

If they don’t have what you need—in the timeframe that you need it—other chandleries in Mexico will ship within the country…

Todo Vela in La Cruz: www.todovelamexico.com

Zaragoza in Puerto Vallarta: www.zaragoza.com.mx




The water taxi is fast, reliable, and affordable—only 35 pesos round trip—plus they operate 24/7. Hail them on Channel 23, let them know what dock you’re on (“Marina Muelle X”) and they’ll send a panga straightaway. Most pangas are yellow so they’re easily identifiable. If you’re anchored in the lagoon, just let them know the name of the boat

and give them a wave as they approach.

The taxis take you straight to the “Taxi Acuatico” dock located just down from the entrance to the Malecon. Fares are paid at the top of the dock. Please tip your pangero!

Upon request, the water taxis will also take you to the lagoon-side restaurants in Colimilla or to any of the properties along the canals (to Hotel Cabo Blanco or Hotel Sands for instance.) Let the dispatcher know where you want to go when you hail them on 23.


If you want to take your dinghy into town, the Hotel Sands is amenable to cruisers using their dock provided you spend some money at their bar. See map on page 4 for location.

Hotel Cabo Blanco—at the end of the right-most canal—has a dinghy dock as well and will let you tie up there so long as you patronize the bar or the restaurant. For a nominal fee (I believe it is $100 pesos), you can spend all day at their pool, which is quite nice. They also have a tennis/pickle ball court. See the map on page 4 for exact location.

Note: If you’re planning to dinghy in to see the Port Captain, Cabo Blanco is your best option as they are only a few blocks from his office.


There are several taxi stands in Barra. In fact, there is one right outside of the Taxi Acuatico dock. If there are no taxis in the queue, ask whoever is manning the ticket desk to radio for one. The primary taxi stand (i.e. the one that’s (almost) always manned by a wrangler with a radio) is on Avenida Miguel Lopez de Legazpi where it intersects with Calle

Sinaloa, right next to Hotel Casa Chips. The third one is

on Calle Michoacan right around the corner from the bus station. As an example of fares: a taxi to central Melaque costs 80 pesos; a trip to the airport will run around 500 pesos (or 650 from the marina.)

If you stick to the official yellow taxis, you shouldn’t have any problems. And if you really like the driver, get his business card and call him whenever/wherever you need him.



All the bus “stations” are on Avenida Veracruz between Calle Michoacan and Calle 21 de Noviembre (near the Marlin Statue).

Local service to San Patricio/Melaque or Cihuatlan is via the Orange buses or the Green. Orange buses take the scenic route and cost less than 10 pesos. Green buses are more direct but cost around 15 pesos. Look for the destination in the window. Pay the driver when you get on the bus.

They all stop on Avenida Veracruz where it intersects with Calle

Michoacan. It’s not a bus station so much as a sheltered place to wait but since all buses automatically stop here, it’s the best place to catch one. Otherwise, you can just flag the driver down.

Primera Plus

Avenida Veracruz #269 315.355.6111 Primeraplus.com.mx

If you’re planning any long-distance travel (Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, Mexico City, etc.), Primera Plus is highly

recommended over the other companies. The buses are clean, have nice amenities, and are very safe. There is an office/terminal here in Barra, but most long-distant routes leave from their station in Melaque (pictured right) located on Calle Venustiano Carranza #53 right across from the local bus station. Primera service to Manzanillo is just shy of 100 pesos with several departure times throughout the day. Tickets may be purchased at Primera Plus or online.


Avenida Veracruz #273C 315.355.8400 Etn.com.mx

From Barra, ETN provides bus service to Manzanillo, Colima, Guadalajara, and Mexico City. If you’re planning a trip into Manzanillo, they have quite a few departure times during the day and fares run around 100 pesos. Tickets may be purchased at ETN or online.



Crazy Cactus

Calle 21 de Noviembre #60 315.355.6091 Crazycactus.net

During the high season, they have a small fleet of clean, dependable cars available at good rates.

Many of the local tour companies also rent cars: Barra Tours & Rents, Ecojoy Adventures, etc.

You can also arrange a car rental through any of the agencies at the Manzanillo Airport. They will bring the car directly to the marina. Alamo, Thrifty, Budget, and Sixt all have kiosks there. Myriam in the marina office or someone at the reception desk of the Grand Isla can arrange it for you.


Barra Tours & Rents

Two locations on Calle Veracruz: one just down Farmacia Similares; the other on the corner of Veracruz and Ave. Jalisco

315.112.1521 or 315.104.0599

A nice selection of new bikes and scooters; they also rent cars and SUVs and run a 24-hour taxi service. Area tours and airport transfers also available.


The nearest airport is the Playa de Oro International Airport just north of Manzanillo. It’s about 25-30 minutes by car from the marina. If you need to fly to the US or Canada, there are nonstop flights available on Saturdays to major cities such as Houston, Los Angeles, Vancouver, etc. On all other days, expect to change planes in Mexico City.

The alternative is to fly out of Puerto Vallarta or Guadalajara where there are more flights to choose from. Many people take the Primera Plus bus from Melaque to PV. It’s relatively quick (four hours or so depending on stops) and inexpensive (around $350 pesos) and the main bus terminal is only a five- to 10-minute taxi ride from the airport.



There are many good healthcare providers in the immediate area. Consultation and treatment fees are extremely reasonable (generally under $30); payment is expected upon completion of services.


Dra. Maria Herlinda Rubio Sanchez (Dr. Linda)

Avenida Veracruz #232

Located next door to Farmacia Rubio just down from the bus station 315.355.5412

Open Monday through Sunday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm and from 4:00 to 6:00 pm Speaks excellent English

Dr. Pedro David Crespo Contreras

Unidad Medica Crespo

Avenida Veracruz #45

Located north of the bus station, just past the Marlin statue 315.355.8082 or 315.107.1465 in case of emergency Open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm


Dra. Laura Ballestros Cobian

Avenida Veracruz #175-B 315.355.5859

Open Monday through Friday from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm and from 4:30 to 7:00 pm Open Saturdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Call in the event of an after-hours emergency Speaks excellent English

Dr. Eduardo Pimienta Woo

Gordiana Guzman #17 in Melaque

Located just across the street from the San Patricio Centro de Salud 315.355.5426

Speaks excellent English



There are several pharmacies in Barra. The following are located within easy walking distance of the water taxi. Note: If the pharmacy does not have your medication, most can get it for you within one to two days.

Farmacias Similares (Generic drugs; best prices!)

Avenida Veracruz #208

Open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm

Open Sunday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm

Farmacia Rubio

Avenida Veracruz #232

Open Monday through Sunday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm

Farmacia Zurich

Avenida Miguel Lopez de Legazpi #111

Open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm; closes for lunch

Farmacia Crespo

Avenida Veracruz #38

Open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm

Farmacia Lourdes

Calle Jalisco #54

Open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm and from 4:00 to 8:00 pm



Doug Grootveld

Location depends upon high or low season

Wednesdays & Saturdays from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm by appointment only. 315.355.0070 or email douggrootveld@yahoo.com


Dr. Adrian Santana Vazquez

Office located at the Hotel El Marquez de Santana Calle Filippinas #75


Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and 5:00 to 8:00 pm All other days by appointment only.


The Grand Isla has an on-site day spa two villas down from the marina office (the villa nearest the tennis courts.) They offer massages, facials, and beauty treatments. Contact the attendant on duty at the day spa for more information.

Corazon del Sol Massage y Spa

Avenida Miguel Lopez de Lagazpi in the Hotel Alondra 315.115.1817

Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm; Saturdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Massage, mani/pedi, facials & skin treatments, waxing, etc.

Lucero Therapeutic Massage at Casa Holistica Sol

Calle San Lucas #64 315.355.5135

Massage, holistic therapy, Temazcal, reflexology, reiki, hot stones, etc.

Spa Lulu

Calle Manzanillo #64 315.355.8099

Open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm

Massage, pedicure, waxing, facials & skin treatments plus full-service hair salon



Yoga classes are held daily at the Grand Isle during high season. Contact Myriam in the Marina Office for more information.

Buena Onda Centro de Yoga

Calle Morelos #26 315.112.4602 www.facebook.com/buenaondacentrodeyoga Yoga classes, private sessions, massage Daily drop-in classes from 11:00 to 12:00 am

Private message through their Facebook page for bookings or email buenaondabarra@outlook.com. Open high season only




Mi Mascota (Dr. Andre)

Calle Océano Indico #16 in the Barrio (one block off Avenida Nueva Espana) Located just down the street from the Port Captain


Open Monday through Saturday but is often closed for a few hours on Mondays to perform spay/neuter procedures for the local animal rescues; call him for emergencies or if you arrive and he’s not there. He carries Taste of the Wild, Diamond, and Pro Plan pet food; pet meds and flea/tick treatments (including Bravecta); and a small assortment of pet accessories. Does grooming, too! Dr. Andre speaks English. Credit cards accepted.

El Granero Farmacia Veterinaria (Dr. Beto)

Calle Morelos #82

Located two blocks from the Jardin in Melaque

Open Monday through Saturday; closed between 2:00 and 4:00 pm 315.355.6782 or 315.100.8983 (cell phone)

In addition to veterinary services, he also carries a decent supply of pet medications and flea/tick treatments (including Bravecta.) He carries Hill’s, Royal Canin, Diamond, and Taste of the Wild pet foods along with a smattering of treats, leashes, collars, and toys. This is one of the few local vets that carries kitty litter. Dr Beto speaks English. Cash only.


Alonso 315.112.1108 www.facebook.com/dogwalkerBDN

He’s good with dogs of all sizes, especially the big ones! Provides a dog washing service as well. Speaks English!




There is a BBVA Bancomer ATM in the lobby of the Grand Isla. It is located in an anteroom just to the right of the Concierge Counter. Unless the hotel is really busy, it’s almost always has cash.

There is a Banamex ATM in Barra on Avenida Veracruz #167 next to the Jardin and in between the police station (closed) and the post office (also closed). As it is the only ATM in town, it often runs out of cash, especially on the weekends.

There are no banks in Barra, but there is a Banamex in Melaque on Calle Gomez Farias and an Intercam on Calle Lopez Mateos #8. Both have ATMs; both are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.


PC Doctor

Calle Benito Juarez #417-C in Villa Obregon (Melaque) 315.355.7677

Open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and 4:00 to 6:00 pm; Saturdays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

PC and Mac repair; cell phone repair; can also procure equipment and accessories. The owner, Wily, speaks English.

Alejandro Vigil at Servicell Melaque

Calle Pino Suarez #2 in San Patricio/Melaque 315.113.3052

Open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm

Cell phone and tablet repair (Android and iPhone) and accessories. Alejandro speaks English.



The Mexican phone system has recently been streamlined! Gone are the days when you had dial one prefix for a cell phone, one for a land line to a cell phone, and another for long distance.

If you are calling WITHIN Mexico, you need simply dial the 10-digit phone number.

If you are calling the US or Canada FROM Mexico, you must dial 00 + 1 + 10-digit phone number.

If you are calling from the US or Canada TO Mexico, you will need to dial 011 + 52 + 10-digit phone number.

Pro tip: Trying to call a 1-800 number in the States? Dial 880 instead: 00 + 1 + 880 + XXX.XXXX


Farmacia Zurich (Pharmacy up front; gear & tackle shop in back)

Avenida Miguel Lopez de Legazpi #111

Open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm; closes for lunch

GR Fishing Gear

Calle Jalisco #54

Open daily from 8:30 am to 9:00 pm


The PEMEX fuel dock is located just beyond the marina. Run parallel to the breakwater and mind your depth finder as—much like the rest of the lagoon—it can get real shallow, real fast. The diesel is clean, and the dock is in good condition. They do levy a per-liter surcharge to fuel up at the dock, so best to verify the cost up front. If you wish to avoid the surcharge, you can also fill up jerry cans at the fuel pumps up top and tote them back to your boat. The PEMEX station also sells motor oil. Open daily at 6:00 am.


Barberia Gaby Sanchez

Calle Jalisco #80

Open Daily from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm


Estetica Maz Belleza

Calle Manzanillo #10 315.355.8563

Open Monday through Saturday 10:00 am to 8:00 pm (closed at 5:00 pm on Thursday & Friday) Cut, color, mani/pedi, keratin


Estetica Nelly Marin

Avenida Veracruz #196-A 315.100.0895

Open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm Cut, color, mani/pedí, eyebrows/eyelashes

Salon Almita

Avenida Veracruz #86

Open Tuesday through Friday from 12:00 to 2:00 pm and 5:00 to 8:00 pm

Cut, color, mani/pedi, barbershop


Ferreteria Tolteca

Calle Nuevo Espana #81 in the Barrio

Open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm; closed


There are several hardware/lumber stores in Melaque, but the popular ones seem to be:


Calle Emiliano Zapata #6

Open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm; closed Sundays


Calle Lopez Mateos #87

Open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm; closed Sundays


Bags of cubed ice are available for 30 pesos at the tienda here at Grand Isla (in the villa next to the Marina Office.)

Cubed ice is also available at the tienda right next door to the Taxi Acuatico for 20 pesos—very handy if you’re coming from town as the pangero will drop you and your very big, very cold bag of ice off practically at your doorstep.

Block ice is available at the Ice House on Avenida Veracruz right across the street from the Jardin. Blue building on the corner.



Free Wi-Fi is available for those staying in the marina. Request a code at the reception desk on the 6th floor.

In town, the popular spots with free Wi-Fi are Mi Abuela Restaurant on Avenida Lopez de Legazpi and La Bruja Coffee on Calle Veracruz.


There is a drop-off laundry service at the Grand Isla. It’s located in the villa across from the marina office, next door to the ice locker/tienda. Ellie maintains some of the villas, so if the doors are closed during business hours, someone in the marina office can call her for you. She is there Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Cash only.

If you don’t mind schlepping your stuff, the lavanderias in town are a bit cheaper. Some popular ones include:

Lavanderia Mary

Avenida Veracruz #205-B

Open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm; Sundays from 8:00 to 2:00 pm

Lavanderia La Barrita

Calle Manzanillo #100

Open daily from 8.00 am to 7:00 pm

Lavanderia Mats

Avenida Miguel Lopez de Legazpi #111

Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm (closed 2:00 to 4:00 pm); Saturday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm; closed Sundays


Notaria Publica #1 (Lomeli Enriquez Narciso)

Calle Ignacio Allende #2 in Cihuatlan

Located just a few blocks from the bus station 315.355.2240 or 315.355.2707


The marina office can assist you with propane or call Maria at 314.337.9086 (preferably in the evenings) to coordinate the refilling of your propane tank.



Shipping to Mexico is not easy. Just when you think you have it figured out—or have found a carrier that seems to have their act together—something happens to make you question everything you thought you knew about international shipping. That being said, things do get delivered here. How quickly it takes depends upon what is being shipped, who is doing the shipping, and—most importantly--how accurately the paperwork has been completed.

Seriously…make sure that shipping labels, bills of lading, and accompanying invoices are filled out accurately and thoroughly. Names on labels should match those on passports; content descriptions should be detailed and have the correct HS code. Errors in paperwork—especially on shipments with values of over $1,000—can result in your shipment being “red flagged” in Customs (Aduano) which could lead to long delays, massive amounts of paperwork, storage and administrative fees, and will most likely necessitate the hiring of a customs broker. Pro tip: If possible, try to split up shipments so that values on any given invoice don’t surpass $500.

DHL*, FedEx, and UPS are recommended although the latter two don’t like making the trip with just one package (especially if it’s small) so it’s not uncommon for them to wait until they have more. Estafeta— though reliable—will come up with 101 reasons why not to deliver to the marina, so you’ll end up picking up your stuff from their counter in the barrio.

If you need something shipped to the marina, here is the best address:

Marina Puerto de la Navidad – Your Name/Boat/Slip #

Paseo del Pescadore

Isla Navidad

Manzanillo, COL 28838


On international shipments, you will need to pay duty upon delivery of your package. In some cases, the shipping company will call and tell you how much it will be. Barring this, figure 20% of the value of your shipment—different items are assessed at different rates so always aim high. The drivers only accept cash so be prepared with pesos.

*If you have something coming in from Europe, DHL is not the best choice. European DHL is a separate entity and doesn’t coordinate with regular DHL (i.e. the service centers and delivery trucks.) Instead, they ship to Mexico and then hand it off to the Mexican Post Office at which point all bets are off as to when the package will actually arrive.

To Send Packages, Express Shipments, Etc.

All the major shipping companies have “locations” in Barra and Melaque, but these are generally tiendas where shipping/receiving is more of a sideline business. The following are storefront businesses that not only ship but sell envelopes, boxes, and packaging supplies.

DHL Shipping Center

Calle Aquiles Serdan #125-A in Cihuatlan

Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm; Saturdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm


Multipaqs Shipping Center: FedEx & UPS

Calle Alvaro Obregon #18 in Cihuatlan

Open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and 4:30 to 7:30 pm

Estefeta Shipping Center

Calle Alvaro Obregon #29 in Cihuatlan

Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and 4:00 to 8:00 pm; Saturday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Post Office (Correos de Mexico)

The post office in Barra was recently closed. The nearest ones are in Melaque on Calle Clemente Orozco #13 or in Cihuatlan on Calle 8 de Marzo #6. Pro tip: Don’t use the post office. Delivery times range from two weeks to never.


In the marina, garbage and recycling bins are located behind the cinderblock walls next to the guardhouse.

For those anchored in the lagoon, trash may be deposited in any of the large blue barrels marked “Basura” located throughout Barra and Colimilla.


Tourist Center (Delegacion Regional de Turismo de Costalegre)

Avenida Veracruz #98 315.355.8383

Open Monday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Tourist information and area maps available.


The water on the docks is not potable (dissolved solvents register at about 500 parts per million) so filtering is a must. A two-part UV water filtration system is highly recommended.

Water delivery (in five-gallon bottles) is available to boats in the marina and anchored in the lagoon by calling Maria at 314.337.9086 (preferably in the evenings.)



With a few exceptions, all the establishments in this section are within easy walking distance of the water taxi.


It seems that there is a tienda, bodega, or “minisuper” on just about every street corner but the following have a wider range of fresh food, non-perishables, and household supplies as well as good selections of fruits and vegetables…

Abarottes Super Arce

Avenida Veracruz #94

Open daily morning till late

El Mercadito

Calle Mazatlan #109

Open daily morning till late

Abarottes Ixtapa

Calle Michoacan #53

Open daily morning till late

Super Hawaii Melaque

Calle Lopez Mateos #45 in Melaque, just off the jardin.

Open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 am to 9:00 pm; Sundays from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm.

If you’re craving gringo stuff, this is the place to go! From French butter to Stove Top Stuffing to Cheezits, they cater to the North American palate. Gluten-free items

available. Excellent fruit and veggie section. A lot of their stuff comes from Costco, so if you need something from there, you can place a special order.


Mini Hawaii

Avenida Lopez de Legazpi next to the OXXO Open in the evenings

They don’t have near the selection of their big brother in Melaque, but the wine and liquor section is quite good and you never know what else you might find.


Avenida Lopez de Legazpi across from the church

Pretty much the Mexican 7-11; good beer/soda/juice/etc. selection; convenient place to recharge your cell phone; excellent air conditioning! There is another OXXO as well as a KIOSKO on Calle Veracruz near the marlin statue. A third OXXO can be found in the Barrio.

Grand Isla Tienda

The tienda on the resort property is located in the villa next to the Marina Office. They stock ice, beer, sodas, snacks, Cup o’Noodle (?), and a small assortment of “forgot to pack this before I went on vacation” items.


Ury’s Carneceria

Calle Guanajuato

Open Monday through Saturday

Beef and pork cut to order, pre-packaged arrechera, fresh chorizo, great bacon!


Calle Veracruz; just down from Abborettes Super Arce

Beef and pork cut to order, chicken, fresh ground hamburger

Polleria El Tunco 2

Avenida Nueva España

Open daily 7:00 am to 4:00 pm

Located in the Barrio so it’s kind of a hike, but they have great chicken along with a nice selection of beef, pork, and lamb.



Pescaderia: Cooperative Society of Production, Fisheries &


Avenida Veracruz #72

Open daily 8:00 am to 5:00 pm; sometimes closes early on Sundays

Pescaderia Ayvar

Plutarco Ellias Calle 2 in Colimilla

Open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm; Sundays from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm


El Horno Frances aka The French Bakery

Avenida Lopez de Legazpi #127 Open high season only

Open daily 7:00 am to 10:00 pm; closed Wednesdays

In addition to an assortment of breads, pastries, and pies, they have a café that serves paninis, sandwiches, and quiches. Full coffee bar, too!

Yes, it’s true! The French Baker comes into the marina around 8:00 am Thursday through Monday selling fresh baked goods out of his panga. He’ll announce his arrival on Channel 22. After the marina, he heads out to the lagoon. Special orders may be placed for the next delivery day.

Karely Pasteleria y Pizzaria

Avenida Lopez de Legazpi #16 Open daily early till late

Besides what’s available daily in the fresh pastry case, they also do custom cakes and cupcakes as well as event catering. The café serves pizza and canapes. In the evenings, they put out an assortment of single-serving pies, cakes, etc. at their street- side kiosk.

Norma’s Pasteles

On the corner of Avenida Veracruz and Avenida Lopez de Lagazpi Open daily 3:00 to 10:30 pm (may vary according to weather) Norma sets up her kiosk at the entrance to the Malecon each evening and serves up home-made cakes, pies, and flan by the (big) slice. Specialties include flan, chocoflan, and pastele de tres leches (three milk cake.)


La Bruja Coffee Bar & Hang Spot

Avenida Veracruz #208 Open high season only

Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

All manner of coffee drinks (obviously!) and a large assortment of baked goods; also, the best place to get locally roasted coffee beans.


A great place to find fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, coffee, and sweets as well as household goods, used clothing, DVDs, crafts, jewelry, and touristy items is the travelling market.

Mondays: Manzanillo

Tuesdays: Cihuatlan

Wednesdays: Villa Obregon (Melaque)

Thursdays: Barra de Navidad

Fridays: Off

Saturdays: Santiago

Sundays: Saluhua

The Barra Tianguis starts at the Jardin and continues down Calle Guanajuato for about five or six blocks. Best time to go is between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.

Pro tip: The Melaque Tianguis is about two to three times bigger than the Barra market so well worth the trip if you’re looking for more variety. The Santiago Tianguis is massive but tends to get repetitive.



Manzanillo has just about all the big stores and, fortunately, they’re all located quite near one another on the main road. If you’re coming from Santiago, as you pass the golf course at Las Hadas (heading toward El Centro), they’ll be in this order…


Blvd Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado #1337

Open daily from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm


Blvd Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado #17

Open daily from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm


Blvd Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado #1246

Open daily from 8:00 am to 9:30 pm; closes at 9:00 pm on Sundays


Blvd Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado #1580

Open daily from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm


Blvd Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado #1550

Open daily from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm; opens at 8:00 am on Sundays


Blvd Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado #1518

Open daily from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm



Counting the establishments in Colimilla, there are around 40 eateries in the immediate area—more if you count the pop-up breakfast joints and taco carts. Everyone has their personal preferences so recommendations can be subjective, but these are some year-round favorites…


Located inside the Hotel Barra de Navidad Avenida Lopez de Legazpi #250

Open daily from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm and 6:00 to 10:00 pm; closed Monday evenings Menu highlight: Anything on the breakfast menu! (Voted #1 on TripAdvisor)

El Manglito

Avenida Veracruz #17

Open daily 11:00 am to 10:00 pm

Menu highlights: Molcajetes, fresh fish and seafood, arrachera, BBQ ribs


Waterfront Colimilla on Isle Navidad – accessible via dinghy or water taxi

Open daily from 1:00 to 8:00 pm

Menu Highlight: Lobster, Hawaiian shrimp

La Casa de Mi Abuela

Calle Sonora #13 at the corner of Avenida Lopez de Legazpi

Open Wednesday to Sunday from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm Open daily…closed


Menu highlights: Chilaquiles, omelets, coffee drinks; popular spot if you need Wi-Fi


Calle Sonora #15

Open daily 11:00 am to 10:00 pm; closed Wednesdays

Menu highlights: Coconut shrimp, hamburgers, wings. Famous for their burritos!


Pizzeria Ivette

Calle Jalisco #56, just off of Avenida Veracruz

Open daily from 6:30 to 11:30 pm

Menu highlights: Thin-crust “Mexican-style” pizza, lasagna

Pizzaria Loco Loco

Avenida Veracruz #170

Open Tuesday through Sunday from 6:00 to 10:00 pm

Menu highlights: Wood fired pizzas, spaghetti carbonara, Mediterranean salad

Restaurant Bar Ramon

Avenida Lopez de Legazpi #262

Open daily 7:00 am to 11:00 pm

Menu highlights: Chili rellenos, fish & chips, arrechera, fish tacos.

Great breakfast as well!

Restaurant Colimilla

Waterfront Colimilla on Isle Navidad – accessible via dinghy or water taxi

Open daily from 11:30 am to 6:00 pm

Menu highlights: Fresh fish and seafood, tacos

Restaurant Nacho

Avenida Lopez de Legazpi #100

Open daily from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm; closed Thursdays

Menu highlights: Fresh oysters, grilled fish, avocado stuffed with shrimp.

Famous for their micheladas!

Simona’s Alcatraz Restaurant

Avenida Veracruz #12

Open daily 11:00 am to 11:00 pm; closed Monday

Menu highlights: Ossobuco, schnitzel, tenderloin, tuna


Seasonal eateries popular with the cruisers…

Barra Galleria de Arte

Calle Mazatlan #75 Open high season only

Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday from 5:00 to 10:00 pm; tequila specials on Tuesday Reservations only: 315.109.6239 or via their website barragalleriadearte.com

Menu highlights: Two entree offerings per night from a rotating menu, artisan tequila

Besame Mucho

Calle Jalisco #13B

Open high season only

Open daily from 6:00 to 11:00 pm; closed Wednesdays

Reservations recommended: 315.100.9362

Menu highlights: Steak, pasta, salads


Avenida Veracruz #68

Open high season only

Open daily from 6:00 to 11:30 pm; closed Mondays

Menu highlights: Seafood, pasta, steak, gourmet mac n’ cheese

Marlena’s Restaurant & Bar

Avenida Veracruz #167

Open high season only

Open daily from 5:00 to 11:00 pm; closed Sundays

Menu highlights: German and international cuisine

Senor Froy’s La Casa Mia

Calle Filipinas #66

Open high season only

Open daily from 12:00 to 10:00 pm

Menu highlights: Lasagna, salad bar, Thursday night BBQ ribs


Pollo “Los Gueros”

Avenue Nueva España #4

Located near the Barrio at the corner of Nueva Espana and Calle Veracruz (across from the football field) Open daily 1:00 to 4:00 pm; closed Mondays



There are quite a few, but these seem to be the most popular…

Backstage Bar & Bluewave Cafe

Avenida Lopez de Legazpi #200 (Upstairs) Open high season only

Open Wednesdays at 3:00 pm for Game Day (i.e. board games, etc.); Fridays & Saturdays around 6:00 for live music, dinner, dancing, etc.

Barra Mia Snack Bar

Avenida Lopez de Legazpi #54

Open daily 6:00 pm to late; open earlier on special game days (i.e. futbol championships, Super Bowl)

Drinks specials and good bar food; sports on tv; DJs and live bands most weekends.

Lucy’s Paradise Bar

Avenida Veracruz #63

Open high season only

Open daily 6:00 pm to 12:00 am

Live music most nights




Ecojoy Adventures

On the corner of Calle Veracruz and Costa Occidental 315.100.9240


Office open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Active tours (i.e. kayaking, biking, zip-lining, rock climbing, etc.); bike, car, and boat rentals

Flip Flop Nomad Tours

Calle Benito Juarez #71 in Melaque 315.355.9037 www.flipflopnomads.com

Office open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Cultural and historical tours throughout Mexico; single and multi-day trips; they also provide travel services.

Mex-ECO Tours

Valentin Gomez Farias #59-1 in Melaque 315.355.7027 www.mex-ecotours.com

Office open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and 5:00 to 7:00 pm; Saturdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Cultural and historical tours throughout Mexico; single and multi-day trips; international tours to other countries in Latin America.

The Only Tours Costalegre

Privada Las Cabanas Lote 26 in Melaque 315.355.6777 www.theonlytours.com

Office open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

ATV tours, snorkeling, guided tours to Colima, etc.


Fishing Costalegre (Luis Vargas)


Find him on Facebook by searching “Fishing Costalegre”.

Guen Chulao

Located here in the marina on Dock C 624.122.1003

Find them on Facebook by searching “Guen Chulao Sportfishing Barra de Navidad”. Also do snorkeling and beach excursions


MaryChuy Sportfishing

Located on the lagoon just down from El Manglito 315.355.5416 or 315.109.9124 Marychuy.sportfishing@gmail.com

Find them on Facebook by searching “MaryChuy Sportfishing”.


The locals surf right off the jetty in front of the Malecon. For the latest surf reports, visit the home page of La Bruja Coffee Bar and scroll to the bottom: labrujacoffeebar.com.

North Swell Surf Shop

Avenida Lopez de Legazpi # Open daily 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Surf and paddle board rental and lessons; boards & board repair; boogie board rentals; snorkeling equipment


There are three, well-maintained courts at the Grand Isla. There is a nominal fee if you are not a resident of the marina. An attendant at the towel palapa by the swimming pool can set you up with a time/equipment.

Gabriel manages the activities at the resort as well as the tennis courts and gym. He’s also the resort’s Tennis Pro and gives one-on-one or couples lessons. Whether you’re a beginner, it’s been a while since you’ve played, or you just want to improve your game, he’s a great instructor. Speaks very good English; will work your butt off if you’re not careful! If he’s not at the towel palapa, the attendant there or someone in the marina office can page him for you .

Hotel Cabo Blanco (up the right-most canal in town) has two cement tennis courts that convert into pickle ball courts. Nominal fee to use the facilities; they also rent equipment.



There are numerous holidays, feast days, and celebration days that are observed in Mexico. Here are some of the major ones with their 2020 dates…

Note: national holidays in which banks, government offices, and many businesses may be closed are in bold.

January 1st: New Year’s Day

January 3rd: Three Kings Day

January 17th: Feast Day of San Antonio Abad

February 5th: Constitution Day

February 24th: National Flag Day

Week before Ash Wednesday (Feb 26th in 2020): Carnival

March 16th: Benito Juarez Day

March 17th: St Patrick’s Day (two-week celebration in San Patricio/Melaque)

Semana Santa (Holy Week)

April 9th: Holy Thursday

April 10th: Good Friday

April 12th: Easter

April 30th: Children’s Day

May 1st: Labor Day

May 5th: Cinco de Mayo (mainly for the tourists)

May 10th: Mother’s Day

September 1st: Christ of the Hurricane Anniversary Celebration (Barra only)

September 16: Independence Day

October 12th: Day of the Race (Columbus Day)

November 1st-2nd: Día de los Muertos (All Souls Day)

November 16th: Revolution Day

December 12th: Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe

December 25th: Christmas Day