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Barra de Navidad: Somewhere Along Mexico’s “Happy Coast”

by planetnomad on September 8, 2010

How can your beach-seeking radar not spot a place with a name like Costa Alegre or “Happy Coast”?  Though the area that makes up this part of Mexico’s Jalisco coastline extends for miles along Hwy 200, the towns of Barra de Navidad and San Patricio de Melaque could surely qualify as the epicenter for it.

Both towns, only 4km away from one another, and tucked away in Bahía de Navidad, are 55 km north of the Pacific resort area of Manzanillo.  And while one offers beaches with calmer waters, the other still provides ample opportunities to engage in aquatic diversions and reflects on a history with a rich past.

Historically known as a launching area for Spanish Galleons headed to the Philippines in the mid-16th century, Barra de Navidad now boasts an enormous advantage in capturing the attention of those seeking a quiet, and unblemished spot of sunset heaven.  The beaches in this small town are clean and undisturbed, but they are the targets of pounding surf that usually favors them.  For more gentle and ideal swimming conditions, Melaque provides the perfect spot and isn’t too far up the coast.

In spite of the heavy surf though, visitors can still find a multitude of things to enjoy in Barra, from capturing a burnt-orange sunset to enjoying some of the freshest ceviche around.  It’s also an area that’s uniquely situated with a lovely lagoon called Laguna de Navidad where boat trips can be arranged for short excursions to nearby Colimilla which sits right at the border of the neighboring state of Colima, hence the name.

So, whether one seeks a casual stroll along the colorful malecon or comes here to appreciate a great sunset, one thing is certain, this place does live up to its name of being called the “Happy Coast”!


  • AIR Manzanillo Airport, Playa de Oro International (ZLO), is located only 30 minutes away
  • BUS Terminal is located on Calle Veracruz 228.  For more bus info check out this link
  • CAR Located 55km north of Manzanillo on Mex Hwy 200


Casa Senorina B&B

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Brendan van Son September 9, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Thanks for sharing… I’ll have to stop in there someday!!!

planetnomad September 10, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Thanks for stopping by Brendan! Yep, Barra & Melaque are definitely worth a stop! They are both much smaller & more laid-back than their big neighbor (Manzanillo) to the south! Hope to see you around!

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