The pacific coast of Mexico used to be full of mangroves. As you can image they were located on prime real estate. Over the years those mangroves have been filled in to make way for the development of hotels, condos and homes. La Manzanilla, Mexico is lucky to still have one of the last remaining mangroves on the coast. It’s a fragile ecosystem under constant siege by people wanting to develop the land and by a less then perfect city waste management system.
Luckily the powers that be in La Manzanilla have worked hard to preserve the mangrove by making it accessible as a tourist attraction, offering in depth tours, and a nice museum to help education visitors on the importance of preserving mangrove ecosystems.
For a small fee you can do a self-guided tour on a boardwalk around the mangrove. You’ll defiantly see lots of crocodiles, there hundreds living in the preserve, along with a wide variety of birds and plants. For a little more money you can take a late afternoon boat tour with a guide who will give you lots of details about the mangrove and its flora and fauna. The boat trip is timed so that you are in mangrove when the birds arrive for the night. The light is very nice that time of the day and perfect for photographs.
During the winter the boardwalk is open daily. A self-guided tour will take about an hour depending on how much time you linger along the trail.