When our daughter and son-in-law came from Canada to visit us in March with their three boys, the first stop on the way to our Mexican home after leaving the airport was a roadside fruit stand north of El Naranjo. We purchased some yaka, watermelon, papaya and starfruit, but what most interested the boys was the chance to have their first coco frio, a chilled whole coconut.
They watched with fascination as the woman used a machete to chop off the top of the coco, allowing a straw to be inserted for their taste of a coconut drink. The cocos were a new experience for the boys, but a visit to the crocodile sanctuary at La Manzanilla stirred their imagination.
About an hour’s drive north of Manzanillo is the small seaside town of La Manzanilla where crocs can be viewed safely from an elevated walkway through the mangroves alongside a lagoon. While the cocodrilos appeared to be more interested in a siesta than paying attention to tourists, seeing the huge crocs up close was a great experience for all of us.
The walk alongside the lagoon, which is well populated with crocodiles, includes a walk over a small suspension bridge and up the steps to an observation tower. As well as seeing many huge crocodiles in the water or out, we watched for birds, which are a major interest for us in the Manzanillo area. We were rewarded by seeing a great egret, a green-backed heron, and orange-fronted parakeets in the trees, plus a large iguana no more concerned about visitors than the cocodrilos themselves.