Cocos and Cocodrilos

By John Chalmers from the May 2015 Edition

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.

Left to right, Harrison, Andrew and Ben Nixon pose with their cocos frios and the woman who sold them at roadside.

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.

At 15 pesos for adults and 10 pesos for children, the croc sanctuary at La Manzanilla provides a unique experience.

 

While Harrison appears to be eaten by a croc, his brother Andrew tries to ride the croc to submission, but parents Troy and Tara and brother Ben seem less concerned.

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.

Our daughter, Tara, like her three boys and husband, had a chance to handle a cute and cuddly baby croc, nearly three years old and
seemingly used to being held.
A green-backed heron is on the hunt for lunch at water’s edge in the crocodile sanctuary at La Manzanilla. A small and colorful heron about 18 inches long, it is generally common, often solitary and favours water areas with woodland cover.
Even a huge crocodile can look handsome! From the safety of the walkway, visitors see dozens of the fearsome creatures close-up. If you are lucky you may have a chance to see the monsters put their huge jaws work when fed. At right, a parakeet in the trees, and an iguana, below, add to the interest of a fascinating tour.

 

The great egret at far right seems unconcerned about any threat posed by the nearby crocodiles at the sanctuary, even when one croc has its jaws open!
Even a huge crocodile can look handsome! From the safety of the walkway, visitors see dozens of the fearsome creatures close-up. If you are lucky you may have a chance to see the monsters put their huge jaws work when fed. At right, a parakeet in the trees, and an iguana, below, add to the interest of a fascinating tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Manzanillo Sun’s eMagazine written by local authors about living in Manzanillo and Mexico, since 2009

Manzanillo Sun Writer

Manzanillo Sun's eMagazine written by local authors about living in Manzanillo and Mexico, since 2009

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