Three small beachside communities commonly referred to as Melaque are located on Bahia de Navidad just 4 kilometers northwest of Barra de Navidad on the crossroads of Highway 200 and Highway 80. This area is the largest resort area between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo.
Population – 12,000 year round. Significant increase in the winter with Canadian and American Snowbirds.
Elevation – Sea level
Money – Bank and ATM
Medical – IMSS medical clinic and Emergency Clinic. Numerous Doctors and Dentists
Airport – Manzanillo International Airport 25 to 30 minutes drive south.
March 10 + – Fiesta del Torros
Folk dances carnival, parades, blessing of the fishing boats and of course bullfights. AND nightly fireworks
March 17 – Día de San Patricio
Semana Santa – Week preceding Easter
August 15 to 24 – Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
Daily Parades, religious celebration
The oldest recorded settlements were the Otomes between 250 to 759 BC. The area was received waves of new immigrant tribes; the Toltecs (900 to 1154), Aztecs and then the Chichimecas (1154 to 1428) They fished, harvested salt and farmed. Historical evidence is found primarily through the numerous pottery finds in the area. The dominant language was Nahuatl with local variations.
In 1535 Juan Fernandez de Hijar, a Spanish Captain discovered the area and developed a boatbuilding/repair port in Puetro de Navidad. It was renamed Barra de Navidad 5 years later.
San Patricio was named after Saint Patrick’s Battalion – 175 to 200 – mainly Irish catholic deserters from the US Army that fought with the Mexican Army in the Mexican American War of 1846 – 48. They fought with the Mexicans primarily because they were allowed to have mass and because they were promised more money and land grants.
Melaque has historically been a vacation area for Mexicans and now mostly Canadian Snowbirds.
The area forms a simple seaside town that caters to snowbirds in the winter. Maintaining its traditional Mexican flavor, Melaque is an easy going pueblo to watch the world go by. Sunrises and sunsets on the bay provide much of the daily action.
The main beach, Playa Principal is difficult to walk because of the very steep embankment. The waters are very rough and waves break heard on the beach. Snorkeling is ok on the beach west of the “almost free” Trailer Park after a small walk along the trail.
Birding, fishing, boating and other seaside activities are available.
There is a Bank (Banamex) and ATM, bus station, pharmacy and an abundance of accommodation from both high to low.
The traveling market day (tianguis) is Wednesday. While there are some crafts and Mexican trinkets, the market is overwhelmed by 10 peso plastics and house wares.
There are numerous hotels throughout Melaque with a wide range of prices.