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Black Beaches?

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
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145 posts
4 reviews
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Black Beaches?

The last time I was in Manzanillo, the beaches had a black film where the water met sand. I was told that it was volcanic elements washing up. Is this true, or is it maybe from the filth of the shipping routes and/or leaks from oil tankers? I'd like anyone's take on the situation and if you might have a reasonable geologic explanation for this? I'm just wondering if it's OK to swim in the area as my kids will be coming this time..

Destination Expert
for Manzanillo
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550 posts
13 reviews
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1. Re: Black Beaches?

It is natural ocean volcanic activity yes. If you head on further south of town, the sand is all black.There is no "leakage" of any sort from the port traffic here. You have nothing to be worried about.

Enjoy your stay here and have fun,.

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2. Re: Black Beaches?

A little beach that I enjoy (Playa Chica) is in the pueblo of Arroyo Seco, about 70 miles north of Manzanillo. Less than 50 meters from the beach are several large and notable outcroppings of volcanic magma. Yes, the beach has a black "tinge".

The larger beach (Playa Grande) 1 mile south, has no magma outcroppings and the sand lacks the black coloration.

I don't know what you saw and concerned you on the beach at Manzanillo, but, the area is near (50 miles) an active inland volcanic zone and certainly there are offshore volcanic fissures.


Saskatoon, Canada
Destination Expert
for Manzanillo, Saskatoon
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3. Re: Black Beaches?

The line of black is, as others have mentioned, volcanic sand.

If you happen to go fishing while you're in town, they'll likely take you out a little ways south along the coast; there are lots of small, isolated beaches right on the ocean (no bay between them and open water) that are completely black. Very dramatic looking!

Lewiston, California
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74 reviews
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4. Re: Black Beaches?

Manzanillo has lovely beaches, not as flat as Zihuatanejo but still excellent!

PS I understand the power plant has been converted to non polulting fuel which is a real plus.

Hilton Head, South...
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6 posts
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5. Re: Black Beaches?

That black sand, mixed with the beige, makes beautiful patterns on the beach, by the way!

6. Re: Black Beaches?

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