The first major stop south of Barra de Navidad, Santiago bay is a wide open bay with large beach and a thriving day tripper tourist scene. You also have decent access to downtown Manzanillo for provisioning and exploration.
This is the western of the two large bays that make up the heart of the Manzanillo waterfront. Entry from the north is fairly trouble free, after rounding the prominent double points. Locate the large cluster of Frailes rocks, abut 1/4 mile off the large second point marking the western edge of Santiago Bay. You may pass in deep water on either side of Los Frailes. If approaching from the south, there is the added complication of the traffic separation scheme for large commercial traffic coming in and out of this busy port. Check carefully for ship traffic, and try to cross this area quickly, at right angles to traffic, to minimize your time in this zone.
It’s a wide open bay with oodles of space, but most tend to concentrate their anchoring near the cluster of beach palapas and condos on the western side, just to the east of the half exposed wreck. Anchoring is typically in 25-40 feet in sand. On final approach to this western side of the bay, note the locations of various fish traps, and the wreck, which is visible at low tide, and marked by posts at all tides.
There are a variety of palapa restaurants on the beach on this end, including some excellent fish tacos, which can be a rarity along this coast. 80 pesos will get you a taxi into town for provisioning or exploring Manzanillo proper. A few blocks in from the eastern side of Santiago bay there is a large Mercado with numerous food and craft stalls. And of course, the beach and paved malecón offer a lovely walk.
If you’ve never snorkeled over a wreck before, here’s your chance. Even first timers will find this is the easiest possible wreck exploration, with numerous fish and a largely intact skeleton of a ship. Super fun for the kids.