Barra de Navidad

Barra de Navidad is a small town located on the western coastline of the Mexican state of Jalisco. The town of Barra de Navidad (Christmas Sandbar) with a population of 7000+ is a small farming and fishing community located on the east end of the Bahía de Navidad, 60 km north of Manzanillo. Barra de Navidad greets you with a mellow happiness and easy charm that seeps into your bones. It's a pueblo on a narrow isthmus between a lagoon and the beach, boasting excellent sportfishing, bird- and crocodile-watching trips and succulent seafood.

Barra de Navidada entrance

A number of Canadians and Americans reside here, some seasonally and others year-round. Some have even opened small businesses. The only exception to the small town atmosphere is the gran turismo class hotel, the Grand Isla Navidad Hotel and Golf Resort, which is located across the lagoon.

Barra de Navidada sign on Malecon

Barra de Navidad first came to prominence in 1564 when its shipyards produced the galleons used by conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi and Father André de Urdaneta to deliver the Philippines to King Felipe of Spain. A monument has been erected as a memory to these journeys at the end of the jetty. Ruy López de Villalobos (1500–1544) fleet of six galleon ships, the Santiago, Jorge, San Antonio, San Cristobal, San Martin, and San Juan, left Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, Mexico with 370 to 400 men on November 1, 1542. On the early morning of November 21, 1564, armed with five ships and 500 soldiers, Miguel López de Legazpi and his sail-captain Andrés de Urdaneta sailed from the port of Barra de Navidad, New Spain, in what is now Jalisco state, Mexico. By 1600, however, most of the conquests were being conducted from Acapulco, and Barra slipped into sleepy obscurity.

Barra de Navidad sunsets