I'm coming to Colima for nine days around Xmas/New Year. I plan to spend 2-3 days in town, exploring the volcano and Sierra de Manatlan reserve. The question is what to do on the remaining six days. I am thinking of renting a car or taking a bus and exploring nearby areas.
Initially, I was thinking about going to Morelia and Monarch Butterfly park, but after reading a bit, I became concerned about the safety situation in Michoacan. I'll be traveling alone. If I drive during the day, I'll waste a lot of valuable daylight hours. If I drive at night, I might be taking too much risk.
Puerto Vallarta is an obvious option, but I've been there in the past. I'd prefer to explore something new. Besides, I'm concerned about crowds there during the winter break.
As for my interests, I enjoy going to the authentic places, museums, hikes, etc. I don't like major resorts/all-inclusives and such. Try to avoid excessive crowds. I'd spend 2-3 days on the beach, if I can swim or do smth other than sitting in a chair with a drink. Right now I'm thinking about some combination of Manzanillo, Guadalajara, Lake Chapala, and Barra de Navidad.
Where would you suggest I should go?
Where should I go on the New Year's eve? Is there any sort of special celebration somewhere near Colima?
Are there any other do-not-miss events/traditions in the area for Xmas/New Year?
Any interesting places near Colima besides the volcanoes and Sierra de Manatlan reserve?
Is the ocean in Manzanillo or Barra Navidad warm enough to swim in December?
Are there any major car rentals in Colima? So far, I only found ones in Manzanillo. Right now, I'm planning on taking a bus to Manzanillo and renting a car there.