Cruise ships may dock in one of two places; either at a dock specially built for cruise ships in 2010, right next to the giant sailfish statue next to the city center, or in an industrial area next to large container ships.
If at the container port (now less used): There are taxis available close to the ship and a bus transfer to the center of town for a round trip fee of $3.00.
Printable map to take along.
Watch a destination video.
Manzanillo, dating back to 1527, is Mexico's largest port city on the west coast of Mexico. It is made up of two large bays, Manzanillo Bay and Santiago Bay which offer good beaches and lots of ocean oriented activities.
The downtown area of Manzanillo consists of a Malecon, or boardwalk, about a mile long.
You can walk along the harbor, enjoying the view of anchored fishing boats, from the motor cruisers chartered for tourist sail fishing, to small pangas, used by local fishermen. Along the way there are numerous benches, shaded by palm trees, and sculptures done by local artists. An old ship's anchor (a cargo ship sunk in the hurricane of 1959) is an interesting conversation piece, and a good background for a photo.
As you get to the downtown area, you'll see the "Jardin," or garden, which is the town square. If you're driving, the best parking is on the north side of the Jardin. The Jardin is where everyone congregates--to have lunch, get their shoes shined, or "people watch." On many evenings when it's cooler, bands play in the gazebo, and folks dance in the plaza. Feeding pigeons is a favorite pastime, too.
Just off the Jardin is Av. Mexico, with its numerous shops offering tourist treasures. In fact, all around the Jardin are storefronts offering everything from silver to T-shirts. There are also several restaurants offering a variety of Mexican dishes and seafood at reasonable prices.
The town center is walkable, with all sights within a few blocks of one another.
Manzanillo has a very simple bus system. Look at the window of the bus. If it says, "El Centro," or "Jardin," it's going to the downtown area. (These buses always go south.) Try to have 1 and 2 peso coins for fare. Normally a bus comes by every 10 minutes, in either direction. If not, it's probably siesta time, from 2-4:30 p.m.
Taxis can be very reasonable, as long as you ask the price BEFORE you get in. You should be able to get almost anywhere in Manzanillo (except for Vida del Mar and L'Recif Restaurant) for 35-50 pesos or less.
Third party shore excursions.
Manzanillo is an energetic port with exquisite beaches. The city's main attraction is Las Hadas resort, a village of whitewashed cottages that mix Moorish, Mexican and Mediterranean styles. The posh resort was built in the '70s by a multi-millionaire and was the filming location for the movie "10." You can either pay a flat all inclusive day rate or pay as you go. Taxi about 10 $
Colima and Comala. Comala is a small, picturesque town located just north of Colima City. Called the “Pueblito Blanco” (White Village), Comala’s buildings are painted white with red tile rooftops and adorned in vibrant bougainvillea. Comala is referenced in Juan Rulfo’s famous novel Pedro Paramo and the town was designated a Pueblo Magico (Magic Town) by the Mexican Tourism Board in 2002.
Other options around Manzanillo include deep-sea fishing, swimming and surfing.
Manzanillo's mercado, or market, offers a variety of items for consumption. If you want the freshest seafood, fruits or vegetables, go from 8-10 in the morning. This is mainly a "locals" market, but tourists love it for its authentic Mexican flavor. Of course, other items, such as piñatas, pottery and leather goods are available. The mercado area is located on Av. Francisco I. Madero, behind the Club de Leones (Lions Club), one block south of Av. Mexico.
The currency of Mexico is the peso (MXN). The symbol for pesos is the same as for US dollars, which can be slightly confusing. Prices in dollars (in tourist areas) are labeled "US$" or sport an S with a double stroke. There are about 17 peso to 1US$.
US dollars are widely accepted in the far north and in tourist locales elsewhere.
Credit cards are not as widely accepted as in Europe or the USA. Some companies make an extra charge of around 5% on such transactions.
Spanish is the main language. English is largely spoken in border cities with the United States as well as tourist destinations.
In town you will find several cafes which offer free WiFi for customers.
Mon-Sun 1000/1100-2000/2200 (big towns and cities); Mon-Fri 0900-1400/1600 (rest of the country).
Easter is widely observed nationwide, according to the yearly Catholic calendar (the first Sunday after the first full moon in Spring.
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