Manzanillo is a well established, traditional Mexican beach resort well known for it's fine sandy beaches, excellent deep sea fishing, scuba diving and golf courses. There is also good birdwatching in the lagoons just outside of town. It's a large Mexican city - and has Mexico's busiest sea port. The city centre, where the port is found, is full of commercial activity, while the Santiago Peninsula to the North is home to the vast majority of the hotels in Manzanillo. Here is a very different experience to visiting other places on Mexico's Pacific coast - after all this is a real city, not one that relies on tourism, let alone a place such as Cancun that was specifically built for tourists. A trip to the Manzanillo city centre's waterfront plaza offers a great insight into Mexican city life.
Manzanillo's sandy beaches are fine, golden and curving - much like the local people you might meet in the local salsa clubs (see photo). Many of the resorts have what are, in effect, private beaches. Head to the public beaches for a glimpse of the colourful local life. On the Santiago Peninsula, Playa Audiencia has the best swimming. Playa San Pedrito is the busiest beach, mainly because of it's location so close to Manzanillo city centre. Playa Miramar is where the surfers hang out. Las Brisas is a little north of the city, en route to the Santiago peninsula - there's an assortment of hotels here in addition to a fine beach.
Why visit Manzanillo? It's unlikely to be many people's first choice for a beach vacation in Mexico. For those looking for a real Mexican city experience combined with excellent beaches and all the holiday activites that come with them, it's a great choice.