Manzanillo has a bit of an identity crisis. On one hand, it is Mexico’s busiest commercial seaport, servicing cargo ships, pleasure cruises and naval vessels from around the world. It’s also a growing tourist destination, attracting beach lovers to its fine golden sands (the famous slow-motion scene of Bo Derek running along the beach in Blake Edwards’ 10 was filmed here) and anglers to the self-proclaimed ‘Sailfish Capital of the World.’
The personalities don’t always match up. Beaches are often streaked with oil that washes up from the busy harbor. And for every ambitious new nightclub or restaurant that opens, another shuts down – a sign that tourism is not keeping up with development. The government has poured millions of pesos into renovation projects like the beautiful downtown malecón, the seaside zócalo and sculpture gardens to attract visitors, but tourism remains an afterthought in Manzanillo. Still, it’s a fine city to chill out in for a few days or to use as a base for exploring the more charming beaches south of town.
Last updated: Mar 2, 2009
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