Despite several people advising us that Manzanillo was not much I was really looking forward to it primarily because we had never been there before.
The bus that we had caught in the middle of a dusty industrial zone in Puerto Vallarta arrived in the middle of a dusty industrial zone in Manzanillo about 4:30 in the afternoon.
The hotel we selected was the Marbella. Overall it was a lovely hotel, spotlessly clean, with view of the ocean, a small swimming pool and helpful, huggable staff. Although there was a restaurant in the hotel we decided that first night to see what was nearby. Unfortunately the hotel was on a highway strip with a few too many of the predictable chains, and, perhaps it was too early in the season, but nothing was open that appeared quirky or interesting. We stopped at Taqueria Señor Julio, the only place open that didn’t appear to be (and wasn’t) a chain. They had a large selection of tacos available and we learned some more Spanish words for the meaty fillings. This is the amazing selection of extras to put on top of the tacos! The yellowy-green sauce appeared all the time on this trip down the Pacific Coast. Someone said it was made from ‘green ghost chiles’. Whatever it was it was ¡¡¡HOT!!! The next day we caught a local bus into town – very easy once the hotel staff told us where and what bus to catch.We wandered a bit admiring the tilework, the bright doors and the market.Then it was time to head down the road a bit to see the iguanas in the ‘Iguanario’ in town. We arrived in the middle of a feeding frenzy – fortunately these creatures seem to be mostly vegan!The next day we went off on a 2 1/2 hour cruise throughout the bays of Manzanillo. It was inexpensive (300 pesos pp) and included all the beer you could drink, a losing proposition if you happened to have too many Canadians on the trip.A map of the coastline around Manzanillo. The boat trip covered la Bahía de Manzanillo which is actually two bays due to the Peninsula de Santiago. The trip went from the eastern bay, around the peninsula and further along, and then came back into the western bay which had a place called La Boquita. This had tons of umbrellas and beach shack restaurants, a swimmable ocean and a sunken ship to snorkel around. If I went back to Manzanillo I would probably stay there as I love to swim and the beautiful long beach near our hotel The Marbella was labelled ‘Dangerous Waters’.
This is the evening sunset at our hotel.The third day Al was feeling a tad iffy so we spent the day at the hotel pool reading. I did some watercolour sketches of the ‘dangerous waters’ by our hotel. Each took a long time to finish as they were done from live waves that refused to stand still!This night we ate in the hotel restaurant and I had this ‘Sopa de Ajo’ (Garlic Soup). Usually this is a creamy white soup, or else brown and prepared in a similar way to French Onion Soup. This one was red, ‘Castellian-style’ with a lot of smokey chipotles in it.Every day there was a glorious sunset from our hotel but for this last day I’ve chosen a soccer game on the beach.The next day we were off to Lázaro Cárdenas by on a 7 1/2-hour bus ride.