The downtown area of Manzanillo Mexico 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 motorcruisers chartered for tourist sailfishing, 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 downtown area around the Jardin is currently being renovated. Though it is closed to traffic right now and your are re-routed around the central area, the project is estimated to be finished by this coming 2003 tourist season.
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 pinatas, 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 Hotel Zone
The Zona Hotelera, or Hotel Zone, is actually about 3 miles north of Manzanillo, and is about 4 miles long. All of the major hotels and restaurants in the area are located in the Hotel Zone. The area has been renovated, with sidewalks, benches, shade trees and potted plants. Colorful cement umbrella-covered bus stops and pay phones are strategically located every few blocks or so. The road is called Blvd. Miguel de la Madrid, or Blvd. Costero and provides a frontage road for buses and left turns (on arrow only).