Insight Mexico Insight Manzanillo, virtually untouched by Patricia or tourism's crush By Meagan Drillinger / December 29, 2015 Share 1 The sleepy Mexican town of Manzanillo sits between two large bays on the Pacific Coast: Santiago Bay and Manzanillo Bay. Photo Credit: Mexico Tourism Board -- The first time you heard of Manzanillo may have been in October when Hurricane Patricia was making a destructive beeline for it. This coastal port city lies four hours south of Puerto Vallarta in the Mexican state of Colima and is a picture of what now-bustling Puerto Vallarta used to be. Patricia, as it turns out, never did visit the city; but there are countless reasons why vacationers should visit, especially those who seek an authentic beachfront south of the border. These days, that is becoming increasingly difficult to find.By Mexico tourism standards, Manzanillo remains relatively untouched. The Manzanillo Airport received only 36,425 passengers in 2014. Its hotels received 506,012 tourists the same year. Compare that with a destination like Cancun, which received 4.8 million visitors in 2014 with 3.9 million hotel stays in the first three quarters, and Manzanillo is truly a sleepy Mexican town.Manzanillo's beaches can be found along twin bays, Santiago Bay and the Manzanillo Bay, each of which stretches for five miles and separated by the Santiago Peninsula. Santiago Bay is home to Miramar Beach, Olas Atlas Beach, Santiago Beach and Audiencia Beach, all of which are considered to be Manzanillos’ best. Swimming is at its best along Audiencia Beach, but for a stronger surf visit Miramar beach, which attracts windsurfers and kite boarders. Along Manzanillo Bay you'll find Azul Beach, Las Brisas Beach and San Pedrito Beach. San Pedrito is the most crowded as it extends off of the downtown district. For the best in barefoot dining, try the seafood palapas that line Las Brisas and Azul beaches; marlin and sailfish should be your picks when ordering seafood. When not chilling on a beach, visitors can explore the recently renovated centro historico with its main plaza that overlooks the bay. The renovation included building refurbishment as well as the creation of many pedestrian-only streets. Bars, restaurants and shops flank the edges of the plaza. Like Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo has its own Malecon, from which you can see small fishing boats and sculptures by local artists. A favorite attraction in Manzanillo is the local market, where you can browse colorful food stalls and a variety of handicrafts, coconut figurines, pottery and leather goods.In addition to golf and fishing, soft adventure is popular in Manzanillo. Visit Natura Camp, an ecological field just 20 minutes from Manzanillo in the Francisco Villa Ejido. Here ziplining is the most popular attraction. Unlike more popular destinations in Mexico, you won’t find massive chain hotels in Manzanillo. The most recognizable name you might see is Barcelo, with the Barcelo Karmina Palace Deluxe. Another popular resort is Las Hadas Golf Resort and Marina, a member of the Las Brisas Hotel Collection.Accommodations in Manzanillo swings more toward smaller boutique and bungalow-style hotels, like the all-inclusive Pepe’s Hideaway, a cluster of seven thatched roof cottages overlooking a private cove.