Colima City is the capital of the state of Colima in Mexico, situated in a wide valley at the base of twin-peak volcanos known as Volcán de Colima. Founded in 1527, many of its historical, colonial architecture and monuments are still present and accounted for – despite it being one of the oldest cities in Mexico and one lambasted by several major earthquakes.
While many people come here initially to see the volcanoes, the inactive Nevado de Colima and the very active Volcán de Fuego, they are fascinated by what they find in Colima City itself. The city soon has people planning to live out their retirement here, or at least have an extended stay.
Colima City has been described in many ways, all of them positive: the “Most Beautiful City”, the “Cleanest City in Mexico”, and the “City of Palms”.
The moniker, City of Palms, comes from the city’s lush sub-tropical atmosphere and the abundance of this tree, which surrounds the town’s beautiful Plazas. The city’s historical downtown area is centered around 3 charming Plazas lined up over 8 blocks where tourists spend much of their time.
The city’s buildings, other than its church spires, are mostly 2-3 stories high, giving the town a nice open-air feel to it. Couple that with the fresh air coming down from the volcanic mountains, and it’s the makings for a very pleasant experience navigating these Plazas. And there is much to do and see in each Plaza.
The main plaza is the Jardín de Libertad. Here you’ll relax in this park-like setting, take in a free concert of local musicians, do some shopping, have a bite to eat in one of its restaurants, or visit a number of important Colima City attractions, such as the Government Palace and the Colima Cathedral.
Walk to the next Plaza, the largest one, to check out the many colorful artistic shops. Here you’ll find some wonderful handcrafted souvenirs to commemorate your stay in Colima City. Many hotels are also located around this Plaza.
A third, smaller Plaza, is somewhat of a “people’s park” where you will see many native people hanging around visiting; here you can get an old-fashioned shoe shine, as well!
Colima City is known for its excellent museums and many are within walking distance of the downtown Plazas, such as the typical Mexican Museum of Regional History with its displays of pre-Hispanic pottery, and the interesting Museum of Popular Art with its cornucopia of ceramics, masks, hats, and costumes.
The Western Cultures Museum is just a short drive away from the city center and features archeological finds from throughout the state.
If you are interested in ancient ruins, be sure to visit the archeological sites of La Campana and El Chanal located just north of town. The sites are smaller than some others in the state, but are worth a visit.
One of the attractions in Colima City, and probably one of the reasons it’s considered such a beautiful place, are its lovely parks. The Parque Regional Metropolitano is a great family place. It features a zoo, a wave swimming pool, a theatre, and a pretty lake. Here you can rent a boat and enjoy the water.
The legendary Parque Piedra Lisa is just east of the city’s center. Here you’ll find Colima City’s famous "slippery stone". Slide on down this stone and you’ll be fated to return to Colima City – that’s the legend, anyway!
If you are a nature-lover, check out some of the tours that are offered in Colima City, such as a bird- or butterfly-watching tour or a volcano tour.
There are also tours available from other cities to Colima City.
Colima City is a about an hour’s drive from the Pacific coast and worth every bit of your time; take a side-trip and spend a few days in this beautiful city filled with magnificent Plazas, stunning colonial architecture and monuments, and family parks!