Bounded by aromatic coffee plantations and heavily protected biosphere reserves, the small dominion of Comala is truly charismatic in allure. Resting upon a small mountain outcrop beneath the staggering Volcan de Fuego (Volcano of Fire), the town affords heavenly views across five alternative protected territories – including the El Jabali wildlife conservation park. Listed as a “Pueblos Magicos” in 2002, few other additions since come anywhere near as close for natural wonders.
Labyrinthine cobble stone streets and a sprinkling of bold, colonial architecture defines the town to its core. Little less than 4 km North from the stately city of Colima, there is broad scope for comparisons between the mountain town and its burgeoning Southern sister. Colima is the oldest city within Mexico and as such, bears a great wealth of ancient buildings, nestled between neo-Classical villas and edgy, modern glass fronted office blocks. While the balance is a harmonious one, the feeling of being hemmed by concrete boundaries is still an obvious one. Not so with Comala – essentially a tranquil replication of the city, minus the evolution of modern architecture. Here the pace of life remains as it has done for nearly 500 years. Colonial pride remains strong, however the emerging Indian cultures also alludes to relaxed attitudes and a willingness to accept the town's multi-faceted history.
Comala's Historical Center, with its prominent domed Parish of San Miguel and curious portals into traditional bars was declared a “Zone of Historic Monuments” by presidential decree in 1998. The Central Plaza is overlooked by the Museo Alberto Isaac, Parroquia de San Miguel Archangel and a number of quaint tavernas set back from the square. Fountains decorate each corner of the bench-lined plaza, each replicating the domes of the grand Parroquia. The area has an unexpected air of tranquility and calm, although fringed by some of the busiest bars and restaurants in the town.
Tourism has greatly improved economy within Comala, particularly for local cuisine, however the town still retains its agricultural roots – the chief economy being that of the coffee plantations and harvests. The coffee plantations upon the Fuego Valley slopes have become some of the most visited in Mexico, largely due to the scenic vistas in the direction of Volcan de Fuego. Gentle plumes of spiraling smoke can often be seen billowing out from the volcano's crater on a clear day. Teeming with native species such as the chachalaca and opossums, the “Comala Las Huertas” biosphere reserve is an eye-opening experience. Blending the beauty of natural surroundings, with a town that offers a plenitude of cosmopolitan experiences, Comala wins over even the toughest city slicker with its charm!
Attractions & Things To Do in Comala
Juan Soriano Sculpture Gardens – a relatively modern open air installation of the artist Juan Soriano's permanent sculptures. Set back from the road at the entrance to Comala, the gardens can be visited year round and are open round the clock.
Casa de La Cultura Comala – the town's main exhibition hall and museum, housed within a 19th Century neo-Classical library. The museum is of great importance to local heritage, since it houses the main library, along with the Museo de Alberto Isaac – a prolific artist born in the area during the 19th Century. Open: Monday – Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm.