Magical Towns in Mexico: Comala
It is not author Juan Rulfo’s literary Comala, and that’s good because instead of desolate houses and ghosts crossing arid wasteland, the town of Comala in Colima overflows with vegetation, energy and open arms to welcome visitors. What makes it so special?
Comala, “place of comales” (clay griddles to make or heat tortillas) in Náhuatl, is just 5 miles from the Colima state capital. In 1988, it was declared a Historic Monument Zone, and it has been one of Mexico’s Magical Towns since 2002.
Wander along its narrow streets, and have an ice cream in the plaza. Be sure and see the San Miguel Arcángel Parish Church, a neoclassic structure near the Municipal Government building.
Another place to visit is the former Las Nogueras Hacienda. The 17th-century building now houses a museum.
The surroundings are a paradise for fishing and communing with nature. Eleven miles to the north is Carrizalillo Lake, a great place for black bass fishing, and nearly 14 miles from town La María Lake is another perfect spot for sport fishing.
At El Remate, Colima’s first hydroelectric plant, you can go boating and even camping.
The best-known local handicrafts are fine woodcarvings, mainly mahogany and elephant ear wood. Others are masks worn for traditional dances, woven palm hats, chiquihuites (baskets) and comales (tortilla griddles). Check them out in Suchitlán, a town ten minutes from Comala.
And of course, we mustn’t forget gastronomy. You can’t leave here without having a bate, a thick beverage made of chán seeds and served with unrefined piloncillo syrup. Other drinks include ponche with mezcal, liqueurs made of tamarind, blackberry, coconut, guayabilla (in the guava family) and many others.
Having one of these drinks while enjoying crispy tostadas with ceviche or an order of flautas entomatadas (fried stuffed tortilla rolls served in tomato salsa) is the ultimate.
Comala is a place that revives the most other-worldly soul, a town you shouldn’t miss when you’re in Colima.
When are you going there?