We left Chapala in the afternoon after the girls’s school let out. About 40 minutes after pulling away from Chapala on our road trip to Guatemala, I realized I had forgotten to pack our Melaleuca essential oil. UGH!! It is an oil I use often for cuts, sore throats, and skin irritations. I was bummed—but losing 1 hour and 20 minutes turning around was not an option. I would have to wait nearly 2 weeks until we arrived in Guatemala and our friend would be bringing down a large oil order for me! (I had other oils with us–just not that oft used one!)

Less than an hour later I realized I forgotten something even more important—my laptop charger!  Ahhhh!!!  There was no way we could go without a charger for my laptop (the main business computer) for more than a month, and finding a charger to purchase along our route would prove to be very difficult, if not impossible. Facing the possibility of losing 3 hours to turn around and retrieve it, the thought suddenly struck me that my husband’s laptop (he has a Dell, I have an HP) had an identical plugin. A quick check of the laptop and charger confirmed this was correct—we were saved!

We pulled into Colima later that evening and found a hotel the outskirts of town with some big-name American hotels lining the highway leading to their new big mall. Not wanting to pay the price of the big hotels, we were relived to find Los Mangos, a family-run hotel that was still a bit under construction. For about $400 pesos ($30) we found a comfortable and modern  room, that unfortunately didn’t have wifi available. No fear, we set up our Wifi antenna, and soon found an unsecured wifi signal available from the large hotel chain far down the street. We couldn’t even see their hotel from ours—but we could reach the signal! I’ll blog post about that secret little device sometime soon 🙂


The next morning we drove a short distance to the neighboring town of Comala, another little village on Mexico’s Magic Pueblo list. It’s a quaint little place without much going on, but it has a certain amount of charm that we enjoyed.  Comala, as well as Colima, is overshadowed  by the Volcano of Colima, a semi-active volcano .


We found a little eatery and ordered huevos divorciados (divorced eggs) and chilaquiles for breakfast. For a cheap price, it was very satisfying! Like Ajijic where we live, the roads in Comala are made of cobblestone, which makes for a bit of a bumpy ride…but adds to the authenticity and charm of this town. Every building in town is also painted white.

We stopped for breakfast at a little restaurant:

I find myself guilty of glancing into some people’s homes when they leave their doors open to the street. It fascinates me to see how different people live—some quite simply and others quite comfortably.


It was Ella’s birthday, and she had just turned 7. We gifted her one of our used digital cameras, and she was in heaven. We spent the morning taking photos of her taking photos.

On the way out of town, I convinced Jared to let us drive through Colima centro, so we could see what the downtown looked like. We have been through Colima several times, but only for quick stops for food, since it is a halfway point between Lake Chapala and some of our favorite Mexican beach towns like Melaque and Barra de Navidad.


When we started driving through the centro, we were pleasantly surprised to find colonial-style buildings and beautiful chapels. We parked and enjoyed the early afternoon walking around and enjoying the atmosphere.


Maiya didn’t enjoy all of the walking. And Ella, true-to-form, offered to carry Maiya for a brief period of time after we threatened to leave her behind (we wouldn’t). It never lasts long—but somehow Maiya always finds the motivation to walk after one of Ella’s pep-walks/carries.


I love the mix of old and restored buildings. This building has a bit of both.

Of course, no plaza is complete without a chapel or cathedral…

The plaza was bustling with activity, live performances, and lots of people generally just enjoying themselves.  The kids found a dirt playground to play in for a while, which mandated a quick rinsing of the feet in a public fountain. Have you ever done that?  We’re guilty.


Ethan was not too keen on taking a photo, but I think these kinds of photos show life as it really is!


We found a little walking/shopping street, and admired some of the ceramic crafts specific to this area. Mainly—laughing/dancing dogs.


A jazz performer played on the street…and after recognizing that he actually had musical talent (which I admit I am finding quite rare in Mexico…many performers lack pitch and skill), we had to contribute to his case. Maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s important to recognize talent and people trying to earn a dime through working on a skill. Have you ever seen the social project about the professional violinist playing in a downtown subway?  If not—you should watch this.


Colima impressed us. So much that Jared could not stop talking about the possibility of living there for the next two months! It has a little bit of everything—an old colonial centro, volcanoes and canyons for hiking, close proximity to the beach (30 minutes), modern businesses and an overall cleanliness and orderliness that we really like. Colima, Mexico is a gem, and may very well be a future top place for Americans to retire in Mexico—once it is discovered. If you’re considering making Colima your retirement haven, it’s worth exploring life insurance options for peace of mind. Read about life insurance bonus plans for executives at Affordable Life USA.

26 Responses to “Comala and Colima Mexico”

  1. Great review! Thanks so much! We will put this on our list for this winter!

    • Maria Galaviz says:

      Now that I retired I am planning to move to Colima and after reading your post I am more inclined to explore Comala the magic City what about stray dogs did you see many?. Thank you.

      • Stray dogs? No–didn’t cross our minds!

        • Cynthia and.Nina says:

          Yes is a lot stray dog in Colima,villa de Alvarez comala.we moved from Ca.and we sterilized 18 pets an we are helping a local shelter me and my wife.you are welcome to visit they are many dog in shelter we no help,is so sad.

          • Cynthia and.Nina says:

            We are looking for English speaking lfriends in Colima and comala la cofradia.we are in Colima.

          • Hi,Cinthya and Nina, I’m from Washington State for health reasons
            I’m planning to spend this winter in Colima. Are you mine tel me how I can rent a small place to live I’m love to walk around the neighborhood, and feel safe about. I’ll really appreciate the information, and I hope you stay in Mexico until I get there.
            Thank you!

    • Jessica Corona says:

      Hi I am Jessica from WA state. We are planning on moving to comala with 4 kids. My husband’s family is from there. I would love to connect with other English speakers in the area. Please feel free to email me. Jcorona509@gmail.com

  2. Judy HOLTZSCHER says:

    I’ve been trying to find. A shop where I Can order a statue (about 9″) of the dancing dogs. You mentioned in your delightful tour of sights and pics, that you’d been to a store. Can you get me info on ordering from them?

    I live in Illinois across from St. Louis, Mo.

    • The dancing dogs come from Colima, Mexico. You will likely want to look at Southwestern Stores online and do searches for dancing dogs. I don’t have a clue if the stores in Mexico sell these online!

  3. Maria and Steve says:

    We are considering moving to Colima, perhaps Comala, we enjoyed your review very much.
    We are a homeschool family with a 10 and a 12 year-old kids. Did you find open areas to play ball or run freely. We have visited many Mexican states and cities-towns and we always have the feeling that the “parks” are just to relax, sit down and enjoy an ice cream but not to play like a kid. Another possible destination is Ajijic, but we are concerned about children in the area, we think is more a retirement destination. Is it not? What kind of “after school” activities did you find? as homeschoolers, we are concerned about finding friends for the kids. Any advice you have will be greatly accepted. Don’t hesitate to contact me by e-mail.
    Maria from Princeton N.J.

    • Hi Maria,
      Thanks for your message. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you! Colima would certainly have park options of various sorts. It is hard to find great quality parks, admittedly, but it is a great city with a lot going for it–and I bet you’d find even a new park with new facilities somewhere in town. Comala is just next door and smaller and more village-like…but within easy driving distance of Colima for things such as that. Ajijic is popular with retirees, but also with young families. Ajijic has a ton of after school activities available like swimming, gymnastics, music, art, tae-kwan-do, etc. There is a decent mix of locals/Mexicans with expats and their children. I imagine Colima has some great after-school activities as well, but Ajijic is much more likely to have other expat families with children for you to connect to! I am not sure how many foreigners live in Colima–but if you’re looking for more local/Mexican friends–then it wouldn’t be a problem!

      Mexican parks in general are interesting. There is usually a large number of plazas, which is where kids often go to hang out and play while their parents sit around and watch. Sometimes this includes playgrounds–but more often than not–those are in other locations. They’re hit and miss! And yes, you should be able to find just plain soccer fields for the kids to get out and play in, as well. Their parks are not super fancy and US-standard…but typically there is land dedicated somewhere for the community.

      Let us know if you have any more questions! We love both of those cities!

    • Cynthia and.Nina says:

      María and steve Will you send your Email.we are in Colima,from CA.

  4. I loved and love your travel stories. I am glad you are still sending them out,even though you have settled (a little). I don’t know how to contact you but would really like to get the information on the a if I booster. My husband and I have been traveling quite a bit recently and would find that piece of equipment invaluable! Thanks for the help with that and the wonderful stories and pictures

  5. Hello, I’m from Colima, I read about the 9″ dancing dog statue someone is looking for, but I don’t think they make them that big, but probably, if you’re still looking for that, I can arrange for a “special edition” of the statue. My email is ivncorts@gmail.com phone number 312 1551947.

  6. I live in Colima 6 months a year. Originally from Canada. Colima is peacufull and very affordable. Many people from around world are moving here. I like living here.

    • I’m thinking of moving to Colima. Is it hard to find rental accommodation? Are some areas better to live in than others?
      Any info would be appreciated. Thanks

      • Hi Callie,
        I don’t think it will be too difficult for you to find rentals in Colima. I’m also sure there are some places that would be better to live in others…as that is the case anywhere you live in the world! There are other expats in the area, and your best resource may be searching online for Colima Expat forums, etc. I’m sure they would be able to lend you a great deal of assistance in your search! Good luck, and I hope you make the move and love Colima/Mexico!

      • Cynthia and.Nina says:

        Malcolm lets meet we are in colima,from CA how about if we meet in starbucks colima.

  7. I just found your site! We are from Logan, Utah, and have spent every other summer for the past 9 years with our four kids volunteering in the mountains of Colima- just a few minutes up the road from Comala. If you are ever in the neighborhood again, and would like a fun volunteer experience, please look up Project Amigo. http://www.projectamigo.org/ I would love to tell you more about it!

  8. My wife and I happened by Colima in January, 2016.We had been in Mexico City and Guadalajara and found them too cold crowded. I read somewhere about Colima,not recommended as a place for tourists. My kind of town. We wound up at the Montoi Resort Hotel. A Small hotel off the main streets with extra large rooms with huge terraces. Our room over-looked a restaurant and pool – garden area. Next door there was a complete fitness center with another pool, basketball and soccer courts, etc./day
    If you stay multiple days, the rate was $33/day. We stayed for 6 weeks. We had very good WiFi and cable TV w/ English channels. Additionally there was a Walmart 200yards away,down the street were many local shops and restaurants. A cab to the Mall was $1.50 (anywhere in town under $2)
    Best of all. The nicest people anywhere.
    We plan to go back next year.

  9. Trayce Foster says:

    I’ve greatly enjoyed reading the posts here as well as your travelogue. I’ve pretty much selected Colima as my retirement destination, full time and plan to purchase a property there. I’ve even found two that are very appealing. Right now I’m looking for an expat organization of some sort that might assist me in taking the next steps toward my property purchase. (I have contacted the listing agent in Spanish but he has not replied.) I won’t retire until 12/2017 and one of my questions is whether I might have a good chance of leasing the property during the year til I can move down. I’d like to see what pre-purchase tasks I should complete prior to arriving to look at properties. I plan to pay cash.

    If you’ve any suggestions I would be very appreciative!


    • Trayce we been living in colima for 1 year 7 months we move from California,we can took about good places around.Nina and Cindy.


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