Colima Mexico: Uncovering its Rich Culture and History

Although it is not very popular among travelers, Colima Mexico has it all: mountains, valleys, jungles, mangroves, beaches, lagoons, and estuaries.

In its landscape stand out the so-called twin volcanoes, the Volcán de Fuego de Colima and the Nevado de Colima.

The former is active, while the latter is an inactive volcano with a snow-capped summit.

The tourist sites of Colima are a sample of the countless attractions of this small Mexican state on the Pacific coast.

It combines its natural environment and its history, reflected in its colonial architecture and the archaeological zones of La Campana and El Chanal.

On the other hand, the capital city, Colima, houses the Minor Basilica Cathedral of 1525, several museums, and the Ecoparc Zoo.

While the Magical Town of Comala, with its white houses, offers visitors an array of colonial attractions.

Ecotourism is the state’s most significant potential, with 36 beaches, 23 water parks, and numerous parks and natural sites.

Special mention should be made of the Revillagigedo archipelago, a paradise of marine fauna and a World Natural Heritage Site.

Best things to do and see in Colima Mexico

colima mexico travel guide
Colima Cathedral and Main Square – Source: Angela N Perryman /

The state capital, Colima, is recognized as one of the cities with the best quality of life in Mexico and is located northeast of the state.

In its historic center is the Cathedral Basilica Menor dating from 1525.

Also, the house where Father Hidalgo lived, the place where President Benito Juarez stayed, and the Government Palace and the Hidalgo Theater are both from the 19th century.

Also worth a visit are the Andador Constitución, the Álvaro Obregón Market and the Ecoparc, a zoological park.

In front of the Cathedral is the Jardín de la Libertad, the old central plaza, the Regional Museum of History, the María Teresa Pomar University Museum of Popular Arts, and the Regional Museum of Western Cultures.

Visit the Archaeological Zones

vamonos to mexico
La Campana ruins – Source: Angela N Perryman /

On the city’s outskirts, you can visit the archeological zones of La Campana and El Chanal.

La Campana is an ancient settlement linked to the tradition of Tehuchitlán, with remains of administrative buildings, dwellings, temples, pyramids, tombs, and a ball game.

There are also several petroglyphs carved in plazas and courtyards.

The complex is estimated to date from 300 B.C. to 1500 A.D. and is located on the outskirts of Colima city, to the northwest.

El Chanal has stone foundations, altars, plazas, pyramidal structures, and a ball game court.

On the steps of one of the foundations are engraved reliefs of the gods Tlaloc and Ehecatl, estimated to date from 1300 BC to 1400 AD.

Visit the Magical Town of Comala

colima mexico
Source: Rubi Rodriguez Martinez /

Known as the “white town,” it possesses one of the most visited sites: a bronze statue of the writer Juan Rulfo in the town’s Central Garden, which depicts him sitting on a bench reading a story to a child.

There is also the Parish of San Miguel Arcangel and the former hacienda of Nogueras.

From Comala’s central plaza, the coffee bus will take you to the Coffee Route, and nearby is the Suchitlán Ravine, a beautiful natural site.

The Colima Volcanoes

colima mexico
Amazing mountain peak at Nevado de Colima Mexico – Source: Divisual Jo /

Colima, Mexico, is home to the Volcán de Fuego, which is active and reaches 3,960 meters above sea level.

It is possible to climb to its summit through the towns of Atentique and Yerbabuena.

There is also the Nevado de Colima Volcano, inactive, 4,260 meters above sea level, in which temperate and cold forests of pine and oak develop.

There are also pumas, white-tailed deer, peccaries, and other fauna.

El Real Beach

This gray sand beach overlooks the open sea, with deep waters and moderate waves.

Because it forms tube-like waves, making it an ideal beach for surfing.

On the other hand, its beautiful natural environment allows you to observe seabirds and participate in summer by releasing sea turtles.

Manzanillo Colima, Mexico

colima manzanillo mexico
Manzanillo Bay – Source: Andrew McCormick /

Manzanillo is a beautiful and quiet coastal city of white buildings surrounded by palm trees, where you can stroll along the boardwalk.

You can also visit the Museum of Shells and Snails and the Archundia Iguanarium.

In addition to seeing the emblematic monument of the Sailfish by sculptor Sebastian and visiting the nearby Cerro del Toro Park. Miramar Beach is also nearby.

Manzanillo Bay

This wide bay has several beaches with calm waters, such as Ventana, El Viejo, Las Coloradas, and San Pedrito.

Also, Playa Azul, Salagua, Las Brisas, Las Hadas, and La Escondida are super popular.

Santiago Bay

In this bay, you can enjoy nice beaches, such as Miramar, La Boquita, La Audiencia and Olas Altas.

On the other hand, there is the Mirador de Playa Santiago and the viewpoints of La Reina and Del Faro on La Audiencia beach to relax with the sunset.

You may want to read: Top 31 Beaches in Jalisco: The Very Best of the Mexican Pacific

Visit Villa de Alvarez

Villa de Alvarez is located northeast of the state, and in it, you can appreciate the work of artist Octavio Gonzalez, a bronze sculpture of horseback riding. It shows six life-size horses, 5 of them with riders’ cowboys.

Likewise, its surroundings offer several alternatives, such as the Agua Fría and Agua Dulce spas, the Museum Casa de Los Volcanes, the Laguna de Los Pastores, and the archaeological zone La Campana.

Explore Isla Navidad in Colima Mexico

colima mexico
The marina at Isla Navidad

This tourist complex includes a hotel with a golf course overlooking the sea, a marina, and a lagoon.

It is located on the border between the states of Colima and Jalisco, near the fishing village of Colimilla.

Activities such as sport fishing, scuba diving, kayaking, sailing, and water skiing are available.

Ixtlahuacan, Colima

In this municipality in the state’s southeast, you can enjoy nice water parks such as La Toma Aquatic Center, El Tanque de Laura, the Community Museum, and its water parks and gardens.

The Tombs of Tiro de Chamila, a fascinating archeological zone, is also here.

Nevado de Colima Mexico National Park

colima mexico
Source: Rubi Rodriguez Martinez /

As I mentioned, this national park includes the two most important mountains in the state, the Nevado de Colima Volcano and the Volcano of Fire.

The park protects extensive areas of pine, oak, oyamel, and other forests, as well as diverse fauna, including pumas and deer.

You can practice camping, mountaineering, climbing, biking, and many other activities in this park.

Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve

This reserve extends between the states of Colima and Jalisco to protect more than 13 types of vegetation.

The cloud forest is one of Mexico’s most diverse and unique ecosystems.

In its extension, there are more than 2,700 plants and more than 560 species of animals.

Therefore, it is ideal for ecotourism, camping, hiking trails, bird watching, and wildlife.

Lagoons and estuaries

colima mexico
Carrizalillos Lake near Colima, Mexico – Source: Angela N Perryman /

In the state of Colima, there are several parks, lagoons, and estuaries where you can enjoy nature.

Among them are Maria Lagoon Park, El Naranjal Lagoon, Amela Lagoon, Alcuzahue Lagoon, Cuyutlán Lagoon, and Palo Verde Estuary.

The Cuyutlán lagoon, near the sea, is the largest in the state, and the Estero de Palo Verde is part of its southern end.

You can take boat rides and visit the mangroves in these places, admiring their flora and fauna.

El Palapo Ecological Park

It is located in the community of Agua Zarca, municipality of Coquimatlán, and has an area of 11 hectares.

Here you can observe various fauna, including an aviary, serpentarium, and crocodile farm.

There is even a bat cave and exotic birds, monkeys, deer, and wild cats.

Carrizalillo Lagoon Ecotourism Center

It is located at the foot of the Volcano of Fire of Colima, where you can camp and rent horses to ride around.

There are also kayaks and boats to navigate the lagoon, and black bass fishing is practiced.

Its natural environment allows you to appreciate flora, fauna, deer, and various birds, such as the Raja de Ocóte.

Cuauhtemoc Colima Mexico

This municipality is located northeast of the state and is home to the Sugar Cane Museum and the Rice Museum.

It also has historic buildings like the Casa de la Cultura de Cuauhtemoc and the former Hacienda de Chiapa.

On the other hand, you can enjoy nature by visiting the Wayak Camp or climbing the Colima Volcano from Montitlán.

La Cumbre Ecological Park

You can enjoy La Cumbre Ecological Park in this beautiful place, located northeast of Colima.

There is a take-off runway for paragliding, hang gliding, zip line towers, and other extreme sports.

It is also ideal for hiking and visiting the Hermitage of the Immaculate Conception at the top, with the image of the Virgin at its peak.

Laguna La Colorada Crocodile Farm

La Colorada Lagoon is located in the coastal municipality of Tecoman, south of Colima.

There is a breeding and conservation center for crocodiles, which are kept in terrariums and free in the lagoon.

There is a population of approximately 250 crocodiles of various sizes.

In addition to learning about the breeding and conservation process and admiring these animals, you can also walk the trails and go bird-watching.

Enjoy the Coffee Route

colima mexico

Although Colima is not one of Mexico’s major coffee producers, the microclimate of the foothills of the Fire Volcano allows its cultivation.

Thus, the Coffee Tourist Route, which has a coffee bus, has been established in this state.

This route allows visitors to get to know the areas that produce this high-altitude coffee and a large part of Colima.

Starting from Comala, you can visit Zona Magica, La Nogalera, Estación de Café, Cofradía de Suchitlán, Los Colomos, El Remudadero, El Remate, Los Mezcales, and La Caja.

The Yerbabuena area is also a relevant coffee-growing area.

El Chupadero beach

colima mexico

This coastal site in Tecoman combines a beach with calm waters, an estuary, a mangrove forest, and an excellent restaurant with fresh seafood dishes.

You can also enjoy boat rides through the mangrove or diving, admiring the abundant fauna of the area.

There are several bird species and fish, deer, peccaries, caimans, and boas.

El Paraíso Beach

It is an open sea beach located 100 meters from the town of El Paraíso and is ideal for water sports such as windsurfing and surfing.

Several places offer typical food and drinks along the beach, the most famous being La Boquita.

In addition, awnings and chairs can be rented, and there are all kinds of services in the area.

Playa Oro

It is a quiet beach of fine sands and blue waters, with an extension of 12 km with scattered coconut trees.

The beach’s name is a consequence of the sinking in 1862 of the American ship Golden Gate, carrying a substantial cargo of gold.

On the other hand, it is possible to take a boat ride to the islet of Peña Blanca and observe aquatic birds.

Cuyutlán and the Ecological Center El Tortugario

This town is located between the lagoon of the same name and the beach, which has strong waves and fine sand.

It is interesting to visit the Salt Museum, where the entire process of obtaining this vital product is shown.

In addition, a few kilometers away is the El Tortugario Ecological Center, which is also a recreational camp.

In this center, three species of turtles that visit these beaches are studied and protected.

Iguanas and crocodiles can also be observed here and on the bird-watching trail.

Explore the San Gabriel Caves

These caves are located in the ejido of the same name and are accessed by stairs since the entrance is ground level.

It is a vertical descent to reach a cavern whose ceiling is 50 meters high and shows an infinity of stalactites and stalagmites.

I hope you enjoy Colima Mexico on your next visit. It is truly a wonderful place. Don’t forget to drink a refreshing tuba, Colima’s signature beverage.

Related Articles