Colima State, Mexico

The State of Colima lies on the central Pacific coast of Mexico. It is one of the smallest of the 32 Mexican States, at 2004 square miles. Colima is also the name of the capital of the State, a picturesque town that was the third city in Mexico founded by the Spanish after Vera Cruz and Mexico City following the Conquest. The area is off the major tourist routes, so the city and State of Colima very much retain the flavor of Old Mexico. However, as more and more travelers discover the charms of the region this situation will likely change.

Colima State is divided geographically into a northern and southern region, with the north being more mountainous and with a cooler climate, and the south being hotter and more humid along the Pacific coast.

Manzanillo, Colima, MexicoThe port city of Manzanillo on the Pacific coast is Colima State's premier tourist destination, with fantastic beaches and superb hotels and restaurants. Manzanillo also attracts sport fisherman and is known as the World Capital of the Sailfish. Marlin and many other species are also abundant in the waters off the coast, and Manzanillo is host to the Dorsey International Fishing Tournament every year. Snorkeling and scuba diving are also popular activities near the town.

Cuyutlan, about 20 miles east of Manzanillo, is another popular beach town. Cuyutlan is the surfing center of Colima due to a local phenomenon called "The Green Wave" in which high breaking waves up to two meters or more in height wash onto the beaches when the conditions are just right.

Comala, about six miles north of the capital of Colima, is another popular destination. This beautiful town of whitewashed buildings and quaint restaurants and shops is known for its handcrafts, painters, wrought iron work and furniture makers. Comala is a cultural center for the local indigenous Nahua people, and the two annual fiestas — Los Paspaques de Suchitlan y Comala, an indigenous celebration of maize held in March, and the Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe, held in December — offer visitors the true flavor and feel of the Mexican cultural experience.

From the standpoint of the traveler, a visit to the State of Colima boasts a little bit of everything without having many of the "touristy" excesses of other areas of Mexico's Pacific coast, and makes for an excellent introduction to Mexico as a destination.


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