Pueblos Magicos: Comala, Colima is One of Mexico’s Magical Villages
About 4,000 years ago the Volcán de Fuego (Volcano of Fire) in Mexico erupted and formed a cataclysmic avalanche much larger than that of Mount St. Helen’s. Fast forward to present day and in the shadows of this massive volcano you will find the magical village of Comala. This picturesque town is distinguished by its cobble stone streets, white walls, red roofs and historical downtown square which was named a Historical Monument Area in 1988.
The Volcán de Fuego is Mexico’s most active volcano and a major attraction for hikers and adventure seekers looking to get close to the crater. As a result of the altitude and volcanic soil, this area is home to several coffee, banana, mango, sugar cane, tamarind, and corn plantations, and produces Mexico’s finest coffee. The plantations offer tours where visitors learn about coffee growing and making, and are able to taste a variety of the region’s coffees. Other popular activates in the area include camping, fishing and horseback riding near the lakes of Carrizalillo and La María.
One of the towns trademarks is one of its traditional crafts, the hand carved Suchitlán masks. Dancers use these brightly colored animal masks across the state of Colima in seasonal celebrations such as Easter and Christmas.
Comala was the setting for the book Pedro Parámo by Juan Rulfo, a book that in 1955 defined a new style of writing in Mexico. The novel is a story of a son’s search for identity and retribution as the protagonist, Juan Preciado, returns to Comala after the death of his mother in order to find his father. In the book, Jose expects to arrive to Comala and find the lively and thriving town he remembered, but instead finds that it has become a ghost town. The book is considered to be Rulfo’s first work of magical realism, a style that notes the juxtaposition of the surreal to the mundane.
The Pueblos Magicos program identifies towns that reflect “the culture of Mexico” through attributes like architecture, traditions, customs, music, gastronomy, festivities and handcrafts. There are currently 52 destinations throughout Mexico that have earned the Pueblos Magicos classification.