Mexico Connect
Forums  > Areas > Central Pacific Region


Ron Jackson

Jun 2, 2006, 12:41 PM

Post #1 of 23 (5066 views)

Shortcut

Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
Have just read an old post on the town of Comala and then a connection to an area where there's a lake, boats, cost a few pesos to get in, called La Maria. Can anyone give me more info on these areas? How far are they from Colima and could you travel round trip to these from Ajijic in a day trip? Also any special things to see on a trip to Colima? Do you have to pass Colima to see some good views of the Volcano? Appreciate any info you can give.

[spelling of town name edited]


(This post was edited by tonyburton on Jun 2, 2006, 1:20 PM)



Bubba

Jun 2, 2006, 1:41 PM

Post #2 of 23 (5054 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Ron Jackson] Towns of Camala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
Ron:

The town is Comala. The Lake at La Maria is a small fish pond which is OK but not particularly attractive.

The nicest thing about his area is the volcano which is magnificent . Comala is quite attractive as is Colima. It´s too hot there but it sho is nice.


esperanza

Jun 2, 2006, 2:55 PM

Post #3 of 23 (5041 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Bubba] Towns of Camala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
And yes indeed, you could easily visit the town of Comala, the restful, gorgeious Lago Santa María, and the Volcán del Fuego on a day trip from Ajijic. However, it's really nice to stay overnight in Comala.

http://www.tomzap.com/comala.html

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









wendy devlin

Jun 2, 2006, 4:18 PM

Post #4 of 23 (5026 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Ron Jackson] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
   
Comala now has at least two B & B's, Casa Alvarez(sp?) and another one. The town is small. At La Laguna de La Maria there are pleasant eco-lodge style cabins for rent in the ejido-run, recreation and camping site.

Arbon and I once camped for a week at La Maria. The campground beside the lake was very rustic but had concrete rain shelters, picnic tables and a fire grate for each spot.

There was a baño and running water. We camped in our van, especially camperized for this kind of situation and we always bring our own potable water and basic food supply. The office however did have lonchas, refrescos, cervezas, helados etc. for sale in small quantities.

The spot gets quite busy during the day, with day-trippers but around dark, generally everyone disappeared.

Leaving us alone with the birds and the bees, the flowers and the trees:)
And a few horses.

People like to try fishing as the lake seems to be teeming with small fish. Perhaps there are better row-boats available now but when we camped there, there was just one rather leaky old row-boat.

An organic coffee plantation carpets the steep slope arising from the lake. There were several well-marked hiking trails to the ridge above. There are short tunnels through the lava which locals told me are not man-made but natural.

I'm very fond of visiting that area in general and we have many friends and family who live in the general area.

While in Comala you might like to visit the museum and other articles linked below.

http://www.mexconnected.com/...evlin/wdcolima2.html


Don


Jun 2, 2006, 8:28 PM

Post #5 of 23 (4998 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Ron Jackson] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
You can get some good views of Volcan Colima on the toll road to Colima, Colima. The Volcan Colima is in the state of Jalisco, right on the Colima/Jalisco border. Comala is a very short drive from Colima, Colima. You can easliy make the trip in one day from Ajijic, but recommend you you stay over night and spend some time checking out the areas of Comala and Colima, Colima. I really like the area and would be living there, if it were not so hot.


(This post was edited by Don on Jun 2, 2006, 8:30 PM)


wendy devlin

Jun 3, 2006, 6:23 AM

Post #6 of 23 (4971 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Ron Jackson] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
Adding a bit more to my post above.

The water in both small lakes, La Maria and Carrizalilo is NOT imho swimmeable.

There are however other places by rivers in Colima where you pay a small fee to 'picnic' (shelters, shelters, chairs, bbq grills provided) and can swim, sport and play in the water.

And other informal places.


nfabq

Jun 15, 2006, 8:02 PM

Post #7 of 23 (4871 views)

Shortcut

Re: [wendy devlin] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
Hi:
I'm thinking of exploring the possibility of retiring to the Colima-Comala area and I've read all the articles I can find on the area,including all of your most helpfull articles, Wendy.I find,however,that I still don't know anything about what it's like to live,rather than just visit,there.

I know it's very beautiful, very hot and a good idea to be proficient in Spanish,but I don't have any idea about:
1-What's medical and dental care like?
2-What about housing? Are there houses and apartments available? Are prices reasonable or expensive? What are the various different communities like?
3- What's the cost of living like?
4- Are expats welcome?
5- Is there a small community of expats there?
6- Is there decent shopping?
I'm certain there are other important concerns I'm not thinking of and I'd welcome comments on any that knowledgeable people can add, as well as responses to my questions.Thank you in advance.

Norm


wendy devlin

Jun 16, 2006, 11:03 AM

Post #8 of 23 (4833 views)

Shortcut

Re: [nfabq] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
Hola Norm,

Glad to hear that you enjoyed my articles. They are however over four years old.

My advice to the questions below might be somewhat dated. Don in Sayula has family and friends in Colima so he's more likely to have current info. However I'll take a small stab at answering them.

Colima is a prosperous smaller city. As both a business and university center, it is thought by Mexicans to be a favorable place both to work and raise families. Hence there are many new subdivisions with homes geared in size, style and price at the middle class, being built all over the city.

1-What's medical and dental care like?
There are both small private hospitals and a public regional teaching hospital run by the University of Colima. There is a range of modern medical services. As mentioned above professionals with families are attracted to living and working in the city. And many of these professionals will speak some if not proficient English. Manzanillo has a modern American style hospital as well.

2-What about housing? Are there houses and apartments available? Are prices reasonable or expensive?

For some reasons, some people seem to find it difficult to generally find houses and apartments to rent. You probably have to be on the ground, net-working to find something appropriate. Looking at ads in the paper etc. Asking at the real estate or property managing outfits.


3) What are the various different communities like?
This is a big question that I won't attempt to answer. Basically in my opinion, it would depend on what kind of person you are, and what kind of persons you want to be around.

3- What's the cost of living like?
Would say moderate...as opposed to 'cheap' or expensive...but it would likely depend on how your lifestyle and desire for amenities.

4- Are expats welcome?
It's a Mexican city going about its Mexican business. However as an international study center people seem generally hospitable to foreigners. How relationships would be if you moved in next door, inmho you just have to find out things like that for yourself. It's not a place trying to attract gringos to live there, as more than enough Mexicans are relocating there from other places in the country.

5- Is there a small community of expats there?
During extended stays there, I met a few expats from different places in the world. There did not seem to be any place where expats congregated. There are however plenty of culture events going on through the city and state all through the year. And these can tend to be quite social events.

Although Germans tended to know the other Germans I met. When I asked how many German expats there were in the city, people gave me the same estimated numbers;)

Americans tended to know or know of other Americans etc. People with interests in the arts knew others interested in the same. NGO people knew other NGO people etc.


6- Is there decent shopping?
Again it's a modern city with well-equipped shopping centers and malls.

Heat and humidity are high during the summer months. The nearby Volcan de Fuego is one of the world's most active volcanoes and the area is rocked gently and occasionally violently by earthquakes. Three years ago there was considerable dammage done to sections of the centro and houses also tumbled down in some pueblos in countryside with some loss of life.

It's a lush and seismically active type of place.


nfabq

Jun 16, 2006, 7:43 PM

Post #9 of 23 (4808 views)

Shortcut

Re: [wendy devlin] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
Muchisimos gracias, Wendy. You've certainly given me a start and I am very appreciative. I hope we'll be able to visit this summer so we can experience the worst of the weather for ourselves. We live in very dry Albuquerque,NM so we need to find out how we do with high humidity.

Don in Sayula, I hope you pitch in and add your knowledge and experience to this discussion.

Thanks again,Wendy.
Norm


Don


Jun 16, 2006, 8:41 PM

Post #10 of 23 (4798 views)

Shortcut

Re: [nfabq] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
I really can't add too much. I live about half way between Guadalajara and Colima, Colima. When I need some major shopping, I prefer Colima, Colima. Less traffic and it is a very clean town. They have Sam's, Sorianna, City Club, Wal-mart, Sears, Office Depot and many many more.
They also have some great restaurants. The town is really growing.
Can't really say much about housing, as I have never checked out prices. I do know they have some beautiful houses and neighborhoods in town.
I have run into a few non-mexican English speakers in town, but not many. I have also run into some Mexicans that spoke English. Great dentists and doctors in town. My nephew is an excellent dentist, implant specialists and also is a doctor that specializes in facial surgery. About 15 years ago when I lived in the U.S. I had a non malignant tumor under my left ear. He insisted I have the surgery done in Colima. He wanted to make sure is was done correctly. I did and they performed a great job and my insurance company was thrilled when they saw the charges. They paid everything. I also go to the optomologist in Colima. He has the most modern equipment I have ever seen and his office was like a mansion. I thought his fees would be very high, but they were very reasonable. I later found out his family was very, very rich. Therefore he had great schooling and bought the best equipment available. There are exchange students from Canada living in Colima. My nephew used to have some live in his home. He had several female students live in his house over the years and his daughters help them with Spanish and they helped his daughters with English. The daughters were the same age as the exchange students.
As I have said before, I probably would live in Colima, Colima if it were not for the hot weather. I also really like my town of Sayula and the people living here. It would be a difficult decision for me.


(This post was edited by Don on Jun 16, 2006, 9:04 PM)


Bloviator

Jun 17, 2006, 11:43 AM

Post #11 of 23 (4767 views)

Shortcut

Re: [nfabq] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
It's amazing how often when I need an answer to some question, the forum has the answer already on hand in recent discussion. My sister is coming to visit in a week and just told me that she wants to visit Colima, She is particularly interested in the pyramids. How do we get there? Can anyone recommend a good hotel for the night, preferably one that accepts pets? The restaurant we should visit if we are there for only one night?

I know I always tell people to look it up because its been covered previously. I should do the same, but I'm lazy and my excuse is that I want really up to date information. Besides, do as I say, not as I do.


Bloviator

Jun 18, 2006, 12:19 PM

Post #12 of 23 (4734 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dlyman6500] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
Since I got no response, I did the unthinkable, I looked up my questions from past postings. Found a great hotel and what sounds like a very nice restaurant. However, I found nothing about pyramids. My sister says she wants to see the Colima pyramids. Are there any Colima pyramids or is this some figment of her imagination?


Don


Jun 18, 2006, 12:42 PM

Post #13 of 23 (4731 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dlyman6500] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
There are pyramids in Colima. I believe they are located in the city not to far from Wal-Mart. I have never been there to see them, but I understand they are small and unlike the larger pyramids found in Mexico.

Check out this site:
http://www.colimamagic.com/id27.html


(This post was edited by Don on Jun 18, 2006, 12:47 PM)


Bloviator

Jun 19, 2006, 5:44 AM

Post #14 of 23 (4699 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Don] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
Oh, Oh. A problem. My sister made it very clear that she did not want to visit WalMart or even Costco. Hope the pyramids aren't too close to WalMart.

But thanks for the reply. Incidentally much of the information that I gathered from past postings was from you originally. You are a real gem for anyone wanting to know about Sayula, a beautiful town, or Colima.


wendy devlin

Jun 20, 2006, 3:13 PM

Post #15 of 23 (4649 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dlyman6500] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
Follow-up to the query about ruin sites:

Colima City's two archeological zones, La Campana and El Chanal, are located an easy cab or bus ride on the north edge of town.

La Campana, "The Lookout" extends over approximately 120 square acres. The restored structures cover only about a tenth of that area. The main monument, the Adoritorio Central is a fifteen-foot (five-meter) square-based platform, composed of river stones. A pair of secondary rectangular platform complexes flanks the Adoritorio.

Compared to other archeological zones in the country, some people may be less then impressed. To an archeology nut, like myself:)
they are interesting and thought-provoking.

IF a visit to these archeology zones is perhaps combined with also visiting the local museums that house artifacts recovered from these or other similiar sites, it provides background to the prehispanic culture.

The Western Cultures Museum and the Museo at the Hacienda de Nogueras spring to mind here.

Less is perhaps generally known about the ancient people in this area then other parts of Mexico. However there's evidence that in this verdant and benevolent part of Mexico, people have been living a very long time.

And when you look at some of the statues and several styles of pottery in the museums, it's easy to imagine some ancient cross-cultural fertilization with ancient China. Although if any scholar wants to discount or support that premise, I'm all ears:)


Bloviator

Jul 1, 2006, 3:52 PM

Post #16 of 23 (4586 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dlyman6500] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
  
We just got back from our visit to Colima, which is at present a really beautiful sweatbox - 100 degrees and humid. Spent time in the Comala plaza listening to lots of really nice off key music and wishing that the Ajijic plaza was as charming, especially now that Armandos II has moved.

On the way back, we found a huge roadside restaurant that was packed. We decided to eat there. It was something with which I am not familiar, but it was great. You order a drink and you get a whole bunch of botanas. Another and a bunch more. One drink brought us more food than we could begin to eat, especially as some of it was somewhat suspect - weird looking ceviche. Some was great. The whole thing ran us a total of $97 pesos. I can see why it was packed with young Mexicans. The music was absolutely horrible and very loud, but added to the experience. One would not go there for a nice quiet philosophical discussion.

Although the weather was super hot, it was a wonderful day. We stayed at the hotel Los Ceballos (Thanks to the recommendation of Don and others). It is a great hotel - 250 years old (I don't believe that), right on the main plaza in Colima, air conditioned rooms (absolutely essential yesterday), and totally up-to-date and modern. Every single person we met on their staff was absolutely great. They endured my Spanish gracefully, gave us lots of good information, and provided superb service all for about $80 US per room - lots of lesser priced specials available.

We spent the evening at their outdoor restaurant drinking tequila (only a little), watching three absolutely gorgeous brides and their wedding parties at the Cathedral across the street, walking in the plaza watching the people, and generally enjoying the ambiance. There is something majic about sitting in a Mexican (or any other, I imagine) crowd on a hot steamy tropical night, listening to the quiet hum of the various conversations around you.

Colima is a wonderful town, though I will have to give a lot of consideration before going back there in the summer. The evening - above - made it worthwhile, but it really, really, really "hace much calor."

The pyramids are very much underrated. We visited both sites and found them as interesting as Tulum (If my ten year old remembrance of Tulum is accurate). They really shouldn't be called pyramids as they are town sites with little in the way of high structures. One dates from BC/AD and the other from about 1000/1400 AD. The truly amazing thing is the way the rock walls have endured for that length of time, with mortar intact.

Thanks to all of you who provided the insight to make this a wonderful experience for my family.


(This post was edited by dlyman6500 on Jul 1, 2006, 4:10 PM)


RickS


Jul 1, 2006, 8:26 PM

Post #17 of 23 (4565 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dlyman6500] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
Great post, Mr. L.!


wendy devlin

Jul 2, 2006, 8:09 AM

Post #18 of 23 (4534 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dlyman6500] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
Glad to hear that you and your family had a great, if hot, summer visit to Colima.

>On the way back, we found a huge roadside restaurant that was packed. We decided to eat there. It was something with which I am not familiar, but it was great. You order a drink and you get a whole bunch of botanas.

This a botanero...a place where people gather to drink and socialize. As long as you stay, paying for your drinks, liquor or soft drinks, the botanas(snacks) will flow.

In Colima, botaneros are traditional cantinas and a place to socialize in everyday life. However, most of the ones I have frequented, open sometime just after noon and close-up shop by 6-7 p.m.

People I know, and university and technical school students in particular, go to work/class in the am...party mid-afternoon...and back to school/work in the later p.m. You may be hard pressed to find places to dance or club in the evening.

In Colima, it's afternoon delight:)


nfabq

Jul 2, 2006, 10:29 PM

Post #19 of 23 (4505 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dlyman6500] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
Hi:
Your post stimulated me to compare actual temperature and humidity of Colima to that of Tepic from 6/26 thru 7/2 (today).I went to WeatherWunderground.com for my data and here are the figures:
Colima Tepic

Hi Lo Max Humidity Hi Lo Max Humidity
7/2 91 73 69% 92 67 94
7/1 96 73 83 92 68 94
6/30 99 75 89 95 64 94
6/29 90 73 89 95 67 94
6/28 97 71 78 93 68 94
6/27 98 73 94 89 65 70
6/26 91 73 100 91 66 94

If you look carefully at the chart,I think the only consistent differences you'll see is that Tepic has lower minimum temps,presumably at night,and higher max humidity on most days.Their high temperatures during the day are not significantly different. I also sampled identical dates of winter months and the pattern we see here didn't change.

Now, here's the problem these figures present to me: I have read many times that Colima is Very Hot and Humid--too hot and humid for many to live there, altho it is very beautiful and desirable in other ways.I have never read that anyone thought Tepic is too hot and humid.

Can you help me understand my dilemma? Thanks
Sorry, they wont allow me to separate figures in chart.
Norm


(This post was edited by nfabq on Jul 2, 2006, 10:50 PM)


Bloviator

Jul 3, 2006, 5:07 AM

Post #20 of 23 (4493 views)

Shortcut

Re: [nfabq] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
That's interesting. A little over a month ago, I started a thread about Tepic. It got a lot of responses. Not one mentioned the temperature and humidity, though several mentioned the air pollution at several times during the year.

I assumed that the temperature and humidity of Tepic and Colima are similar, though perhaps there is more breeze coming up from the coast to Tepic. That may be wrong as, thinking about it, there is a range of mountains cutting Tepic off from the coast fairly near to Tepic, just as there is for Colima. Both are about the same distance from the ocean and both are about the same elevation?? Of course Tepic is further north, but an insignificant amount.

When I started the Tepic discussion, I threatened to start a Colima discussion later. I sort of did so in a backdoor way with my posting of our visit to Colima. I may still try to get a real discussion going as to Colima soon, though my interests now are highland cities with good Spanish language schools.


wendy devlin

Jul 4, 2006, 6:18 AM

Post #21 of 23 (4450 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dlyman6500] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
The difference between a life lived at 75% Humidity and 94% Humidity...
the later might be difficult to tolerate without...air conditioning.

Then think electrical bill.

Perhaps think...how people find living in coastal places like Mazátlan, which is just down below.

Daughter lived through two summers near Colima City sans air conditioning.
Most people do.

However she found it necessary to take cold showers several times a day in order to stay cool. And stay in the shade most of the afternoon.

I stayed there during some days in August. However a large electrical storm/deluge happened during that period and refreshed(recharged) or done whatever those storms do:)

To lessen the heat and the humidity during that period.

However sometimes even in winter, Colima feels too hot and humid to me for maximum comfort. However I've lived most my life in the temperate Pacific North-west.


(This post was edited by wendy devlin on Jul 4, 2006, 6:19 AM)


nfabq

Jul 4, 2006, 10:27 PM

Post #22 of 23 (4417 views)

Shortcut

Re: [wendy devlin] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
Wendy,I'm afraid you missed the point of the chart altho I admit that may be easy to do considering that the forum's program didn't permit me to separate the columns so they could be easily read.

The chart does not suggest it is not hot and humid in Colima.What it does say is:
1-On 6 of the 7 days the humidity in Tepic was 94%.Only on 1 day was it less,70%.
2-In Colima it was 94% one day and 100% one day.On the other 5 days it was less
than 94%.
3-a) Max.temp.in Colima was 4 degrees hotter than Tepic 3days of the week.
b) On 1 day Tepic was 1 degree hotter tha Colima.
c) On 1 day the max temp in both cities was the same-91 degrees.
d) On 1 day Tepic's max temp was 5 degrees hotter than in Colima.
e) On 1 day Colima's max temp was 9 degrees hotter.
f) Tepic's lo temp overnite ranged 3 to 11 degrees cooler on all 7 nites.

If we can set aside the 1 day Colima was 9 degrees hotter,we see that Colima was a total of 12 degrees hotter over 3 days. Tepic was a total of 6 degrees hotter over 2 days and 1 day they had the same max,91 degrees.On 5 of the 7 days Tepic was more humid than Colima.So,again,setting aside the 1 day it was 9 degrees hotter (because it was an anomaly),can we agree there wasn't much difference between the two cities in the heat and humidity?

The question it leaves us with is: Why are people so much more uncomfortable with the weather in Colima than they are in Tepic?

Norm


Bloviator

Jul 5, 2006, 4:59 AM

Post #23 of 23 (4409 views)

Shortcut

Re: [nfabq] Towns of Comala and lake area La Maria

Can't Post | Private Reply
If your information is correct, they probably aren't. People of Colima just whine about it a lot more. Or maybe, the fumes from the volcano effect them or the air pollution from the sugar production cause the people of Tepic to be immune to heat and humidity.

I'll have the definitive answer Saturday. After all, one day in each should be enough to solve the dilemma for you.

For the literal minded, I'm not being serious. The information was very interesting to me, particularly so as I will be in both cities within a week. It was one of the things that made me consider changing my travel plans for our trip NoB starting Friday - we're not making it a leisure meander through the saunas found along the way this time of year. We're buttoning down, cranking up the A/C to full maximum and driving through with minimum stops.
 
 
Search for (advanced search) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.4