A weekend in Comala: from traditional folklore to sustainable luxury
January 7, 2020
On the foothills of Fuego volcano lies Comala, a town known as the “Pueblo Blanco de América” (White Town of America) because of its tall white facades and warm red roofs. Located only 6 km from the capital city of Colima and 45 minutes from the beach, it offers a unique taste of Mexican culture.
You can feel the magic of Comala from the very first moment you step on its plaza. It is easy to imagine why the famous Mexican author Juan Rulfo chose this town to be the scenario of his novel “Pedro Paramo.” The most significant difference: while in the novella depicts a gray and cloudy village, in reality, the sky is the purest blue.
What to see
Comala’s colonial streets are a feast to the eyes. As you walk the cobbled paths of Valle Alto (the city center), you’ll feel the Spanish influence on its wide patios. An unmissable piece of architecture is the Iglesia Parroquial de San Miguel Arcángel, a neoclassic church from 1884. Don’t forget to stop and enjoy the display of the local artisans’ crafts: comales, sombreros de Palma (hats), baskets made of otate and carrizo, wood maks and chiquihuites. Warning: you’ll want to bring all of it back home.
On your wandering through Comala, you’ll come across a statue of a man sitting on a white bench. Who is he? Juan Rulfo, the man who transformed this local secret into an international literary phenomenon.
Must-try food in Comala
Nothing speaks more about a place than its culinary culture, and we promise Comala’s kitchens to have a lot to tell you. Sit down at the plaza, and share some traditional “botanas” (which some compare to the Spanish tapas). Don’t forget to try the spicy “tatemado,” a mix of pork, three types of chile, and spices. This traditional dish gets its name from the Nahuatl word “taterar,” which means to toast/put in the fire. Pair your meal with a cold beer, or with “Ponche,” a drink made of mezcal, tuxca, and fruits such as guava, pomegranate, tamarind peanuts, and pineapple. You can also try “bate”, an artisanal drink made with a wild herb called “chan.” This drink is not only refreshing but useful for digestion.
Where to stay
Rest in a 120-year-old estate set at the foot of a volcano and surrounded by a 5,000-acre nature reserve. Just 20 minutes away from historic Comala lies Hacienda San Antonio, a luxury hotel that offers the best of local traditions with a sustainable spin. The history of this private estate is rich. It has transformed from a coffee plantation whose coffee was served in the New York Waldorf Astoria to the ultimate lavish retreat. Enjoy revitalizing massages, private picnics, and cozy nights spent over crackling chimney fires. At Hacienda San Antonio, rest and comfort blend into the perfect winter holiday.
If you wish, the staff at Hacienda San Antonio can help you organize a day trip to Comala. Now you will only have to worry about discovering all the secrets hidden in this quaint Mexican town.
Go off the beaten path and live an adventure full of delicious food, nature, and culture in Comala.