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  • Countryside Ranches and rivers
  • Country life Pastoral pueblos

Small and volcanically formed, Colima is the legendary domain of Mexico’s gods, who gaze down from the skies at the sweeping valleys, vast, open ranches, and dense subtropical jungle.

Perched on the south-western Pacific coast of Mexico, little-known Colima is the third smallest state in the union, hemmed in by touristy Jalisco to the north and cultural Michoacán to the south. The southern tip of the Sierra Madre mountains cascades down into the state, creating dramatic gorges and rivers, and the skyline is dominated by two huge volcanoes, one dormant and one the most active in country, the volcán de fuego, which looms over the state capital Colima, sporadically puffing out spires of smoke into the deep blue Mexican sky. Apart from a few urban pockets, such as the state capital, Colima, and resort town Manzanillo, this is ranchers’ territory, where cowboys-turned-businessmen top sharp suits with ten-gallon hats, and vast ranches dominate the terrain – making horse riding one of the best ways to explore. Colima’s also one of Mexico’s most fertile regions, producing coffee, coconuts and a cornucopian collection of tropical fruit. Plus, with a landscape rich with rainforest and wildlife, it’s a haven for naturalists, eco-adventurers, and anyone who knows a modern day Eden when they see one.

Do go/Don’t go

The climate’s at its optimum (hot but not scorching or humid) and the festivals season’s in full flow between November and June, but September brings the rainy season and is best avoided.

Getting thereView map

  • Planes 12km outside the city of Colima, the dinky airport of Miguel de la Madrid receives daily Aeromar flights from Mexico City’s Benito Juarez. Sunset flights are highly recommended – secure a window seat and check out the stunning volcano views.
  • Trains Mexico is sparse on railway lines, but big on buses (try Uno – www.uno.com.mx). Flying, however, is the most efficient way to cover some of the bigger distances involved.
  • Automobiles Driving in Mexico is relatively easy and the roads are generally well maintained. However | venture far from the main highways and you’ll be in dirt track territory – rent a 4x4 if you intend to explore in depth. (www.alamo.com).
  • Taxis In Colima town, cabs are plentiful at the airport and around the bus station. In more far-flung places in the state, you’re best hiring a car, or arranging a driver through your hotel. To book a taxi in advance, call Radio Taxis de Colima y Villa de Álvarez on +52 312 311 4949.