Welcome to Comala, Pueblo Magico! Comala, known for its botanas, pan dulce, ponche', white buildings with red tile roofs, stunning view of Volcan de Colima, and wonderful ambience is one of Mexico's Pueblos Magicos - small cities noteworthy for their charm and character. The people are friendly, the pace leisurely, and the birding magnificent. In fact, the State of Colima and a small adjacent portion of the State of Jalisco is, along with the State of Oaxaca, one of Mexico's two most famous birding areas, attracting birders from around the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
Getting to Comala
The most convenient way to get to Comala is to fly into the Colima airport, which has daily flights to Mexico City. Taxi service can take you to Comala. Most travelers, however, fly into Guadalajara or Manzanillo since both have flights to select U.S. cities and the cost can be substantially less. The Manzanillo airport has shuttle available to Colima (about 100 U.S. dollars per person) or Barra de Navidad where bus transportation is available to Colima. From Guadalajara, take a taxi to the bus station and look for the bus to Colima. A first class bus is recommended.
Another option is car rental. Car rental in Mexico can be expensive even though quoted rates can appear quite cheap because they do not include insurance. Many credit cards advertise rental car insurance when the card is used, but check to see if this applies in Mexico. To eliminate any possible problem, many people get full walk-away-from-a-wreck coverage.
Comala Area Birding
You can enjoy rewarding birding just by hiking around Comala. It is a fairly compact town of about 8,000 people whose outskirts quickly become scattered housing and then agricultural and woodland areas. The best direction to go for more open agricultural areas and scrub is SSE on Corregidora Street. Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, orioles, and migrant sparrows are found here. For wooded habitat, walk ESE towards Nogueras along Degollado or the wooded road going past the El Fundador botana across from the Pemex for a chance to see Mexican Parrotlet, Orange-fronted Parakeet, Grayish Saltator, and Squirrel Cuckoo. Offering good opportunities to see Blue-black Grassquit and White-collared Seedeater is along Reforma as it heads down a long hill, crosses a stream, and heads back up and towards Nogueras. A little exploring can yield other productive locations.
If just walking around in town, be sure to check the main square's tall trees for Great Kiskadee, Social Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, and Rufous-backed Robin as well as warblers, tanagers, and orioles. Several bridges span deep wooded valleys that can offer views of Russet-crowned Motmot, Golden Vireo, Painted Bunting, and other species.
Remember that some of the species listed are northern migrants and present only during the winter months. However, summertime birding is also rewarding since it is breeding season for many of the birds. They are singing their best songs and showing off their finest plumages!
Getting around Comala
For those not having a rental car or personal transportation, several options exist. Hiring a taxi for half day trips to nearby areas can actually be less expensive than car rental. Taxis wait on the city square and you can negotiate a price with them. If your Spanish is limited, Miguel and Rosa at Hostel Casa Blanca can arrange one for you at a fair price. Mexico has an excellent bus system, and busses and "collectivos" or small busses provide regular service to Nogueras, El Becerrera near Laguna La Maria, and towns along the "Ruta Cafe" (see below) but, of course, busses cannot wait for you to jump out for a moment to check on a bird.