Cold Beers, Leche Caliente and Smoking Volcanos – Comala, Mexico


The wonderful village of Comala, Mexico, about 10 miles (16 kms) outside of Colima, lies in the shadow of the smoking Colima Volcano and is home to two very unique drinking traditions: cold beers and hot snacks in the bars under the portales around the town’s central square and leche caliente, a morning tradition involving spiked hot milk fresh out of the cow. Of course we tried both.

The wonderful village of Comala just 10 miles outside of Colima lies in the shadow of theactive Volcán de Colima.

The wonderful village of Comala, Mexico lies in the shadow of the active Colima Volcano.

Cold beers in Comala

In the afternoon we enjoyed one of the bars around the town square in Comala noted for their endless tasty tapas that come free with (pricey) drinks. There we met Raphael and his siblings who were visiting their hometown from the US where they now live.

In the afternoon we sat around one of the bars around the town square in Comala noted for their endless tasty tapas with (pricey) drinks. There we met Raphael and his huge family who were from Washington, but were in town visiting family. They were also quite fond of Mariachi music. They adopted us and wouldn’t let us return to Colima and our hotel room because we HAD to experience Leche Caliente with them in the morning. it all sounded too good to pass up so we crashed on Mom’s floor.

Meeting Raphael and his siblings in Comala, Mexico as mariachis serenade us at one of the many bars under the portales around the main square.

Our new friends insisted that we HAD to experience leche caliente with them early the following morning and it all sounded too good to pass up so we crashed on their mother’s floor that night.

Early the next morning our new friends took us for leche caliente as promised. At dawn we drove to a small nearby dairy farm armed with the necessary ingredients: plastic cups, alcohol (clearly only the most generic kind will do), and a mix of ground up chocolate and sugar.

Only one thing was missing…

The next morning they took us for Leche Cliente as promised. At dawn we drove to a nearby farm with the necessary ingredients - alcohol (clearly only the most generic kind will o), and a mix of ground up chocolate & sugar.  Only one thing was missing…

The ingredients for leche caliente include alcohol, a mix of ground up chocolate and sugar and one extra special ingredient…

… and the final ingedient, udderly fresh milk. Fist time we ever had (unpasturized) milk straight from the cow and it was great. Breakfast of champions.

…udderly fresh milk. Here, Eric fills his leche caliente cup the traditional way.

Making leche caliente in Comala

First you put a few spoonfulls of the ground chocolate and sugar mixture in the bottom of your cup then you fill it up with fresh milk straight from the cow. This was the first time we’d ever had unpasturized milk straight from the cow (though it’s common in Mexico). Then you add a splash (or more) of the alcohol and you’ve got leche caliente, breakfast of champions!

We drove to Nevado de Colima National Park and climbed to over 12,200 feet to the top which afforded this view of the nearby, very active Volcan de Colima. From here we drove 3+ hours down to the coast. First time I’d ever ever descended over 12,000 feet (except by airplane) in a few hours.  Out of the ice chest and into the frying pan.

A hike up to 12,000 feet (3,650 meters) in Nevado de Colima National Park got us this view of the nearby, very active Colima Volcano.

Hiking in Nevado de  Colima National Park

The next day we drove to Nevado de Colima National Park and climbed to over 12,200 feet  (3.650 meters) to the top which afforded this view of the nearby, very active Colima Volcano.

From there we drove more than three hours down to the coast, descending over 12,000 feet which is the biggest one day drop in elevation we’ve ever had.

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