The wonderful village of Comala, Mexico, about 10 miles (16 km) outside of Colima, the capital city of Colima state, lies in the shadow of the smoking Colima Volcano and is home to two very unique drinking traditions: cold beer in the bars that ring the town’s main plaza and leche caliente (hot milk) the morning after. Of course we tried both.
Cold beers in Comala
Comala, named a Pueblo Magico in 2002, is noted for its beauty and peacefulness but also for the unique bars around its central square which offer endless plates of tasty tapas that come free as long as you keep ordering their (slightly pricier) drinks. It’s an irresistible combination so we settled into a couple of chairs and prepared to spend the afternoon appreciating the charms of Comala.
That’s when we met Raphael and his siblings who were visiting their hometown from the US where they now live.
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 the floor in their mother’s house that night.
Hot milk in Comala
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…
Making leche caliente in Comala
First you put a few spoonfuls 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, 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!
Hiking in Nevado de Colima National Park
The next day we drove to Nevado de Colima National Park where you can go bird watching and even climb 12,595 foot (3,920 meter) Colima Volcano (aka Fuego de Colima) if it’s not being too active. We skipped the volcano but still managed to hike as high as 12,200 feet (3,650 meters) for fantastic views of the volcano puffing away in the distance.