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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Colima, Mexico
(Pronounced Coh-LEE-ma, MAY-hee-coh)
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Currency Conversion Site

The celebration of Christmas and Three Kings Day in Mexico was over when we began our 3 ˝ month adventure through Mexico and Central America. Starting slowly, our first day was an easy 4 hour journey from Chapala, Jalisco to Colima, the capitol of the State of Colima.

The state itself is located on the western side of Mexico on the Pacific coast and touches Jalisco on its north, west and east borders. On the southeast you will find the state of Michoacan.

 

For 300 Pesos our taxi picked us up at our front door in Chapala and drove us to the New Bus Station in Guadalajara where we purchased our tickets for 195 Pesos each directly to La Plaza de Jardin in the City of Colima. 

 

Our plans were to body surf down the pacific Coast of Mexico but since we had never spent time in Colima, it made sense to take a few days to scout it out.

 

Once we arrived we dropped 'the boys' off at the Plaza while my friend, Martha, and I searched the nearby area for hotels.

Almost every plaza in Mexico has a fountain and Billy is here enjoying the sound of fresh water splashing in the city.

 

After checking out several hotels, we decided on Hospedejas del Rey for 354 Pesos per night which gave us access to this swimming pool, WiFi in the room, and a view.

 

For January, Colima was much warmer than Chapala had been, and is known for its bonny weather. Wandering around the city that evening, it was comfortable enough to eat outside in one of the many restaurants on the plaza.

 

The city of Colima is charming, friendly and fresh. Here is another church and plazita. We find the many different styles of churches throughout Mexico to be intriguing.

 

Plenty of places to shop and the clean city seemed to be just big enough and just small enough to have the best of both worlds.

 

Cobblestone streets are common in Mexico and so is the wrought iron found over windows and doorways. In this manner one is able to open up large areas of the building without strangers walking through. It also discourages theft.

Tidy streets and blue skies.

 

This is another shot of the Plaza del Jardin, just down from our hotel. The green 'cages' are WiFi areas with desks and electrical plugs available.

What a beautiful outdoor office! Free Wifi in public areas was available throughout this adventure.

 

Here is another well-kept building in town. Beautiful wrought iron on balconies and downstairs windows with small globe lights dotting the structure in a pleasing pattern.

 

Not a lot of people on this bus!

We had our choice of seats and wide windows for the views. This is what we like to call the 'nickel tour.' For 6 Pesos we board a local bus from a familiar spot in the city without having a clue as to where it goes. Buses do a loop so you can get off where you got on. For very little dinero, we can have a tour of the surrounding area and see neighborhoods that otherwise would have been off the radar. In this case we were the only ones riding at this point.

 

Anyone could be an entrepreneur in Mexico. This man takes his restaurant to you! His wife made the food, and now he serves it up to his customers.  This arrangement allows the mother to stay at home with the children, and the family is still able to operate a business to have cash flow.

This setup is quite common in Mexico and his motorbike carries his entire fixings.

 

Here in Colima we are in the mountains of Mexico and kept hearing about the Suchitlan Coffee Plantation. Coffee is one of my favorite beverages, yet I had never seen how it was grown. I had no idea what to expect and we wanted to see first hand how a plantation was run.

We were told to go to the Red Bus Station and take a bus to Cofradia de Sutchitlan for just under 14 Pesos per person which leaves every ˝ an hour. The bus drives right through the Zona Magica of Comala, a place we were planning to eat lunch later on.

This is our bus riding through the narrow cobblestone streets of Comala.

 

We don't know why this area is called the Magic Zone, but a few years ago Presidente Vicente Fox declared Comala to be one of Mexico’s 20 magic towns. Apparently there are several places in the world where objects appear to defy gravity and roll uphill, and this is one such place.

One thing we knew for sure, there was something different about this town. And it took us a little while to figure it out.

Mexicans are known for loving brilliant colors and often paint their homes orange, fuscia, lime green, mustard yellow, cobalt blue... and in this town, Every. Thing. Was. White!

Even the Gazebo!

 

The Cathedral, the benches in the park, the wrought iron, archways... and even this truck!

 

As we wandered around the town we asked the locals how anyone could find each other's homes and businesses since every house on every street was painted white.

Normally, a Mexican will say 'My house is the orange one on Juarez' or 'Go left at the blue house to get to my street.'

Here in Comala, people say 'My house is next to Juanita's' or 'turn left at Jorge's and go three houses down.' It wasn't clear as to how one initially finds Juanita's or Jorge's house.... but it doesn't seem to be a problem with the locals. In fact, they were quite proud of this whitewashing tradition.

 

A coffee tree with coffee beans growing.

We were never told exactly where Cofradia de Suchitlan was located, only that it was across from the Bull Ring. Our bus left us off in the middle of a small town with no Bull Ring in sight. We weren't sure what we were going to do, but just before we were about to hire a taxi, a man offered to take us directly to the plantation in his truck. What great luck!

Arriving at the Colimotl Cafe Plantation, we were told that there were no workers yet, as it had been a very cold season. Even though we were right in the coffee growing time from January to April we would have to make peace with the fact that there would be no action to watch. Maria showed us the machines anyway and explained the process.

Coffee starts on the tree like the one above...

 

... and ends up here as roasted beans many, many steps later.

After our 'ghost' tour, we sat down and had a cup of espresso on the house. I bought a 250 gram bag of freshly ground coffee for 30 Pesos and took it home for enjoyment later on.

Dee-licious!

 

Back at the Zona Magica, we had lunch at one of these restaurants right on the main plaza. Comala, not to be confused with Colima, is famous for their food, and in this restaurant all the botanas were free if you purchased a beer. This is another popular tradition, so this is what we did.

 

We returned to Colima later on that afternoon - back to a world of familiar color!

Next time you are in Colima, contact Senor Portillo below to arrange a coffee tour. Be sure to ask if the machines are in operation.

Colimotl Cafe
Union de Ejidos
Jose Lopez Portillo
MVZ Fernando Diaz Lopez
312.39.5.4242 oficina
312.13.2.3165 celular

Our next stop is the black sand beaches of Cuyutlan

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

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