The best time to be in Colima is on a clear winter day when the volcanoes in the Parque Nacional Nevado de Colima dominate the scenery to the north. Climbing them, while not that difficult, needs some planning. You can get a closer look, however, by spending an afternoon at COMALA, a tidy, quaint town, 10km north of Colima. Here, in the central plaza, you can sip a beer or margarita while enjoying a fantastic view of the mountains and listening to mariachi bands competing for your business. Four restaurants huddled together under the zócalo's southern portal each try to outdo the other by producing better botanas – plates of snacks, dips and tacos – free with drinks from noon until about 6pm. There's little to choose between them – the drinks are uniformly expensive (around M$20 for a beer or soft drink), but you can still get a fairly economical lunch. Friday and Saturday are the liveliest times, when you can mingle with day-tripping, predominantly middle-class Mexicans from Guadalajara; on Sundays and Mondays there are craft markets in the square. A thirty-minute stroll out of town, in the Centro Cultural Nogueras, is the Museo Alejandro Rangel Hidalgo (Tues– Fri 10am–2pm & 4pm–7pm, Sat & Sun 10am–5pm; M$20) which has an engaging display of the eponymous artist's work as well as pre-Hispanic artefacts from Hidalgo's personal collection. Known for his evocative book illustrations, he drew the pictures for the classic Mexican novel Pedro Páramo, which was written by his close friend Juan Rulfo and set in Comala. Hidalgo died in 2000 at the age of 73. Buses run frequently to Comala from Colima's Terminal Suburbana (every 15min; 20min; M$6).