The definition of iconic is “something that is a representation of something else.” Colima’s iconic landmark is a volcano and fairly represents the State. There are actually two volcanoes but only one is recognized as the image that identifies Colima.
Everyday we see examples of iconic images that identify countries, cities, companies and more. They include buildings, natural landmarks, symbols, etc. Flags are examples of these images distinguishing countries.
When we think of or hear certain names, images comes to mind. The Eiffel Tower, Christ the Redeemer statue, Empire State Building, Pyramids and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Did you visually identify with any or all of these?
How about the Golden Gate Bridge, Big Ben, Taj Mahal, Peggy’s Cove, the Nike logo, Golden Arches?
No Duplication Here
Granted there are two volcanoes but just like many couples, one commands most or all of the attention. The Volcan de Colima is also known as the Volcán de Fuego. The second is named Nevado de Colima (Spanish pronounced: (ne bado de ko lima)
Volcan de Colima is the loudmouth in the group being an active volcano. Nevado on the other hand lies silently at rest 5 kilometers north of its partner. We’ve just recently heard about a third in this Colima Volcanic Complex, El Cántaro. It’s eroded and is forgotten to all but historians.
Interestingly, Volcan de Colima predominantly lies over the border in the State of Jalisco, home to Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta. It is located 125 km from Guadalajara, Mexico’s second most populated city.
Giving Colima the Cold Shoulder
This photo shows Nevado’s snowy peak, due in part to it being 500+ meters taller that its active neighbour. At over 4270 m, Nevado ranks as the 26th most prominent peak in North America. Other than this fact, few Colimese (residents of Colima) ever speak about the silent big brother!
Volcan de Colima on the other hand excites locals and is often a topic of discussion. This is especially true during an eruption or a snow covering. Eruptions have at times resulted in brief evacuations of the nearest towns. When covered in snow, folks head up to dip their hands in and throw a few snowballs. Hearing the squeals of the children as they do is pretty special.
Although shorter in stature, Volcan still gets snow seasonally. We’ve received phone calls from local friends right at sunrise alerting us to this exciting news. Not to kill their moment, we smile thinking that snow is exactly what we came to Colima to escape from.
Personification of Power
Volcan de Colima has erupted more than 44 times since the late 1500s. The largest eruption in several years occurred on May 24, 2005. An ash cloud rose to more than 3 km over the volcano. Satellite monitoring indicated a cloud spread over (200 km) west of the volcano.
Eruptions of note have occurred on November 21, 2014, July 10, 2015, September 25, 2016 and December 2016.
On Sunday, December 17, 2016, there were three eruptions. The biggest columns of ash reached 2 kilometers in height.
Colima experienced another strong explosion on January 18, 2017. The eruption spewed volcanic ash up to 4 km (13 123 feet) above the crater.
Designated a “Decade Volcano”
Our Mexican friends have great pride in their State’s landmark. Although it’s an active volcano, they express few concerns.
Even those who live 15 km away in the Town of Comala view the Volcan with a source of pride. It’s the most dangerous volcano in Mexico with a population estimated at 300,000 within a distance of 40 kms.
In light of its history of large eruptions and location in a densely populated area, Volcan was designated a Decade Volcano, singling it out for study. There are 16 such designated volcanoes worldwide including Northwest USA’s Mount Ranier and the Pacific’s Mauna Loa. Others include Etna, Santorini and Vesuvius.
Award Winning Photographer Chronicles Volcan de Colima
Sergio Tapiro was born on the 1st of April, 1971. Sr Tapiro was born in Colima, Mexico. He became interested in volcanoes while reading books as a child. He embarked on his volcano photography project in 2002.
His photo of a lightning bolt striking the Volcan de Colima as it erupted earned National Geographic’s “2017 Travel Photographer of the Year honors.“
Sergio is a Nature photographer who has won photography contests held by National Geographic, World Press Photo and more. His work has been used by some of the world’s top media companies, including CNN, AP and others.
Colima’s Iconic Landmark is a Chameleon
Colima’s iconic landmark can appear differently on any given day or may not appear at all! Every time we get near the capital city we’re excited to see what the volcano will look like. As we approach the last hill that leads down to the city we get our first view. On the days it’s clearly visible, we get a jolt of excitement and pride. Pretty good considering that we’re just pretend Colimese! When Volcan is partially or completely shrouded in cloud, it’s disappointing.
The following photos demonstrate the many faces of this amazing and intriguing natural artifact. It’s no surprise that we, like the Colimese, are all fascinated by it.
As we’ve often mentioned, Concierto Resorts residents’ roadtrips around the State will be a regualr occurence. The area near the Volcan will be one of the first and probably one of the most repeated trips.
This entire area offers so much, that it’s very likely many of the trips will be 2 days or more. Hiking, golfing, volunteering, painting, architecture, photography, cuisine, camping and fresh water fishing are just some of the great opportunities.
Whatever the excursion, one thing’s for sure, just look up and Volcan de Colima will be looking back!!
We at Concierto Resorts wish you and your family our best wishes for great health and happiness in these very difficult times!
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