Colima (kōlēˈmä) [key], state (1990 pop. 428,510), 2,010 sq mi (5,206 sq km), SW Mexico, on the Pacific Ocean. The capital is Colima; the port is Manzanillo. The second smallest in population and one of the smallest in area of the Mexican states, Colima is wedged between Jalisco, which nearly surrounds it, and Michoacán. It includes the islands of Revillagigedo off the coast. Most of the state lies within the cool highlands of the Sierra Madre Occidental. The active Colima Volcano, or Volcano of Fire (12,533 ft/3,820 m high), and the neighboring peak, Nevado de Colima (14,235 ft/4,339 m high), are just across the border in Jalisco.
Sugarcane, bananas, and tropical fruits, as well as some of Mexico's finest coffee, are Colima's primary agricultural products. Colima is also one of Mexico's largest iron-producing states; the ore is processed at Lázaro Cárdenas. Economic development has been hindered by inadequate communications, although tourism is being developed along the coast.
Once part of the ancient Aztec kingdom of Colima, the region was conquered by the Spanish in the 16th cent. Wars between conservative and liberal forces during the 19th cent. brought much fighting to the state.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.