Welcome to Ajijic and Lake Chapala Retirement Area
We want to congratulate you for looking into Mexico's largest North American retirement community. As pioneers in real estate (1st one lakeside) and the publishing business, we have introduced many to our local idyllic scene. We feel this is what we do best, showing you what graceful and carefree retirement is all about. Let us share with you our excitement and knowledge on the lake area. Be among the many that have already begun a new and enjoyable life.
Lake Chapala, the Area Known as “Lakeside”
This area is known as “Lakeside” to residents from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and Europe, among other places, and “la ribera” to Mexicans. Due partly to the eclectic mixture, it has developed a continental Old World charm which blends smoothly with a distinctly Mexican ambiance.
Cobblestone streets, tile-roofed homes, riotously colorful gardens blooming year around, and incredible open-air markets and restaurants are common sights, backdropped by lush green mountains surrounding the lake. The hills are laced with flowering trees and plants, and accented by waterfalls, caves, petroglyphs, indigenous sacred sites, and a variety of hiking trails and places to explore.
Over 10,000 retirees call lakeside their home, call us, we can show you around!
Lake Chapala, the largest in the Mexican Republic, with 1112 km². The climate of the lagoon is tempered with rains in summer. The rains appear between the months of June and October. The coldest periods are from December to February. Most months it's a wonderful climate. A combination of tropical location, high altitude and a large body of water, produce a climate in the Lake Chapala area that is one of the best in the world.
Other prime retirement locations cannot come close to matching the climate in the Lake Chapala area. High humidity, searing summer heat, hurricane and tornado threats and miserable winters are all foreign to the lakeside. Temperatures are consistent year round. The sun shines all day almost every day. Consistently low humidity adds to the comfort level. The wind is very gentle or non-existent. Sunrises and sunsets vary only about an hour from winter to summer.
The Lake Chapala Community Orchestra and the Ajijic Society of Arts have created an event that combines the talents of local musicians and artists. During the summer many artists submitted examples of their work to the orchestra. Conductor Michael Reason then had the task of selecting music that contained the emotional content of the paintings or photographs. The result is that the selected music forms the concert and the artists form the art show. “We had a large number of artist’s submissions and we chose 9 of those to pair music with.” says Reason. The orchestra will perform works by Beethoven, Borodin and Tchaikovsky and local vocalist Abby Rivera will perform much loved songs including “Memory” and “The Look of Love”. In addition, the concert will feature the talented students of “Violines de Casa” coached by LCCO violinist Christopher Martin.
Examining the not-so-subtle behavior espoused by one of TV’s most enduring series, The Honeymooners.
Home of The Week
"View Home in Prestigious Las Salvias – Lots of Potential"
Ajijic’s must coveted neighbourhood, Las Salvias, is situated within walking distance to the village. Casa Rafaela is a very romantic and outstandingly solidly built home, consisting of a one bedroom/one bath, open plan kitchen, living and dining home with very high ceilings and generous south-facing terrace with sweeping views of lake and mountains on the street level, and a two bedroom/one bath casita below. A sweeping exterior stone stairway connects the two levels. The large mature garden allows for a swimming pool. The extensive lot size offers itself for additional buildings.
Monday in Chapala, Wednesday in Ajijic, Thursday in Jocotepec, the tianguis, or open street market, is a familiar weekly event at Lakeside. But did you ever wonder why these enterprising merchants and vendors get up so early and work so hard to set up their booths and displays for only a few hours one day of the week?
Business, of course. A social event, to be sure; a place to meet friends and neighbors and pass the time of day. But the tianguis is much more than that. Its roots go back to classical Aztec times and beyond to other peoples of ancient Mesoamerica.
The term Mesoamerica refers to a large cultural area extending from Tamaulipas, Mexico in the north to central Honduras and Costa Rica in the south. It is characterized by certain common cultural traditions and features, some of which go back as far as 2,000 B.C. One of the most important of these cultural traits was the “tianguis”, which in Nahuatl means “marketplace.” By extension this came to mean the buying and selling of goods on a fixed day of the week.
Ajijic is situated on a narrow strip of land between the mountains to the north and the Lake to the South. It is flanked by San Antonio Tlayacapan to the east and San Juan Cosala to the west. It is seven kilometers west of Chapala. Its average annual temperature is 19.9 degrees Centigrade "68F".
In 1522, the Spanish Olid Expedition reached the eastern shores of what is today called Lake Chapala. When it arrived, its leader, Captain Avalos, met with little resistance. A royal grant from the king of Spain gave joint ownership of the area to Avalos, who was a cousin of Hernan Cortez. Soon other cousins arrived, and one of them by the name of Saenz acquired almost all of the land that is now Ajijic.
By 1530, the Saenz property was one huge hacienda. The principal crop was mezcal, which was used in the making of tequila. The hills were covered with mezcal plants. Coffee and corn were also planted. Later, when a tequila distillery was built, the beverage was shipped, along with the coffee, back to Spain.
"Grasshoppers Over the Water" - Nahuatl "Very Wet Place" - Coca "Place Where the Pots Abound"- Nahuatl
Chapala is located on the north shore of Lake Chapala, 26 km. (16 mi.) east of the Lake's western end, and 42 km. (25 mi.) south of Guadalajara. It is the oldest, most populated, and the most easterly of a string of villages - Chapala, San Antonio Tlayacapan, Ajijic, San Juan Cosala and Jocopetec - known locally as Lakeside.
Its altitude is 1530 meters (5020 feet). Its average temperature is 19.9 degrees C (68 degrees F).
Founded in 1538, the town probably took its name from Chapalac, one of its earliest Indian chiefs. Or perhaps it came from the Mexican "Chapatla," the "place where pots abound," referring to the primitive Indian practice of appeasing the gods by throwing pots, spotted with blood from earlobes, into Lake Chapala.