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.
Música Para Crecer. The San Juan Children’s Orchestra and Chorus Annual Holiday Concert.
Five years ago a few community leaders in San Juan Cosalá began a music program intended to give disadvantaged, at-risk children a sure and safe path to young adulthood. The students studied hard, stayed off the streets, and devoted themselves to what they most loved—music. They have traveled to music festivals and camps, encountered children of other cultures, lived with them, and made music with them. The program has transformed not only individual lives but also the village itself. The San Juan Children’s Orchestra and Chorus (Música Para Crecer) now enriches the lives of 80 children from five to 18 years of age. It includes 20-year-old graduates of the program who assist as teachers. Their Open Circle concert features traditional Mexican, pop, classical, and Latin American music, with Daniel Medeles conducting.
As a nonprofit civic organization, Música Para Crecer is supported solely by governmental grants and private donations. Government support for the arts has been drastically reduced under the current administration, and the orchestra is looking for generous patrons and the backing of civic organizations and businesses to help guarantee their future. Open Circle has watched them from the very beginning and has adopted them into our hearts as though they were our own. Let us continue to relish their music and do our best to assure their future.
Judy Dykstra Brown interviews Kristina Trejo, a native of Mexico City, who’s father was a renowned Mexican poet and translator and who’s Anglo mother inspired her love of music and batik art. Kristina lives in Ajijic and is available to show her work, and perform her music at private or public functions.
In exploring the way time has affected her life, Blue shares her experiences how COVID brought time to a stand still, and wonders how the “new normal” will affect how she spends her time in the future.
Sydney Gay shares useful information on uses of vanilla.
Home of The Week
Excellent location in Chapala, one block from the main street and close to all amenities, walking distance to everything. 2 bedrooms and one bathroom. This property is perfect for investment or a small family.
For starters, they must believe what they read and hear in the U.S. media. Why would anyone want to retire in Mexico anyway…especially the area around Lake Chapala. That’s OK with us. You see, the Lake Chapala region is our little secret. We expats here today like it that way. If too many Gringos and Canadians come down here, they might spoil it for the rest of us.
Luckily, most retirees north of the border would rather stay where they are and worry about whether they’ll remain healthy enough to see their grandchildren graduate college…or whether they’ll have enough money saved to live out their years short of poverty…or how long they’ll be able to maintain that middle-class life style they’ve become accustomed to.
So, to make them feel better, I’ve compiled a list of the top 20 reasons NOT to retire to Lake Chapala (in no particular order):
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.