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 Chapala area. Be among the many that have already begun a new and enjoyable life.
Lake Chapala, the Area Known as “Lakeside”
Lake Chapala is the largest freshwater lake in Mexico, with 1112 km².
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!
Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city, and its international airport are less than an hour away, so Lake Chapala area residents can have anything at their disposal. If for some reason it can't be found in Chapala or Ajijic, it can be found in Guadalajara. With the airport so close, it is easy to travel to the United States or anywhere in the world.
Where is Chapala?
Chapala is located in the central area of the state of Jalisco, Mexico, at 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, Jalisco. Chapala is the largest city on the shores of Lake Chapala, it is a traditional Mexican city, where you can take walks along the shore of the lake and contemplate the beautiful boardwalk. The climate in the Chapala area is temperate, with rains in summer. The rains occur between the months of June and October. The coldest periods are from December to February. Its average temperature is 72°F / 22°C. The temperature ranges from a low of about 50°F / 10°C in the winter months, to a high of about 90°F / 32°C in summer.
Climate And Weather in the Lake Chapala Area
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 Lake Chapala area. 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.
A combination of tropical location, high altitude and a large body of water produce a climate in the Chapala area that is second to none in the world. Although National Geographic magazine has done the full analysis and declared Lake Chapala to have the second best climate, those who live here are quite content to be that close to the ideal. Continue Reading more about climate and weather...
Cost Of Living
Other than excellent climate, the reason many North Americans have for moving to Mexico is the cost of living. Most prices are lower compared to those “back home”. It is hard to understand why so many people on small pensions or Social Security will struggle with miserable climates, high utility and medical bills, and other services, when they could live better in Mexico.
The International Institute started teaching strings the year they opened in 2011. The first classes were very small. In 2015, they formalized a program for a string orchestra. Instruments now include violin, viola and cello, though they have had string bass, piano, flute, clarinet, saxophone and percussion players join in the past.
Now, post-pandemic, orchestra numbers have dropped to about 10 dedicated students, teachers and community members. We rehearse in Cristiania Park in Chapala on Saturdays at 1 PM; they had a Facebook Live concert in December, and we performed for a fundraiser led by Susan Larson, benefiting the cats at the Lake Chapala Society. They hope to have another Facebook live concert at the end of March.
Beginning strings’ classes start again on Saturday mornings at 9AM at the International Institute, C. Internacional 63 in Col. Brisas al Jaguey, in front of the Tecnológico de Chapala on the Libramiento to Guadalajara. Classes are taught by Mtra. Fátima Flores and Lily Ehlebracht, with two of their star strings’ players from high school acting as teaching assistants in order to comply with their community service graduation requirement.
Retirees find that keeping occupied is not a problem; the only dilemma is finding the time to do all the available activities. With over 200 existing organizations in the area, there is a variable of “things to do” year round. There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of activities in the towns of La Ribera de Chapala to keep you entertained and participating in this beautiful community.
This is a brief list of some of the activities, places and organizations, which are not numbered in any particular order. Hope this is of great help for you.
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 pre-conquest times, Ajijic (Ah-ee-heec) was spelled Axixique or Axixic (pronounced “Ah-she-sheek.”) The final "c" was pronounced by Spanish rules, but whenever anyone pronounces it, people in these parts know he is a stranger. Ajijic means "The Place Where the Water Springs Forth" in Nahuatl."
Since Tuesday, December 1, 2020, the town of Ajijic, located on Lake Chapala, has been declared the ninth Magic Town of Jalisco (Pueblo Magico), delivered by the federal tourism government.
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.
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. "Grasshoppers Over the Water" - Nahuatl "Very Wet Place" - Coca "Place Where the Pots Abound"- Nahuatl