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.
Several years ago, Jayme Littlejohn started talking to fellow local actors about what fun it would be to have a place where those of us who were trained theatre people could “play” together….a sort of local semi professional safe space.
Jayme was always astounded at the number of people living at Lakeside who had either been professional actors, directors, etc. or who had studied theatre extensively and made it their lives on some level during their pre-retirement lifetimes.
We always had so much fun when we got to work together in local shows, but before BRAVO! Theatre it felt like not everyone understood why we wanted to take the work so seriously. It was fun to do shows but we all discovered that we craved more.
Jayme then started doing occasional shows under the flag of My, My How Nice! Productions at the Sol y Luna complex on Rio Bravo in west Ajijic. The first production was Always… Patsy Cline in October of 2010. The space was rough – carved out of a huge room in the front of the complex by room dividers, the stage lit by two tripods with four light fixtures each. The show turned out to be immensely popular and Jayme says she ended up selling partial visibility seats for the final performance. There were several other productions for a few years – Cemetery Club, The Gin Game, The Fantasticks – until Russell Mack, gathered a group of guys who then converted a smaller room in the complex into a legitimate black box theatre with stage, a tech booth, raised seating, an actual backstage/greenroom and many more light fixtures which had been added by the BRAVO!’s then lighting and sound gurus, Kitt and Bill Vincent. In addition educational programs were implemented including acting, improvisation and dance classes.
The writer's haunting story about loneliness and how often the chance to feel better barely eludes us.
CORAZON The writer remembers with a great deal of fondness a Mexican maid she once left behind, a sad situation to which many of us can relate.
LAST FLIGHT OUT The writer tries to find some humor in the air travel situation in and out of Mexico in this very dark period of the Covid 19 virus.
CACTUS GIRL Remembering a bar maid/dancer in a lonely and raunchy little town in Texas.
OLD MAN Recalling seeing an old man whose story of his life seemed etched on his face.
Home of The Week
“Great Property Located in el Raquet Club”
In a cul-de-sac street, wonderful views, 3 bedrooms, and on-suite, plus 2 half baths, office or TV room, family room, beautiful and very relaxing covered terrace, open concept kitchen – dining & living room, beautiful large kitchen two car garage, automatic, fireplace, very ample rooms, walk in closets, big terraces, storage, bodega, high speed internet. Master bedroom is in the top floor. There are other two on the top floor for easy access with out stairs, also there is a kitchen and full equipped casita, good size yard. Walled, fenced, detached.
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.