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 Cast: Center, Don Chaloner, Director. Left to right, Anne Drake, Lila Wells and Peggy Chilton. Missing: Kathleen Morris
The Ladies Foursome by Norm Foster is the June Bare Stage production. It’s directed by Don Chaloner and runs June 28, 29 and 30. The plot: The day after their friend Catherine’s funeral, Margot, Tate, and Connie gather for a round of golf in honor of their recently departed fourth. At the golf course they are joined by another woman, an old friend of Catherine’s they’d never met. Over the course of eighteen holes, secrets and confessions unravel as the women discuss love, sex, children, and everything in between. The theatre is at Hidalgo #261 on the mountain side of the carretera in Riberas del Pilar, across from the Catholic Church. Parking is available in the parking lot of the Baptist Church, behind the theater. Donation is $100. The Box Office and bar open at 3 pm. Show time is 4 pm. Reservations are by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Seats are held until 3:50 pm. For those who use Facebook, look for Bare Stage Theatre 2018 for breaking news and updates.
The writer takes us on a trip to the town which has been called the “The Guitar Capitol of Mexico”—and he assures us, for a very good reason.
Home of The Week
"A Gem in Upper Riberas"
Beautiful details all over the property, Mexican elegance, the colors and textures are amazing. Entering in the house you feel the cross ventilation constant breeze, walking towards the lush back yard and pool to relax under the waterfall fountain. You can go to the office or studio for work on your crafts, read or work, also works as a third bedroom. On the other side of the corridor, there is the guest-room with an on-suite bathroom, closets storage, sitting area and built in bookshelf. You will see beautiful Enrique Velazquez murals and details walking towards the gourmet kitchen, granite top of the line appliances, island and all you need to cook for your guests. the ample master bedroom have a great view to the back yard and pool, on suite bathroom and huge closet. Living and dinning room are open to the covered terrace right by the pool. The house is all detached, solar panels, pay very little energy bills.
(Ed. Note: The following article was first published in 1946 in the magazine Modern Mexico. Ms. James, known as the “Godmother of Ajijic,” set many of her charming stories and books here at Lakeside.)
Ajijic is an old, old village. Our solidly built Franciscan Church bears the date when it was finished: November 27, 1749. But it is not the original. The first was destroyed by a hurricane. Even before that, before the Conquistadores set foot on the shores of the New World, Ajijic was an Indian settlement. Ancestors of my neighbors gained a comfortable livelihood fishing in the lake and cultivating their milpas. Long after the Spaniards had planted a new religion, Indians continued to make their little clay figurines, bake them, and toss them into the lake to appease Tlaloc, their Rain God. Often we foreigners amuse ourselves diving for these exotic little figurines which we use to decorate our homes.
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.