Welcome to Lake Chapala!

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.

Numerous picturesque towns and villages, many of which evolved from prehispanic indigenous settlements, dot the shores around the lake. There is a substantial population concentration on the northwestern and western shores, where the largest expatriate community in Mexico is found. Estimates of the expatriate population range from 20,000 to 40,000 full-time residents. That population increases during the “high season” from mid-September to mid-March.

Cradled in the southern half of Mexico’s western mountain range, the Sierra Madre Occidental, lays one of the most delightful hideaways in the world … Lake Chapala. Tranquility, natural beauty, and a marvelously temperate climate are just a few of the attractions of the area. Approximately the same altitude as Denver, Colorado, Chapala is the largest natural lake in the country.

Climate And Weather


Mexico as a whole has been graced with an unusually temperate climate year-round given its tropical setting. The rainy season occurs during the Mexican summer and has a very moderating effect on day-time temperatures.  Even though the rain rarely lasts more than an hour, and typically occurs at night, the cooling effect lasts well into the next afternoon.  Extreme temperatures are found only in the North and in Baja, both of which have deserts, where the temperature goes above 100F. The mountainous or desert terrain of much of the country produce low night time temperatures which also help keep daytime temperatures moderate.

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