revitalized Mexican economy has earned the praise of global economists.
The economic growth over the past years has been steady and with
this increase in confidence there has been a resurgence of foreign
capital investment. Savvy investors, including an increasing number
of Europeans and Asians, are taking this opportunity to invest
in the Mexican marketplace, not only in business and industry,
but in real property as well.
reactivated Mexican economy has contributed to the passing of
the buyer’s market. However, there are values to be found lakeside
in all types of properties, from residential to large parcels
of land. The law of supply and demand is evident in this marketplace,
and as the area has become more in demand, the prices reflect
Lake Chapala area of Mexico has one of the finest climates in
the world. People from many countries have retired to enjoy the
warm days and cool nights along the shores of this 55-mile-long
body of water.
After the dry month of May, the rainy season
is welcomed. It lasts from mid-June to mid-October and brings
rains most evenings. During this season, the weather is warm,
yet it is much less humid than Mexican coastal destinations. Because
the lake is a mile above sea level, you may need a sweater in
the cooler evenings. For many visitors and residents, this is
the preferred time of year. Their enjoyment is heightened by the
crimson sunrises and golden sunsets that start and finish each
to historians, the first American came to the area in 1885, but
it wasn’t until 1955 that the larger influx of foreigners began.
Now it is estimated that more than 7,000 foreigners, mostly Americans
and Canadians, live on the north shore. The area is now one of
the most popular retirement colonies in North America.
multi-lane highway connects Lakeside’s north shore to Guadalajara,
less than 40 minutes away. The airport is located midway, about
25 minutes from lakeside.
town of Chapala and the village of Ajijic are the focal points
of the north shore. Vista del Lago is to the east of Chapala and
Chula Vista, San Antonio, La Floresta, Ajijic, Rancho del Oro,
Villa Nova, San Juan Cosalá, Las Fuentes and Jocotepec are to
the west, in that order.
Country Club, nestled in the Vista del Lago residential area,
is about 15 minutes east of Chapala, near the town of San Nicolas.
A well-maintained nine-hole regulation par-36 golf course offers
a relaxing morning. In the clubhouse good light lunches and bar
service are offered. Evening meals are also served. This Vista
del Lago area is a good choice for those looking to acquire a
home in a golf course setting that is both private and secluded;
a favored area for those looking for peace and quiet, away from
it all in a neighborhood with magnificent lake views.
Miguel de Bolonio who converted the Talticas Indians to Christianity
founded Chapala in 1538. Their chief was Chapalah, from which
the name Chapala came.
open mall on both sides of the street coming into Chapala from
Guadalajara, all the way to the shores of the lake, is paved with
tile and has a lovely center island with tropical trees, shrubs
is proud of its charming plaza on Madero Street with its graceful
and interesting bandstand. There is a market behind the plaza
with fresh vegetables and assorted handcrafts and other goods.
In Chapala there’s a different tempo, so just sit back and relax
or stroll the streets.
villa where British author D. H. Lawrence wrote his widely read
"Plumed Serpent," is on Zaragoza Street. The Cazadores
Restaurant, a converted mansion on the lakefront, was once the
home of the Braniff family of aviation fame.
Calle Francisco I. Madero stands the Nido, once Chapala’s oldest
and most central hotel. In 2001 it was converted to public offices
and inaugurated in the summer of 2001 and now houses the city
government. Now municipal offices are conveniently located under
one large roof.
are several sidewalk cafes near the center of town serving as
focal points for socializing as well as offering good breakfasts
and a variety of tasty snacks.
Local and Guadalajara sailors dock their sailboats
and speedboats at the Chapala Yacht Club east of the pier. Across
the street is a public park, horses for hire and the Chapala Handicrafts
Market. You’ll find excellent gifts. The stalls offer everything
from leather goods to hand-embroidered dresses and blouses, carved
wooden items, toys, jewelry, and a bewildering range of souvenirs.
Be sure to bargain if you want the best price.
Hidalgo Street, just before the post office, is the pleasant new
shopping plaza of Las Palmas. Strolling along this area one discovers
many interesting retail establishments.
few blocks further west is the Villa Montecarlo, a hotel/restaurant
with one of the finest views in the area. Its facilities include
beautiful gardens overlooking the lake, natural thermal-spa pools,
a charming restaurant, and meeting rooms and facilities for large
Brisas de Chapala Hotel is located five minutes from Chapala off
the road to Guadalajara, nestled in the mountains. It has comfortable
rooms, a restaurant-bar, swimming pool, and tennis courts. A small
complex of private homes is located here, many with spectacular
minutes from Chapala on the highway to Guadalajara is Chapala
Haciendas, spanning both sides of the highway with view homes
in a tropical setting. The Chapala Haciendas Hotel and Restaurant
has a casual atmosphere and overlooks the lake. It has live music
for dancing Wednesday and Saturday nights and on special occasions
and a popular Sunday brunch. An abundance of shade trees and tropical
flowers cover the hillsides.
Vista Country Club, five minutes west of Chapala, has a sporty
nine-hole golf course set into the mountains, and two lighted
tennis courts. Some 200 attractive homes surround the golf course
overlooking the lake. It’s well worth driving through to see these
beautifully constructed homes. Chula Vista has a strong neighborhood
association, which works to maintain the quality of services in
this area. Chula Vista is one of the few colonies with potable
water, and this is certainly a plus here in Mexico.
are drawn to this area by its convenience and natural beauty.
Mirasol offers residents a truly authentic Mexican ambiance, with
easy access to all services.
is a favored area for those who are looking for peace and quiet
in a preferred neighborhood. There are many fruit trees, flowering
bougainvillea, large custom-built villas and vistas of the lake
Chula Vista is the sleepy little village of San Antonio Tlayacapan,
right out of a storybook with its church, town square and cobblestone
streets. Here in San Antonio, "Dan Chandos" (actually
the pen name of two authors) wrote the charming book "Village
in the Sun," which brought many people to the lakeside area.
San Antonio offers true Mexican village living.
the highway is Super Lake, a grocery store with many imported
goods from the states as well as plentiful local merchandise.
This is where many in Ajijic shop.
is bilingual Oak Hill School (kindergarten through ninth grade)
and the Lakeside Little Theater building where productions in
English are presented throughout most of the year.
the east entrance to Ajijic is La Floresta, a tree-lined residential
area. La Floresta is a very desirable place to own a home. Its
convenient location with a good homeowner’s association providing
security patrol, and many fine services, have made many choose
this as the ideal place to live.
blocks south of the highway is the lovely Hotel Real de Chapala
with its beautiful setting on the lakeshore. It has 85 suites,
heated swimming pool, lighted tennis courts, a children’s playground,
restaurant and the Maria Bonita Bar. Its Sunday Mexican Fiesta,
held in the beautiful garden overlooking Lake Chapala, with mariachis
and a Mexican buffet, is a delightful experience. Next door to
the Real is the Ajijic yacht club, Club Nautico, a members-only
boating and social club.
of the highway going toward Ajijic is the Lake Chapala Municipal
Auditorium. This cultural center has 465 seats, a stage large
enough for an 80-piece symphony orchestra and fine sound equipment
with excellent acoustics. Next door to the Auditorium is the Casa
de las Artesanias, operated by the state of Jalisco. It contains
pottery, clothing and textiles produced in the state and sold
at fixed prices.
is a relatively new mall-type area of shops and facilities between
La Floresta and Ajijic that includes a grocery store where many
U. S. type foodstuffs can be obtained locally that are difficult
to find elsewhere in Mexican markets. There is also a three-screen
movie theater, fitness gym and several inexpensive restaurants
in this complex. The Wednesday street market is set up on the
side street and runs for several blocks down toward the lake where
fresh fruits and vegetables and a variety of handcrafts and other
articles can be purchased at reasonable prices.
(Ah-hee-heek) is a pre-colonial village on the sunny northern
shore of Lake Chapala in Western Mexico’s Sierra Madre Mountains.
The name Ajijic has a delightful hiccuping sound and is distinguished
by the fact that four of its six letters are dotted. Founded by
the Nahuatl Indians in the early 1400’s under their chief, Xitomatl,
Ajijic was colonized in 1652 by Fray Martin de la Coruña of Spain.
Its San Andrés Church, as well as its little chapel, Virgen de
Santiago, date to the 1500’s. San Andrés Church was rebuilt in
cobblestone streets of Ajijic were originally laid during the
days of Spanish rule. Street names in Ajijic can be confusing
since, it seems that with few exceptions, street names change
every few blocks. Not even the invasion of the "gringos"
has done much to alter the tempo of Ajijic. The Mexicans who live
here have managed to maintain their old customs and ways.
and writers from around the world "discovered" Ajijic,
lured by the ideal climate, the unspoiled quaintness of the village,
and the unique blending of European culture with that of the native
main street of town, heading south from the highway toward the
lake, is Calle Colón. This street passes by the historic main
plaza. On the right hand side of the street, directly facing the
plaza at Colón 33, is Ajijic Plaza Suites. Extensively remodeled
and under new management in 2001, these accommodations are moderately
priced. The location is prime. For reservations telephone: 52
(3) 766-0383. Due to the popularity of the Ajijic Plaza Suites,
advance booking is recommended.
block past the post office Calle Colón changes to Calle Morelos,
several blocks up from the lake. This is a wonderful shopping
area to explore with good restaurants as well. Ajijic Real Estate
is at Morelos 4, where bilingual broker Jaime Niembro heads a
large staff of real estate professionals at the areas #1 real
estate company. Visitors are always welcome to drop by and ask
for information or take a home tour.
around the corner on 16 de Septiembre is a block or two of artists’
studios and shops. This area is a must to visit for those interested
in authentic arts and crafts.
is the best place to stay while exploring the area. The village
has several excellent bed-and-breakfasts offering very comfortable
rooms. Ajijic B.&B., located at Calle Hidalgo 22, just one
half block from the historic main square is very popular in both
price and location. Ajijic B.&B., in the heart of the village,
offers modest rates for very generous quiet king-size bedded rooms
in a beautiful garden setting. Breakfast in Restaurante La Fuente
is included. Space availability and reservations telephone 52
the eastern entrance of Ajijic is the investment house called
Lloyds where many foreigners keep an account. The interest rate
is good, it is convenient, and though not a bank, you can cash
your dollar checks as long as you have an equal or larger amount
deposited. Farmacia Guadalajara is located nearby on the highway
and is an excellent source for medicines and drug-store-related
Salvias is a prestigious area of beautiful homes, panoramic lake
views and spectacular tropical growth on the upper side of Ajijic
along the mountains. It has a solid reputation of quality and
value, and is generally a good choice for well-to-do foreigners
looking for a home in Ajijic. There are traditionally few properties
available here. A full-array of services are found nearby, oriented
to English-speaking foreign residents and tourists.
Nova currently offers an excellent opportunity to find value-priced
properties while being close to all amenities. This is an excellent
rental market area with good buys available including a few small
lots. This is a well established area.
is one of the favored areas of Ajijic, where convenience combines
with exclusivity, and breathtaking views are enjoyed in privacy.
This is the new area of recent growth west of Ajijic.
Canacinta is a small neighborhood located toward the west of Ajijic
before San Juan Cosalá between the highway and the lake. Most
homes in this community are constructed in traditional Mexican
style, both large and small. La Canacinta has a nursing home on
lakefront property, several small shops; there are no schools.
It has cobblestone streets.
minutes west of Ajijic is the village of San Juan Cosalá and its
spa, famous for its thermal baths and spouting geyser. The Balneario
Motel is situated on the lakefront. The facility with its large
public mineral swimming pools, steam cave and several restaurants
are popular with locals and tourists alike. On the highway are
the Villas Buenaventura. View homes in San Juan Cosalá and in
the Raquet Club area across the highway are on the hill.
west five minutes from San Juan Cosalá, just before entering Jocotepec,
brings you to the modern residential development of Las Fuentes.
This area is designed for privacy and exclusive living with some
of the best-built homes at lakeside, using top quality materials
and accessories. Homes here are definitely USA style.
is the village at the extreme western end of the lake. Its history
traces back to 1361 when the Nahua Indians settled there. In 1520
a Spanish expedition led by a cousin of Hernan Cortés conquered
the Indians, and in 1529 Jocotepec was founded. In years past,
Jocotepec was a stopping place on the fifth day of the stagecoach
journey from Mexico City to Guadalajara.
has rustic charm and is widely known for its beautifully woven
sarapes, with their traditional flowered motifs as well as other
Azul is a small development located around the west end of Lake
Chapala near Jocotepec. It is well known for the Roca Azul Country
Club where many families gather, especially on Sundays, including
locals from Guadalajara.
Club has a large pool and a kiddies splash pool, both with thermal
water. It overlooks the lake with great views.
is a general overview. If you require specific information, please
e-mail us at <firstname.lastname@example.org> with your specific inquiries.
you are interested in visiting the real Mexico, perhaps you should
consider visiting Ajijic and the Lake Chapala area of Jalisco,
Mexico on a brief "discovery journey." We look forward
to meeting you and look forward to helping orient you to our area.