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Welcome to Ajijic and the greater Lake Chapala area for holiday, for retirement or for work

Ajijic and the Lake Chapala area are amongst the highest rated retirement communities in the world. The area has fantastic weather year-round, a lower cost of living, good affordable healthcare and a large welcoming expat community which mainly consists of US expats and Canadian expats. You can mostly get by without being able to speak Spanish but in other parts of Mexico knowledge of Spanish will come in handy. 

Ajijic has a beautiful new auditorium for cultural events, golf courses, tennis and pickleball courts, amateur theatres and hiking trails. There are many clubs –  bridge clubs,
a birders club, lunch/dinner clubs, two Rotary Clubs and many other clubs. LCS – the Lake Chapala Society – frequently hosts musical productions or other events as do several of the restaurants and hotels.
And the events in Guadalajara and other nearby cities area a short ride away.

Pueblo Mágico
Ajijic was recently designated Pueblo
Mágico (magical town) – so recognized by the Secretary of Tourism for its natural beauty, cultural richness, traditions, folklore, historical relevance and outstanding hospitality.

Nearby beach resorts
Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo are easy to reach destinations for people who like to holiday by the sea. For those who prefer not to drive or fly, Mexico has fantastic
long distance bus services like ETN that offer very reasonably priced travel in great comfort. 

retirement community
living in lake chapala

In addition to many small Mexican shops there are the “big box” supermarkets Walmart and the Mexican equivalent Soriana and several smaller supermarkets like Pancho’s and Superlake which offer both local products and products from “up north”. Two small shopping malls Centro Laguna Mall and Plaza Interlago are on the Libramiento.
Three times per week a market takes place in a different location offering fruit, vegetables and pre-made meals.

Cash Society
The Lake Chapala area is a cash society but many stores and restaurants catering to expats will accept credit cards. Most products not available locally can be obtained through Amazon or in nearby Guadalajara which is only 50 minutes to 1 hour driving away and has several large shopping malls.

Lake Chapala Society
The Lake Chapala Society or LCS is located in Ajijic Centro and is a community of mostly expats. Membership will greatly assist in starting your social life in Lakeside through the events and courses offered.

Moving to another country – full or part time – entails having the opportunity to experience and enjoy another culture.
Mexican culture in general mostly combines pre-Columbian and European elements but variations occur across the country. Community cohesion is strengthened by the many traditional and religious festivals and celebrations, often with colorful costumes. There are beautiful buildings from the Spanish colonial days but also many relics of earlier times like pyramids and paintings of pre-colonial mythological scenes.
The many murals in Ajijic are absolutely amazing and there is a large number of resident painters.

Medical care
There are multiple English speaking GP’s, dentists and specialists at Lakeside as well as three hospitals – Ribera Medical Center, San Antonio Hospital Ajijic and Ajijic Hospital. GP’s charge around 800 pesos per visit. US and Canadian residents frequently visit Lakeside for dental and other medical procedures.

In nearby Guadalajara are several highly rated hospitals and specialists as well. 

For expats preferring to return to their home country in case of a medical emergency several air ambulance companies are available like Skymed and Jetrescue.

lake chapala expat community

International airport
The international airport of Guadalajara GDL is a 30 to 45 minutes drive north depending on your departure place.

Multiple banks and investment banks are in the Lake Chapala area with varying degrees of English spoken. To name a few: Intercam has 2 branches in Ajijic with fully bilingual employees and an ATM at LCS. Scotia bank has an ATM in Ajijic and at least three branches in Guadalajara. HSBC is at Centro Laguna Mall. Several of the larger Mexican banks like BBVA and Santander have branches in the area.
Actinver and Multiva are two private banks in Ajijic.

Many expats meet in restaurants multiple times per week and there is a wide variety of restaurants in Ajijic and in Chapala  Servers in almost all restaurants speak English. Actually it is quite difficult to learn Spanish while living in the Lake Chapala area because many Mexicans in the area are fluent in English and prefer to speak English with expats.

The Lake Chapala area is also popular as a weekend and holiday destination for Mexicans living in Guadalajara which is approximately one hour driving to the north. Guadalajara is a modern city with cultural events, shopping malls, Costco, Home Depot, a fantastic zoo and excellent hospitals.
The Guadalajara Metropolitan area also includes some more traditional areas like the historical center and the municipalities of Tlaquepaque and Tonalá which are popular tourist destinations.

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