Hi (Hola en Espanol). My name is Ricardo (Richard from Canada) and I expatriated to Mexico from Canada 4 years ago.
Why would I do that, you may wonder? Canada is a beautiful country and is envied by many around the world as one of the best places to live. Great question.
Let me tell you a little about my story and the benefits of living on the shores of Lake Chapala, Mexico’s largest lake.
I was born and grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and never thought I would ever leave. The area is magnificent and boasts the best climate that Canada has to offer. However, an unexpected divorce sent me traveling and for 2 years I traveled throughout Central America and Mexico. It was then, that I discovered Ajijic, a small Mexican village on the shores of Lake Chapala. It turns out that Ajijic is no secret and has been a retirement destination since the early 1900’s.
What makes Ajijic so special? For me, it is the near constant sunshine. In the 1960’s there was a National Geographic article touting Lake Chapala as the second best climate in the world and this started attracting retirees from Canada and the U.S. in droves.
Personally, I love getting up in the morning and seeing the sun peaking out over the horizon virtually every single day of the year.
Ajijic is one of those places where it is always springtime with an average year around temperature of 21 C/ 71 F.
The Ajijicmalacon, along with the malacon in Chapala are the crown jewels of their respective towns. A stroll along either of them makes for a relaxing walk and a chance to meet old and new friends.
The lakeside area is also special for having both the mountains and the lake and each of them constantly call for me in their own special voice to hike their hills or kayak their waters.
If the weather doesn’t do it for you, then Ajijic is special for it’s community. There are so many things to do here. Due to the fact that is has been a retirement destination for nearly 100 years, there are over 80 organized clubs and groups (and an additional 30 to 40 unorganized groups) to keep you active and young.
If you can’t find something here that you like to do then you are probably already dead. Tennis, pickleball, volleyball, soccer, baseball, golf, swimming, horseback riding, you name it, it’s all here and you can do it all 365 days a year because the weather is always great. Just going out to coffee, breakfast, lunch or dinner is a glorious affair. Within just minutes of walking or driving, you gain access to a host of restaurants with food from around the world, and all at roughly half the cost or less of what you would pay in the U.S. or Canada.
Every ethnicity in the world is represented in this small Mexican village. Mexican, Chinese, Italian, Argentinian, Indian and so much more.
If you are a shopper or just love beautiful things and beautiful art, then enjoy the huge variety of handicrafts and art to be found just about everywhere in Ajijic.
Art and artists abound and the walls of town are adorned with many murals depicting folklore, nature, and history.
When the day is done, you have hopefully saved up some energy because that is when the action is just beginning. During the evenings, there is a multitude of restaurants that have dancing with live entertainment and luckily the dancing here starts early. Most entertainment starts between 6 and 8 and ends at 9-11 but if you are a late night person and require little sleep, there is a nightclub which just starts to get going at 11 pm.
If you don’t have the energy for dancing there is still lots to do as Ajijic boasts two live theaters, two movie theaters, and a couple auditoriums, not to mention the many traditional festivities to take part in throughout the year.
Ajijic is a dream come true for the photographer or ‘lazy bones’, too. If you are of the more sedentary nature, then enjoy the sites and colors of Ajijic through the lens of a camera or by just sitting in the plaza and simply taking it easy. This is a sure fire way to get to meet new people from all over the world and hear interesting life stories.
If there is something you cannot find here then Guadalajara, with all its culture, is only an hour away. Mexico’s second largest city has everything you could ever desire including inexpensive world-class health care.
And when you need a break or a complete change of pace, then the Guadalajara International Airport is an easy 30-minute drive from Ajijic where planes are just waiting to take you to any part of the world you wish.
Why is Ajijic special? Where else can you find so much in such a small area? Where else can you find a large connected community of like-minded expats and so much fun in a single place? And a lovely weather every day of the year? An easy access to a major international airport? Where else do you have such excellent and inexpensive health care? Ajijic is special for all these reasons and more and I invite you to come on down and find out for yourself.
If you have any questions about Ajijic and the Lake Chapala area simply drop me a line through the website Retire In Lake Chapala.net or through Facebook. I look forward to hearing from you and best wishes to everyone on their expat journey.