Sunday, December 4, 2011


Ajijic is a town about 3 miles from, and a part of, the municipality of Chapala, in the State of Jalisco, Mexico. Situated on the north shore of Lake Chapala is surrounded by mountains, Ajijic enjoys a moderate climate year round. The population is around 15,000 of which about 15% or American or Canadian.
This wonderful world is where my sweetheart and myself decided to spend a long weekend and by the third day we were visiting with the local real estate agents. You get to Ajijic by flying into Guadalajara and taking a taxi ride up over the mountains at the south end of the city. In about 45 minutes you cross over the mountains and view Mexico’s largest fresh water lake that forms in a basin that sits up 5100 feet in the air. Imagine tropical vegetation, coconuts, mangos, citrus and bananas in a high mountain valley.
National Geographic magazine rates it as one of the three best climates in the world. Most of the year, it is warm, dry and sunny during the day, and cool nights make it great for sleeping. This is not a place where air conditioners are running all the time, in fact, this is not a land of air conditioners. None, Nada. There is a rainy season -- which is the favorite of many residents because everything turns lush and green -- from June to October, but it usually only rains in the late afternoon or evening and at night. In the morning everything is fresh and clean, with blue skies overhead once again.
This is not an oxymoron. Ajijic is a traditional lakeshore village with a shady plaza, parish church and adobe homes. Ajijic is a magnet for expatriates all along the shore, and the foreign influence has given rise to a cosmopolitan offering in arts, entertainment and dining. Home to artists and writers since the early 1950s, Ajijic is the locale of the Auditorium for concerts and dance performances. Art galleries, restaurants and beer joints abound in the village. The vast variety of restaurants offers cuisine from traditional Mexican to Chinese, Argentine, Greek, Thai, German and much, much more.
Ajijic’s growing group of expatriates come for the foreign culture and the diverse, creative population living and working here. They also come for the very low cost of living. Obamacare stops at the border but you can still live quiet well on social security. Nothing about Ajijic feels contrived or fabricated: instead the village hums with authenticity. The village slow pace serves as a welcome change from the fast paced life in Guadalajara just one hour to the north. As I said, just forward my mail.