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The revitalized Mexican economy has earned the praise of global economists. The economic growth over the past few 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.

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 have steadily increased.

The Lake Chapala area of Mexico has one of the finest climates in the world. People from many countries have come here to enjoy retirement living, and 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 roughly from June to 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 mornings and 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 majestic day.

According to historians, the first American came to the area in 1885, but it was not until 1955 that the larger influx of foreigners began. Now it is estimated that more than 7,000 expatriates, mostly Americans and Canadians, live on the north shore. The area is now one of the most popular retirement colonies in North America.

A 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.

Area Descriptions

The town of Chapala and the village of Ajijic are the focal points of the north shore.

Areas on the highway to Guadalajara are Chapala Haciendas and Brisas de Chapala.

Areas EAST of Chapala are
Santa Cruz de la Soledad
San Nicholas de Ibarra
Galapagos
Vista del Lago & Chapala Country Club
San Juan Tecomatlan
Tlachichilco
Mezcala & Island de Mezcala

Areas WEST of Chapala and EAST of Ajijc are
Lourdes
Villa Alta
Riberas del Pilar
Mirasol
Chula Vista
Puesta de Sol
San Antonio Tlayacapan
La Floresta
Riviera Alta
Los Olivos

PART of Ajijic are
Lomas de Ajijic
Lomas del Lago
Las Salvias
Villa Nova
Rancho del Oro
Tio Domingo

Areas WEST of Ajijic are
La Canacinta
El Bajio
Las Palmas
La Cristina
Los Charales
San Miguel de La Ribera
San Pablo

Areas NEAR and WEST of San Juan Cosala
Raquet Club
El Limon
El Tempisaue
Tlaloc
Jaltepec
El Chante
Las Fuentes
Nestipac

Jocotepec is at the west end of Lake Chapala, with Roca Azul around the end of the lake.

All of these areas appear on the free map offered by Ajijic Real Estate. Following are short descriptions of some of the larger areas.

Vista del Lago and Chapala Country Club
This residential area and golf course is about 15 minutes east of Chapala. 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. Vista del Lago 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.

Chapala
Father Miguel de Bolonio who converted the Talticas Indians to Christianity founded Chapala in 1538. Their chief was Chapalah, from which the name Chapala came.
There is lots of shopping on both sides of the street coming into Chapala from Guadalajara, all the way to the shores of the lake. The street is paved with tile and has a lovely center island with tropical trees, shrubs and flowers.

Chapala 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.

The 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.

On Madero stands the Nido, once Chapala’s oldest and most central hotel. In 2001, it was converted to Chapala's city hall, and now houses most municipal offices. There is a two-story mural featuring the lake on the staircase walls. Don't miss it.  There is usually art work on display.

There 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.

Sailors dock their boats at the Chapala Yacht Club east of the pier. Across the street is a public park, horses for hire, and the Chapala Handicrafts Market. The stalls offer everything from leather goods to hand-embroidered dresses and blouses, carved wooden items, toys, jewelry, and a bewildering range of souvenirs.

On Hidalgo is the pleasant shopping plaza of Las Palmas. Strolling along this area one discovers many interesting retail establishments.

A few blocks further west is hotel Villa Montecarlo with one of the finest views in the area. Its facilities include beautiful gardens overlooking the lake, thermal pools, a charming restaurant, and meeting facilities for large groups.

Brisas de Chapala
The Brisas de Chapala Hotel is located minutes from Chapala off the highway to Guadalajara, nestled in the foothills. It has comfortable rooms, a restaurant-bar, swimming pool, and tennis courts. Many homes located here have spectacular lake views.

Chapala Haciendas
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 holidays, as well as a popular Sunday brunch. An abundance of shade trees and tropical flowers cover the hillsides.

Chula Vista and Chula Vista Country Club.
This established residential area and golf course is five minutes west of Chapala. The sporty nine-hole golf course is set into the hills, and has two lighted tennis courts. The golf course divides this neighborhood into upper and lower Chula Vista. Some 200 homes surround the golf course. It’s well worth driving through to see these beautiful homes, many with the best lake and mountain views to be had Lakeside. Chula Vista has a very active neighborhood association, which works to maintain the quality of services in this neighborhood. Chula Vista is one of the few colonies with potable water, making this one of the more desirable neighborhoods Lakeside.

Mirasol
Many are drawn to Mirasol because of its central location and natural beauty. It offers residents a truly authentic Mexican ambiance, with easy access to all services.

Puesta del Sol
This 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 lake and mountain views.

San Antonio Tlayacapan
Just past Chula Vista is the typical Mexican village of San Antonio Tlayacapan, right out of a storybook with its church, town square and cobblestone streets. Here "Dan Chandos" (actually the pen name of two authors) wrote the charming book Village in the Sun which brought many people to the area.

On the highway is Super Lake, a grocery store with many imported goods, as well as plentiful local produce. This is where many expatriates shop. Nearby is Loyola Institute, one of many bilingual schools in the area, as well as the Lakeside Little Theater where productions in English are presented monthly during the winter, with some offerings in the summer.

La Floresta
At the east entrance to Ajijic is La Floresta, an established residential area with many trees, including towering jacarandas and giant eucalyptus. La Floresta is one of the more desirable neighborhoods. 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.

Several blocks south of the highway is the lovely Hotel Real de Chapala with its beautiful setting on the lakeshore. It has 85 suites a heated swimming pool, lighted tennis courts, a children’s playground, a 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 Club Nautico, a members-only boating and social club.

South 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 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.

Plaza Bugambilias
This is a relatively new mall between La Floresta and Ajijic that includes the El Torito grocery store where many U. S.-type foodstuffs can be obtained. There is also a three-screen movie theater, an art gallery, a coffee shop, and a restaurant. There are a couple of seafood stands with good cocktails. The Wednesday street market is set up on Revolucion, and runs for several blocks toward the lake where fresh fruits and vegetables, and a variety of handcrafts and other articles can be purchased.

Ajijic Village
Ajijic (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 hiccoughing sound and is distinguished by the fact that four of its six letters are dotted. Founded by the Nahuatl Indians in the early 1400s under their chief, Xitomatl, Ajijic was colonized in 1652 by Fray Martin de la Coruña of Spain. Its San Andres Church, as well as its little chapel, Virgen de Santiago, date to the 1500s. San Andres Church was rebuilt in 1749.

The 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 speed up the pace in Ajijic. The Mexicans who live here have managed to maintain their old customs and ways.

Artists 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 villagers.

The main street of town, heading south from the highway toward the lake, is Calle Colon. This street passes by the historic main plaza. The cultural center on the north side of the plaza has been expended, and will be a welcome addition to the downtown.

At the corner past the post office, Calle Colon changes to Calle Morelos. This is a wonderful shopping area to explore with many very good restaurants. Ajijic Real Estate is at Morelos #4, where broker Jaime Niembro heads a large staff of real estate professionals at the areas #1 real estate company. Visitors are always welcome to drop in and ask for information or take a home tour.

Down the street and around the corner on 16 de Septiembre are artists’ studios and shops, as well as the LCS. This area is a must to visit for those interested in authentic arts and crafts.

Ajijic is the best place to stay while exploring the area. The village has several excellent B&Bs offering very comfortable rooms.

At the eastern entrance of Ajijic is Lloyd, an investment house 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 a full-service pharmacy.

Las Salvias is a prestigious area of beautiful homes, panoramic lake views, and spectacular tropical growth on the mountain side of the highway. 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.

Villa 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.

Rancho del Oro 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.

La Canacinta is a small neighborhood located just west of Ajijic on the lake side of the highway. Most homes in this community are constructed in traditional Mexican style, both large and small. La Canacinta has a lakefront nursing home, and several small shops.

San Juan Cosala and the Raquet Club are10 minutes west of Ajijic. Here you will find the spa, famous for its thermal baths and spouting geyser. The Balneario Motel is situated on the lakefront. The facility with its large public swimming pools, steam cave, and several restaurants are popular with locals and expats alike. Families come by the carload on the weekends and holidays. On the highway is the Villas Buenaventura, another spa. Lakefront homes in San Juan Cosala, and view homes in the Raquet Club, across the highway, make this a popular area.

Las Fuentes is a short, five-minute drive west of San Juan Cosala. This is a modern, residential development. This area is designed for privacy and exclusive living with some of the best-built, view homes Lakeside.

Jocotepec 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 Cortes, 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. Jocotepec has rustic charm and is widely known for its beautifully woven serapes, with their traditional flowered motifs as well as other local handicrafts.

Roca 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 Mexican families gather, especially on Sundays. The Club has a large pool and a kiddies splash pool, both with thermal water. It overlooks the lake with great views.

This is a general overview. If you require specific information, please e-mail us at info@ajijic.com with your specific inquiries.

If you are interested in the real Mexico, perhaps you should consider visiting Ajijic and the Lake Chapala area of Jalisco on a brief "discovery journey." We look forward to meeting you, and to introducing you to our area.

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