Looking for the beauty of rural Mexico with a relaxing lake, natural hot springs and spas for soaking, hills for horseback riding, narrow cobblestone streets, and a central plaza lined with flowers and trees? Plus Huichol Indian arts and crafts, a women’s handicrafts cooperative, an American-style shopping mall with a big-box store, soccer, concerts, and bullfights? A money-saving Ajijic vacation rental also puts you near an English-speaking community of Canadian and U.S. sunbirds, retirees, and ex-pats. Guadalajara’s Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla International Airport (GDL) and the pottery and crafts towns of Tlaquepaque and Tonala are under an hour away.
Lake Chapala, Mexico’s largest natural lake, has been a popular location for vacation homes for over a century. Weekends, mariachi music mingles with the aromas of grilled seafood from the small restaurant row. Take the kids to the children’s park. Shop with the family for leather goods, embroidery, glassware, and gifts at the handicrafts market. Enjoy a beer along the lakefront as you watch the sailboats breeze past the Chapala Yacht Club. After a day by the lake, return to your Ajijic vacation rental home with renewed understanding of why retirees are flocking here for more than the money-savings.
Your Ajijic vacation rental is a place to unwind from the stresses and strains of daily life. Don’t come here looking for championship golf courses designed by big names. But you can keep your game from getting rusty with a quick 9 holes at the Chapala Counry Club. If it feels unexpectedly strenuous, it is likely because of the 5,200-foot altitude. Meet more of the American and Canadian retirees at the Chula Vista Country Club, another short course which offers good views as it meanders around private homes resplendent with bougainvilla and other blooms. From December to March, weekly garden tours show off some of the better homes and gardens in Ajijic.
Negotiate with the locals at the pier to take the family on a boat tour to a Scorpion Island seafood restaurant. Or sail on a longer voyage to the fortress ruins on Mezcala Island. Let the family choose among swimming, kayaking, tennis, hiking, and biking. Horseback ride along the lakefront, or up into the hills. Perhaps a mud bath or a relaxing soak in a nearby spa or hot springs.
In late November, there is a week of festivities for the patron saint of the church of San Andres. Easter, the local villagers stage a three-day reenactment of the events surrounding the crucifixion. Perhaps an English-language theater production will suffice. The whole family should emerge more relaxed, and happier after their money-saving Ajijic vacation rental sojourn.