by Kristina Morgan
If you think that entertainment at Lake Chapala will consist of eating at Mexican restaurants and listening to mariachi music everywhere you go, think again! Although you will find authentic Mexican food is to die for and you will have the opportunity to hear marvelous mariachi groups, there is much, much more to the area. I decided to tackle a list of 50 things to do and have wondered if I shouldn’t have made it 75! But for the sake of brevity…I’ll stick with just 50.
In truth, there are hundreds of ongoing activities to keep you curious and engaged in this full-color, wide-open community and most people find they need a calendar to manage their time. With over 100 member organizations in the area (and more being added) you’ll likely be meeting up with friends within a week (or less) of arriving,
To anyone who has spent any real time at Lake Chapala, the concern isn’t “Is there enough to do?” It’s ‘How will I find time to fit in everything I want to do?!” Here is just a brief overview of some of the activities you may want to look into at Lake Chapala, though it may seem exhaustive, there are many things I haven’t mentioned. I’m not listing them in any particular order, though the easiest to come to mind and most frequently cited do appear at the beginning of the list. Have fun!
1. Walk the Malecon
The maleconor boardwalks along any of the village waterfronts are full of life, lovers, color and good things to eat. Chapala has a lovely malecon with tiendas or little shops selling their wares, as well as people pushing carts with homemade ice cream, fresh cocos(coconuts) they will crack open with machetes for you. You’ll see families spending time together, children playing and people swimming. There are also DanzaVoladores, or flying dancers that perform that will take your breath away, Mariachi trios that will strum their guitars and charm you with their ballads and boat rides out to one of the two islands in Lake Chapala.
2. Mezcala Island
Never conquered by the Spanish, the Indians managed to keep their small, sacred island from being overtaken for four years much to the Spaniards chagrin. The Spaniards greatly outnumbered the Indians and had weapons beyond anything the Indians had but the Indians were creative and desperate, painting their canoes black and stealing provisions at night and setting booby-traps in the lake for the soldiers. They managed to survive this way until they finally surrendered upon an agreement with the Spanish after illness and starvation became too much. Later, the island housed a Spanish prison, the ruins of which are still there today. There is a second Island, Scorpion Island, which has a restaurant.
3. The waterfalls at Tepalo:
The waterfalls in Ajijic flow during the rainy season and are a popular hiking destination. Bring a backpack with water and a small picnic. You’ll see families there, especially on weekends, splashing in the pools at the base of the falls. It’s a great place to get pictures! The view from there looking down on the village of Ajijic and Lake Chapala is breathtaking. Parts of the hike can be a little difficult and require that you wear sturdy shoes and are able to pull yourself up a bit. Not a casual Sunday stroll, this is good exercise and it’s beautiful to boot.
4. Live Music and Dancing
A favorite pastime at Lake Chapala is listening to live music. I’ve spoken with people who have said they could dance every night of the week because of all the great options we have! From rock, oldies, jazz, blues, country, Mexican ballads, mariachi, banda and salsa, if music is your thing you won’t be disappointed! The talent the Lake Chapala area draws is a true benefit to those of us who live here—and love to dance! Wanna learn how to dance? Everything from salsa to tango and line dancing is covered.
5. Get out your camera!
Lake Chapala will inspire you! It’s a combination of the stunning natural beauty, combined with cultural anomalies that will fascinate, frustrate and touch you deeply. Whether you’re a novice or a professional photographer, Lake Chapala will provide you with an abundance of photo ops! I recommend carrying a camera with you everywhere… because inspiration will strike! The photo here is a real photo, it is not a painting! Photo credit to Focus on Mexico alumnus, Bernd Peter Sawatski, a local photographer you may also follow on Facebook.
6. Horseback Riding
In La Floresta along the Camino Real you’ll see a very wide median with trees where you may rent horses and ride in Ajijic or along the Lake front. For avid horse lovers, there are several places to board your horses so you may ride more often. There are a number of riding trails that groups organize
7. Thermal Springs at Monte Coxala
Ahhh, one of my favorite things to do! There are thermal springs about 10 minutes west of Ajijic. Monte Coxala is a world class pre-Hispanic designed eco-spa resort with a replica of a pyramid you may climb or swim inside of, an Olmec Indian head that houses a hot tub, more thermal rock pools outside with a gorgeous view of the Lake from the mountain side, plus a restaurant and a separate facility for massages and spa treatments. Every stone was placed with purpose here and it took over 20 years to build. Simply an incredible experience. There are so many details here that I even took pictures of the bathroom! For more information you may visit their website here: http://montecoxala.com/?lang=en
8. Thermal Springs Balneario and Mud Baths
Also a great experience is the Balneario in San Juan Cosala. Located right on the lake, there are multiple pools to choose from that are varying temperatures. They have a kids’ section, a spa where you can receive a massage, a food court, a temezcal (like a sauna) and the Mud Baths! I feel my body relaxing just writing that. There are 6 different Jacuzzis that have distinct purposes. The aroma and color therapy tub have fresh flowers, they have other tubs with salts, vinegar, coffee, hibiscus blossoms, and mud. This cleanses your skin of toxins, while the thermal water at Lake Chapala is reputed to have healing abilities. It’s also a lot of fun!
9. Join the Lake Chapala Society
Donated by the patroness of Ajijic, Neill James, the Lake Chapala Society has various speakers on Sundays at Open Circle who share on a myriad of topics. Some are spiritual, some are educational. The LCS also hosts movie nights, shopping trips in Guadalajara, Spanish classes, preventative health services, and town meetings with immigration and political and law enforcement representatives. The LCS has the largest English library in Mexico as well as an incredible botanical garden with species from all over the world. The LCS also gives back to the Mexican community through English, computer, academic and art classes as well as educational financial aid. You can visit their website here: http://lakechapalasociety.com/weebly/index.php
10. Hang out at the American Legion
Not just for Americans, the American Legion is the central meeting place for expats in Chapala, just as the Lake Chapala Society is a center for expats in Ajijic. Everyone is welcome at the Legion. You don’t have to be a member to participate in the events, eat in the restaurant or have drinks in the bar. The American Legion is also a huge supporter of several local charities and they have fundraisers every year, often hosting live bands and buffets and ballet folklorico dance troupes. Activities like karaoke, bunco, backgammon and cribbage, They publish a monthly magazine, and of course, provide support for our local veterans. They are the sole maintenance for the expat section of the Chapala cemetery and also provide assistance with immigration matters to veterans.
11. Try a new restaurant
Lake Chapala has so many excellent restaurants it’s hard to keep up with them all. Thai food, Argentinean steakhouses, Delis, Italian and Mexican food—and of course, hot and satisfying street tacos on handmade tortillas– better than anything you’ve had north of the border. And unlike tourist destinations, the prices tend to be a well-within reach! For the most popular dining recommendations, reviews, information, hours, etc., based on the most recent Best of the Best, People’s Choice Awards, view the 2016 winners.
12. Join a choir!
Los Cantantesdel Lago, directed by Tim Welch has a world class choir of 50-60 people. In addition to two performances at the Auditorium in La Floresta in Ajijic, every few years they coordinate and lead a “tour” to various countries to sing and partake in the culture and sights of the locations. Past tours have been to Greece, Turkey, Ecuador, Central Mexico and Canada. This holiday season they will have a full orchestra backing them. For more information, visit their website: www.loscantantesdellago.com
13. Join one of the groups that protect Lake Chapala and its wildlife and ecosystems.
A lot of activities fall under this header. A group in Chapala is devoted to wildlife rescue and rehabilitation of wild animals, trees and plants, AjijicLimpio is a project to keep our streets clean, and there are several groups dedicated to preserving Lake Chapala. Todd Stong, a civil engineer and a respected and credible authority on Lake Chapala has also started a fish farming project, teaching the Mexican fishermen how to raise catfish to sell. This protects the lake, which has been over-fished in years past while providing a much better living than fishermen have had in the past using traditional methods.
14. Play Bridge
A challenging mental sport, bridge is a game of skill, concentration and infinite possibilities. It’s part science, part math, part logic, part reason and embodies cooperation, problem solving and has even been linked to higher test scores among children. It is an easy game to learn, a hard game to master and you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy it. Bridge also improves memory over time! Visit their website for more information: www.bridgewebs.com/lakechapala
15. Get involved with the Lakeside Little Theater and The Naked Stage
The Lakeside Little Theatre is a self-sustaining and non-profit theatre that performs in English and has been has been operating continuously since 1965. It has 112 seats in an impressive and well-equipped theatre that would make many cities north of the border envious. For more information visit their website: http://www.lakesidelittletheatre.com/
The Naked stage is another outlet, if the stage is calling, that does not use sets or costuming to tell the story. They are committed to deep character development in lieu of any visual aids and will often tackle more provocative works than you may see at the LLT. The Naked Stage also performs during the summer whereas the LLT takes the summer off. Seating is limited and reservations are recommended. They have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/onlyreading/
16. Join The AjijicHikers group
The Ajijic Hiking Group hikes every Tuesday and Friday. They meet at Dona’s Donuts at 9 am. And they usually have 3 different hikes each time they hike….. A beginners hike so people new to the area can experience the mountain and see what it’s like to hike here and typically a 2-hour hike at a relaxed pace. Then there are Intermediate level hikes that are 3 to 4 hours and will go up about 1000 to 1200 feet in elevation and is for the more experienced hikers. And there’s an advanced hike which can last up to 6 hours and includes lots of elevation gain and is a hike for the experienced hard core hikers.It is a wonderful way to meet new people here, it’s great exercise…and it’s FREE! To join their Facebook group go here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ajijichiking/?ref=br_rs
17 Join a bikers group!
A lot of motorcycle enthusiasts have made their way to Mexico. They have biker rallies, ride to other areas of Mexico, including to the beach and they even have a bar in the area they love to frequent with live music and pool tables called the Iron Horse.
18. Visit Cristiania Park in Chapala
A beautiful park near the malecon in Chapala, Cristiania is a large, lovely park with its own outdoor stage area, picnic benches, swimming pool, tennis courts, playground equipment for the kids and pavilions for picnics and barbecues.
19. Yoga Classes
There are a number of Yoga teachers at Lake Chapala and some of them practice in beautiful outdoor places. There are also opportunities to become a yoga instructor yourself if you want to commit your time and new flexibility (in your body and your schedule!)
20. Tobolandia Water Park
A great place to take any visiting family members with kids. The park has a lazy river for inner tubes, tube water slides and a kiddie area for the littlest ones.
21. Join the Culinary Arts Society (CASA)
If cooking scrumptious dishes is your talent, this may be for you! CASA has cooking competitions that are judged, cooking classes, dining out, excursions and other events as well as an annual Awards Banquet, traditionally held in January. For more information visit their website: http://www.ajijiccasa.org/index.html
22. Explore the different villages around the Lake
Lake Chapala is enormous at 49 wide and 13 miles across! If you decide to drive around the lake expect that it will take you a LONG time! You might want to go see the pelicans at Petatan Peninsula or go into Michoacan, another state on the other side of the Lake. But even if you simply stay on the north shore there is more to see and do in one day than you could possibly get done from the town of Mezcala to Jocotepec.
23. Join a Twelve-Step Group
From Alcoholics Anonymous to Over-Eater Anonymous, there is a robust support system at Lake Chapala to keep you on track with daily meetings in a non-judgy atmosphere with other people who have been there and are making it through.
24. Take in world class shows and events at the Auditorio de la Ribera
From Orchestras, Tango shows, to the Nutcracker performed as a Holiday tradition in cooperation with a local school, the Auditorium in Ajijic will surprise you by the talent it attracts from all over the world. The Bolshoi Ballet has even danced here!
25. Get a Manicure/Pedicure
A great way to treat yourself, manis and pedis are a fraction of the cost north of the border. Total Body Care even does them while you’re fully reclined on a massage table!
26. Wander around looking at art galleries and murals
Ajijic has become known as the Village of Murals with whimsical and historical paintings adorning walls, the sides of buildings, shop fronts, homes and even lamp posts. It’s part of what makes Ajijic so colorful and unique and a welcome haven for artists! There are countless art classes being offered, and galleries that will make your heart sing.
27. Go for a bike ride on the ciclopista (bike path)
along the Carreterra Chapala-Ajijic or on one of the malecones (boardwalks).
28. Get a massage
Massages in the US and Canada can sometimes be prohibitively expensive. Thankfully, that’s not the case at Lake Chapala and there are a number of masseuses who were trained and licensed in the US. Prices average around $500 pesos for a massage.
29. Join a Toastmasters Group
Want to brush up on your public speaking? This is a great way to do it and make friends.
30. Play a game of Tennis
There are a number of tennis courts in the area and many avid tennis players if you’re looking for a partner. La Reserva has clay tennis courts.Pickleball is a scaled-down version of tennis, played on part of a tennis court so there is less running, making it easier on your body and a heck of a lot more social. The game is ideal if you’re a tennis player who’s been left in a pickle by age or injury.
31. Pick up Pickleball
Pickleball is a scaled-down version of tennis, played on part of a tennis court so there is less running, making it easier on your body and a heck of a lot more social. One of the fastest growing sports in North America, the game is ideal if you’re a tennis player who’s been left in a pickle by age or injury.
32. Go Golfing
Imagine golfing 365 days a year and at very affordable prices! The Chula Vista Country Club has 9 holes but plays 18 and the Vista del Lago course has 18 holes. Few locations in the world can rival Lake Chapala, Mexico for ideal year-round golfing conditions. For everyone who loves to golf, but is stopped by the weather, temperature or your location—Lake Chapala is for you!
33. Become a member of the Rotary Club
The Rotary Club of Ajijic is an English-speaking club in Mexico and has been serving the Lake Chapala area since 2002. Its members are business and professional men and women, many retired, who dedicate their time, expertise, and talents to helping others in their local communities, and internationally through the programs of The Rotary Foundation. For more information: http://www.rotaryajijic.org/
34. Volunteer at one of several animal shelters.
The Lake Chapala area has several shelters for cats and dogs, so if you would like to adopt a pet or get involved by volunteering. It makes a huge difference! A book was even written by a couple of Focus Alumni about the difference it can make in lives called ‘Who Rescued Who? If you’d like to get involved you can start by contacting one of these shelters: The Lakeside Spay and Neuter Program (AKA “The Ranch”)http://www.lakesidespayandneutercenter.com/ Lucky Dog Rescue and Adoption: http://luckydogmx.weebly.com/ Lakeside Friends of the Animals: https://www.facebook.com/Lakeside-Friends-of-the-Animals-347757175420328/
Tai Chi, Karate, Capoeira, Kickboxing, Tae Kwon Do and more are all available at Lake Chapala in gyms as well as classes that meet outdoors.
36. Zumba Classes
A fun and great workout set to music that will give you some moves you can take to the dance floor! You may see them in the mornings on the Malecon in Ajijic.
37. Join the Ukulele group
Club Ukulele de Laguna meets from 2 to 4 pm every Monday in Restaurant Maria Isabel in Ajijic to learn and to play together. The membership varies by season from about 15-20 in the summer to a high of 40 in the snow bird season. The group offers free instruction at all levels to its members, and once of year hosts a workshop with professional instructors from around the world. Three times each year CUL hosts a free public sing-along where a collection basket is passed to help support the class. CUL also offers free instruction to any lakeside child from 7 to 18 years.
38. Join a Quilting group or Sewing circle
If you love to be creative with fabric and sew clothing or quilts, there are groups who are doing just that! One Focus Alumnus has made an intricate scene in a quilt depicting the history of Mexico that’s so compelling it is being displayed in a museum in Mexico City! Go, Paulette!
39. Learn about the Huichol Indians
Here is a good place to start; http://www.indian-cultures.com/cultures/huichol-indians/
40. Attend a writers group
The Ajijic Writers Group meets at the Nueva Posada and hosts critical readings of fellow authors, many of whom are published and prolific writers willing to encourage new writers and give an outlet for creative ideas. For more information visit their website: http://www.escapetoajijic.com/ajijic-writers.htm
41. Go on a Behind the Walls tour to look at homes at Lake Chapala
You’ll get to see inside homes that are often hidden “behind the walls,” and see their lush gardens. You can get great ideas for decorating or finishes.
42. Volunteer at one of the local orphanages
There are several orphanages at Lake Chapala that need volunteers and have fundraisers you may want to participate in. Would you like to rock a baby, teach a painting class to kids or help with their education? There are real needs at Lake Chapala and the rewards are greater than you can imagine.
43. Take the Batur Boat ride
The largest boat on Lake Chapala, this double-decker is a party boat and has hosted weddings, anniversary parties and sunset cruises with live music and dancing on the lake, leaving from the pier in Jocotepec.
44. Try a traditional Temezcal (sweat lodge)
A pre-Hispanic Indian purification ritual that is spiritual and similar to sweat-lodge the Lakota Indians in the US use to cure physical and psychological ailments.Similar to a sauna, a shaman typically leads the ceremony.
45. Get out on the water!
If you like to be out on the water, go boating, jet skiing or kayaking! In Chapala, you can hire someone with a boat to take you out on the lake. There are also beach areas for swimming in Chapala.
46. Get involved in flying small aircraft at the airport at San Nicolas
If you love to fly you can meet up with other aircraft aficionados and share your passion for flight in small aircraft.
47. Learn Spanish/Teach English
Learning to speak Spanish is one of the single most life-enriching things you could do at Lake Chapala. Being able to communicate with the wonderful Mexican people will open up the world to you. And teaching English is a way that you can also give back to the community.
48. Go see a movie at the cinema —in English!
It might surprise you that you can see first run movies at both of the local cinemas for just a few dollars! Modern, air-conditioned salons with comfortable seating and all the popcorn you want.
49. Hang out in the plazas on Sundays
The equivalent of putting your hand on the heartbeat of your newly-adopted home, being a part of the community and experiencing the vibrant life at the Plazas, or town squares, whether it’s an afternoon in the sun, Sunday (when the villages tend to party) or during one of the fiestas, there’s no better way to people watch—and get in on the fun!
50. Shop at the outdoor tianguis and the organic markets
Another pre-Hispanic tradition, the Tianguis is an outdoor weekly market selling everything from fresh produce to artisan jewelry, clothing, woven rugs and textiles, paintings and tasty tacos. The organic market has organic produce as well as homemade bread, yogurt, kefir and even fully prepared meals you can take home and freeze.
Plus Annual events at Lake Chapala:
Now, as the saying goes…’But wait—there’s more!” Lake Chapala has some annual events that are not to be missed. Again, this list isn’t exhaustive but it hits some of the highlights.
1. Chili cook off
Can you take the heat? Are you known for having some kick-butt chili in your area? Maybe this competition is for you and it’s all to support good causes! Over a weekend in February, this local competition raises funds for several local charities in the area, including the Cruz Roja. You’ll be able to take in live music from a variety of musicians, like local favorites Daniel Cordero and Mike & the Suspects, visit booths that promote local businesses as well as host artisans from other areas and enjoy the county-fair atmosphere. Be sure to taste the chili and vote in the People’s Choice awards! Located at Tobolandia, it’s a lot of fun and something we look forward to every year!
2. Carnaval/ Mardi Gras
Like many Catholic countries, Mardi Gras is integral to the culture. The date changes every year in accordance with Easter and the beginning of Lent.An event filled with bawdy fun leading up to Lent, vices play a central role. There are parades, carnival rides, bands, drinking, dancing and loads of symbolism including a boat that was launched off of Cristiania park after being filled with confessions of sins, regrets, wishes, and prayers that burns on a pyre on the lake, finally sinking leaving the revelers with a clean slate ready to begin Lent.
3. The Passion Play
Shortly after Carnaval, Easter or Pascua festivities begin, which is more somber. The locals have practiced and worked on costumes and fundraising for a full year to put on their stunning Pasion de Cristo or Passion Play. It is intense and elaborate and whether you’re religious or not, it’s not to be missed. An integral part of the Mexican culture, this is worth seeing. On Good Friday, Jesus’ trial and crucifixion are recreated followed by His Resurrection on Sunday.
4. Guadalajara Hot Air Balloon Festival
Even though it’s not technically held at Lake Chapala…it’s not held in Guadalajara, either! It’s between the two in Cajititlan at a ranch, taking place over 3 days in May. It’s close enough that I think it qualifies as a pretty outstanding thing to do and earns a spot on my list of Top Annual Events. There are booths on hand selling regional food and crafts, ballet folkloric dancers perform and there are generally 50 hot air balloons. Live music, fireworks and camping add to this magical event.
5. Mexican Independence Day
Known as “El Grito,” Mexican Independence Day is September 16th but celebrated the night before and culminating in the grito at midnight that can go on for quite some time and completely charmed me the first time I experienced it.“Viva Mexico!” is the popular cry but the exuberance can also extend to “Viva America!”, and “Viva Canada!” How generous! The Plaza will be teeming with people dancing to live music, drinking cervezas and reveling in the sheer joy of their indomitable spirit. Against tremendous odds, Mexico gained its independence from Spain and they are justifiably proud. Celebrate with them!
6. American and Canadian holidays
Mexico’s graciousness toward us is astonishing. They have always been incredibly welcoming, even going so far as to host fireworks displays over the lake for us on the 4th of July and Canada Day. There are restaurants that cater to us for our Thanksgivings and certain other holidays, such as Halloween that they don’t share. Given the sheer abundance of holidays and festivals that this area offers, it’s icing on the cake to be indulged during our Homeland’s holidays, as well.
7. Chupinaya race
The main Chupinaya event in July is a one- loop race following a 13.8-kilometer (8.57 miles) course that starts at 1,550 meters (5,020 feet) above sea level and climbs up to 2,400 meters (7,875 feet) before descending back to the starting line. The first mile of the course is on the cobblestone road, beginning at the central plaza and winding through the village before ascending into the neighboring mountain range along 6 mountain peaks and a rough and tumble single track trail. The event is aptly dubbed “For Savages Only” due to its rough terrain and even pro runners have called it the most difficult race they have ever run.The competition also encompasses a recreational race, open to joggers and hikers opting for a less taxing 6.5-kilometer route that turns back at the half-way point of the long course. Since it is referred to as the race of savages, people along the race route and at the finish line shout “animal!” as the runners pass by and as each one crosses the finish line. Cool eh ??
8. Regata de Globos (Paper lantern festival)
Held the Saturday before Mexican Independence Day which is September 16th, this festival is incredibly popular. Teams work for weeks in advance crafting fragile tissue paper works of art that are then filled with hot air and weighted with a kerosene ring that burns at their base to continue to provide hot air for lift off. People on the ground cheer as they float higher and higher but as you would expect, they often catch on fire and burn up mid-air and then the ring will come crashing down with whatever tissue remnants are still burning, among shrieks as people dash out of the way. This would never be legal in the U.S. or Canada and that’s part of what makes it so delightful!
9. Thriller “Thrill the World”
Proving once again what a playful spirit we have, our beloved Zombies have a very successful fundraiser for the Cruz Roja, this community effort is a lot of fun! Held in October, they practice to Michael Jackson’s Thriller for weeks in advance and have incredible costuming and even have help with professional zombie makeup. They dance in the Plaza in Ajijic and have people of all ages from 8 to 80 who participate.They follow with a parade and a catered dinner. You can join their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/TTWAjijic/
10. Day of the Dead/Dia de losMuertos
An ancient tradition and one of Mexico ‘s most unique and widely celebrated holidays. In fact, people come from all over the world to experience Day of the Dead in Mexico. Celebrated on the evening of November 1st and through November 2nd, this is the day that the veil between the dead and the living is supposed to be the thinnest in pagan cultures. Interestingly, Day of the Dead is also a Celtic celebration and contrary to what you might believe, it’s not a macabre event at all! This is an opportunity to recognize that death is a part of life and to remember those who we love who have gone before us.
11. Feria Maestros del Arte
The idea for the Feria originated with Marianne Carlson, an American expat living at Lake Chapala who went to tour seventeen craft villages around Patzcuaro Lake in 2002. There she found craft traditions unknown to most people and were only sold at local markets. The Feria, a three-day event, is held every November at the Yacht Club in Chapala. There are over 80 participating artists from various Mexican states whose stunning workmanship and quality is bar-none.
12. The Christmas Posadas
This is essentially a re-enactment of Joseph and Mary’s long trek to Bethlehem while “Mary” rides side-saddle on a donkey with “Joseph” walking beside her looking for a place they can stay when she is ready to give birth to the baby Jesus. The tradition of Las Posadas dates back to the sixteenth century and St. Ignatius Loyola, who used an Aztec festival to teach the Indians about the birth of Christ. He also wanted to replace the nine-day celebration of the birth of the Aztec Sun god with a Christian celebration. What started as a novena, or nine days of prayer, eventually moved from the church to the community as a religious and social event and was celebrated in people’s neighborhoods. “Mary,” often riding on a real donkey and Joseph are followed by a procession of people carrying lanterns and staffs with brightly covered ribbons and bells. When they arrive at the predetermined homes (usually just three but can be as many as seven!), they are supposed to knock on the door and sing a song of entreaty, only to hear a song of rejection by those inside the first houses they stop at. At the last house (where we are waiting) they will have finally reached the “posada,” and they will be let in and then the fiesta begins!
In summary, there’s so much to do, and so many things I haven’t even covered, there’s no worry that you’ll be bored. Many people become so busy they have to have a calendar to keep track of all their events and commitments. A word of caution here, try not to do so much that you burn out or become exhausted! Balance is key! So what are you waiting for?
Would you like to find out what it would take to relocate here? Let Focus on Mexico help you by attending one of our 6-Day Learning Experiences! That’s what we’re here for. We’ve been doing this for over 20 years and have expert speakers with classes on immigration, taxes, banking, healthcare and more plus a lot of fun with tours of Ajijic, Chapala and Guadalajara and Tlaquepaque. We visit some of the best restaurants in the area and we help people with real estate who are looking to purchase or rent a home in the area. We also help you put a plan into place by helping you make the contacts you need to make with reputable people we’ve worked with for 20 years and know are here for the long haul, as well as connecting you with the vast resources the Focus alumni network has in place to help make you feel at home and help you get things done with a minimum of fuss or guess work.
So, even though the 6 days feels like a vacation, it’s really an investment in friendships and navigating your future in Mexico with as few headaches as possible. Register today and pay later! https://focusonmexico.com/book-now/
For a PDF Downloadable Version of this article, click here;
50 Things To Do At Lake Chapala PDF
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Lannie Loeks says
do you have this in print form?
Also, has anyone done a thorough restaurant guide?
michael nuschke says
Hi Lannie, We don’t have this article yet in print form, but we are working on a slightly expanded version that can be downloaded by PDF and printed. Check back to this article by end of August 2017 and you should see the download by then. As for a restaurant guide, Focus hands out a list of recommended restaurants during our Program, but for a more thorough guide, check out this site; http://lakechapalarestaurantguide.blogspot.mx/
Linda R Harley says
Cooking classes on Wednesdays – Tanguis to Table cover local ingredients and Mexico’s vast culinary culture!
michael nuschke says
Hi Linda, Sounds great! Could you add some additional detail to this – where & when are the classes, etc?
Cindi Lee Goode says
I see that biking at Carreterra Chapala-Ajijic is recommended as one of 50 things to do at Lake Chapala.
Does anyone have any info about where to rent bikes or how to arrange for a group bike ride while visiting Lake Chapala?
michael nuschke says
Lakeside is getting more bike friendly with some extensive bike lanes along the main road between Ajijic and Chapala, but still need to be cautious, imo, as “bike-awareness” may not be high in drivers minds…
You might check out Riders of the Sierra Madre at https://www.ridethesierra.com/tours/hub-and-spoke/
or Newline Bikes at http://www.ajijicnews.com/pages/newlinebikeshop
Have not used either, but came across their websites.
I am considering moving to your part of Mexico is there any social clubs with single mature women to join and mingle with since I am a widower not a couch potato
michael nuschke says
Yes, there is a very active community of single, mature women at Lakeside. There are lunch clubs, Facebook Groups and more.
You won’t have any problems in finding others to socialize with.