Lake Chapala

Last weekend we took a day trip to Lake Chapala. The lake is a quick 45 minutes outside the city (Guadalajara) and serves as a winter residence for many American and Canadian expats, mostly retirees. We started off with a quick walk on the main boardwalk in the town of Chapala.


Then we continued on to Ajijic- hub of the retirees. We were set on exploring the cobble-stoned town but there wasn’t much to see, and so we had a quick lunch. “Finish?” the waiter asked, and we were off.

Our last stop was in Jocotepec on the Western edge of the lake. There’s a lovely park with picnic areas, swings and a nice boardwalk on the lake. Little N loved the outing, and it was a good day out of town.

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Things to Do Around Lake Chapala

1. Walk on the Chapala Malecon 

The malecón is the boardwalk, that goes along the lake. It’s an open area to enjoy the lake views. Perfect for people watching and enjoying the lake. The Chapala malecon tends to be active!

2. Kayaking or Boat Tour

It is easy to rent a kayak, or hire a boat for a guided tour of Lake Chapala and its surrounding villages.

3. Tiaguis in Ajijic

Every Wednesday morning, there is a tinaguis in Ajijic. A tinaguis is an outdoor market for produce but also other items such as home goods and clothes, even dollar store type plastic items. There are food stalls that set up during the market as well so you can get lunch. 

4. Balneario San Juan Cosala

San Juan Cosala is just ten minutes away from Ajijic. Check out the thermal waters (balneario) in San Juan Cosala. The spring water is available for bathing through several hotels.

5. Malecon de Jocotepec

Check out the boardwalk in Jocotepec. Jocotepec is on the west end of Lake Chapala, and the malecon here is actually a much larger park, with picnic areas and a relaxing space to enjoy the natural surroundings. While the malecon in Chapala is very much a part of the town, this malecon has a dedicated parking area and is a great place to spend the day.

6. Take a Tour

If it’s your first time in Mexico, you may find it easier to take a tour with a guide. Here’s an option to check out:

More Things to Do in Jalisco

Interested in what else there is to do in Jalisco, Mexico? Check out our complete list of things to do in Guadalajara! Or consider going on a day trip to Guachimontones, Tequila, or the beach!

If you are considering moving to Guadalajara – here’s a guide to the different areas of these cities!

Concerned About Safety in Mexico?

Our experience has been that the tourist oriented areas of Mexico are perfectly safe for travelers. Because things can happen unexpectedly on any trip, we do recommend getting travel insurance before every trip. Click here to get a free quote!

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