Is Lake Chapala Mexico the Best Place to Retire?

January 1, 2008

Is Lake Chapala Mexico the Best Place to Retire?

Note to current subscribers: Much of this article will be things you already may know, but will be a good review, so even you veterans be sure and read the last few paragraphs even if you skip the first part of the article.

I changed the font to RED to alert you where to start.

Mexico’s natural charm and captivating beauty is well acknowledged and Is consistently on the list of the best places in the world to retire and has been as long as I can remember.

Mexico is a land of contrast in that you can find parched deserts and lush forests and even snow-capped mountains and tropical lowlands.

There are industrialized cities and remote and rustic places you might call “ancient.” This makes for some really interesting inexpensive trips using Lake Chapala Ajijic as a base.

The Mexican people are influenced both by Christian and Indian traditions. It’s these bold contrasts that make Mexico unique to tourists, and foreign retirees alike, who seek the best places for fun and adventure and /or the best place to retire.

Most parts of Mexico are now all served by a network of modern highways and by an large system of secondary roads.

Mexico’s efficient transportation and road system is one of factors that’s contribute to the growth of the tourism industry.

Bordered by the United States on the north, Guatemala and Belize on the southeast, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea on the east, and the Pacific Ocean on the west and south, Mexico is the most ideal place for retirement among the Latin American countries.

It’s also easily accessible from the United States or Canada,and it’s easy to head farther South to Central and even South America from here as well.

The Lake Chapala Ajijic Mexico, is one of the easiest retirement areas in Mexico to reach from North America. Our area is just a long one day drive from the Texas border.

One client and his wife decided recently to take one of the luxury buses from the Dallas area here and were quite happy with their decision.

Nearby Guadalajara International Airport (GDL) is a short taxi ride (20 minutes away) served by American, Delta, Frontier, Areo Mexico, Mexicana, and Continental to name the major carriers.

For some, what makes Mexico one of the best places to retire is its scenic beauty and natural parks. These attractions would rival anything that Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Greece, France, China, and other scenic places have to offer.

Chapala 745 Jan 6 3 Kings Day 001

Another factor in deciding the best retirement area is the climate and weather.

Mexico has a very diverse climate so that there’s a climate variety for almost any taste. Most retirees are not looking for extremes of weather, but for a year around perfect climate.

Since that’s what most retirees are looking for from where ever in the world they come from the most popular retirement place in Mexico is the Lake Chapala Ajijic area. The year around average temperature is 72 F. with mostly sunny days.

The Lake Chapala Ajijic area of Mexico has some of the best and least expensive gourmet food in all the world as well if this is important to you. We have retired Chefs here who decided to un-retire.

So, If you love eating, and who doesn’t, trying out unique cuisines, of all types, then you will simply love Lake Chapala Ajijic Mexico.

Another reason why Mexico is one of the best places in the world to retire is the excellent exchange rate of peso and the dollar. As this is written the exchange rate is around 13 pesos per US Dollar.

Another consideration in where to retire is how do the local people view retirees from North America.

Well, the local people in our area of Mexico are very welcoming to retirees. No “ugly American syndrome here”. The local people at Lake Chapala Ajijic have been welcoming retirees for the last 55 years…so there has been a long term bonding and mutual appreciation built up between the two groups that newcomers immediately appreciate.

In Mexico overall about seven percent of the population are considered Indian and this includes four percent who are bilingual and three percent who speak only an indigenous language.

The most widely used languages other than Spanish are Nahaute, used in east central Mexico, Zapotec and Mixtec mostly spoken in Oaxaca state, and Otomi spoken predominantly near Mexico City and in parts of Puebla.

In the Lake Chapala Ajijic area where I live along with about 15,000 other North American retirees the most frequent language you will hear after Spanish… is English. Yes, many shop keepers, lawyers, doctors. dentists and other professionals are bi lingual. I’m personally at what I call “advanced survival level” in my own Spanish ability.

Chapapa Area Nov 07 022

Learning a little Spanish can pay big dividends here.

Permit me one small example:

My wife, Arcelia (a Mexicana) wanted to have a few bumps and bruises on her car repaired.

So, we sought out a Body repair shop recommended by our gardener, Juan.

It took a little looking to find the shop in a residential area of Ixtlauacan just over the mountain from our house, but as it turned out it was time well invested.

The body man was probably about 20 years old and his shop was in front of his home and honestly didn’t inspire confidence.

He surveyed the work needing to be done( repairing several small dents on the right rear above the bumper, some gravel nicks here and there and a dent in the front bumper and a few scuffs here and there on various parts of the car); and my wife told me in English, “He says he can do the work for 150.”

My first though was that this seemed a bit high, especially for Mexico, but since he agreed to do the work in one day and we needed the car back, I told her OK.

The next day we arrived just before dark so we could check the work. It was perfect !

What was “more perfect” was that when it came time to pay I learned the price was NOT $150 USD, but 150 pesos ($11.53 USD).

At a regular shop in the states I would have certainly paid a couple of hundred dollars. At a bi lingual shop in Chapala I would estimate the charge to be around $75 USD.

There are many more reasons to choose Mexico (especially Lake Chapala Ajijic,Mexico) as your future retirement home or part time retirement home (snow bird home) but you get the idea.

Want to know more about retirement at Lake Chapala Ajijic?

Do you have some questions you want answered?

Las Palmas home 2

Let me be your consultant. Pick my brain! Let me share my experiences of traveling in Mexico since 1960, my knowledge of retirement life here for the last 7 years, and my knowledge and experience with legal issues, real estate and much more.

Let’s talk by e mail or telephone. For free telephone consultations just send me an e mail to

Please include your Time Zone, telephone number and the best time to call you in the evening.

I’m looking forward to helping you !

All for now. Siempre tu amigo (Always Your Friend), Sid

Email for more information:

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