Lake Chapala Sunset – Pure Bliss !

October 19, 2008

A Lake Chapala Sunset – Pure Bliss !


Take a look at this video of a beautiful sunset over Lake Chapala Mexico as seen from the Chapala Malecon on October 17, 2008.


Notice the subtle changes in the cloud formations and the resulting reflections in the lake.


The video is just under 10 minutes long and there’s not a lot of action so it may not appeal to everyone.


But, if you need to clear you mind for a few minutes and just relax then this is the video for you. You can even turn the sound down for this one and just soak in the sunset.


Sort of like meditating with your eyes open. Sid

  • Tommy (from Cleveland OH)

    Hi everyone,

    I’ve been reading with enjoyment Chapala Club’s webboards and forums. I’ve learned quite a bit about living in Mexico specifically in the Ajijjic and Lake Chapala areas. Most of the expatriates appear to own their place of residence. I prefer to rent. Where I currently live and work in Cleveland I rent a very nice large one bedroom apartment and I love it. Since I haven’t read anything so far about renting in Lake Chapala and Ajijic does anyone know if there are nice places to rent for a single woman? If everything goes well, I hope to move there in about five years. As time draws near I will be sure to visit the area to better determine if I like it.

    Thanks for your help. In addition, thank you for all the comments – they’ve been great!


  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Tommy from Cleveland. Thanks so much for the nice comments,

    You remind me of me. I started researching Lake Chapala many years before I was actually able to move here.

    The short answer to your question is YES, there are nice rentals for single folks here at Lake Chapala. Of course I can’t predict just what the situation will be in five years, but I suspect our area will have even more nice rentals then as many of the Baby Boomers may not be able to afford to buy even if they might prefer that.

    Check out the article here on about rentals.

    Be sure and listen to the audio portion too.

    Here’s the link:

    Thnaks again for your comments, Sid

  • Tommy from Cleveland

    Thanks so much Sid for your kind response. Your answer encouraged my eagerness to check out Ajijic even more.

  • Elizabeth

    Sid, I am seriously planning to move to the area in about a year. Your email letters are not only very interesting but also helpful. I check for it every day. Hopefully, I will be able to afford to buy. (Oh my, it is scary now).

    Meanwhile, will you tell me what areas of the “Lakeside” flooded last September (in addition to Juan Casola).

    And to your knowledge how often this happens during the rainy season.

    I am concerned about the safety of the hillside developments -is there a way to check if various developments had soil stability surveys and seismic studies before building? And to get copies?

    Thank you so much.

    Elizabeth Askwith

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Elizabeth, Thanks for your nice words and taking the time to ask your questions.

    As far as I know the San Juan Cosala Raquet Club area was the only area affected.

    It was a very rare freak event from all accounts. A water spout (like a tornado) formed over the lake and sucked up a large quanity of water and then spit it out on the mountain behind the Raquet Club in a concentrated area which began a mud slide.

    A lot of damage to the roads was done as the water and mud that came with it took the path of least resistance and flowed toward the lake down the streets toward the lake.

    (My last trip to the Raquet Club revealed all roads had been repaired and were better than before as most were replaced with cemented cobble stones.)

    I’m sure you can find more detailed accounts on line and probably You Tube videos as well.

    Again, this was a very rare event and likely will never happen again. I;ve not heard of anything before or since this one event.

    If memory serves only one home was destroyed and it was below the highway level in lower San Juan Cosala. Again, others may have better information.

    SOIL TESTS can be done to determine the soil stability in any area you might be interested in.

    In general the entire lakeside area is stable. Nothing like the terrible mud slides we see repeatedly in the USA.

    Recently the lake has risen and a park apparently built while the lake was quite low near the pier in Ajijic was flooded by the rising water.

    They are in the process of elevating this lakeside park now. No homes were afffected as fasr as I know.

    I hope this helps. Sid

  • Tommy (from Cleveland OH)

    Hi Sid.

    Holy cramolies. I just finished reading the article about the charges I would incur, through the years if I choose to live in Mexico. The one titled, “FM2 or FM3, which one is better?” By Jorge Avelar. These charges are of course separate from a person’s day to day living.

    I took the Mexican pesos total of $125,580 and it converted to $9,579.96 USD which one would spend in charges over 15 years for the FM3. I’m stunned. Who can afford this? If I choose to not own property and rent a residence that is the charge it will cost me…almost $10,000.00 USD. These charges are above and beyond the day to day living expenses, including health and auto insurances. I would not have to spend anywhere this amount if I choose to remain living in the U.S.

    So I guess the question is what mind set should I have if I want to live in Mexico? I was motivated by the idea of living in Mexico knowing my small income would go a lot further than here in the U.S. Now that I know of the extra $10K charges is the value there as I originally thought. Even though my cost of day to day living might be lower in Mexico, over time I think I might break even at best. Or maybe slightly higher in Mexico.

    Please Sid, tell me, am I missing something. I’m crushed. I thought my dollar would go further in Mexico over the long term. Now I wonder…

    Any added advise from you is welcoming. Thank your for listening.

    From Cleveland

  • Barbara

    Tommy you said: I took the Mexican pesos total of $125,580 and it converted to $9,579.96 USD which one would spend in charges over 15 years for the FM3. I’m stunned. Who can afford this? If I choose to not own property and rent a residence that is the charge it will cost me…almost $10,000.00 USD.

    I don’t know where you got those numbers, but somewhere along the line you got something very wrong.

    The FM3 doesn’t cost anywhere near that much.

  • Sid

    Hi Barbara, Yes, Tommy is mixed up on the fees involved. I sent him a e mail and tryed to explain things better so he understands the fees better.

    If you’re willing to go the FM2 route which costs a little more each year and does restrict how long you can be out of Mexico then you can at the end of five years go immigrado and and never pay fees again as you would then be a permanent resident.

    I think you can do everything but vote.

    I’ve recently switched to an FM2 status and will later apply for citizenship after two years since I’m married to a Mexican lady and don;t have to wait the full five years to apply.

    Thanks for your comments. Sid

  • Tommy from Cleveland

    Hi Barbara,

    I got the information from an article that Jorge Avelar wrote titled, “FM2 or FM3, which one is better?” Here is the link to that page,

    I hope you are correct. I was concerned as to how high all of the fees are to live by renting in Mexico.

    Let me know what you know.

    Thank you again Barbara for responding to my email.


  • Sid

    Hi Tiommy and Barbara, I think I’ve discovered the confusion. I checked the website Tommy provided. The inmformation appears good and quite detailed. Here’s my take. The fees published use the dollar sign but are in pesos which would make it very expensive.

    Note. Mexico uses the dollar sign too. So, divide the fees by the current exchnage rate to get the actual cost in dollars.

    Currently the exchange rate is almost 13 pesos per dollar.

    Glad we cleared that up. You guys keep your questions coming. Someone will have the answer. Sid

  • Tommy from Cleveland

    Hi Sid and Barbara,

    I divided $125,580 by $13 and got $9660 USD. That’s what I originally indicated when I said it would cost almost $10,000 American dollars in fee charges over time if one chooses to rent as apposed to buying a home in Mexico.

    That sure is a lot of money. As I mentioned before, even though my cost of day to day living might be lower in Mexico, over time I think I might break even at best. Or maybe my costs would be slightly higher in Mexico.

    Thanks for your input and help. I truly appreciate it.


  • Johan

    Dear Tommy,

    The cost of an FM3 are only 1,172 pesos per year, or US$ 90.
    The higher cost listed in the website concern the cost over 15 years for a couple of becoming permanent residents and signing up for the Mexican government health insurance IMSS. The latter cost around US$ 250 per person per year. Can you get it cheaper? In case you stick to your FM3 only, and have your own health insurance (5 years from now Medicair may also work for you in Mexico), you’ll have nothing to worry about.


  • Sid

    Hi Johan and Tommy. Thanks for the clarification Johan. I don’t know of a better place to live less expensively than in our area of Mexico with the same amenities that is.

    There are places in Mexico where homes and land is a little less but speaking Spanish becomes much more necessary, International airports tend to be a long way off, the availability of a lot of products and services that most North Americans and Europeans want are in very short supply in those places and the number of North Americans to socialize with is quite limited.

    Final;ly our area has the best climate in Mexico and other than someplace in Africa I think the experts say the best on the globe.

    So, like Tommy is trying to do, look at all the fators before you decide what’s right for you.

    Our area is a perfect blend of things that most retirees are looking for and thus the popularity.

    Thanks again guys for your comments. Sid

  • Tommy (from Cleveland OH)

    Dear Johan and Sid,

    Thank you for your continued responses regarding my concern about the fee charges that Mexico imposes for foreigners to live in Mexico. It’s good to know that a person can maintain an FM3 status to live for as long as they wish in Mexico. Because I really don’t want to carry the responsibility of home ownership renting a place in which to live is my plan of choice.

    I do need to do more research as to Mexico’s fee charges and of course over time I do want to visit the Ajijic area. I love reading your e-news. Everyone’s comments make it an enjoyable read which I find informative and certainly educational. Even when they argue (debate) amongst each other. What a hoot.

    I wish you a very Happy Holiday and may the New Year bring to us all a time of peace, love and prosperity.


    The lady from Cleveland

  • Sid

    Thanks Tommy. Yes, there are some people who prefer to rent, but most do at some point decide to buy.

    Permit me a quick story. Many years ago some friends here lived in Mirasol and rented a nice home there. The husband always wanted to buy a home and the wife was affraid that he would die before her and she did not want to live here alone.

    Each year they improved the home a little, She loved to swim and asked the landlord if they could put in a pool at their expense and wanted an assurance that they could renew the lease.

    The landlord assured them that they could renew it at the market rate.

    They put the pool in and enjoyed it for the first year. Then, at lease renewal time the landlord significantly increased the rent.

    My friends were of course quit unhappy to say the least and demanded an explanation.

    The explanation was that the property now had a pool and the the market rent for the home had increased and so they would have to pay the new rent amount or leave. They left.

    There are several morals to the story. Get it in writing… and rents can go up as the value of the rented property increases, the demand for rentals exceeds supply, or the area becomes more sought after.

    Home owners, unless they must sell soon after buying or into a down market never lose assuming they did not overpay when they bought.

    But, of course each person has to do what’s best for them and some are willing to live with the uncertainty of the rental market for the freedom they feel like they have.

    Some renters say that they don’t want the expenses of upkeep. Well in Mexico, for the most part, the tenant does have the expense of upkeep if not for major repairs.

    Again, get it in writing and clearly determine who pays for what if you decide to rent.

    Now, many more people rent for a short time to determine if the area is right for them… then they buy.

    Well, Thanks to you Tommy and all the others who have contributed to this thread.

    Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • Sven H

    Jst wondering about the situation in the Raquetclub after the mudslide in 2007.
    How does the pool and club area look?
    Is the courts and pool repaired?
    Any tip on wherer to find todays pictures?

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