See the World… but Start with Mexico… A great Home base is Lake Chapala Ajjic

September 30, 2009

As you Chapala Club members know this site is all about Living, Working and Playing in our beautiful and affordable area of Mexico many of you already call home, many more of you are itching to get here and call it home, and some of you are still deciding if Lake Chapala Ajijic may be right for you.

In this article I’m going to focus less directly about just how great Lake Chapala Ajijic is in and of itself.

Today, I’m going to tell you about a pretty much overlooked aspect of living here. Not only is it very easy to get here from almost anywhere in the world and especially easy to get here by air from North America with many direct flights from gateway cities, but it’s also a great place from which to see the world.

But, before you see the rest of the world… Start with Mexico.

Our international airport and the increasingly modern highway system into and out of our area will take to some of the most romantic, beautiful and interesting places on the planet.

But, don’t take my word for it. Seeing is believing!

Take a break and watch the video and see if if you don’t agree with me. Then make a  comment below to share your thoughts about travel in Mexico…or whatever else is on your mind.

Let me know when I can help at or Toll Free at 1 – 877 514 1396

  • Sophia Rose

    Hola Sid,

    Thanks for all the great information and stories. Three questions that i’m sure will interest other people too:

    1. What do you know about the Amero currency plans the US is negotiating with Mexico and Canada? Apparently it’s been in discussion for years already. How would that affect the exchange rate of using our US money to move to Mexico to make retirment strech longer? If you don’t know, do you know where one might research that? I’ve Googled it a lot and can’t get that specific question answered.

    2. Mail has been discussed before, but i and my friends here in the US planning to move there order a lot of stuff online- supplements, books, skincare, etc. Many companies don’t seem to ship outside US or the postage is too high, but i’ve also been told Mexican workers steal mail so nothing valuable is safe to ship. What’s your opinion?

    3. I and many i know have food allergies such as dairy and wheat. How available are dairy alternative foods, such as soymilk, or wheat free products, such as pastas and bread, in he area, perhaps in Guadalajara? I have found them to be extremely expensive in other cities at health food stores, and cost prohibitive ($6 for quart of soymilk!). I noticed there was lactose free milk in the grocers though. But soy products are good for us women in menopause too! If we have to lug cases of this down with us from the US, how much can get through the border? Gosh, maybe i’ll have to start making my OWN bread, without gluten!


  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Sophia Rose, Thanks for the kind words about

    #1 The Amero is just a collectors medal even though many of the sites refer to it as a “coin”.

    One of the websites I checked stated,

    “My goal with these coins is not to endorse a Union of North America or a common “Amero” currency. I fully support the United States Constitution, and I would not welcome (in any form) a diminishment of its provisions. I expect that these coins will help make more people aware of the issue and the possible ramifications. I leave it up to others to decide if they are in favor of, or against a North American Union. And I encourage citizens to voice their approval or disapproval of government plans that impact them.”

    Canada, the USA, and Mexico are becoming closer all the time. People from all three countries are voting with their feet. Only time will tell if and when our Countries will merge like the European Union. I doubt if it will occur in the lifetimes of anyone reading this however.

    #2 You can have items sent here by UPS and Fed Ex and they arrive in good consition and safely. Depending upon the item Mexican Import Duty may be assessed.

    I visit the USA at least once a year and I bring back a large supply of vitamins and Supps. I can’t find here or are not popular enough to have a low price.

    More and more people are using Kindle: Amazon’s 6″ Wireless Reading Device which you can use to just download your books and carry your Kindle reader full of your favorite books.
    We have a 20,000 + volumn English Language lending library at the Lake Chapala Society and of course there re tons of E books available on line.

    The Regular Mexican mail service is improving significantly in the last year as well. You can have things sent by “registered mail”.

    We also always ask if friends need anything brought back when we travel to the USA or Canada too, so we make out just fine.

    If for some reason you need to get important snail mail safely delivered here I recommend. “Handy Mail”. Here’s a link to a prior article which tells all about this service.

    #3 More and more of these products are available. The “Super Lake Supermarket” in San Antonio, Tla. between Ajijic and Chapala has the largest assortment of these types of products from local and imported sources.

    Obviously some of these products will cost more here due to the import duty the store has to pay… but balance this against all the other things that are just a fraction of the cost in the USA or Canada.

    Bring your bread machine or better yet teach your maid how to make your type of bread. She may start a business making it for all the other folks who would like to have Gluten Free bread.

    Border crossings with questionable, but not illegal items. My advice. Place your items in different parts of the vehicle under all the other stuff. Hope for the green light. Negotiate the duty if you get the red light and they think your items is in deed something that you should pay duty on.

    In my experience you will come in slick and smooth many more times than you will have to be inspected and even fewer times will you have to pay any duty. The things to be sure and declare up front are expensive big ticket electrical things like BIG SCREEN TV’s.

    They get cheaper each year here and they have built in surge protectors not installed in those for the USA market. Hope this helps. Sid

  • http://yahoo sally Stephens

    Can you guide me for my first visit from Orange County, Ca. You mentioned “non stop” flights?

    Would love to come out and stay for a few weeks to see if Lake Chapala is the place for me.

    Would be traveling solo and need contacts once I arrive.


  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Sally, Yes, It would be my pleasure to work with you to help you set up a visit to our area.

    Send me an e mail to and let’s get started.
    Please let me know the 3 or 4 things that are most important to you to learn about in addition to flights from your area.

    Tu amigo, Sid

  • http://yahoo sally Stephens

    Thank you Sid. I think getting there, to Lake Chapala and then making friendly contacts are the two most important issues. I plan to stay for a month or so to see if I would like to live there permanently, so will need a nice, affordable place to rent for a while.

    I look forward to meeting the Lake Chapala Club members.


  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Sally, Sounds like a good plan. We can help with your plan. My group doesn’t rent homes, but we can hook you up with the various rental firms, show you the rentals with or without the rental agent and point out things you might miss when looking at the home/apt for rent.

    I also recommend checking the Lake Chapala Society bulletin boards for home for rent directly from owners. Whoever of our team helps you can also comment on the advantages and disadvantages of the area of any given rental property.

    Tu amigo, Sid

  • Sophia Rose

    Dear Sid,

    A very belated thank you for your long, thorough reply to my 3 questions from quite a while back! Somehow i missed it and JUST read it. Thanks again for all your service to the community near and far…

    Maybe THIS year i’ll be able to move there!
    Sophia Rose

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Sofia, Thanks for your very kind words. Glad I was able to help. I hope you’ve subscribed. That he best way to stay up to speed. If not yet subscribed, it’s easy. Just go up to the upper right hand corner of any page on our site and enter you e mail address and click GO, and the software will do the rest.

    Watch for a confirmation e mail and OK it and you’re on board. Tu amigo, Sid

Email for more information:

Featured Video

Latest Club Posts

Recent Club Comments

  • Catherine Ibarra: Does Handy Mail, provide FAX service? if not does anyone else"…
  • The real and only Toedeladoki: Hello and have a good day! We are a Dutch couple living for more than 11 years in Barra De Navidad. We…
  • douglas brown: How do I get more info. on assisted living or retirement homes . I have tried to find info. but…
  • Mopussyplease: But could you answer on question? If it's so safe down there, why do all of the homes have bars…
  • Mopussyplease: But if you look at the whole country of Mexico and their murder rate vs America's murder rate. Mexico's murder…
  • John: Sid, please do not write about how great the Chapala area is as there are too many Americans and Canadians…
  • Marco Duran: My name is Sofia Huerta 37 y/o and I speak english, italian and spanish I've wroked in UK and Italy…

Chapala Webboard

Chapala Club Archives

See all Chapala Club Posts

Chapala Club Topics

Friends of Chapala Club