San Antonio Tlayacapan
San Antonio Tlayacapan is a charming Mexican village set between Chapala and Ajijic. Property in the town tends to be less expensive than comparable properties in Ajijic, yet the shopping in San Antonio is some of the best along Chapala’s north shore.
The lakeside part of town centers on the plaza, with the church dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua on the northern side of the square. Its wrought iron bandstand is a popular photo op for visitors and jacaranda trees cover the ground with a carpet of purple blossoms in early spring.
Fiestas all year long
Since 1979, Holy Week brings a via crucis to the village streets, as local residents reenact the passion of Christ. It begins on Palm Sunday with a solemn procession. On Thursday, the Last Supper is depicted in theater, followed by the arrest of Jesus, and on Good Friday, a solemn passion play takes place.
June brings the town’s celebrations for its patron saint – one of the most beloved in history – whose feast day is June 13. The festivities begin nine days in advance, with fireworks at dawn, religious processions, and a special mass each day. In the evenings, people crowd the plaza for music, carnival rides, fireworks and antojitos, or traditional snacks.
And the posadas or nine days before Christmas are famous in San Antonio Tlayacapan for their processions each afternoon. Dressed as Mary and Joseph, parishioners lead a procession through the streets asking for posada, or shelter. Prayers, scripture readings and carols prepare for Noche Buena and the birth of Jesus.
San Antonio Tlayacapan: the best shopping in Lake Chapala
On the carretera – the highway that links Chapala with Jocotepec – Seven Eleven vies with furniture stores, handicraft shops and the ever popular Super Lake, a small grocery that stocks familiar foods and specialties from North of the Border. A wide variety of wine and spirits can be found at the liquor store next door where an expert tabacalero from Veracruz rolls Cuban cigars by hand, also for sale. Tony’s Meats offers fine beef and pork, cut to order. In the same shopping complex, Tony’s popular restaurant specializes in – what else? Steaks. People drive from all along the lakeshore to shop here.
San Antonio also includes the new Wal-Mart Super Center and Tobolandia, a water park with toboggans, a slow moving river for inner tubes and pools of all sizes. A golf school and driving range recently opened here called the “Hole in one”.
A wide of lifestyles in San Antonio Tlayacapan
The homes lining its streets are single family residences where Mexicans and expats live side by side. You’ll find houses in every price range in San Antonio.
Hamacas is a brand new gated community near the shore with streets of paving stone that encircle a clubhouse and pool. Birds of Paradise is designed in a similar style; both developments are popular with expats but Mexican families, too, live in both.
Up the hill on the libramiento, El Dorado is a luxury development with full ownership and fractional plans. With a clubhouse, gym, screening room for movies and a rooftop restaurant planned, El Dorado will be a meeting place for cultural events of all kinds. The views are spectacular.
Further toward Chapala is Birds of Paradise, another new gated community with streets of paving stone, a pool and clubhouse for residents. Next door, Mision Chula Vista is a walled and gated community of some 20 homes. Its swimming pool boasts a palapa – a thatched roof pavilion popular with residents and guests.
On the north side of the libramiento is Chula Vista Norte, a popular development with expats. Although it’s not a walled community, residents pay a maintenance fee.
In Vista Alegre, residents are almost half expats who enjoy sharing the tennis courts and pool with Mexican neighbors.
Cielo Vista is a walled and gated community with common areas, a clubhouse, pool and tennis courts for an active lifestyle.
To the north of the carretera in town, Chula Vista’s beautiful private residences surround the Chula Vista Country Club. The nine-hole golf course requires great accuracy, but the panoramic view of San Antonio and Ajijic rewards the golfer.
On the lakeside, Mirasol’s paving brick roads are lined by the homes of Mexican families and expats.
From luxury penthouses to simple village homes, affordable real estate in San Antonio Tlayacapan is just waiting to be discovered.