I took a boat ride to Scorpion Island over the weekend. Or as it is called in Spanish, Isla Alacranes. First off, it is not called that because it is filled with Scorpions. It is because from above, it looks like the shape of a scorpion. I had been putting off this trip because we are in the rainy season and there is no telling when a downpour will arrive. Fortunately, there was no rain on Saturday when we took the trip. I went with a family. There were four children and they were a lot of fun. Children see things with fresh eyes and they have so much energy to explore everything.
We waited at the fountain for their father to find us a boat to rent. He thought that if the boatman were to see an Expat in the group, the price would go up. But that wasn’t the case. The boats are all the same price, depending on where you want to go. You rent the entire boat, not individual tickets. If you just want to go out to another area of Chapala, the boat costs 250 pesos. If you want to go to Scorpion Island, the boat costs 350 pesos. It will take up to twelve people at one time. If you had twelve friends, it would be very inexpensive. (250 pesos as of today is 18.95 American dollars. 350 pesos as of today is 26.54 American dollars.) If you are reading this article in the future, please don’t expect the same prices. It will be more expensive. Everything goes up, always.
Ten years ago when I was looking online for a place to retire in Mexico, I came across a photo of this gate and the lake. It is what brought me here. I fell in love with this area from the photo and was not disappointed when I arrived. I always enjoy going to the pier in Chapala. It is magical. Many others agree with me on that. It is crowded on weekends and holidays.
As you can see from the above photo, the boats are tied up in very shallow water. This year the water is a long ways from the shore. It is so far out in one place that it looks like a giant football field where there was once water. I hope things will turn around before long. I don’t like seeing the lake getting smaller. If it continues, we may be able to walk to Scorpion Island. (Just kidding.)
As we were leaving Chapala, we passed a very large green area that has become a sanctuary for the birds. I enjoyed getting close enough to them to take some photos.
I tried to find facts about Scorpion Island but none were available. Not even online. There is no tourist center on the island and the boatman was too busy driving the boat to talk with me and answer all my questions. But you can see the island in a distance in the above photo. It is small. This article will be about the fun things on the island. Facts will have to wait.
Chapala is a beautiful town, both up close and at a distance. You can see the clouds above it. The rain gods smiled on us and did not pour rain on our day.
Above is a closer view of the island. It takes a little less than fifteen minutes to get there by boat from Chapala. It was a smooth ride. The water was calm.
We arrived at the pier on the island and a man was waiting to greet us, tie up the boat, and help us out of it. This island is not built up at all. That is what makes it so interesting. It is very peaceful and green and there are many beautiful flowers growing everywhere.
There are also many small restaurants and a few larger ones.
As we walked further onto the island, we came upon an area where there were several small stands. There was a woman selling fresh cut fruit. There was a bar if you wanted to have a drink before exploring the island. Not a good idea as it is kind of dangerous if you want to explore along the rocks. You can see in this photo that people are walking up some stairs into a small chapel.
Above is a photo of the entrance to the chapel. It was beautiful. I loved the paintings both inside and outside of it.
You can see that the chapel is very well maintained. I could have stayed in there for a long time but the family was on the move and there was the rest of the island to explore.
Above is a photo of the smaller Chapel that is located next door to the other one. They also had very interesting and beautiful paintings on the walls.
In the photo above and the one below, you can see small portions of the paintings that are in this smaller chapel. They are well done. I was impressed with them.
After visiting the two chapels, we walked along the footpath, further into the center of the island. It was lined with flowers.
There are many pretty paths on the island. Some lead to small almost hidden restaurants and one led to the Huichol Ceremonial Hut in the photo below. My friends oldest daughter, Valeria, is looking at it and her mother, Lupita, is taking photos in the background.
There are sculptures of scorpions all over the island. They are on top of the rocks. It was a lot of fun for the children to find them. I couldn’t tell if they were carved out of the rocks or imbedded in them. But they are all very hard. There is no way they could be removed and that is what makes me think they might have been carved from the rocks. All I could tell for sure was that they took a lot of work to make. And if you don’t like scorpions, you most likely wouldn’t like to come upon any of these huge ones.
My friends oldest oldest son, Jeremmy, liked the scorpion sculptures. He discovered them and showed me where they were located.
I counted five, but there may have been more that I missed.
Below is a photo of one of the many restaurants on the island. We didn’t stop to eat. We had too much exploring to do and not enough time. We needed to look for more of those scorpion rocks.
After exploring the island, we were all ready to climb back into the boat and head for Chapala. We were lucky that the water remained calm.
I saw one sailboat on our way back. Otherwise, all we saw were birds and other boats like ours. I loved seeing the blue mountains in the background and the fluffy white clouds. It was a beautiful day. One I will remember for a long time.
As we got closer to Chapala I was impressed by what a beautiful town it is and how lucky I am to be able to live here. I am glad I followed my heart after seeing that photo of the gate to the pier. Moving here was one of the best choices I have ever made.
I liked seeing the sculpture in the background as we pulled into the shallow water. At one time that sculpture was surrounded by water. Now, people can walk out to it. I hope the water comes back soon.
As we disembarked and walked up the stairs it was possible to see the water line on the wall where it once was. I loved taking the boat ride to Scorpion Island and I recommend it to anyone who likes boats and islands and scorpions. Just kidding about the scorpions. I didn’t see any real ones all day long. It is a great trip for children too. Something not to be missed if you are visiting this area…..
Lovely pictures.I want to move there.
Thank you so very much for sharing Evelyn. I can’t wait to get relocated down there. Every time I see articles like yours I get so excited I can hardly stop myself from doing the Snoopy dance. Make it a great day.
Marla, future resident
Hi: thanks for the great pics of the lake and Island. I would like to kknw more about this area as we are planning to be part of it in the very near future. Anything on boating and fishing, and sight seeing would be appreciated. Also is it possible to own your own boat? Thanks for any and all info you can provide. Harry
My mother grew on the Islsnd of Chapala back in 40’s and she had an uncle that owned the scorpion island. I hope some day I can visit the island my mother grew up on . Thank you for the insight and the pictures of the island .
We’re looking for our next place to call home. Having heard about some of the rude behavior of ex-pats in the Lake Chapala area, is it really a thing or someone’s opinion? We are planning to visit the area for 10 days to immerse ourselves as best as possible, enough time to get a feel? What area in/around Lake Chapala/Ajijic is one able to become a local and not be part of the visitor-type feel? What do you wish you would have known before arriving at Ajijic? Clearly you love the area, was it always that way? Thank you! Martha