There are thousands of reasons to take a vacation and even more than that when deciding on places to go. Well on a recent trip I think I discovered a small piece of heaven. It’s called Ajijic, Mexico. A small city of 15,000 people, about 45 minutes by car from the airport in Guadalajara, and about 3 blocks from Lake Chapala. We decided to stay for the week at Casa del Sol, a very lovely bed and breakfast some 10 minutes walk from the center square in town. After taking the first day to rest from the flight and getting our bearings we ventured out and made our first friends a couple of streets over from our B&B.
For sure it was a sign of the relaxing trip we were hoping for. It takes a little getting used to the cobble stone streets, especially when it rains, but its just another feel of the culture and history of this historic Mexican area. Many of the shops feature the homemade styles of the area for every buying whim from pottery to blankets and so much more. Locals speak English well and even the ones that don’t are more than happy to guide you thru the experience. Ajijic is a heavy expat area for Americans and Canadians alike and it’s pretty easy to see why. From the culture, to the weather and most of all to the people that call it home. By North America standards it is a inexpensive place to visit or live full time. After our siesta in the afternoon we started to walk down by the boardwalk and look for a good place to eat.
Can you see why we stayed on the benches here for awhile just to enjoy the amazing view. Breath taking to behold. Lucky for us another couple had just had some lunch close by and recommended to us a place called “Yves”. Boy was it a great place to eat. I have eaten steaks all over the world but this was one of the best. Prime rib, fresh fruit ,salads and endless charm from the staff.
One of the most enjoyable times was sitting at the town cafe sipping coffee and watching the locals and other visitors walking by and enjoying their days. We had accomplished our goals for this vacation. We got to “rest like a local”.
Small Town Serenity
Many people have grown up in the smaller towns, then moved to the city for any number of reasons. As we get older and life tends to slow down a bit to a more peaceful pace we look at places to call home. If you enjoy the traveling lifestyle like I do, this also becomes part of the equation “where to hang the hat and coat for the last time”. Well….Ajijic Mexico comes to mind.
After a trip down south recently I discovered this little gem of a town, and to no surprise so did thousands of other expats before me. To describe this area is a small town by a hillside, cobble stone streets with lush well maintained trees and bushes by the roadsides and a town of locals and gringos mixed in to create a warm, safe and welcoming place to be.
But you must be careful when it rains on these streets, the water can be awfully fast and deep before you know it. We found out the hard way.
On a warm and sunny day you take a walk up the hillside and it gives you a
totally different perspective on the town. Gazing down from the hilltop over the homes, many shops, churches and the locals out enjoying their day you get the sense of why this is a small slice of heaven.
After a long days walking around and taking numerous photographs of everything it was really nice to pull up a chair and sip a coffee at a cafe. This centerpiece of the town is a marvelous display of culture and pride for the locals to show off to all who come and see. You feel a sense of calmness and a desire to interact with all you meet. There will always be a place in your travels that hits the one note, this is my “small town serenity”.
Paul Crowe C.D.
I agree with you, I have lived there and also vacation there. I have several friends that I enjoy visiting there. It is a lively area with quiet and enjoyable breathing space. Many cultures are available to all who visit.
Without question, this article gives an accurate description of local flavor… From Yves to the gracious local Mexican people, this town has everything I ever desired for my ex-pat experience…
Redmond, WA, USA
I have visited Ajijic, Mexico twice now. Both times I stayed at B&B’s. Very clean, friendly and great breakfasts to enjoy. We took a tour bus once to nearby areas and a bus to Chappala to go to their open market day (prices were so reasonable as well as B&B’s). Both trips were so relaxing! Everyone should make at least one trip there in their lifetime. I am ready for my third one, for sure!!
A very informative view of life in Ajijic where we are travelling to in mid April. We have been to Mexico before but that was 33 years ago so we are encouraged to read such a positive impression because here, in the UK, we only receive the bad news about Mexico.
We have bee there about 10times we love it! We rented a house all the time and made lots of friends. We expect to be moving there.About a year. Either rent first an then buy a house.
We live in Long island.
I am planning a trip there in January. I am looking to rent a room with bath from an American family for a short three weeks. Is there anyone who could help me? I am a retired lady (american) living in Ecuador. Would appreciate any help. Thanks
What is he process to bring a pet dog into and out of Mexico by plane or car?
I live in NYC I would love to speak with someone that has been there. I am looking for a place to retire and maybe work a little —if there is a way to assist me. Due to money restrictions I am open to to possibilities. thank you
I have a first cousin that lives there and they love it. I told him I was conserned if I could live on soc.sec. He said no problem so I’m heading out this fri 10-18 from WV when do you plan on going?
Jimmy, are you moving there from WV? I’m native WV retired and thinking of moving to Lake Chapala area.