Lake Chapala: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
Updated: Sep 30
Future expats want the simple truth about living in Lake Chapala. So I will be frank and lay it all on the line. Read on to find out more about what's hot and what's not in Lake Chapala.
Climate – One one of the best in the world. Enjoy sun almost every day of the year
Cost of Living – You can still live very well for $1000 USD/month
Very Low Propery Taxes – Only $100-300 USD per year!
Beauty – Gorgeous scenery, hummingbirds and butterflies are always around you
Things To Do – Well over a hundred organizations to keep you busy
Close to a Major International Airport – Guadalajara Airport is only 30 minutes away
The People – Mexican people are warm, kind and family orientated
The Expat Community – One of the biggest and oldest communities in the world
Restaurants – Lots of great restaurants for such a small town
Entertainment – There is a ton of nightly entertainment and dancing as well as live theaters. Put on your dancing shoes and live it up!
Guadalajara – Only one hour to a major city
Excellent Inexpensive Health Care and Dentistry – Both in Ajijic and Guadalajara
Traffic – With the aging baby boomer population, problems in the U.S. and a steadily increasing middle class from Guadalajara, Lake Chapala has become a mecca for retirement and vacationing.
Cobblestones – Tough and dangerous to walk on!
High Sidewalks – Many so high you can't open your car door but keeps you in shape.
Garbage – Its is still common for people to leave their garbage on the street for pickup and although there is garbage pickup 2-6 days a week (depending on area) the garbage is often for the dogs.
Litter – In general, I think it can be said that most Mexicans discard their trash out their window or just drop it on the street. There is lots of litter but there are also Mexican organizations doing regular trash pick up on the weekends and trying to combat and educate about this problem.
Firecrackers – If you have not spent any time in Mexico yet, be prepared. The firecrackers, called cohetes, are loud enough to wake the dead and give your pets a coronary. There are no enforced noise regulations and they commonly go off at any time of the day or night.
Burning of Fields and Hillsides – This occurs mainly in the dry months of April and May and it can be smoky
Power Outages – Not an uncommon occurrence Lakeside
Theft – Petty theft can be a bit of a problem so keep things out of sight and/or locked
Bugs – Not as bad as coastal areas in my opinion but this can bother some people who come from the frozen north. Just remember, they were here first.
Police – Generally untrustworthy and often no help. Better to call Ghostbusters
Dogs – Lots of stray dogs even with all the organizations trying to reduce the problem with spay and neuter clinics and helping to find homes for them. This means lots of barking dogs too.
Do Not flush! – The toilet paper that is. This bothers many people used to growing up north of the border.
Poor Treatment of Pets and Livestock – Mexico has a poor appreciation for animals and this can be grizzly for some people to see
Dog Poop – Watch where you step!!