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Lake Chapala Pickleball - Mexico's Year Around Pickleball Resort

Pickleball in Lake Chapala

Lake Chapala is now the premier destination in Mexico to play pickleball. Offering the second best climate in the world, pickleball can be played virtually 365 days a year in perfect weather conditions! And because of the large expat community, pickleball has expanded dramatically, now offering 3 major facilities with 6 courts each, conveniently spread along the north western shoreline of Lake Chapala.

Pickleball in Lake Chapala started in May 2016, when we were fortunate enough to have Mexican tennis pro, Carlos Castro, introduce pickleball to the Raquet Club in San Juan Cosala. The Raquet Club's pickleball division started out with 4 courts with lines painted over top of the existing tennis courts. While this was fine at the beginning, they soon saw that the demand was going to grow so they installed permanent pickleball courts and expanded to 6 courts.

Lake Chapala Pickleball
Tennis pro, Carlos Castro

New pickleball courts
Pickleball Central at Raquet Club, Lake Chapala

With it's growing popularity, a second facility was added in 2019 at the Montecarlo Hotel in Chapala. This location is even better for many east side Ajijic/San Antonio residents and regularly attracts 20-40 players most days of the week. Being the "newest" facility it took over hosting all of our tournaments, drawing players from all over Mexico, the U.S and Canada. Montecarlo also has the added advantage of being bus friendly as the bus drops you off right at the hotel entrance. Great for snowbirds and visitors without cars!

Pickleball courts at Montecarlo Hotel, Chapala

In November 2022, a third facility was added right in Ajijic at Real de Chapala Hotel in La Floresta (a residential community just east of the village).

All facilities offer lessons and paddle/ball rental and are open to the public 7 days a week.

Pickleball pro, Sam Recinos, moved to Lake Chapala in 2018 and soon started working with a select group of Mexican boys to bring their game to competition level. He's been able to raise funds to send these talented youngsters to major pickleball tournaments in the U.S. Sam Recinos, has also been helping the local community by orchestrating pickleball programs designed to take your game to the next level of play.

Final round tournament winners - Advanced play

If you are not familiar with the game of pickleball then here is a bit of history about the game from the USA Pickleball Assocciation:

2020 marks the 55th Anniversary of pickleball, as it was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, by three enterprising dads – Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum. Their children were bored with their usual summertime activities. It evolved from the original handmade equipment and simple rules into a popular sport throughout North America and is now taking off in other parts of the world.

The origin of the game’s name is very interesting, especially since no pickles are used. Accounts of how the name originated differ. According to Joel Pritchard’s wife (Joan), she started calling the game pickleball because “the combination of different sports reminded me of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats”. However, according to Barney McCallum, the game was officially named after the Pritchards’ dog Pickles who would chase the ball and run off with it. According to McCallum, “The Pritchards had a dog named Pickles, and you’re having fun at a party, right? So anyways, what the hell, let’s just call it pickleball.”

Others claim both accounts may be true. In the early years, no official name was assigned to the game. However, a year or two after the game was invented, the Pritchard’s purchased a cocker spaniel and named it Pickles. As the game progressed, an official name was needed and “pickleball” was it.

Pickleball tournament winners

More information about local pickleball activities can be found at

and on their Facebook Pages:

Carlos Castro and Sam Recinos (foreground left)

Pickleball can be played by players of any age, even into your 90's!, It is a fun, fast, and exciting game to play and has attracted an estimated 36.5 million players in the U.S. alone so come on out and join the fun and competitive play in Lake Chapala, Mexico!

Michaela & Ricardo are your FULL SERVICE Real Estate Agents. Along with our Retirement Seminars, our over 20 years of combined experience Lakeside, and our network of area Professionals, we help guide you to from beginning to forever in your Retirement Journey to Lake Chapala, Mexico.

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