Ajijic, Jalisco could be one of the safest and best places in the world for a single woman to retire. With it's large and well established expat community and almost infinite number of things to do, Ajijic is a safe and fun haven for retiring women of any age. Not only is it a great place to retire but with it's low cost of living it invites people of all back rounds and income levels to stay and play.
Life for a single woman in Lake Chapala is very busy!!! There is a lot to do if you look around and get involved. You'll never get bored. Lake Chapala has over 80 registered organizations and probably another 40 unregistered ones. Combine that with all the activities at places like the Lake Chapala Society and various gated communities and you'll need a personal assistant to keep track of your calendar. Cooking clubs, bridge card games, board games, yoga classes, theater, book clubs, dancing, painting, etc. It's all here and then some.
Just FYI, there are already tons of single women here. Go to the cafe at the Lake Chapala Society, or the Black & White cafe and El Jardin Restaurant on the Ajijic Plaza. It is easy to find people that will sit down and talk to you. Look at the bulletin board at the Lake Chapala Society and the Lake Chapala Society's website for an idea of the multitude of activities you could join. Read Ajijic News online and check it's Events Calendar. If there is something you enjoy doing chances are there are people here who enjoy it, too. Hiking, sailing, shopping, working with animals (we have several rescue programs), working with kids, quilting, and so much more.
As far as cost, Ajijic Village housing is more expensive than other parts of Lakeside to live in but it is also the center of many activities and gatherings. The further you are from the lake and Ajijic (in general) the cheaper it is. But ... there are exceptions depending on what you are comfortable with!
For a start, when you first come down, going to the Lake Chapala Society would help you more than anything. It is downtown Ajijic and any cab can take you there. You will find people there who are very friendly and are happy to help and answer questions.
Then contact me and take a free tour of the area and discover that there is so much more to Ajijic than just Ajijic.
During your exploratory stay, plan on going to the Aquas Terminales (hot springs) in San Juan Cosala. It is a hot thermal area with many swimming pools and specialty tubs. Enjoy a soak in hot coffee, salt water, flowers, rose pedals and mud designed to detox and heal.
Visit one of the local tour operators like Charter Club Tours and book a trip around the lake or to Guadalajara, or take the trip to Tonala and Tlaquepaque for shopping. Discover the town of Tequila and visit the many Tequilarias while enjoying the ambiance of a rural Mexican village. During the trip you'll find many like-minded single women such as yourself and make friends quickly.
Before even coming down you can start your journey of discovery by joining the many Facebook groups available online. In addition to the mixed gender groups such as Newbies Ajijic, Gringos Ajijic and Lakeside, and Everything Ajijic and Lakeside, there is also one dedicated solely to women called Mujeres del Lago. This is an awesome way to make acquaintances even before setting foot in Mexico.
Lake Chapala has the perfect mix of big city/small town. If you like big city things (opera, cirqe de sole, specialty restaurants, shopping at high end malls, major concerts) it is all available in nearby Guadalajara. In fact, you probably have more shopping options in Guadalajara then you do in major cities like Houston. Guadalajara has some major malls like Plazas Andares and Galerias, where you can find designer stores from Europe and North America, some that I never even saw in Toronto, Vancouver, or LA. Guadalajara truly has everything for everyone - and then some. And it's perfectly safe to drive to Guadalajara alone, I used to do it frequently before I met my Bo, and even now I regularly still go to Costco by myself.
If you are more of a home body and enjoy entertaining, you will have no problems gathering enough friends to show off your culinary skills and enjoy some glasses of reasonably priced wine. There are many import specialty grocery stores Lakeside so you will not be missing a single ingredient for your favorite dish.
If you enjoy dressing up and going to concerts and dances then the Lake Chapala area is the place for you. The Lakeside Little Theater is is great place to show off your latest fashions and Adalita's dances on a Monday, Friday or Saturday night is not to be missed to mingle and enjoy safe and fun dancing to Latin and Rock music bands.
Here is what one Facebook poster says about living in Ajijic as a single woman:
I moved to Ajijic about 6 months ago, am a single early 50's female and feel very safe, free and happy here. It is quite easy to meet other expats and as the previous poster said if you speak or learn Spanish your horizons are much broader. There are many single women lakeside of varying ages and all seem to be active and enjoying life.
Lots of opportunity to express yourself, do volunteer work.
The Mexican people are warm, friendly and generous.
I walk, take the bus. Friends give me a ride if needed. There is lots of opportunities to do a variety of things.
I have lots of singe women friends and we do things together. We go to the hot springs, treks around the lake. Ajijic is a little village and it's so easy to connect with people who are like-minded. More so than all the years I spent in California.
It is very easy to eat really health, and inexpensive. There is the Organic Market on Tuesdays and the Village Market on Wednesdays. So much variety of fruits and vegetables
Advice: There are lots of internet sites (do your research) where you can learn about the area. Book place to stay such as a B&B or an Airbnb and try it for a month. Start talking to people you meet in restaurants and at the markets. Expats here are very friendly and and generous with their time and love to talk about their transition and their life here both good and bad.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
So come on down and try it out for a month. Keep track of expenses, look at available housing both to rent and to buy and do the numbers for yourself according to the kind of lifestyle you want to live.
For more information about my own personal experiences about moving to and living in Ajijic as a single woman, you may contact me here and I will be happy to share. Thanks for reading!