Could Ajijic Mexico be the best place for retirees to live?
We travelled to Ajijic Jalisco in Mexico for a house sitting assignment for 3 weeks in January 2017. After house sitting around Mexico, this was one area that we had yet to enjoy and we were looking forward to discovering this new town to find out why it was becoming so popular among ex-pat retirees.
(Editor update 2021)
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If you are considering Ajijic on Lake Chapala Moving to Mexico’s Lake Chapala gives you all the practical advice you need to make an informed decision.
- 1 Where is Ajijic
- 2 Ajijic Mexico Map
- 3 Why is Ajijic so popular with retirees
- 4 Ajijic Mexico Cost of Living
- 5 Ajijic Restaurants – Where to eat in Ajijic
- 6 Markets
- 7 Shopping
- 8 Architecture To Enjoy
- 9 Where to stay in Ajijic
- 10 How to get to Ajijic
- 11 Tour from Guadalajara to Lake Chapala and Ajijic
Ajijic (pronounced ah-hee-heek) sits on the northern shore of Mexico’s largest lake – Lake Chapala surrounded by the Sierra Madre Mountains. 4.8km away is the town of Chapala and to the west the smaller town of San Juan Cosala both popular with expat retirees.
Guadalajara, the capital of the state of Jalisco and the largest city in the state, is located 55km from Ajijic.
Ajijic Mexico Map
Why is Ajijic so popular with retirees
Slow Pace of Life
Life takes on a slow path in Ajijic. Why hurry when you have no stress in your life! You will see horses and their riders up and down the cobblestoned roads of Ajijic – it is a normal sight in this laid-back Mexican town. There is a steady stream of day-trippers who arrive in Ajijic to enjoy the lake, wander through the galleries and boutiques and to enjoy the local Mexican cuisine.
Apparently National Geographic has stated that Ajijic has the 2nd best climate in the world. The coolest months are December and January and the hottest is in May. On average the temperature sits around 22 degrees, but we felt the chilly mornings in January but during the day it was very pleasant.
The rainy season is from mid-June to mid-October.
It is one of those destinations that you can organize an outdoor BBQ or party and can guarantee that you will have good weather.
Ajijic Mexico Cost of Living
Cost of Renting an Apartment in Ajijic (updated 2021)
According to Numbeo (a resourceful website on the cost of living in cities around the world) to rent a 1 bedroom apartment in the city centre would cost around MXN$12,610 per month or USD$638 long term. Ajijic real estate is affordable for the ex-pat.
A 3 bedroom apartment in the city center would cost around MXN$19834 or USD$1003. A 2 bedroom apartment was not listed.
Ajijic rental prices drop if you consider outside of the city centre:
MXN11,040 for 1 bedroom apartment – USD558 per month
MXN14,453 for 3 bedroom apartment – USD730 per month
Cost of Buying an Apartment in Ajijic
The price for an apartment in the city centre will set you back around MXN$16282 per square meter or USD$823.
An apartment outside the city centre will cost you around MXN20540 per square meter or USD$1039.
Monthly Cost of Utilities in Ajijic (according to Numbeo 2021) for 85m2 Apartment
- Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage MXN568 USD29.00
- 1 minute prepaid mobile tariff local MXN1.60 USD0.08
- Internet (60 Mbps or more inlimited data, cable/ADSL) MXN537.30 USD20.20
Ajijic Restaurants – Where to eat in Ajijic
We enjoyed some great coffee and excellent cuisine at the various restaurants in Ajijic.
Cafe Black & White, Plaza Principal Open Monday to Sunday between 0830 and 2230
We paid MXN$20 for a Cafe Americano – USD$1.07
It’s Sunday it Must Be Taco and Beer Time
Just beside Cafe Black and White on a Sunday lunchtime a local stall is set up selling freshly made Tacos and ice-cold beer – what more would a person want.
We paid MXN$90 or USD$5 for two tacos each and an ice-cold Modelo beer i.e. in total for both of us
Pien Thai Restaurant – Calle Hidalgo 17
We paid MXN$330 for two – for two beers and a main meal each or USD$16. The food was very good with a varied menu. They cater well for vegetarians.
Chile Verde – Colon 25
We paid MXN$250 or USD$14 for three main meals at lunchtime. This is a great local Mexican restaurant near Plaza Principal.
For the top ten restaurants in Ajijic click the link below:
Wednesday Market – a great place to shop for fruit and vegetables and household goods as well as usual market goods e.g. 2 avocados and 2 tomatoes cost MXN$18.50 or USD$1.00.
There are a few markets around Ajijic -click here for the latest reviews by travellers and locals of which are the best markets to visit in Ajijic.
Ajijic has many art galleries and boutiques in the cobblestoned streets, a great way to spend a few hours.
For reviews of shopping in Ajijic click here.
Architecture To Enjoy
The charm of Ajijic are the many colourful colonial buildings in Ajijic scattered around the cobblestoned streets. You could spend a few hours just wandering around and up and down the streets and enjoying the old world charm.
The Malecon on Lake Chapala in Ajijic is a great place to enjoy picture-perfect sunrises or sunsets. The best time for a walk is before the heat of the day sets in. Weekends are family time and you will see families setting up areas around the Malecon for parties and get-togethers.
Hiking in Ajijic
There are many hiking trails in the mountains that surround Ajijic. There are 4 major trails and many lesser trails. Ajijic has a Hiking Club that meets on a weekly basis. Click here for more details on hiking in and around Ajijic.
Lake Chapala Society
Set in a beautiful garden area the Lake Chapala Society offers many activities for its over 3000 members. There is a library, a cafe, organised bus tours and assistance to expats who have settled in Ajijic.
Where to stay in Ajijic
For hotels in Ajijic Mexico we have used Hotels Combined to search the top 5 places to stay in Ajijic. Hotels Combine search over 100 accommodation sites to find you the best deals and availability.
Casa de la Abuela, Galeana, 75, Ajijic, Mexico.
There are 10 available rooms in this Bed & Breakfast in Ajijic that includes an outdoor pool.
Casa Luz Ajijic: Colon 100, Ajijic, Mexico. A 4 room Bed & Breakfast comfortable accommodation in Ajijic.
Hacienda del Lago Boutique Hotel: Privada Ocampo, No. 1, Ajijic, Mexico.
The 4 room 3.5 star hotel provides guests with an outdoor pool, terrace and bbq area.
La Riberena: Calle del Lago 42, Colonia la Canacinta, Ajijic, Mexico. This 9 room 3 star hotel on Lake Chapala offers outdoor pool, sun terrace, sundeck, bar and restaurant.
Hotel del Pescador: Carretera Chapala Jocotepec # 1008 Col. Centro Ajijic Jal., Ajijic, Mexico. A 26 room hotel that offers a jacuzzi and pool for guests.
For more Ajijic hotel options:
How to get to Ajijic
The nearest airport is Guadalajara.
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Bus travel is excellent in Mexico. For bus schedules and ticket prices click here.
We can recommend staying at the La Villa del Ensueno Boutique hotel which is located close to the airport.
Mexico is one of our favourite countries. So much so, that we wrote an e-book about our travels in Mexico, where to eat, where to stay, what to do and tips and tricks.
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Tour from Guadalajara to Lake Chapala and Ajijic
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