Ajijic is on the lake Chapala in the state of Jalisco. Ajijic is a town of 11,400 people (2020) and is a popular tourist destination.
Ajijic is a place at risk of being taken over by expatriates like San Miguel de Allende, with prices of commodities and housing becoming exorbitant and a bit of an issue with gringo monoculture going on (e.g. not wanting to associate with locals, demanding things be like they are in the US, etc.) While it can feel a bit comforting to be around those of the same background, there are these detractors. Additionally, Lake Chapala suffers after-effects of longstanding industrial dumping which has resulted in elevated levels of pollution and mercury, although it seems to have abated somewhat in the late 2010s due to rising water levels. Even though the lake scenery is very beautiful, you can see evidence of eutrophication, lack of dissolved oxygen, with the abundance of water hyacinth on the lake surface, and swimming and eating fish from the lake may be worth reconsidering.
There is bus service along the Carra-terre (main road that runs thru Ajijic). The cost is M$7 per person within Ajijic, M$9 if traveling to Chapala to the east or Jocotepec to the west. There were several covered bus stops, but most had no seating. When you want to get off, you simply push the red button & exit at the rear doors. Be prepared for heavy traffic on Route 23 because it is the only major thruway in Ajijic, and knobbly cobblestones on most of the side streets (bad for those in wheelchairs).
Within Ajijic, there are buses that run on the narrow cobblestone roads that cost only M$7 per person. You stand on the corner and when the bus comes your way, you hold up your arm to signal that you need to ride.
- 1 Malecón Ajijic. Prime promenade for enjoying Lake Chapala that also has murals, carvings, and food vendors. Watch out for water hyacinth detracting from the pretty lake views.
- 2 Plaza Principal de Ajijic, Guadalupe Victoria 4. Ajijic's central square/hangout zone with a pavilion and various art; sometimes the site of various functions.
- 3 Centro Cultural, Guadalupe Victoria 5, ☏ . M-Th Sa 08ː00-18ː00, F 10ː00-18ː00, closed Su. Local museum with some art and pottery exhibits, among other things.
- 4 Parroquia San Andres Apostol, Marcos Castellanos 14, ☏ . The obligatory town parish.
- 1 El Tepalo (trailhead off Galeana/Revolucion). An interesting waterfall and vantage point from the Sierra de San Juan Cosalas that you can reach via hiking trail. If you really want to see Lake Chapala from above, try this.
While the restaurants don't have expansive glamor, the food quality and service are exceptional most of the time; the prices are amazingly low. Some have specials (such as Brewhouse 1/2-price fish/chips on Tuesday eve; or live music at Domenech on Monday) that enhance the offerings. The proprietors are very friendly and will sit and visit with you.
Most places do not have A/C. While the temps are mild, sometimes, the lack of airflow is stifling at night. And with windows and doors open, come the exterior noises of parties, dogs, and cats. In spite of this, nighttime is typically quiet. The occasional nighttime storm is good reason to close the doors and then; however, this will cause the room to get warm inside. Rooms do not have ceiling fans—only noisy floor-stand fans with short cords. Be prepared to get gouged price-wise somewhat due to where you are.
- 1 Hotel Casa de la Abuela, Hermenegildo Galeana 75, ☏ . Impressive enclosed garden setting around pool, complimentary deluxe breakfast with eggs and french toast, comfortable rooms. Can hike to waterfall from here. M$1244.
- 2 Hotel Lindo Ajijic, Ángel Flores 17A, ☏ . A bed and breakfast with nice pool setting with great views of lake. Breakfast can be made to order. Sometimes some hot water issues with shower. M$1718.
- 3 La Nueva Posada Ajijic, Donato Guerra 9, ☏ . A cozy inn with Mexican architecture and attractive masonry inside that has an attached restaurant and a grotto-like pool. Close to lake with nice views. M$967.
- 4 LIA Ajijic - Lake Chapala Bed & Breakfast, Guadalupe Victoria 98, ☏ . Homestay type of place with a decent breakfast and some exercise equipment and Wi-Fi M$750.