Real Estate, Real Estate Agents

Discover Lake Chapala for Highland Living in Mexico

The towns on the shores of Lake Chapala offer a thriving community that combines the charms of Mexico with amenities often sought by foreign residents

Lake Chapala, Mexico

Chapala, Ajijic, and Jocotepec are picturesque Mexican colonial towns on the northern shoreline of Lake Chapala, Mexico’s largest lake, situated in the mountains about an hour’s drive from Guadalajara and a six-hour drive northwest of Mexico City.

Chapala isn’t just a retirement haven

Since the 1940s, the ‘lakeside’ area of Chapala has been a magnet for foreign residents, particularly retired Americans and Canadians who enjoy a comfortable retirement here.  Some make their home at the lake year-round, while others arrive in the ‘high’ winter season between November and April and return to their homelands for the other half of the year.

Although the majority of residents in the area are retirees, in recent times Lake Chapala has also come to the attention of people exploring places to live and work in Mexico.  Lake Chapala has good transport links and internet services, making the location viable for remote or home-working arrangements.

A ‘turn-key’ location in a thriving local community

This lakeside area is the most comprehensively developed of all the popular regions where foreign residents live in Mexico.  The unfolding of this locality as a foreign resident enclave happened over many decades and was brought about through a series of organic events and situations which, together over time, brought people together with common interests and lifestyle priorities.

The towns situated around the lakeside offer a ‘turn-key’ lifestyle location that combines the idyllic characteristics of Mexico with familiar tones and behaviors of Anglicized culture, including an immediate community people who speak English as their principal or strong second language.

Cost of living in Lake Chapala

Ajijic is the focal point of the lakeside’s social and cultural scene, and thus the most popular (and most expensive to buy property in); while nearby Chapala and, a little further afield, Jocotepec, offer more choice and lower property prices.  Living and retiring in the Lake Chapala area is more affordable than the US, Canada, and Europe; however, it is among the more expensive inland places in Mexico to live—in part to due to the steady demand from foreign residents for property and other services here.  Our guide to living in Lake Chapala shares more details about this and you can download our guide to the cost of living for further insights (see links below).

Benefits of Lake Chapala for living, working and retirement in Mexico

When you’re short-listing potential places for living and retirement in Mexico, it’s worth exploring this lakeside area, underpinned by the three anchor towns of Chapala, Ajijic and Jocotepec; each one featuring a selection of charismatic local neighborhoods and conurbations.

In addition to the long-established community of foreign residents who live here, the area offers a range of benefits to residents including an ideal year-round temperate mountain climate, one of the strongest and most active local communities of foreign residents, and ready access to a wide range of amenities and services including shopping, culture, entertainment and healthcare facilities.  A major regional airport is just 20 miles away offering flights to Mexico City and internationally (Check for current routes).

Living in the lakeside towns around Chapala

Discover the lakeside area around Chapala and explore the opportunities it offers; we offer you insights, local knowledge and contacts to help you:

Our associate can help you move to Lake Chapala

Making a successful move to a new location requires research and a considered plan.  Our associate in Lake Chapala can help you to learn more about the area, share local knowledge, and connect you to professional local service providers including established realty agents to help you buy a property in Mexico.

Learn more and make a contact request.

Mexico in your inbox

Our free newsletter about Mexico brings you a monthly round-up of recently published stories and opportunities, as well as gems from our archives.