Ajijic on Lake Chapala in Jalisco is perhaps best known for being the expat retiree capital of Mexico. Certainly, there are a lot of people from the United States and Canada who have chosen to move there after retiring, and for good reason: it's beautiful!

We spent three nights relaxing in Ajijic as an escape from the noise and bustle of nearby Guadalajara and it was perfect. Without the tourist crowds of the Pacific beaches not far away but with a chilled out vibe and gorgeous views of the lake and surrounding countryside, it definitely served our needs.

So what did we do there? Not a whole lot. Mostly we went for walks along the malecón, the refurbished pedestrian walkway by the edge of the lake, and going off it further out of town to explore the shore.

In town, we wandered around, checking out the pleasant street art.

We also spent a considerable amount of time in the lively but relaxed Juan Café, which may have just had the best almond hot chocolate I tried in all of Mexico! It was also a great place to work from, and they had a few vegan-friendly snacks too.

Then of course there were the sunsets. Those gorgeous Lake Chapala sunsets. I'm pretty sure I couldn't have Instagrammed them more if I'd tried!

Where we stayed

We stayed at the Hotel Danza del Sol, just a pleasant 10 minute walk from Ajijic's small downtown. The room we had was enormous with a full kitchen (bigger than ours at home!), dining area, walk in closet and giant, comfortable bed. There's a swimming pool and a few cats wandering around who may let you pet them if you're patient. It was also incredibly quiet, which for me is the best thing about any hotel in Mexico! Book a room here.

Getting there

Buses run between Guadalajara's old station and Ajijic roughly hourly, and either go directly or pass through the larger town of Chapala on the way. Depending on that the journey takes between 1 and 1.5 hours. We paid M$52 each way. You can take a private taxi directly from Ajijic to Guadalajara airport which is approximately half way between Guadalajara and Ajijic, but it's quite pricey: we were quoted M$600.

You can read more of my thoughts on Ajijic on the Smash Transit blog.

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