strellita's Bed & Breakfast
over 5000 feet in elevation, Ajijic is a tourist town and a place of
residence for both Mexican nationals and foreigners. Located
in the colorful state of Jalisco, Ajijic nestles in Mexico's Sierra
Madre Mountains on the northern shore of Lake Chapala. Only thirty
minutes from Guadalajara International Airport, Ajijic remains a
quaint, cobble-stoned village, a rustic reminder of an earlier time.
Bed and breakfast travelers will be delighted by the near perfect
climate, beautiful countryside and hospitable people.
The Lake Chapala area has a year-round moderate climate. National Geographic magazine rates it as one of the three best climates in the world. Most of the year it is warm, dry and sunny during the day, with cool nights great for sleeping. There is a rainy season -- which is the favorite of many residents because everything turns lush and green -- from June to October, but it usually only rains in the late afternoon or evening and at night. In the morning everything is fresh and clean, with blue skies overhead once again.
Ajijic (Ah-hee-heek) has the normal services of the 21st century -- water treatment plants, electricity, cellular phones, and the internet. But when you first arrive here what you see is the mystery and charm of a 16th century village. Restaurants buy mesquite firewood for their grills from a local farmer, who delivers it on his donkey. Cows and horses graze along the lake. And maiz is grown everywhere, to be made into corn tortillas, a staple of the Mexican diet.
Wandering along the village streets is the best way to see Ajijic. In the most unexpected places you'll find things to surprise and delight you. High walls in front of the houses are a constant reminder of the Spanish influence of centuries past. You will find that the houses are typical of old Mexico and there are simple little village homes with colorful walls fronting the cobblestone streets as well as magnificent colonial haciendas hidden behind high walls. The exteriors give few clues to what lies inside the doorways and gates.
Up until the arrival of the Spanish, the region was occupied by nomadic Indian tribes. There are many explanations, and meanings, for the names Chapala and Ajijic, all of which are Indian names, probably derived from Nahuatl, the native language of the area.
The Chapala region, especially Ajijic, has become a destination for Americans and Canadians, either escaping the high cost of living north of the border, or freezing winters in Canada. These reasons, along with the agreeable climate, have increased the area's population and it appears this trend may continue, as the baby boomers reach retirement age.
Days can be filled with walking the quaint cobblestone streets, exploring art galleries and shops, dining in fine restaurants or sitting on the shores of the largest lake in Mexico.
Things To Do
There's plenty to do in Ajijic, thanks to the near perfect climate all year.
Fabulous photo safari/workshop taught in Lake Chapala/Ajijic area by professional photographer to give amateurs and professionals a chance to see & photograph the quaint villages surrounding the lake (as well as Guadalajara and Tonala, etc.). The workshop participants will stay at Estrellita's B& B. See www.mexploration.net for full details, prices & itineraries.
It is less than an hour from the center of Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city with its big-city night life, state-of-the-art medical services, museums, 16th century cathedrals, opera, ballet and a host of other attractions. Adjoining cities of Tonala and Tlaquepaque are meccas for artisans and Mexican handicraft items. Day tours to many points of interest including an easy drive of less than four hours to Manzanillo are available.
Other activities include horseback riding, swimming, fishing, hiking, bird watching, local fiestas and outdoor markets.
Ajijic has many colorful streets lined with art galleries and shops for you to browse through.
Local artists, Bruno Mariscal and Efren Gonzalez
There is a weekly farmers' market (tianguis) on Wednesdays. .. fresh fruits and vegetables, local crafts, jewelry, household goods, electronics ...