Ajijic is a small Mexican town in the state of Jalisco. The romantic 16th-century town is nestled between the famous Sierra Madre Mountains and the shores of the majestic Lake Chapala, the largest lake in Mexico. The town is just thirty minutes drive from Guadalajara’s international airport, meaning that it enjoys the benefit of a big city even though its unique setting tucks it away from the urban sprawl.
Ajijic Historical Facts
Before the arrival of the Spanish, it is believed that the area was occupied by Nomadic Indian tribes. In the 16th century, the area attracted Spanish settlers due to its great source of water- the lake. In the year 1531, Fray Martin and Don Andres Carlos founded Ajijic and by 1883, it was a village with more than 2000 inhabitants. The village has ever since grown to a small town attracting thousands of tourists and expats from around the world, thanks to its unique geography and art.
Current Demographics of Ajijic
According to the latest census data, Ajijic has a population of around 11000 people. This excludes the thousands of visitors who flock the town every weekend. It is estimated that there are about 3000 expats from Canada and the United States living in the town. Around 2000 of them have settled in the town permanently, while the rest visit during winter.
Ajijic is located between Lake Chapala and Sierra Madre Mountains in the Central Mexican Plateau, 1,538 meters above sea level. The town has an annual temperature of about 66 degrees. The area remains relatively warm throughout the year due to its tropical latitude. Unfortunately, it can at times be uncomfortably humid due to its relatively high elevation. The town receives an average of 793 millimeters of rainfall every year, with the rainy season lasting between June and October. But even in the rainy season, precipitation in Ajijic generally occurs at night or in the evening.
Things to do in Ajijic
Ajijic is quite popular with tourists. This can be explained by the various tourist attractions in and around the town. Below are some top things to do in Ajijic.
The waterfalls at Tepalo
This is one of the most popular destinations, especially for people who enjoy hiking. The waterfalls flow during the rainy season creating a spectacular scene. If you visit during the weekend, you will find families splashing in the pools found at the base of the falls. Hiking the area will enable you to have a breathtaking view of Lake Chapala and the village of Ajijic. It is, therefore, an excellent place for you to get your camera and take some photos.
Walk the Malecon
Ajijic is known for its malecón boardwalk along the waterfront full of color, lovers, life, and great things to eat. As you walk along the lovely waterfront, you will meet people pushing carts selling fresh coconuts and homemade ice cream. You will see families spending time together, people swimming, and children playing.
Ajijic has many great restaurants; it can be hard to keep up with all of them. Whether you want a taste of Thai food, Argentinean steakhouses, or Mexican delicacies, Ajijic has them all. Surprisingly, unlike what you would expect of a tourist destination, the prices here are quite within reach.
Other things to do in Ajijic include horseback riding, live music and dancing, cycling, and hiking, among others.
The bottom Line
Overall, it is apparent that if you are planning to visit or settle in Mexico permanently, Ajijic is an excellent destination to consider. This lakeside town has a lot to offer, and no matter what your age or interests may be, you will always have something to enjoy.