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Expat Exchange - The Insider's Guide to Ajijic 2024
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The Insider's Guide to Ajijic

By Betsy Burlingame

Welcome Home Mexico
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Summary: Living it Up in Ajijic: Your Insider's Guide to Top Attractions, Culinary Hotspots, Nightlife, and More. Discover the Best Recreational Activities, Connect with Friendly Locals, and Experience the Charm of the City.

Welcome to Ajijic! If you're planning to move to Ajijic, congratulations on taking the first step towards a new adventure. While there are many things to think about before you leave, such as visas, housing, and transportation, it's important to remember that once you arrive, the fun really begins. In this article, we'll introduce you to some of the best sites, restaurants, and nightlife that Ajijic has to offer, as well as provide tips on recreational activities and making friends in Ajijic.

Ajijic, is a charming village nestled on the shores of Lake Chapala, the largest freshwater lake in the country. The town is known for its vibrant arts scene, beautiful weather, and rich cultural heritage. One of the main attractions is the Ajijic Malecon, a scenic boardwalk along the lake with stunning views, especially at sunset. The Malecon is also home to a variety of sculptures and murals, showcasing the town's artistic flair. The Ajijic Plaza is another must-visit spot, a lively square filled with shops, restaurants, and often, live music. The Cultural Center of Ajijic frequently hosts art exhibitions, concerts, and other cultural events. For nature lovers, the Sierra de San Juan Cosala offers hiking trails with panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. The Church of San Andrés Apostol, a beautiful 16th-century church, is another site of interest. The Ajijic Cemetery, with its brightly colored tombstones and mausoleums, offers a unique glimpse into local customs and beliefs.

The restaurant and nightlife scene in Ajijic is diverse and vibrant. One of the most popular restaurants is La Nueva Posada, known for its traditional Mexican cuisine and beautiful garden setting. Another favorite is Tango, an upscale steakhouse with an extensive wine list. For seafood lovers, there's Gosha's, a casual spot with a beachy vibe and excellent fish tacos. For a night out, El BarCo is a popular choice. This lively bar offers live music, dancing, and a wide selection of drinks. The Iron Horse Saloon is another popular spot, especially among the expat community. This biker-themed bar offers a relaxed atmosphere, live music, and a variety of beers and cocktails. For a more upscale experience, the Piano Bar at La Nueva Posada offers live piano music and a sophisticated ambiance.

Recreational activities in Ajijic are as diverse as its residents and visitors. The Lake Chapala Society offers a variety of classes and activities, from Spanish lessons to yoga classes, and has beautiful gardens to explore. The town is also a haven for artists, with numerous galleries and studios, such as the Ajijic Society of the Arts. For outdoor enthusiasts, hiking in the Sierra de San Juan Cosala is a popular activity. The nearby Chula Vista Country Club offers golfing with stunning lake views. Birdwatching is another popular activity, with the lake and surrounding areas home to a variety of bird species. For those interested in horseback riding, Rancho El Zapote offers guided rides through the countryside. Finally, the thermal spas in nearby San Juan Cosala offer a relaxing way to unwind after a day of exploring.

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Insider Tips from Expats in Ajijic: Making the Most of Life and Connections

"Ajijic, is a popular destination for expats, particularly from the United States and Canada, and offers a variety of clubs and activities to help them integrate into the local community. The Lake Chapala Society is one of the most popular organizations, offering a range of services including Spanish classes, health services, and a library, as well as hosting numerous social events. There are also several sports clubs, such as the Chapala Country Club for golf enthusiasts, and the Raquet Club for those interested in tennis. For those who enjoy the arts, the Ajijic Society of the Arts provides a platform for local artists to showcase their work and organizes regular events and workshops. The Ajijic Writers' Group is another popular club, offering a supportive environment for writers to share their work and receive feedback. For those interested in giving back to the community, there are numerous volunteer opportunities available, such as at the local animal shelter or through various community outreach programs.In addition to joining clubs and participating in activities, expats often meet people through informal social gatherings. Many expats host dinner parties or casual get-togethers at their homes. There are also numerous restaurants and bars in Ajijic where expats often gather, providing an opportunity to meet new people. Furthermore, the local market is a popular meeting spot, as are the town's numerous festivals and events. These include the annual Chili Cook-Off, the Ajijic Carnival, and the Day of the Dead celebrations. Participating in these local traditions not only provides an opportunity to meet people, but also to immerse oneself in the local culture. Finally, many expats find that simply walking around the town and striking up conversations with locals and other expats is a great way to meet people. The friendly and welcoming nature of the Ajijic community makes it easy to make new friends and feel at home," said one expat living in Ajijic.

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"Life for expats and digital nomads in Ajijic is often described as relaxed and comfortable, with a slow pace of life that allows for plenty of leisure time. The town is known for its warm, sunny climate and beautiful natural surroundings, including Lake Chapala and the Sierra Madre mountains. The cost of living is relatively low, making it an attractive destination for those looking to stretch their budget.Expats and digital nomads in Ajijic enjoy a strong sense of community, with many social clubs, activities, and events to participate in. The town is home to a large number of expats, particularly from the United States and Canada, which makes it easy to meet new people and make friends. English is widely spoken, making it easier for those who do not speak Spanish to navigate daily life.Ajijic has a vibrant arts scene, with numerous galleries, studios, and craft shops. The town is also known for its culinary scene, with a wide variety of restaurants offering both local and international cuisine. Despite its small size, Ajijic has all the amenities one might need, including supermarkets, healthcare facilities, and reliable internet, which is particularly important for digital nomads. The town is also relatively safe, with low crime rates compared to other parts of Mexico.However, life in Ajijic is not without its challenges. Some expats and digital nomads may find the slower pace of life frustrating, and there can be cultural differences and language barriers to navigate. Additionally, while healthcare is generally good, it may not be up to the standards that some expats are used to.Overall, Ajijic offers a unique blend of Mexican culture and expat-friendly amenities, making it a popular destination for those looking to live abroad," commented an expat living in Ajijic.

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Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.

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Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.
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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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