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At the end of September 2007, more than a month after settling down in Guadalajara (gwah-dah-lah-ha-rah), I went on my first weekend trip to the nearby tourist places of Ajijic (ah-hee-heek), Chapala and Mazamitla. 

Mexico’s largest freshwater lake, Lago de Chapala (“Lake Chapala”), is located just 45 minutes away from Guadalajara. The sprawling lake is ringed by lovely small towns including Ajijic, Chapala and Jocotepec (ho-koh-teh-pehk), a popular spa destination.

Ajijic, a charming lakeside village with its 400-year old streets and backdrop of sandy peaks, is home to one of the largest North American expat communities (most of them retirees) found anywhere in Mexico. Their presence has resulted in placing Ajijic on the tourist map, boosted area real estate and provided a vital market for the town’s boutiques, galleries and restaurants.

ajijic

Chapala became a well-known resort destination after president Porfirio Díaz vacationed here every year from 1904 to 1909. But today, Chapala is just a simple working-class Mexican town that gets busy on weekends and holidays when it is invaded by visitors from Guadalajara.

Enjoy the beauty of Chapala in this video.

Situated at a height of 7350 feet above sea level, Mazamitla is a beautiful little town nestled amidst pine and oak-covered hills with beautiful streams, waterfalls and an excellent climate. Because of its picturesque landscape, this charming place is also called the “Switzerland of Mexico”.

mazamitla

From Chapala, it is a two-hour journey to this delightful mountain town — a favorite destination of  Guadalajara residents. The well-heeled have their second homes here while the others enjoy their stay in rustic, pine log cabins found everywhere around the place.

Mazamitla’s main attraction is a lovely 100-foot tall waterfall which is reached through a 178-step staircase. The trek through lush green surroundings is a thoroughly refreshing experience!

To enjoy a bit of Mazamitla, click here  

You can read about my experiences and travels in Mexico in my travel book “Discovering MEXICO” which is part of a three-book series on Mexico.

Before bidding you goodbye, here is a romantic melody by André Rieu The Godfather (Love Theme) Enjoy 🙂

See you later…take care 🙂

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