Lake Chapala, and the towns of Ajijic and Chapala,are only 40 minutes from Guadalajara and less than 30 minutes from Guadalajara's airport. Three main towns are featured, Chapala, Ajijic, and Jocotepec. There are an estimated 50,000 Canadians and Americans living in the Guadalajara, Chapala/Ajijic areas. Numerous support organizations exist, and they organize activities, provide assistance in purchasing real estate, legal, cultural, shopping, and financial advice. This support makes the Lake Chapala an excellent starting point if you want to investigate retiring in Mexico. It is just far enough away from the big city to be a comfortable retirement haven. It is only 2.5 hours to the coastal beaches south of Manzanillo, 3 hours to Manzanillo itself, and 4.5 hours from Puerto Vallarta. Ajijic appears to have more Canadian residents, and Chapala seems to have more American residents. Both are popular retirement destinations. Ajijic has a movie theater (new American movies) and a live performing arts theater.
Although shopping is good around Lake Chapala, it is only a short drive by bus or car to the big box stores in Guadalajara (WalMart, Sam's Club, etc.)
The real estate market is one of the best organized and regulated in Mexico, and hundreds of homes are listed for sale on the local MLS service.
The fabulous colonial cities of Mexico are mostly within 3-4 hours driving too. Of course we can't forget the great city of Guadalajara which is less than one hour away. You can shop till you drop there, eat gourmet meals, check out colonial buildings, and the entertainment is full-range. Prices are fairly low and the selection is unlimited.
The cost of living is lower around Lake Chapala compared to the coastal areas. Restaurant prices can much lower, but higher priced tourist restaurants exist too. Utility costs are lower because air conditioning is not required.
And of course, they have the world's most perfect climate.
Affordable medical travel insurance for Canadians
travelling in the USA or Mexico,
and for Americans travelling outside the USA.