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Wednesday October 22, 2014
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Services in Lake Chapala
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Activities in Lake Chapala
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LAKE CHAPALA AREA

Lago de Chapala is the largest inland lake in Mexico.

LOCATION:

Lake Chapala is located 45 km (26 MI) south of Guadalajara.

HISTORY:

Tourists didn’t start to visit this area until the 19th century. In 1904 when President Porfirio Diaz heard that aristocrats were going here for weekend getaways, he started spending his holidays here. Soon after, summer homes were being built, and the Chapala Yacht Club opened in 1910. Word of mouth quickly spread to Europe and the United States. Now Chapala has a population of over 35,000.

WEATHER:

With a pleasant climate all year round hotels don’t require air conditioning or fans.

ACCOMMODATIONS:

Most of the hotels are quaint yet elegant. Large airy rooms, king size beds, landscaped gardens, and exquisite decorating will make your stay memorable. The Real de Chapala has a restaurant, bar, pool, a wading pool, 2 tennis courts, and a volleyball area. Sunday brunch at The Real is popular with weekend visitors from Guadalajara. Rates at the Los Artistas include a breakfast buffet of homemade bread, yogurt, local fresh fruits, and granola. Rates can range from US$25 to US$80, and may include a full breakfast.

RESTAURANTS:

Many eating establishments serve large portions for a great price. Outdoor tables, patios, gardens, authentic Mexican decor, and sidewalk tables make restaurants enjoyable as well as entertaining.

NIGHTLIFE:

Nightspots and dance clubs come and go, but you can always find some sort of entertainment at local restaurants and bars. Some feature live bands, a dance area, and theme nights. At La Nueva Posada there is entertainment each evening, which may include an American jazz band or tropical music.

SHOPPING:

You will find blocks of stalls, galleries, and workshops in the area. Antiques, furniture, crafts, lamps, wrought-iron furniture, masks, Cuban and Mexican cigars, and jewelery are some of the items sold. The Mi Mexico boutique sells items like crafts, gifts, blown glass, pottery and women’s clothing.

CUISINE:

Japanese, German, Spanish, traditional Mexican dishes, salad bars, fresh local fruit, and seafood are the types of cuisine you will enjoy while dining.

SERVICES:

Banks: Banks are generally open from 8:30 am to 5 pm. Most of the banks have 24 hour ATM’s that accept credit cards.

WHERE TO GO:
Iglesia de San Francisco: This church was built in 1528, and is 
easy to spot with its blue neon crosses on the steeples.

Parque la Cristiania: On the weekends, this lakeside park fills 
up with people browsing the souvenir booths and handicraft market.

Isla de los Alacranes: Scorpion Island is a popular trip from the 
Chapala pier.

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WHERE TO EAT:
You can find just about every type of cuisine served in restaurants in 
the Lake Chapala and Ajijic area.  Seafood is one of the most popular 
as well as traditional Mexican dishes, but there is also Chinese, 
Swiss, international, as well as Italian foods served.  In Lake 
Chapala, the Beer Garden, established in 1929, has been a popular 
restaurant ever since it opened.  The roof top patio is a perfect 
place to dine on seafood and chicken dishes while enjoying the view 
of the lake.  The best seafood is said to be served at Mariscos 
Guicho’s e Hijos.  This restaurant, located on the waterfront, 
also serves up frog’s legs, caviar tacos, and seafood soup.  For 
a specialty coffee, imported tea, or a piece of delicious homemade 
cake or pie while reading an English paper head to the El Arbol del 
Cafe  For some of the best Japanese food found in Mexico, go to the 
Ajijic Grill.  Meals are prepared at your table and a sushi bar has 
been added.  Located on the lakeside, Johanna’s German Restaurant 
serves hearty and delicious portions of traditional German dishes.  
For a variety in breakfast foods head to La Casa del Waffle, where 
you have your choice of 12 different flavors of waffles as well as 
other traditional breakfast items.
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WHAT TO DO:
Golf: Members and nonmembers can play at the Chapala Country Club. 
The club is closed to visitors on Tuesdays.

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WHERE TO SHOP:
You will find that there are many craftsman workshops along the shores 
of Lake Chapala.  The Lake Chapala area is fast becoming the region’s 
supplier of quality crafts, replacing Tonala.  In Ajijic, at the state 
owned craft you will find tapestries, glassware, rugs and pottery from 
all over Mexico.  La Coleccion Barbara sells items such as antiques, 
traditional crafts, and quality furniture.  For wrought-iron furniture, 
quality lamps, and decorative items head to La Coleccion Moon, open 
weekdays 8am to 6pm, but closed during siesta hours.  The Opus 
Boutique and Galeria carries items such as jewelry, folk art, women’s 
clothing, and masks.  Mi Mexico sells crafts and gifts, blown glass, 
pottery and a selection of women’s clothing.  
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