to Know Chapala & Ajijic
Watch a video of Feria Maestros del Arte, just click here
Chapala & Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico
Chapala and Ajijic (Ah-hee-HEEK) are just 30 minutes south of the Guadalajara International Airport. Both are two of the many villages that surround Mexico's largest lake, Lake Chapala, 700 miles south of the US border.
The area is noted for its exceptional climate. In November, daytime temperatures will be around 70°F. This area is home to a vibrant international community of Mexicans, Americans, Canadians and Europeans.
Internet, ATM banking, hotels, restaurants, and public transportation exist side-by-side with traditional Mexican life. The primary language is Spanish, but many people speak some English.
Here is a beautiful video on Mexico - an incredible country full of color, adventures and cheerful, friendly people.
The 3-day Feria Maestros Del Arte folk art show is held at Club de Yates de Chapala (Chapala Yacht Club) in Chapala - check the map or just follow the signs. We suggest that you arrange for taxi service from your hotel.
Admission each day to the fair is 50 pesos ($5 USD). We've made the price of admission very affordable so that you can come every single day! Get your hand stamped and return as many times during the day as you like.
Taxis - we will have taxis available at the Feria
Ajijic Taxi stand at Plaza - 376 766-0674, 766-1663 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Recommendations:
Chapala taxi stand at Plaza 376 765-3511, 765-4697 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Recommendations:
Bus: Local buses are also available. Ask for the information at your hotel.
When you deplane, you'll board a bus that will take you the short distance to Immigration where you'll fill out an immigration form and have your passport stamped.
From there you'll pick up baggage and pass through Customs. You'll find the Guadalajara airport safe, easy to navigate, and friendly. ATMs that dispense pesos, a Starbuck's Coffee, Burger King and gift shops are available after you exit Customs.
If you are not being met by your hotel, the taxi kiosk is just outside customs. Buy a ticket to Ajijic for about $30 US. Fares are set so no haggling is required. Be sure that your hotel has provided you with their address and directions.
Be sure to secure your hotel reservations well in advance.
Following is a list of hotels/B&Bs in both Chapala and Ajijic. If the name of the hotel or B&B is underlined, you may click on it to go to their website or email.
Chapala- Hotel Quinta Quetzalcoatl - Better known as Hotel QQ, this B&B has been totally restored. It is a small, romantic inn located in Chapala. QQ is "the" place at Lake Chapala Mexico to indulge yourself in peace and relaxation. If you feel fit enough, QQ is about 6 blocks from the Feria site. (01152 from outside Méxic) (376) 765-3653 or from within Mexico: (376) 765-3653.http://www.accommodationslakechapala.com/
Chapala - Lake Chapala Inn - Located in downtown Chapala, on the shores of Lake Chapala, within easy walking distance ( one short block) of shopping, restaurants, banks, and lakeside transportation. If you feel fit enough, the hotel is about 8 blocks from the Feria site. For more information 1-800-501-9446, phone 011 52 376 765-4786; Fax: 011 52 376 765-5174 http://www.mexonline.com/chapalainn.htm
Chapala - Calli Aztatl Hotel Spa Boutique - located about 6 long blocks from the Feria site, this small hotel offers 4 rooms ranging from $900 pesos to $1500 pesos. There is a great restaurant on-site. 331 117 2325 (cellphone)
Chapala - Hotel Perico de Chapala - located in the hills north of the city and has a beautiful panoramic view of Lake Chapala. 333 142 0012, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Chapala - Montecarlo Hotel - Hotel has restaurant, pool and extensive grounds. Hidalgo 296, Chapala. If you're fit and want to walk, the hotel is within walking distance to the Feria - of all the Chapala hotels listed, Montecarlo is the furthest away. http://www.hoteles.udg.mx/montecarlo/
Chapala - Hotel Villa Samary - Right off the plaza in Chapala, Morelos #199, this 6-room hotel is within walking distance of the Feria. Rooms are very basic but clean and run $400 pesos/double (kingsize bed). (01152 from outside Mexico) (376) 765-3960, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ajijic - Casa del Sol - Nestled between the Sierra Madre mountains and Lake Chapala, this B&B is centrally located on a quiet residential street, just two blocks from the the Ajiic plaza. Just a ten-minute taxi/bus ride to the Feria. www.casadelsolinn.com
Ajijic - Danza del Sol - 35 minutes from International Airport, cozy rooms, beautiful colonial mexican style, 25 Suites, 8 Junior Suites and 4 Masters Suites. Each one has bathroom, telephone, chimney, TV with cable, kitchen, living room, a patio for familiar coexistence and many of them its own garden.
Ajijic - Estrellitas B&B - Lorraine Pasini previously owned an award-winning inn in Glen Allen, CA (in the heart of wine country) and brings with her the expertise of making guests feel at home by providing quality service. Estrellita's is conveniently located in the heart of Ajijic, two blocks from the plaza. www.estrellitasinnajijic.com
Ajijic - Casita Montaña B&B - "Little home on the mountain" is located at the corner of the Carretera and Ave. Colón in Ajijic. From the US/Canada 918 895 4089; in Mexico (376) 766-5513; www.casitamontana.com
Ajijic - Hotel Italo - located 1/2 block from the Ajijic Plaza, this hotel is in the "budget" category. Rooms are 285p/person/night or 380/2 persons/night. If you book for multiple nights during the Feria, be sure to ask for the 10-15% discount. Guadalupe Victoria #8, Ajijic. email@example.com , (376) 766-2221.
Ajijic - Hotel La Estancia - Eight rooms with king or twin beds, cable TV, restaurant. Located on Ajijic’s main street near banking, shopping, galleries. Small pets okay. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ajijic - Hotel Plaza Suites - conveniently located on the main downtown plaza and is within easy walking distance to banks, restaurants, art galleries, real estate, taxis, tour companies, boutiques and the Ajijic Pier on Lake Chapala. email@example.com
Ajijic - La Nueva Posada Hotel - The oldest hotel in Ajijic. Right on the shores of Lake Chapala, this hotel has a restaurant and beautiful gardens. Just a ten-minute taxi/bus ride to the Feria. http://www.hotelnuevaposada.com/
Ajijic - Villa Eucaliptos - Private Mexican villa located one block from Lake Chapala in the Heart of Ajijic. Enter into a private world all of your own, set in colonial Spanish architecture with magnificent fifteen-foot ceilings and arches. http://villaeucaliptos.tripod.com
Ajijic - Hotel Real de Chapala - Located in Ajijic on the shore of Lake Chapala. They have 85 rooms and 5 Suites, ample gardens with a view of the mountains and the lake, four convention/event halls, restaurant, pool, tennis courts, soccer, volley ball and a recreational area for children. http://www.realdechapala.com .
San Antonio Tlayacapan - Casa Luz B&B - Colón #100, 376 766 4648 or 331 023 9868, firstname.lastname@example.org. Home of local artist Luz Preciado. An inspiring space to enjoy and relax.
RIBERAS DEL PILAR
Riberas del Pilar - Mar Chapalico - San Jorge #6, 376 765 6952, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Unique B&B built by the owner. Each room is different and the B&B is on Lake Chapala.
you would like to spend some time in the Guadalajara area (Tlaquepaque
Great food is available at the Feria so there is no need to leave. Enjoy a meal while spending the day making your folk art purchases, watching artist demonstrations, the fashion show, entertainment or enter the raffle. Meet the artists who are the backbone of Mexico's art culture. You won't regret it. You'll be amazed at how affordable everything is when you buy from the source.
There are many fine restaurants at Lakeside - just about any type of food desire.
Bring your ATM card. Lake Chapala is a cash society. There are maps at the Entrance showing where all the local ATM machines are located and we offer a free shuttle to the ATM of your choice. Just ask one of the parking attendants and they will assist you.
We do not recommend traveler's checks and will not accept them at the Feria - here it is quite a procedure to get them cashed in the banks. The Feria will change your US dollars or cash a check for you if needed - ask at the entrance.
Mexico often gets what we living here consider "a bad rap" in the foreign media. There is unrest in parts of Mexico the same as in any other part of the world. There is also crime. BUT when you compare Mexico crime statistics with those of the US or Canada, you will find them very much lower. After all, why would the "largest" group of expatriates in the world stay in Mexico if it was truly and unsafe place to live or visit?
With all the negative press appearing in the press, Linda Ellerbee's (well-known journalist) assessment of Mexico gives a much more accurate picture of the Mexico that we know and love - "Mexico: One Journalist's View". We who live here applaud those journalists who do not join their colleagues in jumping on the bandwagon and exaggerating what is happening today in Mexico.
Here, we offer an article by Charles Simpson entitled "The New Global Economic Reality." There are keen insights as to why the US continues to malign Mexico on various fronts. Read and judge for yourself once you see the comparisons and information Mr. Simpson provides.
Chapala and Ajijic are both lovely villages whose people are centered around family and tradition. To keep your visit a happy one, observe normal travel safety. Make Xerox copies of your passport, ticket, credit cards and other documents and keep the originals in your hotel safe.
Take as much cash as you need for a day's purchases and keep an eye on your belongings.
Everyone drinks bottled water! It is readily available at corner grocery stores, in your hotel, and in restaurants. If you have a delicate stomach we recommend carrying Pepto Bismal tablets. The restaurants we recommend above are very reliable. If you think you may need the services of a doctor - most of them make housecalls. Just ask your hotel for information and assistance.
Still have some questions or perhaps you need more information on Feria Maestros del Arte, contact Marianne Carlson (01152 from outside Mexico) 376 765 7485 email@example.com or Donna Williams (01152 from outside Mexico) 376 765 5937 firstname.lastname@example.org
(Our thanks to Ed Jordan of Austin, TX for the use of his photos.)