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Centeya of Radisson Blu Ajijic – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Wave Runner on pier, Lake Chapala, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI’ve never really done canoeing, but water skiing is always really fun in the lake here in Chapala and Ajijic. I would trust water skiing more than canoeing because you have control of the boat, and the lake can be very flat, sometimes even resembling a mirror, but also might get very choppy in a short span of time due to all these winds coming from different sides.
 
I’ve also tried wakeboarding in the lake here in Ajijic. Wakeboarding is really fun. During wakeboarding, you need to take your boat out to the middle of the lake where the water is a lot clearer, which is really nice. A lot of people are hesitant to go into the lake, but I have no problem water skiing in it. I don’t find swimming in the lake comfortable, though. Water skiing and wakeboarding are a lot of fun, especially in the winter months when the lake is flat and looks like a mirror.
 
Winter is also the perfect time to see the best sunsets. Wakeboarding at sunset is like you’re on a sunset mirror. There’s a place called Boca Laguna House Chapala here, which has an area on the lake that’s especially for water skiing. In fact, it is where the Under 21 World Championship for water skiing was held in 2010, just outside of Chapala, in San Nicolas. It takes about 15 minutes from Ajijic to go to Chapala, and going to San Nicolas from Chapala would take another 10 minutes, so this area of the lake is about 25 minutes from Ajijic.
 
Best Mexico Movers – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
 
(Wave Runner on a pier, Lake Chapala, Mexico, pictured.)
Luzma Grande of Ajijic Concierge Services – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Luzma Grande kayaking in Lake Chapala, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere is a friendly kayaking club in Ajijic that is always accepting new members and you can go and have a kayaking experience even if you have never done it in your life. The people from the kayak club will assist you and make sure that you are safe. We have kayaks that are just recreational kayaks and not for professional use and it’s very difficult to tip over in one of those. Somebody would take you kayaking to the bird sanctuary where you will see many different species of birds that come and nest in that area. You will not only see the pelicans that come every winter but also the white and blue herons and many other birds. It is so beautiful when you find a nest with blue eggs. You will see all of these when you go kayaking. When we find a nest, we stop and take pictures. It’s so relaxing. 
 
If you are a more professional kayaker, there are places that you can go on your kayak as well. You can kayak from Ajijic to Chapala, which is about 7 kilometers away. You can also go from Ajijic to San Juan Coxala, which is also around 7 kilometers away. This is all in Lake Chapala. Some people even cross the lake, which is about 4 or 5 hours kayaking, which is a lot for me. So I’ve never done it. Lake Chapala is a flat lake so it’s pretty safe. 
 
Two of Luzma Grande's friends kayaking in Lake Chapala, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI have never had any health issue while kayaking and I’ve been kayaking here for over 3 years. Before you go kayaking, somebody in the kayaking club checks the water to see if there is anything that could cause you any rash or things like that. Overall, we have never had any health issues. There was only one instance when we had a problem while kayaking and that was because there were a lot of water hyacinths. When there are water hyacinths then it’s a problem because they cover the surface of the water and you won’t be able to kayak. But we only have water hyacinths once a year because the wind blows them here and when the dams free up some water from the dams to the lake. The water hyacinths come from the water from the dams, too. Usually, the lake is safe to kayak in. It may not be safe for drinking and swimming but it is not so unsafe that if you tip over from your kayak then you’d worry that you’d get sick. I have been in the lake doing a kayaking rescue class and I have never had a problem with the water.
 
(Pictures:
Top: Luzma Grande kayaking on Lake Chapala, Mexico
Bottom: two of Luzma Grande's friends kayaking on Lake Chapala, Mexico)
Thomas Hellyer of Lake Chapala Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Boats on Lake Chapala, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere is quite a bit of kayaking in and around Chapala and Ajijic. There is a kayaking club that meets at least once a week for kayaking and they do it together. They go to different places on the lake. Lake Chapala is a massive body of water so there are lots of places to go kayaking. They get together on the side, where they meet up on an ongoing basis. Then they decide on who is going to help carry the kayaks, who has a car and who doesn’t, what restaurant they are going to after they kayak so they could eat, etc. There is an active community that uses the water of Lake Chapala that way.
 
There are some people who go boating here but there’s not that many. For Mexicans, power boating is very expensive. It’s expensive to keep the boat, pay for the truck, gas, etc. When you bring your boat to Lake Chapala, you have to be very careful on the shore because of the shallowness of the water. In general, boating is not very popular but it is possible as there are places where you could store your boat and place where you could launch. There is deep enough water and it is a big lake with lots of places to go and things to see but there isn’t much infrastructure around, so for example, you can’t fuel your boat anywhere on the lake. You have to either take the fuel to the boats or trailer out to do the fueling on shore. There aren’t many docks to tie up on especially as the lake goes up and down through the seasons. There aren’t any lakeside attractions to boat to.  For water recreation, it is amazing for people like me, from the Pacific Northwest, where we have a strong boating culture, to see how little recreational use there is on Lake Chapala.
 
I have friends who have boats who have them stored at restaurants on the shore that have a launch pad. If any of them wants to use it, the restaurant launches it for them, they take the boat out, have a nice afternoon, and come back in.
 
(Boats on Lake Chapala, Mexico, pictured.)

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