There are so many things to see in Chapala and Ajijic that the best sightseeing just depends on how adventurous you are. If you are not adventurous at all, you can go to a nice restaurant on the mountain where you get a breathtaking view of the Lake Chapala.
If you go to the other side of the lake from Ajijic, there is a town called Mazamitla, which is located on Garcia Mountain an hour and a half away from Ajijic. Mazamitla is a very nice mountain town where you would see a different kind of construction, which is mostly wood. The weather changes if it’s cooler there. You have different kinds of food to enjoy there, too. The regular food in Mazamitla is made differently as they make their food based on what they find locally. The tamales in Mazamitla are different. Here in Chapala and Ajijic, our food is more influenced by Guadalajara City. For example, as opposed to in Ajijic, in Mazamitla, you won’t find Thai food for sure. It’s mostly traditional Mexican food. You can go to Mazamitla, walk on nice narrow streets, enjoy the architecture of the church and see a completely Mexican town. It’s very nice and it’s a place that I recommend to visit.
If you’re an adventurer, you can walk up the mountain from Ajijic. There are lots of trails that you can go to and the trailhead is just less than a mile from the center of Ajijic. The street turns into a trail. There is a street in Ajijic called Tempisque located just a little bit to the west of the town center that pretty much becomes a trail in the mountain so it is a street that turns into a trail, too. These streets join at the top of the mountain.
There are plenty of trails that take you to places that are completely different when you go in the rainy season or in the non-rainy season (we only have two seasons here: rainy and non-rainy). In the rainy season, you will see waterfalls at the top of the mountain. When it’s not the rainy season, you won’t see waterfalls but you would see lots of animals. There is a very rich population of wild animals throughout the mountains. Sometimes they come and visit us. The view of the Lake Chapala from the mountain is beautiful.
You could also go to Jocotepec, which is a municipality located west from Ajijic. There are groups in Jocotepec that would take you 1 or 2 hours away where you can go water rappelling or white water rafting. If you are into that kind of adventure, there are companies that offer that service and could take you from here. But if you want to spare yourself from that then you can just enjoy the nature that is right at your hand’s reach in Ajijic. You can go to the malecon (boardwalk), sit on a bench, and look out to the lake for hours.
You can also go to the ocean beaches, which are just 3 hours away from Ajijic. So if you’re tired of the lake, you can go and look for something else.
There are many different places that you can go from here which are located 3 hours way going any direction. You can go visit Aguascalientes, which is a very popular city 3 hours away from Ajijic. It has a very special fair that has been going on for more than 100 years every April during spring break. It is something worth visiting. There are also archeological sites nearby. You can go to Queretaro or other known cities in Jalisco like Los Altos, Arandas, or go to Tequila and see what it is all about. You might drink tequila but not know where it comes from, how it is made, or its history. In order to be properly called “tequila”, it has to have a certificacion de origen, which is why the drink is called tequila in only seven municipalities. Only these municipalities can make tequila. If that drink is not made in those seven municipalities, it has to be called something else – for example, a raicilla or something else other than tequila.
(Cabin in Mazamitla, Mexico, pictured.)