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sunnylady Dec 29th, 2010 09:26 AM

First trip to Ajijic-Advice Needed
This is our first trip to Ajijic, and will stay for the month of January. We don't know anyone there. We would like to meet other retirement age people, and experience everyday life there, as we are seriously considering moving there when we retire next year. For right now,
what is the best way to get to Ajijic from the airport in Guadalajara? Are there social clubs, or places to meet other people? All information is appreciated.

120aks Dec 30th, 2010 09:07 AM

My wife and I took two trips to Ajijic this year with the goal of possibly moving there.Our first trip was with Focus on Mexico which is an organization that teaches you everything you would need to move to Mexico. I am not a spokes person for them but if you are serious about moving to Ajijic I recommend you consider them for one of the weeks you will be in town. Go to far as social clubs the main one is LCS which is Lake Chapala Society. This club costs about $80 per year for a family and is the main expat organization there.They have a web site.Getting from the airport to Ajijic is a $30 cab ride or you can get in touch with a driver such as Anna's Concierge service for a private car for about the same money.Anyway, cabs abound. You simply go to the cab kiosk outside of baggage claim and pay your fare.When you are in Ajijic i do not recommend you rent a car.The bus service along the Carretera is excellent and cheap.Also, if you want to go into Guadalajara or to Tequila there are plenty of drivers such as Ana who will take you wherever you want to go for a reasonable price.I would be glad to answer any questions you may have in the future.

marioaccess Dec 30th, 2010 09:55 AM

120oaks is right. The best way to get to Ajijic from the airport is a cab. The procedure 120oaks explains is right on the dot. Costs about 30 USD for a cab. Have you already arranged for a place to rent while staying in Ajijic? If not I recommend you check out, I am a writer for Access and the site has tons of rental properties and for sale properties listed. It also includes allot of information on Ajijic and Lake Chapala.

You mention transportation. There are allot of ways on getting around town. The article below has more details, it has info on renting cars and even bus fairs in the area:

There is a wide array of social groups in the area and as 120aks mentions the Lake Chapala Society is the best one. So the best place to start meeting people is at the Lake Chapala society, you can read up on it here:

Hope that helps. If you have any questions at all just contact me, I am happy to help with any questions.

sunnylady Dec 30th, 2010 05:31 PM

Thank you both for your responses. The closer it gets to time to leave for Ajijic, it seems the more I realize how much I don't know. I checked out the links that you sent, which were very helpful, especially about the excellent bus service. How does one get a senior card?

We have arranged to rent an apartment in La Floresta. The pictures online looked very nice, and I am told it is within walking disance to downtown. Is that correct?

Is it all right if we just go to the Lake Chapala Society without knowing anyone? We would like to join, even for the (already seems short) time we will be there.

We are arriving this Saturday afternoon. I hope my husband and I have the opportunity to thank you in person.

marioaccess Dec 31st, 2010 08:21 AM

Yes, you can just walk into the Lake Chapala Society and ask for more information on joining with the reception. Very friendly people there. Even if you are staying for a short time, the membership will be helpful. Are you planning on retiring in Ajijic someday?

La Floresta is considered the best place to live in. It is beautiful, I am sure you will not be disappointed.

You can apply for a discount card at the DIF, which is actually located where you are staying in La Floresta. If you have any more questions at all just contact me or one of our team members through the contact form over at We are always happy to help.

120aks Dec 31st, 2010 08:44 AM

La Floresta is well located for walking to most places in Ajijic. There are several restaurants in the village you may want to check out. Our favorites were Ajijic Tango and Los Telares.There are excellent Thai, Chinese and Italian restaurants in the village as well.Restaurants are VERY inexpensive there compared to the U.S. or Canada.LCS has very limited hours. If I recall they are only open from about 10:00 to 1:00 four days a week. The woman at the reception desk is very friendly and will fill you in on all you need to know but in the mean time you should go to their web site.You mention a discount card. I don't believe you can get one without an FM2 or FM3 visa.However, the bus is only about seventy cents equivalent to go all the way from Ajijic to Chapala.As I mentioned my wife and I took two trips to Ajijic to acquire all of the needed info. You should use your time there to find out about immigration process and types of visas, buying real estate, bringing in vehicles, whether to move your furniture or buy new,, Mexican medical insurance (IMSS and private )banking, etc. The prospect of moving to Mexico can be exciting but go there with an open mind and a critical eye. Good luck and if you have any questions while you are there and have a lap top we can communicate via this forum.

120aks Dec 31st, 2010 09:06 AM

One last thought: Make sure you hook up with a good realtor and that you visit all of the residential areas there to get a feel for where you might want to live. There are several gated communities with pools and club houses or you may want to live in a more traditional area of Ajijic.

120aks Dec 31st, 2010 11:32 AM

I promise this is my last piece of advice. Since you are renting I will assume that you plan to do some cooking. Please make sure you soak all vegetables in a solution of what I believe is silver nitrate. Just rinsing with water or soaking in water will not do. Also, at your rental do not drink any tap water. Buy purified water and ice. At the restaurants you should have no problem. We have some friends renting in Ajijic that did not follow the soaking procedure and she became seriously ill with a parasite.

sunnylady Dec 31st, 2010 12:49 PM

I really appreciate all the good advice. Please don't apologize for helping! Especially the part about soaking fresh vegetable in silver nitrate solution. Do you buy that at the drugstore?

Yes, I will have a laptop there, so we can be in contact. I have so many questions, it would take pages, and I can't remember all of them at the same time anyway.

we are planning to retire to Ajijic next year, so this is a fact-finding mission as well as a vacation. As it gets closer, I'm finding I didn't know all I didn't know.

Thank you again. Our plane leaves very early in the morning.
But I look forward to communicating with you more.

120aks Dec 31st, 2010 01:53 PM

You mention how much you are beginning to realize how much you don't know. I mentioned Focus on Mexico in my first message. I have no affiliation with them other than being an alumnus but I strongly recommend that you consider them. I took the liberty of checking their web site and they have a seven day seminar from 1/22/11 to 1/29/11. It is held at the real De Chapala hotel. Ordinarily it would include hotel, meals and the seminar but since you will already be there perhaps they would consider a special price for you that would be for the seminar only. I cannot imagine how a person could otherwise obtain all of the info necessary to move to Mexico.Anyway, The owners are ray and Marie Bullock and they are in the local phone book.At least visit their web site while you are in Ajijic and then decide. Buena Suerte !!

120aks Jan 1st, 2011 02:00 AM

Regarding soaking vegetables I believe the solution is iodine not silver nitrate which had just stuck in my mind. Anyway just ask someone there as I am not sure at all what the actual process or solution is.

120aks Jan 1st, 2011 10:48 AM

OK this is my final,final message, I promise. I did some research on Google and the products that are commonly used to soak vegetables in Mexico and the brands Microdyn and/ or Bacdyn. According to Google the active ingredient is ionized silver. Don't know where you can purchase them and I recommend you find an American or a Canadian ( not hard to do in Ajijic ) and ask them for all of the details. Sorry to be a pest but wanted to get you the correct info.

marioaccess Jan 1st, 2011 11:36 AM


marioaccess Jan 1st, 2011 11:37 AM

Sunny Lady,

Drinking water can be bought in 20 liter bottles. 120oaks is right when saying you should "Disinfectant solution for fruits and veggies". You can buy disinfectant solution in small bottles at the grocery store or pharmacy, they are called "albiosan". Here is a good article we have on drinking water in the area:

Hope you have a great experience while in Ajijic, if you need help with anything at all please contact me or one of our team member over at AccessLakeChapala we are a friendly team of residents who know the area and are always happy to help new comers adapt to Lake Chapala.

Europhiliac Jan 23rd, 2012 12:49 PM

We are vegetarians and since we moved here in June have eaten the local produce after just rinsing with plain water, the way I do at home. Of course, our water system at the house is purified. I imagine one could become ill from rinsing with unpurified water. But the local vegetables are very fresh and good, especially from the Organic Market every Tuesday. This could be a problem go go to without a car, however.
Ajijic is a true paradise--weather, people, cost of living, you name it. I agree about Focus on Mexico. I did it last December, found a great house, and retired here with no regrets.

jan47ete Jun 1st, 2012 05:18 PM

I know this an old post but we are hoping to go to Lake Chapala and Ajijic in November. With numerous recommedations here about, I am not so satisfied. I am attemtping to rent a house for a month and after writing and even calling about 5 times, no one gets back to me. Anyone from the website interested in doing so?

tomwins Dec 25th, 2014 01:38 PM

accesslakechapala is a for profit business but not at all the only one.
There are many other sources of rentals in the area. You can find many by doing a search of rental agencies or some of the more worldwide sources like airbnb. An multiple listing site for rentals is in the process of being developed but as of this writing is not up yet. There are also several nice hotels and BnBs in the area that might be good for a first visit and to check out the area. Hosts at BnB are usually very helpful in orienting guests.

janisj Dec 26th, 2014 02:31 PM

tomwins: jan47ete's post was two years ago . . . their trip was in Nov <B>2012</B>. (I know you are new on the forums - but it is usually good to look at the dates and not just top things)

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