Ajijic is a small village, but there is a lot of activity there.
Besides all of the shops, restaurants and small businesses, there is even a small independent living facility just across from the lake. The building and grounds look inviting, so it’s no wonder it has a two year wait list. Below is the entrance. As usual in the area, it is filled with flowers and tilework.
And like practically every Lake Chapala property, it has gorgeous outdoor grounds. Below is a lap pool with beautiful plants and stained glass in the background.
An Ajijic house awaiting renovation, below, is a good reminder of the history of the town:
Descendants of the ancient Nahuatl tribe lived in the area before the Spanish conquest. They called the area “Axixic,” meaning the place where water bubbles up due to the natural springs that existed at the time. The Spaniards renamed the area and founded the town of Ajijic in 1531. It is one the oldest villages in western Mexico. However, it didn’t become a tourist destination until the 1930s.
Knowing a bit of its history makes me enjoy Ajijic even more. We are not the first generation to walk its streets and we won’t be the last.
Speaking of future generations, a skateboard park has been added next to the lake. Kids may not just skate but are permitted to leave graffiti – if they get a permit. Notice the skate surface is smooth cement, but look at the road…it is made of those attractive but bumpy cobblestones. Not only are they maddeningly rough to drive on but I turned my ankle when I stepped on one the wrong way.
And of course, there is the lake itself. Directly behind the skate park is Lake Chapala, which is Mexico’s largest freshwater lake. The lake has a lot of problems. It is polluted from many sources and suffers from loss of fish diversity. The lake level has lowered due to urban water consumption. Fortunately, these issues are being corrected. Despite its problems, it is an important stop for migratory birds.
On our walking tour of Ajijic we eventually tired of exploring and went to dinner at a shore side Lake Chapala restaurant. Deborah got a coconut so she could try fresh coconut water. They also cut up the coconut for her. We ate the delicious fresh coconut chunks for dessert while we loitered with our drinks.
I took this picture with my zoom lens just before sunset.
We were serenaded by a xylophone player while we ate and lingered over our drinks.
It was a very lovely and relaxing day.
Next: Lake Chapala Society