Ajijic Jalisco, Mexico
If you are reading these lines, it probably means you are looking for your private Shangri-La. If you are, look no further, Ajijic has it all.
Nestled on the North shore of Lake Chapala and protected by the mountains of the Sierra Madre, nature has endowed Ajijic with the best climate in the world according to National Geographic magazine; with a mean annual temperature of 74 degrees it is the perfect heaven to forget icy blizzards and shoveling snow six feet deep, or the wearing, scorching summers.
But weather is not the only reason to come to Ajijic, although it favors lush vegetation and beautiful gardens. There is also its location, only 25 minutes away from Guadalajara’s International Airport with international flights to most major cities in the States and the rest of the world, and only 40 minutes from Guadalajara itself, Mexico’s second largest city; just three hours away by car from the international resorts of Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo; then there is the beauty of the lake, the low cost of living, the abundance of low cost, well trained help, the absence of crime, the excellent communications by highway, telephone and Internet; the medical facilities, but above all, its friendly, helpful people.
Ajijic has become home to be the second largest expatriate community of Americans and Canadians in the world which, mixed with the local population, has produced a very special way of living: friendly, interesting and, although relaxed, full of activities for all. There is golf, tennis, sailing, water skiing, excellent spas, and all sorts of literary and social clubs where newcomers are welcome.
Although it offers all the modern conveniences, the pace hasn’t changed. You can stroll down the plaza and watch the playful children while you savor a mango sherbet or sit at the balcony of a neighboring bar sipping a margarita and watching the world go by. Where else in the world would you pull over to the curb on a quaint cobblestone street to let local horsemen ride by? If you are an early jogger the dawn is something to experience; indigo skies turning to magenta, to orange, then to deep blue while the herons and all sorts of tropical birds fly from one place to another looking for their morning meal;
The sunsets are just as magnificent but in reverse.
(By the way, Ajijic is a true birdwatchers paradie)
So, tarry no more, the friendly people of Ajijic and your own compatriots await you with a warm, smiling welcome.
BUYING A HOME IN MEXICO is a very simple process. You own by DIRECT DEED which is certified by a Public Notary, who must be an attorney by law, who has a legal obligation to protect your interests and is jointly responsible with the seller for any taxes due. He makes sure that all the documents are in order, verifies the documents at the Public Registry of Property, and makes certain that the property is free of any liens or attachments and that all property taxes have been paid. You can name your children as beneficiaries, which makes transfer very simple.
IMMIGRATION STATUS.- As a tourist you can come in with tourist card, good for a 6 months visit. As a Visitante Rentista (FM3) you can stay in the country for up to twelve months, renewable every year. This allows you to have multiple privileges, and a one time duty free import of personal and household effects. It is convenient to have an FM3 to avoid Mexican Capital Gains when selling your home in Mexico.
There are American and Canadian Consulates in Guadalajara and the respective embassies in Mexico City.
RECREATION.- There are many good recreational facilities in both Ajijic and Guadalajara. Ajijic has two beautiful 9 hole courses (you can get temporary membership for as little as 1,000 US a year), good public and private tennis clubs, yatch club, private swimming clubs for both men and women, horseback riding, sailing, water skiing, etc. Also available are excellent mineral springs spas, health and weight reduction centers, all very reasonably priced, and many interesting places nearby for short excursions. Ultra-light flying is very popular near Chapala.
Guadalajara has four World Class, 18 hole golf courses, excellent shopping, theaters, concerts, fine restaurants and all the amenities of a modern city.
|SOCIAL ACTIVITIES.- There is something for almost every taste and inclination; in addition to the daily rounds of cocktail parties and lunches, there are social assistance programs, international church groups, Spanish classes for adults, ceramic and painting centers, cooking groups, dance groups, exercise groups, gardening clubs, gourmet clubs, bridge clubs, conservationist groups, etc.
Of course there is the American Legion, the British Society, Cards and Domino Club, the Irish Society, the Lakeside Little Theater, Hash House Harriers Walking Club, the North Shore Auto Enthusiasts, Shriner’s, Viva la Musica, Tennis Club, Amigos del Lago Group, Masons, as well as many social service clubs and organizations: Red Cross, Samaritans Sans Frontiers, Lake Chapala Society, School for the Deaf, the Mexican International Cook-off which raises funds for 13 local charities, etc.
PERSONAL IMPROVEMENT.- There are local chapters of Al-Anon, Alcoholics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, CODA, Weight Watchers and Women’s Support Groups.
EATING AND ENTERTAINMENT.- There are many excellent small restaurants in the area offering all types of international food: Mexican Haute Cuisine, Italian, French, American, Chinese, etc. at prices you haven’t seen since the 70’s. You have good live entertainment at Lakeside most nights: music from the 40’s and 50’s, karaoke, rock’n roll, jazz, country, and dancing. Cozy sidewalk cafes foster friendships and relaxation. The local auditorium offers performances of visiting groups and ballets, and there is a modern 3 screens movie theater.
RELIGIOUS SERVICES.- There are many churches in the area: in addition to Catholic, there are Baptist, Anglican, Church of Latter Days Saints, Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventist, Baha’i Community, Open Circle, and Interdenominational services; there is a synagogue in Guadalajara and a Jewish Expatriate Club at Lake Chapala.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE LIBRARIES AND NEWSPAPERS.- The Lake Chapala Society in Ajijic has the largest lending library in Mexico; The American Legion also has one in Chapala.
The Guadalajara Colony Reporter and USA Today, as well as other major U.S. newspapers are available at local newsstands and supermarkets.
MEDICAL.- We have excellent doctors living and practicing in the area. There are two 24-hour clinics that also serve as hospitals. Specialists come from Guadalajara twice a week. The Red Cross at Chapala is available 24 hours for any emergency, as are ambulances. Guadalajara has many modern hospitals with up to date installations and equipment. Dentists here are up to date with the latest techniques and much more inexpensive than in the U.S. and Canada.
BANKING.- There are four international banks in the area. Allen W. Lloyd, and Multivalores Investment have an office here. International currency is easily exchanged locally.
MAIDS AND GARDENERS.- The charge is $ 2-3 an hour and they can work from one to six days a week. They usually do a wonderful job of gardening, cleaning, washing, ironing, cooking and more. Live-in maids and handy men are also available.
CATS AND DOGS.- Veterinarian care is readily available and the cost very reasonable. There is a wide variety of pet food available.
CLOTHING.- Informal is the usual thing, although there are some dressy occasions.
ARTS AND CRAFTS.- This area is the heart of Mexican artisans; pottery, wrought iron, paintings, Indian art, hand woven items, tapestry – many of these are found in local street markets.