By Nancy Seeley
The city of Ajijic is nestled on the north shore of Lake Chapala, Mexico’s largest natural lake, at an altitude of around 5,000 feet. It’s about an hour’s drive from Guadalajara, but the contrasts between this picturesque community of about 15,000 people and the bustling metropolitan flair of Guadalajara – now approaching a population of 5 million – are dramatic indeed.
On a recent visit, I spent hours walking the cobblestone streets of Ajijic and was struck by the natural beauty of the area. What made it so tremendously appealing to me was the plant life. The flowers and foliage were everywhere in the residential areas, and the backdrop of the mountains made the photo opportunities even more striking. Rare was the wall without a profusion of vines tumbling over the top and cascading down the side. Doorways were framed in greenery, patios and terraces were bursting with living color, and one could inhale the fragrance of blossoms without even breaking stride. Ajijic’s temperate climate provides fertile conditions for a wide range of growing things… from cacti to bougainvillea, from roses to morning glories, from daisies to crotons…and so much more.
If the photos of what Ajijic has to offer tempt you, and if you need a break from the heat at sea level here in Zihuatanejo, take a day to head northwest to the state of Jalisco. You can drive the distance in less than 8 hours. Add a couple of hours if you’re taking the bus. Once you’re there, lace up your walking shoes and start enjoying the visual panorama.