Ajijic Village and the Lifestyle

There is so much to say about Ajijic, the land of eternal Spring, nestled 5000 feet above sea level at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range…but that’s all stuff you’ve read a thousand time.

Let me tell you about a more personal Ajijic, the Ajijic I’ve known and loved for over 16 years now.

Ajijic is the most amazing ‘alive, vibrant, and diverse village’ in all of Mexico! Truly, it is. I’m going to try to capture this town with words and photographs. I hope I can do it justice. I want you to feel it, to let it get under your skin, just like I did when I first discovered the Magic of Mexico!


I hope when our driver makes that turn off the Libramiento onto the Careterra, that welcoming canopy of trees that greet you and say ‘Hello~Welcome to Ajijic’ ~ whether it’s the red flowers of our Galeana trees or purple buds from our Jacarandas or yellow blooms from our Primaveras that cover these magnificent trees ~ will simply take your breath away ~ just like it did mine. It’s gorgeous. It will leave you with a feeling to always remember. That’s my memory.

Then, if you have our driver immediately turn left into lower La Floresta, you would be stunned again, but this time by the immense trees that act as Glorietas (a turnaround) in the center of the wide cobble-stoned streets. These giant trees are actually the same $5 Fichus tree you and I had bought many times and put into pots in our homes! Really. It’s the same tree, but planted in a climate where they thrive! That’s what can happen to this tree if it gets to live and thrive in the perfect environment, in the perfect place, with the perfect mix of sun and rain…..pure magic! Much like what could happen to you….So this town. This Village. My Village, I like to say….”What makes it so magical?” Why do people come for a quick vacation and never leave? I wish I knew everyone’s answer to that question. But here’s my answer. Because it’s genuine. It’s unique. It’s so friendly. So welcoming. You can come here, as I did, knowing absolutely no one, and within a week, have a true network of friends. I am not kidding you about this. If you are open to it ~ this is real.

If you were to simply open the front door of Bellissimo’s, turn left and walk five blocks along our street, 16th de Septiembre, until you reach Colon/Morelas. Then you can turn left and walk a block down to Lake Chapala and walk the Malecon or turn right and walk up about another 4 blocks and go to the Zocolo or the Plaza and sit at any of the many cafes and have a great lunch or coffee or beer and watch people, then you would instantly get what I am talking about. All you would have to do is turn around and say hello to the people at the table next to you, I guarantee you, they will start up a conversation and the next thing you know they with invite you over for cocktails or dinner! Really. It’s that easy. That’s how it works down here.

Life is casual. People are just plain happy. Perhaps the weather has a lot to do with that. Perhaps it’s because most people don’t know anyone when they come here ~ so you then have complete freedom to transform yourself into that “other person” you’ve always wanted to be. There really is NO pressure to perform. That really changes the playing field. And that is also hard on some people. Ajijic life is not for everyone. But if you can adjust to a more peaceful, fun loving and giving lifestyle ~ then you’ve found your new home. It’s here.

Wednesday features our famous local open air market, called the Tianguis. This amazing market is located only ½ block away from Bellissimo’s and truly offers everything from fresh ocean fish to local organic eggs, chicken, pork, and every vegetable and kind of jewelry or souvenir your heart may desire. Walk just a short five ‘village blocks away’ and you can immerse yourself in the vivid, friendly boutiques and gourmet food shops. As you walk on our cobble – stoned streets (do bring comfortable shoes…heels are no good here), you will also discover restaurant after restaurant. Our quaint village offers everything from Italian to Greek to Thai to French to Argentinean cuisine and everything in between. Oh yes, and even Mexican food!

There is not a single night of the week you won’t find a great place to eat your dinner and dance the night away. Really. We have dancing every single night of the week here. Bellissimo’s provide a current weekly list in your room along with an entire book with restaurant menus and other things to know about Bellissimo’s (like towel lay out service for a ‘sun day”; where the floats are kept; the honor bar and so on. Bellissimo’s will also provide you with a free complimentary local cell phone, pre-programmed with every important number you will need; should you require assistance in anyway.

Almost as an incidental, if you are avid or even casual walker or hiker, Bellissimo’s is situated only one-half block off of Lake Chapala with its 2 mile Malecon and sits quaintly at the foot of the Sierra Madre mountains, which is full of hiking trails. I suppose it goes without saying, but say it I shall: Tequila comes from Jalisco ~ just as Champagne comes from Champagne, France. So don’t be afraid to give it a try. Good Tequila is meant to be sipped, much like a fine single malt scotch.