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May 28, 2018, 11:53 AM

Post #1 of 7 (10302 views)


Comparing Ajijic to Jocotepec

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I'm planning to visit the Lake Chapala area in December for 2 weeks, staying at a hotel, probably in Ajijic. Then if all goes well, we'll visit again for a month or so, and then relocate.
We plan to visit the Pacific Coast a lot - most likely Manzanillo - for 3-4 days at a time - when we move there. We like to explore beaches, but we don't want to live in the heat. So I've also been looking at Jocotepec - about 30 min closer than Ajijic... considering relocating to Joco rather than Ajijic.
I'm wondering if anyone has compared Ajijic to Jocotepec, in terms of living conditions. From my research so far, Ajijic seems to have more expats and so is more costly. There seems to be more restaurants, more artists, more celebrations - so perhaps more noise?
Has anyone chosen to live in Jocotepec rather than Ajijic - if so, why?
Thanks for your help.


May 28, 2018, 12:55 PM

Post #2 of 7 (10298 views)


Re: [aholm] Comparing Ajijic to Jocotepec

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why haven't you looked at chapala? but cudos to you for looking at jocotepec. ajijic is overblown as a place to live.


May 28, 2018, 1:00 PM

Post #3 of 7 (10297 views)


Re: [aholm] Comparing Ajijic to Jocotepec

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I'll take a cut at discussing all but the 'living in Jocotepec' part....
Joco, for short, does indeed have far fewer of all the things you mentioned.... except maybe noise. Ajijic and Chapala have 'thousands' of US/Canadian expats living there and even more snow-birders in the winter. Joco has, I'd venture to guess, less than a hundred of said.

Most of the restaurants that expats use are either right in Ajijic proper or a couple of miles east and west. There are some in Chapala but not many. Joco on the other hand has maybe one restaurant that gringos will visit on a regular basis (someone might correct me on the 'only one' comment).

There are far more homes available and inhabited by gringos in and within say 5 miles east and west of Ajijic than even Chapala, and far more than Jocotopec. And yes, generally speaking a home in Jocotepec will be less expensive all things considered.... and probably less 'built with gringos in mind' also. But there will be far less to choose from also. Chapala would have many less-expensive-than-"Ajijic" homes available also, but probably more expensive than Joco.

In my opinion if/when one chooses Jocotepec as opposed to either the Ajijic environs or Chapala proper, they are also choosing to spend very little time doing 'expat' activities that are available Lakeside. One of the reasons for this is that, these days, the 'short' drive from Jocotepec to Ajijic has turned into a traveling nightmare due to the high number of topes (traffic calming bumps in the road) that have been installed on that drive over the years, as well as the traffic on that route caused by development along the way. One must basically come to a complete stop when crossing the topes and there are now probably north of 25 of them between the two locations.

As far as noise...... Noise is ubiquitous in Mexico! Joco will have no less than Ajijic in my opinion. It is mainly NOT caused by gringos and their life/activities but rather by the Mexican Nationals and is generally associated with one religious ceremony or another. And as far as being closer to the beaches than Ajijic, that closeness is, of course, true. BUT I personally would not make a residence decision on a 30-minute 'commute' difference unless I were going to make that commute a ton of times. I'd just choose to live 'west of Ajijic' in one of the fine 'developments' there... but that's just me I guess.

One last thing.... the general mantra is to 'first rent, then buy later' after one has lived in Mexico and better knows the ropes and decides that Mexico is actually somewhere they can live after all. Many folks come down thinking they can, only to realize a couple of years later that it is just not their cup of tea.

Good luck in what ever decisions you make.

(This post was edited by RickS on May 29, 2018, 8:23 PM)


May 28, 2018, 8:28 PM

Post #4 of 7 (10282 views)


Re: [RickS] Comparing Ajijic to Jocotepec

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In 1996 based on recommendations by friends and relatives who had friends in the greater Ajijic Chapala area. I did something very stupid. I immediately fell in love with Ajijic and within a week of being in Mexico in what happened to be Ajijic, I made an offer on a house in upper Ajijic at 64% of the asking price subject to the sale of my Seattle home.
The offer was accepted I sold my city residence in Seattle, still had a summer home further north and moved down for a four months stay. Somehow this stupid move turned into a wonderful move, I now kind of speak Spanish and nothing could be better and now instead of spending 4 months in Mexico & 8 up north, I am now retired and have reversed those statistics, now I come home not to the cottage or summer home that I once had up north and bought a condo in Seattle so that I could keep in touch with relatives etc.
For some strange reason I could never be happier. Sadly when most people make a stupid move and buy in a foreign country things turn out bad and they should have rented first. I am still amazed about what a stupid high risk thing I did, especially now that it has turn out so well.
So yes, come and visit and do as was explained above. Do not do as I did, most people are not as lucky as I was.
Good luck


May 31, 2018, 2:51 AM

Post #5 of 7 (10202 views)


Re: [johanson] Comparing Ajijic to Jocotepec

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Both Rick S. and Johanson gave good advice. RENT first. You can't get the "feel" of a location until you've been there awhile.
The observation that the 24 topes between Joco and Ajijic and the heavy traffic make the drive difficult is very true. As far as noise is concerned, it's everywhere. If you can find a residential street without commercial traffic and buses, life will be more peaceful, of course. I do live on such a street in Ajijic and love the location. I also like living within easy walking distance to the lake and downtown. Unless there's some kind of festival, it's very quiet at night. When there is,'s Mexico!
I've read a number of posts by folks who seem to be somewhat allergic to living in an area heavily populated by their former fellow countrymen, aka Gringos. This flies in the face of the customary clustering immigrants do elsewhere, and makes no practical sense at all. I enjoy my mostly Mexican neighborhood, but I also enjoy the activities aimed at former North of the border people. As to those, the usual sage advice is : make friends slowly. We have our fair share of grifters and liars.

For those who want a more regulated environment, there are a number of gated communities in the area, mostly West of Ajijic.


Jul 29, 2018, 5:48 AM

Post #6 of 7 (8483 views)


Re: [aholm] Comparing Ajijic to Jocotepec

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I have lived in Jocotepec for 15 years and love it. Easy access to Guadalajara via Lopez Mateo. Costco, Sam's club etc. From Joco easy to get to the autopista for west coast. Almost everyday there are a small group of Gringos gather at the coffee shop on the Plaza. Also much less traffic.


Oct 7, 2018, 1:23 PM

Post #7 of 7 (6578 views)


Re: [vetteforron] Comparing Ajijic to Jocotepec

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I completely agree with Vetteforron. We lived for 18 winters on the west side of the lake past Jocotepec. We aren't "joiners" so we found Ajijic a lot too congested and swarming with expats for our taste. After 18 years we found we needed more warmth than what we got at the lake in the winter, so we found a different locale in Mexico. But for what you want (cooler summers), the weather there might be perfect. Honestly I would highly recommend Jocotepec over the congestion of Ajijic. Vetteforron is correct that for access to the outskirts of Guadalajara, and access to the south shore of the lake and the beach, it is a very good choice. We really didn't use Ajijic for anything, and used to grumble on the occasions when we had to go there. Unless one wants to be immersed in the expat world, it really is not that essential.
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