Flights to Guadalajara are typically wide open, leaving room for even the newest airline employee to non-rev in first class with ease. While Guadalajara is the lively capital city of Mexico, Chapala is a small lakefront town just a forty-minute cab ride from Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla International Airport.
In this region you’ll find a handful of retired American ex-pats and the most authentic Mexican culture. Everyone is satisfied to hang out all day, listening to mariachi bands playing on the promenade and in restaurants, and everywhere in between. Cowboy saloons appear to be as antiquated as their tendency not to welcome women. Produced nearby, tequila is a point of local pride, and meals are usually paired with Negra Modelo or Cerveza Superior.
Looking for a relaxing weekend getaway?
If you seek quiet, cozy lodging with a tasty breakfast served on a bright, sunny portico, Hotel San Francisco is the place for you. Although the lake’s shore is receding, spoiling beaches and stifling tourism, it offers a nice scene with mountains in the distance. High elevation means cool summer nights in Chapala — perfect for a stroll through the main street where beautiful, large lanterns adorn the trees. Polish off the evening with a bottle of vino on the roof terrace, and you’re ready for a good night’s sleep!