Chapala is a town and a municipality in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. Due to its location on Mexico’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Chapala, this town is a popular destination for weekend tourists, primarily from Guadalajara, a large city about 28 miles to the northwest. Chapala and its neighboring town of Ajijic are also popular destinations for expatriates from the U.S. and Canada seeking temperate weather and a laid-back lifestyle.
The main attraction to Chapala is the lake and its boardwalk or “Malecón de Chapala”. Here you will find beautiful views of the lake and surrounding mountains. The beauty is accentuated by long piers, fishing boats, horses, and beautiful cloud formations. It’s a pleasant place to spend the day strolling along the lake, getting a bite to eat, and observing the activities of both locals and tourists.
This was the rainy season and low-hanging clouds often thwarted my efforts to capture a sunset over the lake. However, the clouds and the light were constantly changing and presenting beautiful rays of light, colors, and unique photo opportunities on a regular basis. I frequently found myself enamored with the cloud formations here.
Chapala is also informally referred to as “The Little Corner of Love” or “Rinconcito de Amor”, as can be seen on the archway to the entrance of this pier. As such, hundreds of locks displaying expressions of love from visitors have been fastened to the railing at the end of the pier.
A bridge provides access to the sculpture “Jesus Pescador” as clouds in the distance bring rain over the mountains.
The ancient Mesoamerican ceremony known as Dance of the Flyers or “Danza de Los Voladores” occurs regularly throughout the day. Their flute and drum can be heard across the Malecon as the birdmen perform their death-defying act.
In addition to the beautiful scenery, other attractions can be found along the Malecon de Chapala. These include restaurants and food vendors, a market, amusement rides, and a skateboard park.