blue house in Mexico

Ajijic Mexico Cost Of Living To Retire There

This post was most recently updated on October 14th, 2019

After visiting the friendly town of Ajijic, I’m not surprised why it is such a popular retirement location for North Americans and some Europeans. The Ajijic Mexico cost of living is very affordable compared to Canada or the U.S. It’s been estimated that you can live on around 40% less than you would at home.

Who wouldn’t love living by this huge lake with year round sunshine and properties to suit every budget. And the Guadalajara airport to Ajijic is only 30 minutes away. Which makes the whole Lake Chapala area very accessible for anyone coming from North America.

Ajijic sign in Mexico

Walking around the town you’ll see many gray haired gringos mixed in with the Mexican’s. If you don’t know any Spanish at all, you can still easily get by.

Since there is such a large expat population, a lot of the locals in retail can speak at least some English. Plus you wouldn’t have to walk far to run into another gringo. But if you plan on living there, it’s always a better experience to learn some Spanish first.

Ajijic Mexico Crime

One of the main draws to the Lake Chapala area has to be the lack of crime. We felt completely safe walking everywhere whether it was day or night. This is one of the joys of small town living.

Although they say home invasions and petty theft are on the rise, I’d bet it’s less common than your own home town in North America. While we were there, the most common Lake Chapala crime seemed to be parts being stolen off of cars.

This would most likely happen while people were out for the day. Since a majority of the houses are behind cement walls. And a lot of home owners have large gates where they drive in to park their cars.

beautiful house in Ajijic

From talking to expats, most of the petty thefts have come from people they know like their house keeper or gardener. Although most are completely trustworthy. It’s always wise to hire someone your friends use. That way your hired help is less likely to compromise loosing all their jobs from a theft.

In our time in Ajijic, the thing I’d most be worried about is spraining an ankle. The cobblestone streets might be beautiful, but you definitely need to where comfortable shoes and watch your step.

Some people view Mexico as an unsafe place. They hear about something in the news and it determines their view for the whole country. Mexico is a huge place. And while certain areas in Mexico are not advisable to visit, the whole area of Lake Chapala is extremely safe and hospitable.

Cost Of Living in Ajijic Mexico

Most people move to Mexico for a better quality of life. And you can certainly find that living in Ajijic. Your dollar will likely go a lot farther than it does at home. But how far it goes is determined by your own wants and needs.

If you decide to bring your own car or buy one while you’re there, you’ll have some added expenses. So if that’s the case, you’d need to add gas, insurance and general repairs to your budget.

chapala bus

I prefer to take the bus to my destinations. Most places you need to go in town are within walking distance. If not, the bus system if very cheap and efficient. We enjoyed riding around on the bus seeing the sites. For less than a dollar you can ride the bus in either direction to the next towns along the lake.

Ajijic Real Estate

Like everywhere, homes for sale in Ajijic Mexico have been on the rise in the last few years. The price of your house in Ajijic depends on the location. If you choose something in a gated community obviously it will cost more.

Every house is unique in town. You won’t find two houses that are the same in Ajijic. It is possible though to find a two bedroom, two bath place for around $200 000 U.S. If you want one with a pool, they start closer to $250 000 and up.

Ajijic Rentals

You will have much better luck finding a place to rent once you arrive in Ajijic. The rental companies have tours to take you around and show you all the different options.

It is possible to find a small place to rent for $500 a month. But on average you’ll be spending more in the area of $900 a month.

house in Ajijic Mexico

Cost Of Living Breakdown For 2 People

  • Rent including utilities – $900
  • Groceries – $300
  • Restaurant – $300
  • Bus – $40
  • Cell phone – $40
  • Entertainment – $150

Total Cost $1730

Of course if you were living there full time, you’d need to add in healthcare at $50 a month. And dental/doctor appointments for average $150 a month. Gas for cars is not cheap. So taking the bus everywhere is a more economical option.

For a night out at the movies the cost is less than $3 per person. A decent breakfast will only cost around $3. And a typical dinner out about $10 average.

donas donuts ajijic

Ajijic Mexico Weather

For someone who doesn’t like cold winters, Ajijic has to have about as close to perfect of a climate as it gets. In fact, National Geographic names Ajijic as having the second best climate in the world.

The rainy season runs from May to November which is their summer time. But even still it doesn’t rain every day. And most of the time the rain comes at night when you’re sleeping. So you wake up to a beautiful, lush green scenery.

The average low temperature in Ajijic is in the low sixties year round. And the average high temperature is low seventies to low eighties. Since it’s never really too cold or too hot, you don’t have a need for air conditioners or have to heat your homes. Which is a big savings on your monthly costs.

standing in front of a flowering tree in Ajijic

Lake Chapala Health Care

You don’t need to worry about having inadequate medical care in Ajijic. There are 4 medical clinics located right in town. The one hospital has doctors and nurses on call 24 hours a day. Plus there are bilingual staff members at most.

Some doctors even make house calls. They have an ambulance service in Ajijic. And great dental care at very reasonable prices.

If you ever needed major surgery, the Guadalajara hospital is 45 minutes away with some of the most leading edge treatments available.

What To Do In Ajijic

Ajijic is one of the best places to retire in Mexico for a number of reasons. There are so many things to do in the Lake Chapala area to keep you occupied if you want to be.

The town has a very active expat population. And the perfect weather year round for outdoor activities. With so many clubs to join, it wouldn’t be hard to make new friends when you move to Ajijic.

walking along the malecon in ajijic

Outdoor Activities In Ajijic

  • Ajijic Golf Courses : Chapala Golf and Country Club is a 9 hole golf course that is very popular with the expat crowd. It’s located a 30 minute drive from Ajijic and boasts gorgeous views of the lake and mountains in the background.
  • Chula Vista: Is also a 9 hole golf course that is located just outside of Ajijic. Be prepared to walk a lot of hills on this challenging course.
  • Family Fitness Center: This gym has all the usual equipment to work out. Or take one of the pilates classes to stay fit.
  • The Racket Club : Is located 15 minutes away in San Juan Cosala. There is a pool for water aerobics, yoga and fitness classes. Or they also have pickle ball, tennis, basketball and a gym.
  • The Lake Chapala Pickleball : this community also play at the Hotel Villa Montecarlo in Chapala every day of the week.
  • Ajijic Hiking Group : meet to go hiking a couple times a week. They have different hikes available to go on depending on your level of experience.

If you’re looking for some activities that are not quite as active, there are plenty of other clubs to join.

flowering trees in the streets of Ajijic Mexico

Clubs In Ajijic

  • Lake Chapala Duplicate Bridge Club : They meet 4 days a week to play bridge. If you don’t know how to play, they have instructors to teach you.
  • Canadian Club of Lake Chapala : Open to anyone to join, they offer different events through out the year like a Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner and a Christmas party.
  • Lake Chapala Society : This is the biggest central meeting spot for expats. They offer plenty of bus trips, films, and different programs every month.
  • American Legion Chapala : is another popular meeting spot for expats in Chapala. They offer Spanish classes, card games, and many other regular events to attend.
  • Lake Chapala Garden Club : Meets regularly to explore the different plants indigenous to Mexico.
grafiti in Ajijic

Theatre In Ajijic

  • Lakeside Little Theatre : Have many different types of plays to attend that are all in English.
  • Movie Space Cinemas and Cinemas Del Lago : show all the latest movies. Look for one that says subtitles for a show in English.

For more ideas on things to do in Ajijic click here.

Helpful Sites For Living In Ajijic

Retiring In Ajijic Mexico: Pros And Cons


  1. Perfect year round weather
  2. Friendly community
  3. Plenty of activities
  4. Lots of opportunities to volunteer
  5. Mexico’s cost of living is cheaper
  6. Safe place to live
  7. Easy to get to Ajijic
  8. Easy to make friends
  9. Lots of expats to speak English with
  10. Cheap and easy bus system


  1. Can be noisy when festivals are going on
  2. Streets and sidewalks can be uneven to walk on
  3. Sad to see the homeless street dogs that need help
  4. Main road is too busy with traffic in the day
  5. Internet is slow
  6. Power goes out occasionally
  7. Lake is polluted
  8. Trash in certain places that needs to be picked up

We really enjoyed our time in Ajijic. Although Mexico is not for everyone, I’d recommend coming down and staying for 6 months to get a feel for the place. Someone told us while we were there that everyone comes back. And possibly some day we will.

We found the town to be the perfect size for us with a population of 11 000. It would be very easy to make friends, and a great place if you’re an active outdoorsy person. About the only thing we were missing was a great beach to hang out at.