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Post by Tony_In_Mexico on Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:35 am

Hey folks. Tried this on TOB, but didn't get much of a response. I have family coming to visit me here for the first time. They'll be here in 2 weeks and will be staying for about 10 days. Although I've lived here for nearly 3 years, I really don't know the place well at all. I never eat out, so I don't know any restaurants. I also live in Chapala, and never go to Ajijic, where most of that stuff is. Hoping for suggestions on where I can take my folks to eat, as well as places they might enjoy seeing. They'll be traveling by taxi, so no countryside excursions please, but surely there's enough locally to keep them entertained for 10 days. I'll take them to the Chapala malecon, and Cozumel's, but that's pretty much the extent of my knowledge. I don't even know how to get to the plaza in Ajijic, although I've been there a couple of times. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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Post by oncesubtle on Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:14 am

Ya'll may enjoy a 25 minute bus ride east along the lake shore to the town of Mezcala. Here's a link from Jim and Carole's blog that gives details of the history and what to see if you decide to take the launch to the island. (recommended - about 250 pesos) Their new malecon also sports a quaint out door restaurant for snacks and suds.  

http://cookjmex.blogspot.mx/search/label/Mezcala  (the article about Mezcala is the second one down on the web page)  

Also, there's lots of information about Mezcala on the net. Read up and enjoy, a very rich history and a nice boat ride. Who could ask for more?
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Post by CanuckBob on Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:19 am

You really do need to get out.......jaja.

Restuarants

- Tango's
- Las Taleres
- Bruno's
- Sushi at El BarCo (Friday and Saturday)
- Simply Thai
- Robertos
- Armandos
- Delicias (for breakfast)
- Sunrise (for breakfast)

Things to do:
- All three big malecons (Chapala, Ajijic & Jocotepec)
- Cristiana park and the train station
- The casino in Laguna mall
- Trip up to Mazamitla (hire a driver)
- Trip to Tequila (hire a driver)
- Guad Zoo (hire a driver)
- San Juan de Dios Plaza in Guad (Take the bus)
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Post by windrider17 on Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:18 am

Chapala Lake Adventures at the lake end of San Jorge in Riberas, the street next to Mom's, has paddle boards, kayaks, pontoon boats, motor boat, etc if you are interested in water things.

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Post by David on Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:30 am

If they want Mexican Food, El Sarape on the Caraterra in West Ajijic.  Great Burgers and Ribs there too!
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Post by Intercasa on Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:08 pm

Take the bus to downtown Guadalajara for the day, buses are nice, you can eat tortas ahogadas there and see the sites, there are the double decker bus tours.
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Post by Rosa Venus on Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:17 pm

Tlaquepaque on a weekend afternoon would be fun, particularly a Sunday. Very pedestrian friendly, tons of shops and galleries if they're into that.

Thermal pools in San Juan Cosalá.

Tobolandia if there are kids in the group.

If they're newbies to Mexico, they have to experience at least one Tianguis.

Depends on what you mean by "family" and what they'd be interested in doing.
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Post by barbicheesecake on Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:02 pm

If your family likes pizza or fish & chips go to Perry's in Ajijic.

Other things:       the old train station in Chapala
                         Monday Market in San Antonio Tlay - 10AM-12:30PM every Monday(food, crafts, clothing, jewelry)
                         Tianges in Ajijic on Wednesdays:  9AM-3PM approx.
                         Tianges in Chapala on Mondays: just about anything you want or need; not sure about hours but probably same as Ajijic

That is all I can think of at the moment but CBob has it covered.
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Post by Hensley on Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:31 am

I haven't read this in a while but this is what I have copied years ago:

Activities
To do Here

--A day in Guadalajara for all the obvious touristy stuff in el centro
--A day at either the Balneario in SJC or, alternatively, Tobolandia
--A day in Tlaquepaque (she likes to shop....and there will be stuff for the kids, too)
--Maybe a day in Chapala with a boat ride out to Mezcala Island (which we've never done either)
--Maybe a drive around the southside of the Lake--the pelicans have probably left by then, yes?

- The Bird Park at the Animal Shelter store and the playing with the cats in there.
- We went to the Ajijic Pier and enjoyed margaritas while the kids were out on horseback rides (led around by the horse owners.) Good adult talk time here.
- Went to the Hotel Real de Chapala Sunday afternoon for the mariachis while the kids swam in the pool there. We sat and had appetizers and more margaritas.
- Toblandia was a BIG hit and the adults sat mostly on the side watching and talking.
- a meal in Ixthualacan at Cinco Potrillos was a hit - real Mexican atmosphere.
- In Tlaquepaque on a Saturday afternoon we ate at El Abejeno (one block off the pedestrian walkway) for more mariachis and folkloric dancing at about 4 pm Saturdays.
- Don't forget to let them shop on Colon and other streets in Ajijic. We have nice things here too.

We rented a suitable vehicle from S&S Auto while the family was here and it was perfect!

The $250 peso amount quoted (plus a $50 peso tip) is for a round trip plus 30 minutes on the island. They'll take up to 9 people per boat (with life jackets, please). Pay a few pesos more and spend more time on the island. Spend $150 pesos more for a tour guide who says he speaks English, but who communicates pretty well anyway. Throw in another $50 pesos and have the capitán take the boat back completely around the second small island and the south side of La Isla de Mezcala. It's a beautiful view of 360 degrees of the main island and of the few people trying to camp on the little island, eking out a bit of farming. And it is an extra 20-minute boat ride for $50 pesos divided by up to 9 passengers. Cheap date? You bet! And if you don't know the history of the island (one of the most important sites in Mexican independence from Spain) then you should really read at least Tony Burton's account in his book about Western Mexico or, better, hire the guide. You could then become the tour guide yourselves the next time guests come to visit, telling them all about Marcos Castellanos and the four-year stand-off of Mexican indios versus full-size Spanish galleons, etc. Don't miss it. We've gone five times and are looking forward to the next. Of course, we're the tour guides now. ¡Qué le vaya bien!
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Post by natbug on Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:45 am

Contact Victor at 376 7664219 or rivieraalta@gmail.com, he will pick you all up at Walmart and take you on a day tour of Mezcala including lunch and a trip to the island and a lot of local history. He speaks perfect English and is one of the nicest guys in town. Can't recommend him highly enough.

In Chapala take them to Jose's on the Plaza for lunch (he closes at 4 or 5). Facing the plaza go around to the right (lake) side. The food is excellent.

For either lunch or dinner try El Zapote. If coming from the lake turn right at the signal, it's near the end of (I believe) the second block on the left. Little hole in the wall place frequented mostly by locals. The food is delicious and inexpensive. Owner speaks English.

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Post by natbug on Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:46 am

Oh, and take them to Viva Mexico in San Juan Cosala for sure.

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Post by FeelinGroovy83 on Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:26 am

If you go to Tlaquepaque, be sure to eat lunch at El Patio so you can enjoy the all-female mariachi band.
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