There are many towns around Lake Chapala Mexico and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 expats from the US Canada and Europe live in the area.

One thing we should clarify is that there is the town of Chapala but also the municipality of Chapala. The town of Chapala is the largest town at lake Chapala with a population of over 20,000 people. The municipality of Chapala encompasses many towns including Chapala, Ajijic, San Antonio Tlayacapan, and San Juan Cosala just to name a few and these add up to well over 50,000 people when all combined. The town of Chapala is the largest in the municipality.

If you’re thinking of moving to Chapala

So if you’re thinking about moving to the town of Chapala it’s important to keep in mind that it is not a small village! It’s a fairly sizeable town with many banks, restaurants, public transit and so on. This style of living isn’t for everyone so before you consider moving to Chapala you need to decide if this is the style of living you are seeking. This isn’t to say Chapala is not without it’s charm. There are plenty of old buildings and landmarks and a large malecon (boardwalk) that help to attract not only visitors but people who like to call Chapala their home.

Not a Colonial Style Town

Although you can find a few hints of colonial architecture, Chapala definitely doesn’t have any of the colonial vibe of say San Miguel de Allende for example. A town like San Miguel de Allende has a very unique European style flare whereas Chapala is more “rustic” in it’s flavor.

Cost of Living in Chapala

Because Chapala is larger it’s not quite as sought after by expats, and for this reason it hasn’t seen quite the crazy property value boom as some of the neighboring towns such as Ajijic has seen over the past few years. So from a cost of living perspective it could be an attractive option if you are on a tighter budget. There are older gated areas such as Chapala Haciendas that have great value for someone looking to purchase a (usually older) house at a great value.

For detailed information about moving to Mexico please read our article Moving to Mexico