Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Top 10 FREE Things to Do in Chapala, Mexico
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
Tranquil Lake Chapala Sunset
Spend some time on the Malecon.
The Malecon is a modern, wide walkway that runs alongside a good portion of
the lake in
Chapala. Lined with Palm trees and tropical plants, the lake is
on one side, and
restaurants, hotels, a fountain, a skateboarding park, and
small trinket shops are on the other. Wrought iron benches face the lake so
you can sit and enjoy your morning coffee while daydreaming over the water.
Or you could walk you dog, jog the length of this walkway or even skateboard
or roller skate along enjoying the scenery.
During the week this area is peaceful and you’ll have it all to yourself in
the mornings. At night, the palm trees are lit up with decorative lighting
and makes for a romantic scene. On
weekends tourists from Guadalajara jam
pack the place. Ice cream, balloons, food, and pony rides are all for sale.
Musicians wander in this area playing for a few coins.
The stress of living in
the States can take its toll on your health. People say that living in
Chapala adds ten years to your life and we believe it. The relaxed
Mediterranean lifestyle, clean air, great food, friendly people and just
plain fun is bound to extend your life.
What are you waiting
for? Keep your retirement dreams alive.
Many North Americans have already made the move.
to Chapala’s Plaza.
You can people watch here most any time of the day or evening, or chat up
the taxi drivers. It’s a good idea to make friends with a driver or two. On
Sunday evenings there is music – either live in the Gazebo or recorded and
played through the speakers. Sometimes there are dance lessons given, and
often people go there to practice their moves.
Visit the San Francisco Cathedral.
a peaceful place and a great location to catch a quiet moment. You can
practice your yoga breathing, calm your mind, pray for a friend or family
member. Saturdays can be busy with weddings, baptisms or other church
functions, and on Sundays there is the well-attended weekly mass.
to Cristiania Park.
to walk? Jog?
Play tennis or volleyball? Meet new people? Cristiania Park is
the place to do all of these things. One very large park, it is a source of
greenery, social connection and a place to breathe in the scent of nature.
scenic trail is to start at the Malecon, walk all the way down to the
restaurants at El Pescador (the statue of Jesus the Fisherman) and take a
left. Go up this road past the Red Cross until you enter Cristiania Park.
Walk the park, play some ball, or have a chat with the local ExPat
Watch the sunset at the lake.
one of the benches and relax, watching the sun make colors on the water and
the clouds pass through the sky. Or walk the whole length of the malecon,
listen to the music played by the minstrels or coming from the restaurants,
and take photos of the natural event which is different each evening. Take a
selfie at the multi-colored CHAPALA sign down by the Beer Garden.
Enjoy the Margaritas at the Cozumel Restaurant.
Well… the food you have to pay for, but the Margaritas (or wine) are free
with your meal. No kidding. Relish in the Trout Almandine, the Bacon Wrapped
Shrimp, the Arrachera or the Battered Deep-Fried Shrimp. Walk off your meal
by making your way up to the pier or past that to the large CHAPALA sign.
to the Chapala Monday Market.
Called tiangis (tee-AN-gees), every Monday on the main road past the
gymnasium towards Soriana Grocery Store, vendors gather to sell their wares.
Everything from fresh fish, meat, freshly de-feathered chickens, local
honey, fruit, and vegetables, to clothing, household items, electronics,
tools, herbs, CDs, DVDs and more are sold here. Depending on the Monday, it
can be a good photo opportunity.
to Chapala’s main market at the Plaza.
is Mexico in action. Meat markets, fish markets (upstairs), fruits,
vegetables, juice shops, restaurants, chickens being roasted on a rotating
spit, fresh yogurt, eggs, cheese, local honey and bee pollen, tacos,
sandwiches and more are all available here. Enter from the Plaza, from
Juarez in the back or either of
the side streets. Take a look around, and be prepared to capture some live
Enjoy the climate.
year-round spring like temperatures, Chapala is an easy town to walk around.
Most everything you need is within a short distance or take a seat on one of
the many benches provided in between your gallivanting around. It’s hard to
be in a bad mood when you are surrounded by so much beauty.
Practice your Spanish, enjoy the kindness of the Mexican people.
easy to make friends here in Chapala. Just start out with an “Hola” or
“Buenos” and start chatting, especially with the vendors. You will soon get
to know them, because if you are walking around for any length of time you
will become familiar with the same places and faces. Practice your Spanish
and they will be thrilled to participate. Ask them what fruit is best today
or where they get their honey or which part of the carnitas is best to buy.
Ask them how they are today, or if they have children (they do) and go from
Before you know it, you’ll have made a buddy and will be waving at each
other on a daily basis.
Almost free things to do
Enjoy a cup of coffee at a café. There are a couple of coffee houses
in Chapala, The Coffee Hour by the main fountain and El Arbol de
Cafe on Hidalgo on the way out of town. There's also a new shop on
Morelos and Zaragoza called Buenos Ayres. All serve good coffee and good
breakfasts, just depends on what kind of crowd attracts you. El Arbol de
Cafe (The Coffee Tree) has better cheesecake and their breakfasts tend to be
Mexican style. They also sell fresh roasted beans, ground for you special
that moment when you purchase them. They are good places to meet people and
watch pass the morning. The Coffee Hour is open daily, The Coffee Tree is
closed Sundays. Buenos Ayres has various hours.
a bus ride to the next town or to Ajijic. This is a very affordable way
to get out of town and check out what's going on elsewhere around the lake.
For 8-9 pesos, hop one of the buses and go to San Antonio or Ajijic and
visit their plazas, coffee houses and restaurants. Walk around town, take
some photos or make an out-of-town friend.
a Gelato. Italian Gelato is available in Chapala and it's very good.
Located on Ramon Corona past the Braniff Building you will see a
closet-of-a-shop that sells the most delicious flavors. The store is owned
by an Italian father and son combination and they make their ices fresh.
a beer at the tennis courts or at the Gavilan. While there are lots of
places to have a brew, two of the most interesting are at the
or volleyball courts in Cristiania Park and at the
Gavilan on the corner of
Lopez Cotilla and Cinco de Mayo. The tennis courts have outdoor seating with
sporting entertainment and offers good social connection. Mornings are the
best time, late mornings for a brew.
El Gavilan is one of the remaining true Mexican cantinas and is
worth a visit. With swinging wooden doors at both of its entrances, this
previously male-only bar is now run by a woman named Patty which has
seriously changed the vibe from the olden days. If you have never visited
one of those bars you'd see in an old Western Movie, make a point of
stopping here. Generous wine pours, good tequila and rum, and of course your
choice of beers. Afternoons and evenings are best. Good prices.
Enjoy fresh tacos on the street. You cannot separate Mexico from her
tacos or tacos from their home country of Mexico - it's the flavor south of
the border. For lunch and dinner, taco stands will set up on the street
around the Plaza. You have choices of Al Pastor, Barbacoa, Adobado and
Sausage and Potato. For about fifty-cents a taco you will taste the real
deal. If you are lucky, they will have grilled sweet onions available also.
Dress your own tacos with raw onions, cilantro, habanero chili, and red or
green chili sauce. It's a must-try.
For more photos and stories of Mexico,
About the Authors
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are
recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on
topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of
information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com,
they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since
1991. They wrote the popular books, The
Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your
Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website
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