Gated Communities in West Ajijic and Surrounding Areas
There are many gated and semi-gated communities in the Lakeside area. Just as in other places in the world, the main towns are divided up onto smaller communities. If a person is talking about living in the Lake Chapala area, generally that is enough information for a casual outsider. As my brother, the policeman, always said, “It is on a need to know basis.”
I have been here long enough that I should know all the towns, communities and gated communities here. Unfortunately, I don’t. I am a creature of habit, like most people I know. I don’t have a car so I don’t intentionally explore the different communities. Yes, the buses go all around here but I have had a knee problem and now the broken ankle.
Maybe one of these days I will be back to normal and feel healthy enough to take day some trips and explore these places. I will keep you posted and supplied with photos when that happens.
For now, I am writing just about some of the areas in West Ajijic. I know more about these places because of house sitting or visiting with friends and I have taken many photos.
On the upper side of the carretera, just west of Ajijic are three well-established communities. First is Las Salvias. Next is Villa Nova and then there is Rancho del Oro. I checked the prices online of some of the rentals in these areas and they are all comparable. A two bedroom, two bath, furnished house rents starting around eight hundred dollars a month. A thousand a month shows up more often on the sites than eight hundred. Prices can skyrocket from there. Many of the homes are surrounded by high walls and you have no idea of what is behind them except sometimes you hear loudly barking dogs.
The only area I know of these three is Villa Nova. I have a friend living in a small casita there. He loves it and his rent is inexpensive. There must be more little casitas like that around but I doubt that they stay on the market long. They usually get rented by word of mouth, one friend to another. It takes time here to find inexpensive rentals. You have to develop a network of friendships.
Villa Lucerna is a gated community further west down the road. I stayed there a couple of weeks and have included photos. It is a beautiful area. I was able to photograph some spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
It is very peaceful in these gated communities and people watch out for each other. Below is the entrance to one of the communities.
But I know the lower West Ajijic area better because I often walked there before I broke my ankle.
It was always surprising to come upon a hidden gated community. Sometimes there are farms or old shacks all around it. I don’t know what the zoning laws are here. Maybe there aren’t any or maybe they aren’t enforced. Most of the time, I see no patterns to the communities. A million dollar house will be sitting next to a field with cows in it.
Some of these communities I have only seen through locked gates. One of these is La Huerta. People in these hidden gated communities don’t like to call attention to themselves, unless they are trying to sell or rent something. La Huerta is one of them.
I like this intermixing of houses. It happens more often when the houses are just being built, before they take over the old neighborhoods or the empty lots. It gives both the rich and the poor opportunities to live in the areas they enjoy. Plus they have the added pleasure of getting to know each other. Something they ordinarily wouldn’t have had a chance to do if they were isolated with their own kind.
Some people might not think of this as an advantage. I do. I think it gives depth to a person to be able to experience the problems of others. I have known some very wealthy people and wouldn’t change places with them for all their money. The outside of a person’s life doesn’t often match the inside.
Real wealth comes from the inside. I am talking about loving kindness to others, respect and thoughtfulness. These qualities can’t be purchased with money. They can only be purchased by going through personal hardships and coming out the other end, enriched in spirit. But that is just my opinion. I would rather experience a beautiful sunset than sit in a beautiful home surrounded by high walls. This home has a low wall and a beautiful sunset.
Some people love the mountains best. They stay on the north side of the carretera.
If they are water-loving people, then they go below the carretera. I happen to love the water. I mostly haunt the lower areas around Ajijic, close to the lake.
I remember house sitting in one of the gated communities in the upper area of West Ajijic and the views were spectacular. All around this community were farms but that was almost a year ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are fewer farms and more houses there now. When I get back to walking again I will check it out.
Land is very expensive here. (By Mexico’s standards.) It must be tempting for local farmers to sell out. They could probably make enough money not to have to work again. What a choice. Get up at sunrise every morning to milk the cows, or relax somewhere on the beach? No more worrying about crops or chickens, etc. I have no idea of what farmers worry about. My father’s father was a farmer in Kansas. All I know about him is that he once accidently burned down the outhouse. Luckily the house was too far away from the fire and was saved. He eventually went bust.
I don’t know how hard it is to burn down an outhouse but I imagine that going bust can easily happen in farming. Nature is unpredictable and sometimes merciless. I know what choice I would make if I were ever in that position. I would head for the nearest beach. Okay, not the beach. I would still live by the lake but I would visit the beach often. I don’t want to live in that awful weather in the summer at the beaches. Here is one more photo to close out this posting with another sunset.
If you decide to visit this area, please check this site again in a few months. Hopefully, I will have more communities on it by then.