Communities There are numerous towns and cities along the coast of Lake Chapala, including Chapala, Ajijic, San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jocotepec, San Juan Cosala, Mezcala de la Asunción, Jalisco, Tizapan El Alto, La Palma, Michoacán and Ocotlán, Jalisco.
During the first world war, in 1915, Norwegian speculators intended to make Chapala a luxury resort town. A railway was to be built, with segregated carriages. In addition to the railway, the speculators would also have provided two motor vessels to traffic the lake with connections to the other small towns at the lake borders. A first class hotel was to be built, likewise an automobile club with attached casino. An extensive dam, 8 kilometers long was to provide dry land with plots for luxury dwellings. What the shareholders in the company, “Compania di Fromento di Chapala” received, was only photographs of railway carriages and locomotives. In recent years, because of the benign prevailing climate and attractive scenery, a substantial colony of retirees, including many from the United States and Canada, has established itself on the lake’s shore, particularly in the town of Ajijic, Jalisco, located just west of the city of Chapala. Ajijic is located (at 20°18″N, 103°15″W) 5,046 feet (1,538 m) above sea level in the vast central Mexican plateau that is home to the Sierra Madre mountain range.
The Chapala Lake basin has a year-round average temperature of about 72 °F (22 °C). Due to Ajijic’s tropical latitude, the sun is warm year round; due to its relatively high elevation, it is seldom unpleasantly hot or humid. The rainy season begins in June and lasts until October with an average rainfall of approximately 34 inches (860 mm). Even during the rainy season, precipitation generally occurs during the evening or at night.
December and January are the coolest months and May is the hottest, just before the onset of the rainy season. Overall, there is very little temperature variation year round: daytime highs in January are around 75 °F (24 °C); daytime highs in May are around 80 °F (27 °C) to 90 °F (32 °C).