Rachel and her family upped sticks and went off on a trip - around the world. Enjoy their stories!
With near perfect year round temperatures, Lake Chapala, the largest lake in Mexico, makes a fabulous holiday destination any time of the year.
Chapala, a snug little town nestled right on the edge of the lake, has a unique combination of the old and the new.
A popular location for expats, retirees and tourists, Chapala, and the neighboring town of Ajijic offer a solid infrastructure while still maintaining that 'old Mexico' feel.
Chapala and Ajijic are perfect for families. In fact, they seem to be designed with families in mind. Several boardwalks line the lake, complete with playgrounds for youngsters of all ages.
In the evenings, your family can walk along the main malecon (boardwalk) in town, and listen to the traditional Mexican music drifting from one of the numerous restaurants, or watch the street performers. Vendors sell ice cream and roasted nuts.
You can also explore the malecon's artisan market and shop for copper jewelry, Mexican skirts and tops, or wooden toys and crafts. If you're interested, a local boatmen can take you out on the lake, or to Scorpion island, or you could just hang out and watch the sun set on the pier, named the Riconcito de Amor (the little corner of love).
On Mondays or Wednesdays, take the kids to the tianguis (street markets), to shop for produce, fresh fish, nuts and bulk foods, artisan's handicrafts, toys, clothes and much more.
Your family can also take a day trip to the west end of the lake. The town of Jocotepec has a brand new playground and park complex that the kids will love. Jocotepec is also the place to buy bucket loads of fresh raspberries for next to nothing!
Head east for the day and you can visit the quiet little Mexican town of Mezcala. At the lake's edge, one of the boatmen will take you across to Isla Mezcala, where an abandoned fort and ruins are waiting for your kids to explore to their hearts content. Just watch out for scorpions (which really aren't dangerous, but fun to spot anyway)!
Lake Chapala and the surrounding area make a lovely place for families to visit for their overseas vacation. Start planning yours now!
The Dennings are currently on a trip from Alaska to Argentina - yes really! To read more about their adventures find details here: