The main pull factors for residential tourists are an amenable climate; reasonable property prices; access to stores, restaurants and high quality medical service; an attractive natural environment; a diversity of social activities; proximity to airports; tax advantages, and relatively inexpensive living costs.

Residential tourism in the Ajijic area has certainly wrought great changes on the landscape. Residential tourists have created a distinct cultural landscape in terms of architectural styles, street architecture and the functions of settlements. Gated communities have been tacked on to the original villages. Subdivisions, two around golf courses, have sprawled up the hillsides. Swimming pools are common. Much of the signage is in English. Even the central plazas have been remodeled to reflect foreign tastes. Traditional village homes have been gentrified, some in an alien “New Mexico” style.

On the plus side, many retirees, as a substitute for the family they left behind, engage in philanthropic activities, with a particular focus on children and the elderly. Retiree expenditures also boost the local economy. Areas benefiting from retirees include medical, legal and personal services, real estate, supermarkets, restaurants, gardening and housecleaning. Employment is boosted, both directly and indirectly, which improves average local living standards.

As more baby-boomers reach retirement age, residential tourism offers many Mexican towns and cities a way of overcoming the seasonality of conventional tourism. Lesser-developed regions have an opportunity to cash in on their cultural and natural heritage and improve their basic infrastructure.

This is an edited excerpt from chapter 19 of Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico.

The coolest months of Ajijic weather are December and January with an average high temperature 75 degrees, but has also been known to dip down to 60 degrees at times in the day.

February and March are very pleasant months with an average temperature in the high 70s or low 80s. Blue sky every day and it would be very rare to see a drop of rain.

April starts to heat up with May being the warmest, driest and dustiest month having had literally no rain to speak of for 8 months. The temperature is well into the 80s and can soar into the 90s. Although the sun can be very intense with hardly any clouds in the sky, the air is quite comfortable. You will find at least a 10 degrees change in the temperature just by moving into the shade.

Mid June to Mid October brings the much needed rainy season with an average rainfall of approximately 34 inches. The days usually remain warm and sunny as the majority of rain falls in the evening, throughout the night or early morning. Occasionally being accompanied by some wicked thunder storms with great light shows. In days the mountains become alive with a vivid shade of green. Many say it looks like broccoli. Just when you think the village could not get more colourful, the plants and gardens become even more abundant with fantastic colour and new growth.

November is just another great month being very lush following the rainy season with temperatures much like February.

For the most part, year round, the days are warm and sunny with an average temperature of 75 degrees. Where else can you plan an outdoor party or event in advance and not have to worry to much on how the weather will be when that day arrives. Ajijic weather may be rated #2 in the world, but if you take into consideration the close proximity to Guadalajara International airport, many rate it #1 for a perfect travel destination.