About an hour away from Guadalajara by bus (one-way fare is 50 pesos, about $2.70), Chapala is a pleasant place to spend an afternoon, especially on the malecón.
There are limitless opportunities for people watching: children getting their feet wet in the fountain; lovers snuggling together on the ubiquitous park benches; teens taking selfies together at awkward angles; elderly couples strolling arm in arm on the shaded sidewalks; cupcake vendors offering their tempting treats from large silver trays; and even young boys playing a lively game of futbol (soccer) in the tiniest of spaces.
Tourists and locals alike vie for an opportunity to be photographed in front of the wildly popular CHAPALA sculpture. You can aim your own camera at someone who is posing for his or her friends without fear of upsetting the festive atmosphere.
Especially during the summer, it’s rather warm and humid at the lake, so don’t hesitate to cool yourself down with a fresca (fresh fruit drink) or helado (ice cream) from a vendor’s stand or rolling cart.
And if you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds, you can duck into the nearby Parroquia de San Francisco, for some quiet moments of reflection.
competing with one blackbird
for the bright blue sky
Text and photo © 2016 by Mark M. Redfearn, all rights reserved