About Lake Chapala

The Lake is about 75 kilometers (50 miles) long from east to west with a maximum north-south width of about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles). Its large surface area (1,050 square kilometers or 405 square miles) makes it the largest natural lake in Mexico and the third largest in Latin America, after Lake Titicaca and Lake Nicaragua in Central America. Despite its size, Lake Chapala is quite shallow, with an average depth of only slightly over four meters (13 feet) and an maximum depth of less than 30 meters (100 feet).

 

The region surrounding Lake Chapala comprises eight municipalities in the state of Jalisco and four in the state of Michoacan. Most of the area's visitors and residents from abroad gravitate to the Northshore municipalities of Ajijic, Chapala and Jocotepec.

 

Climate  

The single major attraction of the Lake Chapala area is undoubtedly its semitropical climate, rated among the finest in the world. The ameliorating effects of the lake, situated at an altitude of 1,525 meters (5,000 feet), help ensure that temperatures remain pleasantly warm all year 'round, with an annual average temperature of 19.9ºC (67.8ºF). This figure masks seasonal changes, ranging from average lows of 12ºC (53.6ºF) in December-January-February to average highs of 29ºC (84.2ºF) in May-June, immediately before the onset of the rainy season.

 

Rainy Season

The rainy season, usually stretching from early June through late September, heralds slightly cooler daytime temperatures. Within days, the hillsides turn green with the new growth of luxuriant vegetation. Average annual rainfall (snow is virtually unknown at Lakeside) totals about 875 mm or 34.4 inches.

 

Internet resources for more information on Lake Chapala:

www.insidelakeside.com

www.semarnat.gob.mx
www.livinglakes.org
www.amigosdelago.org
www.mexconnect.com

www.chapalaguide.com/index.htm