Rumor has it that Chapala was recognized long ago for the second best weather in the world by National Geographic. No one I know has been able to find the actual reference, yet some will inform you that the best weather in the world is to be found somewhere in central Africa. Not a likely expat location.
So I’ll stick with the banner that drivers encounter as they get to the top of the pass that leads steeply down to Chapala. It says “the best weather” (in Spanish).
Before we moved here, we did our homework. We checked out weather sites to try to figure out just how livable lakeside would be for us. We determined that it would be. But statistics on a page, average temperature, average rainfall, high and low temperatures and the like tell only a part of the story.
It’s the experience that counts.
For us, there are either two seasons here or three, depending on how you count.
The first, two seasons, is easy.
Season One: Pelicans!!!
Seasons Two: No pelicans!
The pelicans arrive in late October and depart around Easter.
We love pelican season.
Yet, if weather is the determining factor in determining a season, we count three.
From late September into February, is the cool season. During the holidays, the temperature will drop down into the 60s and sometimes the 50s at night and warm up into the high 60s during the day.
From February on, the weather becomes progressively more hot and more dry. By the time May rolls around, the usual daytime temps will be in the mid to upper 80s. Nights will drop down into the low 70s. The hills surrounding the lake turn brown and it seems typical that forest fires will break out in this season. Very little rain.
Then from mid to late June, the rains will start coming from the West. Almost always at night. We’ll wake up to wet streets which will dry off by relatively early morning. The lake will rise. The temperatures will cool off at little to the high 70s to low 80s during the days and high 60s at night.
Wash, rinse and repeat.
Is it the best weather in the world?
Truthfully we don’t know. We haven’t explored the world (maybe in the next life–for now, we’re stayin’ right here!). But to us, the weather here is just perfect.