2012 Mexican Roadtrip: Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico

Chapala was 82° degrees when we arrived at 4:25 p.m. after driving for about 5 1/2 hours. Chapala has 44000 people, it's at 1529 m. Our hotel was right in town about a block from the lake shore and the malacón, the waterfront promenade. 

We had pre-booked our hotel because it was a "best pick" in Lonely Planet owned by Aussies. It was called Quinta Quetzalcoatl, also known as "QQ" (Zaragoda 307, Chapala, Jalisco, C.P. 49990,  tel. 376-765-3653, www.accommodationslakechapala.com).  We chose the Royal Palm Suite at a price of M$1000 which included breakfast. The room looked nice but had no cross ventilation. It was hot. The noise from the street was deafening at night—a disco beat, a carnival and fireworks going all at the same time. The hot water didn’t get hot in the sink. The shower got hot enough. Maintenance was desperately needed. Even easy things like making sure that the facet in the sink was clean so the water flows down and doesn’t spray everywhere were not done.  Nothing looked sparkling-clean. Indeed the pool was very dirty. On a positive note, the garden was nice and our car was safe inside the garage. The big, genuine Mexican breakfast was an over-cooked fried egg, a big slice of ham, toast, fruit, juice, coffee. The internet worked okay and was free. The water from the faucet was potable. It was walking distance to the center and the malacón. Rob, the owner, was personable. Laurie, his wife, was not a people-person. The 2 other guests entertained us during breakfast. We would not stay there again or recommend it.

As usual when we are on the road, we took what we needed from the car for our overnight stay and left everything else in the car, with the bikes in the rack. The room had a refrigerator so we could take everything from the Igloo and stored the stuff overnight. 

We went for a for a walk up and back on the malacón. We followed Rob's suggestion and for dinner went to Beer Garden (Av. Madero 200 a malecon, Chapala, Jal., tel. 376-765-3656).
It had a beautiful view of the lake and the sunset. The food was good but the servers were not attentive and were annoying. We shared everything as usual. We started with “Tradicional ‘Caldo Michi’" described as "our ancestors recipe of the whole catfish in broth” (M$109). There was a whole catfish in a delicious broth with some vegetables in it too. It took a very long time for it to arrive. In the meantime we had totopos and salsa to keep us from starving. Our next dish was the local “Malcajetes” (M$159) mounted on a volcanic hot stone with roasted nopales and spring onion with arrachera, chicken and shrimp, sweet pepper, tomato and sliced onion with lots of cheese. It was quite a dish. We had one India Negro (M$26). A10% tip was automatically added. The meal cost M$333. We would recommend you try this restaurant.

How we slept at all in that hot, noisy room will always be a mystery but we got enough sleep. The next morning we had to wait until 9 a.m. for breakfast (what a pain). We left at about 10:30 a.m. for Puerto Vallarta.