Less than an hour from Guadalajara, Lake Chapala—Mexico’s largest lake—offers a relaxing respite from the big city. Visitors can enjoy drinks or a meal at one of the many restaurants on the pier, watch the sunset from a sandy beach, or rent a boat to the Island of Scorpions for a different view. There are plenty of boutique hotels around the lake should you be interested in an overnight stay.

To get to Lake Chapala, catch a direct bus—they leave every 30 minutes from Guadalajara’s Old Bus Central. The air-conditioned ride through the mountains of Jalisco takes somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour, depending on traffic, and costs approximately US$5 for a round-trip ticket. Once you arrive at the Chapala bus station, the lake is about a 10-minute walk away on the main street.

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