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FAQs re Focus programs

Frequently Asked Questions

Tile Roofs in Lake Chapala, Mexico

  1. How many people are on each Focus program?
    • It depends on the time of year. In the summer months you could expect 12 to 15 participants and in the winter months (Oct to April) approximately 20 to 30 participants.
  2. Is it mostly couples that sign up for a Focus program? Will I feel out of place as a single?
    • No, actually we have a lot of single people who book on our programs and you definitely will not feel out of place. You’ll be happy to know there is a large single community here on the lakeside.
  3. Are we going to be stuck sitting in a classroom for most of the week?
    • Definitely not. We have some mornings when we do the seminars and then we go out in the afternoons on a number of excursions so you can see and get a feel for the area. We have been offering these programs for ten years and they have evolved with a great balance between education and fun.
  4. Do we need to speak Spanish to move to Lake Chapala?
    • No, many of the locals do speak English so when you first move here you can get by without learning the language. However, it is greatly appreciated by the locals when you try speaking Spanish and it can be a lot of fun. Don’t be intimidated, they are very gracious when you make a mistake.
  5. What is included in the cost of the program?
    • Essentially, everything except airfare. It is pretty much all inclusive: hotel, all the restaurants, all the seminars and handout materials, the excursions we take around the lakeside, including the Monte Coxala Spa and Pyramids as well as the trip to Guadalajara and Tlaquepaque. Not included are alcoholic drinks (although there are a couple cocktail socials) and tipping. Plus you’ll want to bring any money for shopping.
  6. Do I need to get any special Visa to come into Mexico by plane?
    • Actually, when you fly into Mexico the flight attendant will give you a small form to fill out. This becomes your Tourist Visa – simple as that. You will need to save it and turn it back in on departure. (When you drive in, you get it at the border. You can actually get it online before you drive in, and you will learn how to do this on the program.)
  7. Do I need a Passport to come to Mexico?
    • Yes, you now need a Passport to get into Mexico, as well as the United States and Canada.
  8. On the Focus program, is it safe to drink the water and eat the fruits and vegetables?
    • Yes, every place we take you serves purified water and ice and takes great care in the food preparation. We take you to our favorite restaurants...places we go to all the time. 
  9. Do most people move to Mexico full time or are there foreigners living there part time?
    • About half of the foreign population live here full time and the other half part time.
  10. Is it safe to drive back and forth to Mexico each year if we are living there part time?
    • The majority of the foreign population that live here part time, drive back and forth every year with no problems.
  11. Are there ATM machines in Lake Chapala and can I use my bank card to take money out or should I bring spending money with me for the Focus program?
    • Yes, we have a lot of ATM machines and, yes, you can use your bank card to withdraw money. However, it is always advisable to have some cash with you or another option to access money just in case you lose your ATM card or heaven forbid, the machine eats it. This doesn’t happen often but best to be prepared.
  12. Is it safe to use my credit card in the Lake Chapala area while we are on the program?
    • Yes, it is safe to use your credit card, however, not many places take credit cards, other than the hotel or larger stores. For the most part Mexico is a cash society. It is advisable to contact your credit card company and let them know you will be in Mexico. Often when they see unusual action on a card (like a different city or country), they will put a 'block' on it and could take a day to get it lifted. If you call and let them know, they put a note on your card so it doesn't get blocked.
  13. Does the hotel where the Focus groups stay have high-speed internet?
    • Yes. If you are bringing a laptop, you can access high speed internet, but only in the lobby, not in the rooms.
  14. Does the hotel have safes in the rooms?
    • Yes, each room has a safe for your valuables.
  15. Is there any pressure on the Focus program to buy real estate? 
    • Absolutely no pressure whatsoever. Real Estate is 'one' of the topics covered, as if you are going to live here you need to live somewhere and buying a home is a big investment so it is an important topic. We also cover the do and don'ts of renting.
  16. If, after we come on the Focus program, we decide to live there, can we bring our pets?
    • Yes, it is very easy to bring cats and dogs into Mexico; even horses. You will learn everything you need to know about bringing your pets on the program. There are different rules depending on whether you are driving in or flying in with your pets.

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Memories Of Past Alumni

 Our alumni are our greatest advertising.

They've been there, done that and can't wait to tell everyone what a wonderful time they had, the many good friends they made and how they can't wait to return to live in our little slice of paradise. Focus on Mexico is so proud and happy about the wonderful people who have made the Lake Chapala area their home. They have so many wonderful qualities and have enriched our lives in so many ways. See what they have to say and then experience the Focus on Mexico program for yourself. You'll never regret it!

Learning Adventures
Crash Course On Mexico


On your Journey of Discovery to retire in this land of enchantment, we cover topics that will be important to you…immigration, health options available in Mexico, legal and financial topics, and information that will guide you through the decision-making process of buying or renting a house, options for moving, bringing your pets, and a myriad of other details that we have collected during Focus on Mexico’s 15 years of experience guiding our participants through the Lake Chapala area.

Focus Number 1 Authority

Focus is the # 1 Authority on Lake Chapala

Focus on Mexico has been offering Educational Tours to Lake Chapala since 1996. There is simply no better way to get all the information and knowledge in just one week. We invite you to discover Lake Chapala and experience the 'real' Mexico on an 8-Day Educational program. During your stay, you will come to truly understand the 'Magic of the Lakeside'.