Lake Chapala: A Boat Ride to Alacranes Island

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Lake Chapala: A Boat Ride to Alacranes Island

Lake Chapala: Boating to Alacranes Island

It’s one of those days that attract north-of-the-border folk to lakeside. Previous days’ rains give way to small puffy clouds dotting a blue sky. Humidity is down, and a gentle breeze gently grazes the lake. A great day for a boat ride.

Lake Chapala: Boating to Alacranes Island

Baby plays peek-a-boo while enjoying his view of the island from the Ergo.

Lake Chapala: Boating to Alacranes Island

Old boats drift among Lake Chapala’s lilly pads.

Even though it is 6:00 pm on a Friday, it looks like we have beat out the after-work crowd from Guadalajara. Carlos, our boat operator, shows us the published price (MXP 460) for a ride to Alacrances. With little discussion, he eyes our crew and drops the price to 400 for an hour’s stay on the island. We’re off to Alacranes.

Lake Chapala: Boating to Alacranes Island

The Inion family boats along Lake Chapala to the Alacranes Island.

After easing away from the dock area, Carlos revs up the outboard motor for a speedy 5 km ride across Lake Chapala. Egrets and other waterfowl spring into flight as we skim by. Our on-board pets enjoy their first aquatic journey nestled in our children’s arms.

A helpful attendant assists us after we dock, and we find around the small fishing island. Although two pleasant restaurants are open and ready-to-serve, we have our own picnic ready.

On a short walk to the other side of the island, we peek inside a Catholic chapel. The well-kept chapel is a stone’s throw from a sacred rock from the Huichols, the island’s original residents. As in the rest of Mexico, native practices and Catholicism peacefully co-exist, if not intermingle.

Lake Chapala: Boating to Alacranes Island

The nine Inion children explore Alacranes Island on Lake Chapala in Mexico. Scorpion Chapel.

We find a lakeside spot shaded with a palapa hut and mature banana trees. We watch the sun work its way into the hill-fringed horizon as While we enjoy sandwiches and a carrot cake (compliments of “El Chef” bakery), we are mesmerized by an undulating patch of lirio sprouting around the dock. Equally intrigued by the lily pad-like greenery, our Springer Spaniel tries her paws at walking the patch. She ends up practicing her doggie paddle instead, to the squeals of our little ones.

Lake Chapala: Boating to Alacranes Island

The Inion girls play on the rickety dock on Alacranes Island.

Carlos purposely gives us more than an hour on the island and meets us with the boat. We finish packing our belongings and our memories of a pleasant afternoon on Lake Chapala.

Would you like to tour the island with us? Watch this video and let it transport you into our family tour of Alacranes Island.

Lake Chapala: Boating to Alacranes Island


Brent and Stacey-jean Inion
Brent and Stacey-jean Inion
Brent and Stacey-jean Inion, parents of nine (including four children adopted with special needs), 2014 National Geographic Travelers of the Year and the National Geographic Travelers People's Choice Travelers of the Year. They love to laugh, to read and to explore as a family. The secret to their marital bliss is an early morning cup of freshly brewed coffee before the children awake.


  1. Bonnie says:

    You have a beautiful family. So glad you visited Chapala. This is a beautiful place and great for families.

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