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Mezcala Island - Lake Chapala

Mezcala Island on Lake Chapala, Mexico

Mezcala Island is a few kilometers southeast of Mezcala on the northern shore of Lake Chapala. It is also known as El Presidio. From 1812-1816, a small band of rebels held off the Spanish army and navy against overwhelming odds. Tired of the humiliation the Spanish finally negotiated a peaceful surrender with the insurgents. The island then became a Spanish prison for many years.

It’s rumored that there existed indigenous structures and hieroglyphics on the island before the fortifications were built but all traces disappeared with the construction. There are tours to the island from both Mezcala and Chapala. A boat from Mezcala cost about $250 pesos, takes 20 minutes and you have an hour to wander the island.

Be sure to visit the Mezcala museum located in the Casa Cultural on the Mezcala plaza. You’ll find history, a few artifacts and it’s also an art center.


Mezcala Ruins
Mezcala Ruins

Mezcala Ruins
Mezcala Ruins

Mezcala Ruins
Mezcala Ruins

Mezcala Island from town
Mezcala Island from town

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