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Breathtaking Lakefront Property In Semi-Private Cove

Francesca Wade

Member since: 2013
Call Manager
Enter your email address to view the phone number
Speaks: english, spanish
Bedrooms 3
Half Baths1
Property type chateau / country house
Minimum Stay 3 nights

Francesca Wade

Member since: 2013
Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 22, 2015
Call Manager
Enter your email address to view the phone number
Book with confidence
Book with confidence
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Breathtaking Lakefront Property In Semi-Private Cove

Bedrooms 3
Half Baths1
Property type chateau / country house
Minimum Stay 3 nights


Lake Atitlan Chateau / Country House Rental Photos and Description

3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms, Sleeps 8

You'll relax like royalty in this large triple-terraced home with royal style panoramic views. See the photos and video to understand! Nicknamed 'El Castillo' or 'The Castle', this beautiful lakefront property is situated in a quiet cove with a king's view of mountains, lake, pueblos and volcanoes. The location offers quick access to best swimming, diving, fishing, a myriad of boating activities, hiking, trail running or more relaxing activities like yoga, meditation, healing spas or your best massage ever. The property is very private without being isolated, with a private meditation area, and nearby access to a nature trail and tree swing into the lake. There are breathtaking views from every room, including from the jacuzzi. The caretaker is always discreetly present to assist -- to take you by row boat to San Marcos, to arrange for a private launch trip to one or more of the indigenous villages that ring the lake, to prepare the fireplace.

NEW: We have just finished landscaping the side yard into a grassed and shaded meditation terrace that overlooks the lake and the villages of San Pedro La Laguna and San Juan La Laguna. The tranquility is magnificent.

New Local Events: Lake Atitlan Guatemala: Painters and weavers in San Juan La Laguna, Sololá, directly across the lake fro El Castillo have organized from the collective HEART OF THE LAKE exhibition of painters and weavers for tourists from around the world. Maria Francisca Hernandez, a member of the group, said the exhibition takes account all the inhabitants of the municipality that like and practice the arts, so they formed the organization and opened galleries and schools of painting and weaving. The group is comprised of 33 women who create, exhibit and sell paintings and elaborate gender primitivist -naíf- typical region tissues. The women have received expert advice to improve colors and painting techniques, as well as dyes and quality yarn for fabrics. adding that as well as costumes, draw bags, purses, shoes, bracelets and other accessories.

More Details
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Francesca Wade (Property Manager)
Member since: 2013
Call Manager
Enter your email address to view the phone number
Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 22, 2015

About Francesca Wade

El Castillo Tzutujil is a vacation retreat for my husband and me. He is a poet and writer who at 72 thrives in the tranquility of the bay and the house. For me, the opportunity for long hikes and immersion in good books is a dream come true. After years in the business work-a-day world in Arizona, the lake house gives us many wonderful days throughout the year to relax and get in touch with ourselves. In addition, on the Pacific side of the mountains across the lake lies a small indigenous community called Chocolá where we have been working with a U.S. non-profit known as Seeds for a Future to help improve the health and economy of the community. Being close to our work in Chocolá and the people there whom we are lucky to know and be able to help is, an added bonus for us.

2013 will be our 36th year of visiting and living in Guatemala but believe it or not, we only recently really discovered Lake Atitlan and its incredible beauty, lovely people and peaceful surroundings. We were lucky to find this lovely home which we use part of the year and make available to other vacationers when we need to be elsewhere. I am sure you will enjoy the “castle” as much as do we and we encourage you to take opportunities to visit the nearby pueblos around the lake and taste of the art, culture and wonderful food available. Or, if you would rather just kick back on the veranda, be prepared to be enchanted and sink into occasional naps of the best kind.

And please excuse me for tooting the horn of Seeds for the Future, but if you are so inclined you can see what we are doing at or at

Francesca Wade purchased this chateau / country house in 2013

Why Francesca Wade chose Lake Atitlan

We bought this property for many reasons but primarily because it is near (yet apart from) one of the prettiest Maya lakeside communities on Lake Atitlan called San Marcos La Laguna. San Marcos is a magnet for people from around the world seeking the spiritual energy that many believe is there and conducive to learning, meditation and holistic therapies such as massage, yoga, reiki and more. Happily, the village is within easy walking distance of our house or a short boat ride.

San Marcos itself is around a point of land from our house. Near the shoreline are the dwelling of ex-pats and businesses which have established themselves over the years to serve visitors with restaurants, therapy, a holistic center known as the Pyramids Meditation Center and apartments and some retail stores. In addition, San Marcos and the villages across the lake offer excellent dining opportunities not to mention their cultural attractions. San Marcos also has an active program for kids to get involved in theater and the arts. The Maya village itself is above the shore side part of the town and has a wonderful central plaza. Hiking in the forest above San Marcos is a treat.

A most important appeal to us of this property is the fact that it is new, well constructed and situated on what may be the quietist bay of the entire lake. We can sit reading or just enjoying the views for hours with nary a power boat passing within ear shot. And that means being able to listening to nature, the sounds of the lake and birds. On the other side of our bay are majestic rock cliffs and quality homes built on the lower hills and near the water. On our side is a shore level trail that leads to the Village of San Marcos and along the way passes through a delightful water and diving park. The trail is a little challenging, but a wonderful experience. The lake water at San Marcos and in our bay is said to be the cleanest for swimming and kayaking in the entire lake region.

What makes this chateau / country house unique

Aside from what we have said above, the house itself offers lake vistas from every room and magnificent privacy. Each bedroom has its own veranda on the lake side of the house and ceiling to floor windows. To the south side of the house is our pleasant grassy yard made into several terraces which are ideal for quiet afternoons and meditation.

Hammocks make for lazy afternoons and the Jacuzzi is an excellent experience at night while looking at the lights reflecting off the lake from San Pedro and San Juan. Now and then, pyrotechnical displays are observed above the distant towns … (Guatemalans do love fireworks to celebrate national holidays, religious events, birthdays, weddings and maybe just because it seems like a good idea at the time). Another feature we particularly like is the fact that we can watch cumulous storm clouds forming about 40 kilometers away above the Pacific but behind the mountains on the other side of the lake. And because the lake is at roughly 5,000 feet, the distant Pacific coastal storms sometimes provide some of the grandest displays of clouds and lightning.

And for those of you who enjoy more active lifestyle, please see our 'amenities' page which lists all sorts of outdoor activities and night life around the lake. Our concierge in Panachel provdes a constantly updated list of entertainment and recreation activities around the lake.

Guestbook comments from the manager

Magnificent location. Really quirky property with some of the best views of my life. Well hosted by Rosa (the cook) and Nicolas (security, boatman). Superb communication throughout from Francesca.
Mar 2015
  • 1 of 8

Why HomeAway

Bedrooms 3
Half Baths1
Property type chateau / country house
Minimum Stay 3 nights
Book with confidence
Book with confidence
Guaranteed, secure, with no booking fees
Add vacation protection services to your booking
Three services to protect your trip:
Protect your payments in case you need to cancel.
Guarantee the rental meets your expectations
Ensure you're prepared in case of accidental damage.


based on 33 traveler reviews

Write a Review
Breathtaking Lakefront Property In Semi-Private Cove
average rating of 4.6666665 based on 41 reviews
Phoenix, AZ, USA

I left my heart in Lake Atitlan

  • 5 of 5

This was literally the best place I have ever traveled. The village of San Carlos is more special than there are words to adequately describe. This home was perfect for us. A short hike to the village and exceptionally well cared for. The caretaker was there for every beck and call we could imagine, and with a smile. Not only from him, but his entire family, genuinely and consistently. The home is beautiful and very roomy with everything you could imagine needing at your fingertips, or at the least, a quick jaunt to the village (internet access). I am already planning my next trip back!

  • Submitted: Jul 26, 2014
  • Stayed: Jun 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Glad you had such a good time. Let us know when you plan on returning and I'll spread some fresh pain myself. earl
Vancouver Canada


  • 5 of 5

Recently spent 4 days of total peace, quiet and relaxation. Thanks to no TV, I was able to resume my old reading habits, and had a better rest in 4 days than I have had in 4 months.

I am completely rested and of better mind and spirit.

Lots of great restaurants only minutes away.

You have to meet the guards 4 year old daughter, Johanna, who is a delight. Always smiling and happy.

The price is more than reasonable, and I highly recommend it for a great vacation.

  • Submitted: Apr 14, 2015
  • Stayed: Apr 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Minneapolis, MN

Gorgeous views

  • 4 of 5

This lovely large house really fit our needs. We were 5 adults, two couples and a single person. We each had a bedroom with patio access. Kitchen was fully equipped and we easily cooked a couple of nights. Seemed to be one of the only large houses right on the water. Due to that location we had to hike up a very steep 500 foot staircase each time we wanted to go into the town. It took some getting used and was not lit at night. Add rain and it could have been treacherous. We came to love it.

The views from this house were so breathtaking. It was clearly designed to enjoy the skies, mountains and lake at any time of day. Great windows in bedrooms so stars can be seen from the bed! Ample patio and veranda space everywhere.

The caretakers were so lovely. Fortunately we spoke spanish and could communicate with them. They helped us with getting places and answering any questions. We fell in love with their new puppy Banano and daughter too.

The house was a little dusty and could have used a better cleaning. And the hot water in the showers was tricky and sporadic.

We would totally stay in San Marcos again and definitely in this house too.

  • Submitted: Mar 5, 2015
  • Stayed: Feb 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We're so glad to hear you enjoyed our house on the edge of the most beautiful lake in the world! We hope you will return to enjoy it again. No doubt the staircase may have seemed lengthy, especially the first time, but if you take it easy, it's OK. We'll work with the caretaker family to make sure the cleaning is "up to snuff", and the dust -- sometimes, no matter how far away they are, when Guatemala's volcanoes put ash into the air, it's a challenge to keep dust away! The trick with the hot water in the shower is to turn on only hot water; then once it arrives, add in cold water in very small increments until you get the temp you want. Thanks for taking the time to help us make our guests' visits even better.
Minneapolis, MN

10 Nights at El Castillo, San Marcos...Fabulous!

  • 5 of 5

This a spectacularly beautiful, comfortable, spacious home right on clean, clear Lake Atitlan. This was also one of the most relaxing vacations I have ever had. Our small party of 4 adults had more than plenty of room; and, felt very safe and secure with Nicolas, full time caretaker, and his gracious, small family. The views from the veranda and each bedroom, (with it's own veranda) is breath-taking. In the middle of every night, I would get up and stand outside, looking up at the wonderous array of stars, listening to the soft, faraway night sounds of an isolated dog barking, or if early enough a cock crowing it's wake up call.

The public boat shuttles to San Pedro, Pana, and other small towns is so convenient and allows one the opportunity to meet other travelers from Paris, Berlin, Australia, Chile, and Canada, (just to name a few). It's a great adventure!

It was so hard to leave, knowing we would return to all the urgencies and obligations of professional, family, and personal lives. Francesca, from the Mayan Realty Co., was very helpful in arranging our transportation needs G.C. airport to Antigua, to Pana, and finally El Castillo. We always felt safe, secure and well taken care of; obviously, we can hardly wait to return, some day soon! Adios and Salud!

  • Submitted: Mar 1, 2015
  • Stayed: Feb 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are so happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay at El Castillo. We hope to see you down this way again soon!

Looks nice, not perfect

  • 3 of 5

If you know your way around Guatemala, don't care too much about privacy, don't mind not sleeping late or dogs in and around your vacation house, then you'll have a great time. It's a gorgeous place. You can read about all the amenities. The beds are quality and comfy. I will tell you about the problems.

The caretaker is right there, too close, even for us accustomed to Guatemalan workers. I would like to sleep past 6ish on vacation, or choose when to see the sunrise, but there is nothing to stop the sun from waking you up. Also, the caretaker has 2 dogs who bark and wake you up. One begs and even comes in the house. Most upsetting was the caretaker kicking at the dog, Banano, to make him go away. If you want to go out at night it's a hassle to wake the caretaker and get back in. The info says a maid will clean up every 3 days, we stayed 4 nights and did not get the trashcans emptied or new towels. My last complaint is that it has great balconies but no furniture there for you to enjoy the space.

  • Submitted: Dec 26, 2014
  • Stayed: Dec 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for your feedback and please know that we are sorry your stay was not perfect. I have personally taken steps to make sure such problems do not reoccur. ( Had you let our concierge or our care taker know of these issues, they would have been corrected while you were there.) Just for your information, the dog issue happened because our property caretaker acquired two new puppies for his daughter when their long time pet "Rocky" disappeared. I talked with him and he said he did not realize they were being little pests, but we have sensitized him to the issue and the dogs are kept quiet in the mornings and at night and are not allowed in the house, although as I am sure you know, puppies can sometimes find it hard to understand boundaries. The care taker will wait up for any guest who goes out at night, if he knows they have gone out and when approximately they will return. He is always anxious to be of help, and if guests let him or our concierge know their needs, he will attend to them immediately. Furniture is now on all the balconies and also in the new lawn "meditation garden" we built in December. Thanks for the suggestion. I have been using them myself to star and lake gaze from the upper balcony/terrace. Finally, it is the caretakers responsibility to patrol the property at night and so he is sometimes seen passing on the lower terrace. We have also built a vine lattice between his home and our house so enhance the sense of privacy. Again, thanks for your input.

Thank you for this and the use of the house.

  • 5 of 5

There were 9 of us including the 2 kids and the grandma. It was a very successful visit where I learned more and developed more relations in 2 days than I could in 6 month of emails.

  • Submitted: Sep 15, 2014
  • Stayed: Sep 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Glad your NGO was able to make such good use of our house for your retreat. We too have found it an excellent place for volunteers and staff to get together and brain storm in a relaxed and secluded space. There is something about the Jinava Bay atmosphere, coupled with the tranquil beauty of Lake Atitlan, that inspires creative thinking, team work and a “can do” atmosphere.


Nearest Airport
108.5 Miles
Guatamala City (plus regional in Quetzaltenango)
Nearest Barpub
0.5 Miles
Blind Lemon, Fe, Jinava Bay Hotel, Paco Real
Nearest Ferry
0.8 Miles
San Marcos to anywhere on the lake
Nearest Golf
95 Miles
Nearest Motorway
10 Miles
CA 1
Nearest Restaurant
0.1 Miles
Jinava plus many more in San Marcos
Nearest Beach
50 Miles
Many on Pacific & Crystal beach on lake (1K)
Car: not necessary

The village of San Marcos La Laguna is famous for its holistic and meditation centers but even more so for its relaxed, low pressure atmosphere. It has a lovely shaded central park and a band shell for locally produced music and plays. Trails and a local lake along the lake are available. Our caretaker will arrange for a launch to pick you up at our dock and take you anywhere on the lake.

The entire lake and the villages around San Marcos are accessible via inexpensive 'bus launches' that run throughout the day every 20 minutes. A road north from the village leads to Quetzaltenango and the many historic archaeological sites of that region. Quetzaltenango is a university city and a historic gate way to Mexico.

The major town of Panajchel on the lake is loaded with quality restaurants, night life, grocery stores and other urban attractions, but San Marcos itself is a lovely, quiet family friendly town.

Across our end of the lake are the villages of San Pedro and San Juan which are delightful towns filled with interesting visitor attractions, casual sight seeing walks and good restaurants and cooperatives of artisans. Further away is the famous village of Santiago Atitlan which attracts visitors from around the world for its sights, arts, weaving, woodcarving and entertainment.

Finally, one can tour the highlands of Guatemala from the Lake and visit such exotic places as Solola, Chichicastenango and the ancient pre-classic and classic era Maya ruins of Ixchimche, Zacaleu, Takalik Abaj. To the northwest is the large hot springs of Fuentes Georginas which is open to the public and situated in a delightful cloud forest. It is quite a treat to float in the hot waters while watching clouds swirl through the trees above. In the nearby valley is the village of Zunil where shrines to Maximon can be visited. The vegetable market in Almalonga is one of the very best in all of the highlands.

Our local manager in Panajachel can arrange all travel and accommodations for you if you are interested in some side trips around or away from the lake. A new attraction is a butterfly arboretum has opened in Panajachel Dec 2013

NEWS! Feb 1, A new butterfly named Pan Ajachel was discovered by staff Atitlan Nature Reserve in Panajachel, Solola. that scientists believe could only have developed in the climate and ambience of Panajachel. The butterfly lays eggs in matasano plant, which each holds its metamorphosis.

Carlos Eduardo Paez, Reserve Entomologist said that identifying the new species took several years of study on wing and other characteristics such as flying habits, food and way of playing. Paez said that this lepidopteran belongs to the Papilionidae family, subfamily and Heraclides. The caterpillars of this butterfly feed on a fruit called matasano (ajachel Cakchiquel), whose scientific name is Casimiroa edulis, a tree well known in the Lake. The insects lay their eggs on this plant.

Paez said they will take their data to laboratories in England, Switzerland or the United States, where before accepting it as new, worldwide data bases will be checked.

A special treat coming up is to be at Lake Atitlan in the weeks and days leading up to Easter (Semana Santa) when street processions, art, religious ceremonies and music flower in extraordinary ways. Our house at San Marcos is within a short walk or boat ride to some of the most fascinating Maya towns in all of Guatemala such as San Marcos, San Pedro and San Juan.


Rates & Availability

From $79 Per night

Lake Atitlan Chateau / Country House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Rental rates quoted in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Christmas & Year-End
Dec 16 2015 - Jan 15 2016
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $20 per night, per additional guest
Easter Month
Mar 14 2016 - Mar 31 2016
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $20 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $20 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Check-Out Cleaning $20
Refundable damage deposit $300
2. A one-time check-out cleaning fee of $20.00 per stay will be applied to all stays.
3. Transportation to and from the property by water taxi is not included. We can provide estimates at time of booking.

Cancellation Policy

Policy available by contacting manager when booking.
Enter dates to see total


Lake Atitlan Chateau / Country House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • chateau / country house
  • Catering available
  • Breakfast - Booking Possible
  • Lunch - Booking Possible
  • Dinner - Booking Possible
Location Type:
  • Lake View
  • Lakefront
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Fireplace ...
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 3 - toilet
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Master - 1 king , panoramic bay window view of lake and access to terrace
    Guest - 2 queen , View of lake, access to terrace, private bathroom
    Eagle's Nest - 1 queen , Private terrace looking directly on lake
  • Books
  • Stereo ...
  • Toys ...
  • Balcony ...
  • Bicycles ...
  • Boat ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Communal Pool ...
  • Hot Tub ...
Onsite Services:
  • Staff
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • water parks
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • paragliding
  • parasailing
  • pier fishing
  • rock climbing
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • swimming
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
Canoe for 3-4 people or a dug-out kayak are available for touring the lake. Fishing and crabbing with caretaker can be arranged any day you would like. There is great cliff diving and sunbathing from the 'Trampoline' located 5-10 minutes east along the shoreline. I suggest you check out the TzanK'ujil Nature Trail (5 min east) and hike to the top of the mountain to the sacred Mayan ceremonial area. There is also a wonderful little restaurant less than 100 yards west of the property. There are restaurants, massage spas, natural health centers in nearby San Marcos village and at most of the villages around the lake there are great opportunities for shopping, dining, tours, cultural experiences and socializing.

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