House, 3 Bedrooms, 1 Bath, fully-equipped kitchen, fireplace (Sleeps up to 6)
Richard (Rico) Johnson
- english, spanish
About Richard (Rico) Johnson
My name is Richard, but at the lake I am known as Rico. My partner, Rae, and I spend approximately 9 months a year living in Santa Fe, NM and the other 3 months in Guatemala. This is a house that I designed and built in 2003. Since then I have upgraded many things in the house and developed a large enclosed flower garden with fruit trees (avocado, mandarin, lemon, mango and banana) and a corner for organic vegetables. We also have a small casita (460 sq. ft) in the lower garden which is also available for rent. The garden is a great place for bird watchers and birds are attracted to the front yard with a bird feeder and natural rock bird bath. A river, providing natural habitat, is along the west side of the property. Everyone loves this place.
Richard (Rico) Johnson purchased this House in 2003
What makes this House unique
3 porches with views of the lake and the mountains.
Max guests: 6
100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
Damage and incidentals
You will be responsible for any damage to the rental property caused by you or your party during your stay.
Relax and enjoy, life is too short.
This house was exactly as stated. Fully furnished, so we got to relaxing upon arrival. The house keeper helped arrange transport from Panajachel. We chose to use the private transport for both the arrival and departure (5 suitcases is a bit much for my family to carry). Afterwards, the public transport at the public dock was good ($10Q). We ate a few times at the Lost Iguana and restaurant next to it. They accept credit cards over $100Q. The rest of the time it was like cooking at home. We went to the Chi-Chi market on Thursday. An experience of Guatemalan culture. I had a beautiful run from Santa Cruz dock to Panajachel dock. 13 miles of vistas. Even had a few young kids clap me on as I ran ;-). The vista from the house's decks are gorgeous. The birds, butterflies, avocado trees, and multitude of flowers made my heart feel warm and peaceful. I played my ukulele out front a few times. Found a nice coffee spot all the way down the shoreline that made espresso and various coffee drinks. My #2 son enjoyed the Frappuccino. Santa Cruz is not a loud and boisterous place. Would stay again 100%!
A beautiful stay in a lovely home with a fantastic view.
This is a well designed and well equipped house in a beautiful garden with a beautiful view in a wonderful pueblo. From the bed in the master bedroom, you look out on the volcanoes and the lake. You couldn't ask for a better way to wake up in the morning.
My wife and I stayed at Rico's for our honeymoon, we couldn't have had a better experience.
First of all, we know very little Spanish and neither of us had been to the area. Rico was integral to giving us helpful details and preparing us for travel arrangements before we left. He was pleasant and did more than enough to make sure we arrived and enjoyed our stay. The same can be said of Carlos his housekeeper and gardener. He was easy to find and helped us with any request during our stay.
Secondly, the property itself is stellar! It is well kept, clean, with stunning views both in the yard and across the lake. My wife particularly enjoyed the large bathroom and shower. The details given on the listing are accurate when we come back will probably contact Rico again.
Also, the location is a perfect mix of seclusion and access to all the lake has to offer. We slept with the windows open and every morning awoke to the sounds of the Guatemalan highland coming alive. If you seek reflective peace and quiet or romantic privacy you'll receive both. At the same time, the public boat access is only a 10 minute walk along the lake shore.
La Iguana Perdida and ATI Dive Center are conveniently right next to the boat launch. Having our language difficulties throughout the day as we toured the different cities around the lake, La Iguana was our respite to find some English camaraderie. We met travelers and heard stories from all over the world before we headed back to the Casa. Don't forget to bring light for those short walks along the lakeside at night. Another English speaking attraction nearby is Los Elementos Adventure Center. They helped us arrange a tour of San Pedro and San Juan. Only 10 minutes past the boat launch, it was a delightful walk along the lake with many snapshots along the way.
In short, our days were filled with activity and culture, our afternoons were spent hashing out our adventures with new friends, and our evenings were spent relaxing with only the volcanoes as company.
I recently stayed here with 2 friends. We are all writers and it was an idyllic spot in which to work on our novels, and when we weren't doing that we either went hiking or to the little farmers market on Saturday mornings to buy our groceries or just sat on the lovely patio reading or looking at the beautiful gardens, lake and volcano. Carlos, the guardian, a lovely man, attended to anything we needed. The kitchen was fantastically equipped. We hope to go back again soon!!
I stayed here for several weeks with two other writers in February 2015. It was my first time staying at Rico's and I will surely return. The house was just a ten minute walk from the main dock at Santa Cruz and a 3 minute walk for a dip in the lake. I could either feel involved in the local community or be a complete hermit. I divided my time evenly between those two options. The house is clean (super clean!) with inspiring views of the lake. The kitchen is fully equipped for those who like to cook. If you aren't a cook, you can buy meals locally or amazingly, order take out meals from some the of best local cooks who even deliver. We were well cared for Carlos who maintains the property and helped us with all sorts of things like where to buy fresh eggs and how to stay supplied with bottled water. Truly a place to experience. Lovely!
Local Farmers' Market every Sat am at the Hotel La Iguana, Sta Cruz.
Local Artisan Markets, Spanish Lessons, Massage, & Yoga.
Kayaking, boat tours, hiking tours, horseback riding.
An extensive Welcome Pack is given to all guests and a hard copy is available in the houses.