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Fabulous 3 Bed family Lake-front home on quiet bay, San Marcos

Sleeps8
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms2
Half Baths1
Property type chateau / country house
Minimum Stay 3 nights

Overview


Details
Property
chateau / country house
Sleeps
8
Bedrooms
3
Bathrooms
2
Half Baths
1
Minimum Stay
3 nights

About the property

3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms, Sleeps 8 in 4 double beds

Relax like royalty in this large 3 bedroom, triple-terraced home with royal style panoramic views. See the photos and video to understand! Nicknamed 'El Castillo' or 'The Castle', this beautiful lake-front property is situated in a quiet cove just outside of San Marcos, Lake Atitlan, with a king's view of mountains, lake, villages and dormant volcanoes.

The location offers quick access to some of the 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 from around the Lake.

The property is very private without being isolated, with a private meditation area, and nearby access to a nature trail and with breathtaking views from every room, including from the jacuzzi on the lower terrace. The caretaker/guardian, Nicolas, 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, or even run into San Marcos for an errand.

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.

SAN MARCOS - This small, Kakchiquel Mayan village is known as the Holistic center of Lake Atitlan and probably Guatemala! You can receive every alternative treatment under the sun here. Plus it is a great base from which to explore the 12 villages around the Lake, each one with its own very unique character and atmosphere.

Just ask the managers for information about hiking, village & kayak tours, days trips around the Lake and further afield and for your transport needs. The house has a file with information pertinent to the house and extensive Welcome Notes with information about the whole Lake area.

PLEASE NOTE:

If your party includes additional guests over the two covered by our nightly rate, any children who are 13 or over at the time of the stay will be charged at the adult rate for additional guests. This is $20pp per night. Children 12 and under will not be charged.

More Details

Property Manager
Francesca Wade
Member since: 2013
Speaks: english, spanish, Tzutujil
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
100%
Calendar last updated:
February 18, 2017

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.

Francesca Wade purchased this chateau / country house in 2013

Why Francesca Wade chose San Marcos La Laguna

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 quietest 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 relaxation and 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, firework 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 to watch cumulus 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 Managers in Panachel provides a constantly updated list of entertainment and recreation activities around the lake which are easy to access via public water taxis .

Guestbook comments from the manager

Our visit was wonderful from start to finish. I can't say enough wonderful things about Francesca and Nicholas, Francesca provided very helpful information before we arrived and helped to arrange a private launcha from Pana to the home. Once we arrived, Nicholas and his family helped with our every need, including paddling my older parents across the bay and to the public launcha dock so they didn't have to climb the hill. The view from the home of multiple volcanoes was absolutely spectacular!!! Key tips: -- The hill up to the main road is very steep. Don't let this keep you from this gem of a house. I recommend a private boat for your arrival and departure if you have anything more than backpacks. The hill will be difficult for anyone who is older or who has mobility problems. Not to worry though, Nicholas can help with transport by water so you avoid going up the hill, at the least. -- Be sure to visit San Juan for outstanding textiles (not found elsewhere) and art. --San Marcos has a new ATM at a tienda in town. ATMs in San Pedro can run out of money sometimes. --The massage place just down the hill toward the launcha publica in San Marcos was outstanding.



Francesca and Nicolas, thank you very much for all of your support during our stay. You made everything easy and enjoyable. You really went above and beyond -- thank you!!!
Dec 2016
  • 1 of 8

Reviews

Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(33 traveler reviews)

Fabulous 3 Bed family Lake-front home on quiet bay, San Marcos
average rating of 4.757576 based on 41 reviews
Arizona
5

FANTASTIC -- AGAIN!!

  • 5 of 5

This repeat visit was just as great as the first time, with an added treat: the house now has a motor launch, complete with driver and assistant whom we hired for a lovely tour of the lake shore with a stop to visit the charming village of San Juan La Laguna. The tropical fruits and artisan bread that we bought in San Marcos made a great breakfast while we watched the little fishing canoes and the beautiful view of the lake. The house is more welcoming and colorful than ever, with fresh paint in most of the rooms and new tile features in the kitchen. A very relaxing stay!!

  • Submitted: Jan 16, 2017
  • Stayed: Jan 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We're very glad you had a pleasant stay, and that you liked the new and more colorful rooms. It was a pleasure to have you for your second visit, and of course, we hope you will come again!
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4

Great vacation

  • 4 of 5
Verified Stay

House was is a fun and unique area of the lake. The stairs coming down were a bit intimidating and more so on the way up but by the end of the stay we got use to it...my husband used it for his daily work out😁򐐮 Nicholas and his family next door were such an added benefit, very helpful and kind. We enjoyed visiting and getting to know them. The views from the house were amazing and beautiful to wake up to every morning. Overall it was a great trip, it could have been a little cleaner for me but I'm a clean freak. It was also very windy which caused dirt and leaves to blow in. Thanks for letting us stay! And thanks to Nicholas and his family!

  • Submitted: Jan 2, 2017
  • Stayed: Dec 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Gina: We're so glad to hear you enjoyed your stay, and that as usual, Nicolas was very helpful. You're right that with the house being right on the lake, when there is a lot of wind it's hard keep the house as clean as possible, but we'll ask Rosa to make a special effort in the future. I hope you'll be able to return one day for another stay with great views and peaceful relaxing surroundings.
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Arizona
5

Excellent experience and wonderfully relaxing

  • 5 of 5

Weather was glorious, even in the so-called rainy season ... it rained only for about 20 minutes one evening after dark. The weather was clear with very light breezes, temperatures in the high 70s. We made good use of the new boat and its pilot to visit the villages of San Juan and San Pedro la Laguna in comfort by going directly from the house dock to the docks in those villages. We also hired to pilot (Nicholas) to take us on a boat tour of the north end shores of the lake. On Thursday evening after a great meal at the Jinava Inn Restaurant next door, we were treated to an unexpected fireworks display above San Pablo while lying in bed reading. For us, this really is a wonderful time to visit the lake because seasonal rains have turned the countryside lush and as they say in Oklahoma musical, the corn was as high as an elephant's eye!

  • Submitted: Sep 12, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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5

Beautiful home in San Marcos

  • 5 of 5
Verified Stay

We had a terrific stay at El Castillo. The property is beautiful. The house is spacious. Great swimming right of the dock. Nicolas was a great help. I would highly recommend this location and would love to come back again for a longer stay!

  • Submitted: Aug 18, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are so happy that you enjoyed the house so much, and Nicolas and his family - we are very lucky to have them! We all look forward to your returning soon!
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4

Gorgeous views, relaxing vacation!

  • 4 of 5
Verified Stay

We stayed at Casa Castillo for 3 nights in July. The location of the house is fabulous, with a gorgeous view right on what could easily be described as the most beautiful lake in the world. We were close enough to town but with our own dock for privacy. And a quick boat ride for $3 over to some of the other villages. There is plenty of outdoor space to enjoy the view, and we ended up only venturing into San Marcos and some of the other villages briefly each day while enjoying the relaxation provided by the house most of the time. The layout of the house is great, and the rooms are large with nice beds and plenty of furniture for storing clothes. Wifi worked really well, no issues at all, which we weren’t sure about for such a remote location. The kitchen is very well equipped and we were able to make several full meals. The services provided by both the planning staff and on-site staff were excellent. They got us in and out of the area with no problem, helped us get to other areas, explained very clearly what to expect, and overall were super helpful. Nicolas(on-site caretaker)even rowed us and our luggage over to a nearby dock for a straight shot to our next destination instead of backtracking to Pana. A few notes to keep in mind:(1)the house décor and fixtures can use some updating and a good refresh, including paint, in-depth cleaning, and linens;(2)the on-site caretakers are not just a couple but a family with children and dogs..and they live right outside of your kitchen window. They are so nice I hate to even say anything, but it was a bit of a surprise for us. We love dogs, and we had a 6-year-old with us who had an instant playmate, so not really an issue for us but something to be prepared for;(3)in relation both #1 and #2, there are no window treatments in the house at all. If there were just some curtains in the kitchen to provide privacy from the caretakers and on a couple of windows in the bedrooms, you’d have more options;(4)we had a little trouble with the hot water as mentioned in other reviews, but we went other places in Guatemala that didn’t have hot water at all so we were happy it worked even if a little quirky;(5)the jacuzzi mentioned in the description was not operational at the time we were there. It is in a great spot and would have been fun to use if it worked. Overall, we felt that Casa Castillo was a great value, priced right for what you get with the location and services provided. We had a great time!

  • Submitted: Jul 16, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are so glad that you enjoyed El Castillo and the Lake. Thank you for your notes as well. We try hard to provide the best service that we can, with everything in the house is in working order, clean and tidy, and will certainly be looking into the points you have raised. Should you stay in the future I hope you will let us know immediately of any problems. With Nicolas on site we can take care of any unforeseen issues quickly and ensure that your stay is the best possible.
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1 0
5

Wonderful!

  • 5 of 5

We had a peaceful and restful time at this beautiful home. Nicolas and his family were a huge help and we loved having them so close by to help with our needs. Thank you!

  • Submitted: Apr 6, 2016
  • Stayed: Mar 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are so happy to hear you had a good stay. We hope you see you again soon!
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Map

Nearest Airport
108.5 Miles
Guatamala City
Nearest Barpub
0.5 Miles
Blind Lemon, Fe, Jinava Bay Hotel, Paco Real, Fe.
Nearest Ferry
0.8 Miles
San Marcos taxi boats to anywhere on the lake
Nearest Golf
95 Miles
Antigua and Xela
Nearest Motorway
10 Miles
CA 1 - InterAmericana Highway
Nearest Restaurant
0.1 Miles
Hotel 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.

We just purchased a new 15 foot canoe for guests.

Photos

Rates & Availability

Pasajcap Chateau / Country House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Manager accepts payment in:
USD
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
 
High Season iii
Jan 2 2017 - Apr 9 2017
3 night minimum stay
$99
$623
$2,100
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $20 per night, per additional guest
 
Semana Santa
Apr 10 2017 - Apr 16 2017
3 night minimum stay
$140
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $20 per night, per additional guest
 
Low Season
Apr 17 2017 - May 31 2017
3 night minimum stay
$87
$553
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $20 per night, per additional guest
 
Summer Season
Jun 1 2017 - Aug 31 2017
3 night minimum stay
$99
$623
 
 
Low Season ii
Sep 1 2017 - Oct 31 2017
3 night minimum stay
$87
$553
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $20 per night, per additional guest
 
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
$99
$623
 

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $300
Check-Out Cleaning $20

1. STANDARD HOUSEKEEPING SERVICES PROVIDED EVERY THIRD DAY OF YOUR STAY (ADDITIONAL HOUSEKEEPING AND COOKING SERVICES CAN BE ARRANGED)
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.
4.*** ASK US ABOUT OUR LONG STAY OR 6+ GROUP RATES ***
5. Power boat and operator available for trips to villages on our end of the lake

Manager's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the manager or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Amenities

Pasajcap Chateau / Country House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • chateau / country house
Meals:
  • Catering available
  • Breakfast - Booking Possible
  • Lunch - Booking Possible
  • Dinner - Booking Possible
Housekeeping:
  • Housekeeper Included
Location Type:
  • Lake View
  • Lakefront ...
  • Village
Theme:
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
General:
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Fireplace ...
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wood Stove ...
Kitchen:
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
Dining:
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
Bathrooms:
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 3 - toilet
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
Bedrooms:
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Guest - 2 queen , View of lake, access to terrace, private bathroom
    Eagle's Nest - 1 queen , Private terrace looking directly on lake
    Master - 1 king , Bay window lake view & terrace & Private bath fireplace
Entertainment:
  • Books
  • Stereo ...
  • Toys ...
Outside:
  • Balcony ...
  • Bicycles ...
  • Boat ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • 1 bicycles
Suitability:
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Communal Pool ...
  • Hot Tub ...
  • Private Pool ...
Onsite Services:
  • Staff
Attractions:
  • 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
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • laundromat
  • 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
Notes:
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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