About the property
- Chateau / Country House
- Half Baths1
- Mininum Stay3 nights
3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms, Sleeps 8 in 4 double beds
Relax in this comfortable, large 3 bedroom, triple-terraced home with fantastic 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 royal 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 or in our power boat (modest trip fees) 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. The interior of the house was also recently painted.
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.
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 $20 pp per night. Children 12 and under will not be charged.
When making your reservation please do not enter any children in the children section if they are 12 or under. This will enable you to get an accurate quote.
The access to the house may not be suitable for people with handicaps that inhibit their walking.
- Response rate:
- Response time:
- within a few hours
- english, spanish, Tzutujil
- Calendar last updated:
- Mar 18, 2018
Pool / Spa
Local Services & Businesses
Sports & Adventure Activities
Check-in: 2:00 PM
Check-out: 11:00 AM
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.
Beautiful home on a beautiful lake
The house was perfect for this family of five and Nicolas could not have been more helpful, setting us up with a guide for a hike and bringing us candles when San Marcos lost power due to a nearby brush fire. Thanks for sharing this fantastic home.
This was such a lovely home and experience. Everything you need with unbeatable views of the Lake. Thanks!
We are so glad you enjoyed your time at El Castillo. We very much hope to see you back this way again soon! We await your return!
The one thing that is true to read is that El Castillo offers the most spectacular views, regardless of the time of day or weather. To see the lake and surrounding mountains in all their glory is truly wonderful.
However, the description of the 'luxury villa' needs to be tempered with some facts and the provided information in the villa needs to be updated. Some of the reviews on VRBO actually say that the house is suitable for people with disabilities. Trust me, this is so wrong. For a slim, fit [and middle aged] person I was seriously challenged in accessing the house from any angle. First was from the water's edge: the caretaker Nicolas collected my and my suitcase from the dock at San Marcos and I enjoyed the short ride to the Villa's private dock. However, to get out of the boat and clamber gracelessly onto the dock was a struggle since the steps and boat edge do not align vertically or horizontally! A very ungainly descent sent was also required getting into the boat. The other issue is that the brick path around the Villa leading to the steep path which accesses the village of San Marcos, peters out over a rough piece of land with a short unadopted footpath which is receding into the Lake.
With regard to the steep path; when the word steep is used, trust me that is the truth. What is not mentioned is that there is no lighting, the steps are uneven and there is no suitable hand-rail. Within the villa document file, it should be mentioned that a torch is essential if returning after dusk. Also the access to the neighbouring hotel, restaurant and bar requires you to go up and down the slope!
The villa needs a good deep clean, and cleaning was not regular.
#The ladder on the dock was broken and very rickety making an uninviting access to the Lake for swimming or entering the canoe.
#The close proximity of the caretaker, his large family and barking dogs was an invasion of privacy. They should have a separate access from the path and having a fence outside the kitchen window. It was embarrassing having to observe the family doing their ablutions and uncomfortable to know that they could see us eating and drinking in the comfort of the villa.
#The top bedroom is accessible by outside concrete steps often covered in dog's excrement.
#Extra payments were required for use of the private boat and for the jacuzzi.
#As for being suitable for more 8 people it would be very uncomfortable.
St Marcos La Laguna is a very special village, and has much to offer the discerning tourist.
Dear Lynn: Thank you for your detailed review. I'm sorry that recent substantial changes in the lake level (for which lake Atitlan is known) made access to and from the dock difficult. New access steps and ladder have already been built and we hope the lake level will remain stable for awhile. With regard to the steps and path up the hill, we have been waiting for a response from the owner of the property, as he must authorize any enhancements we want to make. As to the nearness of the caretaker and his family, it is difficult to find the desired balance between security (including watchful dogs) and availability for assistance, and privacy and distance. We will talk to Nicolas and his family about being more respectful of guests' needs, as well as taking more care to clean up after their dogs. We would like to add a bathroom to the third level bedroom, as soon as some ecological concerns can be worked out. As you can imagine, working on a volcanic slope at the very edge of a lake presents some special challenges. We have continued to make upgrades to the house since we bought it just about 2 years ago. Thanks for helping us focus our actions where they are most needed.
FANTASTIC -- AGAIN!!
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!!
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!
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!
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.
Excellent experience and wonderfully relaxing
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!
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 but a little challenging. 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, repainted the house interior and added new stairs to the dock.