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Fabulous 3-Bed, Lake-Front Home on Beautiful Peaceful Bay, San Marcos

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


About the property

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.

Thank you.

More Details

Property Manager
Francesca Wade
Member since: 2013
Speaks english, spanish, Tzutujil
Response time
Within a few hours
Response rate
Calendar last updated:
18 March, 2018

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 Pasajcap

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


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday chateau / country house rental in Pasajcap, Guatemala

Property Type:
  • chateau / country house
  • Catering available
  • Breakfast - Booking Possible
  • Lunch - Booking Possible
  • Dinner - Booking Possible
  • Housekeeper Included
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 2:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • Min. age of primary renter: 25
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • Lake View
  • Lakefront ...
  • Village
  • Waterfront
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Elevator
  • Fireplace ...
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Free Wifi
  • 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 2 - toilet , shower enclosure
    Bathroom 3 - toilet
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower enclosure
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Guest - 2 large double bed , View of lake, access to terrace, private bathroom
    Eagle's Nest - 1 large double bed , Private terrace looking directly on lake
    Master - 1 extra lg. double bed , Bay window lake view & terrace & Private bath fireplace
  • Books
  • Stereo ...
  • Toys ...
  • Balcony ...
  • Boat ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • long term rentals available
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Hot Tub ...
Onsite Services:
  • Staff
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theatre
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • water parks
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • horse riding
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness centre
  • groceries
  • laundrette - serviced
  • 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
  • diving
  • snorkelling
  • 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.


Excellent! 4.7/5 -
(36 traveller reviews)

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Fabulous 3-Bed, Lake-Front Home on Beautiful Peaceful Bay, San Marcos
average rating of 4.6944447 based on 44 reviews

Beautiful Home!

  • 5 of 5

This was such a lovely home and experience. Everything you need with unbeatable views of the Lake. Thanks!

  • Review Submitted: 13/06/2017
  • Date of Stay: April 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: 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!
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Beautiful home on a beautiful lake

  • 5 of 5

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.

  • Review Submitted: 04/03/2018
  • Date of Stay: February 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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  • 2 of 5

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.

  • Review Submitted: 04/03/2017
  • Date of Stay: February 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: 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.
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  • 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!!

  • Review Submitted: 16/01/2017
  • Date of Stay: January 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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Great vacation

  • 4 of 5

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 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!

  • Review Submitted: 02/01/2017
  • Date of Stay: December 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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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!

  • Review Submitted: 12/09/2016
  • Date of Stay: September 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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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 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.


Rates & Availability

Rental Rates for this holiday chateau / country house in Pasajcap, Guatemala

Rental Basis:
per property
Manager accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
High Season i 18
2 Jan 2018 - 24 Mar 2018
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$25 per night, per additional guest
25 Mar 2018 - 31 Mar 2018
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$25 per night, per additional guest
Low Season i 18
1 Apr 2018 - 31 May 2018
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$25 per night, per additional guest
High Season ii 18
1 Jun 2018 - 31 Aug 2018
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$25 per night, per additional guest
Low Season ii 18
1 Sep 2018 - 31 Oct 2018
3 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$25 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable Damage Deposit AU$382.29
Check-Out Cleaning AU$25.49


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.


5. Power boat and operator available for trips to villages on our end of the lake

Manager's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if cancelled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if cancelled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.
Contact Manager

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