I stayed at Casa de Cynthia with 4 other 30-somethings and we had an absolutely amazing trip and would highly recommend it.
The property is beautiful; lush hillside gardens with avocado trees and breathtaking views of two (dormant) volcanoes. It can only be reached by boat and it is extremely peaceful and serene. Watching the sunrise on the porch whilst drinking fresh Guatemalan coffee was enjoyed by all of us.
There are two large bedrooms upstairs with a shared bathroom with a lovely hot shower. There's also another bathroom with a shower downstairs with a fantastic view! The living room has a comfy couch, futon and armchair and a great fireplace, which we lit every night (Cynthia's gardener makes sure there is plenty of fire wood always available). There is a tv and DVD player and a fantastic selection of movies. The kitchen has pretty much everything you could need and also spices, oil, tea etc. Cynthia makes sure there is always plenty of drinking water. The faucet water is safe for washing but not drinking. There are no laundry facilities but they're easily available in Santiago.
Cynthia has two very friendly dogs (Lindy Lou and Shadow) who liked to hang out sometimes and Misha the cat, which made us miss our own pets less. They sleep with Cynthia in the casita, which is also on the property but tucked out of the way.
Cynthia had a cell phone for us to borrow so we could call Diego to arrange water taxis or make any other reservations as needed. We topped it up with 50Q and it lasted our week's stay. There was also a SIM card or chip which could be used to access the internet but we didn't need it. Many bars and restaurants had wifi so we just reconnected with the world on our day trips. Our Spanish was pretty basic and Cynthia was always so helpful making calls for us when we were out of our depth. She also said to call her if we had any problems or couldn't understand someone and she would translate.
We really enjoyed taking water taxis to different towns around the lake each day and Cynthia always had helpful recommendations and tips. She told us all the prices we should be paying for things, which is definitely needed to avoid being overcharged.
Case de Cynthia is not the place for you if you can't navigate steps or if you like being in close proximity to restaurants, bars etc. but is was perfect for us. We all agreed it was lovely to come home and chill out after busy days bartering and exploring the hustle and bustle on the Lake and decided it was much much nicer than staying in a town.
Cynthia was always quick to reply to any emails I sent and answered my many questions with her vast knowledge. She also kindly arranged for Aclash to pick us up from Guat City airport in his minivan for $100 each way (approx 3 hours in good weather), which made vacation planning very easy. Make sure you have food etc before you get dropped off at the dock as there isn't too much available down there.
Cynthia was the perfect hostess and we felt it was like staying with a friend. She made herself always available to help but was never intrusive. She is a really nice lady and she made our trip extra special. It was an incredible vacation for us and cannot say enough positive things about our experience.
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|A romantic getaway||Luxury-minded travelers|
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|A romantic getaway||Older travelers|
We stayed at Cynthia's house for a week in October, 2013 and loved every minute of it.
We were looking for place where we could lounge around in hammocks reading and having a nice glass of wine, so this place was idyllic. The house itself is gorgeous and spacious – the views from the walk-out verandas off the bedrooms are stunning. We'd been staying in some local-style places on our travels so it was really nice to spend some time at place with good hot showers and comfortable beds.
The caretakers were friendly Canadians. Though onsite in their cottage, they made themselves and their dogs scarce, but were around when we needed. They were very helpful at giving us some info about the lake and their Spanish helped as they arranged some boats for us to go to San Pedro and a few other places.
The place is pretty isolated with its own dock, but that's exactly what we were looking for.
Note about noise – although across the bay from Santiago, we heard some music coming from the town in the evenings on the weekend. I guess the sound carries easily across the lake. But it was over by about 10pm so it didn't keep us up at night and we actually kind of liked listening to local music while sitting on the front porch in the evenings.
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Ideal for a few days peace and tranquillity, this charming retreat is perfect as a getaway from the busy hustle and bustle of every day life, and the busy tourist trail.
Convenient enough for local amenities but secluded enough for complete privacy.
Host couple were helpful, knowledgeable and friendly, always available yet unobtrusive.