Lake Atitlan Real Estate - An introduction
You might have realized that it is time to think of a better place to live your retirement, to take your kids for a unique enriching experience, to invest taking advantage of the quiet ignored destination that Atitlan is... For whatever reason this article will guide you to the different areas of the lake and gives you some tools to help you decide where to settle.
Guatemalan LawsFirst of all Lake Atitlan is a national protected area in Guatemala and therefore it is ruled by specifics laws and it is not a free, un-ruled area where anyone can do as he or she pleases. Well some will tell you that yes it is possible here to make your dream come true... this is only possible if your dream is not someone elses real estate nightmare. Guatemala is not your normal area in terms of rationality in buying or selling. As every Guatemala real estate property is unique they all have to be evaluated in their own matter.
Lake Atitlan Real EstateBut we pretend to give you some guidance with the following:
So if we look at the value of land to start with we can draw 4 areas with characteristics that make them a specific geographical real estate market.
The first area and it is one of the most appreciated is from Panajachel to San Antonio Palopó and beyond, precisely the road uniting these villages. It is also where you have the best view of the 3 volcanoes (Atitlan, Toliman and San Pedro), exposed to the west and find the wildest natural part of the lake. The first section is what we call Sunset road as it offers the best views of the famous sunsets of lake Atitlan, then past Santa Catarina Palopó, we have the Mansion road, the name tells it all, it is an area of gorgeous real estate properties with beautiful views. After San Antonio Palopó it is a new frontier as the recent aperture of the road between San Antonio Palopó and the ridge of the mountain, Aguas Escondidas, open a new area for development with fantastic access and views. In this area you will find big properties with long waterfront properties, new constructions, and luxury real estate with pool and sauna. Not many pieces of land.
The second area of real estate is located on the North shore of Lake Atitlan between Panajachel and Tzununa including the villages of Santa Cruz La Laguna and Jaibalito. This area is mostly accessible by boat and offers 160 degrees view of the lake and the 5 volcanoes (San Pedro, Atitlan, Toliman and towards east the Fuego and Acatenango). This area is for people who are willing to take a boat to get to their little paradise. Santa Cruz la laguna for example is one of the safest villages in Guatemala (no homicide) and Tzununa at the other extreme side is accessible by car and only a 5 minutes drives to San Marcos La Laguna with all its new ages holistic centers. In this area you will find a lot of waterfront properties with beautiful hotels and other lake atitlan real estate available.
The third area it is from San Marcos La Laguna to San Pedro La Laguna including the villages of San Pablo La Laguna, San Juan La Laguna. It is an area accessible by car and where the land is very divided so you have often very small lots with narrow waterfront. The dynamic of this area is different than the 2 precedent ones because San Marcos, San Juan and San Pedro are very active villages where tourism plays a big role and therefore you will find more luxury tourist oriented properties to sell than any other place. San Marcos for example the “holistic village” is a great place to be if you are looking for self improvement, easy access to yoga, massages,,, and not to mention a particular life style... San Juan is a destination to be as it is the most organized village with a lot of local association from painters, natural herbal medicine, naturally died weavings... and San Pedro has been where all hippies went when Panajachel became too expensive and the village is strongly improving its image from party town to eco-touristic destination with volcano climbs, horseback riding and a local museum.
There you will find some small lots, waterfront properties, houses, and land and businesses for sale.
The fourth real estate market area is from San Lucas Toliman to Santiago Atitlan including the village of Cerro de Oro. This is an area where mostly Guatemalan gateway houses are found. With beautiful houses on the shore in private little bays. It is not a primary destination for foreigners (except for Santiago Atitlan) as the houses are isolated from any villages or social activity center. In this area we have beautiful luxury properties for sale as well as some hotels. Important to mention the Yacht Club, a gated residential project where you have houses and lands (lots) with title on very well kept grounds, with excellent amenities.
Now in future article we will go through each of these areas describing their particular characteristics.