About this listing
There is a fantastic view of Lake Atitlan from your rental in the authentic Maya village of Jaibalito, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. Here you will be immersed in the Modern Mayan culture and lifestyle. It is conveniently located only a 20 minute ride from Panajachel. After arriving in Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, the only way to get to Jaibalito is to hike from Santa Cruz or via the Lancha/Boat. There are no cars, trucks, Chicken buses or Tuk-Tuks in Jaibalito!
This rental offers a private, spacious suite. It is great for one or two guests. It is set up with one new queen bed. With advance notice we can accommodate up to 4 people by adding another bed to the suite.The studio style large bedroom also has a complete bathroom and a hot shower. The completely furnished kitchen includes a microwave, toaster oven, stove top and refrigerator. Enjoy a free sample of our infamous coffee grown and roasted on the property. You can relax at the dining room table under the semi-enclosed covered patio. There are also a handwoven hammock and a two-seater swing awaiting you.
There is also a private stairway down to the river for another place to relax and explore. The property is surrounded by flower gardens, culinary and medicinal herbs and towering Avocado trees, a variety of banana trees and an Arabica coffee grove. The Casita de la Sirena rental was remodeled and refurnished January 2013. An unlimited supply of purified water is provided. Weekly Housekeeping service is also included.
Hand washed/line dried laundry service is available, upon request, for a small fee. Free Wifi Internet access is also available. Our traditional Mayan Temascal bathing and sauna room can be prepared for our guests. Casita de la Sirena is a short walk to five, local distinct restaurants. See details below.
After leaving the public pier, walk up the Main Street 30 meters and look to the right for the turquoise posts. Casita de la Sirena, Lake Atitlan, is one of the quietest locations of the village. Enjoy the beautiful Volcano Toliman lakeside view from the patio or the hammock.The interior walls are made from volcanic rock from across the lake. The beautiful handmade furnishings come from the village of Nuhuala. The cana fence and flat stone walkways are made of local materials. The wooden framed windows are constructed from locally renewable Cypress. Come and visit Lake Atitlan, one of the "Most beautiful" lakes in the world.
Please feel free to ask for assistance at any time. Scott, Leisa and Sirena are living in the adjoining separate adobe house. We speak Spanish and English. Also Bartolo is the guardian, he speaks Spanish and Cakchiqel.
Our traditional Mayan Temascal bathing and sauna room will be 100 Q/12 USD per use. We will be happy to prepare the Private Temascal/sauna room for you. Please advise 2-4 hours in advance to allow for (email hidden)e fire will be started and when it is just coals, you pour a small amount of water over the rocks. This creates a steamy sauna room where you will sit on the warm stone bench. You will be relaxed and cleansed when the treatment is complete.
Other services available:
Laundry Service, (please allow one to two days for drying during rainy season) 3.50 USD or 40 Q per load. Your laundry will be Hand washed in the Pila and line dried at the Casita property.
Extra Housekeeping: 3.00 USD/ 25 Q per hour.
If you need a light bulb replaced, the gas tank is empty or the drinking water bottle needs to be replaced, just ask!
NO SMOKING INSIDE PLEASE!
Local information and travel tips:
After arriving in Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, the only way to get to Jaibalito is to hike from Santa Cruz or via the Lancha/Boat.
There are no cars, trucks, Chicken buses or Tuk-Tuks in Jaibalito! Although there has been an occasional motorcycle, they were just visiting. The well marked and most amazing scenic and safe hiking trail to Santa Cruz is about a 45-60 minutes hike with a medium loaded backpack. It has always been a safe and gorgeous hiking trail. IT IS RECOMMENDED BY LOCALS TO NOT HIKE the trail to TZUNUNA , where there have been cases of robberies reported. ________________________________________
The Public Lancha's that travel around the lake arrive/depart from the Jaibalito public pier about every 20 minutes. At Panajachel, you may have to wait for the boat to fill up before it departs. To/from Pana is about 30 minutes. The Lanchas operate from 7AM to about 7:30PM every day. From Jaibalito, they go Left to Panajachel via Santa Cruz and Paxanax. From Jaibalito, they go Right to the villages of Tzununa, San Marcos, San Pablo, San Juan then to San Pedro. Lancha/Boat taxi to and from the Jaibalito pier is Q 15 per person to/from Panajachel. It is generally Q 7.5 per major (website hidden) Panajachel to Santa Cruz, then Santa Cruz to Jaibalito.
Do not pay more than listed above, but do not argue with the Crew if you don't have close to the correct change.
Remember Q10 = 1.25 USD! Yes, Locals pay slightly less, tourism is what supports the local economy.
If you have more than a few suitcases, treat them as an extra passenger, Q 15, for 3-4 suitcases.
Have your money ready to pay the First Mate as you leave the pier.
A Private Launcha may be rented for between Q 150-200. They will take you direct from Panahachel to the Jaibalito pier.
No waiting required. Just ask at the pier "Quiero un Lancha privada por ciento cincuenta Quetzals, por favor".
While visiting many of the Villages around the lake, take advantage of the little Red Tuk-Tuks (3 wheeled covered scooter carts) for an inexpensive ride from the pier to destinations within city limits.
Generally the fee is 5Q per person per one way trip. Tip for extra services.
If you plan on fixing some of your own meals, when in Pana ask a Tuk Tuk driver to take you to Chalo's tienda, Sandras or the
Dipenseria Familia. All have have a good selection of groceries. Heavier items like soda, bottled water or cerveza can be purchased in Jaibalito. No need carrying them on the boat if you don't have too. _________________________________________
While in Jaibalito, business is conducted with Guatemalan cash, Quetzals. There are a few ATM's (Cajero 5 B) in Panahachel. Just ask around, "? Por favor, donde esta a Cinco Bay (5B)?" The ATM will only dispense 100Q bills.
The banks do not allow you to come in to make change and the armed guard will usually tell you at the door, "No cambio!".
Get some small bills 5Q, 10Q and 20Q before you leave Panajachel (Pana) and head to Jaibalito. Try a restaurant or tienda (small store) for change.
There are five resturaunt/lodgings in Jaibalito, besides Casita de la Sirena.
The newest is the Thirsty Baker offering fresh eclairs, pies, breakfast and lunch.
There is Hans Schaeffers' Posada Jaibalito, up the hill and on the Left. Meals, drinks and lodging.
The Vulcano Lodge is up the hill and to the right. Meals, lodging and Cactus Gardens.
Club Ven Aca is down the hill and left across the (website hidden), restaurant, Hot tub and pool.
Hotel Casa del Mundo is still a little bit further past Ven Aca. Meals, lodging and a cliff side view.
They all are distinct in their services and are all highly recommended for great atmosphere and meals. Each location has their own website.They are all within just a few minutes walk from Casita de la Sirena.
The Dry season, typically from November through May averages 55*F to 80*F with low humidity, very comfortable.
During the Wet season it is typical to have beautiful sunny mornings before the frequent afternoon clouds and rain.
You will get wet if you forget your umbrella!
You will want a light jacket for the evenings throughout the entire year. We have enjoyed the Lake every month of the year!
The electricity in the village may go out for brief periods during very windy or heavy rain weather conditions.
Always carry a flashlight with you when you will be out and about after 5 PM. Street lighting is few and far between.
Do not drink the water from the any of the faucets at the Casita, either in the kitchen or the bathroom, including the shower. Although the water system in the village is fed from an underground spring, there is still the possibility of (email hidden)ere is a five gallon container of pure water provided. Refill the smaller bottles for use in the kitchen and bathroom. A water filter system is scheduled to be installed and completed by late Fall of 2014.
The septic system at the Casita should be no problem as long as you put all the waste paper in the trash container, as is typical in most of Central America. The only waste going down the toilet drain should be the waste out of your body.
This is a semi tropical climate and insects thrive in the area. You will probably need to apply Mosquito repellent regularly, depending on the season.
The locals are mostly Mayan and speak both their native language of Kakchiqel and Spanish.
The people in Jaibalito are kind and helpful. There is a small group of Foreigners that reside here as well. There are a few small stores/tiendas where you can purchase a variety of packaged foods and common household goods. There are no retail stores, gas stations, movie theaters or night clubs. Those are at Panajachel. There are five churches in the village. You will know when they are having a service. The music is loud and catchy and the doors are wide open!
You will also hear an occasional Air Raid Siren go off in the afternoon, followed by a loudspeaker. These announcements are for the Community, such as "The Doctor will be at the Clinic tomorrow" or "It is Kids movie night at Casita de la Sirena at 6 PM", not a hurricane warning or such!
Barking dogs, crowing roosters, frequent "Buenas Dias" with a big smile, song birds, children playing, and the early morning corn grinder for making fresh tortilla dough (the only engine in the village) are all typical sounds of Caserio Jaibalito.
We know you will enjoy your visit but don't tell everyone about Jaibalito. We want the village to remain simple and quaint!
Thanks again, Scott, Leisa and Sirena.
You will see pictures and more information if you search online: Casita de la Sirena org
We do have a laptop that we can lend out for use here on the property for a small fee.
You are welcome to stroll through the back property and the private stairs down to the beautiful river on the side of our property for another beautiful peaceful hang out.
Interaction with Guests
As much or as little as you wish.
The most beautiful place on the most beautiful Lake!
The boats, buses and shuttles are all quite convenient and inexpensive.
NO SMOKING INSIDE. Please notify us when you check out of the casita. Also notify us if your number of guests changes along the course of your stay.
Our traditional Mayan Temascal bathing and sauna room will be 100 Q/12 USD per use. They will be happy to prepare the Private Temascal/sauna room for you. Please advise 4 hours in advance to allow for (email hidden)e wood fire will be started and when it is just coals, you pour a small amount of water over the rocks. This creates a steamy sauna room where you will sit on the warm stone bench. You will feel relaxed and cleansed when the treatment is complete.
Laundry Service, (please allow one to two days for drying) 3.00 USD or 24 Q per load. Your laundry will be Hand washed in the Pila and line dried at the Casita property.
Extra Housekeeping: 2.00 USD/ 16 Q per hour.
If you need a light bulb replaced, the gas tank is empty or the drinking water bottle needs to be replaced, just ask!
The internet service here works great. There are times when the electricity may go out in the village temporarily though. There is a cat named Sambo and a dog Jamba who lives on the property, but they are not allowed at the Casita.
The quickest reflection I can offer anyone looking for my thoughts on staying at Leisa and Scott's Casita de la Sirena is to say that I extended my stay which quickly sums up my feelings for what they have to offer.
I booked very close to my arrival but the communication from Leisa and Scott was first class and made arriving at Casita de la Sirena a simple exercise. The welcome was warm and inviting and I was quickly given the rundown on their beautiful and peaceful slice of heaven.
The main room/bedroom and bathroom were spotlessly clean and beautifully decorated making the casita an inviting place in which to spend time.
The attached kitchen was also very clean and well equipped making meal preparation a breeze, if that is what you want to do.
The casita is only a stones throw from the jetty making getting a ferry boat a simple, easy, exercise. The village of Jaibalito is less than 30 minutes from Panajachel by boat.
Leisa and Scott were always ready to sit with a coffee and chat if I wanted or could happily work on their own projects if I was busy.
The village is quiet compared to its neighbours and lacks any hustle and bustle. Resources are sparse but easily obtained in nearby by Panajachel and it was no chore, in fact a delightful experience, to catch a ferry to go and get groceries.
You needn't worry about road noise (there is none) or rowdy neighbours (none of those either) but occasionally the village's dog population feels a need to jointly sound off.
I used the Wi-Fi heavily and the speed was good although internet access was spotty which is understandable given you're in a reasonably remote location! I just worked around it.
The hot water system was perfect as long as you understood the best way to get it to work in your favour. Don't expect hot water at 8:30 am every morning but if you vary your shower hour it was no problem.
My advice is to accept Casita de la Sirena for what it is and you'll take away beautiful memories.
We very much enjoyed our stay in the Casita. The location is perfect, with beautiful views out over the lake. You can walk to a variety of restaurants with different price ranges and take a lancha (boat) out to other villages. The village ambiance is peaceful and it was fun to sit outside and watch local life. Leisa and Scott were very friendly and welcoming, offering suggestions and tips with anything we needed. We live in Guatemala City and return often to the lake, this is a place we would visit again!
We had a lovely time at casita de la sirena. Beautiful view, set apart from the larger towns, so it really feels like a get-away. Leisa and Scott were gracious hosts. They were very helpful before and during our stay, answering any questions we had. I would definitely recommend staying here.
This is a little gem. Loved it. All we wanted to do was relax and we did!
Friendly and helpful owners, perfect patio to sit on, well equipped kitchenette, clean, and a super comfy huge bed.
Nice to sit and watch the ferries go too and fro and observe village life on the green outside the Casita. Little shop in village to get all your fruit and veg and basic stores.
Also many thanks for posting our postcards!!
We sat long and hard to think of a thing to improve this place. It took us ages to come up with something, and this is all we could come up with!!! An overhead reading light for in bed!! This minor thing was all we could think of!
Wonderful little casita right next to the dock in Jaibalito. Josie was our host for the time we were there and was super helpful with advice about things to do. The swing in front of the place serves as playground for the local kids and you will hear calls of "amigo! empujalo" followed by screams of delight If you actually get up and push the swing. A chorus of village dogs and church music added to the ambiance at night.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay with Leisha, Scott and Sirena. The special place they've built has allowed us to experience a very different side of Lake Atitlan. We enjoyed our conversations with this wonderful family, as well as with other locals at Jaibalito. Highly recommended - we can't wait to have the chance to come back!
Casita de la Sirena is a great place! It is very clean, safe and comfortable. The view of the lake is unparalleled. Scott, Leisa and Sirena go out of their way to welcome you and assist in any way they can--and they are a lot of fun to be around! If you want to truly experience Lake Atitlan and the Incredible Maya people that live there, stay here!
About the Host, Scott, Leisa And Sirena
My wife and I are the property owners of Casita de la Sirena at Jaibalito, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. We have recently opened La Puerta Rosada/The Pink Door, a Womens health clinic in the village. This will be a long term project that will eventually be owned and operated by the local Guatemalans living in this area.
Leisa is a Registered Nurse and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
from the USA with over 30 years experience in Obstetrics, Gynecology, and personal client education.
Scott is an industrial electrician. Affordable low maintenance Solar lighting,
fuel effecient smoke free Plancha stoves and clean drinking water are on his list of projects.
Sirena is a 7th grade student at a local school in Panajachel, Lake Atitlan.
She is bilingual in English and Spanish.
All monies collected from the Lake Atitlan rental of Casita de la Sirena org
will be used to forward these programs and support the local economy.