Mayan Lake Realty, Lake Atitlan

3.00 (2 reviews)
Calle Santander, Panajachel, Sololá Department, Guatemala
Calle Santander Panajachel Sololá GT
Mayan Lake Realty (MLR) is a bespoke-style Real Estate Agency serving the Lake Atitlan area providing a personal service for all real estate requirements: SellingBuyingRentals (Long and Short term), as well as Property Management.

We are based in Panajachel and our portfolio covers a diverse selection of properties to suit every taste and budget, situated in towns and rural areas around the lake shore and parts of the caldera.

We are an El Salvadorian / British couple, who have chosen Lake Atitlan as our home. Between us we have an extensive knowledge of Guatemala, the Lake Atitlan area, tourism, and real estate. Not only can we help you with all your real estate requirements, but also with any transport or travel, finding a Spanish teacher or school, or information on volunteer opportunities, visa requirements, or supporting one of the many wonderful NGOs (non-profits) working around the lake.

We are here to help you find your perfect dream home to buy or rent, or buy and then rent! And we will do whatever we can to make this experience as stress free as possible. Buying a property in a foreign country like Guatemala can seem a daunting prospect without the language or local know-how. We can help you through the labyrinth of Guatemalan bureaucracy and red tape, acting as your advocate and translator; be it for the purchase or a property, to ship furniture or other goods, or just to renew your tourist visa.

Once you have found your perfect home, if you are not planning to be there full-time, we can also help rent your home as a profitable vacation rental, and/or manage it, keeping an eye on maintenance (very important during the rainy season) and paying your workers etc.

In all respects we go the extra mile to provide you with a professional service.

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Fraudulent and Unlicensed

This couple is well-known to the locals as being unscrupulous and unreliable, having stolen money from many people looking to rent a place around the lake, including myself. I would use ANYONE other than Mayan Lake Realty, who has doubled rents from what the owner was asking to keep more for themselves.

They stole money from me even though I had never signed a contract with them, and had a signed, written “refundable” receipt for the $500.00 I paid as I had to call my husband in the U.S. that evening to see if he wanted the house I had found. When he said “no,” I contacted Francesca’s partner Rene first thing in the morning to say we would have to find some place else, and he had ALREADY SPENT THE DEPOSIT I had given him the afternoon before in my lawyer’s office.


Despite the signed by him deposit saying “refundable” they did not offer me another house to rent, but refused to refund the money saying I had “not given them enough notice.” The actual owner of the house had no idea they had done this and had kept all the money for themselves! How could calling them back the next morning to say this house wasn’t going to work for us be considered “not giving enough notice” when no agreement had ever been signed?

To make matters worse, they asked for this $500.00 deposit in CASH, so no paper trail would exist nor taxes be paid. I did insist on a signed refundable receipt for the money, thinking I would at least be covered that way. Who would imagine that this deposit would be spent overnight, when this is strictly forbidden in the United States?

I went back to the United States and was not able to pursue this myself, but Francesca began threatening me in public and in writing on Facebook, so if you cross them, this is the kind of treatment you might well expect. It’s unbelievable to think that any professional would ever behave this way anywhere else, but this is how things can be in Guatemala, where there is no oversight or Consumer Protections or effective complaint boards.


I would work with anyone other than Mayan Lake Realty in the future. There are a number of Facebook groups that tell other stories about unscrupulous realtors, including many in Antigua Guatemala. It’s difficult for a newcomer to know how to trust, but I would suggest staying in a hotel or with friends until you are sure of what you want before any money changes hands. I trusted Rene and Francesca as local, English speaking “friends” and learned the hard way what they are really about.

As a licensed realtor myself in the United States for more than 30 years, I was horrified to find out the lengths to which these people would go to “cover their tracks” and make threats against me in writing, after exposing them for who and what they are.


There are other realtors you can work with around Lake Atitlan, but be aware that it is NOT a requirement that anyone be licensed in Guatemala, although there is a voluntary license board – to which they do NOT belong. There are no laws, no courses, no education… anyone can hang out a shingle and call themselves a “realtor.”

When it comes to real estate in Guatemala, it is very difficult to know who to trust. Your own lawyer may be working with the “other side” and people who purchase or even rent real estate in Guatemala have lost big-time to unscrupulous agents such as Mayan Lake Realty.


Buyer Beware!


Catherine Todd

  • tracis
    I have not heard this type of accusation against Mayan Lake Realty from anyone else. In fact, from my own experience, the comment that they are “well-known to the locals as being unscrupulous and unreliable, having stolen money from many people looking to rent a place around the lake…” is untrue.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Friendly and Helpful

Francesca is a wonderful, friendly person. I don’t know what that other lady is talking about Mayan Lake Realty being unscrupulous. I have never had any problems. Their listings are high quality and Francesca goes out of her way to help people even if she doesn’t have something for them to rent or buy.

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Showing 2 results
BCH Terrace outside kitchen.jpg 2 years ago by FrancescaW
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SP Front of house new wall for HOME page.jpg 2 years ago by FrancescaW
  • FrancescaW
    Fabulous Lake-front Properties with to-die-for views!
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BCP Front of house and garden.jpg 2 years ago by FrancescaW
  • FrancescaW
    Long and short term rentals and great properties for sale.
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JCC Garden and house 1-3.jpg 2 years ago by FrancescaW
  • FrancescaW
    Long and short term rentals and great properties for sale.
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Showing 4 results
Farmacia La Union
2.50 (1 review)
Calle Santander, Panajachel, Guatemala 0.01 km

Locally owned pharmacy on Calle Santander. English spoken.

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7am-9pm, closed Wednesday.

Vegetarian and vegan friendly

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Free WiFi

Live music 7-9pm

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Chain chocolate shop offers a small chocolate museum, chocolate making workshops, and a large assortment of chocolate bars and truffles. You can even find chocolate-based skin and hair care products, chocolate liqueurs, and–yes–chocolate condoms.

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5B ATM inside the restaurant next to the street.

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“Todo bajo un solo techo.”

An impressive assortment of items under one roof: wine and spirits, basic groceries, chocolate, electronics (chargers and headphones), watches, sunglasses, umbrellas, fans, cigars, and hula hoops.

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Open late.

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Steak, seafood, salads

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BAC ATM near the BAC branch, next to Centro Comercial San Rafael.

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International. Live Music

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BI ATM at the BI branch on Santander.

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Across the street from Casa Cakchiquel.

Digital printing and passport photos.

Showing 1 - 20 of 249 results