Permaculture Design Course (Full dates August 17-31, 2019)
About This Event
2-week Intensive Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course in collaboration with Atitlán Organics in Tzununá and The Yoga Forest, in San Marcos la Laguna. Led by Shad Qudsi of Atitlan Organics with other amazing teachers!
2 week Intensive PDC Course Cost: $1495 staying in shared accommodation at both sites. Includes certification, three vegetarian meals daily and morning yoga classes during the first week at The Yoga Forest.
See more information at our Permaculture Design Course page with registration links.
Find your Self in the Forest.
Venue HighlightsSan Marcos la Laguna is a small Mayan village on Lake Atitlán in the western highlands of Guatemala. It has become a Mecca for international travelers attracted by its beauty, tranquility and diverse options for spiritual exploration and therapy. Terraced into the side of a cliff, The Yoga Forest is a twenty five minute hike up into the valley from Lake Atitlán, To escape to our lush tropical food forest please travel to us with a backpack, organic soaps, a head torch and a spirit of adventure.
AccommodationsThe Yoga Forest has multiple accommodation options to suit all explorers, from shared cabanas, private rooms, unique yogi lofts, and private forest cabins. All accommodations are beautifully appointed, built using natural building techniques and materials, featuring comfortable beds, warm feather duvets, pillows, and decorated with Peruvian Shipibo fabrics and Guatemalan cushions.
- Tour Assistance
- Yoga Studio
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
- Nut Free
Menu/CuisineWe serve local organic produce whenever is possible and prepare our delicious vegetarian meal with love. We can cater to certain dietary restrictions, such as vegan and gluten free. Please advise management of your needs as well as any allergies.
Morning Travel Recommended: Book your flight to arrive in Guatemala City, then take a direct shuttle to Antigua. Please arrange to take an 8-9am collective shuttle (Q100) from Antigua to San Marcos la Laguna in order to get you to town in the morning or very early afternoon. We offer a daily escort service from San Marcos la Laguna to The Yoga Forest promptly at 2PM. Be sure to arrive in San Marcos la Laguna with plenty of time to locate Circles Cafe before the escort service arrives.
We also can arrange a private shuttle to pick you up from Guatemala City Airport to San Marcos La Laguna. Our driver will be waiting at the airport with a sign with your name on it. The ride directly from the GUA to San Marcos is approximately 4 hours.
Please plan your travels accordingly, either spending a night in Antigua to make a morning shuttle, or stay in San Marcos la Laguna a night early. For your safety, LATE ARRIVALS ARE NOT PERMITTED.
ReviewsWrite a review - tell others about your experience.
Dylan Lunde August 28, 2019
I loved the yoga forest! The staff, food and yoga classes were phenomenal! I really enjoyed and appreciated the diversity in the yoga teachers and classes. The extra wellness services were fantastic as well. The communal vibe was a heartwarming plus too. The schedule overall was great but I didn’t like how close the 2nd yoga class of the day was to breakfast. Ideally I need more time to digest and settle after a meal before engaging in an activity like that, but it wasn’t that big a deal. The location is wonderful in the mountains and away from the hustle and bustle. Outdoor showers and compost toilets were really cool too. I will definitely be coming back to the yoga forest. It’s a perfect place for relaxation but also self love and self work. It can be whatever you make it to be
VJ Bala July 31, 2019
The Yoga Forest is a magical place where one can live in harmony with nature, and grow in every way possible. There are three daily yoga classes of different types offered. Weekly Cacao and Sound Baths. The wellness team is incredible (if you are into massages). The food is made by the most incredible women local to the area. Most of all the views the views the views! You will never get bored of waking up to the incredible views of the volcanoes and Lake Atitlan. I highly recommend this venue for those who are looking for a personal retreat Or ... if you wanted to, you could also join several organized retreats they offer there (all their retreats are mentioned in their website). Follow @theyogaforest to keep getting updates. They also have a YouTube page (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6i4_vr6UHDwN0Or3sVjxbw) where you can see images of their rooms, facilities, and yoga classes. You will never forget your time at The Yoga Forest!
Jonny Summerell July 29, 2019
It is difficult to summarise my experience at The Yoga Forest, but I will try. I initially only signed up to do my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, but soon found myself also signing up for the 100 hour Sound Ceremony course. It was such an easy decision to make. What Saraswati, Jaya, all the staff and The Kula Collective are doing at the forest is nothing short of incredible. The attention to detail, commitment, presence, patience and love they give, is something I have never experienced before. I walked into the forest with bits an pieces of what I thought I was, with confidence issues, trauma, blocked creativity, lack of direction and severe emotional baggage. After spending 40 days living, breathing and learning from the forest and the beings that reside there, I left a free man, lighter, stronger, full of fire, creativity flowing, my traumas healed, going exactly where I need to go with nothing weighing me down. They say 'Find Yourself In The Forest'. I did just that and then get a whole lot more to come with it. I cannot recommend The Yoga Forest, The Kula Collective and Sound Ceremony enough. It has been by far, the most breathtaking, transformational experience of my life. I will forever be grateful for their teachings, guidance, love and support in bringing me closer to myself.
Cindy Brown July 29, 2019
This stunning location is pure, divine magic. I loved every moment at The Yoga Forest. I came here for the Sound Ceremony Immersion and it was incredibly transformative. It was the perfect balance of experiencing, learning, connection, and space. I would highly recommend this place and immersion experience to anyone! It was lovely being immersed in the forest on the mountain. Waking up to the sounds of nature and the view of the lake and the volcano was incredible! My room was cozy, the food was delicious, the staff were friendly and the yoga/ceremony spaces were perfect. I intend to return again!
VJ Bala July 26, 2019
The Yoga Forest is a magical place where one can live in harmony with nature, and grow in every way possible. There are three daily yoga classes of different types offered. Weekly Cacao and Sound Baths. The wellness team is incredible (if you are into massages). The food is made by the most incredible women local to the area. Most of all the views the views the views! You will never get bored of waking up to the incredible views of the volcanoes and Lake Atitlan. I highly recommend this venue for those who are looking for a personal retreat Or ... if you wanted to, you could also join several organized retreats they offer there (all their retreats are mentioned in their website). Follow @theyogaforest to keep getting updates. You will never forget your time at The Yoga Forest!
Jessica King June 26, 2019
I've held 3 retreats at the Yoga Forest now. Since the first time I went, they've built new beautiful private forest cabins, which I love. The yoga shalas are both beautiful and my group really enjoyed having access to both of them. The staff is always changing because it's a volunteer exchange, but most of the time the people are very lovely and welcoming. Ricardo, who is the current manager was super helpful and accommodating. The food is amazingggg and I always leave feeling very healthy and nourished. There are a ton of stairs around the property so this is not the place for people with knee injuries, but if you can manage, it really is such a wonderful, rustic retreat destination. Prepare to be fully surrounded in pure Guatemalan beauty and nature!
Degroote Clémentine May 17, 2019
I really enjoyed my stay in yoga forest ! The view is amazing, the food is fresh and absolutely divine and the yoga classes top level. The atmosphere is restorative with beautifull people working there. Thanks for your nice energy.
Valentine de Lagarde May 11, 2019
It was all I expected: beautiful, peaceful and full of energy. The people from the health team were really nice and enjoying yoga in that environment is priceless.
Rachel Vinciguerra May 08, 2019
I had an incredible retreat at The Yoga Forest. I went for a personal wellness retreat with a friend and we stayed in a 4-person cabana for four nights. We started the day with meditation, had three yoga classes throughout the day ranging from vinyasa flow to yin and more hatha-influenced. All of the folks at Forest were kind and helpful and it was clear that they were all yoga practitioners in the full sense of the word (beyond just physical asanas). The food was AMAZING, all fresh and local and they easily accommodated me as a celiac (gluten-free). We blessed our food at each meal before sharing together which allowed me to be more mindful as I was eating. Kirtan was held on Tuesday and it was a really incredible community experience to sing and chant with other community members led by Hailey and Jaia who helped create a very positive, inclusive, joyful atmosphere. We also had the privilege of taking part in a Cacao and Sound Ceremony on our last night led by Jaia. He explained the history and cultural roots of the Cacao ceremony as we took part and the sound landscapes he created with a variety of instruments from around the world was unlike anything I've experienced in previous sound ceremonies. I also had a massage treatment while I was there. When we arrived, one of the wellness staff had a consultation with us to self-evaluate our balance (physical, spiritual, emotional, mental) and then recommend treatment options. They did not pressure us to choose anything, but I decided to get a massage because the prices were so affordable. Patti did my massage and integrated yoga and breath work into the massage along with various massage techniques. Overall, just a wonderful experience. I am so glad I chose to do my retreat here. I did my 200-hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India last year and thought the teachers and The Yoga Forest, in general, were very true to the origins of yogic philosophy and practice I learned there while simultaneously paying tribute to indigenous Guatemalan history and culture. I learned a lot in just a short time there and look forward to going back.
Cleo Brooks May 07, 2019
I loved this little retreat high up above the lake. Great location, stunning views of the lake, comfy beds and lots of hammocks. Nourishing yoga and vegetarian food to die for...i would love to visit again sometime ❤
Doris Puzdeux April 26, 2019
I booked a 3 nights stay at the yoga Forest and ended up staying 2 more nights as my time was so good ! A great team, very welcoming atmosphere, everything here is perfect from the food to the quality of the yoga lessons ! I highly recommend !
Alexander Musiol April 24, 2019
I have stayed 11 days at the Yogaforest forest in April 2019. I really loved the whole experience and I really went through change during my stay. All my activities helped me challenge my opinions, viewpoints etc. and eventually connect better to myself again. I feel much more alive and happy! Besides the daily lovely meals and Yoga classes , I have attended Kirtan, Sound and Cacao ceremonies and some wellness services like an abdominal massage. All staff are super nice, the Guatemalan ladies are just incredible in keeping everything tidy and preparing amazing food. Big thanks to Michelle & Michael for their time and help to discover myself again. Thanks to Nea for her amazing Yin Yoga classes and her infectious positive smiling attitude. Thanks for amazing yoga classes, Pati & Ricardo & Blue. ( I will not forget your signature classes, Blue ;) brriiii) Thanks to Haley and Jaya, in creating such a nice space that can help people to transform, rejuvenate or grow. Namaste Alex
Stephanie Kittell April 06, 2019
THE YOGA FOREST is perfectly situated to hold space for rest, relaxation, communion with Nature, nourishment of body-mind-spirit, creative inspiration, and deep transformational work. Nestled in a permaculture food forest, amidst the volcanoes of Lake Atitlan, with an epic view - The Yoga Forest is built upon integrity, love, and respect for Mother Nature’s rhythms. It is felt in every detail. I’ve been back twice for retreat experiences (Release & Manifest / Sound Ceremony Training), and also spent some days there in personal retreat. While the steep footpath up the hills from San Marcos, compost toilets, outdoor shower, and absence of wifi and electricity in the accommodations may deter some from visiting the Forest - for me it was the perfect opportunity to disconnect from the busyness of modern life, and reconnect with the deep wisdom of the forest. I feel lovingly held here, but not coddled. The perfect blend of cozy comforts and spaciousness to step outside of my comfort zones. Oh, and the food - deliciously plant-powered nutrition! Yum! I can’t wait to return!
Madison Levine March 20, 2019
From the moment I arrived, I knew the yoga forest was special. The energy of the place and the staff is incredible. The location is so peaceful and the views are breathtaking. The food is outstanding. Home made breakfast lunch and dinner with lots of variety. The beds and comforters were very comfortable and cozy. The bathrooms are compost but you get used to it quickly and actually enjoy not having to flush. The yoga is amazing! Challenging yet beginners can do it. The teachers give great modifications if you want to pick it up a pace or slow it down. The actually staff are the best! They are available to answer any questions and are true healers. I got two massages and a reiki session and they were outstanding!! The massage cured my neck. The other people who were at the retreat were also so kind and open hearted. Most were around my age 25-35 and had great and positive vibes. I can’t wait to go back to the yoga forest!!
Sarah Rolf S Macher March 18, 2019
I’ve spent 4 nights for a personal retreat at the Yoga Forest. The minute I arrived I felt that I had to extend my stay for one night. All about the Yoga Forest is simply extraordinary! The staff was so lovely, Ricardo (manager) was always open for inquiries/questions etc. I had a very relaxing and at the same time intense massage as well as a Reiki session. During my time there I didn’t want to go down to St Marcos simply because it was so relaxed up in the forest and everything I needed was there. Food was soooo good for each and every meal!! Would go back in a heartbeat and will recommend to everyone who wants to hear it 😊
Don Ely March 15, 2019
The yoga Forrest is a mostly quiet and serene facility. I enjoyed the cool mornings and mild afternoons. Lot of climbing and descending! 😎 The staff was kind and helpful! One criticism is that it appeared to be chaotic at times with people stopping by or new groups coming. A manual of sorts would be nice to give users perntent info on the foods Forrest. Meals , restrooms, yoga studios etc. overall I enjoyed my time there. Don Ely
Maja Suzyamora March 06, 2019
I arrived at the forest greeted by many teachers students and happy staff. The vibe was very chill in the community space, it gave me so much opritunity to relax, read, mingle and journal. The food was AMAZING all vegetarian/vegan and i didnt even notice (as a meat eater). All the food was fresh and colorful cooked by the very lovely and nice ladies in the kitchen. The yoga chalas were so beautiful, so amazing to do yoga with a view of the lake and mountains surrounding us. This retreat space is very close to nature which i enjoyed a lot. If you expect hot showers and electricity around the clock this is not the experience for you. Expect to be immersed in the nature around you, it truly is beautiful. Im would love to stay and enjoy this blissful natural space again soon🌟
Lena Brandt March 05, 2019
Oh my. I can hardly find the words to describe this unique experience at this magical place with the most wonderful, loving people from Kula Collective and from all over the world who quickly became family. Every part of this retreat was carefully planned and facilitated with so much love. They created the most wonderful safe container for us to reflect, release, manifest, grow and expand. This retreat really changed my life in many ways - as cheesy as this might sound but it‘s the truth. I take so many little and big things home with me. I am forever grateful for the time and so deeply in love with each one of the facilitators and participants. Thanks for sharing all of this with me, for creating space, holding space, taking my hand, teaching me, guiding me and lifting me up to meet my highest self. Being part of a community where you can grow, evolve, awaken side by side with so much love, laughter and light(ness) means the world. I am endlessly happy and thankful to have joined the movement and can‘t wait to see where it will take us all.
Ne Tte March 04, 2019
I signed up to come to the Yoga Forest for a few days of recentering and yoga at the end of a month in Guatemala. I expected to love the scenery and hopefully the yoga instructors and the lodging and food. These all highly exceeded my expectations. The premises are immaculate and felt like a tropical paradise. The dorm style room I shared was perfectly clean and welcoming and homey, and I even had the room to myself two of the nights. The food was delicious, healthy and nourishing. The yoga instructors were amazing - personally accommodating during classes with adjustments and advice, a wide range between restorative yin and asthanga and acro and vinyasa. But the part which exceeded my expectations the most was the community I found here. During my 5 days, those other guests who were staying at the Yoga Forest and the teachers formed a mini family/community and made my stay here go from wonderful to amazing. We played games, went on adventures, laughed during yoga classes and after just a few days we already felt like lifelong friends. That's the magic of the Yoga Forest. Already can't wait to come back some day.
Yasmine Zweifel March 04, 2019
We experienced a wonderful week at the Yoga Forest. This place is magical, with a view over the Lake Atitlan and the volcanoes. Our four facilitators helped us to have a beautiful experience with the medicine plants. They guided us through the week with a lot of love and music. And the food was also perfect! Cooked with love and local products. The combination of Yoga and Shamanism was really good. It was nice that we learned a lot about different spiritual techniques. We definitely recommend the retreat!
Andrane De Barry February 16, 2019
I had the best time at the Yoga Forest, this magical place, full of good vibes and good people ! Really enjoyed the yoga lessons of Pati, Claudio, Michele, and especially the one of Ricardo with the guitar play and sing at the end ;) I enjoyed the Sankri (is that the name ? the chantings) with everyone, the massage with Molly and the ones of Pati. Thank you to all the team, and especially the kitchen team for the amazing food .... so yummy hehe !! I also loved so much the little private cabana I stayed in, with the amazing view on the lake. A bliss ! I will go back :)
Sonya Morano February 16, 2019
My partner and I highly recommend The Yoga Forest for a soulcentric, soul nourishing, highly invigorating, deeply grounding experience. A place to unplug and connect deeply to both nature and community. Expect a sacred space full of soul nourishing modalities. We enjoyed a sound healing ceremony, kirtan, energy work, intutive massage, daily variety of yoga classes , rock climbing, SUP, and more. This place is extra juicy because it is a permaculture! Beautiful outdoor showers and the best view of lake atitlan and volcanoes when you use the compost toilet😂 You are surrounded by fruit and coffee trees, veggie gardens, happy chickens, and the vegetarian food the lovely local women prepare is delicious! We communed with so many radiant people from all around the world every day. You are in for a wholehearted treat.
Peter Craig February 13, 2019
From beginning to end, everything about this place was magical. I felt warmly greeted upon arrival, and appreciated the staff making an effort to connect throughout the trip. I enjoyed the healthy and delicious meals, high quality yoga, amazing views, and meeting interesting people from around the world. The cabin had a good energy but was very basic. Disclaimer: it's a 15 minute hike from town that goes uphill but it's well worth it if you know that's what you're getting into. Thanks again Yoga Forest! :)
Lauren morris January 13, 2019
I have to say I was disappointed with my stay at yoga forest. The experience didn't match up to the website... I chose it as a place to do a personal retreat, as it looked like a very heart-centred, holding space. I experienced the opposite. I was there over Xmas day, and no effort was made for the guests. The food was basic and they didn't cater for vegans on this day. I booked a cabin, to be told on arrival, I was staying in a private tent. The bed sheets were dirty and the tent was not fully secured down, so I couldn't sleep in it on windy nights. Luckily the manager offered me another room, after notifying him. Many people were getting sick there (perhaps from food served outside, I don't know) and there were armed robberies happening near by. Although yoga forest has security, and our safety is our responsibility, I still think that a host has a duty to notify people of things that are happening around the property/ area. The same goes for sickness. It would be decent of the retreat centre to inform first timers to Guatemala of useful facts such as not swimming in the lake or walking alone at dark. It would have been nice to see some concern/ interest in the sick guests also. It's a beautiful location, with beautiful views, but I personally felt too isolated from the town. I also didn't experience a friendly welcome and it just felt a bit stressy, ungrounded and disorganised the whole time. Wouldn't recommend, it was an unfortunate introduction to the lake.
Rita Clipperton January 10, 2019
I was nervous to attend this retreat, because I knew for me it would be a deep dive, with a group of people I had not yet met. The offer of a safe place, with support and guidance called me, and what I found was so much more than I could think to ask for. The trust I approached with continued to grow, as I was met with love, careful facilitation and skill, beautiful ceremony and presence of spirit, held space, and lots more love. I was able to surrender and release what I hoped to, in a profound way that has allowed beautiful transformation. I have only just returned home, seeing more clearly. How things will manifest is unknown, but I’m finding that much of what I asked for is here already, and I just needed to allow some things to move out of the way. I’m grateful. I love this journey. We ARE love!
Jason Bangma December 27, 2018
This retreat was nothing short of amazing and forever life changing!! The location has been carved out of the cliffs of heaven with cabins tucked away amongst the forest with views that are undescribable. The facilitators have a tremendous capacity to hold space which allowed me to comfortably and easily drop deep into the whole experience. I recommend this retreat to anyone who has the desire to make a positive shift into the direction of their great dreams and true purpose in life.
Stephanie Kittell December 21, 2018
The Yoga Forest is perfectly situated for transformation of body-mind-spirit. Nestled in the hills of San Marcos, surrounded by volcanoes, with an eagle's view of Lago De Atitlan, this is a perfect place to unplug and re-connect with the nature within. Delicious vegan / vegetarian food, outstanding coffee, expertly programmed retreats and offerings. Feeling nourished, held, supported, and challenged in all the necessary ways for my souls' evolution. The community vibe is incredible. Seekers from all over the world come together here in union. A true gift. I will return soon! With love, Stephanie Kittell
Makaela Bamonti December 06, 2018
I finished my 300hr YTT with Kula Collective at the Yoga Forest this past November and I am transformed and exploding with love and light. Not only did I learn SO much about how to be the best yoga teacher I can be, I also learned so much about myself and the person I want to be. The community, the openness, and the LOVE is real and so necessary in this world today... I highly recommend Kula Collective to anyone ready to become Whole again! If you’re reading this and find it helpful and want to experience Kula for yourself, use my discount code “bloomyogi” :) AHO! - Makaela Bamonti
Costanza Sibio October 26, 2018
A place where you can disconnect from everything to be able to reconnect with yourself through the beauty of nature, tranquility and silence, the practice of yoga and meditation, massages ... there are many activities organized for guests like the Temazcal , the Kirtan cerimony, the ecstatic dance, essential oils workshop ... all this to make new experiences and get rich on a human level. Beautiful location built with love and respect for nature; very professional, friendly and helpful staff; very competent yoga teachers and therapists; high quality vegetarian food. A community of authentic people who carry on a healthy lifestyle and want to share their positive message with the world. Thank you!
Mariajo Aceña October 15, 2018
Soy guatemalteca y he viajado mucho por mi país pero acabo de descubrir este lugar espectacular Yoga Forest Me gustó tanto que decidí darme un autoregalo de cumpleaños e irme a un retiro de 4 días. Fue lo mejor que pude hacer pues fue un regalo para mi cuerpo y mi espíritu . Muy linda la gente, hermoso lugar para convivir con la naturaleza silvestre la comida excelente y sana y las clases muy buenas. Pocos guatemaltecos visitan este lugar pero es un privilegio tenerlo en nuestro país. Invito a que salgan de los paseos comunes y prueben venir unos días acá. Saldrán renovados !