About This Event
Join this intimate women’s retreat event, recommended by Lonely Planet Wellness Escapes, for self-exploration through writing, yoga, meditation, and sacred ceremonies. This women’s circle event is one of 17 “Inspired” global offerings featured in the Lonely Planet travel guide – for experiences that combine creativity, personal growth and culture.
Find yourself in a magical, luxury setting at Villa Sumaya on Lake Atitlan. Practice meditation and yoga as we look out over lake and volcanoes. Gather for raw, intimate expression with brave and beautiful women in a sacred writing circle. Indulge in fresh, delicious meals. Relax in a hammock. Take a swim. Join candle-lit ceremony. Fall asleep to the lull of the lake beneath watch of the stars.
A Sacred Women's Journey:
Breathe and relax into lakeside luxury as we gather for an inspiring and beautiful week beneath the watch of volcanoes. Join a circle of women in the spirit of reclamation for a creative inner adventure through meditation, yoga, self-exploratory writing, and sacred ceremonies at Villa Sumaya in Santa Cruz, Guatemala.
You are invited to take a brave and honest journey into your center to connect with your intuition and express from your core. Created for all women who want to reveal their own truths, connect to their intuition, re-ignite their soul voice, feel empowered in their self-expression (whatever form it takes), and be inspired as the courageous storyteller of their own lives…this retreat is a gathering of women in the spirit of reclamation.
This retreat is not about ‘writing’ as a subject or art form. Every woman has a voice in her own life – we are gathering together to raise it up and own our self-expression. The Sacred Expression Women's Retreat has been listed among the top five recommendations for 'Incredible Writing Retreats to Attend' for three years in a row (2018, 2017, 2016) by The Write Life.
Cradled by rural highlands and lush forests, Lake Atitlan is a breathtaking beauty framed by three majestic volcanoes. The lake is known to attract travelers in search of soulful reconnection. Resting in a secluded lakeside cove, Villa Sumaya is an eco-chic sanctuary dedicated to rejuvenation, holistic practices, and preserving Mayan tradition.
This gorgeous location offers expansive views, inviting and comfortable accommodation, delicious and nurturing slow-food meals, juice bar cafe, on-site spa, solar hot tub, fair-trade boutique and wood-burning sauna in unparalleled natural surroundings. Villa Sumaya is an eco-friendly wellness center perfect for self-care, refreshing perspectives and renewing energies.
More Retreat Program Details:
Call in the four directions & feminine energy:
The four directions (embodied by the serpent, the jaguar, the hummingbird, and the eagle) provide a thematic framework to inspire our sacred journey. They beckon you to an adventure of higher levels of perception and connection, to detach from self-limiting stories and come back to your heart and your courage.
You are inspired to become more aware of how you influence your reality. You are invited to envision your life into greater beauty. You will plunge deeper into the center of your wild, knowing and beautiful feminine nature, calling her to rise in strength as we journey.
Meditate & practice yoga in nature:
With daily guided meditation and yoga, you reconnect with the direct sensory experiences of your breath and your body, and become increasingly aware of the power and influence of the energy you bring to each moment.
Meditation and yoga support you to reach beyond your daily thoughts and become more present to the moment and to yourself. Through stillness and movement, you listen deeper within, open up, and release.
Allow raw creative expression:
In our women's circle, we raise inner journey themes and work through them with dynamic, reflective, and creative self-exploratory writing exercises. In addition to verbal writing prompts, we may bring in movement, images, nature, or sound. You will find that prompted writing gives you a key inside, and somehow you are more able to sneak past your internal filters to unlock fierce personal truths and insights.
The circle provides a loving and encouraging space to free your inner voices, speak your experience, enliven your possibilities, spark your imagination, and connect more deeply to energies within and with each other. The alchemy is in the daring greatly - it's in the sharing.
Explore and open y(our) stories:
With raw expression, we will play at exploring the inner stories that constrain us and limit our perception, such as character roles we play, limiting beliefs we animate, narratives we create and recreate, and the words that entrap us. You will open the possibility to transcend these ‘creative blocks’ of your creative energy. You will practice giving your feelings form, putting them into motion and expression so they can transform.
You will play with the creativity of perspective, exploring how to rewrite your experiences, reclaim your narratives, and own your role as the storyteller of your life. You will let awe in and invite back mystery. As you explore your inner stories with honesty and compassion, you will feel your voice begin to emerge more authentic and true.
Gather in ceremony:
We participate in evening healing sessions (sound, movement) and ceremonies for renewing wise and wild guiding energy. These will complement the writing journey in reclaiming your heart and soul voice.
- Daily guided meditation & yoga
- Two self-exploratory writing circles on most days
- 8 nights accommodation at Villa Sumaya (double or private)
- Delicious vegetarian breakfast, lunch & dinner
- Unlimited tea/coffee service
- 3 sacred healing ceremonies (eg. Mayan, Sound, Dance)
- One group wood-burning sauna & jacuzzi
- Use of solar spa pools & swimming pool
- Gratituities for the local indigenous staff
- Additional options:optional excursions (approx $30-60 each)
- extra spa treatments, massages, or private saunas
- meal supplements (fish, chicken $7), alcohol
- WIFI access ($20 week)
- Flights & transport to & from the retreat
- Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
Payments, Cancellations, & Refunds Policy
A $600 deposit is required to reserve your space. The balance is required 30 days prior to the retreat start date.
If you cancel before 90 days in advance of the retreat start date: 50% of the deposit is refunded. If you cancel 90-61 days in advance of the event, no refund of the deposit is provided, unless your spot can be filled within contract, and then 50% of the deposit is refunded. If you cancel within 60 days of the retreat start date: No refund on full payment is provided. But if we can fill your spot within contract, we'll provide a refund minus the full deposit. No refund is provided if you miss the event or part of it for any reason.
Storyteller Within reserves the right to cancel any program at any time. Retreats have final confirmation on or before 60 days out. If an event is cancelled, you will be fully refunded your retreat fees. Nevertheless, Storyteller Within is not liable for events beyond all control - such as natural disasters, political upheaval, or other such unexpected circumstances - that would necessitate cancellation of the event.
“The power of this circle still gives me tingles. It is the power of togetherness, of shared adversity & joy. Of shared accomplishments and trials. Of reaching deep and sharing our own heart song. Of looking in each women’s face and knowing we belong.” (Maggie, January 2018)
- Inspiring lakefront location with expansive volcano views
- Daily meditation & yoga practice
- Two self-exploratory writing circles on most days
- Scenic lake-side thatch-roofed yoga temple & writing space
- 8 nights stay in shared or private accommodation
- 3 delicious organic vegetarian meals/day and juice bar
- 3 sacred healing ceremonies (eg. Mayan, Sound, Dance)
- Solar swimming pool, jacuzzi, hot tub and on-site spa services
- Breaks for swimming, hiking, kayaking, therapies, sauna, relaxing
- Optional excursions (village tour, adventure)
- Intimate group (maximum is 12 women)
ScheduleGuests arrive on Friday afternoon to relax and settle in. We'll open our circle in the evening after dinner. Our daily flow will begin on Saturday.
Here's a sample schedule, which may change.
Please note on two days, we will have only one writing circle to allow some space for excursions.
7:15-9:00 Meditation & Holistic Hatha Flow/Vinyasa Flow
9:00 Delicious Breakfast
10.00-1.00 Sacred Expression Writing Circle/Discussion
1:00-4.00 Delicious Lunch & Free Time
4:00-6.30 Sacred Expression Writing Circle/Discussion
6.30 - 7.30 Delicious Dinner
7.45 Sauna, Circle, Healing Ceremonies (some evenings)
Delicious meals are vegetarian. Chicken/fish ($7 extra per meal) and alcohol can be added to meals at your discretion.
Relax in a hammock and enjoy the views, swim in the lake, do a meditative walk on nature trails, receive a spa treatment, dip in the solar hot tub & pools, or detox in the sauna in daily breaks.
On two days, we'll hold longer breaks and offer optional group excursions - visits to villages or adventure options.
Venue HighlightsLakeside luxury in exclusive cove with volcano views
Scenic lake-side thatch-roofed yoga temple & writing space
Private/double rooms with en-suite bathrooms and outdoor verandas
Swimming pool, solar hot tub, jacuzzi & sauna available
On-site Green Goddess juice bar and drinks bar
24/7 coffee and tea selections bar
Gorgeous gardens with many hammocks, couches & nooks to relax
On-site spa services and range of treatments available
Hiking, kayaking and excursion opportunities
AccommodationsVilla Sumaya is located on the shores of Lake Atitlan, outside of Santa Cruz La Laguna, with a private dock accessible by boat. Lake Atitlan is famed to hold a magnetic attraction for those travelers who seek to gain a deeper connection with nature and within. The magical waters are framed by three sister volcanoes: Atitlán (11,598 ft), Toliman (10,360 ft) and San Pedro (9,908 ft), which create a panoramic vista from Villa Sumaya. The lake is dotted with small villages with local inhabitants of Mayan descent.
Retreat guests will be staying in the beautiful rooms of the Maya Rose house or Ginger Suites 8 or 18.
Maya Rose is a ranch style house with six unique rooms in a row, each varying in size and having its own unique touches of colorful decor. All of the Maya Rose rooms have private bathrooms with hot showers and outdoor patios with exceptional lake views. They are centrally located near the courtyard, dining room, gardens, and boutique.
The Ginger Suites are Villa Sumaya's most luxurious accommodation. Each suite features majestic lake-view balconies, elegant antique furnishings and modern stylized bathrooms. The Ginger Suites involve stairs so are not suitable for anyone with mobility issues.
Once all bookings are in, we will assign the rooms, doing our best to accommodate preferences.
- Tour Assistance
- Hot Tub
- Yoga Studio
- Gluten Free
Menu/CuisineEmbracing the values of slow-food preparation and culinary consciousness, Cafe Sumaya Sol offers delcious homemade vegetarian meals that blend local and international cuisine.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets are abundant and fish and chicken are available for an additional fee ($7/meal). Organic artisan coffee and a wide selection of herbal teas are available 24/7.
You can also treat yourself to exotic smoothies, kombucha, wine or cocktails, and raw homemade snacks and treats.
DirectionsThe closest international airport to Lake Atitlan is Guatemala City La Aurora International Airport, three hours away from Panajachel on Lake Atitlan. From Panajachel, it's a ten minute scenic boat ride to the private dock at Villa Sumaya.
Guests are advised to fly into La Aurora Intl Guatemala City (GUA) by 1pm on the day retreat begins, and book return flights for mid/late afternoon on the day the retreat ends.
Once we have your travel plans, we can happily arrange your private transportation to Villa Sumaya from the airport, hotels nearby, or from Antigua.