Top Guatemala Retreats

Adventure For Your Creative Soul Writing, Art, Yoga Retreat - Guatemala

Event Highlights

  • Inspiring lakefront location with expansive volcano views
  • Daily yoga or movement practices
  • Creative circles - writing, visual art, and more
  • Co-facilitated with Marianne Richmond, best-selling children’s book author/artist
  • Scenic thatch-roofed yoga temple & writing space
  • 5 nights stay in shared or private accommodation
  • 3 delicious organic vegetarian meals/day and juice bar
  • Sacred Ceremonies - sound, Mayan fire, and more
  • One cultural and one active lake excursion
  • Solar hot tub and on-site spa services
  • Breaks for swimming, massage therapies, sauna, relaxing
  • Intimate Women's Gathering: Maximum of 12 participants


Guests arrive on Sunday, April 26th afternoon to relax and settle in. We'll open our circle in the evening after dinner. Our daily flow will begin on Monday, April 27th.

Here's a sample of what our schedule will be like:

7:00-8:30 Meditation/Yoga or Movement
8:30 Delicious Breakfast
10.00-1.00 Creative Circle (Art, Writing) or Lake Excursion
1:00 Delicious Lunch & Free Time
4:00-6.30 Creative Circle (Art, Writing, or eg. Voice)
6.30 - 7.30 Delicious Dinner
7.30 -9:30 Evening Ceremony or Circle (some nights)

Meals are vegetarian and gourmet. 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, receive a spa treatment, dip in the solar hot tub & pools on daily breaks. On two days, we'll include a morning excursion and return for afternoon creative circle or ceremony.

You will also participate in ceremonies with guest facilitators as we deepen our connection to Spirit - such as Sound Healing, Mayan Fire, Cacao and Movement or Dance.

Guests are advised to fly into Guatemala City by 1pm on April 26th and book return flights for late afternoon on May 1st or the following day. We can provide hotel recommendations for stays in Antigua or near the airport before or after the retreat.

About This Event

Join us for this new 2020 spring offering, co-facilitated by bestselling author Marianne Richmond, creator of more than 50 children's books! Take your creative soul on a trip to the exceptional volcanic beauty of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. Bathe in the inspiration of mountains and lakeside atmosphere as we gather for a week of multi-faceted creative expression in a women's circle, alongside cultural and active exploration in this spectacular location. 

During this retreat, we’ll loosen resistance, expand awareness and experience the lightness of spontaneous soul play We’ll practice meditation, yoga and dance. We'll express through writing and visual art and more. We'll gather for diverse ceremonies and enjoy excursions on the lake.
No experience is required and all levels are welcome. Together we’ll re-ignite and embolden the creative spirit that lives within each of us - restoring our sense of clarity, connection, and vitality.
Retreat Intention

How often have we blocked our own expression? Held our tongue? Hushed the muse? How many times have we dismissed ourselves as “not creative”? Or been too intimidated by a creative project to start?
How often do you allow yourself to play in spontaneous creative flow? Have you ever taken a trip solely to reconnect with your inherent creative essence?  

We can easily make — and often do — everything more important than allowing space for creativity. But our creative soul still yearns, beckoning our awareness to be heard, nourished and expressed. When we mute or dismiss our creative longing, we block divine life energy - feeling closed, dull and contracted. When we embrace it, we become more open, bright, curious and expansive.

In this women's retreat, you will:

Gather with a beautiful circle of inspiring women who value truth, vulnerability, laughter and connection.

Loosen the blocks that have separated you from your creative flow. Invite back the joy of creativity.

Reconnect with your intuition through presence and play.

Open your energetic channels to insight, inspiration and freedom through meditation, writing and art.

Discover how to move with the muse, as you animate your body through yoga and dance. 

Remember your innate and embodied creativity. 

Deepen your connection to your inner space of peace through participation in ceremonies. 

Explore the exceptional beauty of Lake Atitlan by boat, on foot and in kayak, if you like. 

Return to your life inspired by your self-discovery, creative expansiveness and in awe of the magic that unfolds when women circle together.

Your Facilitators:

Bestselling author Marianne Richmond, creator of more than 50 children's books, and Aimee Hansen, creator of Storyteller Within Retreats, will co-facilitate this inspiring retreat, alongside other guest facilitators that will join through the week.
Aimee reached out to Marianne years ago and we connected through a mutual appreciation for creativity, emotion and heart-led expression. We are excited to co-create magic with you in this place Aimee calls home!

"If you're alive, you're a creative person." - Elizabeth Gilbert “Yes, I believe self-expression is the soul made visible.” - Marianne Richmond

What's Included

  • - Daily yoga or movement practice
  • - Daily creative circles (writing, visual art, voice)
  • - 5 nights accommodation at Villa Sumaya
  • - Delicious vegetarian breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • - Unlimited tea/coffee service
  • - Sacred healing ceremonies (eg. Mayan Fire Ceremony, Sound Healing, Cacao, Dance)
  • - Use of swimming pool & solar hot tub
  • - Cultural excursion & active excursion
  • - Base gratuities for the local indigenous staff
  • - All Taxes

What's Not Included

- Additional options:​
Spa treatments, massages,($75/hour or $100/1.5 hours) or private saunas ($30)
Meal supplements (fish, chicken $7), alcohol
WIFI ($20 week)
- Flights & transport to the retreat
- Travel insurance (strongly recommended)

Venue Highlights

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. It's also famous as a writer's and artist's haven.

Resting in a secluded lakeside cove, Villa Sumaya is an eco-chic sanctuary dedicated to rejuvenation, holistic practices, and preserving Mayan tradition. Guests will stay in the Lotus House and we will gather to elevated volcano views in Tara Temple.

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.


Retreat guests will be staying in the gorgeous lake-view accommodation of the Lotus House.

Lotus House is a beautifully designed three-level building with very comfortable rooms that are elegantly decorated with exquisite local touches and furnishings. Tara Temple is on the top floor.

All of the Lotus House rooms have private bathrooms with hot stone showers and private balconies with exceptional lake views. They are centrally located near the courtyard, dining room, gardens and boutique. Triples, doubles and privates are all available. All rooms involve some stairs.


  • Spa
  • Sauna
  • Pool
  • Towels
  • Tour Assistance
  • Hot Tub
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Cafe
  • Restaurant
  • Yoga Studio
  • Ceremony Space

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Pescetarian
  • Ayurvedic
  • Meat
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free


Meals are vegetarian and gourmet. Chicken/fish ($7 extra per meal) and alcohol can be added to meals at your discretion. Many guests tend to purchase the Villa Sumaya cookbook PDF after spending time at the venue.


The 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.

If you'd like to spend time in Guatemala before or after the retreat, we can provide hotel recommendations for your stay near the airport or in Antigua. It can be beautiful to enjoy a little stay in Antigua.

Once we have your travel plans, we can happily arrange your private transportation to Villa Sumaya from the airport, hotels nearby, or from Antigua.

Private shuttles are $100 - $15/25 per person, depending on how many other guests you are sharing with. We can coordinate with other guests with arrivals or pick-ups at similar times.

The private shuttle will pick you up from the airport or your hotel for the three hour journey to Panajachel, where it will bring you to the boat dock.

From the dock in Panajachel, we can pre-arrange the a private boat ride for $25-$5/per person, depending on how many guests you are sharing with. You can easily get a public boat to the Villa Sumaya dock too (15 quetzals, or $3). The ride is fifteen minutes.

art cacao ceremony creativity dance nature writing yoga

Reviews     To review this event, visit the page for the venue or retreat leaders (above).

  • Samantha Turner   March 11, 2020

      Trip of a Lifetime

    Lake Atitlan is a magical place, and Villa Sumaya increased the joy of my stay tenfold. Incredible service, amazing food, and a staff of therapists and guides that I don't think you'll find anywhere else on the planet. Where else can you swim in a gorgeous lake at dawn, do yoga to start the day, hike, paddleboard or kayak after a meal made of every colour of the rainbow, have an astrology reading with the wizard on the hill, a meditative massage, or a sweat lodge ceremony in the afternoon, meditation at dusk, and then have the best sleep of your life? I'm coming back. Worth every quetzal :)

  • Jeannette Mueller   March 11, 2020

      A week to remember

    Villa Sumaya was my first experience leading and coordinating a retreat. Although there were miscommunications along the way and during the retreat the overall experience was great. Everyone loved the food, the rooms were clean and comfortable, an incredible view of the lake, friendly staff (we loved Jorge!) and a truly incredible family of healers. I was in awe after my sessions with Paula, Nirguna and Robert, and Thomas' ceremonies touch the hearts of all in our group. Alex who led our hikes was great, and if you have a chance to venture to Tzununa for the day there is an amazing permaculture farm called Atitlan Organics owned by Shad who is a wealth of knowledge. If you are interested in regenerative living its a great adage to any retreat. I'd love to see Villa Sumaya and Atitlan Organics collaborate more

  • Grāyson Waddington   March 08, 2020


    Such an incredible time had at Villa Sumaya in March 2020 ! I was part of a small group on a yoga retreat for my first trip to Guatemala and it is by far the most fulfilling, rewarding, and memorable vacation I've had! Food (vegan-friendly) was ALL incredible; staff incredibly helpful and accommodating; rooms well taken care of, clean, and tidy; services provided all memorable and life-changing; views and landscapes beautiful and unforgettable (several pictures taken). Waking up at sunrise and jumping into the most beautiful lake I've ever visited (outside of Canada) is the best way to wake up ever! Overall, an incredible experience that I would happily repeat if I am to return to Lake Atitlan, Guatemala ! All the best to Villa Sumaya and its future visitors!

  • Barbara   March 05, 2020

      Excellent Stay- feel Rejuvenated

    I can absolutely say I had wonder time in Villa Sumaya. Staff was friendly and Bilingual. This is a retreat center not a hotel. My room was simple but clean. My bed and pillows were comfortable. I was worried about not having enough activities scheduled throughout the day, I did have to add a couple more (it was additional). I was only there for 3 days personal retreat. I took yoga classes, had a massage, did the cacao ceremony, sweat lodge, and I also had an astrological reading done. The food was excellent. I can't wait to return. :)

  • Linsey Anne Twigg   February 14, 2020

      Fabulous stay, beauty beyond compare

    This place is amazing; it’s enchanting, the food is incredible and the staff are amazing.

  • Virginie Boudreau   January 21, 2020

      Perfect hideaway

    The spot is perfect. The view, the silence at night, the room comfort, the yoga room, the nature... I had the individual yoga retreat with Paola who is the best, talented yoga teacher and also gives the sweat ceremony she knows from het Mexican background and also Mayan cacao ceremony. The vegetarian food is good and the Mayan people who work there are so kind. I recommend it for a beautiful and peaceful retreat.

  • Sydney Bergen   January 11, 2020

      A magical paradise

    I had the best stay at Villa sumaya. The staff were so friendly and accommodating , the meals were fresh, healthy and deliciously unique , the location is divine- private with access to hiking and directly on the lake , the body workers all had a specific niche and I enjoyed my treatments immensely! I love that it integrated local culture with comfort and cultivated a sense of community with all staying here. I highly recommend and hope to come back soon!

  • Sydney Bergen   January 11, 2020

      A magical paradise

    I had the best stay at Villa sumaya. The staff were so friendly and accommodating , the meals were fresh, healthy and deliciously unique , the location is divine- private with access to hiking and directly on the lake , the body workers all had a specific niche and I enjoyed my treatments immensely! I love that it integrated local culture with comfort and cultivated a sense of community with all staying here. I highly recommend and hope to come back soon!

  • Frannie James   January 08, 2020

      Ten Stars!!!

    Beautiful space! I was in a triple room, and it was fantastic - comfortable, cozy, clean AND fantastic view of the lake. I think all of the rooms have views of the lake, which is absolutely magical. The meals were fantastic - was asked at the end of my week to identify my least favorite meal and couldn't come up with an answer. The staff is super helpful and friendly. Overall, I can't think of a single thing that could be improved! Namaste, Villa Sumaya.

  • Ananda Yogiji   December 22, 2019


    We led a retreat here and it was wonderful. The lodging, food, location and staff are top notch. Highly recommend!

  • Adrian Gianforti   December 03, 2019

      Villa Sumaya Stay Thanksgiving Weekend

    I had a wonderful time at Villa Sumaya and would absolutely return. The only thing I'd change is staying longer considering Lake Atitlan can be tough to get to from Guatemala City airport and three days there was not nearly enough time. I appreciate the service staff's help and guidance during my time there. The food was INCREDIBLE as well! Absolutely worth mentioning.

  • Whitney Dupuis   November 09, 2019

      Most amazing place on earth!

    Villa Sumaya truly is the most amazing place I have ever been. The people, the lake, the rooms, the food, the energy, the gardens, the healers, the animals.....the list goes on. EVERYTHING about this place is beautiful. If you are even remotely thinking of visiting...It is a must!

  • Jennifer   October 28, 2019


    I was recently at Villa Sumaya for a Vinyasa yoga retreat, and it was an incredible experience. Villa Sumaya accommodations were amazing, beyond my expectations. The accommodations were beautiful and clean, the staff was super nice and always helpful. The food was healthful and delicious. The view of the lake is unbelievable. It can be a long travel day to get to this little piece of heaven, but it was completely worth it. This is truly a special and magical place to be, I can't wait to visit again.

  • Anonymous   October 27, 2019

      Fantastic Village and retreat center

    My teaching partner and I hosted a retreat of 19 people here and it was fantastic. The village the retreat center is located on is my favorite on the lake and the retreat center is very organized and incredibly safe. The staff is amazing and there are so many great details that go into making the place a very beautiful and serene place to disconnect. We hope to be back next year!

  • Brooke Brownlow   October 01, 2019

      We loved it

    My sister and I found Villa Sumaya when looking for a yoga retreat. She flew from California and I flew from NC. We booked a shuttle with the center's recommended company, Kan Tours, which was great. My sister's flight was a little delayed and when we finally exited into the arrivals lounge, Elias from Kan Tours was there waiting for us. I was worried that the delay may cause him hassle, but no. The drive was a bit more than 3 hours from the airport with a 10m boat ride at the end from Panajchel to the retreat. This place is paradise, truly. The instant we arrived, we relaxed. Our stay included 2 yoga classes with Michelle (who is so sweet and wonderful, a great yoga teacher, too!) We also engaged in a sweat lodge with Paola (another amazing activity led by yet another caring, genuine, down to earth practitioner). All in all, we loved it. The staff are so lovely and the center so very beautiful and peaceful. Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention just how delicious the food was- every meal was a dance for your tastebuds! I'd recommend walking to Santa Cruz during your stay and visit CECAP, the work happening there is incredible and the high quality art and crafts one can find there are one of a kind. Really, if you want to unplug and get away from it all you'd be hard pressed to find something better than Villa Sumaya.

  • Ernesto Ortiz   January 22, 2015

      The Mirror of the Gods

    The mirror of the Gods I have been coming to Villa Sumaya for the past 10 years. I have gotten to know the owner and the employees quite well. Sometime I come with groups two times a year and I will continue coming again and again. Guatemala and Lake Atitlan are magical, the indigenous culture is strong and beautiful, that adds a lot for my group experience. Lake Atitlan is nicknamed The Mirror of the Gods, the name I give it is The Playground of the Gods. It is simply a magnificent location, a slice of paradise that you will fall in love with. Villa Sumaya is a refection of the spirituality and love of the owner for the land and the people. She has created a beautiful retreat center that nurtures your soul and your body. The Tara and Tiger temples are beautiful for any spiritual, yoga practice, The food is vegetarian and delicious, the rooms are perfect for a retreat place, many of them with majestic views of the lake and the volcanoes. The staff is friendly and always ready to help, it is uncommon to find one without a smile on their face. I highly recommend Villa Sumaya for a personal or a group retreat. You will absolutely love it. Ernesto Ortiz

  • Araminta Barbour   October 14, 2014

      Villa Sumaya Review

    Villa Sumaya is an incredibly beautiful & unique retreat space . It has been a delight to study and teach here. The staff are incredibly warm, helpful and talented and the temple spaces are inspiring and provide powerful containers for deep work. The rooms and bathrooms and all the spa features, gardens - EVERYTHING is brimming with attention to detail and love of beauty, elegance and colour. It is always such a joy to be at this magical lake!

Similar Retreats You Might Like

Thank you!

We're glad you've joined our retreat community. See you around :)

Return to my event ×

Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

Rest and inner calm. Karen

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.