Lake Atitlán is believed by the Maya to be the center of the universe; the place where God’s seeds of mankind evolved. They also believed that this majestic lake represents the belly button or manipura chakra of the Earth. In human beings the manipura chakra is located at the solar plexus. In both cases, the location on the earth and the place in the body are characterized by the element of fire which governs all processes of transformation. Cradled in the embrace of 3 majestic volcanoes, Lake Atitlán holds the potential for profound metamorphosis of mind, body and spirit. The deep caldera walls of the lake create a powerful inverse energy vortex perfectly suited for delving into our inner work. Here, you’ll be supported in finding a deeper connection to the heart of the Earth, and therefore, your own heart, which will allow the song of your soul to be clearly heard and wholeheartedly celebrated. We invite you to sink in, relax and reconnect in a sacred and inspiring setting that fosters complete rejuvenation and a genuine sense of inner peace.
“Incredible experience. Soulful and nourishing.” -Neelu
“This retreat was the most powerful and meaningful experience that I have had in a very long time.” -Ali
“Your retreat was one of the most rewarding and eye opening experiences of my life.” -Caitlin
To read more of what our guests have to say, click here.
Our week will be guided by and aligned with the pace of nature, rooted in yogic practices, and inspired by Mayan healing traditions as we seek to achieve a state of balance and renewal. We’ll begin with the setting of intention and inviting clarity of vision into our experience. As our time together unfolds, you’ll be guided to move joyfully and powerfully towards realizing these resolutions and expansions of Self while being nurtured by nature. In between gathering for yoga, meals or ceremony, there will be ample opportunities to take a dip in the lake or pool, soak in the hot tub, detox in the sauna, rejuvenate with a massage, lounge in a hammock or unwind in the many beautiful spaces dedicated to reflection and relaxation. One need never leave the property unless an optional excursion suits your fancy. If you wish to explore outside the retreat grounds, many choices abound, from visiting a local village, to kayaking and bird-watching, hiking volcanoes, ziplining or taking Spanish lessons. Our Concierge will be happy to assist you in scheduling tours and activities.
* All classes and activities are optional. Our program is designed to meet you where you’re at. We encourage you to participate in a way that best suits your body, mind and spirit. Practitioners of all levels are welcome, including those with no prior experience.
In the Sanskrit language, the word Sumaya means “long awaited dream come true,” and indeed, Villa Sumaya is the stuff dreams are made of. Nestled into a secluded lakefront cove on the stunningly beautiful shores of Lake Atitlán, Villa Sumaya rests upon 18 acres of sacred Mayan highlands and boasts panoramic views of a trio of spectacular volcanoes. The semi-tropical climate, lush and exotic vegetation and azure waters combine with the grandeur of the volcanoes to set the stage for what visitors describe as a true paradise. It’s an inspiring atmosphere in which the primordial power of nature allows you to let go of your cares, take a deep breath, and embrace the possibility of personal evolution. To add even more interest to this already dramatic landscape, there are twelve villages surrounding the lake, each with it’s own distinctive style, culture and traditions just waiting to be discovered. The beauty and magic of this very special place has sparked the imagination of many, so it comes as no surprise that it’s been featured in Yoga Journal magazine and Taschen’s quintessential book “Great Yoga Retreats.”
Within the grounds of Villa Sumaya, you’ll find everything you need for a supremely comfortable, convenient and relaxing stay, including well-appointed guest rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms and gorgeous lake views. The views from the the glassed-in dining room and open-air terrace are just as dazzling and take the retreat dining experience to new heights. A well curated, on-site boutique features an eclectic array of fair-trade handicrafts, apparel, accessories and other treasures made by Guatemalan artisans- perfect for finding just the right mementos and gifts for yourself and your loved ones. If you wish to pamper yourself, Villa Sumaya offers wide variety of world class spa services, including massage (Swedish, Thai, Ayurvedic, Esalen and deep tissue), reiki, reflexology, facials, nail services and ionic foot baths. For a detoxifying sweat, the wood-burning sauna can be reserved for a small charge.
Certified yoga instructor, Thai yoga massage therapist and CYR founder, Kim Wolff, will facilitate daily classes, providing gentle guidance and focused support while allowing space for each student to find their own connection to the practice. Soulful and playful by nature, Kim’s classes are based on Hatha yoga philosophy, postures, breathwork and the principles of Ayurveda. The experience is one that is intuitive, fluid and dynamic- designed to empower you in evolving your practice to the next level. Sessions can range from slow, deep stretching and therapeutic themes, to more challenging, vinyasa flow style classes. Guided meditations offer students an opportunity to experience a range of techniques emphasizing simple methods that can be integrated into daily life. Mantra and mudra are often incorporated to deepen the experience, while organic aromatherapy is used as a therapeutic tool to assist with balancing mind and moods. Stream of consciousness writing exercises along with journaling prompts assist students in gaining insight and providing simple actions to increase awareness of their inner Self. To view Kim’s full bio, click here.
We’ll gather for classes in the gorgeous lakefront studio which is designed to encourage a sense of ease and spaciousness in your practice. Morning sessions will be movement oriented, while evening sessions will emphasize a more meditative, restorative vibe and may include a combination of yoga, meditation, lecture, writing and storytelling. The yoga sanctuary’s eclectic décor, breathtaking views, thatched roof, elegant altar and a state-of-the-art sound system combine to create a beautiful space in which to explore and expand mind, body and spirit. All props needed to support your practice are supplied.
Xicoy, the Cacao Spirit, is one of the most playful spiritual guides in ancient Mayan cosmology. A traditional Mayan plant medicine, cacao induces an expansive, mood enhancing quality. It is used to uplift the spirit, open the heart, deepen focus, remove blockages and enhance awareness. Gathering in a sacred circle of celebration, we’ll partake in the ritual sharing of a cacao elixir- an experience that promotes a meditative, reflective state and inspires a profound sense of joy and heartfelt gratitude.
In the traditional Mayan day-count fire ceremony, beautiful offerings are created and consumed, invoking connectivity with source consciousness while prompting us to leave behind our conditioned concept of self and fueling the fire of our sacred life purpose. Resting in the stillness of the fire’s glow, we’re invited to lighten our load and soothe the scars resultant of life’s challenges, cultivating awareness and acceptance of the role we’ve played in the grand scheme of things.
A Chichimeca purification ceremony includes ritualized practices that connect us with Great Spirit and assist us in finding the power of our own unique voice while releasing all that no longer serves. In a traditional handcrafted lodge heated with hot stones and infused with medicinal plants, we’ll share sacred songs and specially prepared herbal tea to help clear and lift the emotional body, leaving you with a great sense of clarity of mind, openness of heart and physical renewal.
Meals at Villa Sumaya are lovingly prepared at Café Sumaya Sol and offer a culinary-conscious menu for slow food aficionados and eco-epicureans. A vegetarian-based, eclectic blend of local and international cuisine is created fresh daily from Guatemala’s cornucopia of fruit and vegetables. Breakfast includes a main dish, granola, yogurt, fruit and daily specials. Lunch features a hearty vegetarian main course, organic greens, homemade bread and a local fruit platter. Dinners consist of soup, a vegetarian entrée, seasonal side dishes, organic greens and a scrumptious dessert. Chicken and fish are also available at a small additional cost. All meals are enjoyed while taking in stunning views of the lake.
The Café Sumaya Sol kitchen specializes in raw homemade treats, including cacao bliss balls, fruit rolls, granola bars and savory sprouted flax crackers. Try the delicious, homemade cranberry biscotti or selection of hand-crafted chocolate confections. Baked goods are produced daily and the juice bar features exotic smoothies as well as a refreshing, home-brewed strawberry ginger kombucha. There’s also an extensive self-service hot beverage bar that offers over 30 varieties of tea along with a coffee bar featuring organic, artisan coffee from a local cooperative.
Villa Sumaya has been thriving in harmony with Mother Nature since 1999 in an effort to become an ecologically sustainable center that further enhances your experience. They apply permaculture principles, alternative energy technology, and ancient Mayan agricultural techniques to create a natural sanctuary that promotes a respectful interdependence with the Earth. They’ve designed and implemented several living permaculture projects to energize a model ecosystem with the intention of reconnecting individuals with a holistic understanding of sustainable living concepts in their own daily life. Some of the ongoing projects include a fruit orchard, food forest with vegetables, medicinal and culinary herbs, chickens that produce an abundance of organic eggs, an organic composting and recycling program and solar-assisted hot water for their guests’ rooms.
– 7 nights / 8 days en suite accommodation with lake views and patio seating
– 3 vibrant, prana-packed, vegetarian meals per day + unlimited coffee/tea/filtered water service
– Twice daily yoga and meditation sessions
– 3 Sacred Mayan ceremonies
– Full use of retreat grounds and complimentary amenities
– Free wifi throughout most of the center + use of 2 computers in the main office
– Concierge service to assist with organizing all your transportation, spa services, cultural outings + early arrival and/or extended stays
– All taxes
*Not included: airfare, airport transfers, Villa Sumaya staff gratuities, alcoholic beverages, optional activities and excursions
All rooms are beautifully appointed with warm, inviting décor, Guatemalan antiques, private baths, outdoor patios, amazing views of the lake and volcanoes, orthopedic beds and high-quality linens.