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**Recommended in Lonely Planet Wellness Escapes**

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Thursday, August 15 - Saturday, August  24, 2024:

Journey Into Sacred Expression Women's Retreat,
Villa Sumaya, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Rise from within and together with this Lonely Planet recommended women's writing retreat in a luxurious space on Lake Atitlan. Breathe and relax into lakeside comfort as we gather for a magical and soulful week beneath the watch of volcanoes.


Join a very intimate sacred circle of women in the spirit of reclamation for a creative inner adventure through meditation, yoga, movement, magical ceremonies and self-exploratory writing 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. To unravel the ways you have learned to limit or deny yourself. To trust, embrace and truly value your raw embodied presence and your truest soulful desires. Within each of us is the call to open our hearts, step further into our courage, expand our self-acceptance and animate our own sacred expression.

retreat highlights
  • Intimate Women's Gathering: Only 12 spaces available.

  • Inspiring lakefront location with expansive volcano views

  • Daily guided meditation & yoga/movement practice

  • Two intensive self-exploratory writing circles on most days 

  • Scenic lake-side thatch-roofed yoga temple & writing space

  • 9 nights stay in shared or private accommodation

  • 3 delicious organic vegetarian meals/day and juice bar

  • 4+ sacred healing ceremonies (eg. Mayan Fire Ceremony, Sound Healing, Movement, Sauna Ceremony)

  • Solar hot tub, on-site spa services, pool, sauna, jacuzzi

  • Breaks for swimming, hiking, kayaking, SUP, therapies, relaxing

  • Optional excursions (village tour, outdoor adventure)

"A circle of women may just be the most powerful force known to humanity. If you have one, embrace it. If you need one, seek it. If you find one, for the love of all that is good and holy, dive in. Hold on. Love it up. Get Naked. Let them see you. Let them hold you. Let your reluctant tears fall. Let yourself rise fierce and love gentle. You will be changed. The very fabric of your being will be altered by this, if you allow it. Please, please allow it."

Jeanette LeBlanc

Sacred Expression Women's Retreat
journey into sacred expression

Set out on a creative and powerful journey through daily meditation, yoga, movement and self-exploratory writing as a channel to reveal insight from within. Participate in diverse healing ceremonies that awaken your feminine energies and stoke your soul connection. 

Breathe, stretch, relax, and align with your center while sharing in the experience with other women. This retreat is not about ‘writing’ as a subject or art form. In this retreat, we ourselves are the art form. Every woman has a voice in her own life that calls her to expand into and from herself  – we are gathering together to raise it up, embrace our wholeness and allow our self-expression. When we stop earning our worth, listen within, embrace our essence, validate our truths and desires, and share ourselves from inspired action, we are invited into a wondrous and connective adventure in life. 

Infused by the four directions and rising the feminine, we embark on a revealing week of re-igniting the voices of our hearts and empowering ourselves as the fluid storytellers of our lives, as well as living into a self beyond the story. 

who is called to this circle?

This retreat in an open invitation for any woman who is looking for an opportunity to connect, explore and express. The women who find this circle are seeking to pause and reconnect with their center and own voice more clearly and deeply. In the circle, women often receive the clarity (and self-validation) of their inner knowing so they can move from the heart more freely and with trust.

Maybe you are in the middle of a big change or you feel like you're ready for something to change. Maybe you are ending something or beginning something, or you feel like you're coming upon a crossroads in your life. Maybe you are simply drawn to writing or you love the journey of self-reflection. Maybe you have experienced loss, or shifts of circumstances, or you feel on the verge of something that is still undefined for you. Maybe you are just wanting a richly connective and immersed experience in a beautiful place with other women!

There is absolutely no one "right" reason to come to this retreat. But if this retreat is "right" for you, you’ll likely have a hunch. This is what women say... and that hunch makes for magical circles. When women join from their intuition, it's like we've begun the gathering ... before we've even begun. 

In this women's retreat, you will:
  • Gather with a powerful circle of women in rawness, vulnerability and expression.

  • Ground in your body and intuition through meditation, yoga and movement.

  • Show up in this here and now, present to whatever is real to you, as you are.

  • Honor and be witnessed for your embodied experience as a woman.

  • Immerse in a journey that is both individual and collective to you and to the circle and to women.

  • Reveal your truths moment to moment by connecting to your own inner voice.

  • Embrace yourself in all of your contradictions and wholeness.

  • Loosen the stories you tell against allowing yourself and your expression, in the many ways we tell them.

  • Reconnect with your essential self, your vivid energies, your heart-led and soul-seeded desires - all that conspires for your expression. 

  • Call back your inner voice to hear what sways your soul.

  • Reclaim your connection and belonging to the greater mystery and beauty all around us. 

  • Remember the magic that unfolds when women circle together with love and compassion at our core. 

More on the Journey Into Sacred Expression Retreat: Why We Gather and About the Retreat.

your facilitators...

Aimee Hansen, creator of Storyteller Within Retreats, will lead in  facilitating this women's retreat. Aimee is based in Guatemala and has co-created and facilitated this retreat with over 200 women since 2015, across 23 different events in Guatemala and further events in the U.S. She trusts in the mysterious sways of our hearts and the essential truth in our bodies, listening to what lights us up from within and moving, again and again, from this embodied and guiding knowing.


Robin Kempe is a Guatemalan based esoteric conscious yoga teacher and soul sister who weaves seamlessly with Aimee. She combines her deep knowledge of transpersonal shamanic principles, anatomy and physiology, yoga philosophy, mindfulness and pranayama with dynamic hatha flow postures, intuitive energy healing, sound and the power of storytelling to ignite the fire within, open the heart and help us to return back home to wholeness, peace and love.


For each event, Aimee brings in curated guest facilitators offering magical sessions designed to expand our journey together.

Read more about your lead retreat facilitators

Women's retreat
a stunning location in Guatemala

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 accessible primarily by boat, 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, pool, jacuzzi, 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. 

sample retreat flow

Guests arrive on Thursday, August 15th afternoon to relax and settle in. We'll open our circle in the evening after dinner. Our daily flow will begin on Friday, August 16th.


Here's a sample schedule (subject to change and days will differ, to accommodate ceremonies, special sessions and excursions):


7:00-8:30    Meditation & Holistic Hatha Flow/Vinyasa Flow

8:30             Delicious Breakfast

10.30-1.00  Sacred Expression Writing Circle/Discussion

1:00-3.45    Delicious Lunch & Free Time

3:45-6.30    Sacred Expression Writing Circle/Discussion

6.30 - 7.30   Delicious Dinner

7.30              Sauna, Circle, Healing Ceremonies (some evenings)


Meals are vegetarian and gourmet. Chicken/fish ($8 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 a day or two, we'll hold longer breaks and offer optional group excursions - visits to villages or hiking/kayaking adventure options. 

You will also participate in afternoon/evening ceremonies with guest facilitators - such as Sound Healing, Traditional Mayan Fire, Cacao Ceremony, and Movement or Dance. 


Guests are advised to fly into Guatemala City no later than 1pm on August 16th (or arrive the night before and stay near the airport so you are well rested to begin) and book return flights for mid afternoon on August 24th or following day. We can provide hotel recommendations for stays in Antigua or near the airport before or after the retreat.

planning your trip


Lake Atitlan has beautiful villages to explore (weaving, artisan) and cultural and wildlife tourist activities. It's also a gorgeous place to simply soak up the volcano views and nature. On your way from the airport, the UNESCO World Heritage charming streets of Antigua offer many colorful, cultural treasures.

It's always recommended to stay at the lake and in Guatemala for some extra time and enjoy the beauty, if your schedule allows. Antigua is a lovely transition place to spend a couple days before or after the retreat.

green season

During any summer retreat in Guatemala, there is some chance we will have rain in the later afternoon and evenings. The weather tends to be gorgeously sunny during the morning and early afternoon break times, so if anything, it's an atmospheric addition to the circle.

The greenery is lush and flourishing during this time, and its a preferable time to witness Lake Atitlan relative to the dryer months.

travel insurance

To further protect your travel investment, including transport costs or unforeseen circumstances, travel insurance is strongly advised for all participants.


For maximum coverage, purchase a 'cancel for any reason policy' upgrade option which covers a high percentage of your non-refundable costs. These policies often need to be bought 14-21 days after booking and have a 48 hours prior to departure cancellation window. Available from insurance companies like Trawick International and Travel Guard. 


See more photos from our retreat event at Villa Sumaya.

A preview of Villa Sumaya: 

Total Retreat Cost (All-Inclusive):

(12 spaces only in total)

(9 nights, 10 days including arrival & departure)

Deposit to Reserve:

$600 USD

Full balance is due 60 days out for this retreat event.

Please inquire with Aimee for any personal requests around payment.

Please see payment & cancellation policies!

Double Room (shared):


Shared: Maya Rose House, Room for Two

Private Room (upgrade):

 +$450 upgrade 

Private: Maya Rose House (ground level) or Lotus House 18 (several stairs)

Private Premium Suite (upgrade):

 +$600 upgrade 

Private: Ginger Suites 17 & 19, involving several stairs 

Retreat package includes:

- Daily morning guided meditation & yoga/movement practice

- Two self-exploratory writing circles on most days

- 9 nights accommodation at Villa Sumaya (double or private)

- Delicious vegetarian breakfast, lunch & dinner

- Unlimited tea/coffee service

- 4+ sacred healing ceremonies (eg. Mayan Fire Ceremony, Sound Healing, Cacao, Dance & Movement)

- Sauna night & jacuzzi night exclusive to group

- Use of swimming pool & solar hot tub 

- Gratuities for the local staff members

- All Taxes


- Additional options:

  • Optional excursions during longer breaks (approx $50/each)

  • Spa treatments, massages ($85/hour, $110/1.5 hr/$140/2 hr)

  • Meal protein supplements (fish & chicken $8) or alcohol

- Flights & ground transport (usually shareable) to the retreat 

- Travel insurance (strongly recommended)

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