**Recommended in Lonely Planet Wellness Escapes**
Saturday, July 31- Monday, August 9, 2021:
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, 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 bind or limit or silence yourself. Within each of us is the call to open our hearts, step further into our courage and embody our own sacred expression.
Intimate Women's Gathering: Only 12 spaces.
Inspiring lakefront location with expansive volcano views
Daily morning guided meditation & yoga 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
5+ sacred healing ceremonies (eg. Mayan Fire Ceremony, Sound Healing, Cacao & Movement, Sauna)
Solar hot tub, on-site spa services, pool, sauna, jacuzzi
Breaks for swimming, hiking, kayaking, 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
journey into sacred expression
Set out on a transformative creative and spiritual journey through daily meditation, yoga and self-exploratory writing as a channel to reveal insight from within. Participate in diverse healing ceremonies that awaken your energy and stoke your soul voice.
Breathe, stretch, relax, and connect 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 – we are gathering together to rise it up and own our self-expression. It matters now as much, if not more, than ever.
Inspired by the four shamanic directions and rising the feminine, we embark on a revealing week of re-igniting the voices of our hearts and empowering ourselves as the storytellers of our lives.
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.
Explore 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.
Aimee Hansen, creator of Storyteller Within Retreats, will facilitate this women's retreat, partnering with Robin Kempe for meditation and yoga, with curated guest facilitators offering magical sessions and ceremonies to expand our journey together.
Aimee is based in Guatemala, and has co-created and facilitated this retreat with women since 2015, welcoming and guiding over 180 women across 20 different events in Guatemala and further events in the U.S.
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, 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.
sample retreat flow
Guests arrive on Saturday, January 31st afternoon to relax and settle in. We'll open our circle in the evening after dinner. Our daily flow will begin on Sunday, August 1st.
Here's a sample schedule (subject to change and days will differ). Please note on a 2-3 days, we will have only one writing circle to allow some space for excursions or special ceremonies.
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 ($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 hiking/kayaking adventure options.
You will also participate in afternoon/evening ceremonies with guest facilitators as we stoke our soul voices and reconnect with our feminine energies - such as Sound Healing, Traditional Mayan Fire, Cacao Ceremony, and Movement or Dance.
Guests are advised to fly into Guatemala City by 1pm on July 31st and book return flights for mid afternoon on August 9th 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.
covid-19 travel consideration
For considering the impact of Covid-19 pandemic measures on your travel preparations (arrival and departure), please read more here to find out what you need to do.
Note: As of April 17, 2021, travel is temporarily restricted from the UK (or passing through), South Africa and Brazil. Updates will be made as these restrictions may change.
Note: The refund policy has been strongly adopted to provide you greater financial protection in case of Covid-19 related cancellation. Cancel-for-any-reason travel insurance is still highly recommended and must be booked shortly after signing up.
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:
Double Room (shared):
$2295 USD total
Shared: Maya Rose House, Room for Two
Private Room (upgrade):
+$500 USD extra
Private: Maya Rose House, Room for One
Private Junior Suite (upgrade):
Private: Ginger Junior Suites, involving several stairs
+$600 USD extra
Private Premium Suite (upgrade):
Private: Ginger Full Suites, involving several stairs
+$700 USD extra
Retreat package includes:
- Daily morning guided meditation & yoga
- 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
- 5+ sacred healing ceremonies (eg. Mayan Fire Ceremony, Sound Healing, Cacao, Dance & Movement)
- Sauna & night jacuzzi on one night each
- Use of swimming pool & solar hot tub
- Included gratuities for the local indigenous staff
- All Taxes
- Additional options:
Optional excursions (approx $30-70 each)
Spa treatments, massages,($75/hour or $100/1.5 hours) or private saunas ($30)
Meal supplements (fish, chicken $7), alcohol
WIFI ($20 week)
- Flights & ground transport to the retreat
- Covid-19 Testing (can be organized on-site for your return: currently $55 rapid antigen, $115 PCR)
- Cancel-for-any-reason travel insurance (very strongly recommended)