Guatemala Cultural Retreat for Introverts & HSPs

MR
Melissa Renzi
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28 reviews
Nov 16 - 23, 2019
Group size: 10 - 14
Guatemala Cultural Retreat for Introverts & HSPs
Guatemala

Melissa Renzi
  • Mobile phone verified
  • Email address verified
  • Facebook verified
  • Twitter verified
28 reviews

$1565
Deposit: $400
Nov 16 - 23, 2019
Group size: 10 - 14

About this trip

Discover Guatemala's cultural treasures and magnificent landscapes as you connect with the warm, open-hearted people of this country.


We're excited to share one of our favorite countries with you on this 8-day retreat for introverts and highly sensitive people that directly supports local community projects.


Drop into peace as you soak up the stunning volcanic backdrop over Lake Atitlán, one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.  


Explore the colorful beauty of Antigua with its colonial architecture and cobblestone streets. 


Immerse yourself in the culture as you learn how the local women weave their textiles, prepare authentic Guatemalan dishes, and engage in meaningful cross-cultural dialogue. 


Nurture yourself with soul-nourishing yoga, meditation, and reflection time designed to honor your unique strengths and needs as a highly sensitive person or introvert.


This is your opportunity to:

  • Change the way you see the world and yourself.
  • Connect to others without compromising your unique needs as a highly sensitive introvert. 
  • Get to know the rich culture and loving people of Guatemala.
  • Relish in the peaceful beauty of the natural world in a way that soothes your soul.

If you're a sensitive soul or introvert who is ready for a peaceful adventure with people who get you, then join us on this adventure in Guatemala from November 16-23, 2019.


We'll spend 8 days and 7 nights with a perfect balance of both introspective time and adventurous activities.


Availability is limited - book your spot now! 


Early bird pricing ends May 31, 2019. 


Final deadline to sign up is August 31, 2019!

Why an HSP and introvert retreat?

The world is full of amazing, life-changing experiences and many of us introverts and HSPs love adventure. 


Yet, not everyone wants to travel alone and most group travel comes with its own set of challenges for us introverts and HSPs. We may worry about sensory overload, too much social interaction, feeling pressured by a group, feeling accepted... the list goes on, right? 


This is why we offer a better way that helps take the anxiety out of travel - an opportunity to connect with others while honoring your needs for personal space and freedom. 


We allow plenty of alone time to recharge. Traveling with a group can feel overwhelming if you always have to be with other people. We structure our schedules so that you have substantial downtime to do anything your inner heart desires. 


We reduce the likelihood of sensory overload. We do our best to balance any activities that entail more sensory stimulation with ample free time the day before and after to mentally prepare and recharge. 


We support self-guided activities. If you want to go on a solo excursion or meditate alone, you got it. No questions asked and we'll help you arrange activities as you desire. Group activities are optional and we set the tone from the start to ensure that everyone can be themselves.


We minimize the small talk. Well, we can't ban small talk, but you will be among like-minded folks that want to connect at a deeper level and understand that small talk can feel draining. We offer group reflection time to debrief the retreat activities and discuss other meaningful topics related to introversion and sensitivity. We encourage quiet hours during certain times of the day, in order to support a peaceful space. 


We create authentic travel experiences. We select locations that we know will offer a genuine connection to the natural beauty and culture of a place. Our experiences allow the time and space to connect to yourself and fellow travelers.


We encourage you to be yourself. We set the stage from the start so that you can decline an activity or leave the dinner table early. We value each person’s individual needs and encourage you to say no when something is not for you. We ask all guests to honor your wishes.

Accommodation

We'll stay in a small, family-run hotel found in the hills overlooking the world-famous Lake Atitlán. At the forefront of the hotel's values are sustainable tourism principles that support the environment and local community. By staying at their hotel, we will be supporting a community center (founded by the owners) that supports education for the children of the village. 


All rooms offer stunning, uninterrupted views of the lake and afford the perfect balance of modern amenities and simple eco-living. The hotel has Wifi in the dining area.
 

IMPORTANT: From the dock, there are 350 steps to climb. There are benches along the path where you can pause and enjoy the view along the way. If you think you may have difficulty, please reach out with your concerns before registering. There is an option to get dropped off at a different dock and take a tuk-tuk to the top. But there are also a fair amount of steps on the property of the hotel, so it's best that you are fully informed before signing up.


Our hotel in Antigua will be comparable in quality and amenities. 

Food

The hotel does their best to source local, organic ingredients to prepare their delicious cuisine. Please inform us of your dietary preferences and restrictions. All needs can be met.


Most lunches on your own. 1-2 lunches will be included. All breakfasts and dinners are included in the trip cost.

Location

We'll begin our retreat on DAY 1 in the small colonial city of Antigua, one hour from the Guatemala City Airport.  A private group shuttle will be provided at 2:00pm from the airport to our hotel in Antigua. 


On Day 2, we'll head to Lake Atitlan, located in the western highlands of Guatemala. The closest town to us is called Tzununa. This town is accessible by boat and "tuk-tuks" (auto rickshaws). The way that most people get around Lake Atitlan is by boat or "lancha". You can easily take a boat to and from the villages around the lake for $3.00 one way. 

Climate

The lake area is 5000 feet above sea level and enjoys fresh, spring air all year. The dry season runs from November to April. Daytime temperatures can range from 65-75 degrees fahrenheit with evenings cooling down to the low 60s. 


Guatemala City and Antigua are slightly warmer than Lake Atitlan. 

Cancellation Policy

All deposits are non-refundable.

Fifty (50) percent of trip cost is due by August 15, 2019.

Remaining balance must be paid 60 days before trip start date (September 17, 2019).

If you decide to cancel your trip, the following fees apply at the time (prior to departure) we receive written notice of your cancellation.

-More than 90 days before retreat start date, 100 percent of your payment may be refunded or applied to a future retreat, excluding the deposit. 


-60-89 days before retreat start date, 75 percent of any payment already made may be applied to another retreat, excluding your deposit. You will forfeit 25 percent of the price of your retreat, excluding the deposit. Example: If your retreat cost is $2000 with a $400 deposit, and you've paid in full, $1200 may be applied toward a future retreat.


-15 – 59 days before retreat start date, 25 percent of your payment may be applied to another retreat, excluding your deposit. You will forfeit 75 percent of the price of your retreat. Example: If your retreat cost is $2000 with a $400 deposit, $400 may be applied toward a future retreat.


-If you cancel 14 days or less before retreat start date, you will forfeit your entire payment.

Where do I fly into?

Our arrival private group shuttle will leaving the airport on November 16th at 2:00pm.


If you plan to take the shuttle, plan your travel so that your flight arrives at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City before 1:30pm so that you have time to exit the airport. 


Our return private group shuttle will leave the lake on November 23rd at 9:30am,. 


The drive between Lake Atitlan and Guatemala City takes roughly 4 hours, so plan your return flight so that it departs after 4:30pm on November 23rd unless you're planning to extend your stay. 


If your travel falls outside of group transfers, you will be responsible for your transportation costs.

Do I need a passport or visa?

Guatemala does require a current passport valid for a minimum of six (6) months after the dates of your travel. Guatemala does not require a special visa to enter. You're good for 90 days.  

What about travel insurance?

We strongly recommend buying travel insurance. Read What to Know Before Buying Travel Insurance for a quick overview of the features you want to look for in a travel insurance policy. Essentially, you want to be sure your policy includes trip cancellation/interruption, medical coverage, emergency evacuation, lost baggage and flight insurance.

In theory, you’re supposed to buy insurance as close to the date of your first trip payment as possible to ensure coverage for all expenses and eliminate any risk of claim denial for pre-existing conditions.

Many use a site like www.insuremytrip.com to purchase travel insurance. 

What’s included

  • 6 Nights Accommodation
    Retreat Center at Lake Atitlan
  • 1 Night Accommodation
    Hotel in Antigua
  • 7 Breakfasts
    1 breakfast at hotel in Antigua + 6 breakfasts at retreat center
  • 7 Dinners
    Welcome dinner in Antigua + 6 dinners at retreat center
  • Mayan Cooking Class
    Visit local market with our cooking guide, Anita, learn to cook traditional dishes, enjoy lunch with Anita
  • Weaving Tour
    Women's weaving co-op, boat ride roundtrip
  • Social Project
    Crafts and play with children at Tzununa community center
  • Lunch at Local "Comedor"
    Traditional meal prepared in local, non-touristic restaurant
  • Yoga/Meditation
    Guided meditation and hatha yoga classes most days
  • Group discussion circles
    Facilitated reflection time and discussions on some evenings
  • Ground Transportation
    Antigua to Lake Atitlan
  • Airport Transfers
    GUA to Antigua + Lake Atitlan to GUA
  • Arrival/departure boat
    Lake Atitlan to/from retreat center
  • International Flight
    Flight to/from Guatemala not included
  • 4-5 Lunches
    Most lunches are on your own
  • Travel insurance
    Highly recommended
  • Extras
    Additional activities, transportation to/from extra activities, massages, souvenirs, etc.
  • Tips
    Some are covered, but plan to tip around $30-$40 USD total for retreat center staff

Available Packages

Double Occupancy (Twin)
Available until Aug 31, 2019only 1 left

All accommodations will have two beds (one queen, one twin), as well as private bathroom and balcony. This option offers the twin bed. 


$1565
Deposit: $400
Double Occupancy (Queen)
Available until Aug 31, 2019Sold Out

All accommodations will have two beds (one queen, one twin), as well as private bathroom and balcony. This option offers the queen bed. 

$1595
Deposit: $400
Single Occupancy
Available until Aug 31, 2019only 1 left

Single occupancy rooms come with a queen-sized bed, as well as private bathroom and balcony.  

$2095
Deposit: $400
$1565
Deposit: $400

Double Occupancy (Twin)

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive in Antigua

Arrive at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City by 2:00 p.m. A private shuttle will transport you to nearby Antigua (1 hr). We'll have a short opening circle at 5:00, which will include introductions and intentions. Following our opening circle, we'll head out to a relaxed welcome dinner in Antigua. 

Your Organizer


MR
Melissa Renzi
28 reviews
Melissa is a trauma-informed yoga teacher, social worker, and highly sensitive person. She's passionate about helping others heal anxiety and trauma while cultivating authentic self-love. Melissa's philosophy is that the root cause of many of our personal and societal problems is a disconnection from our true selves. She sees yoga and connection to the natural world as two of the most powerful means we have to heal ourselves and communities. When she's not yoga-ing, you can find her hiking, salsa dancing, scuba diving, crosswording, reading, and cooking creative concoctions in her kitchen.

Reviews

One of the most beautiful places I've been in the world! The food was beyond fantastic! Melissa had everything organized so well that it seemed seamless. Rich's yoga classes are enhanced with his extensive knowledge of the human anatomy and physiology, besides creating a very playful and fun environment. Everything was made so easy! Absolutely loved this trip, the people, and everything about the place!
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This was one of the top trips of my life. The location is incredible. Melissa's planning made every day more seamless and special than the last. Rich is far and away the best yoga teacher I've ever had. His ability to teach alignment while smoothly guiding you through a series of flows over the week that subtly build on each other while delivering beautiful, funny and touching dharma was magical. I honestly can't say enough about these two, this place and this experience. So much love!
Melissa's experience in organizing retreats really shows in her organization, selection of Valentins Pachamama journeys as tour guide, resort selection, communication with staff, organization of all our entrance tickets, train tickets, required passport info, hotel for Machu Picchu. She was kind but firm when she needed to be. 'Herding cats' is not easy with 16 onery yogi's in tow. I will say that some of the retreat attendees were not physically prepared or knowledgeable about some of the activities they signed up for. I think it is recommended when travelling out of country to always have antibiotic for GI distress. Additionally we had option to do a sweat lodge/temazcal. Some guidance/info on hydration, need to replenish electrolytes etc would have prevented some from feeling ill afterwards. While none of this was a reflection on Melissa, attendees need to have some personal accountability for knowing what they are capable of (or not), especially in a foreign country. Overall Melissa is a tremendous retreat host and I highly recommend her retreats. I would sign up for another retreat with her any day.
10 stars! I can not say enough good things about this trip in Peru. Every detail was taken care of and I was able to fully enjoy myself and do the inner work I needed without any stress. Melissa was amazing in her organization of all trip details and making sure we had everything and any kind of support we needed. Very well organized, a great balance of free time and wonderful and profound activities planned. The food at the retreat center was phenomenal! The views were breathtaking. The group energy was amazing. It was a profoundly transformative week for me and I am so grateful for the experience. I felt very supported and look forward to joining another retreat with Melissa. With Love, Olesya
This retreat far exceeded my expectations. I have travelled throughout much of South America so while I knew I would enjoy the trip, I didn't expect to learn as much as I did about the Peruvian culture in such a short period of time. In addition, it was nice to be among so many kindred spirits and to feel like I could truly be myself, As a bonus, I returned home with several new friends. I thoroughly enjoyed the yoga classes and Melissa's calm spirit as she guided us through different poses and deeper reflection about ourselves. It was also wonderful to not have to worry about organizing anything because Melissa was on top of it all. The whole week went so smoothly and our group clicked so beautifully--I think the harmony of our group had a lot to do with the positive, supportive and loving tone set by Melissa and her co-leader Michael. I definitely plan on taking another trip with Melissa.
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