Journey Into Sacred Expression Luxury Women's Retreat, Lake Atitlan

Santa Cruz la Laguna, Sololá Department, Guatemala

AH
Aimee Hansen
  • Email address verified
2 reviews
Aug 11 - 19, 2018
Group size: 6-12
Journey Into Sacred Expression Luxury Women's Retreat, Lake Atitlan
Santa Cruz la Laguna, Sololá Department, Guatemala

Aimee Hansen
  • Email address verified
2 reviews

$1795
Deposit: $600
Aug 11 - 19, 2018
Group size: 6-12

About this trip

This is our luxury retreat option on Lake Atitlan. Breathe and relax into lakeside luxury as we gather for an inspiring and beautiful week beneath the watch of volcanoes. Join a 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. Within each of us is the call to open our hearts, step into our courage, and animate our own sacred expression.


A Stunning Location


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. 


A Women's Sacred Journey


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 healing ceremonies that help to call your spirit 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.

 

Inspired by the four shamanic directions and the rising feminine, we embark on a revealing week of re-igniting the voices of our hearts and empowering ourselves as the storytellers of our lives. 


Retreat Highlights


Inspiring lakefront location with expansive volcano views

Daily meditation & yoga practice

Two self-exploratory writing circles on most days 

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

8 nights stay in shared or private accommodation

3 delicious organic vegetarian meals/day and juice bar

3 sacred healing ceremonies (eg. Mayan, Sound, Dance)

Solar hot tub, jacuzzi and on-site spa services

Breaks for swimming, hiking, kayaking, therapies, sauna, relaxing

Optional excursions (village tour, adventure)

Intimate group (maximum 12 women plus Aimee makes 13)


Meditation, yoga, sacred ceremonies, and our intimate sacred circle for writing will be women only and privately held. Meals may be shared with other guests, women or men.



A Women's Sacred Journey

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 healing ceremonies that help to call your spirit 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.

Inspired by the four shamanic directions and the rising feminine, we embark on a revealing week of re-igniting the voices of our hearts and empowering ourselves as the storytellers of our lives. 

For more insight, details, images and reviews of the Sacred Expression Women's Retreat, please go to: www.thestorytellerwithin.com

Location

serene setting

Villa Sumaya is located on the shores of Lake Atitlan, outside of Santa Cruz La Laguna, with a private dock accessible by boat. Lake Atitlan is famed to hold a magnetic attraction for those travelers who seek to gain a deeper connection with nature and within.

The magical waters are framed by three sister volcanoes: Atitlán (11,598 ft), Toliman (10,360 ft) and San Pedro (9,908 ft), which create a panoramic vista from Villa Sumaya. The lake is dotted with small villages with local inhabitants of Mayan descent.

Indigenous women on these beautiful shores continue to wear traditional dress and create colorful weavings. Farmers grow coffee, corn, and pitaya fruit. Avocados, papayas, and jacotes are plentiful.

creating sacred space

Our intimate women's retreat group will gather together in sacred circle during the mornings and late afternoons in the spacious Blue Tiger Temple, an inspiring atmosphere with stunning views that offers a space to sink in, relax and reconnect, to create our own sacred space.

During meditation, yoga, and our sacred self-exploratory writing circles, we'll gaze upon the ripples of the lake and green volcanoes. All mats and props are provided. In addition to comfortable cushions, low chairs for the writing circle are available upon request.

relax & rejuvenate

In the spaces between our yoga and intensive self-exploratory group sessions together, Villa Sumaya offers the space for personal integration, relaxation and restorative self-care.

There's plenty of cosy outdoor nooks for lounging, for a private journaling session or even a good old chat. During afternoon breaks, you could dip in the lake, lay on the sun deck, soak in the solar-heated stone hot tub, or detox in the sauna. For a moving meditation, you can explore the nearby mapped nature trails of 30, 45 minutes, and one hour.

The on-site Harmony spa also offers rejuvenating bodywork sessions, including various massage styles, ayurvedic consultation, and energy work depending upon the available therapists at hand. The spa can accommodate four women in private healing rooms.

This is an opportunity to connect and re-treat yourself to the experience of going inwards and being fully present. Two complimentary computers are offered for quick check-ins with friends and family. WIFI access is available for $20 for the week

optional excursions

Twice during the week, we will skip the morning writing circle to allow a longer break and have one circle in the late afternoon.

During these days, we'll offer optional excursion(s), such as a visit to a village or kayaking/hiking. Aimee will provide specific options catered to the group. You may also wish to stay back at Villa Sumaya for some extra relaxation, spaciousness, or for treatments.

Accommodation & Delicious Meals

Accommodation

Retreat guests will be staying in the beautiful rooms of the Maya Rose house (primarily) or Ginger Suites.

Maya Rose is a ranch style house with six unique rooms in a row, each varying in size and having its own unique touches of colorful decor. All of the Maya Rose rooms have private bathrooms with hot showers and outdoor patios with exceptional lake views. They are centrally located near the courtyard, dining room, gardens, and boutique. 

The Ginger Suites are Villa Sumaya's most luxurious accommodation. Each suite features majestic lake-view balconies, elegant antique furnishings and modern stylized bathrooms. The Ginger Suites involve stairs so are not suitable for anyone with mobility issues.

Once all bookings are in, we will assign the rooms, doing our best to accommodate preferences.

Delicious Meals

Embracing the values of slow-food preparation and culinary consciousness, Cafe Sumaya Sol offers delcious homemade vegetarian meals that blend local and international cuisine.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets are abundant and fish and chicken are available for an additional fee ($7/meal). Organic artisan coffee and a wide selection of herbal teas are available 24/7.

You can also treat yourself to exotic smoothies, kombucha, wine or cocktails, and raw homemade snacks and treats. 

Facilitators

Aimee Hansen

Creator, Storyteller Within Retreats

Aimee chases big questions with butterfly nets, only to set them free again. She's always had an irresistible attraction to words and metaphors as a way of playing, provoking, revealing, exploring, understanding, and connecting. Fifteen years ago she began sneaking away from the office for creative writing classes at Central Saint Martins College while living in London, writing short stories and rekindling a childhood love for all things lyrical.

On a quest for more meaningful plot in life, she left her corporate job in London years ago to travel. In 2012, her travels guided her to Guatemala and back to herself. Her intensive studies with an intuitive mentor who called her "the storyteller" and her own passion for human insight started her on an ever curious and unfolding journey into the nature of perception. Her work explores the power of the stories we tell within our lives and invites a creative and playful adventure in the yoga of perspective.


Aimee works as a freelance writer, writes children stories, dances with the muse at poetry, and writes into tricky spaces. She holds a 200+ hr yoga teacher certification. She is inspired and humbled by witnessing how something raw and honest in the human spirit aches to open, when given the invitation. She began Storyteller Within retreats to share in the experience of exploring our humanity and stepping into our courage as women.


Aimee is most moved by living in harmony with the mysterious sway of her heart towards whatever lights her up from within.

Heather Daya Rideout

Heather rubbed a genie’s lamp and went on a magic carpet-ride with yoga in 1999 when she set off for her first big backpacking journey to Nepal. The moment she landed in Kathmandu, she knew something inside of her had come home.  A graduate of over 600 hours with Asheville Yoga Center's teacher training programs, her adventures with yoga and global travel have taken her to living abroad extensively since 2008.  She has led classes, workshops and retreats in Nicarauga, Morocco, Bali, India, Guatemala, Malaysia and Thailand.  Heather’s teaching shares inspiration from the cultures of these magical places, places that constantly teach her how to most live yoga by being immersed in the energy of the current moment.

Heather is dedicated to guiding others on a path of exploring full-spectrum yoga in ways that liberate them to move, breathe and live more from the heart.  Whether she is leading Vinyasa Flow, Yin or Restorative classes, Heather integrates a mix of creativity blended with a down-to-earth nature that invokes a soulful, breath-inspired journey suitable for all.  She is fascinated by the messages taught in yoga philosophy, storytelling and mythology, so these elements often enrich her offerings.  At the core, Heather wants to remind you of being curious, introspective, grateful, authentic and balanced…so you can take care of yourself and dive fully into this sometimes wild, crazy and amazing ride called Life.

Ceremonies & Sessions:

For each retreat, we invite in magic and mystery, through ceremonies and sessions (eg. movement, sound, fire) with guest facilitators that enrich and expand the power of our journey by sharing their gifts. We gather for sacred connection and expression that goes far beyond words.


What’s included

Getting There & Away

Getting There & Away


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.

 

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


Payments, Cancellations, & Refunds Policy


A $600 deposit is required to reserve your space. The balance is required 60 days prior to the retreat start date. If you cancel before 90 days in advance of the retreat start date: 50% of the deposit is refunded. If you cancel 90-61 days in advance of the event, no refund of the deposit is provided, unless your spot can be filled within contract, and then 50% of the deposit is refunded. If you cancel within 60 days of the retreat start date: No refund on full payment is provided. But if we can fill your spot within contract, we'll provide a refund minus the full deposit. No refund is provided if you miss the event or part of it for any reason. Storyteller Within reserves the right to cancel any program at any time. Retreats have final confirmation on or before 60 days out. If an event is cancelled, you will be fully refunded your retreat fees. Nevertheless, Storyteller Within is not liable for events beyond all control - such as natural disasters, political upheaval, or other such unexpected circumstances - that would necessitate cancellation of the event.

 

Travel Insurance


To protect your investment (including travel costs) against unforeseen circumstances, travel insurance is strongly advised for all participants. Providers such as Travel Guard offer packages (travel, medical, cancellation) with "cancel for any reason" options that must be purchased within 15 days of buying airline tickets or incurring trip costs.


What to Bring


Once you register for the event, we will send you a Welcome Kit with details of what to bring for your retreat week at Villa Sumaya.

 

There will be opportunities to get local currency (quetzals) both at the airport and at ATM machines along the way if needed. You're also able to pay for optional extras at Villa Sumaya with cash ($USD or quetzals), checks, or credit cards (8% fee).

What’s included

  • Yoga
    Daily guided meditation & yoga
  • Writing Circles
    2x Daily Self-exploratory writing circles (most days)
  • Accommodation
    8 nights accommodation at Villa Sumaya (double or private)
  • Meals
    Delicious vegetarian breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Ceremonies
    3+ sacred healing ceremonies (eg. Mayan, Sound, Dance)
  • Sauna
    One group wood-burning sauna
  • Pool & Jacuzzi
    Use of solar pools & solar jacuzzi
  • 24/7
    Unlimited tea/coffee service
  • Taxes
    All Taxes
  • Gratuities
    Gratituities for the local indigenous staff
  • Optional Items
    optional excursions (approx $30-60 each); extra spa treatments, massages, or private saunas; meal supplements (fish, chicken $7), alcohol
  • Transport
    Flights & transport to & from the retreat
  • Insurance
    Travel Insurance

Available Packages

Double Room - Maya Rose

Retreat guests will stay in shared rooms in Maya Rose House. Maya Rose is a ranch style house with six unique rooms in a row. All of the Maya Rose rooms have private bathrooms with hot showers and outdoor patios with exceptional lake views. They are centrally located near the courtyard, dining room, gardens, and boutique.  

Retreat package includes:

- Daily morning guided meditation & yoga

- Two self-exploratory writing circles on most days

- 8 nights accommodation at Villa Sumaya (private)

- Delicious vegetarian breakfast, lunch & dinner

- Unlimited tea/coffee service

- 3+ sacred healing ceremonies (eg. Mayan Fire Ceremony, Sound, Movement)

- One group wood-burning sauna and one night jacuzzi

- Use of solar spa pools and swimming pool

- Gratuities to local staff members

- All Taxes    
 

excludes

- Flights & transport to the retreat

- Travel insurance (strongly recommended)

- Additional options: optional excursions (approx $30-60 each); extra spa treatments, massages, or private sauna, meal supplements (fish, chicken $7), alcohol, WIFI access ($20 week)

Available until Aug 10th11 left
$1795
Deposit: $600
Private - Maya Rose

Retreat guests may have a private option at Maya Rose. Maya Rose is a ranch style house with six unique rooms in a row. All of the Maya Rose rooms have private bathrooms with hot showers and outdoor patios with exceptional lake views. They are centrally located near the courtyard, dining room, gardens, and boutique.

Once all bookings are in, we will assign the rooms, doing our best to accommodate preferences.

Retreat package includes:

- Daily morning guided meditation & yoga

- Two self-exploratory writing circles on most days

- 8 nights accommodation at Villa Sumaya (private)

- Delicious vegetarian breakfast, lunch & dinner

- Unlimited tea/coffee service

- 3+ sacred healing ceremonies (eg. Mayan Fire Ceremony, Sound, Movement)

- One group wood-burning sauna and night jacuzzi

- Use of solar spa pools and swimming pool

- Gratuities to local staff members

- All Taxes    

excludes

- Flights & transport to the retreat

- Travel insurance (strongly recommended)

- Additional options: optional excursions (approx $30-60 each); extra spa treatments, massages, or private sauna, meal supplements (fish, chicken $7), alcohol, WIFI access ($20 week)

Available until Jun 12thonly 3 left
$2195
Deposit: $600
Private - Ginger Suite

The Ginger Suites are Villa Sumaya's most luxurious accommodation. Each suite features majestic lake-view balconies, elegant antique furnishings and modern stylized bathrooms. The Ginger Suites involve stairs so are not suitable for anyone with mobility issues. Ginger Suite 8 & 18 are available for the group.

Retreat package includes:

- Daily morning guided meditation & yoga

- Two self-exploratory writing circles on most days

- 8 nights accommodation at Villa Sumaya (private suite)

- Delicious vegetarian breakfast, lunch & dinner

- Unlimited tea/coffee service

- 3+ sacred healing ceremonies (eg. Mayan Fire Ceremony, Sound, Movement)

- One group wood-burning sauna 

- Use of solar spa pools

- Gratuities to local staff members

- All Taxes      

excludes

- Flights & transport to the retreat

- Travel insurance (strongly recommended)

- Additional options: optional excursions (approx $30-60 each); extra spa treatments, massages, or private sauna, meal supplements (fish, chicken $7), alcohol, WIFI access ($20 week)

Available until Jun 11thonly 2 left
$2265
Deposit: $600
$1795
Deposit: $600

Double Room - Maya Rose

Your Organizer


AH
Aimee Hansen
2 reviews
Aimee chases big questions with butterfly nets, only to set them free again. She's always had an irresistible attraction to words and metaphors as a way of playing, provoking, revealing, exploring, understanding, and connecting. Her work explores the power of the stories we tell within our lives and invites a creative and playful adventure in the yoga of perspective.  ​ She works as a freelance writer, writes children stories, plays at poetry, and is writing a book about the storyteller within. She holds a 200+ hr yoga teacher certification. She is inspired and humbled by witnessing how something raw and honest in the human spirit aches to open, when given the invitation. She began Storyteller Within retreats to share in the experience of exploring our humanity and stepping into our courage as women.

Reviews

I believe every woman should attend a women’s circle at least once in their life. I have done a lot of inner work lately but this writing circle was one of the most direct and effective approaches I’ve experienced. Aimee provided a safe space for open and honest communication; anything was ok no matter how small, big, or silly it seemed. For me it provided me with the space to 1) get to know myself better, to understand recurring behaviours and emotions and also to move forward on my path with more clarity 2) communicate better with myself and with others 3) realise that I’m not alone in my thoughts and battles. Go for it, you’ll thank yourself later!
There are some people who, within minutes of meeting them, you know that you will never forget. Aimee Hansen is this person. Her unique and uncanny ability to lead a retreat that shakes, breaks, and ultimately empowers women is some of the most beautiful talent I've ever been lucky enough to witness. She thinks of every detail, hangs on to every word, and makes every single woman feel seen. Over the course of one week, I filled an entire notebook with words, thoughts, emotions, trying to adequately capture the magic that occurred. I've never been so happy to say: I completely failed. Because this retreat isn't something that can ever be regurgitated or described in a way that will do it justice. You will just have to take the leap & go.

References

MC
This retreat was fabulous. Aimee had an incredible ability to bring all of us together to the point where at the end of the journey we all felt like we were long lost friends. Her ability to create space and foster the telling of each woman's story allowed each woman to own what story she was telling herself and what different one she wanted to create. This was a life changing perspective shift for myself and many others. If you have an opportunity, do this retreat!
By Maggie Carr on Feb. 06, 2018