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

Santa Cruz la Laguna, Sololá Department, Guatemala

AH
Aimee Hansen
  • Email address verified
17 reviews
Jun 28 - Jul 6, 2019
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
17 reviews

$1895
Deposit: $600
Jun 28 - Jul 6, 2019
Group size: 6 - 12

About this trip

Join this intimate women’s retreat event, recommended by Lonely Planet Wellness Escapes, for self-exploration through writing, yoga, meditation, and sacred ceremonies. This women’s circle event is one of 17 “Inspired” global offerings featured in the Lonely Planet travel guide – for experiences that combine creativity, personal growth and culture.

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 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.

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
Available until Jun 27, 20195 left

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)

$1895
Deposit: $600
Private Room - Maya Rose
Available until Jun 27, 2019only 3 left

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)

$2295
Deposit: $600
Private - Ginger Suite
Available until Jun 27, 2019Sold Out

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)

$2395
Deposit: $600
Private - Premium Ginger Suite
Available until Jun 27, 2019only 3 left

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. These  premium suites are higher up on the property so further from common areas and temple spaces, and provide a more exclusive and highly luxurious experience during your rest-time. The private Maya Rose rooms will provide you with a private gorgeous room space if you still seek the convenience of central location.

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)

$2495
Deposit: $600
Julia - Maya Rose Private - Balance
Sold Out

Custom package for Julie who has already paid $321.20 of the $2295 total for a Private Room in Maya Rose House. 

$1973
$1895
Deposit: $600

Double Room - Maya Rose
Past Trip

Your Organizer


AH
Aimee Hansen
17 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 had a great time meeting new people and re-connecting with old. The venue was breathtaking and the accommodations were comfortable. I enjoyed the delicious Ayurvedic food! Amy
Aimee, it was a magical weekend. I will write more later so for now please know you are One who transmutes everything into positive energy. I feel much love and gratitude for you, Marianne, and the circle of women I was blessed to share this experience with. Namaste
This trip was once again a life changing and memorable event. Aimee did an amazing job coordinating the events. The artistic and writing challenges stretched my mind and my soul. It was heart opening and healing in so many levels. There was no time to be bored! I met some amazing people from so many different walks of life! I will never forget this incredible weekend! Thank you Aimee! Suni
I arrived at our retreat in the Yoga Forest filled with fear of the unknown. After meeting the other 4 women who would accompany me on this journey I was intrigued. We were all so different and yet I felt as though I wanted to know everything about them. They all were feeling the same way and after a delicious meal, we went to our lovely, cozy cabins and prepared for our first writing circle. No time to waste, we went deep and real right from the very first words written and spoken. Aimee led us through our journey with style, grace, grit and wisdom. She is indeed an old soul, a fun loving and flexible person with the right amount of "agenda" to keep us and herself honest and on track. Our ceremonies are indelibly printed on my heart and our morning Yoga practice with Robin put me on the right track to self care. It turns out I had lost my way and was not feeling very fit. Once I returned home I joined the Y and walk everyday. Aimee is a fierce and intuitive woman who held and challenged me as I discovered what does not serve me, examined what I could lovingly discard and then start to heal from the baggage I've been carrying around with me for over 40 years. I was supported in trusting myself and to direct my energy only to what sparks and nourishes my heart. She intuitively made space for all of us, and we had so much fun, singing, dancing, and just being with each other. I would pay twice as much for this powerful and life changing experience. I now have the Women of the High Heart to hold in my circle anytime I need them-even with the many miles between us. Thank you Aimee and many blessings to you!
This trip was an amazing experience before it even began. Aimee did an excellent job prior to the retreat start with planning, organizing and keeping all of us informed. We had flexibility beforehand both in choosing excursions and our best-fit transportation. The retreat itself was beyond what I could’ve hoped for. The yoga and meditation practice were daily and they were excellent. Our instructor spent so much time with us and learning about us - a true delight. The other planned events, excursions, traditional ceremonies, singing and dancing, all were thoughtfully planned and executed. The team of healers Aimee has pulled together are sincere and wonderful people. And then, there’s Aimee and her writing circles -wow, just wow. She is a beautiful person in and out, a healer and a giver and a true friend. She’s poured her heart into her writings and readings and will surely capture your heart too. This retreat is an amazing value and once in a lifetime experience. I am grateful and fortunate now and forever.
Show More Reviews

References

The Storyteller Within Retreat with Aimee was a unique and totally-worth-it-experience! The conceptualization of the retreat is sophisticated and considerately. It´s like going on an adventurous journey through your feminine self and accompanied by a intuitive and smart mentor and poet. Aimee unites effortlessly unknown women from different worlds in a respect- and trustful way, the sacred circle arises. She creates a space for self-reflection, exchange and for silence and integration as well, another circle completes. In Guatemala there is even some time for seeing some of the beautiful surroundings and dip in the magical and by volcanos surrounded lake Atitlan. This was a great experience that helped me see and grow. Thank you so much, Aimee!
By Katharina Goetting on Aug 27, 2019
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