Come and celebrate the joy of yoga, dance, delicious food, and new friendships at the Doron Yoga & Zen Center for this New Year’s rejuvenation yoga retreat. This week will be all about celebration. The one hundred and sixty square meters await for your yoga practice and dancing feet. All levels are welcome. This retreat is for everyone interested in a more holistic yoga lifestyle.
Airport transfer available:
La Aurora Airport (US$140 per person)
The rooms at the Doron Yoga & Zen Center in Tzununa are simple but beautiful, rustic, and yet charming. Located up the hill from Lake Atitlan, coffee, banana and other trees, and lush vegetation abound on the Doron Yoga & Zen Center’s grounds.
All Doron Yoga & Zen Center accommodations are brand new and built for comfort and safety while being ecological. The base for all rooms is a stone wall, made of stones from the land held strongly together with concrete.
The other walls are of wood, or at times bricks to have better sound insulation between rooms. The showers have hot water, and there are Western toilets (eco treatment). The water source is from a spring supplied by the municipality and from river water that runs through the property.
Casa Feliz is a wood and stone house containing two double and private rooms (one with a matrimonial bed; the other with two imperial beds) and one shared room with imperial beds. Casa Feliz has an elevated outdoor deck and sitting hammock with great views of the surrounding mountains, lake, and lush greenery. These have fun shared bathrooms that have an outdoorsy feel.
It is a beautiful cozy wood and stone house with one smaller shared room and one double and private room. All beds are dreamy pillow-top mattresses.
During this retreat, morning sessions include Ashtanga primary through third series practice, as well as meditation and pranayama (breathing). Afternoon sessions include a number of workshops from Dr. Asana (examining correct alignment, how to go deeper in select poses, jump backs and through, inversions, arm balances, hips, core, and more), yoga and Zen philosophy, and more.
Receive amazing hands-on assists from a loving, compassionate, enthusiastic, and energetic teacher with more than 25 years of yoga practice and studies around the world. Relax surrounded by the soothing sound of the babbling river that flows through the Doron Yoga & Zen Center (DYZC)'s grounds and views of Lake Atitlan, its volcanoes, mountains, gardens, coffee, avocado, and banana trees.
In between your meditation, pranayama, and asana practices, enjoy the beautiful surrounding nature by swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding in the lake, or hiking up one of the surrounding mountains or volcanoes, maybe even up to a waterfall. Indulge yourself in a sound vibration session or massage (at an additional fee).
You can also venture by boat, tuk-tuk, or foot into one of the neighboring towns for some shopping for traditional textiles and paintings, some traditional cacao drinks or Guatemalan coffee, and holistic healing offerings.
Located a 10-minute hike up from Lake Atitlan, in the small Mayan village of Tzununa, Guatemala, the Doron Yoga and Zen Center’s grounds naturally grow coffee, banana, avocado, and other trees.
Close to the small Tzununa River, the river of hummingbirds and water that flows through the property, are herb and vegetable gardens, a large chicken coop, plenty of grounds for dogs and cats to play with, and a fire pit to enjoy on chilly evenings.
The yoga shala and all other buildings located at the center of the property are built for comfort and safety while also being ecological. Unlike many ashrams, the center does not cut corners and invests in good quality earthen construction and facilities.
All of the buildings have stone foundations reaching far into the mountainside for increased stability. The cane, cyprus, pine, and rocks used in the construction are locally sourced, where local community workers built each house with care. Permaculture principles are followed to ecologically enhance the quality of the construction and design-functionality of the center.
You will be served healthy, well-balanced, nutritious, organic, locally produced vegetarian meals. To the greatest extent possible, produced greens and herbs come from Doron Yoga & Zen Center's own garden. Please let Doron Yoga know if you have any food allergies or special dietary restrictions. If possible, carry any food that may be specific to your dietary requirement.
Doron Yoga is able to accommodate vegan and gluten-free dietary restrictions with advanced notification. Breakfast includes options such as fresh fruit served with superfood oatmeal packed full of the goodness of chia and flax seeds, cinnamon, peanuts, raisins, shredded coconut, and bananas or mangos, superfood smoothie with hearty granola made in-house, or shakshouka, a Middle Eastern egg, tomato, onion, and herb dish.
Doron Yoga also offers the special sprouted garbanzo pancakes with fruit compote. Kombucha, superfood smoothies, bliss balls (made with pure local Mayan cacao), and banana muffins are available for sale throughout the day.
With all of the beautiful nature and serenity of the Doron Yoga & Zen Center, you may just want to stay on the grounds enjoying the view of the lake (lago Atitlan), reading a book in a hammock, dipping in the river pools, or book a massage or other treatments at the Doron Yoga & Zen Center. If you feel like venturing out to see more of what is around Lake Atitlan, there are great opportunities to explore.
You can take an excursion to neighboring villages and towns, swim, kayak, hike, bird watch, enjoy holistic treatments in San Marcos, and more. All the villages around Lake Atitlan are awesome, but the most known ones for travelers are San Pedro, San Marcos, Panajachel, and now Tzununa is the next up and coming spiritual and permaculture center.
The Doron Yoga & Zen Center is located in Tzununa - the Mayan land of hummingbirds and water. This quiet, serene village is surrounded by hills on Lake Atitlan with great views of the volcanoes on the other side of the lake. There are a lot of yoga activities around Lake Atitlan, and now Tzununa is becoming the authentic yoga leader of Central America. About 20 minutes up the hill is the Tzununa waterfall with 500-year old Mayan paintings.
There are a lot of hiking options around Tzununa with great views. You can swim in the lake, bird watch, or just walk around this real authentic village that still has the flavor of the tradition to it. Local lanchas (boat taxis) stop about every 20 minutes to take you to explore other towns around Lake Atitlan.
The town of San Marcos, to the west of Tzununa, can be reached by lancha, tuk-tuk (five minutes), or by foot (30 minutes) along a dirt road. Known as a spiritual center of Central America, you will find many workshops and classes, including kirtan, dance, shamanism, cacao ceremonies, Reiki, massage, and yoga classes in San Marcos, among others. One of the calm villages around Lake Atitlan, San Marcos offers many cafes and chill out restaurants of various flavors.
There is a natural reserve, which has a fun deck to jump from, straight into the refreshing lake. Kayaks for rent are at the entrance to the reserve. The town hosts a small health food store and numerous mini markets that carry a variety of health food products, including kombucha, locally sourced honey, various seeds and powders, and more.
Additionally, you can learn Spanish at the San Marcos Spanish School (a branch of the San Pedro Spanish School) in beautiful outdoor study cabana.
Going around Lake Atitlan to the other side via public boat, San Pedro has more of a vibrant backpacker’s atmosphere and is a little less expensive than San Marcos. It also hosts numerous bars and restaurants for a night out, including the well-known Sublime and the Wild Rover.
You can quench your thirst and fill up on vitamins and minerals with a delicious fresh juice or smoothie. De’ Juice Girls are located on the main tourist strip along the lakeside (first left after you come up from the dock and down a few shops on the right-hand side). Further down the street, you will find an American-run health food store Salud Para Vida - offering an impressive array of products but at a premium higher than the US retail rates.
More on the food side, Carnivores and vegetarians alike can mindfully enjoy Smokin Joe’s BBQ, offering flexitarians the occasional mouth-watering steak and a bountiful salad bar!
To conclude your trip to San Pedro you must stop at the market, preferably on the weekend. It offers produce spices, meat, cheese, clothing, kitchen needs, and other surprises. Keep going up the hill from the Pana Dock. It is mostly active every day till 12:30 p.m.
Santa Cruz is the small village seat of one of the lake’s municipalities, which also houses numerous expatriates in villages and hotels lining the lake. Hostal La Iguana offers drinks, food, and scuba diving. Retreat centers such as Villa Sumaya and Isla Verde are part of Santa Cruz. CECAP, a vocational center for locals, runs a good café and sells some great local food products, including herbal tea and homemade peanut butter.
Considered a gateway to the lake, as this town is easily reached from Guatemala City and Antigua. It is the first town around the lake to get gringos settling in. In the 60s, many expats came down there, some choosing this awesome lake instead of the war in Vietnam. Panajachel has a great market every day, which includes produce, fabrics, cloths, and more. It gets even busier Saturdays and Sundays.
Panajachel is also a great place for shopping along Calle Santander. Santander market offers many traditional items, but also many items one may wish for at home, made with traditional fabrics.
Pana is a good place to exchange/withdraw money (BAM, Colua, Banco Industrial). There are a few DHL store locations and a stores that sell international foods. There are phone agencies, lots of food options, and a quick bus ride up to the bigger town and market of Solola. Solola market hosts more of a traditional feel and cheaper prices that some other markets around Lake Atitlan.
This beautiful artisanal town is the home of friendly locals and many co-op fair trade organizations. The paintings and textiles here are worth the visit. There are also coffee shops that sell home roasted coffee, a chocolate shop and lots of beautiful hand painted murals with local Mayan themes. You will find enough places to eat there and nice strolling around. It is a calm and peaceful village, even if tourism is on the rise there, the charm is still alive.
The major town of Santiago is located under Volcan Tuliman and is known as the home of Maximón who is an idol formed by the fusion of traditional Mayan deities, Catholic saints, and conquistador legends. He is believed to answer the more unscrupulous prayers when offered tobacco, alcohol, and money. Santiago Atitlan is a relative large town with a bigger medical facility and some stalls selling arts and crafts. In general arts, crafts, and boat building are common trades there.
This laid back and simple Mayan village is known for its ceramic work. Combine a visit to Santa Catarina to make it a great one day tour. Taking a tour guide for both can help in seeing the little details and getting to the right shops.
This village hosts a variety of agriculture initiatives and fair trade coffee farms. Enjoy your time around Lake Atitlan - it is magical, spiritual, and like no other. The Mayan tradition mixed with the Christian influence, and now the yoga and meditation practices merge into an amazing experience.
Please book your flight to arrive at La Aurora International Airport (GUA). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request, which will include a taxi to Panajachel, followed by a boat to Tzununa. This costs between 35 to 65 USD depending on the number of the persons sharing, and up to 140 USD for private transportation.
Doron Yoga can arrange an optional group shuttle to leave the airport at noon. It is best to arrive in Panajachel before 2:00 p.m. Boats from Panajachel announce they are headed toward San Marcos, and Doron Yoga are the third public stop from Panajachel, one stop after Jaibalito (unless the boat stops at private docks on the way).
It is possible to also take a shuttle directly to San Pablo, followed by a tuk tuk to Tzununa. This option, however, costs much more and the road is much bumpier and curvier.
Once in Tzununa, you can either walk (10 minutes) or take a tuk-tuk all the way to the Doron Yoga & Zen Center. When getting off the dock, walk up the road and you will see the Centro de Nutrition straight ahead. This is right above the Campo de football, which is considered the entrance to town. Pass the Centro de Nutrition and take the first right turn.
There are a restaurant and a shop (tienda) at the corner. Go straight, you will cross a bridge over the river, after which you take your first left turn onto a dirt road with a big boulder on the left. Go up about 100 meters or so and you will pass around a stone house on the left.
When you reach The Seed (known locally as Casa Blanca) on the right-hand side, take the tiny path directly across the street that goes down to the left between a chain-link fence and a barbed wire fence. Follow the path around and you will see a cane (cana) gate. That is the Doron Yoga & Zen Center.