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9 Days Sacred Expression Women's Writing & Yoga Retreat, Guatemala

Women's Self-Exploratory Writing and Yoga Retreat Guatemala

You are invited to take a brave and honest journey into your center to connect with your intuition and express from your core. With this luxury retreat option, breathe and relax into lakeside luxury as you 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 in Guatemala!

Meet the instructors

Aimee & Heather Daya
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  • Daily meditation and yoga practice
  • Daily self-exploratory spontaneous writing sessions
  • 3 + sacred healing ceremonies (eg. Mayan Fire Ceremony, Sound Healing, Cacao, Dance & Movement)
  • Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and beautiful view around Lake Atitlan
  • Spa treatment and group wood-burning sauna session
  • 3 delicious organic vegetarian meals daily
  • 8 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


8 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 12
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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.

During the retreat, you will be staying in the beautiful rooms of the Maya Rose house. 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. Most rooms can be arranged either as a private room (with a queen-sized bed) or double room (with two twin-sized beds), based on the requests of the guests.

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.

Two complimentary computers are offered for quick check-ins with friends and family. Wi-Fi access is available for 20 USD for the week


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, you are the art form.

Every woman has a voice in her own life. You are gathering together to rise it up and own your self-expression. Inspired by the four shamanic directions and rising the feminine, you embark on a revealing week of re-igniting the voices of your heart and empowering yourself as the storyteller of your life.

Allow raw, creative expression

In the women's circle, you will raise inner journey themes and work through them with dynamic, reflective, and creative self-exploratory writing exercises. In addition to verbal writing prompts, you may bring in movement, images, nature, or sound. You will find that prompted writing gives you a key inside, and somehow you are more able to sneak past your internal filters to unlock fierce personal truths and insights.

The circle provides a loving and encouraging space to free your inner voices, speak your experience, enliven your possibilities, spark your imagination, and connect more deeply to energies within and with each other. The alchemy is in the daring greatly, it's in the sharing.

Call in the four directions and feminine energy

The four directions (embodied by the serpent, the jaguar, the hummingbird, and the eagle) provide a thematic framework to inspire the sacred journey. They beckon you to an adventure of higher levels of perception and connection, to detach from self-limiting stories, and come back to your heart and your courage. You are inspired to become more aware of how you influence your reality. You are invited to envision your life into greater beauty. You will plunge deeper into the center of your wild, knowing and beautiful feminine nature, calling her to rise in strength as you take the journey.

Explore and open your stories

With raw expression, you will play at exploring the inner stories that constrain you and limit your perception, such as character roles you play, limiting beliefs you animate, narratives you create and recreate, and the words that entrap you. You will open the possibility to transcend these creative blocks of your creative energy.

You will practice giving your feelings form, putting them into motion and expression so they can transform. You will play with the creativity of perspective, exploring how to rewrite your experiences, reclaim your narratives, and own your role as the storyteller of your life. You will let awe in and invite back mystery. As you explore your inner stories with honesty and compassion, you will feel your voice begin to emerge more authentic and true.

Gather in ceremony

You will participate in evening healing sessions (sound, movement) and ceremonies for renewing wise and wild guiding energy. These will complement the writing journey in reclaiming your heart and soul voice.

Meditate and practice yoga in nature

With daily guided meditation and yoga, you reconnect with the direct sensory experiences of your breath and your body, and become increasingly aware of the power and influence of the energy you bring to each moment. Meditation and yoga support you to reach beyond your daily thoughts and become more present to the moment and to yourself. Through stillness and movement, you listen deeper within, open up, and release.

During meditation, yoga, and the sacred self-exploratory writing circles, you will 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. You will arrive on Saturday, August 11th, 2018 in the afternoon to relax and settle in. The circle will be opened in the evening after dinner. Your daily flow will begin on Sunday, August 12th. Please note on two days, you will have only one writing circle to allow some space for excursions.

Sample daily schedule 1

  • 06:30 Sadhana Meditation
  • 07:00 Holistic Hatha Flow or Vinyasa Flow
  • 08:30 Delicious breakfast
  • 10:00 Sacred expression writing circle or discussion
  • 12:30 Delicious lunch and free time
  • 15:00 Sacred expression writing circle or discussion
  • 18:30 Delicious dinner
  • 19:45 Sauna, circle, healing ceremonies (some evenings)

Sample schedule 2

  • 07:15 Meditation and holistic Hatha Flow/Vinyasa Flow
  • 09:00 Delicious breakfast
  • 10:15 Sacred expression writing circle and discussion
  • 13:00 Delicious lunch followed by free time
  • 16:00 Sacred expression writing circle and discussion
  • 18:30 Delicious dinner
  • 19:45 Sauna, circle, and healing ceremonies on some evenings

Included excursions

On days with longer breaks, you will have the option for excursions:

Guided Cultural Excursion (San Juan Village Tour):

Explore the women's art cooperatives (exquisite traditional weaving & natural dye techniques) that this charming, local village is famous for. An excellent local shopping opportunity.

Guided Active Excursion (Kayak Paddle & Hike):

Kayak paddle to San Marcos La Laguna (1.5 hours), enjoy lunch, and then return via a hiking trail (3 hours) that passes through villages and forest, and is full of panoramic elevated views along the lake. You can also choose to kayak one way and return via speedboat instead.

Self-Kayak Rental:

Rather than the active excursion, I like the idea of kayaking but I'd prefer just to paddle around near the retreat center for an hour or two on my own.


Aimee Hansen

Heather Daya Rideout


This retreat will take place at Villa Sumaya in Santa Cruz, Guatemala. Cradled by rural highlands and lush forests, Lake Atitlan is a breathtaking beauty framed by three majestic volcanoes, Atitlán (11,598 feet), Toliman (10,360 feet), and San Pedro (9,908 feet), 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.



  • Hiking
  • Hot tub / Jacuzzi
  • Kayaking
  • Massage
  • Sauna
  • Stargazing
  • Swimming
  • Temazcal


  • Balcony
  • Bar
  • Café
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Lake
  • Meditation garden
  • Special menu request
  • Terrace
  • Yoga shala


  • Free bottled water
  • Internet access
  • Laundry
  • Local market
  • Room cleaning
  • Wireless internet


Three delicious vegetarian meals per day are included in the price. Embracing the values of slow-food preparation and culinary consciousness, Cafe Sumaya Sol offers delicious 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 USD per meal). Organic artisan coffee and a wide selection of herbal teas are available. You can also treat yourself to exotic smoothies, kombucha, wine or cocktails, and raw homemade snacks and treats.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

It's always recommended to stay at the lake and in Guatemala for some extra time and enjoy the beauty, if your schedule allows. During your stay at Villa Sumaya, you can 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 and pools, or detox in the sauna in daily breaks. On two days, there will be longer breaks. Storyteller Within Retreats offers optional group excursions such as visits to villages or adventure options.

Spa treatments

The on-site Harmony spa offers additional 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.

What's included

  • Daily meditation and yoga practices
  • 1 group wood-burning sauna and night jacuzzi
  • 2 self-exploratory writing circles (most days 3 or more)
  • Sacred healing ceremonies
  • 3 daily delicious, organic, and vegetarian meals per day
  • 8 nights accommodation
  • Unlimited tea or coffee service
  • Use of solar spa pools

What's not included

  • Additional activities or excursions
  • Airfare
  • Extra spa treatments, massages, or private saunas
  • Meal supplements and alcohol
  • Personal expenses
  • Transportation to and from the venue
  • Travel insurance
  • Wi-Fi access

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at La Aurora International Airport (GUA). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request. The closest international airport to Lake Atitlan is Guatemala City's La Aurora International Airport, which is 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.

Storyteller Within Retreats can help arrange your private transportation to Villa Sumaya from the airport, hotels nearby, or from Antigua. Private shuttles are $100 (individual) or $15/$25 per person, depending on how many other guests you are sharing with. Storyteller Within Retreats can coordinate with other guests with arrivals or pick-ups at similar times. The private shuttle will pick you up from the airport or your hotel for the three hour journey to Panajachel, where it will bring you to the boat dock.

From the dock in Panajachel, they can pre-arrange a private boat ride. The cost depends on how many guests you are sharing with. You can easily get a public boat to the Villa Sumaya dock too for 15 GTQ or 3 USD. The ride is fifteen minutes.

You are advised to fly into La Aurora Intl Guatemala City (GUA) by 1 p.m. on the day retreat begins, and book return flights for mid or late afternoon on the day the retreat ends.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 14% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 45 days before arrival.
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