Travel instructions and frequently asked questions
Where is Lake Atitlan?
The lake is about a two and a half hour drive from Guatemala City or Antigua in the Mayan Highlands. The main town is Panajachel and Villa Sumaya is near Mayan Pueblo of Santa Cruz, accessible only by boat. The following link takes you to a web site with a great deal of information about the Lake. www.atitlan.com
Flights are into Guatemala City. Unless you are taking a short excursion in Guatemala on one side of the retreat or the other we suggest booking a flight for Saturday January 15th and a return flight for Sunday January 23. You can take taxi or shuttle directly to Antigua which is a 30 -40 minutes ride. There are many reasonable places to stay there – an attractive old Spanish Colonial city. Many of the hotels will arrange a shuttle to pick you up at the airport and take you to Antigua. This is a reliable booking site.
We will meet as a group at 1:30 pm Sunday January 16 at the street entrance to the Cathedral Merced (Iglesia de la Merced) in Antigua for a shuttle as a group to Lake Atitlan. The shuttle from Antigua to Panajachel on the Lake is about takes about 2 ½ hours. Some people will prefer to make their own plans to travel to Villa Sumaya. We will organize a group boat ride to Villa Sumaya from Panajachel which is included in the cost of the retreat. The phone number to call with questions is 207-323-5858 (Surya’s phone)
Will you find a roommate for me if I come by myself?
Yes. Many people attend the retreats alone. You will share one of the spacious rooms with another participant.
What is the climate like in January?
January is in the “dry” season and considered one of the most pleasant times to visit. The combination of being about 15 degrees above the equator and 1560 meters (5100 ft.) above sea level makes for an ideal climate. Guatemala is called the land of eternal spring. It’s never uncomfortably cold or hot. The rainy season is from May to October. The days are warm and sunny (70 – 85 Farenheit) nights are cool (50-60 Fahrenheit) It is important that you bring warm clothing for cool nights.
Are there any additional taxes we need to pay?
No. All taxes are included in the price. However tips for the Villa Sumaya staff are appreciated.
Is massage and bodywork available?
Yes. Many types of bodywork/energy healing are available that can be paid by credit card.
What is the food like?
Villa Sumaya offers clean, thoughtful and locally sourced vegetarian food. The menu is a blend of local Mayan and international cuisine from the vegetables, legumes, grains and fruit from the rich agriculture lands of Guatemala.
How many participants do you expect to attend?
Who is the retreat suitable for?
This retreat is appropriate for anyone interested in self-transformation.
Are there any silent periods during the retreat and if so why?
In order to support an environment of inward reflection, there will be silence after the evening meditation until after the morning session. Of course anyone may choose to have as much “alone time” as they would like to extend the periods of silence. Most people today have busy lives and spend very little time in silence. Silence is restful, being the mirror of our natural state. Silent community creates a supportive environment in which to deepen understanding, awareness, openness and compassion. This greatly enhances the benefits of a yoga retreat.
What shall we bring?
Passport, toiletries, flashlight, sunscreen, a watch or time piece, layered clothing to accommodate the range of cool mornings and nights. Villa Sumaya has yoga mats. Villa Sumaya charges 8% if you use a credit card to pay for bodywork session, etc. There are ATM machines in Antigua and Panajachel and this the only way to obtain local currency which we suggest you do before leaving Antigua.