Written by Pille Mitt

Yoga Retreat & Exciting Volcano Hiking in Guatemala 2023

This is more than just a yoga retreat, it is an active adventure with volcano hiking, baby sea turtles, and ancient Mayan culture.

With all the stresses of daily life adding up, it’s no surprise that more and more people are looking to stay at a yoga retreat on their travels. Yoga retreats are not just about improving fitness and strength, but about calming your mind and connecting you to your spiritual self.

Guatemala is known as the Land of Eternal Spring, for its active volcanoes, rainforests, ancient Mayan sites, Spanish colonial towns, and the iconic Lake Atitlan which is surrounded by gorgeous nature spots. With all this nature, you’ll be nestled in a landscape that exhales calmness and tranquility.

Imagine a deep, cobalt lake surrounded by dozens of tiny villages and looming volcanoes. That is Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Its shores have been attracting hippies and hedonistic travelers for decades.

It is no secret that Guatemala grows some of the best coffee in the world. If you know a little about coffee, then you know that the best coffee grows at higher elevations.

Antigua Guatemala is known as the best-preserved Spanish colonial city in Central America. Stroll the cobblestone streets, lounge with the locals in Central Park on sunny afternoons, or hike up one of the volcanoes overlooking the city for amazing views. Antigua used to be the capital of Guatemala until a damaging earthquake caused a switch to Guatemala City. As harrowing as the earthquake must have been at that time, some of the remains of Antigua’s stunning colonial buildings still stand today.

Yoga Retreat Program: 

18. November, Saturday - Day 1: Transfer from the La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City to Antigua City. First night in Antigua.

19. November, Sunday - Day 2: Acatenango Vulcano overnight hike

We depart Antigua early in the morning in a private shuttle for a comfortable one-hour drive to the Mayan village of Soledad and the Acatenango trailhead. The drive from Antigua to the start of the Acatenango trek takes around 1 hour depending on traffic, police checkpoints and animals on the road, etc.

The 1525 m ascent winds its way up through four distinct ecosystems, starting with a tapestry of fertile agricultural fields where local farmers harvest corn, flowers, and snow peas. From there, the trail rises into an old-growth tropical cloud forest that harbors a diversity of flora and fauna, and also provides hikers shade and comfort as they push up the steep slope. Emerging from the cloud forest, we enter a sparse high-alpine forest that reveals views of six additional volcanoes, making it a great spot for a scenic trail lunch.

After lunch, we make the final push of the day and climb above the tree line into the fourth microclimate wind-swept and mystical volcanic terrain.

The campsite is already set up at 3600 m.a.s.l., we do not need to carry any of the camping gear. The tents are for 2-3 people. Each tent has a pillow, – 6°C sleeping bag, an extra blanket, and a 5″ or 12cm comfortable mattress, under the matt all over the tent is a waterproof carpet to isolate the cold from the bottom, also there is an extra tarp to isolate the cold from the top. They provide also a clean inner sleeping bag and the campsite got its own outhouse.

Now we can relax, stretch, and take in the sweeping views of the Antigua Valley and Volcan Fuego before being served a hot dinner followed by coffee, tea, and marshmallows over the campfire. The campsite looks directly over Volcan Fuego, and your evening is spent splitting time between gasping at volcanic eruptions and staring into a mesmerizing sky full of stars above.  Fuego is one of the most active volcanoes in Central America and has erupted more than 60 times in the last 500 years.

20. November, Monday - Day 3: Wake up call at 04.00 am. We begin a 90-minute ascent up to Acatenango’s summit (3976 m) to watch the sunrise. It is a steep but rewarding climb through dwarf pine trees and gravel scree that leads to the top of the world. From the summit, we will find 360-degree views of  Volcan Fuego, the Antigua Valley, and the distant Guatemalan highlands that stretch all the way to the border of Mexico.

Breakfast is at 8.00 at the base camp.

We are back in Antigua early afternoon (~1:00 pm) with plenty of time for a celebratory beer, cappuccino, or a siesta! Overnight in Antigua.

21. November - Day 4: Shuttle to our yoga retreat location near lake Atitlan, where we have an evening yoga class and dinner.

Lake Atitlán sits at an altitude of just over 1550 meters above sea level. The surrounding Lake Atitlan is world-renowned for its Cacao and Coffee plantations.

22. November - Day 5: Morning yoga class, breakfast, relaxing by the lake, paddleboarding or kayaking, lunch, evening yoga class, and Sacred Mayan Cacao Ceremony.

It was believed that the gods gifted cacao to the people directly. The scientific genus name for cacao is theobroma, which translates to “Food of the Gods,” and the Maya believed that cacao was a key ingredient in restoring balance and connection to the divine.

23. November - Day 6: Morning yoga class, breakfast, Tzununa permaculture farm tourLove Probiotics, and a short hike to local waterfalls. Lunch at Tzununa. Evening yoga and dinner at the retreat center.

Love Probiotics produce healthy, live, locally sourced, fermented probiotic foods and beverages (various types of raw sauerkrauts, raw vinegar, organic black, green, and white tea kombuchas, ginger beer, sparkling water kefirs, jun tea, organic kefir yogurt, Lacto-fermented hot sauce, super-food bliss balls, sourdough bread and more!), and they also offer a variety of hands-on fermentation workshops.

24. November - Day 7: Morning yoga class, breakfast, visit Panajachel, evening yoga, and dinner at the retreat center.

Panajachel, known as Pana, is home to several restaurants featuring local and international cuisine, coffee shops, street food vendors, and more. The town's main street, Calle Santander, is where visitors can shop for textiles and artisanal pieces handmade by indigenous people from around the lake. Panajachel offers a spectacular view of the San Pedro, Tolimán, and Atitlán volcanoes.

25. November - Day 8: Indian Nose Sunrise hike with a local guide, brunch, dinner, relaxing, and evening yoga at the retreat center.

The Indian Nose is the mountain on the northwest shore of Lake Atitlan. Also called Rupalaj K’istalin, this 2550 meters tall mountain presents one of the most rewarding climbs of Lake Atitlan. In addition to viewing the sunrise over a chain of volcanoes and then onto the pristine waters, this climb provides great views over the San Juan and San Pedro la Laguana villages. The climb takes about 30 minutes. The peak of Indian Nose is at just over 2200 meters elevation.

26. November - Day 9: Morning yoga, breakfast, and transfer to El Paredon on the Pacific coast to watch the release of baby sea turtles. The drive is about 4 hrs, 180 km.

Pacific Coast beaches typically have black volcanic sand. El Paredon is a very laid-back village with a spectacular black sand beach and ocean waves that are perfect for surfers and skilled swimmers. From September to December, every morning at 5.45 am baby turtles is released into the wild from the Driftwood Conservation Project on Playa El Paredon. The number of turtles released depends on the number that hatch. And that depends on the weather – fewer turtles hatch when it’s rainy.

The Pacific coast is famous for its beautiful sunsets. We will have a meditation walk at the beach and time to admire the sunset. Dinner at the restaurant and overnight at the El Paredon Surfhouse.

27. November - Day 10: Shuttle to the La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City and say goodbye.

Yoga Retreat price and booking information

Very early bird (booking 6 months in advance) until May 18
Shared room 1200 USD
Private room 1700 USD
Shared room for 2 persons 2200 USD (1100 per person)

Early bird (booking 3 months in advance) until August 18
Shared room 1400 USD
Private room 1900 USD
Shared room for 2 persons 2600 USD (1300 per person)

Last-minute booking (less than 3 months in advance) from August 19
Shared room 1600 USD
Private room 2100 USD
Shared room for 2 persons 3000 USD (1500 per person)

We ask for a deposit of 350 USD per participant to reserve your spot in this yoga retreat.

50% of the remaining balance should be paid 60 days before the retreat starts (September 2023).

The remaining balance should be paid 30 days before the retreat starts (October 2023).

Cancellation less than 30 days before the start of the retreat: 100% cancellation fee (no refund)

Fees are completely non-refundable and non-transferable.

You can make your reservation and pay your deposit by clicking here.

Article written by Pille Mitt
Community for healthy lifestyle. Yoga, hiking, retreats, nutrition and wellbeing!
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