Lake Atitlan has been lauded as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world for centuries, by everyone from German naturalists like Alexander von Humboldt to English intellectualists like Aldous Huxley . It’s also been revered as a major spiritual vortex, and center for healing.
Day 1- 5: Arrive in Guatemala City, where a driver will escort us to the beautiful Lake Atitlan, located 3-4 hours away.
Framed by the mountains on one side, and the majestic Lake Atitlan on the other, Doron Yoga & Zen Center offers an eco-chic experience that is both comfortable and beautiful. The name “Tzununa” is Kaqchikel (local dialect) for “Hummingbird of the water”, or locally referred to as “Hummingbird Valley”. The river flows year round with waterfalls higher in the valley offering a nice place to cool down and enjoy the lush natural beauty of the area. Lots of local trails weave the hillsides allow for hiking and gorgeous views of the valley and lake.
Smooth cypress flooring and full length floor-to-ceiling windows open to great lake and volcano views. Sliding glass doors at the front and sides allow a nice breeze and the sound of the river into the space.
A second, smaller, open plan Yoga Hall is located on the rooftop of Ananda House with a splendid view of the mountains, volcanoes, lake, avocado trees and a fresh breeze.
Yoga mats, meditation cushions, blankets, straps, and blocks are available for our daily use. There will be a morning and evening yoga session for the four full days at the retreat.
The accommodations at Doron Yoga & Zen Center were built with care by local Mayan craftspeople and constructed with ecological practices in mind. Rustic and charming, rooms have either a jungle, garden, or lake view; they are decorated with murals, local art and textiles.
All bathrooms have hot showers with either gas or solar heated water and western toilets (eco treatment). The water is sourced from a spring supplied by the municipality as well as river water that runs through the property.
With all of the beautiful nature and serenity, you may just want to stay on the grounds enjoying the view of the lake, reading a book in a hammock, dipping in the river pools, or book a massage or other treatment.
The Tzununa River runs across the entire length of the property. Lined with hammocks and benches, it is the perfect place to relax and restore. The grounds are a lush oasis of banana, coffee, berries, avocado, a vegetable farm and herb gardens.
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/towns, swim, paddle board, kayak, hike, bird watch and enjoy holistic treatments in San Marcos, and more. The simplest way to get around Lake Atitlan is by boat.
The Buddha Cafe is a wonderful meeting point. The outdoor deck dining space overlooks the lake; it is surrounded by the lush landscape and has a variety of seating (and hammock) options.
Nutritious vegetarian meals will be served buffet-style three times daily. Breakfast is served at 8:30 am, lunch is served at 1:00 pm, and dinner is served at 6:30pm. Vegan and gluten-free dietary restrictions can be accommodated with advanced notification.
Herbal tea, fresh coffee and purified drinking water are available throughout the day. Home brewed Kombucha, super food smoothies, bliss balls (made with pure local Maya Cacao), choco-banana muffins, and other homemade goodies are available for sale as well.
Our retreat is fortunate to have two instructors offering daily classes for four full days.
Jessica King, MSW, LCSW, ERYT
Jessica came to yoga over 20 years ago as an alternative way to “work out”. She immediately felt the mind-body connection, but it took many years of exploring and practicing to understand yoga was more of a “working in”. This jump-started her journey towards the mindfulness-based and somatic practices used in her mental health profession today.
Her training and style are in vinyasa yoga – linking breath to movement, and exploring the uniqueness of each practice day to day. When not traveling and teaching at yoga retreats, Jessica owns and operates Stillpoint Counseling and Wellness, a group private practice in Wilmington NC.
Nancy Smith, MA, E-R , RYT, YACEP
Nancy Smith has been in the field of movement and dance education for nearly 25 years. She is currently the owner of Movement Works in Calabash NC, a studio offering yoga, tai chi, fitness, holistic healing and more.
A graduate of New York University Nancy earned her MA from Steinhardt School of Education and Culture in dance where she began a teaching journey in New York City public schools and private institutions. In addition to teaching dance she is a 20+ practitioner of yoga and holds E-RYT 500+ certification. Movement Works is also a continuing education provider as per Yoga Alliance.
Nancy is certified in Pilates mat as well as Reiki Level I. Most recently she earned her Anti Gravity Yoga Fundamentals Level I & II certification and is enjoying spending a little time in life upside down.
Day 6 & 7: After breakfast, a driver will take us three hours to the colorful, colonial town of Antigua. A city that boasts cobblestone streets, cute cafes and volcanoes looming in the distance, is unarguably charming and easy to fall in love with. Walk, shop and enjoy outstanding food during our stay.
Our hotel for the next two evenings is situated on one of Antigua’s famed cobblestone streets in front of the superb 18th-century Capuchin convent. Sumptuous accommodations, a picture-perfect location, and award-winning along with a restaurant offering splendid international cuisine.
Day 8: A driver will take us to Guatemala City (1-2 hours, depending on traffic) for our return flights home.