Villa Sumaya

If you come to Guatemala, you can’t leave without visiting Lake Atitlan. Among other wonderful things, the villages around Lake Atitlan offer an abundance of yoga retreats, spas, vegetarian and generally gorgeous places to retreat into. Do the research to see what suits you best…and in the meantime, read about my own magical experience at Villa Sumaya:

IMG_3807One Friday Evening in December Midway through the drive from Antigua to Atitlan-my driver speeding recklessly through fog and dark, windy “roads”- I started to question my judgement to travel at night and to pray that the little boat I had supposedly ordered, would in fact be waiting for me at the port. It was only 930 PM when we arrived at the port of Panajachel, but it felt like midnight-everything was dark, shut off and dead quiet. Luckily, Villa Sumaya had come through and there was 1 man sitting in his boat in the dark, waiting for a “Den-issay”to arrive. My taxi driver looked mildly concerned as I threw abandon into the wind and climbed onto what felt like a toy row boat. “Call me when you arrive…” he said, his voice trailing off. “..IF you arrive,” I thought silently.

The boat took off. Suddenly, the space around me was full of wind, water and a nighttime sky that I will never forever: a sky made of soft, violet black with thousands of cream colored stars- most of them shooting. One could not tell where began and where ended the sky, the lake or the volcanoes  encircling the lake. They were all just shapes, just shadow and the color black, harmoniously designed to fit together into  a surreal landscape.

Neither words nor pictures can capture the combination of sensations- the uncertainty of having no idea where I was or if I would even arrive at my destination; the feeling of full acceptance or ‘letting go’ and placing trust into the hands of a complete stranger; the humbling aspect of being a speck of a human encircled by magnificent volcanoes that have existed far longer than I could fathom; the inky darkness of the night and the simultaneous creamy lightness of shooting stars; the rapid movement of wind and water from the boat’s engine- all this created a magical ten minute welcome into the dock of Villa Sumaya.

Oftentimes daytime can’t compare to nighttime magic, but Villa Sumaya by day defies this. Put simply– it is an oasis of tranquility and warmth; vegetarian food & yoga; and a nice blend of Guatemalan and international decor & people. Totally worth the trek.




To reserve your visit or learn more, please visit


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