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The 6 Best Lake Atitlan Yoga Retreats

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Guatemala is well-known for its outstanding yoga retreats, the best of which can be found on gorgeous Lake Atitlan. Most of the amazing Lake Atitlan yoga retreats feature fantastic views of the lake and surrounding volcanoes, adding another layer to an already serene and peaceful experience.

You will be spoiled for choice when choosing a yoga retreat on Lake Atitlan, as each one has a different focus, facilities and teaching philosophy. In this guide we will take you through all the best Guatemala yoga retreats in Lake Atitlan in detail to help you choose the perfect fit for your next yoga getaway.

So if you’re looking to find the perfect Lake Atitlan yoga retreat, you should find all the info you need here!

Woman on roof doing yoga at Lake Atitlan with volcanoes in the background

Lake Atitlan is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, both in our opinion and that of many famous visitors over the years. An incredibly deep crate lake formed by the collapse of an ancient volcano, it is surround by steep ridges and three volcanoes still standing. Volcanoes San Pedro, Toliman and Atitlan can all be climbed or simply admired from any of the amazing viewpoints around the lake.

Each Lake Atitlan village has its own atmosphere, level of accessibility and list of things to do. So, when choosing a Lake Atitlan yoga retreat, it is important to also consider the village you will be staying in to make sure it fits what you are looking for.

Mirador with lake atitlan photo spots

As the original “hippie village” on Lake Atitlan, San Marcos la Laguna is the spiritual and holistic centre of Guatemala. It features two of the top yoga retreats and huge number of like-minded classes, retreats and gatherings.

Meanwhile, up and coming Tzununa is rapidly becoming “the new San Marcos” while remaining very authentic and it also has one of the top Guatemala yoga resorts, Further along the north side of the lake you’ll find Santa Cruz la Laguna with, in our opinion, some of the best views on Lake Atitlan, along with two more of the top yoga retreats on Lake Atitlan.

The final Lake Atitlan yoga retreat on our list is on the far side of the lake near Santiago Atitlan, the largest town on the lake but definitely one of the least touristy and most removed from the backpacker scene you’ll find other places around the lake.

View of Lake Atitlan from Mirador Montenegro
View from Mirador Montenegro above San Antonio Palopo

Meanwhile, there are many other great options for before or after your Lake Atitlan yoga retreat. Panajachel is the oldest tourist town on the lake, while nearby Santa Catarina Palopo is very colourful and one of the prettiest. Next up is the pottery village of San Antonio Palopo, then the virtually unknown San Lucas Toliman, with one of the best restaurants on the lake.

San Pablo is known for its boisterous “feria” celebrations but doesn’t have much in the way of tourist facilities and San Juan la Laguna is our pick for nicest village on Lake Atitlan, although it’s no longer a secret and gets busier with daytrippers every year. Finally, there is San Pedro la Laguna, considered backpacker central and the place to go for cheap stays and wild nights.

Best Lake Atitlan Yoga Retreats in Guatemala

Eagle’s Nest – San Marcos La Laguna

Choose Eagle’s Nest if you want a retreat with aerial and acro yoga options

The first of two excellent options for a San Marcos yoga retreat is Eagle’s Nest, which boasts incredible views from their amazing yoga platform that overlooks the lake in all its glory.

Lake Atitlan yoga retreat platform

Eagle’s Nest tends to attract a younger crowd and are very flexible, letting people customize their yoga retreat to match their timeframe and focus.

Restaurant at Eagles Nest during Lake Atitlan yoga retreats

What sets them apart is that they offer a variety of less common options, such as acro dance & contorsions, acro yoga, circus aerials (silks and Lyra or with fan, staff, whips or hula) and flow arts with fire. They also offer daily morning classes that include manifestation vinyasa, ashtanga, kundalini, power flow, open heart flow and yin/yang options.

Lounge area at Eagles Nest for Lake Atitlan Yoga retreats
Hangout area in Eagle’s Nest

Also, it may not be yoga-related exactly, but their occasional ecstatic dance parties are very popular, as well. 

The price you pay for those stunning views from the yoga shala and many of the rooms is that it is a bit of a trek to get there. However, you can take a tuk-tuk most of the way and have just a 2-minute walk left on a narrow dirt path.

San Marcos La Laguna Eagles Nest
Accommodation at Eagle’s Nest

Eagle’s Nest yoga retreats are all-inclusive, as well, which means all your meals, accommodation and yoga are all included in the price.

Click here to check prices and availability at Eagle’s Nest

San Marcos attracts a very unique crowd of tourists and backpackers, drawn by its reputation as an “energy vortex” and is filled with holistic healing centres, spiritual gatherings and new age workshops. A hippie village, if you will. But it also boasts a lot of fantastic restaurants, good value hotels and beautiful lakefront areas. Most of the tourist action takes place close to the lake. Following the narrow little path leading up from the dock you will pass most of the hotels, restaurants, shops and tour agencies.

You might also want to read our Guide to San Marcos La Laguna

View of volcanoes from San Marcos La Laguna restaurant
Restaurant with a view in San Marcos

The Yoga Forest – San Marcos la Laguna

Choose Yoga Forest if you want a retreat with a wellness focus

The second outstanding San Marcos yoga retreat is Yoga Forest, also featuring a spectacular location way up the hill. The views are as terrific as you’d expect and they are well-known for their full service retreats and broad range of offerings.

Yoga shala at a Lake Atitlan yoga retreat
Yoga shala at Yoga Forest

The 25-minute walk up the hill can be confusing but someone from the hotel can meet you in the village to guide you. The journey up follows a few small trails through the trees and ends in a steep staircase carved into rock, so you might want to think about your luggage choices carefully before coming here.

Restaurant area at yoga forest on Lake Atitlan
Restaurant at Yoga Forest

If you choose Yoga Forest you won’t necessarily have to join a specific retreat. They have it set up so that you can design your own retreat covering the length of your stay (with a 2-night minimum). Multiple daily yoga classes are included in your stay and you can choose from a wide array of wellness treatments at extra cost.

These additional offerings include numerology & chakras, yoga nidra deep relaxation, reiki healing, 5th dimension meditation, tarot reading, consultations with a naturopath, wide variety of massages, transformational breathwork, meridian yin yoga, sound healing, facials, cupping, pranic healing, marma therapy, dance 5 rythms, personal coaching, cacao ceremony, Mayan Nahual reading, sacred dance, lunar woman ceremony, sacred tobacco ceremony, coffee reading, medicinal music, hypnotherapy, past life regression, ancestral healing, inner child therapy, dream manifestations, and psilocybin mushroom ceremonies.

restaurant

The mantra of Yoga Forest is that yoga and wellness are synonymous and combine to provide a ‘safe and sacred space to enliven the body, stimulate the mind, express emotions and renew the spirit.

Rooms with a view at Yoga Forest Lake Atitlan yoga retreats
Rooms with a view at Yoga Forest

Villa Sumaya – Santa Cruz

Choose Villa Sumaya if you want a retreat with amenities

Villa Sumaya is located just outside the lovely little village of Santa Cruz and offers many retreats and yoga trainings throughout the year, including occasional full 200-hour yoga instructor training courses. They also cater to private group retreats, which can be handy if you are a group leader looking to set up a yoga retreat on Lake Atitlan.

View from shala at Villa Sumaya Guatemala yoga retreat
Waterfront yoga shala at Villa Sumaya

Villa Sumaya is arguably the most comfortable of all the Lake Atitlan yoga retreats. The rooms are luxurious and they have a large waterfront complex, pool, boutique shop, sauna & hot tub, healing room, playhouse, Maya healing hut, fire ceremony circle and farm.

pool at villa Sumaya on a yoga retreat Guatemala

There are also a variety of massages, reiki and reflexology, facials and acupuncture available. They also have several different rooms to fit different budgets.

Room with a deck at Villa Sumaya on yoga retreats Guatemala
Room with private deck at Villa Sumaya

Villa Sumaya is ‘dedicated to rejuvenating holistic practices and healing modalities as well as preserving Mayan traditions and facilitating outdoor adventure’. In addition, all of their retreats have a different focus so it is worth checking their website for upcoming options before making a decision.

Sun deck at vill Sumaya during yoga retreats Guatemala

As for Santa Cruz La Laguna, in our opinion, it has the best views of any of the villages on the lake. It has probably the best angle to see both Volcan San Pedro and Volcan Atitlan in the same frame (plus a hint of Volcan Toliman from certain spots). You also get unimpeded views of the relentlessly erupting Volcan Fuego near Antigua. And looking to the west you even get a good look at the dramatic Rostro Maya.

View of lake with two volanoes from Santa Cruz La Laguna Guatemala

Besides the scenery (although it’s a pretty important feature), Santa Cruz also has a really pleasant lakeshore with a nice path that can be walked the entire way, something that isn’t possible in most of the other villages. With a few hotels, restaurants, craft shops and sporting activities this village has a good variety of options for when you have a break.

You might also want to check out our Guide to Santa Cruz La Laguna

Isla Verde – Santa Cruz

Choose Isla Verde if you are looking for a place to host your private retreat

The second Santa Cruz yoga option is Isla Verde, a classic Lake Atitlan yoga retreat that is tucked into a quiet corner of a pleasant bay and is well-known for hosting private retreats. Isla Verde offers a very different type of experience to Villa Sumaya, giving you some decent variety if you decide Santa Cruz is your village of choice.

Isla Verde from the water for yoga on Lake Atitlan
Isla Verde from the water

They have a variety of rooms including hill suites (be prepared for some climbing), cabins and garden suites. You can choose a private retreat that includes yoga, massage and meditation or if you have a group and instructor that you would like to bring down, they will close their hotel and restaurant so you can have it all to yourselves.

Isla Verde - a Santa Cruz La Laguna restaurant

Mystical Yoga Farm – Santiago Atitlan

Choose ecological Mystical Yoga Farm if you want to get away from it all

Mystical Yoga Farm is located on a secluded hill just across the bay from Santiago Atitlan. Serene, secluded and private, it can only be reached by private lancha (boat) from Santiago.

A lovely place for reflection and rejuvenation, they offer a variety of yoga shalas, yoga retreats and teacher trainings as well as a teahouse, vegan food and an “ohm dome”.

Lake Atitlan yoga retreat in Santiago Atitlan
Photo provided by Mystical Yoga Farm

It isn’t the place to go if you need to be in the heart of the action but if you’re mainly looking to relax and reset, Mystical Yoga Farm is one of the most highly recommended options on the lake.

Yoga shala at Mystical yoga farm - a Guatemala yoga retreat
Photo provided by Mystical Yoga Farm

It is the most ecological option for Lake Atitlan yoga with solar power and composting toilets. In their words, Mystical Yoga Farm “is an off-grid spiritual sanctuary focused on healing, transformation, and empowerment. Through the practice of yoga, ceremony, and permaculture we strive to co-create a thriving community environment that is in harmony with nature”.

Accommodation at Mystical yoga farm on Guatemala yoga retreat
Photo provided by Mystical Yoga Farm

Tucked into a valley between all three Lake Atitlan volcanoes – San Pedro, Tolimán and Atitlán – Santiago Atitlan was originally known as Chuitinamit and was the capital of the Tz’utujil Mayan people. And even today, 95% of the population of Santiago is indigenous Mayan.

Women at market
Santiago Atitlan market

Santiago Atitlan still sees far fewer tourists than the main travel destinations on Lake Atitlán such as Panajachel, San Marcos la Laguna and San Pedro la Laguna. Which is one of the main reasons it is such a fascinating place where you can experience another side (somewhat literally) of this beautiful Guatemalan lake.

Plus, while you’re in Santiago, you can pay a visit to the famous Maximón. This life-sized effigy of a Mayan/Catholic deity hangs out in dark rooms, wears a big hat, colourful suit and weirdly plain tie. He smokes a cigar and changes houses each year right after Easter.

You may also want to check out our Guide to Santiago Atitlan

Doron Yoga – Tzununa

Choose Doron Yoga if you want an intense training or retreat

The Doron Yoga & Zen Center features a vast array of yoga options including a style developed by Doron himself, plus ashtanga, vinyasa, yin and pranayama. While they occasionally allow drop-ins, they mainly focus on immersive retreats and yoga teacher trainings (RYS-200 or RYS-500).

Tzununa yoga studio

These retreats and trainings tend to be fairly intense with a focus on learning as much as possible during your time there. Of course, there is still enough extra time for the occasional hike, tour or simply to relax. Accommodation and meals are included in the price and the buffet-style vegetarian meals are largely sourced from their own farm.

They also have meditation sessions and every activity at Doron incorporates nutrition, breathing and mind training.

Hammock in lush grounds

You can choose from rooms with a view, private bathrooms and balconies with hammocks to more basic rooms with shared bathrooms. There are also a variety of communal hammocks, meditation spots and cozy places scattered around the grounds.

Rooms at Tzununa yoga retreat
Rooms with a view at Doron Yoga

Doron Yoga is located in the quiet traditional Lake Atitlan village of Tzununa. With a pretty backdrop, the standard excellent views of the lake and volcanoes and more available space than other villages, Tzununá has become the latest expat hotspot and the perfect place to experiment with an astounding variety of alternative hobbies, lifestyles and farming methods.

Tzununa and Lake Atitlan from Lomas de Tzununa
View of Tzununa from above

However, it still very much retains the feel of a traditional Guatemalan village. Despite its growing expat community, Tzununá is still much quieter and offers a much slower pace of life than busier tourist centres like San Marcos or backpacker central San Pedro.

You might also want to check out our Guide to Tzununa

Lake Atitlan Map

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Summary

These 6 hotels are definitely some of the best yoga retreats in Guatemala. And, while each of them is unique and has its own pros and cons, we’re sure you’ll be able to find a perfect fit. The important thing is to determine your main priorities, from views, location and atmosphere to specific yoga offerings and intense training options.

From there you can choose the village and Lake Atitlan yoga retreat that suits you best. Or, maybe you’ll decide you don’t need a complete retreat, but are happy enough enjoying the magnificent views and laid-back atmosphere of Lake Atitlan while throwing down a mat for some DIY yoga whenever it suits your fancy.

Either way, you can’t go wrong.

Other posts you might find interesting:

175 Great Yoga Captions

San Marcos la Laguna: A Guide to Lake Atitlan’s Spiritual Village

Santa Cruz la Laguna: A Guide to Lake Atitlan’s Village with the Best Views

Santiago Atitlan: Guide to an Authentic Mayan Town

Tzununa: Guide to Lake Atitlan’s Holistic Village

San Juan la Laguna: A Guide to Lake Atitlan’s Artistic Village

San Pedro la Laguna: A Guide to Lake Atitlan’s Most Popular Village

Jaibalito: A Guide to Lake Atitlan’s Quietest Village

Panajachel Guatemala: Gateway to Stunning Lake Atitlan

Santa Catarina Palopo: A Guide to Lake Atitlan’s Most Colourful Village

San Antonio Palopo: A Guide to Lake Atitlan’s Pottery Village

San Lucas Toliman: Guide to Lake Atitlan’s Secret Village

Pasajcap Rentals: Our Favourite Place to Stay on the Lake

2 thoughts on “The 6 Best Lake Atitlan Yoga Retreats”

  1. Thanks so much for featuring Villa Sumaya on this list! We’ve been welcoming teachers, students, travelers, and guests to the magical shores of Lake Atitlan for over 20 years. Just wanted to add that our School of Yoga is offering 200-hour Yoga Teacher Trainings June 2023 and June 2024 if any of your readers are interested in becoming a certified yoga instructor <3
    villasumaya.com/school-of-yoga

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