6 Days Weight Loss and Cooking Holiday in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

6 Days Weight Loss and Cooking Holiday in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

  • Lake Villa Guatemala, Rural Route, Santiago Atitlán 07019, Guatemala

Whole Foods Eating Holiday Guatemala

Have you tried popular diets and still haven’t kept the pounds or kilos off? Do you lose weight and start to feel increased vitality and energy, only to gain the weight back and feel sluggishness return? Join this weight loss program with Lake Villa Guatemala, where they will teach you techniques for losing weight and keeping it off for optimum health. Their techniques are based on proven, medically-sound information.

Highlights

  • Hands-on cooking experience
  • Enjoy guided tours of Lake Atitlan
  • Coaching and resources for health, nutrition, and weight loss
  • Healthy environment to support your weight loss goals
  • Daily healthy vegan meals
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • 6 days with instruction
  • English
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Lake Villa Guatemala is truly private. It is located in a gated area, surrounded by trees, and have a private beach.

Garden View Room

The Garden View room is on the 2nd floor, adjacent to the meditation and yoga space. This room is preferred by those who have difficulty with stairs, as it is the shortest distance to the common and dining areas.

Room Specifications:

  • Artwork: Textiles by local artists
  • Bath: Private, large
  • Bed size: 1 king and 1 full
  • Bedding: High quality cotton
  • Closets: Large, cedar with shelves, hanging space, and drawers
  • Furnishings: Handmade by local craftsmen
  • Toiletries: Locally made, including our hand-crafted soap
  • View: Garden, through a large bay window
  • WiFi: Free, in-room

Lake View Room

This room is on the lowest floor, closest to the lake. It is two flights of stairs from the common and dining areas. The room has a private entrance and patio, with steps leading to the lake path.

In-room coffee and tea service is available.

Room Specifications:

  • Artwork: Paintings and textiles by local artisans
  • Bath: En-suite, newly remodeled with glass block shower
  • Bed size: 2 queens
  • Bedding: High quality cotton
  • Closets: Cedar, large with hanging space, shelves, and drawers
  • Furnishings: Handmade by local craftsmen
  • Toiletries: Locally made, including our hand-crafted soap
  • View: Lake and beautiful park-like grounds
  • WiFi: Free, in-room

During this weight loss retreat, Lake Villa Guatemala teaches you techniques for losing weight and keeping it off for optimum health. The techniques are based on proven, medically-sound information. Lake Villa Guatemala has taken the best from health and weight-loss masters and wrapped them up with its own experience, techniques, and recipes. The weight loss retreats provide a supportive environment to learn about health and nutrition and how to keep weight off for good.

Why Lake Villa Guatemala is special

  • No place else has the combination of superior accommodations and delicious plant-based (pure vegetarian / vegan) meals tailored to your food preferences.
  • Your hosts, Mark and Traci, have a wealth of knowledge about the lake area and, if you choose, will be your personal tour guides during your stay.
  • When you stay here, you are their personal guests. They personally oversee every detail of your stay and your comfort.
  • The lake area has many options for budget accommodations - they’re not one of them. They offer outstanding value, not low prices.
  • Staying here is like having a private villa with a personal chef.
  • Guatemalan towns are known for their cacophony of sounds: barking dogs, crowing roosters, firecrackers, singing from churches, the rushing motors of buses and tuk-tuks. With Lake Villa Guatemala's private, and quiet location, you’ll have the sounds of singing birds, wind in the trees, and the gentle lapping of the lake on the shore.
  • Lake Villa Guatemala has a whole house water filter system. Unlike almost everyplace else in Guatemala, you can drink the water right out of the tap.
  • Lake Villa Guatemala is eco-friendly. They use all natural cleaning products; the spa is one of most energy-efficient models available; everything is recycled and kitchen waste goes into the compost pits to feed their organic garden. They use energy-efficient LED lighting as much as possible. All Lake Villa Guatemala's power is solar, and the hot water is solar thermal! They have platinum level GreenLeader certification from TripAdvisor website for their sustainability efforts.

Vegan approach

If you are vegan, you know how challenging it can be to travel and maintain your vegan diet. Many who come to stay at Lake Villa Guatemala are not vegan or vegetarian, but appreciate the healthy whole food cuisine offered. Even the non-veg guests rave about their food. You will as well explore local markets, visit picturesque villages, and see some of the spectacular sites of Guatemala.

Guided Lake Atitlan tour

Walking tour of Santiago Atitlan

This weight loss retreat will take place in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. The Lake Atitlan area is rich with activities, culture, handcrafted textiles and art, hikes, and wonderful people. Some guests prefer to stay at the Villa and rest in the tranquility. Most choose to explore the lake area in private boat.

You can explore on your own or with a guide. Guided tours are included with Lake Villa Guatemala's all-inclusive packages. Your hosts will help you plan your day trips to get the most from your visit based on your interests.

All daily meals are included in this retreat. You will also have hands-on time in the kitchen preparing foods that match your tastes and lifestyle.

Guatemala has amazing fresh fruits and vegetables with vibrant flavor. The produce is picked ripe here and sold the same day in local markets. Lake Villa Guatemala has a small garden, several fruit trees, and buy most of the produce in the local markets. All produce is disinfected with an ultrasonic washer.

Here are a few sample meals. With advance notice, they can accommodate special dietary needs and food sensitivities (gluten, soy, nuts, and so on). They can also support a raw foods diet.

Breakfast

  • Fresh fruit (seasonal, which may include pineapple, mango, papaya, bananas, berries, apples, peaches, and other locally available fruits)
  • Fresh baked muffins or scones
  • Whole wheat sourdough bread with local jam, peanut butter, or avocado
  • French toast
  • Pancakes
  • Oatmeal with almond, cashew, or coconut milk
  • Tofu scramble (tofu scrambled with fresh veggies)
  • Homemade granola with almond, cashew, or coconut milk
  • *Curry slaw

Lunch

  • Carrot ginger soup
  • Corn chowder
  • Quinoa salad
  • Veggie burgers
  • Asian cabbage salad
  • Curry cole slaw
  • Pasta salad with fresh veggies
  • Tempeh sandwiches with fresh greens
  • Hummus and falafel sandwiches
  • Vegan "tuna" salad
  • Vegan nachos

Dinner

  • Pasta with fresh basil pesto
  • Nachos
  • Curried chickpeas and mango chutney with rice
  • Roasted vegetable lasagna
  • Veggie stir-fry with spicy peanut sauce and rice
  • Homemade tomato sauce over pasta or veggies
  • Mac ‘n’ cheeze (vegan cheezy sauce) and veggies
  • Pizza with fresh veggies or seitan sausage and homemade crust
  • Traditional Guatemalan: Pepian served over tempeh with black beans and plantains

These are just a few of the possibilities!

Lake Villa Guatemala offers daily tours of local villages and trips to local markets. Lake Villa Guatemala will help you find the best of Guatemala's amazing textiles, art, and woodworking. They also offer guided kayak tours.

Bomberos market

On Tuesdays and Fridays, vendors come from around Guatemala and set out their fabric items in the parking lot of the fire department (bomberos). This is where tipico dealers come to shop, and you can find some wonderful pieces at great prices. Selection is best in the morning, and the market usually wraps up around 3.00 to 4:00 p.m. (or earlier in the rainy season).

Cerro de Oro hike

Cerro de Oro is a sweet village that doesn’t even make it on most tourist maps. It has no hotels or restaurants. It’s the closest village to Lake Villa Guatemala, and their workers come from there. It is a Tzutujil village. Cerro de Oro (Hill of Gold) is named for the hill that is its distinguishing feature. Some geologists say that the hill is a parasitic lava dome from Atitlan volcano, but others say it is an ancient volcano in its own right.

The locals call Cerro de Oro the Elefante Dormido (sleeping elephant) because of its shape. The hill’s shape inspired Antoine De Saint-Exupery’s “boa constrictor digesting an elephant” in his book The Little Prince.

Lake Villa Guatemala can arrange for a local guide to take you up the hill. You’ll stop at the ancient Mayan altar (where ceremonies are still performed) and the mirador, with beautiful views of the lake. You may make it to the carved rock at the top, which some guides say is an ancient map. Though it’s a short distance, this is a steep hike that can be slippery on the way down.

Explore local culture

Lake Villa Guatemala arranges fire ceremonies with local Mayan priests and personalized tours to acquaint you with the local culture and spiritual practices. A visit to Santiago Atitlan isn’t complete without a trip to the Catholic church, built by the Spanish in 1541 on the site of an ancient Mayan temple, or a stop to see Maximon.

Many guests enjoy ceremonies with the “chocolate shaman” in San Marcos la Laguna. Lake Villa Guatemala suggests combining your trip across the lake with a tour of the lovely village of San Juan la Laguna. San Juan is known for its art galleries, weaving cooperatives, and fabrics colored with all-natural dyes.

Fire ceremonies

Lake Villa Guatemala works with local healers to arrange Mayan fire ceremonies in Santiago Atitlan. All ceremonies are tailored to the needs of the participants.

Fire ceremonies must be arranged in advance. The shaman selects the day based on the purpose of the ceremony (such as physical healing, business success, relationships) and the date on the Mayan calendar.

You can combine a fire ceremony with a short walking tour of Santiago Atitlan, a trip to the Cojolya Association of Maya Women Weavers, a bit of shopping, and lunch in town.

Horseback riding

Finca Xetuc is located in the back of Santiago Bay. Owners Jim and Nancy have a beautiful property and many years of experience with leading horseback rides. They offer hourly rides, or longer rides that include a meal upon your return to the ranch (breakfast, lunch, or cocktail rides). They also offer organized hikes with beautiful views.

Lake tours

You can rent boat to explore on your own, or have Lake Villa Guatemala guides you to their favorite spots. The most popular tour takes you to San Juan La Laguna and San Pedro La Laguna. Tour leaves around 10:00 for a boat trip to San Juan. San Juan is one of the cleanest villages in Guatemala.

A 20-year campaign has resulted in recycling and everyone picking up trash. But more than cleanliness, San Juan is known for its painters and for its weaving cooperatives that specialize in natural dyes.

In the art galleries, you can see the work of young children, who are taught to paint at an early age. You can also see styles that are sold in Antigua for twice the price and are copied throughout Guatemala. The weaving cooperatives have demonstrations of spinning raw cotton into thread, backstrap weaving, and the plants used to create natural dyes.

After San Juan, you take the short boat ride to San Pedro, which is the “hippie” capital of the lake, and is home to most of the lake’s Spanish schools. They have a lovely park in front of their church, but the real draw here is lunch. San Pedro has a good selection of restaurants with plenty of vegan options.

An alternative to San Pedro is San Marcos La Laguna, the “New Age” town. The paths wind through the wooded town where no cars or tuk-tuks are allowed, past massage and energy healing schools. They have a few restaurants with good vegan options.

Nourish creativity

Are you an artist? Beautiful subjects surround you. Are you a writer? There are a lot of private space for you to write. Musician? There is an electronic piano and acoustic guitar available. The acoustics in the upper common area are amazing. Lake Villa Guatemala is the perfect place to get away from distractions and practice your craft.

San Antonio Palopó

San Antonio is home to small factories that produce a distinctive style of ceramics. From mugs and plates to door pulls and flower vases, you’ll find beautiful pieces for your home or to give as gifts.

San Juan La Laguna

San Juan is one of the guests’ favorite destinations. Walk up from the boat dock past weaving and art co-ops, many run by women’s groups. San Juan is best known for weavings made from natural-dye fabrics. Several co-ops have demonstrations of traditional spinning, dying, and backstrap loom weaving. San Juan is also know for its painters, and you can purchase original paintings at a fraction of the price you’ll find them in Antigua.

San Pedro volcano hike

This is a strenuous hike. It goes up and up. The views at the top are spectacular if you have a clear day, and clouds can quickly move in around the top of the volcano. The trail is well-maintained, and there are great guides who will offer encouragement along the way.

Santiago walking tour

Lake Villa Guatemala is blessed to have Dolores Ratzán Pablo in Santiago. Dolores lived in the US for 10 years and speaks excellent English. She is active in a Santiago cofradía (spiritual brotherhood) and gives an excellent walking tour, including the church, Maximon, and if desired, another cofradía.

  • Cojolya Weaving Co-op and Museum

For over 30 years, the Cojolya Association of Maya Women Weavers has been helping to keep the tradition of backstrap weaving alive, while providing income to its members. Cojolya uses traditional methods with high quality materials and modern designs to create unique styles. They have a small store and museum in the heart of Santiago.

Cojolya offers tours where you can meet the weavers in their homes and workshops, and see how the work is done. The current price for the tour is 80 GTQ. They also offer weaving classes for 23 GTQ per hour plus a materials fee of 150 GTQ. A stop at the store and museum can be included in any trip to Santiago during the week (they’re closed on weekends). Tours and classes require a day’s notice to arrange.

Panajachel

Panajachel has some of the best shopping for Guatemalan weavings (“tipico”), wood carvings, beaded items, and jewelry. It also has cheap, not-so-great stuff. The main shopping street, Calle Santander, has vendors selling almost anything you might want to buy in Guatemala.

If you go on a guided tour, you'll be shown Lake Villa Guatemala's favorite shops and, if you want, help you bargain. Remember that vendors expect you to bargain and they usually start with a high price - often double the real price.

  • 5 nights accommodation
  • All meals
  • Coaching and resources for health, nutrition, and weight loss
  • Cooking techniques and recipe booklet
  • Full use of the facility and gardens (including gardens, kayaks, private beach, and hot tub)
  • Guided kayak tour
  • Guided lake tour
  • Hands-on time in the kitchen preparing foods that match your tastes and lifestyle
  • Walking tour of Santiago Atitlan
  • Transportation from and to airport

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at La Aurora International Airport (GUA).

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on departure.

Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala

Eco-Vegan retreats in a unique destination on the shore of one of the world's most beautiful lakes: Lake Atitlan. Stay for a night, or pamper yourself with our all-inclusive retreats.

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