Frequently Asked Questions
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Travel & Arrival
As of November 2020, if you are arriving through an International Airport or traveling through an International Border Crossing you will need a negative Covid-19 test. Be sure it clearly states that it was a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test. Here is a document with all of Guatemala’s current requirements and restrictions.
Here at Villa Sumaya, we have developed an extensive COVID-19 safety protocol, which you can review here.
Going through Immigration and Customs at Aurora Airport in Guatemala City usually takes 30 minutes to an hour. If you booked transportation through our trusted partners at Kan Tours, refer to the details they sent you via email. The drive from the airport to Panajachel takes about 3 hours, followed by a 10-15 minute private boat ride to our private dock.
Public boat taxis run from 7am to 7pm, leaving every half hour. Be sure to ask in advance to be taken to the Villa Sumaya dock. The cost is Q10 per person on public boats.
We do not recommend that our guests travel by chicken bus.
Our center is not accessible by car, only by boat. You may drive to Panajachel and park your car there. We suggest Kayucos private dock, where you can board a pre-arranged private boat to Villa Sumaya’s dock. They offer secure parking for Q100 ($13.50) per day.
The drive from the airport (code: GUA) in Guatemala City to Lake Atitlan, takes about 3.5 hours. A swift boat ride will bring you from Panajachel to our dock. Ask the boat driver to drop you off at the Villa Sumaya dock, otherwise you will have a 20-minute walk from the main Santa Cruz dock.
Villa Sumaya works exclusively with our trusted transportation company, Kan Tours. Contact them to arrange private shuttles or boats for your convenience, 24 hours a day. Private boat and shuttle fees can be added to your hotel bill.
Safety & Health
Yes! Villa Sumaya is located in a remote, rural and incredibly beautiful area near the small village of Santa Cruz La Laguna, Guatemala. The only access to Sumaya is by boat, which ensures that our landscape is quiet and pristine. Our village has virtually no crime.
Since 2004, we’ve ushered hundreds of groups to and from our little oasis without incident. Our guests are picked up in private shuttles operated by the excellent shuttle company who handles most of our groups’ transport.
We do our best to make the journey to our center smooth and pleasant. We’ve created a safe, effective transport system that enables you to land in this powerfully beautiful and inspiring piece of paradise! Of course, everyone needs to make the decisions that feel right to them. We hope you’ll choose to join us for an unforgettable week of adventure and insight.
There are lockboxes in all guest rooms to store your devices and passport. We do not recommend walking around with valuables visible. Leave expensive jewelry at home.
There are ATM machines in towns around the lake but NOT in our closest village, Santa Cruz. We recommend that you bring about $100 cash to cover incidentals. We cannot change money at Villa Sumaya.
All purchases are added to your personal bill. We accept US checks, Visa/Mastercard (5% fee), PayPal or cash (USD or Guatemalan Q).
Many places do accept US dollars but we recommend that you have Quetzales for excursions and shopping.
If you enjoy the services you receive, we recommend tipping the hotel staff $7-10 per day ($50-70 for the week). These tips will be divided among the staff. For spa treatments, anywhere from 10-20% is typical. If you had an outstanding adventure, $5-10 per person is a nice tip for your tour guide or driver. At most restaurants, a 10% service fee is included on the bill.
If you are coming on personal retreat or as a hotel guest, see our cancellation policy. If you are coming on a group retreat, contact the group leader.
One Hour $75
1.5 Hours $100
Two hours $130
Food & Drink
Yes! We serve wholesome, fresh, meals that are simple and delicious. Our center can accommodate most dietary restrictions like vegan and non-gluten diets and allergies.
You must drink purified water, never from the tap. We provide unlimited filtered water. Bring your water bottle or buy a Villa Sumaya glass bottle as a souvenir. We do not sell plastic water bottles.
All meals have a protein source (eggs, beans, cheese, nuts, etc.). If you are on a high protein diet, it may be a good idea to bring a protein bar per day. You can also order chicken or fish as a supplement for buffet meals ($7 per portion).
Meals at Villa Sumaya are abundant and well-balanced. If you have extreme allergies or strict dietary needs, you may want to bring some supplemental snacks. We also offer exotic smoothies, raw cacao and granola treats, chocolates, kombucha and other delights for in between meals.
Beer, wine and basic cocktails. Smoothies, kombucha and sodas are also available. All of personal and group packages have 24/7 access to our self-serve tea and coffee bar as a complimentary service.
We do not have community yoga classes and would be happy to set up private, personalized yoga/meditation sessions for you ($45/class for 1-2 people).
We have mats and props for you. Some guests choose to bring their own props. We appreciate mat and prop donations.
Same as the United States.
We offer laundry service for $3 per pound. Allow a 24-hour turnaround.
We charge $3/day or $20/week for WiFi. Calls to the U.S. are $1.50 per minute.
We provide soap, shampoo and conditioner. Please bring your own lotion and hair dryers. We provide bathing towels and beach towels.
We have a pool, two hot tubs and two saunas. The electric sauna is $30 for a 1.5 hour sweat. Our Chichimeca Sauna is available for guided ceremony.
If you have slight mobility issues, we can most likely accommodate you. Getting off boats and onto docks, walking on stone paths and stairs can be challenging for those with moderate or severe issues.
If you are a part of a group and want to come early or stay after your group retreat, please contact us.
Suggested hotels in Antigua
San Rafael Hotel
*Please mention Villa Sumaya when booking!
Special place – our personal favorite.
Meson Panza Verde
One of the top hotels in Antigua.
Clean and adequate, good value.
Quinta De Las Flores
Great grounds, nice rooms.
Suggested hotels in Guatemala City
Hotel Tikal Futura
Free airport shuttle, luxury rooms, spa and great buffet breakfast.
Best Western, Stofella
Good location, nice rooms, complimentary breakfast.
Boutique hotel, good location.
Luxury center, good location.
Spanish is the primary language spoken. The Mayan speak Spanish as a second language and there are 22 dialects of the Mayan language. It’s a great place to practice your Spanish as it is spoken more simply and slowly here. Our managers and the majority of our guests speak English.
We are delighted to host individual guests. Buffet meals are served at certain times when we are hosting group retreats. This is a wonderful time to connect with others. If you are looking for alone time, there is space for quiet and solitude.
Yes! The rate is $45 per day for children 5-12 years old for 3 vegetarian meals per day and room shared with parent. It is $15 per day for children 0-4 years old. We can connect you with a babysitter who will come to the center. The cost is Q40 ($5) per hour. If you are part of a group, check with your group leader to be sure that bringing children is appropriate.