FAQ’s

Do you offer daily classes at The Hermitage?

At The Hermitage we hold a free guided morning meditation for one hour each day (except Sundays), which is open to anyone who is staying on the property doing an individual retreat. We are not offering any daily classes open to the public.

 

Can I have somebody guide me in a private yoga or meditation class?

Yes. If you would like to have a private yoga or meditation session guided by Emma or Severin it is no problem. The cost is $50 per class and each class will last around two hours and be tailored to suit your personal needs.

 

What is the temperature like at the lake?

Guatemala is called “the land of eternal spring” as the climate here is always temperate. The temperature at the lake sits all year round at a comfortable 24 to 27 degrees Celsius. The dry season lasts from December to May, and the rainy season is from May to December. During the rainy season you can expect bright sunny mornings and thunder storms with heavy rain most afternoons – a beautiful time for meditation.

 

Can I stay at The Hermitage while travelling around the lake and visiting different places?

We have created The Hermitage to be a space of silence and contemplation, for those who are really seeking to dive deeply into their practice on their own and who seek solitude and a break from the busy nature of the world. For this reason we prefer to offer our cabins and rooms to those who seek solitude and silence, rather than to those who are simply looking for a beautiful place to stay while they travel around and visit tourist sights.

 

What should I bring for my retreat?

Bring a notebook and pen for writing, a torch, bathing suit for swimming and some warm socks and a jumper for the evenings. Bring an umbrella for rainy season. You can bring a towel if you like, or use one of ours. You may like to bring some of your favourite teas to drink during your retreat as this is not provided by The Hermitage and also any snacks or health food supplements that you can´t go without.

 

What is provided by The Hermitage?

The Hermitage provides sheets for your bed, meditation pillows, benches, chairs, yoga mats, and warm blankets. We can provide you with a towel if needed and we have some other essential items that you can buy from our reception – natural soap, toothpaste, shampoo, notebooks, etc. At The Hermitage we also grow and harvest our own organic coffee, and we make homemade kombucha and vegan treats which are available to buy during your stay.

 

Do you have wifi?

We don´t have wifi here as we wish to consciously create a space for those who wish to go deeply into silence and contemplation without distraction. If you need to have a connection to let your family know you have arrived or for an emergency, we can create a hotspot for you for up to one hour for Q10 near our house.

 

Is there electricity in the cabins?

There is electricity in all of our cabins. We are off the grid here at The Hermitage, so we ask that electricity is used consciously and that devices are not plugged in over night to charge. There is plenty of electricity for lights at night.

 

How do I get to The Hermitage from the airport?

The Guatemala City airport is around four hours drive from Lake Atitlan, where The Hermitage is located. You can take either public transport or we can organise a private taxi to come and pick you up and bring you to our door (cost $100). Public transport involves taking first a shuttle from outside the airport doors to Antigua, a small colonial town forty-five minutes drive from Guatemala City, and then taking a tourist shuttle from there to the lake (total cost of both shuttles comes to around $25). The last shuttles leave from Antigua at 2pm, so if your flight arrives later than midday, you will need to stay one night in Antigua itself or in an airport hotel and make your way to us the next day.

 

Can I cook for myself during my retreat?

Yes. The Hermitage offers an option to have one, two or three meals per day delivered to your door so that you can better maintain a steady practice without needing to think about food. However, if you choose to cook for yourself, all of our cabins have fully equipped kitchens and The Hermitage can bring groceries to you once or twice per week for a charge of $5 per shopping list.

 

How can I wash my clothes at The Hermitage?

We have a lovely local woman from the village who comes to wash clothes two days per week for a cost of Q25 per load (around $3). Alternatively we have a washing station where you can wash your clothes yourself (we sell eco washing powder in our reception).

 

Does The Hermitage belong to a particular religion or tradition?

The Hermitage does not belong to any particular religion or tradition, although the founders of it – Emma and Severin – have a background mostly in Advaita Vedanta (the Non Dual Teachings) and Self Enquiry. We welcome practitioners of all traditions here and are open to all (quiet) practices.

 

Is The Hermitage completely remote and silent?

The Hermitage is built on a large property on the edge of Lake Atitlan where the birds are our neighbours and waves gently lap the shore. We are about five minutes walk from the nearest local Mayan village – San Pablo, and so occasionally there is some noise from the village on festival days (especially Easter and Christmas). And while it is mostly silent here, there is occasionally ambient noise nearby from boats passing, music from a town across the lake or a distant neighbour´s house, or fisherman laughing and talking in their wooden canoes as they fish.

 

Can I have vegan or gluten-free options if I stay at The Hermitage for a retreat?

Yes. It is no problem for us to make the meals to suit your dietary requirements. We mostly provide vegan food although we offer an option to have eggs sometimes if you wish as we have chickens producing delicious organic free range eggs each day. We also have local honey from the neighbouring beekeepers.

 

Do I have to be in silence?

The Hermitage is holding space for anyone who wishes to find a place to be completely silent within, however it is not a requirement that retreaters maintain a vow of silence during their retreat. Silence must be respected in all public areas – such as the meditation hall, dock, gardens, beach and eating areas – but if you are wishing to speak quietly to the hosts, Emma and Severin, at any point this is welcome also.

What else does The Hermitage offer?

Apart from the spaces that are available for all retreaters to use such as the permaculture gardens, the lake front beach and dock, the meditation hall and the outdoor dining area, The Hermitage also has an excellent library of spiritual books which you are welcome to borrow from, a small shop in the reception that sells essentials such as organic toothpaste and shampoo, notebooks, homegrown coffee and kombucha, coconut oil and homemade vegan treats and chutneys. Severin also offers free Astrology Readings to retreaters at The Hermitage (30 minutes) and also longer personal Birth Chart Readings (1.5hrs) for $50, and Emma offers Deep Healing Massage ($40) and one-on-one Retreat Counselling (by donation).

 

Is there support available during my retreat?

Emma and Severin are available to support you during your retreat however is needed. You can write to them with questions or contemplations and they will reply to you with a letter as swiftly as possible. They are available to speak to at any point during the day also if necessary. Emma offers one-on-one Retreat Counselling and Severin offers individual Astrology Readings that can sometimes help when a deep process is taking place. Come and allow silence to be your teacher, but know that whenever is needed, help is always there.

 

Any recommendations on how to prepare for my retreat or what to expect?

We recommend that before arriving for your retreat that you take time to consider your intentions for the retreat and that you get some good rest. Come with an open mind and an open heart and everything that is needed will certainly unfold for you here, perhaps in ways that you don´t expect. Be ready to learn lessons that are not always easy, gain insights that are deeply needed, and to watch the beauty of nature awaken the beauty of your real nature within in a myriad different ways.