Mahadevi Ashram Homepage > FAQ

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Tzununa/San Marcos La Laguna:

How do I get to Mahadevi Ashram?

If you arrive at Guatemala City Airport take the shuttle from right outside the airport to Antigua, a safe & beautiful colonial town.

There are direct shuttles to Lake Atitlan from Antigua and San Cristobal del las Casas (Chiapas, Mexico). They go to Panajachel (fastest) or San Marcos La Laguna (longer & windy, but more beautiful & cheaper).
From either place simply take a boat ('la lancha') to Tzununa. From the Tzununa pier catch a tuctuc up the hill to 'El ashram' for Q5 pp, the drivers know it.
Alternatively we can send you a private shuttle to pick you up from the airport and deliver you straight to our door. 3-4 hours, $125 (up to ten people can fit & share).

When is the high season?
The high season is from November through April, the main difference during quiet season (May-October) is that the afternoons can be rainy, the mornings however (and even many evenings) are still gorgeous and it is very green. Many people actually prefer the 'green season'.
Is there a bank or ATM?
The closest ones are in San Marcos & San Pedro, a few min by public transport, but they are sometimes empty.
We accept GTQ, USD, EUR & Paypal on site.
Are there any shops nearby?
In our village Tzununa there are only a few little local shops with not much choice. However, you can find almost anything (including imported goodies) in the shops and fruit & veggie stands in the village of San Marcos, 15 min by three-wheeler taxi ($2) from Mahadevi Ashram. The health food stores in San Pedro and Pana have even more choice.
What is the climate like?
While at a tropical latitude, our altitude is 4.500 feet/1.500 meters, so during the day we enjoy around 24° C / 75° F year-round, but it can get a little chilly in the early mornings and when it's raining. Good to have something with long sleeves handy, but it's never under 10 C/50 F. From May through October there is rain in the afternoons (less so in July/Aug), while November through April is largely dry. Many agree that the Lake has the perfect climate over all - the Land of Eternal Spring.
What are the dining options?
Tzununa has VERY limited dining, but we do serve all vegalicious meals at the ashram. There are several good restaurants in San Marcos, about 15 min by boat or three-wheeler taxi ($2) or a very beautiful 45-min walk.
How about swimming in the lake?
This is a wonderful experience as the lake has hot springs at its bottom, which keeps the temperature warmer than expected at this altitude. You can just walk down to the lake beach from the ashram or visit one of several amazing spots to dive off of. There is even a scuba diving outfit a couple villages over to explore the underwater ruins etc. There is no algae problem anymore.

The Ashram:

What is an ashram and what is life like in one?
Mahadevi Ashram is a residential, non-dogmatic, non-religious yoga school & community. Generally, ashrams range from super strict to super relaxed, we are somewhere in the middle: No drugs or alcohol, silent hours before 8 am & after 10 pm (but no curfew), vegetarian food only, an atmosphere of spiritual study and practice, but with lots of fun as well. We integrate introverted and extroverted practices (vedanta & tantra), so while there is meditation there is also kirtan, dance and other embodiment approaches. Mostly, we're people just like you, but we put spirituality first.
Do you offer food?
Yes, we offer three vegan, delicious & sattvic meals out of the ashram kitchen that are included in our rates unless otherwise noted. Bringing your own stash of vegetarian additives and preferred treats is always a good idea. :)
Can I just come for yoga classes, a personal retreat etc?
We offer personal retreats only between May and October, you are welcome to inquire for that period.
Currently, there are no drop-in yoga classes scheduled, they will be announced on the events page if that changes. Generally, we are only open for the events posted there and like to retreat for all other times. Thank you for your understanding.
Do you have WiFi?
Kinda. As we like to support an environment dedicated to spiritual practice and awareness, wifi is provided at certain times each day depending on the event schedule, be aware that the connection is not super fast, audio calls usually work, video calls not really.
Do you have yoga mats and meditation cushions or do I need to bring my own?
Yes, we do, but it never hurts to bring your own for so many reasons.
Do you offer work-exchange?
We do have a Karma Yoga Program, mostly just for longer periods of time, but check in with us if you intend to stay more than one month. We always give priority to "old students" familiar with the space and teachings and to those with skills in carpentry, cooking, plumbing, sustainability etc..
What should I bring?
  • Comfortable clothing including something warmer for the mornings & evenings, swim suit if you are planning to swim in the lake or the river
  • Your personal products and supplements (there is a health food store with a fairly big choice 10 min away by boat, yet prices are quite high due to everything being imported); as we are using some of the grey water for the permaculture gardens we ask to use only nature-friendly body care products
  • Towel
  • We encourage you to bring your own yoga mat. However, simple yoga mats, meditation cushions and benches are also available at the ashram
  • Flashlight/headlight
  • Notebook and a pen
  • Any sacred objects you would like to have with you
How about insects etc?
We find it important to live in symbiosis with nature, adapted to the moderately tropical climate here. Due to the altitude there are very few mosquitos and no Malaria or Zika. However, harmless spiders, ants and the ocasional scorpion (painful, but not dangerous) are part of everyday life here.
Arrival timing
Our course dates are given from arrival day to departure day. Kindly arrive by 5 pm if possible, later arrivals are fine though, all courses start in the morning. The LAST BOAT to us leaves Panajachel at 7.30 pm, if you miss it, there are numerous options to stay there and boats from 6 am onwards to reach the ashram before the courses begin.
Checkout is 11 am.
I heard there is no toilet paper at Mahadevi. How does it work?
In short, toilet paper is unhygenic and unecological, pls watch this short video.
That said, you are welcome to bring your own, but we strongly encourage you to try our 'bum showers', after brief adjustment you will see the advantages, many guests even install one at their own place after staying with us for a while.