Interested in trying an ayahuasca retreat? In this article, I’ll cover the best ayahuasca retreat in Peru along with some of the other best ayahuasca retreats and what to look for to ensure you find the perfect place.
With so many different ayahuasca retreat centers all over the world, choosing the best one can get overwhelming, with good reason. Especially, if this is your first time.
There are many things to take into consideration when exploring options – from health and safety to comfort level and the authenticity of ancient healing practices. All of which are important in providing a successful overall experience.
So if you’re ready to embark on a transformative ayahuasca experience, the best ayahuasca retreat in Peru awaits!
Ayahuasca is a plant-based psychoactive and entheogenic brew derived in South America. It has been used by indigenous groups in the Amazon Rainforest as a form of spiritual healing for thousands of years.
This sacred plant medicine has been traditionally used in ayahuasca ceremonies for treating depression, preventing suicide, and healing from emotional trauma.
Embarking on this healing journey is intended to help you achieve inner peace, and pave the way toward spiritual growth.
While there is no scientific evidence to prove its effectiveness, different people have experienced healing with positive results.
In recent years, ayahuasca tourism has become more popular in North America and throughout Europe, and with good reason. Ayahuasca is a form of deep intentional healing and self-discovery.
Something that most of us seek in our everyday life.
What is Ayahuasca made of?
The ayahuasca brew is made from the bark of the ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and the leaves of the chacruna plant (Psychotria Viridis).
The use of ayahuasca has the potential to alter states of consciousness and lead to a spiritual awakening. Because of its detoxing effects, consumption of the brew can also lead to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea during the healing process.
Keep in mind that the ayahuasca plant is considered a traditional medicine in indigenous cultures, and is not a recreational drug. It has been used by indigenous healers in the Amazon region for centuries and should only be consumed in an environment supervised by experienced practitioners.
Legal Side Note
Ayahuasca contains the active ingredient DMT (dimethyltryptamine). And while it is 100% legal in other countries throughout Central and South America in places like Costa Rica and Peru, it is considered illegal under Federal Law in the United States.
For ayahuasca retreats in the US, make sure to do your research and ensure that they are 100% legal.
What to Look for In An Ayahuasca Retreat
When embarking on this life changing experience, it’s important that you explore your options carefully as not all
ayahuasca centers are created equal. You want to make sure your ayahuasca journey is an authentic and amazing experience.
Here are some things to look for when planning your ayahuasca retreat.
For starters, a real shaman with experience is essential if you want your first experience to be a memorable one. Even if it isn’t your first time, an experienced shaman makes a big difference in an ayahuasca retreat.
An inexperienced shaman is not going to be well-equipped to handle unexpected outcomes or know how to handle the integration process once the ceremony is over. Especially in large retreat groups where everyone’s own experience and energy can widely vary.
When searching for the best retreat, you’ll want to gather information about –
- the ceremony space
- staff members to retreat participant ratio
- the center’s ayahuasca shamanism practice
- years of experience in ayahuasca medicine
All these play an important role in your healing experience.
Not all ayahuasca retreats are conducted by indigenous people or shaman healers so covering your bases to ensure a 100% authentic experience all around, is ideal.
Comfortable and Safe Environment
It’s the responsibility of the ayahuasca retreat center to provide a comfortable environment and safe space for participants. In fact, this should be a priority to ensure you feel safe and comfortable when entering an altered state of consciousness.
How safe and relaxed you feel will determine the success of the practice.
The best ayahuasca retreats will provide a complete health check and require information about your medical history. And although the ayahuasca sacred medicine is considered safe (if used appropriately), it’s still a good idea to look out for precautionary measures.
As you explore the different retreats, make sure you feel good about the center you select – both from an energetic and spiritual standpoint.
Also, make sure to pay attention to cleanliness. It may look like a beautiful place on the outside but if it isn’t in good sanitary condition, you can rest assured that your safety and comfort are not a priority.
Read through reviews and see what others are saying about their ayahuasca spiritual experiences and the retreat centers. It’s a good way to help you find the best retreat center.
You can also ask around to see if there is anyone you know or who might know of someone who has experienced an ayahuasca retreat. Gather their feedback and genuine input to help give you better direction. Can’t go wrong with “close to home” reviews!
Best Ayahuasca Retreat in Peru
Etnikas Ayahuasca Retreats
The Etnikas Integrative Medicine retreat center is located in the sacred valley of the Incas in San Salvador, Cusco, Peru. Only a 2-hour drive from Machu Picchu.
The holistic healing center is nestled up high in the Andes Mountains in a perfect setting for relaxing and connecting with nature during your ayahuasca retreat. The center integrates medical experts, indigenous healers, and renowned shamans from the Andes and Amazon Jungle to ensure your safety throughout the retreat.
They take your physical and psychological health seriously and have safety protocols in place to ensure a safe, transformational experience. This applies to both inside the Ayahuasca ceremony and outside, upon completion.
Etnikas Integrative Medicine is the best ayahuasca retreat center in San Salvador offering authentic ayahuasca retreats that provide a safe and comfortable environment for retreat participants. During the retreat, you can expect to experience deep healing and connection – mind, body, and spirit.
The center offers a 3-day, 5-day, and 7-day retreat – All of which include Inca meditation and volunteering with Human Actions. This involves three different volunteer opportunities that involve –
- working with children from poor communities
- looking after physically and emotionally neglected dogs
- working in a nursery to help cultivate native plants
Volunteer opportunities last about 1-2 hours. Retreats include accommodation and transportation to and from Cusco.
5 Best Ayahuasca Retreats in Peru (5-Star Rated)
Arkana Spirtual Center
The Arkana Spiritual Center is an eco-lodge with a holistic healing center in Iquitos and another in Urubamba, Peru. They offer six ayahuasca retreats with 3 in the Amazon Jungle and 3 in the Andes Mountains of the Sacred Valley.
At Arkana, you also have the option to customize your own private retreat, alone, with friends, or in a small group. The center offers a variety of medicinal plants including a master plant dieta guided by their shaman. This requires a minimum commitment of 3 months.
Arkana Spiritual Center offers 7-day, 14-day, and 21-day retreats with rates starting at $2,280.
Soltara Healing Center
The Soltara Healing Center sanctuary is an ecological preserve located in the high-protection zone of the Cordillera Escalera National Park. Its location borders the Amazon Rainforest and the Andes Mountains, making it a great location for ayahuasca and spiritual healing.
There are several retreats to choose from each with indigenous Peruvian shipibo healers, men, and women who are highly experienced and skilled in ayahuasca.
The shipibo shamans are master healers deeply rooted in spirituality and are experts in plant medicine. Rest assured, you are in good hands.
With each retreat, you can expect to receive an intake, preparation instructions, and assistance, as well as support with integration.
They offer 5, 7, and 9-night retreats with rates beginning at $1975.
DreamGlade Healing Center
DreamGlade Healing Center is a shamanic and ayahuasca retreat center located amidst the Amazon Rainforest. DreamGlade is a highly sustainable property surrounded by lush jungle greenery and is as close to nature as you will get.
The center primarily focuses on healing methods using plant diets and other traditional modalities that include free yoga classes, massage therapies, meditation, and breath work exercises. They even have a natural sauna and sweat lodge for participants to enjoy.
Rates are all-inclusive and reasonably priced between $140 – $155 USD per day.
Ayahuasca Spirit Healing Center
Located in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest in Iquitos, Peru, is the Ayahuasca Spirit Healing Center offering 1, 2, and 3-week transformational ayahuasca retreats with renowned shaman Wiler.
The Ayahuasca Spirit Healing Center provides a 1:1 approach even before you arrive. This is to ensure your every need is met and so that you are fully prepared upon arrival and prior to the commencement of the ceremonial retreat.
Their goal is to make sure you don’t feel like you are “just a number” and to give you the quality attention you deserve.
During your consultation, and this goes for any retreat center that provides this service, ask as many questions as you’d like so that you don’t have any surprises throughout the retreat.
Rates start at $1250 per week.
Light of the Shipibo
The Light of the Shipibo is an ayahuasca healing retreat center located in Iquitos, Peru along the Amazon river. The good intention of the Light of the Shipibo is to serve as a guiding light for those who have lost their way and need help in redirecting their path.
The small healing team of local people are firm believers in the healing power of nature and believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to heal. They strive on making every single person feel like this world is a better place because they are in it.
With the practice of powerful healing modalities like yoga, meditation, the use of sacred plants, and nature’s natural medicine, you can expect a transformational experience.
The center offers a 6-day and 13-day ayahuasca retreat with an investment of $800 for the 6-day and $1600 for the 13 days.
Final Thoughts and Safety Tips
Be aware and choose your ayahuasca retreat wisely.
I personally suggest doing your research to fully understand the effects that come from the ayahuasca brew before attending a retreat.
Especially if you are a woman.
If you know that you are not strong enough mentally and emotionally to sustain the purging effects of a troubled past, then maybe a less intense healing retreat to work your way up to ayahuasca would be best.
Also, play it safe. Ask how many other women will be attending the retreat with you. If you’re the only one, decide wisely. The last thing you want is to be caught in a compromising position where you shut down and are unable to speak up.
Ask if there are female shaman healers on the team of experts hosting the retreat. It’s preferable to attend a retreat where there is a combination of male and female healers.
Not all retreat centers are the same so I highly encourage you to read the reviews carefully. Most importantly, do not be too trusting and trust your gut instincts. It’ll never steer you wrong.
Here is an article you may want to read to make you aware of some of what can potentially take place if you don’t proceed with caution. It’s the story of two different women and their ayahuasca experiences.
Attending an ayahuasca retreat can be extremely rewarding, healing, and transformative. If you follow these tips along with what to look for in an ayahuasca retreat, you’ll be good to go!
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Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to make a purchase. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. You can read disclaimer here.