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Ayahuasca Curandero Initiation Courses

Authentic Study of the Shipibo Healing Tradition – $6850

ayahuasca initiation courseThe Ayahuasca Foundation recognizes that more and more people are responding to this call, and we have designed an ayahuasca training program to facilitate their journeys on the healing path. Located in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, these ayahuasca initiation courses seek to preserve and spread the wisdom of the indigenous cultures of South America. Plant Spirit Healing is the oldest form of medicine on earth and we as a civilization are blessed that it has been developed and maintained for millenia, but its lineage is now in danger of being lost forever due to the spread of modern culture. This ancient wisdom must not perish. There are individuals like you who are ready to learn the philosophy and healing techniques of the curanderos, and now you have the opportunity to continue the heritage of Plant Medicine. By taking part in a course, you are taking part in the healing of humankind, as well as the healing of the Earth.

Ayahuasca Initiation courses are an opportunity to experience an authentic training in the Shipibo tradition of curanderismo, centered around the use of ayahuasca in ayahuasca ceremonies. This course is a condensed version of an ancestral initiation, teaching the basic principles that form the heart of the ayahuasca tradition in Peru. The course takes place at the Inkan Kena school for plant medicine, a space designed specifically for the initiation courses and ayahuasca apprenticeships. If you feel called to learn the ancient healing traditions of ayahuasca and plant medicine, this course is a wonderful place to begin. Even if you are already on the path to become a healer, the initiation course offers a chance to fully immerse yourself in the Shipibo culture and the world of plant spirit healing.

Profound Plant Dietas

noya rao tree with sunlight at the Ayahuasca Foundation plant medicine school Inkan KenaPlant dietas are a central focus of the course, because they are a central part of curandero training.  It is through dietas that students can become curanderos, and how curanderos become true maestros. The course provides students with an accurate understanding of how to maximize the effects of dietas, how to deepen their connections to the plant spirits, and how to best maintain and continue their dietas after the course.  During the Ayahuasca Foundation’s eight week initiation course, students do two dietas with two of these plants: Noya Rao, Bobinsana, Chiric Sanango, Marusa, and Chullachaqui. All five of these plants are incredibly special teachers and tremendously powerful healers. The chance to diet with Noya Rao, especially to have Noya Rao trees at the school to visit and commune with on every level, is incredibly rare and a true honor for every student who attends the course.  The potential depth that can be achieved when the dietas are combined with thorough teachings and explanations of the process is amazing.

Students learn how to continue their dietas after the course, as well, which enables the insights and lessons learned to deepen and develop further.  Each student is encouraged to continue dieting and to return to diet the plants they didn’t diet during the course.  The path of a curandero never ends, but with a solid foundation of understanding the principles of the tradition, the journey can be more fulfilling and beneficial with each step forward on that path. Learning how best to do plant dietas is a central part of the foundation upon which the healing tradition of curanderismo is built. The initiation course provides a rare and incredible opportunity to do powerful plant dietas.

Shipibo Maestro don Enrique

Healer, Teacher, Course Leader

Shipibo ayahuasca initiation course shamanic training Peru“Don Enrique… adjectives don’t describe him. He is by far one of the most passionate, amazing people I have ever met in my life. He is a true teacher. I guess all I can do is just smile and that should say enough about how much of a powerful person he is. He will guide you, he will help you through the toughest times. He knows exactly what you need. Just trust him. He’s there for you.”
– David

“Don Enrique is not from this world. He is amazing. He is so powerful, so caring, and loving. You can tell he really wants to help people. He really wants to spread his healing energy to every single one in the group and he gives a lot of himself.”
– Nick

“Don Enrique is an incredible man. His smile is infectious. He has this genuine caring for each of us, and he gives us the time. His heart is in it and he loves us and it’s a beautiful thing to see.”
– Allison

“Enrique puts a lot of energy into what he does. He works very hard in the ceremonies and outside the ceremonies. He spends a lot of time helping us prepare with the icaros and spends a lot of time talking about plant medicine and some about the culture of ayahuasca and the shipibo people. He put a lot of time and energy into it and I really appreciate it.”
– Gary

“Don Enrique is the most generous person I have ever encountered. He has made many sacrifices in his life in order to heal people, who is knowledgeable and so wonderful at what he does, and who has helped me tremendously. I had a lot of insight and I think that I will be living my life in a much simpler way. I think I have learned to let go of many useless things and many useless habits and attitudes and I think my life will be simpler and lighter and nicer. “
– Anne Marie

“Don Enrique is a master healer. He is a beautiful human with a huge heart. He’s a true teacher. He wants to share his power, his vision, he just wants to put it on us and let us heal the world. I feel completely safe drinking with him and honored to be working with him. His work is just so potent to the core, enabling. He’s a beautiful, beautiful person and a master curandero.”
– Kieron


Ayahuasca Initiation Course Schedule

Click REGISTER NOW for the program you wish to attend
Dates Available Spots Register
October 6 - November 30, 2024 0
January 12 - March 8, 2025 3
April 6 - May 31, 2025 12
July 6 - August 30, 2025 10
October 5 - November 29, 2025 9

What Is Taught On the Courses

Philosophy, Understanding, Methodology, and Practice



Plant dietas are what make curanderos. It is through dietas that curanderos build relationships with plant spirits, strengthening connections and communication. Ultimately, the plant spirits are the teachers, and the method by which their teachings are enhanced is through plant dietas. Students do two plant dietas during each course with two of the following plants: Noya Rao, Bobinsana, Chiric Sanango, Marusa, & Chullachaqui.


A great deal of attention is devoted to learning the healing songs of the tradition, called icaros. Students receive an mp3 player with over a dozen icaros and the lyrics and translations. These icaros are powerful healing tools and form the backbone of the ceremonies and the tradition as a whole, for they are a key method for communicating with the spirits.


All of the icaros are in the Shipibo language, so there is emphasis on the language to understand its basic mechanics. Knowing phrases related to various aspects of work done with the icaros provides the ability to modify icaros for more specific purposes.


Students learn how to make ayahuasca by observing and taking part in the process. Beyond understanding the physical process, students can experience how powerful the connection between the curanderos and spirits becomes when one works directly with the plants, most especially when making your own ayahuasca.


Mapacho, the jungle tobacco, is an important tool in the tradition. Students learn to soplay, a technique that involves blow smoke, for various reasons. Learning to soplay is a vital aspect of the Shipibo healing tradition.

Agua Florida

Another essential tool for curanderos is agua florida, a perfume made from flower essences. Students learn to soplay with this perfume, which involves spraying the liquid with the mouth. They also learn a technique called ‘chupando’ which involves sucking through the liquid while it is in the mouth. These are important techniques.



Ayahuasca ceremonies form the heart of the Shipibo tradition. Through the ceremonies, curanderos gain access to a more profound form of communication with the spirits, and important healing work is done during these ceremonies. Students practice icaros and techniques, and discover their own navigation tools and understanding during the ceremonies. Students lead their own ceremonies as well.


In order to lead an ayahuasca ceremony, a student must understand how to open a ceremony properly. This process provides access for the curandero and participants to enter the spiritual dimension and for the spirits to enter into the ceremony to do work. It is an essential part of leading ayahuasca ceremonies.


Another important understanding is how to raise and lower the mareacion, the effects of ayahuasca, in order to achieve the optimal healing environment level for the most effective work to be done. Bringing on the effects, leveling them off, and lowering the effects are all important tools.


A great deal of healing work is accomplished in ayahuasca ceremonies. Much of this healing is motivated and directed by the curandero, using connections built by the plant dietas and through communication provided by the icaros. Understanding this process is obviously very important.


Ceremony participants can have a wide variety of reactions to the healing process, and sometimes, they need help. Students learn how to help people who are overwhelmed by the experience, who are in pain, who are suffering for various reasons, in order to return them to a state where the most effective healing can be achieved.


Just as opening a ceremony is important, so is closing the ceremony. The opening to the spiritual dimensions needs to be closed to ensure the protection of ceremony participants once they leave the safety of the ceremony space and curandero’s guidance. Closing a ceremony is also an essential part of the process.


Plant Baths

Plant baths are one of the main principles of the healing tradition. Students learn how to prepare and administer these baths, and gain the understanding of how they work through direct experience and practice.

Vapor Baths

An incredible healing technique, vapor baths are another principle component to the healing tradition. Students learn to prepare and administer vapor baths, and experience first hand the powerful effect of this important treatment method.


Purgatives form an essential part of the healing tradition. One of the principle components of the tradition, students learn to prepare and administer several purgative treatments, and experience their effects for themselves as well.


Another treatment method is the use of inhalants that are ingested nasally. This important method is used in various treatments. Like most treatment methods taught during the course, students learn first hand what the effects are in order to fully understand the treatment process.


The most classic of the treatment methods, a wide variety of plant remedies are used in the healing process. Students learn to prepare and administer some of the remedies, but there are too many to learn experimentally, so the focus is usually on remedies that are needed by students themselves or family members.


A topical treatment used for a variety of conditions, poultices are also an important part of the healing process, when needed. Students observe and assist in the preparation and administration of poultices.

INKAN KENA School for Plant Medicine

Ayahuasca Foundation initiation course schoolThe Ayahuasca Foundation designed their plant medicine school, Inkan Kena, specifically for the Ayahuasca Initiation Courses. Built and owned by don Enrique, the school is the perfect place to study the healing tradition of curanderismo in the Amazon Rainforest. Getting there from Iquitos takes about two and a half hours, which includes a 45 minute hike deep into the jungle. The school is surrounded by medicinal plants, which don Enrique continues to plant, so that fewer trips are needed out of the area to acquire medicinal plants to make ayahuasca or prepare plant baths, vapor baths, or medicinal remedies. The plants available for dieting are also present on the property, especially the Noya Rao trees, so that visits can be made regularly to the plants when dieting them during the course. The energy of this mini Shipibo village is truly amazing and the presence of the bio-luminescent Noya Rao trees, as well as all the other powerful medicinal and master plants, make Inkan Kena a truly magical place.

More Information on the School

Ayahuasca Foundation Initiation Courses group

Eight Week Ayahuasca Initiation Course

A Deep Immersion into Shipibo Curanderismo

Our Ayahuasca Initiation Course provides students with the opportunity to learn the healing tradition of curanderismo. It is truly an amazing experience to diet with the plants and receive teachings from genuine authentic Shipibo curanderos as well as from long time students of the tradition, who are great examples of what new students are striving to achieve. This ayahuasca training course provides a very unique opportunity to diet with one of the most powerful plants in the Amazon Rainforest, a tree named Noya Rao. This luminescent tree is vary rare, and we are lucky to have two of them near the plant medicine school, which was built in its location because of its proximity to these trees. The plant medicine school, Inkan Kena, is located in a different part of the Amazon Rainforest than our healing retreat center, and requires a 90 minute bus ride and a 45 minute hike to get there.

Students on this ayahuasca training course will receive as deep a teaching as possible in two months, with the chance to each lead ceremonies on their own, as well as perform a variety of healing treatments. Because of the way this course has been developed over the last decade, an immense amount can be learned and understood about the powerful healing tradition of ayahuasca and plant medicine. This is definitely not a vacation. It is an intense immersion into the world of curanderismo and the plant spirit healing traditions of the Shipibo. It is intended for people who have had experience with ayahuasca or shamanic practices and want to go much deeper in the work. It is for people who truly wish to be curanderos and to one day treat patients and/or hold ceremonies.  If you feel called to learn more and to follow the path of ayahuasca, then this course is a great step forward down that path.

Cost of the Eight Week Initiation Course: US $6,850

The $6,850 price includes:

Accommodations for five nights at a hotel in Iquitos
The hotel is comfortable, well located, and has wi-fi

Accommodations for fifty nights at the Jungle School
Rustic accommodations in a beautiful jungle setting

An mp3 player with twenty Shipibo icaros 
Being able to repeatedly listen to the icaros is a huge help for learning them

Transportation to and from the school
Comfortable buses take students to the trail to hike in and motor carts and porters bring luggage to the school

At least 2 meals a day, except when fasting or in town
Fresh fruit, juice, eggs, steamed vegetables, rice, lentils, quinoa, grilled fish, potatoes, etc


22 traditional ayahuasca ceremonies (3 per week)
There may be more or less ceremonies depending on the flow of the course

2 plant dietas with powerful teacher plants
Essential for the study and practice of curanderismo

Healing tools like mapachos, agua florida, pomades
Important for use in ceremonies and plant medicine treatments

Translation of lectures, presentations, workshops, etc.
Course assistants will also add their own experiences, teachings, and explanations

USBs with photos and audio recordings from the course
Lectures and ceremonies will be recorded and pictures will be taken

Initiation Course Testimonials

Ayahuasca Initiation Course Schedule

Click REGISTER NOW for the program you wish to attend
Dates Available Spots Register
October 6 - November 30, 2024 0
January 12 - March 8, 2025 3
April 6 - May 31, 2025 12
July 6 - August 30, 2025 10
October 5 - November 29, 2025 9

An Example Itinerary for the Course:

A Daily Schedule of Lectures, Workshops and Activities

The content of each course is guided by the plant spirits and catered to the specific group of students participating in that course. Therefore, it is difficult to provide an accurate timeline or schedule. Below is an example of what took place during a previous course and can demonstrate the amount and variety of content covered.


SUNDAY: Go to the school and get settled. Arrive & Meet in Iquitos before Sunday.
MONDAY: Get accustomed to the school. Ceremony discussion. CEREMONY #1
TUESDAY: Take a powerful purgative called Sangre de Grado.
WEDNESDAY: Begin the first plant dieta with a two day fast. CEREMONY #2
THURSDAY: Tobacco and soplaying/ceremony preparation workshop with mapacho.
FRIDAY: Begin vapor baths.  Icaros workshop. Soplaying preparation. CEREMONY #3
SATURDAY: Continue vapor baths. Assistant led workshop.  Icaros practice.


SUNDAY: Take a day to rest, focus on the dieta, and process the previous week.
MONDAY: Continue vapor baths. Icaro lecture and workshop. CEREMONY #4
TUESDAY: Continue vapor baths. Soplay and Chupando agua florida workshop.
WEDNESDAY: Continue vapor baths.  Mucura sinus cleanse. CEREMONY #5
THURSDAY: Vapor baths continue. Ayahuasca ceremony procedure workshop.
FRIDAY: Pinon blanco cleanse. Icaros lecture and discussion. CEREMONY #6
SATURDAY: Assistant led workshop on vision navigation and healing work.


SUNDAY: Take a day to rest, focus on the dieta, and process the previous week.
MONDAY: Cold water plant baths begin. Icaros workshop. CEREMONY #7
TUESDAY: Continue plant baths. Ceremony procedure/soplay/healing review.
WEDNESDAY: Continue plant baths. Ceremony procedure workshop. CEREMONY #8
THURSDAY: Continue plant baths. Catahua purgative for protection and strength.
FRIDAY: Continue plant baths. Opening a ceremony workshop. . CEREMONY #9
SATURDAY: Assistant led workshop of complimentary healing modalities.


SUNDAY: Take a day to rest, focus on the dieta, and process the previous week.
MONDAY: Ceremony procedure workshop. Student ceremonies begin. CEREMONY #10
TUESDAY: Chiric Sanango nervous system cleanse. Plant remedies discussion.
WEDNESDAY: Begin preparation of ayahuasca. Cushma charging. CEREMONY #11
THURSDAY: Finish ayahuasca preparation. First plant dieta ends.
FRIDAY: Go into Iquitos for three night break. Recharge and Relax.
SATURDAY: Free day in Iquitos


SUNDAY: Free day in Iquitos to rest, connect with family and friends, recharge.
MONDAY: Return to the school.  Student led ceremonies continue. CEREMONY #12
TUESDAY: Begin second plant dieta with a two day fast. Icaros workshop.
WEDNESDAY: Ceremony procedure/soplay/healing review. CEREMONY #13
THURSDAY: Walk in the jungle to learn about the plants and their medicinal properties.
FRIDAY: Patient-Healer workshops. Plant remedies discussion. CEREMONY #14
SATURDAY: Student led workshops on complementary healing methods.


SUNDAY: Take a day to rest, focus on the dieta, and process the previous week.
MONDAY: Workshops on diagnosing illnesses, finding plant remedies. CEREMONY #15
TUESDAY: Take Avilla purgative for stronger connections. Icaros workshop.
WEDNESDAY: Medicinal plant walk. Q&A with the maestro. CEREMONY #16
THURSDAY: Therapeutic massage workshop. Healer-Patient workshops continue.
FRIDAY: Vision discussions. Treatments continue. Practice the icaros.  CEREMONY #17
SATURDAY: Student led workshop on complimentary practices.


SUNDAY: Take a day to rest, focus on the dieta, and process the previous week.
MONDAY: Another medicinal plant preparation workshop. CEREMONY #18
TUESDAY: Student preparation of plant remedies in Healer-Patient workshops.
WEDNESDAY: Connecting with the spirits workshop and discussion. CEREMONY #19
THURSDAY: Deeper discussion of connecting to God during the icaros.
FRIDAY: Preparation for end of course dancing.  Icaros. CEREMONY #20
SATURDAY: Student led workshop on complimentary practices. Dance workshop


SUNDAY: Take a day to rest, focus on the dieta, and process the previous week.
MONDAY: Final ceremonies led by the maestro. Receive Arcanas. CEREMONY #21
TUESDAY: Final consultations with don Enrique. Practice dancing.
WEDNESDAY: Diet ends with a sacred ceremony and dance. CEREMONY #22
THURSDAY: Say goodbyes to the staff and head back to Iquitos.  Lunch together.
FRIDAY: Internet, laundry, etc. Visit the butterfly farm outside of Iquitos. relax.
SATURDAY: Receive course certificates and get gifts or medicines. Say goodbyes…

Each course is different and the itinerary is subject to change according to the flow of the course. Daily routines that include meditation, yoga, or other disciplines will be offered. The plants used in the dietas, baths, vapor baths, and remedies are all subject to change for each course. Material may be added or changed, and the order of workshops and discussions may also change for any particular course. We continue to improve the course each time, so the changes may not yet be reflected on the website. Each course is led by the plant teachers, assisted by the Shipibo maestros and the assistant healers.  Therefore, it is difficult to predict how the flow of the course will dictate the daily activities.

NOTE: Until 2018, the initiation course was just six weeks long.  After over thirty courses, we needed to increase the length to accommodate the expanded itinerary and materials.  The above review was for our last six week course in 2017.

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