What is an Ayahuasca Retreat?
Ayahuasca retreats are not only an adventure into the Amazon rainforest, but a journey into another dimension. The natural healing power of ayahuasca and other medicinal plants helps to reconnect retreat participants to nature, to the Earth, and to their true selves.
A Truly Magical Opportunity
The Ayahuasca Foundation’s Healing Ayahuasca Retreats are a chance to understand the roots of our afflictions, to gain the courage to face our fears, and to find the strength to make profound changes in our lives to achieve our goals of health and happiness. By venturing deep into the jungle and feeling the tranquility and peace of this vast paradise, one’s vibrations begin to harmonize with the flow of nature, slowing the mind down to a level of subtle observation. The rainforest is old and wise, beyond human comprehension, and it contains the answers to questions that humans cannot ascertain by themselves.
During the Ayahuasca Retreats, participants receive a variety of traditional remedies. Receiving treatment from an authentic indigenous shaman, or curandero, is an opportunity to discover the answers to many of the personal questions each person has. Through the use of a variety of medicinal plant treatments and a series of ayahuasca ceremonies, retreat participants are able to replant their spirits in nourishing soil, free from the environmental toxins that caused their illness or sorrow. With a well nourished spirit, we can all begin to heal our afflictions. Along with the help of the spirits of the Amazon, the curandero guides each person on a path towards a state of total health, at peace in the body, mind, and spirit.
The Ayahuasca Foundation offers ayahuasca retreats at our Chamisal Retreat Center. All of our ayahuasca retreats are led by indigenous curanderos from the Shipibo tribe. The foundation of the tradition employed at each retreat is the same, but each program is also unique and catered to the individual groups that attend. The ayahuasca retreats are either two or three weeks long and feature either six or nine ayahuasca ceremonies, respectively. Much more than just ayahuasca retreats, all of our retreats feature a multitude of additional treatments beyond the ceremonies, including plant baths, vapor baths, smoke baths, inhalants, purgatives, massage, counseling, meditation, yoga, and any internal or topical medical treatment that might be required to heal particular illnesses or afflictions.
Our aim is to provide you with the optimum environment for you to replant your spirit. All treatments and activities are optional, so go at your own pace. Two or three weeks is a relatively short period of time in a human being’s life, and we really see this process not as a complete and final solution to your problems, but rather as a new beginning, a foundation on which to build over time, a catalyzation of your spiritual growth. And we are also here to let you know that anything is possible. What we have found is this: the people who take responsibility for their own healing, put their trust and faith in the plants and in us, let go of expectations and truly commit themselves with intention to their process. These people always get what they need, unfolding into the most profound depths of inner transformation possible for them, and are then gratefully ready to continue the work of integrating their experiences for the rest of their lives.
Regardless of which retreat you choose, the Ayahuasca Foundation ensures that the highest level of care possible will be provided to you. Our staff is comprised of dedicated students who are always striving to learn more, do more, and be more. Even our curanderos who have decades of experience are always trying to improve and learn, but especially our assistant healers who manage the day to day activities during the programs. There is no end to what can be learned and improved upon, as there is no end to the depth of the ayahuasca healing tradition. It is truly limitless.
What can be treated on an Ayahuasca Retreat?
While a great deal of attention is given to the healing effects of ayahuasca in treating anxiety and depression, when combined with the use of a wide variety of other plants and natural plant remedies, there really is nothing that cannot be treated on an Ayahuasca Retreat. Below is a listing of conditions and the effectiveness of treatment.
MENTAL & EMOTIONAL CONDITIONS
Depression is definitely the most common condition we treat and also the condition we have the most success in treating. With both the two and three week ayahuasca retreats we have a 100% success rate of improving depression, but improvement is only lasting if lifestyle changes are made after the retreat. We offer methods and practices for integration during our programs, as well as counseling afterwards, but it is ultimately up to each person to follow through.
Anxiety is a condition we treat very often and always with positive results. The tradition’s combination of treatment methods is ideal for treating both depression and anxiety, as well as a number of other conditions. Our ayahuasca retreats have a 100% success rate for improvement with treatment of anxiety, but again, it is up to each person to follow through on making and maintaining lifestyle changes after the retreat.
PTSD and the negative effects of emotional trauma are helped tremendously by treatment with the indigenous healing tradition during our ayahuasca retreats in the Amazon. Using a series of remedies that help to release pent up emotions, unlock buried memories, and reroute unhealthy neural pathways, the tradition provides a path towards acceptance, self-love, and optimism for a bright future.
Our ayahuasca retreats have a very high success rate treating Insomnia, as its causes are typically related to depression, anxiety, and emotional trauma. Simply from a chemical perspective, the effect ayahuasca has on the production of serotonin in the brain is very helpful, but finding balance at the root of the condition is key, and that is often achieved through the combination of several treatment methods.
In the treatment of OCD and other similar disorders, it is not so much about alleviating the condition, but rather discovering a more preferable manner of thinking and acting, and even more so, remembering self-love in an unconditional form. Accepting ourselves is an important step in any healing process, but most especially with conditions like these, and the Ayahuasca Foundation’s ayahuasca retreats in Peru can provide tremendous benefit.
Our ayahuasca retreats have had success in helping people struggling with addiction. It is certainly more challenging because the roots of addiction are so varied, although in general relate to emotional trauma and a lack of self love. With treatment for addiction, integration and a commitment to lasting lifestyle changes is essential. Turning the corner is achievable, but following the new path in life is more important. We do everything we can to assist with those processes.
Acid reflux has become one of the most common afflictions of the Western world. Poor eating habits combined with increased emotional stress create systemic enzyme imbalances that are difficult to treat, and, unfortunately, present an opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to take advantage of a maintainable condition. Particular plant treatments and a regimented diet can provide tremendous benefit. We have had great success during our ayahuasca retreats with the treatment of acid reflux.
Leaky gut is a different expression to similar roots as acid reflux. The treatment is also very similar. We have had very good success on our ayahuasca retreats with helping people who suffer from leaky gut, and many other digestive issues.
Candida is a troublesome condition for western treatment because it is an intelligent living being, aware and capable of learning. Therefore, treatment with unconscious chemicals is limiting and often causes adaptation of the being rather than eradication. Treatment with plants, however, which are also intelligent living beings capable of their own learning and adaptation, significantly increases the chances of success, which we have observed on numerous occasions with the treatment methods used during our ayahuasca retreats.
The treatment of ulcers goes beyond just the physical. Although the roots of the affliction are similar to acid reflux, the emotional aspects usually go deeper. A complete treatment is necessary. Our ayahuasca retreats have had very good results with the treatment of ulcers, but important lifestyle changes must follow. We assist with the maintenance of those changes.
Most people from the Western world don’t consider parasites a possibility unless they have traveled to a third world country, but parasites are everywhere. They go undetected due to a lack of proper testing within the western medical industry, and are often mistreated as a digestive issue. Our ayahuasca retreats have had tremendous success treating parasites, often times when participants did not know they had them.
All food allergies are a sign that something is not right. People don’t ‘just have’ an allergy to a normal food. Celiac disease is complicated by the current modification and distortion of gluten in the food industry, most especially in the mass production of bread (at least it’s called bread), but there is more going on within the immune system as well, which is compromised in various ways. While we have only had a handful of cases on our ayahuasca retreats, we have had great success with the treatment of all of them.
Like most digestive issues, Crohn’s disease is also linked to emotional trauma, stress, and improper diet. During our ayahuasca retreats we have only treated two cases of Crohn’s but both were successful treatments, with one of the participants being healed after 35 years of suffering. In both cases, after many years of chronic diarrhea and the other digestive issues associated with the disease, the participants were able to return to normal digestive processes, free from suffering.
Allergies are nearly as prevalent in the people who attend our ayahuasca retreats as depression and anxiety, although most cases are not very serious. Our immune systems should naturally be able to defend against natural elements of our environment, but again, when compromised by toxicity, trauma, stress, and diet, there are obstacles in the way of health being achieved. We have had very good results treating allergies, but lifestyle changes are necessary as well.
At our ayahuasca retreats we have treated numerous cases of arthritis with good success. Only in the most extreme cases were we not able to achieve significant improvements, but even in those few cases, there was improvement. A number of treatments are involved, and there are some fantastic natural remedies employed in the process.
Chronic fatigue can be a complicated condition to treat, for it is most likely a combination of various factors, including toxic environmental influences, emotional stress and/or trauma, depression, energy blockages, and poor diet/lifestyle. The treatment during our ayahuasca retreats involves heaving cleansing, which can be challenging because it requires effort on the part of the patient. Participation correlates directly to effectiveness.
The cleansing process involved in treatment coupled with the dietary restrictions during ayahuasca retreats make for a successful weight loss plan. It is very common to lose weight during a program, nearly guaranteed, but especially excess weight. We recently had someone lose 37lbs in three weeks (2lbs per day). Because the digestive system is rebalanced in the healing and the emotional issues at the core of the condition are addressed, weight usually continues to drop and stay off.
We have only had a handful of participants on our ayahuasca retreats receive treatment for sleep apnea, but 100% found it very helpful, including two participants who were healed completely. Of course, like all other treatments, continuing with lifestyle changes after the retreat is necessary to maintain the health achieved during the programs.
We have successfully treated both glaucoma and cataracts with plant medicine during our ayahuasca retreats. There are clearly emotional and mental factors contributing to the conditions that are effectively addressed with this healing tradition. However, participation and faith in the process is imperative for success.
ILLNESS & DISEASE
While we have not had great success with treating type 1 Diabetes, we have been able to help nearly every participant treated for type 2 diabetes. Obviously, type 2 is influenced much more by lifestyle habits and diet, and so following our program helps tremendously, especially with the specific remedies used to control blood sugar levels. After the ayahuasca retreat, maintaining the healthy habits practiced during the program is very important.
We’ve only treated three cases of Hepatitis, and only one case of Hep B. All participants were helped significantly, along with anyone else suffering from liver or kidney problems. Cleansing the organs, boosting the immune system, and purifying the blood are parts of the physical aspects of treatment during our ayahuasca retreats, along with addressing mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects.
Multiple Sclerosis can be treated naturally using a number of healing traditions. The Amazon traditions, while beneficial, may not be the best choice, simply because the climate and environment is typically very uncomfortable for anyone suffering from MS. We have helped a few people with medicine brought back from the Amazon by another participant, but we usually recommend considering a tradition like San Pedro, which takes place in a more comfortable climate.
Cancer is a very broad category, but treatment methods all follow similar principles. Purification of the blood, boosting the immune system, and addressing the emotional roots of the condition are the methods that make up the core of treatment for most diseases. We have only treated three ayahuasca retreat participants for cancer. While one person was healed completely and remains cancer free over seven years later, the other two people were not healed, although their cases differed greatly as well as their attitudes and engagement with the process.
We have only treated three patients for AIDS/HIV but each participant benefited tremendously. All three reported that their lives had been completely transformed. One was totally healed and is still HIV negative after seven years, while the other two test negatively, but continue to take medication as a precaution. It is important to note that all three had profound faith in the process and engaged very well with the treatment and medicine.
Replant Your Spirit
Apart from the treatment of diagnosed conditions, Ayahuasca Retreats can also be an amazing way to regain the connection that so many people have lost, the connection to our true selves. At our core, we are truly spirits. We are not bodies, minds, or emotions. We are spirits that have bodies, minds, and emotions. Our spirits are divine vessels of universal energy. It is this mysterious energy that motivates life to blossom. It is what turns a seed into a plant, what gives birth to consciousness, what makes love a reality. Healing Retreats provide the opportunity to nourish our spirits, to plant our roots in healthy soil again, so that they can grow and blossom as they are meant to do. By remembering the truth of our own divinity, we can reconnect to the source of all life, and begin to cultivate our true selves, and lives, as we move forward in growth, happiness, and health.
Do the Ayahuasca Retreats feature Additional Activities?
Apart from the ayahuasca ceremonies and daily treatments, participants always have some free time each day. They also have some options for how to spend that free time. The Assistant Healers offer additional complementary activities to enhance the healing process and optimize the potential for healing with ayahuasca, plant medicines, and self reflection and discovery. Below is a listing of additional activities.
Our Center is built close to the banks of the beautiful Nanay River, and our little bay contains a relaxed current ideal for swimming. Swimming is a favorite activity for many participants. It is a wonderful way to relax, refresh, and enjoy the gorgeous view. In the dry season a lovely sand and clay beach appears which is great for detoxifying mud baths. We may also take a short boat trip to a secluded white sand beach in dry season and if you are lucky you may even spot a pink dolphin.
We will show you various hiking trails around the camp and you will be encouraged to get out into nature as often as possible. It can be very healing to spend time communing with nature. Towards the end of the retreat there will also be a long (2-4 hour) hike into the Mishana Reserve led by a highly knowledgeable reserve guide who will point out many medicinal plants and natural wonders along the way.
An age-old jungle remedy for those of us who rat-run the go-go-go on the daily: chilling in a hammock. We encourage plenty of rest, relaxation, silence and contemplation time between ceremonies and treatments. For those who struggle to stop ‘doing’, the hammock may be your medicine and your office of turning inwards.
For anyone interested in catching dinner, we can organize a boat and a guide to take you on a sunrise fishing trip. There are hundreds of species of fish in the river and with some luck, you’ll catch a canary bass or maybe a piranha.
We are in the middle of the jungle, far from the artificial brightness of city lights, so when the sky is clear, the moon and stars come out to dazzle us. Nothing helps to put things into perspective after a ceremony like looking up into the twinkling gaze of the Milky Way. The Chamisal has a star gazing deck, which also doubles for sun bathing.
When the weight of a serious healing process seriously threatens to become too serious… it’s time to play a bunch of games! Laughter and lightness are as much a part of the medicine as emotional processing and physical purging. So luckily we have a variety of games to generate mad giggling and laughter.
Ayahuasca Retreat Reviews
Comments from Previous Retreat Participants
This place is just amazing. Everyone here has been so great and so supportive. It’s just a beautiful place to be, surrounded by nature, so much green, so many animals everywhere, not big animals, little ones. And just having the river nearby, that was pretty glorious, and there’s this mud you can put all over yourself and let it draw all the toxins out and it just feels so great. And the food was great, lots of good food. Everything was just awesome. It was a really good experience and I highly recommend it to anyone thinking of coming down here. Just do it. It’s definitely worth it. Life changing. Thank you Ayahuasca Foundation.
I would say if you’re looking for a life changing experience, something that’s gonna have a positive significant effect on your life, then it’s definitely worth considering. Almost words can’t describe… it’s been a clearly unique experience, something which I’ll value all my life, highly recommended.
What I’ve more or less accomplished and what I’m really grateful for is that I had a really strong, firm belief that something was wrong with me which prevented me from fully accepting myself and I really feel that I have been able to get over it so I’ve been able to let go of this limiting belief and replace it with self love. I’m not saying that I’m there, I still have a long way to go as everybody, but that the roots of this negative belief are gone, which opened the way for me to actually love myself.
It’s been great. It’s felt like I’ve lived a lifetime in three weeks. I’ve really been able to almost reprogram myself and undo a lot of negative habits and a lot of negative ways of thinking about myself and my life and my past. It’s really brought a lot of healing and closure in many aspects of many lingering issues. It’s great. It’s fantastic. It’s been really lovely. It’s very comfortable. The location with the Mishana community is fantastic. Being able to interact with people and being on a reserve is lovely, being able to go hiking and experience the indigenous nature. It’s also great that there are no mosquitoes here.
You should come. Absolutely, hands down, yes please. It’s gonna put some perspective in your life, bring you back to faith, strength, courage, and happiness and healing that’s perpetuated by myself, and that is wicked. It’ll make you whole and a big part of it is the plants as well, not just the ayahuasca. Absolutely do it.
Want More Information about our Ayahuasca Retreats?
Ayahuasca Retreats are not all the same. The most effective retreats include a complete treatment plan with numerous medicinal plant treatments and remedies. Select a Retreat for More Information including the itinerary, schedule, availability, and registration.
2 Week Ayahuasca Retreat: $1,750
6 Ayahuasca ceremonies
15 Additional treatments
Meditation, yoga, massage
3 Week Ayahuasca Retreat: $2,550
9 Ayahuasca ceremonies
21 Additional treatments
Meditation, yoga, massage
Women’s Ayahuasca Retreat: $1,850
5 Ayahuasca ceremonies
Daily Creative Activities
Meditation, yoga, massage