Ayahuasca is a potent plant medicine used by healers for centuries in the Amazonian jungle region. The thick tea known as ayahuasca is actually a combination of two plants; leaves from the chakruna bush are mixed and boiled with the ayahuasca vine to create a sacred medicinal brew. The psychotropic molecule from chakruna combines with an activator from ayahuasca to form an “entheogen,” a medicine which puts you in touch with the divine. The ayahuasca experience makes you into your own doctor, shaman and psychotherapist, one who knows everything about you. It profoundly connects you to yourself, and participants willing to do the work can find relief from and even cure depression, anxiety, and addiction, plus gain deep personal and spiritual insights. Ayahuasca may bring you sublime joy, self love, and universal connection; you may also see frightening things, including demons, zombies, and your worst fears and life experiences. Yet even this last is healing and therapeutic by allowing you to confront and overcome inner traumas. Drinking ayahuasca is about having the courage to change your life, both during and after the ceremony; the ceremony is just the first step. It is up to you to follow through with your personal revelations.
Our retreats focus on healing the body, mind, emotions and spirit. To accomplish this, the retreats have been developed with both Andean Q’ero and Amazonian Shipibo shamans. The Q´ero shaman is from the closest thing remaining to an Inca community in the high Andes. The second is a shaman from the Shipibo tribe in the Amazon who guides the ceremonies by singing the medicinal songs, called Icaros, passed down from his ancestors. We run our retreats in a traditional manner, extending from the way the plant medicine is prepared to the ancient knowledge and customs of the Q’ero and Shipibo cultures. Ayahuasca is always drunk at night to limit external stimulation and to allow you to connect with yourself.
Ayahuasca places physical, emotional and spiritual demands on your body; what you see can be frightening, vomiting is often a side effect, and you can feel extremely cold. The traditional base of the retreat is matched with modern medical practices to ensure our guests’ safety and to allow them to assimilate their experiences in the best possible way. Nurses are always present at ceremonies, and we take a full medical questionnaire beforehand. We are one of only two ayahuasca providers in Peru with approval from and a working relationship with the Peruvian Ministry of Health. Please contact us with any questions about ayahuasca. We are happy to answer and help you take this first step on your journey.
Pickup from your hotel and transfer to our Retreat Center in the Sacred Valley
|You Should Bring:
You Should Bring:
Tickets for Wayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountains.
Those trekkers who wish to climb Wayna Picchu Mountain after they have finished the trek must let us know well in advance as permits are limited. For high season (May to October), 2-4 months in advance. Low season (November to April) 1-2 months in advance. There is an additional $15 USD per person charge so we can purchase your ticket for the 2nd time slot at 10:00 am (students with ISIC card: $8 USD per person). Machu Picchu Mountain (additional cost $15 USD) is far less busy and doesn’t need to be booked as far in advance but must also be reserved ($15 USD) at the time of booking so that we can purchase your ticket.
Our Ayahuasca Safety Precautions:
We require that all our participants bring a note signed by their home doctor verifying that they are physically fit to drink ayahuasca. We use extensive medical precautions and monitoring to guarantee your physical and emotional safety:
Dietary Information and Preparation for the Retreat
The more you prepare yourself the greater will the experience be; your attitude and preparation will have a direct effect on your ayahuasca experiences. So, your personal commitment to the ceremonies and preparatory cleansing activities are important not only for your health and safety but also for maximizing the benefits of the ayahuasca ceremonies.
Dietary: Do not consume alcohol, coffee or chocolate for two days prior to your ayahuasca ceremony. Avoid canned food, red meat and pork, cold cuts, spicy food (this can be very painful if you purge while on ayahuasca) and excessive salt and sugar. Avoid food or beverages that have artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. We recommend eating good organic food. If you’re not vegetarian, you can eat chicken or fish. To strengthen the brain we recommend eating the traditional Peruvian seafood dish ceviche with tiger’s milk (“leche de tigre” – the concentrated ceviche juice) without spice (“sin aji”).
Medical: We recommend refraining from all medication for at least two days before your ceremony. Do not take any medical prescriptions (natural or otherwise), drugs, antibiotics, injections, pills, supplement, vitamins or others. Certain medications (including SSRI antidepressants) can be extremely harmful, even fatal, if combined with ayahuasca. We will take a full medical questionnaire beforehand. Please contact us if you have any questions.
During your stay at the Etnikas retreat center, it is not permitted to smoke, drink alcohol or to take any type of prescription or nonprescription drugs without consulting us first.
Other: It is recommended that you refrain from sex or masturbation a day before the retreat as this can reduce physical energy levels, making it harder to cope with the effects of ayahuasca.
We suggest that women who are menstruating or pregnant abstain from participating. Period pain and discomfort may result in a negative experience while journeying with ayahuasca. However, if you do not experience severe pain or discomfort, then it is ok for you participate. We recommend waiting until the second or third day of a period to allow you to gauge the intensity of the pain.
Recommendation for Spiritual and Mental Preparation
To prepare your mind and spirit before the retreat, we recommend that you do more often any discipline familiar to you from your own religion or faith, such as meditation, prayer, yoga. If you do not have a religious practice, instead pray and offer your wishes and intentions to all creatures in the morning and at night; this can be very helpful!
As the founder of Etnikas says, you can have the best shamans in the Universe (Christ, Buddha, Krishna,) conducting ceremonies for you, but if your heart does not want to change nothing will happen. No one but you can change your destiny, not even God, who is the Father, not the Boss. Only you have the power to change your destiny. Your own heart is in fact the best shaman for you in the universe.
The best attitude with which to approach the retreat is one of positivity; the right attitude includes honesty, love, patience, humility, respect, courage and a strong mental and spiritual determination. Approaching with these values will result in a fruitful experience.
When you pray do not ask for miracles to mysteriously occur. Instead, ask for opportunities to create miracles with your own hands.
All retreats are held in what is referred to as ‘Noble Silence.’ We work in Noble Silence to allow for a greater degree of concentration, allowing internal work to be addressed without distraction.
You will only be able to speak during the times of group discussion; however, you are welcome to talk to the shaman on an individual level when you feel it necessary. You are also welcome to talk to the assistants at any stage should you need help with any matter.
We ask that you respect the Noble Silence for the sake of others. Many people come to our clinic with a serious intention to work toward their healing.