A life-changing ayahuasca retreat in Peru that combines a volunteering experience at a dog shelter, meditation and shamanic ceremonies.
Our ayahuasca retreat experience has been created by an Amazonian "Onaya" healer from the Shipibo tribe and an Inca "Pampamisayoq" healer from the Qero tribe. During this spiritual retreat you will experience two ayahuasca ceremonies in combination with shamanic healing techniques, meditation sessions, volunteering experiences and sacred ceremonies. The purpose of ayahuasca is to find ways to open your mind, heal from past traumas and experience a life-changing journey that helps your personal and spiritual growth. Our medical team and ayahuasca shamans will guide you through the whole process and make sure that you are in the right state of mind for your ayahuasca experience. Before and after the ayahuasca ceremonies you will consult with a psychologist and shaman to talk about your questions and visions.
*Departure dates may vary. Please contact us to confirm the exact retreat departures.
Our ayahuasca retreat is for everybody who is seeking ways to heal physically, mentally and emotionally. The ayahuasca ceremony is a deeply personal, individual and spiritual experience and therefore also called “the vine of the soul”. During this ayahuasca experience, you will explore yourself on a deeper level and understand the true nature of reality, being guided by our professional team made up of ayahuasca shamans, doctors, and psychologists. Besides the actual ayahuasca ceremonies, you will have the chance to consult the medical team about your visions and personal questions. This retreat combines volunteering experiences, meditation sessions about the ancient Inca principle of Munay (unconditional love) and shamanic offering ceremonies performed by our spiritual healers, so your ayahuasca experience has great potential for your spiritual alignment and personal growth.
Your ayahuasca retreat experience in Cusco starts at 11:00am at Plaza Nazarenas, where you will be picked up by our transfer staff. You will travel to San Salvador, the location of our retreat center in the Sacred Valley. After your arrival, you will be introduced to the ayahuasca shaman and medical staff and have some time to check out the retreat center. You will have a group meeting with the team and the other participants to talk about the ayahuasca plant and the intentions of the different ceremonies (ayahuasca ceremony, offering to Mother Earth and Coca Leaf ceremony). After your first meeting, you will have an individual consultation with the medical doctor and shamanic healer about your ayahuasca ceremony, so you feel prepared and ready to start the first ayahuasca session. In the afternoon, you will learn more about the Munay meditation. The ancient Inca principle of Munay focuses on unconditional love and acceptance. The meditation session has the purpose of preparing yourself for the ayahuasca ceremony that you will be having on this day in the evening.
Today you will start your day with a very light breakfast and then be brought to the dog shelter of the local organization “Human Actions”. There you will do your volunteering activity, feeding the little puppies and giving them the love they need. You will learn more about the organization of the shelter and the stories of the dogs who had been abused and badly treated before they came to the shelter. After helping the staff, you will have an organic snack and return to the retreat center. There you will have a meeting with the psychologist and shamanic healer to talk about your personal experiences during your first ayahuasca ceremony. These sessions help you find clarity about your visions. Later, you will have some time to relax and start with the Munay meditation. You will learn more about Munay, Yachay and Llankay from the Inca wisdom. The meditation will be part of the preparation for the second ayahuasca ceremony that you will be having in the evening. Our medical team and Andean shamans will be there with you during the whole process.
After your organic breakfast, you will have group sessions and individual consultations with our medical team and shamanic healers to talk about your ayahuasca ceremonies and personal experiences. You will enjoy a short walk to the Sanctuary of Lord of Huanca with your group. The Lord of Huanca is an invocation of martyr Christ who is in this town and is revered by Peruvians and foreigners, considered very miraculous. In the afternoon, you will go back to the retreat center and have a delicious lunch. Later, you will learn more about the ancient Inca and Andean philosophies (Ayni, Anya, Sumaq Kausay) and practice Munay meditation with your group. The rest of the day you have time to relax or discover the beautiful environment of the retreat center by yourself.
Today you will start your day with a very light breakfast and then be brought to the native plants nursery of the organization “Human Actions”. There you will learn more about the medicinal valor of the plants and help the staff with watering the plants and working at the plant nursery. After having a little snack, you will enjoy a relaxing massage at the retreat center. In the evening, you will learn more about the Pachamama (Mother Earth) and its meaning for the Andean culture. After another Munay meditation session, you have some time to prepare yourself for the third and last ayahuasca ceremony. Our medical team and Andean shamans will be with you during the whole ceremony.
On your last day you will start your day with an organic breakfast. Afterwards, you will have another individual consultation with the doctors and shamanic healers about your last Ayahuasca ceremony. Later, our shaman will perform an offering to Mother Earth. It is an important ceremony in the Andes culture to show gratitude to Pachamama (Mother Earth) for everything she has been giving to us. You can buy some local handicrafts from the shamanic healers before you will be brought back to Cusco.
Part of our retreat experience are several volunteering activities to deepen your self growth experience and learn more about yourself by helping others. Our friends from the organization Human Actions support different local projects. The volunteering activities may involve working with children that come from poor communities of Cusco, helping the staff at a dog shelter or visiting a plant nursery. We believe that you help yourself by helping others - volunteering shows us life from a different perspective.
An ayahuasca retreat can be a life-changing experience that helps you overcome inner traumas and get over different personal issues that still remain. Many people say that the healing plant medicine brings up long-forgotten memories that open your eyes or make you realize different things in your life, and creates a feeling of universal love, spiritual connection and harmony with yourself and the whole cosmos.
During the retreat you learn more about the Munay meditation based on the principle of universal love, self acceptance and happiness. Besides, our shamanic healers perform ancient ceremonies such as the Mother Earth offering and the Coca Leaf ceremony. These sacred rituals have the purpose of embracing your personal ayahuasca experience, getting into the right spiritual mindset and feeling inner peace and harmony throughout the whole retreat.
Shamans (or Paqo in Quechua) are highly respected spiritual healers in the Andean community. They are very wise people who have access to the link between them, the spirit world and Mother Earth. The role of the shaman is essential for their community because they are the ones who guide the people, by providing sacred ceremonies, oracle readings and spiritual offerings. They are beings with a higher level of consciousness that they got from their own experience and ancestors.
A doctor and psychologist will be with you during the whole retreat to ensure the highest level of safety to our guests. Our retreat staff will conduct a medical examination before the ayahuasca ceremony and talk with you about any special physical or mental conditions. Besides, the psychologist and doctors are there for you to make sure that you are calm and stable before and after the ceremonies. They will also help you understand your visions and talk with you about your personal experiences.
The ayahuasca retreat was incredible - I was very nervous going into it but felt drawn to the potential of healing. I got exactly what I needed and so much more. Aside from the actual ceremonies, the retreat center itself as well as its staff were just amazing. Everyone was so kind and accommodating. I left feeling truly touched by everyone there as well as cleansed from the ceremonies themselves.
Incredible experience (Audrey)
The 3 day ayahuasca retreat was in one word amazing, it was and still is a life-changing experience that I think everyone deserves. Part of the reason why this experience was so amazing was the good supply of information, friendly staff, the food, the place was peaceful and beautiful, and medical wise they took really good care of you. This way I could concentrate on myself and my experience.
Best center in Cusco (Edith)
Travel and healing went above and beyond for every aspect of our trip. The retreat center highly exceeded my expectations. I’m so happy the whole trip went smoothly and I give it all to Travel and Healing who made that happen. I would highly recommend and will book with Travel and Healing if I ever make it back to Peru.
5 day ayahuasca (Emma)
You'll be staying here
During your ayahuasca retreat you will be staying at the retreat center of San Salvador, right in the middle of nature and far from the noisy city. The place consists of beautiful rustic houses, each of them with double occupancy and surrounded by nature, plants and colorful flowers. It is a very peaceful place, making your ayahuasca experience an unforgettable memory.
Ayahuasca is a brew made from leaves of the Psychotria viridis plant along with the stalks of the Banisteriopsis caapi plant both growing in the Amazon rainforest. Ayahuasca is also known as “the vine of the soul” or “la purga”, which literally means “the purge”. This sacred drink has been used for many centuries by ancient Amazonian tribes in South America and is traditionally prepared by an experienced shamanic healer who leads the ayahuasca ceremonies and prepares the brew by boiling the two plants in water. After the boiling process the water is removed, leaving the plant material behind. This process is repeated until a highly concentrated liquid is produced. Once the brew is cooled, it is ready for the ceremonies. The two main ingredients of ayahuasca (banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis) both have hallucinogenic properties (DMT and β-carbolines) which lead to an altered state of consciousness when combined, such as hallucinations, out-of-body experiences and euphoria. During the ayahuasca retreat our medical team and experienced shamans will be with you, so they can make sure that you are in good condition to participate.
You should be in the city of Cusco at least 2 days before the retreat starts, so your body has some time to acclimatise to the high altitude. If you arrive the day of your retreat, you cannot do the ayahuasca ceremony and must postpone your retreat for the next date available. In this case a refund is not possible. The safety of our guests is our highest priority, this is why we want to prevent people from getting altitude sickness under the effect of ayahuasca, since this can be a serious health risk. Besides, you must give us a medical report from your doctor to make sure that your general health condition is good. You can either take a copied scan or the original letter from your doctor with you, or send us the document per mail. This medical report is mandatory to be able to participate in this retreat. If you cannot bring the letter, you will have to make a check up with a doctor in Cusco, which will be charged an extra cost of $55 US. If you have any physical or psychological medical conditions or are under any medication treatment, please let us know before you book your retreat. Participants older than 50 years require an additional stress test. This can be done in your country of origin or in Cusco for a charge of $55 US.
People with colon problems, high blood pressure, heart conditions, diabetes, or mental illness should be cautious since ayahuasca can have strong effects on your body. You cannot do the ayahuasca ceremony while being pregnant. Besides, period pain and discomfort may result in a negative experience while taking ayahuasca. This is why we recommend you not to do the ayahuasca experience during your period. However, if you do not experience severe pain or discomfort, it is okay for you to participate. We recommend waiting until the second or third day of a period to allow you to gauge the intensity of the pain. The most important thing is that you feel ready for this retreat experience.
The ayahuasca ceremonies are usually held at night and last until the effects of the ayahuasca drink have worn off. Our ayahuasca retreat starts with a sacred ceremony led by our shaman and a meditation session to get into the right mindset. Our shamanic healer offers the ayahuasca brew to each participant. You will be at our retreat center in the sacred valley of Cusco, surrounded by nature and a peaceful environment. There are comfortable beds for everybody, so you feel safe and good during the ayahuasca ceremony. After consuming ayahuasca, most of the people start to feel the effects within 20 to 60 minutes. The trip can last 2-6 hours, depending on the dose. After taking ayahuasca, many participants experience symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, strong hallucinations, feelings of euphoria and out-of-body experiences. Some of the adverse effects, such as vomiting and diarrhea, are considered a normal part of the cleansing experience. Everybody reacts differently to ayahuasca. This means that some experience a trip with spiritual enlightenment, euphoria and life-changing visions, while others go through moments of anxiety and panic. During the whole ceremony, our ayahuasca shaman and medical team guides you throughout this experience and monitors your safety and well-being. Every time you take ayahuasca, the experience can be completely different for you.
The diet purifies the body and mind for this shamanic healing experience, but also makes sure that your ayahuasca experience is safe. This is why we recommend you NOT to eat/consume at least two weeks before the retreat: pork, alcohol, cannabis, drugs and spicy food. Please do not take any prescribed medications or drugs two weeks before the retreat starts. Ayahuasca is a potent form of medicine and can therefore have different effects when combined with other medications. One week before the retreat, you should abstain from: red meat, junk foods, sweets or candies, carbonated drinks (including diet sodas, energy drinks and non-alcoholic beer), dairy products, fermented foods, caffeine and other stimulants. The last couple of days before the retreat, we suggest you eat well. Do not make any extreme diets! It is important that you are in a good condition and feel well before the retreat. Try to reduce the consumption of salt, pepper and oil three days before the retreat. Good organic food with a moderate amount of salt and sugar is recommended. In terms of meat you may consume chicken or fish. On the day of the retreat, please eat a light breakfast based on juice and fruits, no bread or dairy products!
We recommend you to set an intention, since the plant medicine ceremony can be overwhelming and it can serve as an anchor in your ayahuasca ceremony to remember your intention and what brought you to explore or heal in the first place. In the days or weeks leading up to your ayahuasca ceremony, take a moment to reflect on why you feel called to drink ayahuasca. What do you seek to learn or to understand? How do you feel about your life? What is difficult for you at the moment? The answers to these questions can be used to create intentions most relevant to you. For your spirit and mind it helps to do spiritual practices that embrace your connection with your inner world. It is good to be in a peaceful environment, to take walks in nature, to meditate, to practice yoga or breathwork, and more. Do mindful activities that help you to be more aware and present before the retreat starts. Besides, many Andean shamans suggest that you refrain from having sex or masturbating two weeks before the retreat starts as this can reduce physical energy levels making it harder to cope with the effects of ayahuasca.
Participating in an ayahuasca ceremony is an opportunity for deep healing and personal transformation. An ayahuasca journey provides profound insights and is great potential for healing your body, spirit and mind. Besides the spiritual and awakening experience, there are recently more and more researches about the benefits of ayahuasca. According to current research, ayahuasca may protect brain cells and stimulate neural cell growth. Researchers are still investigating the actual effects of the sacred plant medicine and are trying to find out in which way it boosts mood, improves mindfulness, treats depression and addiction disorders.
Tipping is always appreciated and should completely be based on your satisfaction. Although tipping may not be usual to you, it is important to the people who’ll take care of you during your trip (drivers, translators, spiritual teachers, shamans, etc.).