Breakfast is served in the morning and is followed by time with the facilitator to talk about your experience regarding the previous night’s ceremony. Afterward, we all gather for a meditation or yoga session, followed by lunch. You can relax in the afternoon at the lodge, go for a little walk, a waterfall hike, or dip in the pool, or just hang out around the fire. Around 4 or 5pm, we will gather for another session to get you prepared for the ceremony. Once we feel you are prepared and ready, the Ayahuasca ceremony will begin.
Ceremonies can last anywhere, on average, from 3 to 7 hours. Within that time frame, most people will have 1 – 2 doses of Ayahuasca. The time and number of doses will be decided by the shaman to ensure your safety while ensuring you experience the influence of Ayahuasca. Regardless, when you’re under the influence of medicine, most people tend to lose their sense of time during the ceremony. 3 hours can end up feeling like 10 hours, and 10 hours can end up feeling like 5 minutes.
The facilitator participates in the ceremony but doesn’t always drink medicine as it depends on the needs of the group. The facilitator always sits in ceremony. Their role is to help keep you safe and act as a translator between you and the shaman. Therefore, both the shaman and the facilitator will be in ceremony with you to support your needs.
Some traditions do not allow it because it is believed that women on their periods are more sensitive to Ayahuasca which makes them even more receptive to the influence of Ayahuasca. The tradition we work with allows women to drink Ayahuasca. However, they must let the shaman know so the shaman can work with their menstruation cycle in an energetic way that is in alignment with what their body is doing.
It usually depends on the person, but in general, it is a very uncomfortable experience where you feel deeply nauseated and sick, either for a couple of minutes or possibly many hours. This feeling can sometimes last days if you have a lot of resistance or hold on to the energies and emotions in your body. The purging process is more of an emotional, psychological purging process. It may make you nauseous. However, nausea is often associated with the emotions and the resistance that you are releasing. This can be a blissful and relieving experience. In general, whether you’re having a very uncomfortable experience or a blissful purge, the purge itself is always a relief. This is because people always feel like they’re letting go of baggage, and they’re letting go of negative emotions and energies out of their system.
Unlike most retreat centers deep in the jungle and far from modern medical care, we are located in the Sacred Valley, just 25 minutes away from the closest medical clinic. Spiritual and physical safety is our top priority throughout the retreat. We also have a doctor come on the first day to ensure the health and safety of all guests. Ambulatory and private transportation are ready in the case of an emergency. The local clinic is prepared to handle emergencies, regardless of the time, and is specifically notified by us on the nights we do Ayahuasca to ensure a quick response if needed. We are proud that we have never required the use of ambulatory services, nor have we had any deaths in our 15+ years of running retreats.
It’s a requirement to follow an Ayahuasca diet in order to participate in the retreat. Our shaman decides what the specific diet will consist of. The diet can begin as early as four weeks before the retreat starts and may include 21 days restrictions for certain ingredients. Your specific diet will be provided to you after successful registration.
The retreat center is roughly 1.5 hours from Cusco Airport. The only way to get to Cusco airport is via transfer from Lima International Airport and is recommended as international flights come in and out of Lima Airport.We recommend you arrive a day or two before the retreat in order to acclimate altitude. If you arrive early, you’re going to have to get your own transportation to your hotel. Most hotels are located in the city center, Central Plaza, and is only a 10-minute taxi from Cusco Airport. The meeting point for pickup is in the city center near Central Plaza around 10-11am in the morning. For safety reasons, we only send you the meeting points when you have registered with us. Once we all meet in the city center, the group will transit together 1.5 hrs to the retreat center. We will take the same route back to the airport together when the retreat finishes with drop off at the Cusco Airport or Central Plaza.
There are 3 types of lodging to choose from. Private rooms, shared rooms, or luxury tambos. The tambos are more secluded and a little further away in the garden so that you have more privacy. They include a sofa and reading space upstairs, similar to a mezzanine, along with a private bathroom with a bathtub.
We have fiber optic Wi-Fi at the lodge and we also receive cell phone signal on site. However, we do ask everyone to try their best not to be online unless you have to be for family or work. We prefer you unplug to get the most from the experience. However, if you have to contact your family or work, there is a dedicated space where you can do that so that you’re not on the phone the entire time or in the communal spaces where people want to meditate and just relax.