The Garden of Peace

The Center

The Garden of Peace (El Jardin de la Paz)  is a humble healing center located in a lush, remote valley where the Andes meet the Amazon. This intentionally small (8 guests max) center is family run bu english speaking owners under the guidance of a Peruvian Master Shaman who also lives on site with his family.

Plant medicine is a way of life for us here and we invite you into our medicine family as an honored guest. 

Specializing in traditional master plant "Dieta" we work with ancient shamanic practices including Madre Ayahuasca to transform and heal your mind, body and spirit. Deep immersion 10 day or longer Ayahuasca and Master Plant retreats are available in our intimate jungle sanctuary. We work with master plants because we know this is what people need, not just Ayahuasca, though that is part of our work also. 

The Garden of Peace team work closely with all guests to guide you safely through this transformative work in a focused and purpose built environment. Safety and personal connection is highly valued by us. 

For those who feel called to it, this path of healing, is truly life changing. It is a chance to awaken the spirit to its true nature, in harmony with all existence. It is also a powerfull physical and emotional healing path. 

The plant spirits themselves have created this paradise and made it a sacred sanctuary of healing. As the stewards of that energy have built this place for you to transform, to heal, and move forwards in your divine journey as a healthy, whole and connected sovergn being. Aware and in touch with your highest spiritual potential. 

The Garden of Peace is family run, it is our home, a place you can return for years to come if you wish, exploring the immense wealth of wisdom and expansion available from the plant kingdom here in the mighty Amazon. 

The Work

The Garden of Peace is truly a sanctuary for people who need time out from the intensity of daily life, to heal deeply from all manner of physical and energetic imbalance and illness. A place for noble silence, for meditation and to connect with nature and your own inner Shaman. The focus here is about going deep into your personal process and your subconscious. Connecting with plant consciousness and listening to the messages received in ceremony and your dreams, through creativity or simply contemplation. We do help with integration of the information if necessary, but this work, we believe, is truly between you and the plants.  

The Shaman 

The Garden of Peace is owned and operated by native English Speakers who have extensive experience in this work and help to facilitate the safe and clear experience of all our guests. Also living on site with his family is Maestro Curandero Hegner Paredes Melendez who oversees all the plant medicine practices.

Hegner is a Master Ayahuasquero and Vegetalista from the Pucallpa region of Peru. Coming from a powerful lineage of healers he brings immense depth of experience and a profound personal connection with the land, plants and spirits. He is a humble healer with direct connection to the plant spirits and multiple decades of personal dieta. You will never forget the calm strength and caring that goes into every one of Hegners ceremonies along with the ritual preperation of the other master plants he serves. He is an authenticly connected "Jungle Shaman"  and noble human being who we are honored to work and study with. 


Living in a delicate, remote area we do our best to live in harmony with the environment. Growing food organically where we can and using local produce. We have installed compostable and bio-digesting toilets and get our drinking and cooking water from a natural spring on the land as well as filtered rainwater collection. We also bathe in the river that runs through the land (with or without swimwear), so no wasted water!  We also understand that Ayahuasca sustainablity is a growing issue that we want to continue to be proactive about. The Garden of Peace has started re-planting Ayahuasca, and now have plans for a crowd funding program to make an even bigger impact to this rewarding project as it is sadly often ignored by the wider Ayahuasca community.

Whether you choose to drink medicine with us or not, please, let's all work together to help keep Ayahuasca from disappearing, it takes many years to mature and we must think ahead!

Retreat Application

We do need you to apply for our retreats at the Garden of Peace so that we have the information necessary to help keep you, our staff, and everyone else dieting safe. You can find out more detailed information and reserve your space by applying here

* In order to secure your reservation with us, a 50% deposit is payable at the time of registration. This deposit is non-refundable. If for some unfortunate reason you cannot make the retreat, this deposit can be transferred to a later retreat either in the same year or in the first six months of the following calendar year (subject to availability). The remaining balance is due upon arrival in USD.

We look forward to your visit, your increased health and connection, expanded heart and of course your new friendship.

Tags: ayahuasca ayahuasca retreat dieta master plants peru plant medicine retreat center shamanism tarapoto traditional medicine

  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • Kerry Greer   August 18, 2015

      Great Retreat Run By Even Better People

    I spent 17 days at The Garden of Peace in June 2015. The retreat is located about 90 minutes from Tarapoto, along a rutted dirt road, which adds to the authenticity of the experience. The retreat centre itself is located in beautiful, peaceful surrounds with a river running right through the middle, and natural spring water on demand. The people who run the retreat are very passionate about the healing benefits of ayahuasca, the dieta, and the specific plant medicines chosen for you. The food is a little on the meager side, but made with love. The tambos (huts) are amazingly all built by hand by those who run the retreat. I wouldn't describe it as a fancy resort experience by any means, but the love of the people who work there is what makes this place special. I took one star off because i felt the website that directed me to the retreat was slightly misleading as to the real experience, which is still a very worthwhile experience (just not what the website portrays). I guess my main issue with the website was that it portrayed a more luxuriant experience, and didn't focus on the real aspects of value at the retreat.

  • Francesco Carter   July 20, 2015

      My time at the Garden of Peace

    I found the Garden of Peace online when searching for a place in Peru for Ayahuasca. I chose them without any referrals or recommendations and I'm glad I found them. This was my first time with Ayahuasca and while it may not have been easy at the time it was what I needed. I honestly can't remember ever feeling so much love as what I felt from everyone at the center. They are all very dedicated to their calling I appreciated everything they do. I am still learning and growing from what I experienced there. I daily find myself longing to be back there, the closest thing to perfection I have experienced. Thank you so much my family at the Garden of Peace. Love you guys, Francesco.

  • Ajj   August 07, 2015

      More than I expected!!!

    The dieta was a totally physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually cleansing experience. The Shamans were professional and very kind. Ashley, Lara and Tristran really know their stuff and have an energy that just helps the process. It is not just about the plants, it is the intention, the location, the people, the energy and the whole process comming together to create healing. I could have done without the sandflies thought - but it is in the Jungle and being part of nature was an experience in itself. Thank you. If you feel the call totally GO!!!! Love : Sunshine from South East Asia

  • Gabriel Saenz   August 18, 2015

      50 Days of Blissful Suffering

    I have suffered with headaches every single moment of every single day for 5.5 years. In addition to headaches the good Lord saw fit to bless me with chronic fatigue syndrome and cloudy thinking at the same time. I have had surgeries, medications and a host of holistic treatments but nothing seemed to help that much. I went to over 40 Doctors with a host of specialties and had little success.......Long story short all that is gone and I am healthier than I have been in 7 years since my health crashed after spending 50 day at Jardin de la Paz. Jardin de la Paz is a beautiful center located about an hour from Tarrapoto in the jungle. From your open-air hut you can often see monkeys, tropical birds, a pristine river and a host spectacular butterflies. The huts are simple yet comfortable, but this definitely is not a resort. There is no running water, no electricity, no telephone service (you can get it nearby if you really need it), no internet and of course no air conditioning. However I believe that this disconnection from technology is as much a factor in the healing as the medicine itself. The ability to drink fresh spring water, the cool refreshing water of the river nearby, and of course the beautiful lush jungle itself more than make up for any lack of amenities. As far as the staff goes Carlos and Juan are both powerful healers who come from a long lineage of healers. They also happen to be brothers which makes them even more powerful together. The support staff is excellent Ashley is gifted healer in his own right, an excellent facilitator and a phenomenal musician. Laura prepares some amazing food (by dieta standards) and always has some helpful advice. Tristan though not mentioned on the website also leads some powerful seminars on visualizations that I found very helpful and his Zen attitude is highly contagious. All the support staff join the Shaman in creating powerful Icaros (healing songs) that facilitate healing further and are very beautiful. On a personal note many people find the most challenging part of the retreat the time in solitude in their private hut. I found the most effective use of this time for me was a meditation technique called the Sedona Method. Also useful was the Meta loving kindness meditation as well as gratitude meditations. I highly recommend learning some of these or similar techniques before you go. Ayahuasca is a powerful medicine and no doubt this center is a good one but you have to be willing to do the work or the results will not last. As Einstein said "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results." Peace and Blessings, -Gabriel Saenz

  • Rhonda Peterson   January 01, 2016

      Do it!

    I dieted at the Garden of Peace a few months ago. It was my first real diet in Peru and I have since been to several other centers and dieted quite a bit so I wanted to leave a review here that was after I had some comparison experiences. The Garden is special. You feel it the minute you walk through the gates. The facilitators Ashley and Lara are knowledgable, caring and completely there to help guide you through the most intense process you may ever have the opportunity to experience in your life. Maestro Hegnar is hands down one of the strongest healers I've worked with in Peru. It was no accident that he ended up at the Garden, we gringos need healing and he is there to help. If you are Peruvian and reading this, you too! :) The jungle setting is your first line of healing...just being there starts your reconnection. The medicine is the kind of medicine that is healing every time, you aren't just tripping balls. The plants are willing to connect there, I heard a spirit radio of sorts after a couple of days...the plants attempt at teaching me my first icaro. What an experience I hope others have in their own way. The not completely traditional, in my opinion it is yummy veggie food, but it is super strict and may be difficult for some but you will have enough and you will not starve or become malnutritioned in the 10+ days you are there anyways so let that be a non issue. The accommodations are rustic but so beautiful. The river below is beautiful music to drift off and wake to. I cannot recommend The Garden of Peace more, they didn't have 6 stars. I cannot wait to get back for another diet later this year!!

  • Aminah Jamil   January 01, 2016

      Amazing and peaceful

    El Jardin de la Paz was everything I never knew I needed in a retreat. The secluded location was tranquil and serene, qualities necessary for the kind of inner work we need to do during dieta. The shamans, volunteers and guests were carefully chosen, which made me extremely comfortable to be there; there was never a moment that I questioned my decision. The actual dieta was exactly what I needed, personally, and will be different for everyone. For me, it was transformational. Bottom line, I would definitely go again. Actually, I plan to go again the next time I feel the call.

  • Curtis Dutchak   January 01, 2016

      Wonderful ayahuasca retreat where the Andes meets the jungle

    I attended a 2-week ayahuasca retreat between November 19th and December 2nd, 2015 and was really impressed with the overall operation they are running there. The location is beautiful but what made the experience so special was the caring people involved and their positive intentions throughout the retreat. It was the fifth location that I had drank ayahuasca at and also the one that I feel I went the deepest with the medicines. Their shaman is very experienced and the ayahuasca brew was strong. I liked how they used master plants and also stressed a strict dieta throughout the retreat. I believe that both of those factors helped the medicine go deeper and allowed for more benefits to be realized.

  • Tom Sochowicz   January 02, 2016

      El Jardin de La Paz

    I have been to several dietas at The of Peace in Peru and they all have helped and healed my life. The people here take their work very seriously. The place is no vacation. The ceremonies and plant medicine are serious business. The accommodations are very nice as well with individual castitas to maximize your reflection and meditation time. Also post dieta diet for at least 30 days is strongly suggested as well. So ir you are a person who take plant medicine seriously and want a life changing experience I highly recommend El Jardin de La Paz.

  • Maria Myrvang Jensen   January 02, 2016

      An experience of a lifetime

    In august-september 2015 I spent 10 days at El Jardin de la paz-The garden of peace in the amazon jungle. This place really lives up to it`s name- The Garden of Peace, as that is excactly what it is. A place to be at peace and heal both mentally and physically. In these beautiful suroundings with these beautiful people, you have all the help and all the tools you need to either start a transformation in your life towards a healing path, or continue an already ongoing transformation. The setting in this place is all about making you feel safe and cared for,to be able to do the work you need to do on yourself. They work in small groups, which I can say from personally experience is a very important key to get the best results. Even after the retreat they will keep in touch and help you if you have struggles. For me that has been a great support. I have been to other retreats, but this is by far the best one, and the reason why i am going back in 2016 to do a longer Dieta for a month with Master Plants and Ayahuasca.

  • Jess Hess   July 08, 2016


    So much joy and gratitude/appreciation/humility/awe & amazement in my heart for these special people doing amazing work in Peru at El Jardin de la Paz! I don't even have sufficient words to express the gratitude I feel for how you've cared for My husband these past 10 days and me back in December! RESPECT, HONOR, LOVE and all thing wonderful to you my brothers and sisters! Ashley Avery, Lara Charlotte, Jo Bennett, Hegnar, Arturo, Tristan! We will be back again and hope to continue creating positivity in this world!

  • Adam Hess   July 11, 2016

      Deep, Beautiful, Heart-Centered Experience.

    My experience at El Jardin De La Paz was out of this world amazing! Nothing short of pure magic! I had high expectations, as my Wife completed a 10 day dieta here in Dec. of 2015 and felt exactly the same when she came home. The level of healing she experienced on all sides, mental, physical, spiritual was truly inspiring, and it continues to this day. I just had to experience it, and am so happy I did. Now, when I mention the “experience”, I’m talking about the whole thing, from your first interactions with the staff before you leave your home country, to the minute you’re picked up from the eclectic café in Tarapoto to the moment you take your first step out of the gate when you leave, through the post-dieta and beyond. Every single person from El Jardin defines the phrase heart-centered. You feel like family from the first moment engaged, and it’s 100% genuine. It’s not just a manufactured feeling…we really are all family now, and that is the way it’s supposed to be with healing of this nature, and especially these plant medicines. Throughout, the level of care and love put into every little part of the experience really is mind-blowing, not even exaggerating. Make no mistake though, this is hard work and what you experience here is the real deal, with nothing held back. It’s full-on. But that is what you go for, not something watered down. Real healing, and real deal heart, mind and soul expansion and metamorphosis is needed and at El Jardin, you will get it, along with so much love and light it doesn’t seem possible. The property itself is just beautiful beyond belief, with extremely diverse vegetation every single place you look. The river is at the level of a fantasy, with a sandy, pebbly bottom and it pools between large rocks and cliffs for perfect places to soak. To sit in that river, in a natural configuration of rocks more comfortable than the best reclining chair while the healing energy of the water rushes over you, while you stare up at the canopy of the jungle with so many birds, butterflies, and huge trees towering over you is happiness defined. No words to describe it. The wildlife is so perfect, and delicate with gorgeous butterflies of all colors, hummingbirds, small monkeys making their way through the trees in the morning, etc. Many of the butterflies are as big as small birds! In ceremony is where the magic makes itself known, the music, icaros, and positive uplifting, enlightening energy are the perfect, yet simple soul stirring complement to the complexity of strong medicine. And make no mistake, the medicine is strong! Yet the pure intention with which it’s created is very obvious. Seriously, I could go on forever I think! But I won’t. El Jardin De La Paz is a place where you will not only feel safe but actually be safe, loved, cared for, and amazed again and again. If you’re serious about traditional Amazon dieta, and truly desire a heart centered, metaphysical, healing experience with love and oneness at it’s core, you simply cannot go wrong with El Jardin De La Paz. Thank you so much Ashley, Hegner, Jo, Lara, Jeremiah, Arturo, Niesha, Rhonda, Mayu, Cosmo & Zeus and everyone involved that are now extended family! So much love always. Can’t wait to come back

  • RJ Martins   September 05, 2016

      Loving, Peaceful, Caring and A truly life changing experience.

    After feeling a calling to experience something new. I took my first trip to South America to experience the healing Ayahuasca Dieta that is offered by the beautiful souls at The Garden of Peace. I was extremely pleased to be greeted early at the location in Tarapoto that we determined in the email while planning the trip !! Lara and Jo introduced themselves instantly and as the group began to create a bond, the journey started :) Ashley, Lara, Jo and Tristen are the most caring, receiving and helpful humans i've ever encountered. They create a wonderful environment of safety and love during the stay at the center. Hegner is a wonderful Shaman that enables a healing experience unlike no other. Each of the members of The Garden of Peace truly create an atmosphere that cannot be put into words. While you go through the healing journey.. It is most important to have a pure, safe environment of love and light and they truly create it here. I cannot thank all of you beautiful souls enough for everything that is being created :) love and light rj

  • Emily Murray   July 10, 2016

      Life changing experience!

    El Jardin de la Paz, a little slice of heaven on earth. located around 90 mins from tarapoto, you will be picked up by 4x4 and slowly climb the mountains until you reach its gates. there we were welcomed by lara, asheley, jo, niesha, jeramiah and arturo, who are amazing in every possible way. we settled into our casitas which over looked the vibrant jungle. everyday we were brought food by Jo which was cooked with huge amounts of love and energy to keep us strong. we were able to wash in the beautiful river that runs through the land and after each ceremony Arturo prepared us a lovely flower bath which was one of the best bits of the retreat. the ceremonys were guided by Hegner, who has an incredible power and presence both in and out of ceremony. He made us feel incredibly safe and mid ceremony we were brought up for a cleansing of the soul which was incredibly powerful experience. Throughout the entire ceremony the volunteers sang ikaros and their own songs of choice which was unbelievable, Ashley often brought out his guitar, harmonica, or flute and sang beauitful uplifting songs about love, harmony and being one, he is easily one of the most talented people ive ever met! It was the hardest and best exprience of my life but the volunteers made it possible with all the love and help they gave us along the way. Fate brought us to El Jardin de la Paz and each and every person we met there has a little place in my heart. It wasnt just the medicine alone that healed me but all the amazing people who are so aware and knowledgable of this incredible plant. The land is sacred, the people are divine and if anyone is looking for healing, love, and self realisation this is the perfect setting for it! Every single sacrifice made for this was more than worth it!

  • Julia Zelinka   August 28, 2016

      Epic life changing experience!!

    Ok, so my story is a bit different and I’m going to write this review from the perspective of a participant for a potential participant, I’ll keep it raw and real so you can make the right decision for you! I'm working on my PhD and a big part of my research is focused on North American participants traveling down to South America for Ayahuasca healing ceremonies. Prior to coming down to el jardin de la paz, I read a ton of scientific research and watched a few YouTube videos, but I knew if I was going to continue my research I needed to experience the medicine myself. So I found el jardin via an internet search, and going with my gut it felt like the right place, so I booked it, bought a flight and began to prepare for my trek down to the southern half of the globe all by my self!! My friends and family thought I was crazy and some were even convinced I would not make it back. They couldn't have been more wrong. I’ll admit the travel down was the worst part, lots of connecting flights, delays, missed flights...the usual when traveling internationally from the US but I made it safe and sound. There are several reasons that I became interested in the healing properties of ayahuasca: First I'm a cancer survivor (like super bad childhood cancer, chemo, radiation, 5 surgeries, 2 years in the hospital, etc.) so I have some left over physical issues from that, but also a significant degree of emotional scaring that I was looking to heal as well. I remember being so scared and nervous from the time I landed in Lima till I arrived in the jungle and got to my adorable little tree house! Once I arrived, I was met with nothing but love and positive energy, so strong that it actually dispersed most of my fears and anxiety. The people who own and run El Jardin are simply fantastic, but lets just say that I had zero fear of anything bad happening and always felt comfortable and at ease. The only thing that gave me a certain level of anxiety was getting up and down the trails with a bum leg (I had recently had an Achilles tendon lengthening surgery, so my cat like prowess was not 100%). Which brings me to an important point, if you have physical issues that limit your mobility, please, please do yourself a favor and let them know in advance. Have a discussion with Ashley or Laura, if they can accommodate you they will, if it is not going to work they will let you know that also. I slid down the hill one morning on the way to the toilet and Ashley built an extended rail to help me, that’s the kind of love that you get at el jardin de la paz. Be prepared for an extreme experience, from the first day ‘tobacco purge’ to the daily plant dieta to the ultimate full ayahuasca ceremonies. I went in thinking I knew everything only to quickly learn that all my ‘research’ taught me nothing about the true depths that this medicine can take you to. My retreat was from June/July 2016, and my life continues to change for the better everyday. Hands down this was one of the best things that I’ve ever done for myself, in fact I’m bringing one of my best girlfriends from high school and we are coming back next year. I will not even consider attending a retreat other than el jardin de la paz, because they are truly the best!!

  • Alycia Steele   August 22, 2016

      A truly expansive experience

    My time at The Garden of Peace taught me more than I could have expected to learn, and I knew before I left that I would return again in the future. I cannot emphasize enough how BEAUTIFUL the energy of the land and the people who facilitate it are. Absolutely beautiful- to the point that I have cried multiple times since returning home to Massachusetts 2 months ago, simply because I miss the peaceful, pure, loving energy that you're immersed in at El Jardin de La Paz. Before my time there, I didn't even truly understand what it meant to feel different energies in this way..but upon returning home, the difference in how I felt in my surrounding environment made me realize that what I was experiencing was a difference in the energies around me. As for the people: Hegner, the ayahuasquero, is the real deal. I feel this is incredibly important to note right off the bat, because there are a lot of warnings to be cautious of who your shaman is-finding the "right" shaman, and making sure they are pure and coming from a place of love rather than looking to make money. I trust Hegner 100%. And this comes from a personal experience during my hardest ayahuasca ceremony where I felt unbearably sick for over 2 hours, and COULD NOT throw up. It was like having food poisoning and not being able to throw up- absolutely miserable for over two hours. I tried during those 2+hours everything I could think of to make my body purge whatever it was the needed to come out, but I was not successful. I tried talking to it-saying it was safe for it to come out now, it was safe to show itself and to be released from my body. I tried moving my body in positions that would trigger me to throw up. I tried just completely relaxing into it and doing breathing exercises, surrendering to it..nothing worked. Finally, out of desperation, I yelled (in my head, NOT out loud!!!) "Help me, PLEASE. SOMEBODY. HELP ME GET THIS OUT OF MY BODY. PLEASE." ...within 30 seconds, Hegner was behind me. He blew three times on the back of my neck, and immediately a sense of relief flooded over my entire body and I started crying. And then I didn't stop crying for the next 2 hours or so, but the nausea and the sickness were gone. I realized that what I needed to purge wasn't was emotional. I was releasing emotions I had been suppressing for YEARS. YEARS!! It was the most intensely healing experience I have ever had, and by far the most profound ceremony of my dieta. The point of this is that Hegner KNEW..without my needing to ask for help out loud, that I needed help and triggered the release of those emotions. He was behind me IMMEDIATELY after I called for help IN MY HEAD. And that, to me, showed me that he truly has control over the space that he holds, that he is capable to holding that space for participants in the ceremony, and that he is a true healer. Lara is truly a Goddess. An absolutely beautiful soul, providing a soft and loving..yet very powerful, supportive, stable presence. As a woman, her presence in the ceremonies and as support throughout the dieta was comforting and reassuring for me. This is something I didn't truly appreciate until after I came home and reflected on my experience, and having her provide me with intense insight after arriving home when I reached out to her on multiple occassions with questions regarding my feelings, extreme fatigue, and some scary meditations during my post-dieta at home. Arturo provides such a light, happy, loving energy that you can't help but smile when he's anywhere near you. His passion and LOVE for life is SO evident, and it's contagious. While working with ayahuasca and the master plants is serious work, and it can be very intense and tough at times...Arturo provides a perspective that reminds you that all things return to love. And that is how he lives his life; from a place of love, always. I could not imagine my first dieta without Arturo's presence- I feel he is a crucial piece of the puzzle at El Jardin de La Paz. A lot of my lessons and realizations didn't come until after I returned home, and I am still recognizing lessons and feelings of significance that stem from my dieta as time goes on. I think this is a very important thing to understand as you go into your dieta- your lessons DO NOT end when your dieta ends. They continue. And this is something I thought I understood before leaving for Peru...but I didn't truly own that knowledge and understanding until I experienced it for myself. I'm sure that will be true for others who are entering their first dieta as well, but I feel the need to re-iterate this fact anyway. lol. Stay open! :) Truly life-changing, and not in the ways I expected. <3


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