Spirit Plant Journeys
- Huaran, Sacred Valley, Peru
We are lucky to live in a time where the opportunity to travel and experience the ancient wisdoms of the far corners of the world has never been so possible. Through this physical travel we are able to travel and explore our inner self.
To think that the knowledge and wisdom of the sacred plants medicines can be reached with such ease never ceases to astound.
At Spirit Plant Journeys we specialise in creating the the opportunity and containment for people to find the place, space and opportunity to expand their consciousness and understanding to whichever intention or condition they come with.
We endevour to do this with respect for the sacred plant medicines Ayahuasca the Vine of Death and San Pedro (wachuma), with respect towards the people of Peru, and with a deep respect for the individual path of healing and understanding of the people who join for the journey.
There is no such thing as rules in the way we work, instead respect and integrity for each one of us. Each one of our stories each one of our rituals, beliefs, intentions and personalities is respected.
There will be no hierarchy in relationships as we believe we are each on our own unique path of understanding and healing.
Healing and understanding are not things we seek or pay for. It is a happening. It is something that takes place. Our intention is to provide the necessary tools, mediums and environment to trigger that and allow real inner work to happen.
There is also the ancestral connection we want to leave space for.
This is as much as an introduction for people to start their relationship with the medicine, as an opportunity for others to continue their intention or work with the medicine. We believe that for those willing to take an inner vision quest the medicine provides, and it provides what is needed at the perfect time. We wish to share this and create the opportunity for you to gather your own experience with the medicine.
Healing and understanding is not something that can be measured, or planned. It is a path to walk, a prayer to hold, and a vision to walk into. It is about understanding and unraveling layers of reality in order for us to experience our own truth and healing each on our own unique path.
Our intentions are as follows:
- We aspire to provide an experience of creative and spiritual growth.
- We endevour to create a space of openess, tolerance and freedom in a context of support and sharing.
- We aim to provide a sutainable experience in which all involved can benefit.
- We rufuse to continue the global trend of profiteering at the expense of others and thus we are adamantly fair trade.
- We open our arms to people of all ages, cultural backgrounds and belief systems.
ReviewsWrite a review - tell others about your experience.
Gerald Hoffmann October 07, 2014
I visited the spiritplantjourney.org retreat in september 2014 and had a wonderful experience with Ayahuasca and San Pedro there. It was truly eye- and heart-opening. The venue is very safe, the food very good. The shaman, Gumercindo, led some outstanding ceremonies, making the medicine talk and teach and the positive energies work within. Adding to that, we were able to visit such amazing places like Macchu Pichu, Ollantaytambo, Pisac and Sachsayhuaman in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Altogether a journey that truly can start something new in your life.
NP October 11, 2014
What a beautiful experience this trip was. I attended this trip in September 2014 and it was simply incredible. Beautiful location, great accommodations and an amazing group of people hosting this event. The way the two San Pedro ceremonies and the four Ayahuasca ceremonies worked in conjunction with each other to provide a very well balanced experience with connections to the heart and soul was simply amazing. The opportunity to experience both medicines while also working in some time to explore the Sacred Valley was simply too good of an opportunity to pass up. My soul called to me to attend this retreat and it definitely did not miss. If I knew I would get 1/10th of what I experienced on this trip I would have been ecstatic. As it stands now I have left this place reborn. Life is now so much different through my eyes and I have to thank the entire SpiritPlantJourneys team for making this experience possible and sharing your knowledge and hearts with a group of inquisitive and open minded souls from around the world.
Fabian Fitzgerald November 19, 2014
I reckon that if more people could fully experience Gumersindu's ayahuasca ceremony, the world would be a better place. How's that for a recommendation! He comes from a long line of Amazonian plant medicine shamans so you know he's fair dinkum. And thanks to the kindness, tireless work and warmth of our Spirit Plant Journeys hosts, Neils and Sarah, you are guaranteed a welcoming, loving and supportive –but most importantly– life changing experience. Much love and thanks also to Nancy and her wonderful Las Chullpas staff for providing such a magical location and delicious food and for making our stay so comfortable. Fabian Fitzgerald. Melbourne, AUSTRALIA.
Emily Zalitis August 02, 2015
I had the most beautiful and profound experience during the 10 day course. Sarah and Neils are both beautiful people with big hearts and I will be forever grateful for their support during my time at Las Chullpas. If you have any anxieties about the whole ayahuasca experience your worries will quickly be removed as Sarah and Neils will make you feel at ease, as will the other people in the program. Everyone that I attended the course with were just beautiful human beings and I hope to remain in touch with them. Everything about this course far exceeded my expectations. The setting at Las Chullpas is especially beautiful and it was so nice to have the gorgeous animals among us. The dogs are especially very friendly and loving creatures. There are so many ayahuasca retreats out there now and I am so grateful to have found something that just completely exceeded any expectations that I came in with. Bernhard and Gumercindo are both very experienced and powerful healers and I would just like to thank them both so much for their time, energy, and teachings. I have gained more than I had ever imagined! Sarah and Neils, thank you so, so much for one of the most beautiful experiences of my life! Lots of love.
Bryon Stolle November 17, 2014
The Spiritplant Journeys organization facilitated the most personally expansive, eye opening and liberating experiences of my life. From hospitality and accommodation to understanding and gentle guidance through what memorable adventure followed, the facility and its loving caretakers weaved a beautiful tapestry for me to witness upon my own becoming. I was personally certain, once laying eyes on pictures of the two guides' warming smiles and confident, knowledgeable energies, Neils and Sarah, that I wanted to behold such an awakening in their company. Literally one of the best decisions of my life. The Shaman they invited to spear-head our ceremonies are the most powerful and comforting beings I have yet to encounter a parallel to. The food provided (according to the supplemental diet) is gourmet and quite incongruent to anything my imagination "cooked up" for an experience as such, complimented by always stocking fresh native fruit in a nearby bowl just at arm's reach. The cottage environment I stayed in is star quality and slightly exotic over its rustic foundation. The grounds are gorgeous to walk through and lounge about in, be it a nearby hammock, stone bench or plush turf grass which beds the entire area. Everything was adeptly organized, from train rides and bus passes to exciting hikes around the Incan plain's ancient ruins and ever-pleasant bartering in adjacent town's markets. I am forever thankful of my experience held and of those wonderful faces who walked with me along the way. Much love. Bryon Stolle II
Beth B. August 02, 2015
I attended the Spirit Plant Journeys retreat in May, 2015. As a 46-year old woman who doesn't speak Spanish, traveling alone and venturing into my first-ever experience with the plant medicines (and, for that matter, psychedelics), you can probably imagine I had some anxieties over whether I was making the right decision, choosing the best venue, and so on. I am pleased to report that this was one of the best trips of my life and without a doubt, working with the plant medicines was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It really is a game changer, and I could not be happier that I chose Spirit Plant Journeys to do this with. It's going to be impossible to cover everything in this review, but I'll attempt to highlight a few major points. Originally, I had hoped to go into the Amazon, but the dates for that retreat were booked. I'm now relieved that I was directed to SPJ by Sara. Thank you Sara! It was ideal to not deal with the challenges of the jungle in addition to my first experience with the medicines. The Las Chullpas eco lodge in Urubamba is a quiet, beautiful, safe venue for the retreat (and no doubt less buggy) that includes comfortable rooms/beds, daily room service, running showers, electricity, a lovely dining room and staff that serves healthy meals, and plenty of space to wander around and reflect on the experience. I also loved the resident cat, dogs, and alpacas! A quick word on logistics pre-trip: The system for collecting deposits may seem awkward to you as it did for me. I experienced much hassle with this, and advise that you go directly into a Western Union location to pay your deposit. Do not attempt to send money using the online systems, regardless of how "easy" they claim it is. On arrival, it is okay to drink the Coca tea! I wasn't sure and didn't want to chance interfering with the medicines, so I turned down the kind offer from hotel staff only to find out later that the tea helps tremendously with altitude sickness. When offered to me on the day I arrived at my hotel in Cusco, I felt fine; however, shortly after getting to the room, it came over me like an avalanche. I've never actually been hit by an avalanche, so perhaps I'm exaggerating, but you get the point: it was pretty awful. I had planned to walk around and do some shopping after checking in, and instead spent the entire day in bed, miserable. Please don't make the same mistake that I made. That tea is your friend. On the first official day, everyone met at the Starbuck's in Cusco, which faces the town square. Yes, it is located upstairs but is easily identifiable by the Starbucks Siren/logo that you are used to seeing. In a nutshell, Neils and Sara put together a fantastic retreat. They are kind, generous individuals with beautiful spirits who went out of their way to make sure that everyone was comfortable and had everything they needed. I was continually impressed by how hard they worked to make it all happen. We had laundry service twice; our own yoga instructor; a generous, continuous supply of fresh fruit; and they even brought in a massage therapist! I felt that our group of 12 was perfect--not too many--and ranged in age from mid-20s to mid-50s. I love them all. They seem like family to me now, and I look forward to seeing everyone again. Some of the best shopping can be found in Pisac, so be sure to take advantage of that day if you're interested in bringing back some good deals from the trip. Among other things, you can expect to find great prices on silver, crystals, scarves, and sweaters. The hike is also absolutely gorgeous! One thing that initially attracted me to SPJ was the combination of the ayahuasca and san pedro ceremonies. My instincts were correct, as this turned out to be a perfect blend, with the san pedro ceremonies at the beginning and end of the retreat, and the ayahuasca ceremonies in the middle. I really enjoyed working with Bernhard and Gume, who are wise, genuine, wonderful teachers and shamans. I am deeply grateful to them both. The Machu Picchu trip is a great way to end the retreat, and I highly recommend going if you can swing it. Aguas Calientes is a strange little village, but the Machu Picchu tour is very good and who knows when you'll have another opportunity; it's also a nice way, albeit bittersweet, to spend time a bit more time with your group. It's now been a month since the retreat, and the medicines have stayed with me and continue to teach and guide and heal. There have been ups and downs since returning to everyday life, and it can be tricky navigating old routines while integrating new insights from the medicines. But even the downs are good. They are a pre-sent moment to remind me there's an opportunity to change my mind about something I previously decided was a down moment. That simple. One of my favorite lines from the movie Avatar: "Everything is backwards now. Out there is the true world and in here is the dream." That will only make sense if you've worked with ayahuasca, I think. Overall, I'm still in awe, and just overwhelmed with gratitude and love for this moment, and looking forward to every moment that is to come. The medicines show you very clearly just how magical life really is, and how we create it all. From my spirit to yours, thank you Neils, Sara, Bernhard, Gume, and our amazing group for each perfect moment you shared with me.
BrandO November 19, 2014
I have just returned from quite the epic adventure with Neils and Sara from Spiritplant Journeys. Landing in Peru I was unsure what to expect; but was blown away from the start. Spiritplant Journeys facilitates an itinerary packed with exploration of the self and the environment around you. We were treated to treks through the wonders of Peru, amazing food and accommodations, and oh yes, the magic of the medicine. Ayahuasca is in itself an observation of the unseen. The real treat, however, is its coupling with the San Pedro cactus, whose legend began in the same Sacred Valley in which you will be staying. The combination of feminine and masculine plants enables you to have a complex and complete exploration of your relationship with existence. This coupling is incredibly important and is what really separates Spiritplant Journeys from the rest! We love Neils and Sara for the absolute care they took of us, and their unwavering love. Just go-you will never regret it!
Ariel Arias Molina December 16, 2014
Quiero expresar mis más profundos agradecimientos a Neils Y Zara por ser parte de una vivencia única, quiero agradecer por toda la buena energía que tuve en el Sagrado Valle. Es difícil expresar la energía pura y limpia que me transmitieron durante toda mi estadía, es difícil sentirme más vivo que el presente del ahora. Este no fue un viaje más como cualquier otro, fue un viaje que me gustaría repetir una y otra vez y millones de veces más, no importa si sea un viaje difícil a la larga es un viaje sagrado que me llevo a lo más profundo de mí. La atención que recibí fue única, me sentí como si estuviera junto a mis amigos más cercanos, pude aprecia que el mundo es brillante y hermoso. Estar en el medio del Perú y sentirme querido no es una sensación que se de tan fácil en cualquier parte del mundo, en Perú no conocía a nadie no conocía del idioma y de la cultura que existe pero gracias a ustedes me sentí genial y vivo!!!! Ariel
Ariel Arias Molina December 16, 2014
Quiero expresar mis más profundos agradecimientos a Neils Y Zara por ser parte de una vivencia única, quiero agradecer por toda la buena energía que tuve en el Sagrado Valle. Es difícil expresar la energía pura y limpia que me transmitieron durante toda mi estadía, es difícil sentirme más vivo que el presente del ahora. Este no fue un viaje más como cualquier otro, fue un viaje que me gustaría repetir una y otra vez y millones de veces más, no importa si sea un viaje difícil a la larga es un viaje sagrado que me llevo a lo más profundo de mí. La atención que recibí fue única, me sentí como si estuviera junto a mis amigos más cercanos, pude aprecia que el mundo es brillante y hermoso. Estar en el medio del Perú y sentirme querido no es una sensación que se de tan fácil en cualquier parte del mundo, en Perú no conocía a nadie no conocía del idioma y de la cultura que existe pero gracias a ustedes me sentí genial y vivo!!!!
Lauren Cooper October 05, 2015
If you are reading this and are even slightly curious about participating in this retreat - I urge you to follow your heart and go for it! You will be in VERY good hands with Neils, Sarah, and the two amazing shamans who lead the ceremonies. The ceremonies are authentic, thoughtful, beautiful...but challenging. The plant medicine is pure, and you will likely get exactly what you need and probably a little more :) And - even during the difficult moments, you will have two loving, caring, knowledgeable guides (Neils and Sarah) who will be by your side when you need them. This is an amazing retreat, and I would recommend it with 10 stars instead of 5 if I could!
Ashley Buckner January 19, 2015
Sarah and Neils put together an amazing retreat. It far exceeded my expectations and I can really say that this was a truly life changing experience. The ceremonies led by the shamans were always an amazing experience. They create a space where you can truly connect with the medicine and the people who will eventually become your closest friends. The excursions were an awesome addition to the San Pedro and Ayahuasca ceremonies they picked amazing ruins to visit and I highly suggest going on the Machu Picchu excursion at the end. If you want a retreat that includes amazing facilitators, loving, friendly shamans and a BEAUTIFUL venue. Spirit Plant Journeys is the place to go. Real people, real experiences, amazing friendships. You will not be disappointed. Ashley Buckner
Michael Finke January 29, 2015
My experience with Spirit Plant Journeys is something that I'm not really sure I can put into words.. Actually, I know there is a great portion of the experience that I cannot put into words, but the rest I will attempt to articulate. Overall, it was nothing short of amazing! Through and through, it was a deeply profound, beautiful and life changing experience. The insights I've gained here are priceless, and I can easily say this is one of, if not, THE most meaningful experience I've ever had in my life. Having such awesome facilitators and shamans to guide me through the experience was definitely key, big thanks to Neils, Sarah, Bernard, and Gume! They are always there for you and whatever you may need, so you can relax knowing you're in good care, and of course, the gorgeous, lush and cozy lodging area sure doesn't hurt either.. Basically, if you're looking for a safe, comfortable and powerfully transformative retreat, then look no further!!
Shaun Mader February 10, 2015
I really can't express my gratitude to these guys enough. It would be an understatement to say that I have been around the block a time or two. I did not show up as a naive tourist with wide eyes and foggy notions. I have experienced a lot of modalities and have a pretty discerning eye for the real deal. I came to Spirit Plant Journeys with an objective and focus. I say all of this knowing full well it may sound arrogant and I say this to highlight the true pleasure it was to have found this place. Not only were the accommodations charming and warm, the people who run and facilitate it were exceptional in their kindness, generosity and willingness to share whatever knowledge they had. One key factor that stood out was the complete lack of superiority or "know it all-ness" by the shamans and facilitators. They made it clear from the the moment we met that they hold no special powers, are not here to fix or change us. They have, however invested their lives in making themselves effective facilitators so that the participants can be engaged in their own self discovery and transformation so that they leave the center with something powerful and applicable without the need to be dependent on some shaman or guru. That being said, it was also clear that we were being supported by some highly evolved individuals. There was a particular clarity and authenticity they had that allowed our entire group to let our guard down and have a profound evolution together. We walked in as strangers and out as family. The mix of rigor and relaxation was a great blend for me (even though I tend to ere in thinking that harder = better). Mixing the day trips in with the ceremonies was a great balance and did not disrupt our progress. I am sure there are many great centers who offer ceremonies and I can not speak for them. All I can say is that I am forever grateful for this experience and plan on returning next year ready to see what's next.
Kieran Emery January 08, 2017
Something wasn't right. I had been feeling it for months and every passing day felt like life was literally ebbing out of me. I had heard about ayahuasca many years previously and while doing some soul searching as to what might get me out of the spiral downwards I heard her calling. I searched the internet, including this site, and the feel of Spirit Plant Journeys when I came across it, just seemed right- warm and welcoming. Something about Spirit Plant Journeys was speaking volumes to me, the more I read about this retreat and the facilitators, I sensed authenticity- very quickly I decided that this would be the place I responded to the call of Mother Aya. Niels,Sarah and Sebastian are incredible souls, filled to the brim with genuine compassion, empathy and understanding of the weight life can bear down on all of us. Immediately you feel a bond with them as they discuss the process of the ceremonies and the power of the plant medicines- it is surreal to be surrounded by the mountains at the retreat and hear these human beings talk,free of ego,pretence or agenda. Bernhard is the shaman who undertakes the first ceremony using San Pedro. In the presence of Bernhard, you will marvel at the depth of understanding,compassion and truth that radiates from him. He has the ability to view whatever your issue maybe and help you approach it from a completely different perspective. The San Pedro itself is a very potent medicine. During the ceremony my experience was profound, I experienced a vision that humbled and grounded me. Bernhard was able to help me better understand this vision during the sharing after the ceremony. The prospect of the ayahuasca ceremonies gave me butterflies, this was truely a step into an unknown for me. With Gumé undertaking the ceremonies, I distinctly remember the sitting in the molokai during the first ceremony wondering if this was actually the right thing for me, did I belong here...? The first ayahuasca ceremony for me will stay etched in my mind for the rest of my days and I would like to share it; We drank the ayahuasca one by one and received a blessing from Gumé. After 45 minutes or so, I aware it was working on the group but I felt completely unaffected. I asked Niels if I could have some more. I was brought in front of Gumé who preformed another blessing on me and I took the second cup. I returned to my spot and half laid back / half sat up. In this position focused on my breathing and kept my eyes open. The aya came on slowly, I had the most intricate geometric shapes rapidly moving past in my peripheral vision. Suddenly, my body moved on its own and sat bolt up right. My eyes were wide open but I wasn't in the molokai anymore. I was sitting in front of a pyramid shaped alter covered in the geometric shapes that had been moving past me. Behind the alter descended down our creator- the mother. I was completely coherent and remember the experience vividly- as the creator descend down, peace washed over me and I felt that my soul was home. The mother reached forward and took me out of my physical body and placed me behind the alter with her- I was looking back at myself ! I have never been religious but my physical body was sitting bolt upright with my hands clasped together in praise of the divine mother. The look of awe and happiness on my face was incredible- I didn't know I could smile like that ! She started to communicate with me, explaining that all of the things I was holding on to; the sadness, the anger, the ego, the negativity, it was all temporary, just a human experience and that we all come from this place of infinite love. She then went on to explain the my wife and I had been chosen. She reached into the etherial swirling universe above her and placed a soul in my arms. She explained that my wife and I had been chosen by this little soul to give love and guidance to during her time during this life. ( My wife and I don't have children and she wasn't pregnant). The divine placed me back in my physical body where I spent the next hour or so in awe, cradling and staring at the soul of my un-born, un-conceived daughter. I have shared this experience with you in the hope it emphasises the power of these plant medicines- 4 weeks after the retreat, my wife became pregnant !! Gumé is truly a gifted and powerful shaman, his icaros and blessings are phenomenally healing. His ability to connect with spirit, see energies and bring about transformative healing is beyond belief. If you are wanting to answer the call of ayahuasca like me, Spirit Plant Journeys offers authentic, safe and powerful healing. Remember, fortune favours the brave - step into the unknown !!
Rachel Durchslag March 23, 2015
I spent 10 days with Spirit Plant journeys in March of 2015, and I could not have chosen a better group to go with. I had so many questions before attending the retreat, and Neils was wonderful with answering all of my emails and walking me through the process of what I could expect. The result is that I arrived at the trip feeling incredibly well prepared. The photos on the website made the retreat center look nice, but I honestly had no idea how absolutely gorgeous it would be. It's like a paradise there, tucked into the side of the mountain. Flowers fill every part of the grounds, and there are the most lovely dogs that greet you every day and even a baby llama. Neils and Sarah are extraordinary people who helped us with ever detail and really inspired us to be brave with the process of using plant medicine. The two shamans we worked with were so caring and supportive. Bernhard is a light energy worker who knew the exact ways to guide us through our use of San Pedro. And Gomae is an unbelievable shaman. The work was hard, but the payoffs incredible. When not in ceremony the retreat provided yoga and massage and wonderful field trips. I am deeply grateful for my experience with this group, and could not recommend them more.
Teresa Shore September 06, 2015
My husband & I went on this tour after obsessive on-line research (ad nauseum). Why did we seek a specific "spirit plant" experience? We are are in our 50's, and after achieving "success" (as defined by western culture), and after having been kicked in the gut by "life," we were seeking answers to questions we couldn't even articulate. Another bout of online research ad nauseum, I arrived at ayahuasca as the answer to our journey's next step. The San Pedro experiences also offered at Spirit Plant Journeys was a rare serendipity. Most venues don't offer this. Why Spirit Plant versus other venues? 1) Neils. His online persona/vibe screamed "this is a positive, decent soul." First time I ever wired $ via Western Union to an unknown entity. Yikes. This is counter to my nature. I don't do this! Neils is responsible for that. His "real self" is even better than his online vibe. 2) They offer a Machu Picchu add-on (most venues don't). Let's face it, if we were going to Peru for the first time -- how could we NOT see MP?? Do not hesitate -- you MUST see MP if you do this tour. It is a perfect supplement to the journeys you will have had prior to this add-on at the end of the tour. (Once you do it, you will understand exactly what I'm talking about). 3) We weren't ready for the more solitary, less varied (in food and site seeing) experiences more characteristic of the remote jungle venues. I might be ready for that experience now -- after having had my initial foray with Spirit Plant Journeys. The living quarters, food variety and flavorfulness, and access to local sites (markets, local digs, ruins, etc...) are far more abundant -- and nicer -- than characteristic "jungle" venues. Again, if I was going to Peru -- I wanted to see as much as I possibly could while I was there. Spirit Plant Journeys provides that (most venues don't). I didn't realize -- because I hadn't met them yet -- that Neils, Sarah, Bernard and Gume -- were the fundamental reason why our lives have -- and will continue to change -- since our experience -- in February 2015. Why did it take me so long to write this review? Quite simply, my life has changed so profoundly since this experience -- I kept waiting -- so I could capture the specific things that have happened. As we make plans to move to Peru (in early Jan/Feb 2016), I realized that this bold step says enough -- about the impact that this trip had on 2 outwardly successful people who on the surface, "have everything." What was so special about them? I struggle to describe this (because part of my learning with the plants is that words are limited and limiting. This was difficult for someone who realized -- that despite her love of words, learned that words are part of the armor that kept her limited). They create, as a team, an environment that allows everyone to have the unique experience that one needs to have -- to allow the life changing power of this experience to happen. They are humble, human, self-deprecating, real, evolved, approachable, kind, genuine, interested, interesting. I recall Sarah telling me it was "ok to puke" on her -- that it "happens all the time." How humble -- and kind -- is that? And her voice gives insight into the true angel that is the core of who she is. Gume knew things about me that still haunts me to this day. My corporate power brain cannot logically explain how he knew things. I cannot explain how the "concoction" he made for me (some type of tree bark) -- that I used as prescribed (2x/day both orally and vaginally) -- I know -- gross, right? .... I cannot explain how something that was on an ultrasound -- was no longer there -- 3 months after taking Gume's treatment. That one spooks me too. Bernard single handedly guided me through what could have been a very hellacious experience. He is an under-stated gifted, truly gifted healer. He is slight of body, and possess a soft voice -- yet his presence and long-lasting impact --- are truly life changing for us. He speaks of duality in the most provocative and yet profoundly simple of ways. And it is Neils who makes it all happen. Neils... the quintessential Aussie ... whose blue eyes, quick laugh, truly good nature, don't hide the oldness of his soul. He is definitely on some different evolutionary vibration than most of us. (I can't believe I'm talking like this). He is gifted at making everything look easy -- nothing is a problem -- a thoughtful, pragmatic optimist (is that an oxy-moron?) Give yourself -- your soul -- this gift. It is a must have experience for anyone who has ever asked the questions -- what is my purpose? what is life about? does God exist? Skip the beach vacation -- or trip to Europe -- or new whatever.... This is truly the gift to yourself of a lifetime.
Kori Zornes July 22, 2015
I can't begin to explain how amazing the experience was with Spirit Plant Journeys. Everything was better than imagined, and Sara and Neils were the most caring and attentive hosts. The retreat center was beautiful, food was delicious, Shamans were so powerful and I was really able to connect with them- it was all perfect and I plan to head back one day. I am forever grateful for the life changing experience and for the connections I made!
Rachael Sorensen August 07, 2015
It’s hard to find the words to describe my Spirit Plant Journeys experience this just past July mucho gracias to the unforgettable Sarah & Neils. In any case, I’ll breathe, go deep; here’s my best shot… Sarah and Neils provided a sanctuary at the foothills of the mountains that became, not only my home for 12 amazing days, but the place in which I re-discovered the true nature of the world, my place within it, and ultimately experienced my first ancient medicine healing which has changed my life, forever. I can honestly say that without the nurturing, support and incredibly considered programme that Sarah and Neils provide, my experience wouldn’t have been as rich nor profound. Sarah is a beauty-plus-some with a knowledge of the medicines surpassing her years. She is accepting, kind, open-hearted, broad-minded and loaded with wisdom – everything you’d ever want from a facilitator or mentor throughout the daunting plant medicine experience! Neils, likewise, is the sweetest, gentlest and most intelligible man. He was always there to answer every one of our questions or requests no matter how small, big, outrageous – and regardless of the time of night! [Matt… I’m thinking of you ;)] The potency of the combined talents of these two really shone through in the ceremonies. Sarah & Neils have definitely found their vocation! Plus, as both talented musicians, we were entertained, lullabied and serenaded at the closing of each of our ceremonies – a magical addition to the retreat and definite point of difference you’d find hard pressed to experience anywhere else. Our medicine men, Gume and Bernard, are something else. Gume is a machine of a man – I won’t wax on about his credentials as you can read these at Spirt Plant’s website. However, throughout the course of the ceremonies I began to understand the immense power of this man and his ability to hold the ceremonial space. Bernard – our San Pedro healer – will forever hold a special place in my heart. He assisted me with digging up and resolving extremely ancient pain – exactly why I came to the retreat in the first place. Bernard is extremely gifted at his craft and is kind, humble and generally a good time. (P.S. wait till you try his soup! Delicious!) In short, I cannot bang on enough about Spirit Plant Journey’s. If you are thinking of going, just go. Don’t hesitate. Don't wait. Don't do it later. Do it now. This will change your life.
Jerry Gibson August 02, 2015
-Although this is the only Ayhuasca retreat I have ever experienced, I cannot imagine another one being much better. The plant medicine ceremonies were amazing. The tours of ancient ruins filled the remaining downtime very well creating a very free, relaxing atmosphere, but never with a feeling of boredom. The retreat had 4 Ayhuasca ceremonies "sandwiched" in between 2 San Pedro ceremonies (with necessary breaks for recovery in between). -I was originally hesitant about taking the San Pedro medicine because I had never heard of it; after all, Ayhuasca was the reason I was seeking this type of experience in the first place. Now I am so glad I was able to receive the San Pedro experience as it is much gentler providing a perfect introduction and absolutely beautiful exit from the retreat experience. Bernhard, the San Pedro shaman, speaks English, and provides one-on-one counseling throughout the ceremony; helping direct your focus towards your intentions and allowing you to achieve what you came for. San Pedro is Ayhuasca's perfect companion. -Still, the Ayhuasca experience is still the "main event" of the retreat and it does not disappoint! The Shaman, Gumercindo, has a caring heart and keeps you safe throughout the ceremonies, allowing you to open up fully to the medicine to get the greatest benefit. I have read that Shamans sometimes sing well, and sometimes not, during their icaros. Well, this is not a worry because he has a beautiful voice. His songs still remain in my mind as I try to recapture moments I experienced while in-ceremony. -Neils and Sarah are beautiful people. They are the ideal example of those you hope to have at a retreat like this. Trust is very important with these experiences. They understand this and set the example for the entire retreat. It is about love of each other, respecting the experiences of others, and ultimately about the love of one's self. They have created a retreat which allows the personal freedom to discover a new perspective on life without limitations, and they demonstrate this themselves by living it. They are young, energetic, and fun to be around, but they never lose their focus on the overall goal, which is to provide us the best situation possible to achieve what we intended. -I believe everyone can benefit from this medicine. All it takes is the willingness to plan the trip, and then open up to the medicine to allow it to do its work. Although, I have never been to another retreat, I believe this is the one that does it right. I achieved what I intended and I have absolutely no regrets. Everything was beautiful. It was perfect!
Jonathan Ruhl August 09, 2015
This was such a rewarding and enlightening experience for me. It's impossible to sum up in words the closure and peace I felt after working with plant medicine with Neils and Sarah. As an Afghanistan combat veteran, I was quickly losing hope that I could return to a positive world outlook. Several years of medications and therapy did very little for me, but the depth of my ayahuasca experiences brought me a much-needed respite, and gave me hope for the future. I plan to return to Peru very soon to work more with the plant medicine and Neils, Sarah, and Gumercindo.
Tony Ruiz June 04, 2015
I have to say that this was a life changing stay I had with this group. Neil's and Sarah are friends forever in my heart. They really knew how to get a lot of work done with out making this atmosphere too heavy. They were incredibly understanding and accomadating while I was on my stay in Peru. I believe they are a unique breed of people, the kind that know how to give and guide genuinely. I'm embarking on a knew chapter in my life and have even jump started a knew approach in my work. Being an actor I need that. To always be refining. Spirit Plant Journeys allowed me to see that I can operate without fear and focus more purely on my process and work by understanding myself more than I have ever before. I will definitely be back soon for continued growth and healing.
Joseph Kim June 13, 2015
My experience with spirit plant journeys was so ecstatic and joyful it couldn't be contained within my body. It was a life changing experience and I will never forget it. I am eternally grateful to these wonderful facilitators.
Noel Castaneda June 15, 2015
I had the great privilege of attending Spirit Plant Journeys' 10 day San Pedro and Ayahuasca retreat at the Sacred Valley near the town of Urubamba on May 2015 and the experience had profoundly changed my life. As a complete novice with sacred plant medicines, I did extensive research in choosing the right retreat that would work for me. I am very glad that I chose Spirit Plant Journeys for the following reasons: - The facilitators, Sarah and Neils did an outstanding job in organizing and running the retreat. Sarah and Neils worked incredibly hard to ensure that every participants' needs were met. I felt safe and comfortable throughout the whole experience knowing that the group is under the care of such capable and responsible hands. - Gumercindo, the shaman who conducted the four ayahuasca ceremonies is a powerful healer who has extensive experience and vast knowledge of plant medicines and their healing powers. He is a gentle soul who is quite friendly and approachable. While he speaks limited English, talking to him is never a problem as Sarah and Neils are excellent interpreters. - Bernhard, the Huachumero was our guide for the two San Pedro ceremonies. His calm presence and deep knowledge of the healing powers of San Pedro helped me understand and challenge some of my long standing beliefs and behavior patterns that undermine and block my personal growth. Bernhard is one of those rare souls, wise beyond his years, who is genuinely passionate about helping others. - Las Chullpas Eco Lodge is the incredible setting of the retreat. It is a secluded property at the foot of Pumahuanca mountain near the town of Urubamba. The lodge is home to 3 wonderful and very friendly dogs, 3 alpacas and a very cuddly cat. Nancy, the manager of the Lodge and her staff did an amazing job taking care of of all of us. The food was plentiful, healthy and nourishing. The rooms are comfortable, immaculately clean and come with a wood-burning fireplace. - Finally, I chose Spirit Plant Journeys because it offered the unique experience of combining Ayahuasca and San Pedro as part of the healing experience. More than two weeks after I came back home from the retreat, I continue to experience the powerful and positive effects of the medicinal plants which I have grown to respect. Thank you Neils, Sarah, Gume, Bernhard, Nancy and the wonderful staff at Las Chullpas Eco Lodge. My gratitude also goes to the dear friends I met- my fellow retreat participants who shared this great experience with me. Till we meet again!
Shelby Magalis June 15, 2015
Awesome people, awesome place. There couldn't be better people running this retreat. Gume, Bernard, Sarah and Neils are amazing people doing something that opens people up to incredible things. These ceremonies were so powerful and beautiful. I thank you all greatly for everything! Lots of Love, Shelby
John Dee June 16, 2015
Unless you have seen the film 'field of dreams' it wont make sense, but what I mean is, if you are looking for a retreat and you are sincere in your desire to become better acquainted with yourself by way of the plant medicine, then the guides Neils and Sarah will help you get there.. They will come.. In your time of need they will instinctively know where to be, what to do and what to say...As I write this and recall such moments, im again profoundly moved with tears in my eyes ...This seems to be happening more easily now, which is good, I think.... Thank you so much Neil's, Sarah, needless to say but the experience and you both, as part of that experience, will remain with me always.., always x
Sunda Fereti August 11, 2015
Its been a month now since my journey to Peru and a 10 day retreat with Neils and Sarah on Spirit Plant Journeys...The retreat was absolutely beautiful, challenging, life affirming, magical and just what my spirit and body needed...all set in a most lushes and relaxing environment...Neils and Sarah held space so naturally and relaxed yet with an integrity so deep allowing freedom yet safety for exploration... Bernard and Gume.. amazing and committed Shamans...love you both!!! has really helped heal my sick body!!! and release old useless thinking patterns and memories that were blocking my full potential experience of this life and now back in Oz.. back to my normal life..work..kids etc.. I am an upgraded being! I could not ask for more... except for every one to go in one of these retreats and give themselves this most amazing refreshing gift to themselves! Thanks eternally Neils and Sarah to bring this retreat to life..x Sunda
Melanie B September 11, 2015
I went to this retreat a nervous wreck. I had anxiety daily. I was stressed out from work, alienated from family and friends, and felt completely lost. Its been a little over two months and these days I experience very minimal stress, no anxiety, and I am reconnecting with people again. I feel for the first time in a long time like I have a direction and meaning in life. I have Ayahuasca, San Pedro and Spirit Plant Journeys to thank for this. The medicine was great. Some days, most days, were pretty rough for me. I was shown a lot about myself that was hard to accept but I was also shown a way through it. I am so thankful for the guidance of Bernhard who spent time with me talking me through the pain I was releasing. He always knew the right things to say and shared many helpful insights. The Shaman Gumercindo held powerful ceremonies and I felt safe in his care. During one ceremony I felt the medicine really strongly and didn't feel I could cope. I am not sure what he did, I could hear him singing over me, and I could feel him holding my head. I just followed the sound of his voice and found myself back in the room. Each ceremony with Aya was powerfully healing and insightful. Neils and Sarah were wonderful guides and took us on day trips around Peru. I went to the retreat for healing & inner exploration and also experienced the leisure of travel & exploration of ancient ruins. It was quite symbolic . The facility was a hidden and private gem with the cutest adobes, & plenty of pets to hang out with! The whole experience was life changing.
JK October 05, 2015
Loved the whole experience, from beginning to end. Great people, good guidance, amazing music, excellent drink (personally - didn't feel sick) and beautiful setting. Also nice to have some sightseeing in between. Totally recommend this to anyone interested in a life changing experience.
John K October 06, 2015
I came to Spirit Plant Journey's for an Ayahuasca and San Pedro Retreat at the end of July for 10 days. We were 5 people for many different reasons. The lodge we stayed at was very beautiful and in tune with nature. The faciilities were very nice and food was good. There were some dogs to play with and a cat. You would never run out of water or hot tea. The facilitators did a good job keeping everyone comfortable and were fun to hang out with. You also get to go sight seeing in different cities around the sacred valley area. At the end there is an option to see Machu Picchu which is a really nice way to top off your Peruvian adventure. My reason for coming to the retreat was the let go of past events and regrets that have haunted me. The shaman, Gumi was very good at his craft and sung beautiful icaros. He also knew what was happening with each of us and helped us when necessary. Through Ayahuasca I was able to let my anger out, forgive others who wronged me, forgive myself, become a better man, and find out who I was in a past life. The San Pedro ceremony was headed by Bernhard and I was able to learn to love myself and reflect upon my life to take the next steps. If you want the medicine to work, you have to surrender to it and let it help you. If you are skeptical, you might want to do some research first. Overall I achieved what I came for and it was worth more than what I paid. I highly recommend Spirit Plant Journey's whether it's your first time doing Ayahuasca or second or more.
Malcolm Smart November 24, 2015
Wow! Where does one even begin in describing the wonderful people associated with Spirit Plant Journeys? I spent almost three years researching Ayahuasca and the myriad of retreats all over South America before deciding on SPJ. So why SPJ, you ask? Well, as much as I would love to visit the Amazon jungle someday, I really didn't want to be too uncomfortable for the two weeks I'd be taking these fantastic plant medicines. If I were younger I might not have minded the bugs, heat and other inconveniences of a jungle setting, but for my first experience with Ayahuasca I was looking for a little less challenging setting and SPJ’s location in the Sacred Valley met all of my requirements. Neils and Sarah, the facilitators of SPJ, absolutely exceeded everyones expectations in making our retreat as safe, loving and as comfortable as possible. Their wisdom and wonderful personalities helped in making us feel like we were in good hands. I personally am grateful to Neils for the friendship and counseling he gave me after my first Ayahuasca session. The session took a whole lot out of me physically and I didn't know if I was going to be able to do any other sessions. I suffer from a bone disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis and it can be very painful for me to sit in certain positions for a long time. Neils and Sarah made sure that for the subsequent sessions I was always provided with extra support so that I could benefit from the medicines without being in pain. That may not sound like a big deal, but to me it was very touching and showed me that these were people who weren't just trying to make a quick buck off of Ayahuasca. They really care about their visitors and wanted us to get the most out of the medicines. I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention our two shamans, Gume and Bernhard. Gume was our Ayahuasca shaman and he is the real deal. He flies in for these retreats from his home in the Amazon jungle where he brews the Ayahuasca for the ceremonies. He had a wonderful singing voice and kept us all safe while we were under the influence of the medicine. He even performed a special healing ceremony for my spinal condition and I very was impressed with his ability to know what was wrong with me. I had never mentioned the specifics of my disease to anyone, but by just using his shamanic powers Gume was able to make as accurate of a diagnosis as any of my doctors back home. For a rational, western medicine kind of guy that really floored me and made me appreciate the knowledge that these shaman possess. Bernhard was our San Pedro shaman and I'll always share a special place in my heart for the wisdom and friendship he imparted to me. The San Pedro was a special treat and seemed to have a much more emotional effect on me than the Ayahuasca. The San Pedro worked on my heart and allowed me to get past some emotional barriers I had put up years ago. I made more progress after two session with San Pedro than I had in 25 years of therapy. I could write pages and pages praising SPJ. The location in the Sacred Valley made for an excellent venue and the entire experience was second to none. In addition to the Ayahuasca and San Pedro ceremonies we also visited several Inca ruins with Machu Picchu being the final destination of our two week retreat. I would give SPJ the highest rating available and think it was an excellent value for the money. I hope to return again someday and would only recommend SPJ to my friends and family if they were considering such an adventure. Btw, Spirit Plant Journeys also offers a similar retreat located in the jungle, if you’re so inclined. I’ve seen pictures of their new facilities and I must say that it looks very comfortable. I might consider trying this jungle location when I eventually return to work again with these medicines.