Spirit Plant Journeys

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.


info@spiritplantjourneys.com

spiritplantjourneys.com

Tags: ayahuasca ayahuasca and san pedro retreat ayahuasca cusco ayahuasca retreat ayahuasca retreat peru ayahuasca sacred valley peru huachuma san pedro

Reviews  
  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • Gerald Hoffmann   October 07, 2014

      perfect setting for an incredible experience

    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

      Connections

    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

      A life changing experience

    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

      Beautiful

    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

      Unprecedented Adventure

    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

      Spirit Plant Journeys: Best Decision Ever!

    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

      Change your life!!!

    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

      Inolvidable experiencia

    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

      Experiencia inolvidable

    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

      The real thing!

    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

      You will not be disappointed!

    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

      Thank you Spirit Plant Journeys!

    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

      A total treat - better than I could have expected

    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

      The reward of the unknown.

    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

      An amazing overall experience

    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

      Most Profound, Life Altering Experience of my 54 Year Old Life

    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 wish I was back there now...

    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

      Don't wait. Just do it!

    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

      Beautiful Life-Changing Experience

    -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

      Can't Wait To Go Back

    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

      Best experience of my Life!!!

    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

      Once in a life-time opportunity

    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

      An Incredible Life Changing Experience

    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 adventure

    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

      Go there and they will come.....

    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

      Spirit Plant Journeys

    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

      Life Changing!

    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

      One of the best experiences in my life - totally worth it!

    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

      Great Ayahuasca and San Pedro Retreat!

    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

      One of the best experiences of my life.

    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.

  • Sophia Cardenas   April 22, 2016

      Amazing experience

    Spirit plant journey has been one of the most enlightening and awakening experiences of my life. From good and healthy food to good company and reassurance on everything, I highly recommend them.

  • Progress   November 19, 2015

      The Best Possible Place to Experience Aya for the First Time

    I can not praise Spirit Plant Journeys enough. The venue is a beautiful ecolodge tucked in the Andes where the rooms are comfortable and meals are provided. Being able to introduce onself to working with plant medicines in such a comfortable environment is a very good thing for any of those who might find the thought of traveling across the world to stay in the jungle intimidating. This is precisely Sarah and Niels’ aim. To provide a safe environment where everything is taken care of in the interest of bringing as many people to the wonderful experience that is Ayahuasca. The most important quality that Spirit Plant Journeys has going for it is that both the organizers and the shamans they work with genuinely care about the people they are working with. People can feel that sort of thing immediately and it puts everyone at ease. I can’t stress how important this is when one is attempting to do serious psychological and emotional work in a context that for most people will be very foreign. The whole team at SPJ, Niels, Sarah, Gume, and Bernhard are like an extended family working hard to bring as many people into the fold as possible. Having people around that you can trust really matters, not only because it puts one’s mind at ease so you can better focus on your purpose for being here, but also because it helps the other members of the retreat to bond with each other. If you attend one of SPJ retreats, you will come away with a second family. The ceremonies themselves are powerful, and both Bernhard and Gume are masters at their craft. I still hear Gume’s ikaros rolling around in my head from time to time, like a call back to the jungle. The idea to bookend the ayahuasca ceremonies with san pedro ceremonies is a wonderful idea as the plants work beautifully together. The experience itself may be hard, but, if you show up ready to work on yourself it is ultimately profoundly rewarding. Discussing the details of the experiences themselves is pointless as they will be very different for each person. Niels and Sarah provide good advice beforehand however. It may not mean much to you at the time, but listen to them and it will serve you well in ceremony. They are both themselves very experienced in the use of these medicines, as they should be as organizers. I have since learned about about the seedy underbelly that exists in the Aya tourism community, and many retreats are enterprises meant simply to profit. They care little for the success of the individuals they work with and in some cases even disregard their safety. SPJ creates relaxed but vibrant environment full of music, love, friendship. You will always feel taken care of. It is place where anyone, no matter how adventurous, can experience the beauty of other people and of these plant medicines. I have since recommended Ayahuasca to all my closest friends and family. I would not entrust those I care most about to any other group than Sarah and Niels at Spirit Plant Journeys.

  • ed chesnavich   December 01, 2015

      Lasting experience

    Very happy with the whole experience : wondrous Peruvian people and atmosphere.Great Las Chullpas staff(Nancy, Eduardo,etc.)...Personable and wise folks in Neils, Sara and Bernie,and shaman Gume.....my companion and i are still feeling the plants working within us.I , for one, glad to have again a constant calm meditative state of being.Something which i've had at varied times in the past(due to plant intervention)......The world/time has slowed ,and so view the world anew ....with more child like awe and an uncluttered mind....feels great ! Oh, would be remiss to add that our fellow seekers were a joyous group ......a joy to have met each and every one .Truly one of those experiences long and fondly remembered..........ed chesnavich

  • Jeff S   December 03, 2015

      You can't go wrong here

    I spent lots of time considering various retreats and reading reviews, and Spirit Plant Journeys initially stood out, as they offered San Pedro ceremonies (2) in addition to Ayahuasca ceremonies (4). Also, taking such a long trip to Peru, I was interested in seeing the Sacred Valley and ancient Inca ruins rather than staying in a jungle the entire time. More importantly, I noticed unanimous praise for the facilitators (Neils and Sarah) and the shamans (Gume and Bernhard). All this praise turned out to be much deserved – they are all really outstanding people. The rustic, peaceful Las Chullpas was an ideal setting for the ceremonies and relaxation, with an ideal number of participants (12 maximum per retreat, I believe). All in all, it was a wonderful trip. As for the medicine, it's potent stuff. Everyone has a different experience (for me it was challenging). One thing is certain, though: you couldn't be in better hands.

  • Strom Thrombson   December 08, 2015

      Spirit Plant Journeys

    I wish I had time to write about all of the amazing things I experienced on this retreat. I cannot say enough about Neils and the Las Chullpas Lodge that we stayed at. They couldnt have been friendlier. The two shamans that we worked with had so much knowledge. Every time I spoke to them, or heard them during a group sharing, I learned something that applied to me. Although one of the Shaman did not speak any english, Neils was there to translate. The Yoga instructor Valentine was also very profound with the things he said to us before, during and after yoga. The environment and staff were very accomodating for the ceremonies. I was very very comfortable the whole time and never felt unequipped. Everyone on the retreat with me stated that they also had a very good trip and spiritual experience. The Food was AMAZING. It was so good I probably ate too much. The only bad thing I could even mention were the few large spiders I saw. It was the middle of Peru, so i was actually expecting much worse. A+

  • Sara Hussain   December 15, 2015

      Deep jungle Retreat <3

    I'm so glad that I went with spirit plant journeys for my first ayahuasca experience. I did the deep immersion jungle retreat, and I was pleasantly suprised at how comftorable it was. It took a bus ride and a two hour really beautfiul boat ride to arrive at the retreat center.The jungle by the ucayli river is absolutley magical, the plants and palms looked like they were straight out of the jungle book. The mosquitos weren't bad and we had netting around our beds and screened windows to prevent critters from getting in. I did request vegan/vegetarian food and the retreat chef went above and beyond by making me a personal fruit salad every morning and making sure all my meals were animal product free. I felt well taken care of. During my first ceremony the medicine hit me hard and I panicked.In that moment Sarah was like a godsend. She sat by me and helped talk me through some difficult moments.I had a hard time the day after the first ceremony, Neils sat down and talked with me and helped encourage me and remind me of why I was doing this.It was great to have that type of support.I 100% do not regret going to this retreat and drinking ayahuasca. Before I left Peru I was worried that I might have to resign myself to a life of taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications, but now I doubt that I'll ever need to even consider that as an option.I still feel sad and experience anxiety sometimes, but for some reason it's just not that bad anymore.I was really able to connect with the other retreat participants, and meet some really awesome people.This retreat helped me see and feel so much more deeply, life is more beautiful.The post-ceremony music sessions were really beautiful as well.We also had a seemingly limitless supply of fresh coconut water, which was great after ceremonies. Thanks SPJ!

  • Damian Healy   May 01, 2016

      There is a reason they call it the Sacred Vally....

    A friend and I where interested in taking Ayahuasca and decided to take the trip to Peru and experience it there. Based on the reviews on a number of different Plant Medicine sites, the info we gathered off of their site (http://spiritplantjourneys.org) and the fact that we wanted to incorporate Machu Picchu into our trip we decided on Spirit Plant Journeys. Both of us are glad we did. Neils and Sara have worked very hard to set up a place for people looking to heal and grow. From when you meet up with them in Cusco till when they drop you off back in Cusco eleven days later they are there to help guide you through the sacred valley and beyond. Las Chullpas is the eco lodge they have chosen for the retreat is located in Urabamba, which is in the sacred valley on the way to Machu Picchu. It is a beautiful little town nestled in the Andes. Located at the edge of town and at the base of the mountain it gives you the feeling of being removed from the world with out actually leaving. The grounds are very beautiful with lots of little areas to sit, relax and reflect. The rooms that you stay in are basic yet comfortable. No TV’s, no real internet in the rooms (this proves to be a good thing) but the beds are soft and sheets are clean and the plumbing works (by South American standards anyway). All of the buildings are made out of clay and real wood. No sheetrock, no treated wood. My room reminded me of a room that the lost boys from Peter Pan would live in. The whole experience is kind of like adult sleep away camp in the Shire. There is wifi by the reception area if you need to check in with the rest of the world, but I loved the fact that I did not have easy access to wifi in your rooms. The only time I used my phone was to take a picture or look at the pictures I took. I had no cell service, checked my email every few days… it was like being in the 90’s again. On days when there is no ceremony you have the option to go and check out some of the many famous Incan ruins in the area. Sara and Neils do a very good job at taking the rains logistically and making sure all transportation, tickets etc. are taken care of. They also do a nice job as tour guides and tying the Incan history in with the experience you are having at the retreat. The program itself is a very challenging. If you are looking for a fun light psychedelic experience this is not your retreat. If you are looking to really work on yourself and have a truly personal, interstellar experience this may well be the place you are looking for. There is a diet what consists of a lot of no’s. No pork, no red meat, no booze, no drugs, no sexual release at all, (among other) things before, during and after the retreat. Do not let this deter you, I was very skeptical about this when I started my journey but it is very much worth it. It’s all part of the healing process. The food served at Las Chullpas is all within the diet so you don’t need to worry about that when your there. The Journey starts with San Padro, the ceremony starts in the outside in morning and lasts through the afternoon. Bernard is the San Padro Shaman and is there to help guide you through this experience that is a very introspective and personal as you are asked not to talk (except to Bernard) during the ceremony. Guma is the Ayahuasca Shaman. This is a much different experience all together. This ceremony is done at night in a yoga studio type setting. Everyone sits in a circle and has a matt, husband, blanket and bucket. Once everyone drinks the candles are blown out and the rest of the ceremony is completely in the dark. Through energy and chants Guma creates an atmosphere for you to take this journey. He truly is a master at what he does. He does not speak a lick of English but it does not matter as the work he does is far beyond words. Neils and Sara do not drink and are there to translate, facilitate and help out in any way that you need during the ceremony. Since it is pitch black in the room they will help you get to and from the bathroom, to the blessing or will just be a soothing voice in a time of need. Guma is also there to help with any energy blockages or rough patches. You can be assured that there is a lot of love in the room and you are well taken care of while you are there. The programs itinerary has you taking San Padro twice (the very first and very last ceremonies you have at the retreat) and Ayahuasca four times over the 10 days you are at the retreat. There are a few days off sprinkled in so you have time to process rest between ceremonies. The medicines are working inside you the whole time you are there so these days off are often filled with insight and personal breakthroughs. I wont go into the details of the ceremony and its journey etc. There are plenty of places you can research that, including this site. I will say however, that Ayahuasca should not be feared but should absolutely be respected. The thing I took away from this experience that was most surprising to me was the healing properties of these plants both psychologically and physically. Physical aliments that plagued me before I got there, (bad hips, bad teeth, heart burn) all stopped bothering my while I was there. I am sure the diet and the release of stress has a lot to do with it as the Ayahuasca and San Padro work in concert with the clean living you are doing while you are there. Not to mention all the negative energy you purge and no longer have to carry around with you. I am not saying these things wont come back if you go back to living the lifestyle that you lived which gave you those burdens, but it can give you a clear glimpse of what life can feel like if you live it as a healthier person. The feeling of serenity after Ayahuasca is unlike any I have felt as an adult. Then after a week and a half of ceremonies that take you across the universe and back you go to Machu Picchu. One of the most amazing places on earth and again, Neils and Sara take care of all the logistics, hotel etc. including a guided tour so you can just enjoy the experience with the new friends that you have make over the week and a half prior. If you are looking for answers that are within yourself and are not afraid to work for it, I highly recommend Spirit Plant Journeys. They are upfront about your experience. They are not claiming to cure cancer or something grandioso like that. They are very clear from the get go that you will be doing most of the work on this journey and it will be one of the hardest things you will ever do (it certainly was for me), however they are there to create a place where you can do this work in a safe, relaxing environment so you can focus on healing and growing. I believe you will find that all of the work you do will be more then worth it. It was for me. Damian Healy

  • Mairym Sarah   February 08, 2016

      Amazing Healing Experience!

    Gume, Bernhard, Neils, and Sarah were out of this world! These wonderful people lead Spirit Plant Journeys and their 10-day program using very special Peruvian plant medicines. The excursions were all gorgeous, the food was delicious, and the accommodations were cozy. Each part of the experience was carefully and lovingly prepared and carried out. Neils and Sarah are there every step of the way - and they do everything in their power to ensure that each person is getting the most healing they can out of this retreat. Gume's ayahuasca ceremonies were without a doubt extraordinary - they were cleansing and detoxifying, yet also so full of love, light, and deeply healing. Neils and Gume create the most beautiful music which seems to bring out even more intensity and love from ayahuasca. I feel so blessed that Melissa joined us all to work with Gume in our ayahuasca ceremonies - she really helped me with integration and helped answer important questions I had about the past, present, and future. Bernhard's powerful San Pedro ceremonies were our first and our last - and they were both unforgettable and amazing - his last ceremony felt like real magic.. it gave me so much encouragement, acceptance, empowerment, and hope. Bernhard and Gume truly possess formidable healing talents. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to come to Peru and share this experience with them all and with each one of the very special souls in our group. With much love to you all, M.Sarah P.S. If you haven't already - sign up for this retreat!

  • Zgondea Paul   May 30, 2016

      Experience heaven

    Being able to connect to Mother Nature, trying something new for the first time and feeling safe, guided and loved by Neils, Sarah, Gume and Bernhard - this is what Spirit Plant Journeys is all about. I absolutely recommend going there and trying it for yourself!

  • Suzanne Johnson   April 22, 2016

      Life changing trip!

    I travelled to Peru with my son & met 10 other people as strangers and throughout the process of the sharing and ceremonies, we left as lifelong friends. Neils & Carl provided a supportive, caring environment in which to explore our spirit plant journey. They were there for us the whole way. The Shaman (Bernhard & Gume) were amazing & inspiring! The location is beautiful and the locals are friendly. The whole trip from start to finish was self actualising and humbling & through the spirit plant work, my journey of self healing began. Now home, I can say that it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Spending time with myself, with my Son & like minded people all wanting, needing to heal you really cannot afford to to do this in your life. I will return one day to continue.....

  • Bob Chase   April 24, 2016

      Spirit Plant Journeys

    This was the highlight of our trip to South America. The accommodations were fantastic. the food excellent, the people and retreat participants wonderful. The Shaman and the ceremonies were outstanding with much compassion and helps with much understanding of the issues and results. I believe that I received the intention I went for as well as other intentions which came along with new results. For me it was not an easy time but with the help of staff, participants, and Shaman the results were well received. My wife and I were at least twice the age of the others and we were treated with the highest respect and grace by all. The Shaman was very understanding of each one of us and was aware of each individual and their needs and circumstances. I feel it is important to go with an open mind and determination to work through every issue. The schedule was very busy with a couple days of sight seeing, 5 different ceremonies and a sweat lodge experience. I was exhausted when we ended but excited for my future. It takes guts to show up and participate but it was well worth the experience.

  • Ernie Poole   May 04, 2016

      A life changing experience

    The retreat was professionally run and the experience was life changing. A traumatic event from the distant past came to the forefront of my conciousness and I experienced an enormous emotional release. Thanks to Spirit Plant Journeys from the bottom of my heart. Keep on running your wonderful retreats, for you have truly found your calling in life.

  • Leigh   May 03, 2016

      The Best

    SPJ was my first time ever ingesting any kind of entheogen and I suggest that if you are called to work with the medicine, trust your heart and go forward. The process may be uncomfortable, difficult, and challenging but it will absolutely be worth it. I really can't recommend the SPJ team enough - not all shamans are created equal and they have one the absolute best (Gume) - incredibly good hearted, well-intended, and a true master of his calling. Neils and Sarah are there constantly and provide you with everything you need to help you on your journey - whether it's an extra towel or you'd like to discuss what you are going through and need someone to talk with - they are there for you, always and throughout your time with them . This retreat is in a wonderful environment, with great people... all you have to do is show up with an open heart and mind and allow the medicine to work it's magic with you. I feel fortunate I was lead to these amazing people and I whole-heartily recommend them if you are also being called to work these magical medicinal plants :)

  • M. O'Connor   July 18, 2016

      Journey on the Shamans Boat, guided by Gume, Neils and Sarah - Highly Recommend

    It's hard, really, to put into words an experience that is so truly life changing. The depth and power of this experience made possible through the work of Spirit Plant Journeys led by Neils and Sarah, who are exceptional in so many ways, Bernhard, who masterfully facilitated our San Pedro journey, and Gumercindo Galindo, who is clearly a maestro of the highest order. Gume (as he is affectionately known), carries the ancestral lineage from the jungles of the Amazon of Ayahuasca curanderos. His intuitive, spiritual, psychic, kind, powerfully shamanic approach, protects the space and where appropriate, enables him to intervene to help participants to go through healing, cleansing, and the removal of negative energies. Undergoing the journey through both San Pedro and Ayahuasca is exceptionally challenging, at least it is for me. And it is clear that what is vital is to have safety, support, and qualified guides. All of this was provided by SPJ's. At the beginning of the journey, it is suggested we make clear our intention, which for me came down to three areas of focus: 1. Personal healing for a medical issue and for trauma carried in my system, and for stress-related anxiety, which has been producing very difficult energetic processes and sensations in my body. 2. To be open to, and accept, whatever La Medicina (the plants), wished to show me. 3. To better understand how I, as someone who is a healer, teacher, and social activist could better be of service. At the culmination of the 10 days, it was clear that all three dimensions had been addressed, and of course, much more. I should backtrack and say, actually, this was my second retreat with SPJ's and both flowed together in a seamless whole, in that some of the knowledge and insights revealed in the first retreat, continued into the second. Ayahuasca is a deep and ancient intelligence, and to be opened into 'her' realm, is to meet this intelligence that knows you so intimately, knows your body, (gave you your body), and the various realms of the living, dead, the cosmos, plants, the processes of karma, the ways of healing, absolutely directly, without any priestly intervention, theology, or spiritual interpretation. It is a direct meeting with consciousness that is deeply embodied in each of us at a cellular level. To enter the flow of this knowledge, with its healing dynamic and revelatory processes, entails a death of sorts - at least that's how I experienced it. I experience the process as getting in a Shamans boat, in order to travel through the realms of disintegration, (where fear arises), and into transformational process (where ultimately deep peace is possible and tasted.) The journey also involves cleansing - called purging (puking, shitting, shaking) - all of which happened to me. But also a deep 'surgery' of sorts, where healing took place at a profound energetic level, shifting blocked energy creating dis-eases that emerge sometimes with life experiences, thought forms, beliefs and so on. I received advice from La Medicina about diet, and plants that were shown to me that can heal my condition. Beside the physical level, much was revealed around healing the emotional and psychic planes, as well as an understanding that we live in a sacred hologram of energetic interface with other dimensions (including the 'dead' who were very alive to me, with messages), hierarchies of knowledge, light beings, earth spirits, plant intelligence. The evolutionary unfolding was glimpsed, with our task at this time to continue our (humanity) awakening process at speed at this few seconds before midnight. (We are headed toward mega storms - ecological, political, social upheaval.) I understood that there will be much collapse of the systems we have been under for centuries (patriarchy, capitalist, white supremacy), etc, and that the best way to prepare is through prayer, strengthening the heart through spiritual practice, and through nourishing community. Basically, there was a lot to take in, and make relevant for new ways of being in my life. I was given guidance as to how best, with my skills and capacities, to contribute to this extreme time we are collectively living through. All of this was carried by the Icaros, (shamanic songs) of Gume, and music of Neils, Sarah and Gume, which were so healing, like the wings of angels in the midst of stormy weather. Exquisite. If you come on this journey, prepare yourself to be opened, made vulnerable, cleansed, to share your beauty, trials, your heart and soul with your fellow travellers. Prepare your body by eating cleanly before you come, and prepare your heart to let go of the walls you have created, prepare you mind to be opened. Thank you Gume, Neils and Sarah for making such profound journeys possible. Also for the mini tours to various interesting local Inca sites, and for helping us negotiate all realms, from the ordinary and practical to the non-ordinary, and for your love, humor, stories, and support. I'll be back.

  • Holly Phillips   July 09, 2016

      Most wonderful experience!

    My stay with Spirit Plant Journeys was hands down one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I was a little nervous signing up and arriving but within a few hours of arriving I felt completely at home. Niels, Gume, Carlos and the team made us all feel so welcome and comfortable that all the initial worries soon fell away. The group of people were also very friendly, open and by the end we were like family, I have without a doubt made friends for life. The ceremonies were beautiful, well organised and everything was thought of and accounted for. The accomodation was also beautiful which made such a difference, going back to a lovely clean and warm room after the ceremonies, not to mention the amazing surroundings we were in. This retreat has changed my life for the better and I don't think I will ever be the same again, and I am so happy and grateful for that. For anyone considering a retreat I would say, choose Spirit Plant Journeys - I can't imagine a safer, more friendly and more beautiful setting and group of people to experience plant medicine with. It was perfect.

  • Sam Palmer   October 08, 2016

      Disappointing

    I went on their 10 day retreat early on this year and was very disappointed with the whole thing. There were around 14 of us and I think all of us got incredibly sick, all of us had to send stool samples to the clinic and several people were really sick and ended up on drips. I don't wish to sounds dramatic but it's only fair that potential guests understand that it's not as rosy as it sounds, at least half of us ended up leaving before the retreat was over as we were too ill to carry on. We were constantly told that this was part of the purging process but I think the ayahuasca itself was suspect as despite getting incredibly sick, no-one had any positive experiences, visions, or insights. I felt that it was very much run as a business rather than something created for the pursuit of a mind and heart-opening experience for those who came. Out of the people who worked there I only felt that Neils and Bernard (the San Pedro healer) were truly genuine in their approach. I really hope that things there improve as the setting is beautiful and had so much potential...

  • Mariell Næss   October 27, 2016

      Lifechanging

    I didn't know what to expect when it came to plantmedicine, but trusted my heart and went for it. The ceremonies were alot tougher and challenging than I had thought, but I always felt safe and cared for by Neils, Sarah and the lovely two shamans. It's amazing how the medicine works, and years with therapy couldn't have done the same thing for me! I know for sure that I'll be going back for another retreat some day, with Neils, Sarah, Gume and Bernhard - thank you so much for doing what you're doing for people <3

  • Antonio   November 05, 2016

      Heaven on Earth

    I'm writing this review about two months since I first arrived at Spirit Plant Journeys (SPJ). I can confidently say without a doubt that making the choice to work the plant medicines at SPJ was one of the best choices of my life. I feel renewed in a way that's difficult to describe other than I'm really happy to be alive. I am much more comfortable being open, honest, and vulnerable with others. And it's much easier for me to love myself and others than ever before. The plant medicine experiences are unique to each individual that attends because we reach this point for different reasons. I'll keep my review short and focus on the essentials. The up front payment can feel risky or cumbersome but rest easy and trust that Neils and Sarah, who operate the retreat, are honest people; your private information is in safe hands. The retreat center itself is absolutely stunning. The accommodations are cozy and comfy, and the property is gorgeous. I couldn't imagine working with the plant medicines anywhere else. The food is delicious too. I never felt hungry and I always felt comfortable. The shamans themselves are top notch. Bernard helps set the stage of the retreat with San Pedro, a gentle glide so to speak, at least for me. And Gume's four Ayahuasca ceremonies were intense, emotional, and have changed my view of myself and the world. He leads the ceremonies with an unmatched passion, and he's a gentle soul that knows when you need help. Lastly, the facilitators, Neils and Sarah, are truly wonderful people. They are the right kind of people for these experiences. Warm, loving, open-minded, and a goofy bunch. They act selflessly to help each participant have a positive experience of personal growth and healing. I can't thank them enough. The musical sessions they lead, along with Gume, after the Ayahuasca ceremonies are memories I'll carry until my last days. San Pedro and Ayahuasca are truly powerful and sacred medicines. It's a priveledge to partake in the medicine and an honor to guide others through it. SPJ is more than worthy of the honor to guide participants through these ceremonies. The world needs loving people like Neils, Sarah, Bernard, and Gume. If you are searching for answers, feel like you have unfinished business, or have emotional trauma, be brave enough to visit SPJ. They'll help you work with the medicines in an honest, safe, and loving environment.

  • Maxime Lauzon   November 05, 2016

      Angels!

    This retreat center for plant medicine is the only one i wish to go. It is everything someone needs when he is looking for answers in life. I came to the retreat for many different reason including PTSD, depressions and now i keep coming for life lessons. The people that work there are all angels. From Berhnard who has is unique but so powerful way to work his medicine. Gume who works directly with God and is so humble in the hole process. His teaching is a revelation to all. Sarah and Neils and all other staff are so kind and attentive. They sing during through out the retreat and it make it such a place charge of love and it feelings good to be there and to partake in this adventure. I would suggest this retreat to everyone!

  • Mehdi Nasseri   January 04, 2017

      A great experience.

    My wife and I attended the Nov 2016 ceremonies and it was a great experience. I have nothing but praise for the whole event. Sara and Neils are gracious hosts and really care about the comfort of their guests. They make you feel at home and offer their genuine friendship and hospitality freely. There was also Seb, the new addition to Sara and Neils team. He is such a great man with a gentle soul offering support and helping to take care of the guests. Bernard, leading the San Pedro ceremony is wonderful. He is so gentle and compassionate, offering help and support during the ceremony. Gume, leading the Ayahuasca ceremonies is simply amazing. He is a powerful shaman and I was grateful for his help during the times of difficulty with the medicin. His Icaros were great help particularly towards the end with their soothing words. He is a great human being. The venue where we stayed was like a little heaven on earth. Being surrounded with mountains it really lifted the spirit. The accommodation was first class. The food was delicious and healthy. I would not dream of experiencing the medicine again anywhere but at Spirit Plant Journeys. It feels like home. Thank you Neils, Sara, Gume, Seb and Bernard. Thank you. Mehdi

  • Mehdi Nasseri   January 14, 2017

      A great experience.

    My wife and I attended the Nov 2016 ceremonies and it was a great experience. I have nothing but praise for the whole event. Sara and Neils are gracious hosts and really care about the comfort of their guests. They make you feel at home and offer their genuine friendship and hospitality freely. There was also Seb, the new addition to Sara and Neils team. He is such a great man with a gentle soul offering support and helping to take care of the guests. Bernard, leading the San Pedro ceremony is wonderful. He is so gentle and compassionate, offering help and support during the ceremony. Gume, leading the Ayahuasca ceremonies is simply amazing. He is a powerful shaman and I was grateful for his help during the times of difficulty with the medicin. His Icaros were great help particularly towards the end with their soothing words. He is a great human being. The venue where we stayed was like a little heaven on earth. Being surrounded with mountains it really lifted the spirit. The accommodation was first class. The food was delicious and healthy. I would not dream of experiencing the medicine again anywhere but at Spirit Plant Journeys. It feels like home. Thank you Neils, Sara, Gume, Seb and Bernard. Thank you. Mehdi

  • Kyle   January 18, 2017

      Life-Changing Experience with Spirit Plant Journeys

    Even in my darkest moments with Ayahuasca I always felt safe in the space that he, Neils and Sebastian had created. Each one of them were always there throughout the entire ceremony to help each and every person through their journey and that kind of support is very reassuring when entering the often challenging realm of Ayahuasca. The post-ceremony music after working with Aya I’ll treasure for the rest of my life. Both Neils and Sebastian are gifted musicians with big hearts. It was perfect working with Bernhard and San Pedro as it helped focus my intention on the upcoming work with Ayahuasca. Both Ayahuasca and San Pedro helped me see that we’re creators of our realities and not the victims we sometimes like to think we are. 
This review does not even do justice to what I experienced in those 10 days. I will never forget the amount of love I felt and received from each and every person. Since returning home I’ve seen a total shift in my behavior - yes, the old habits return some days, darkness creeps up, but it doesn’t linger for days on end like it would before my trip down to Peru. I can’t thank Neils, Sebastian, Gume, Bernhard, and Paulette enough for what they’ve done but I hope this review can help as they’re all true healers doing a great service for this planet. Rest assured, you are in very, very good hands with Spirit Plant Journeys.

  • Ashton Tippin   February 14, 2017

      Amazing Journey

    This is truly an amazing retreat! Neils, Sara and Sebastian are some of the most wonderful people I've ever met, and really make you feel at home throughout the journey. I didn't know what to expect when I first left my home in the Florida, but once I arrived I instantly knew I was in great hands. The Shamans, Gume and Berhnard, are so very knowledgeable and helpful, are great guides, and have amazing energies. All in all, the retreat was fantastic and I feel like I have taken something out of it that will remain with me for the rest of my life. I couldn't imagine having gone anywhere but Spirit Plant Journeys, and would highly recommend it if you are interested.

  • Ashton Tippin   February 14, 2017

      Amazing Journey

    This is truly an amazing retreat! Neils, Sara and Sebastian are some of the most wonderful people I've ever met, and really make you feel at home throughout the journey. I didn't know what to expect when I first left my home in the Florida, but once I arrived I instantly knew I was in great hands. The Shamans, Gume and Berhnard, are so very knowledgeable and helpful, are great guides, and have amazing energies. All in all, the retreat was fantastic and I feel like I have taken something out of it that will remain with me for the rest of my life. I couldn't imagine having gone anywhere but Spirit Plant Journeys, and would highly recommend it if you are interested.

  • urator   February 21, 2017

      Great life changing experiance.

    I just came back from this retreat and I just cannot recommended enough. The place is amazing, the Shamans are powerful and help heal and change your life. The food is amazing and healthy . The people are so generous and help in any way they can. It is not always easy to work with this medicine but the results are amazing . The San Pedro helped me see what I have to change and what I need to do in my life to change. The Ayahuasca helped change or remove the blockages I had. Overall I give this retreat a 10 out of 10 with no hesitation. I got exactly what I needed from this retreat

  • Walter Hipgrave   February 26, 2017

      Simple excellence

    My retreat at Spirit Plant Journeys exceeded all my expectations. It was a professional and well organised 10 days with great attention to safety, comfort and spiritual growth. I couldn't imagine doing ayahuasca with anyone other than Spiritplantjourneys and I am already planning my return. The incredible experience was made possible by the caring team of Neils, Sarah, Sebastian, Bernard and Gume, who did everything possible to ensure people were prepared to make the most of the ayahuasca ceremony. I was relieved by the lack of dreadlocks and tie-dye and the straight forward but deeply spiritual approach to plant medicine that was promoted by Neils and Sarah. The ceremonies themselves are deeply personal and difficult to explain. Gume, the shaman, was like a big brother who led the ceremonies by singing his powerful and mystical icaros. I felt a genuine connection to all the other participants and it felt like we had become a family by the end of the retreat. Of course they were supported by a host of cooks, cleaners and drivers. The food we ate was delicious- you barely noticed the lack of salt or chilli! The accommodation was luxurious with some of the softest beds I've ever slept in and the showers flowed strong and warm! The other great aspect to Spirit Pant Journeys was being able to do some sight-seeing and hiking in between ceremonies. I would highly recommend Spirit Plant Journeys to anyone interested in plant medicine, shamanism or personal growth; You won't be disappointed.

  • Marie-A   February 26, 2017

      A Gift of Life

    I lived the experience of A Spirit Plant Journeys this February 2017. Going there was the better gift to myself ever. Neils and Sarah brings together the best of everything and it will make your journey through yourself an overwhelming experience. They are dedicated to your well-being. The retreat start with a ceremony of San Pedro guided by a generous shaman named Bernard. This ceremony made me feel connected with my environment, with nature and people. It helped me find balance between my heart and mind. It opened my heart for the cleaning made by Ayahuasca. The Ayahuasca ceremonies were conducted by a powerful shaman, Gumercindo Galindo. His signings are divine and powerful. La Medicina rising with the rhythms of the icaros plunge me deep down inside my heart and released the sadness, anger and frustrations that I had bury since a long time. The frustrations that didn't even belong to myself since I've learned them from my mother while I was a child. I've seek for years to get rid of those negatives emotions. I've find some relief but I never to the core. I always felt that something was not right inside me but, since I didn't had a big trauma, I couldn't find what it was and how to name it. Ayahuasca took me through an exorcist. I could see the emotions flowing out of myself while I was physically purging in many ways all that sadness blocked inside me. After this tough but relieving experience, I deeply felt love. Unconditional love of the universe. Back into "normal" life, I can now see beauty of life. I can feel love for me and for people around me. I would also like to add to this experience the contribution of Paulette and her Thetahealing session. Ayahuasca helped me to get rid of old blockages, but her healing helped me cut the cells memory of not being allowed to exist. She helped me find self-love which is for me an astonishing experience.

  • Roland Berard   June 13, 2017

      My experience at Spirit Plant Journeys

    Hi Neils and Sarah Here is my testimonial of my experience at Petra! I had a wonderful and profound experience in the retreat with Neils, Sandra and their team in June 2017. I had been curious about Ayawaska for several years but had never really felt drawn to experience it. In the last year or so, I became more intrigued after having heard testimonials from some of my students. Since I was coming to Peru and had received a recommendation from one of my students just prior to leaving, I decided that if I was going to experience it, Peru was the place to do so. I contacted Neils when I felt the pull and lo and behold, there was a retreat happening within a week and a half. So many things came together with Grace and Ease that I knew I was meant to participate. From the onset, I could tell that Neils was sincere and interested in my well-being and very generous and forthcoming with information and answers to my questions. I looked forward to the retreat as I carefully followed the preparation protocol and diet. When I arrived In Huaran I was blown away by the space, the mountains and the accommodations at Petra. Neils and his team - Sarah, Seb, Ana, Chase, Jenny and Bernhard (and puppy Saltero) were all extremely welcoming with hospitality and warmth. I was greatly impressed by everyone’s genuine heart and emotional and spiritual intelligence and maturity. The food prepared by Mark and his staff was ever so delicious and plentiful. Mark graciously and deliciously met the challenge of cooking without salt - we were all so very pleased and satiated with every meal. Huaran is of course in the Sacred Valley of Peru. The mountains and the countryside are well suited for the very sacred journey we were about to undertake. I did not know what to expect from the ceremonies, but our San Pedro ceremony led by Bernhard was the perfect opening for the week retreat. Personally, the San Pedro experience was very profound for me, putting me in touch with things I had not known were still so entrenched in my body and psyche. With Bernhard's help I was able to navigate the tumultuous day and gain more insight into my intentions for the remaining ceremonies. The Ayawaska ceremonies led by Gume and assisted with loving presence by Neils, were also very powerful. They were more physical for me that anything else - not what I was expecting. Guess I got what I needed and not what I wanted! I had dived in to the whole experience whole-heartedly and it was what it was. Of course, it is still integrating as I speak so I do not know yet the full depth of the experience which will play itself out in the next few months. Part of my intention in the ceremonies was to come closer to and to open my heart, and as I was walking in Cusco the day after returning, I could feel my heart more open than I had felt it in the previous weeks... I loved how we had so much free and relaxing time between ceremonies, some of which was spent visiting sacred sites, some in hiking around Huaran and a lot just hanging out playing music, journaling, reading and getting to know each other around the evening fires. We all so much enjoyed Saltaro, the happy puppy who was very therapeutic for all of us, the butting ram grazing in the grass near his ewe, and the elder goose that sometimes got a bit impatient and chased us. In this kind of experience, the group dynamic is very important and ebbs and flows as we let down our guards, risk some vulnerability and share our experiences. Thank you to everyone that dived in and did so. I am so very grateful to life for putting this experience on my path and for following my intuition. I would recommend it to anyone thinking of exploring the sacred plant medicine. It is so important that this be experienced accompanied by the right people and SacredPlantJourneys is definitely the right group. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. Who knows, I may be back sooner that I think… To be continued... Roland Bérard, Montréal, Québec, Canada June 2017

  • Rob Thomas   May 28, 2017

      Love and respect for Spirit Plant Journeys

    I would like to thank Sarah, Neils, Gume, Bernhard, and Sebastian--I don't have the words to express how grateful I am. For those who are considering Spirit Plant Journeys, I can say with all confidence that you are in great hands. While their website was what swayed me to choose them, I soon found that the service they provided was only partially represented. It would difficult to confine my experience into a review. The best I can say is that it was one incredible surprise after another. I feel I was given so much more than I had bargained for. Everything they do is with profound humility, kindness, limitless humor, and all without any hint of pretentiousness. They are exactly the type of people you want around you in a time like that. It was a gift to be there this last April, and I recommend Spirit Plant Journeys without hesitation.

  • Sybil Ottenstein   July 28, 2017

      Deep transformation with a side of humor

    I had the privilege of participating in the July 2017 retreat at Spirit Plant Journeys. As I left the warm embrace of Niels, Sarah, Gume and Seb only a couple of weeks ago, I am still finding it hard to put my experience into words. But perhaps that's the whole point. Working with the medicine, with these magical souls in one of the most beautiful settings on earth was the ultimate journey from HEAD to HEART. The team creates a safe and light-hearted space to allow for some of the most deep, sometimes painful, but always incredibly beautiful work of your life. Unlike other centers which may carry with them an air of spiritual pretension, a sort of 'I am more conscious than thou' feel, Spirit Plant Journeys is all about bringing out your inner child. The atmosphere is casual, carefree and downright FUN. And honestly, it is the necessary antidote to the oftentimes heaviness of the medicine. The experience felt so grounding, so powerful, so right. I am deeply grateful and I already look forward to my next visit!

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