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Ayahuasca ceremony at Temple of the Way of Light, Peru
Not just for hippies

What is Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca Plant

Amazonian Brew

An Amazonian botanical brew that has been used for centuries as a traditional medicine in ceremonies across South and Central America.


Naturally-occuring chemical

The brew contains DMT, which is produced naturally in the body and is believed to be involved in dreaming. Ayahuasca can be similar to a waking dream- allowing for healing, processing and an expanded state of consciousness.


Scientifically proven

New scientific research shows benefits for those seeking to lower stress, gain new perspectives on life, detoxify the body, reduce depression, overcome addiction, and find relief from PTSD.

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What is an Ayahuasca retreat?

group size


Average length
of retreat

7 days

Where it takes

20+ countries

When it is

at night

Average length of

5 hours

7 day retreat
has an average

3 ceremonies
Top reasons people work with ayahuasca

Why Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca Plant

Spiritual adventure

Some experience oneness and a temporary dissolving of ego, traveling to other realms, or finding the source of Divine love.


Life purpose

Many describe a perception shift and a new understanding of who they are and what they’re here for.



Ayahuasca provides an opportunity to release built-up stress and stimulates divergent thinking to overcome old problems in new ways.

Ayahuasca Plant


New research shows a rapid and potent anti-depressive effect after taking a single dose of ayahuasca, which can persist weeks, months and even years after ceremony.


Personal growth

Studies suggest that ayahuasca is a fast track to enhacing mindfulness capacities. Many also report that the medicine has transformed their lives.



Ayahuasca is a powerful cleansing medicine that kills parasites and rids the body of harmful toxins that are the cause of so many modern diseases.

What was it like the first time?

Maria, Switzerland

Maria, Switzerland

Ayahuasca retreat in the Netherlands, 2018

Seth, USA

Seth, USA

Ayahuasca retreat in Peru, 2018

Katrin, Germany

Katrin, Germany

Ayahuasca retreat in Peru, 2018

Prepare for your Ayahuasca experience

Your ceremony begins the moment you decide you're going

1 Getting ready

Set an intention.
Eliminate certain foods & activities.

Many retreat leaders recommend setting an intention for the ceremony as well as a pre-retreat “dieta” to prepare the body to receive maximum benefit from the medicine...

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2 Your date with ayahuasca

Settle in. Drink medicine. Allow the experience to unfold.

The ceremony is often opened with prayers or icaros (songs). One by one, the participants approach the shaman or ayahuascero, focus on their intentions, and then drink the...

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3 Integration

Process your insights. Integrate them into
your life.

If you elect to not engage some kind of help to unpack your bag full of aya-faciliated self-revelations, both the good and the difficult, chances are your suitcase may sit...

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Who we are

Team members

We’re a team of 27 people who’ve been on countless ayahuasca retreats. Our experiences have been so profound that we built this site to help people like you find authentic, safe retreats worldwide.

Let us help you find a retreat
Common questions

Your questions, answered.

What is Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca is a medicinal hallucinogenic tea that’s been used for more than a thousand years by the indigenous peoples of the Amazon. It’s a combination of two jungle plants: the ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi), which contains alkaloids that act as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), allowing human bloodstreams to absorb the dimethyltryptamine (DMT) from the leaves of another Amazonian plant, (Psychotria viridis). Ayahuasca is widely anecdotally known to cause physical, emotional and spiritual healing. Awareness of the brew has spread widely across the globe and many come to her to re-connect with themselves, work through past abuse or trauma, free themselves from addictions, or find relief from physical disease ...
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Are there side effects to Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca is experienced by some as hallucinogenic but is both non-toxic and non-addictive. You can neither overdose on it, nor does usage create tolerance, even if you drink it daily. For most people, the long-term side effects are solely positive. While some studies have suggested that Ayahuasca can affect your liver by making it work a little harder during ceremony, there is also potential for affecting the liver positively by avoiding alcohol before and after drinking Ayahuasca, which is part of the prescribed preparatory diet. Recent research has also noted significant reductions in alcohol consumption and generally healthier lifestyles among participants following an Ayahuasca experience. Short term physical effects can include increased heart rate and changes in blood pressure, but most sensations occur inside the mind ...
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How long does the Ayahuasca high last?

Ayahuasca is considered a sacred medicine, not a recreational drug. As such, its effects are never referred to as being “high.” Typically a ceremony lasts 4-12 hours, with the medicine producing visions and/or deep introspective experiences for an average of five hours. The depth of any given Ayahuasca journey can vary depending on how much you drink, its potency, your genetic and spiritual sensitivity, and, say those who work with the medicine, her own intention ...
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How do I find the right Ayahuasca retreat?

Finding the right plant medicine retreat depends on what makes you feel comfortable. If you’re not a fan of bugs and mosquitos and balk at the idea of rustic accommodation, the Peruvian jungle isn’t for you. But if you would like to experience the medicines where they have deep roots in tradition and where shamanism is a way of life, Peru, Brazil or Colombia would be a good choice. If you prefer spa services, a giant pool, and fancy fresh juices, a luxury Ayahuasca retreat in Costa Rica may be more suitable. Other considerations include: your purpose for attending (personal growth, physical healing, spiritual adventure), and whether you’d like to work with traditional Ayahuasca Shipibo shamans, western ayahuasceros, or a combination of both. Group size, gender exclusivity, and retreat dates will also guide you. You may want to combine your medicine journey and choose a retreat that offers other healing practices or medicines such as breathwork or San Pedro ...
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What happens in an Ayahuasca ceremony?

In ceremony, it’s best to arrive with a clear intention for what you’d like to welcome in or improve in your life. The ceremony is often opened with prayers or icaros (ancient sacred songs). One-by-one, the participants approach the shaman or ayahuascero, focus on their intention, then drink the medicine. The ceremony can be silent, but usually involves singing and/or musical instruments. With this specific plant medicine, every time you drink is different. Some people “purge” as a way of spiritual, physical or emotional cleansing. This comes in the physical form of vomiting, sweating, crying, shaking, excreting, laughing, moaning, or yawning. Some have visions, and others don’t. Some face past experiences, and others have conversations with Mother Ayahuasca herself. Ayahuasca healing comes in a variety of forms ...
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How do I Prepare for my first Ayahuasca retreat?

Your decision to drink Ayahuasca is important. But, once you’ve filled out the medical screening questions, chosen your destination, asked about setting and group size, the work is just beginning. You’ll hear the term ‘do the work’ along your healing journey, and this doesn’t just apply during the ceremonies, or even the integration period afterward. All retreats suggest a prescribed Ayahuasca diet that includes important nutritional recommendations. You should follow these for at least a full week before your retreat, but two weeks is better. The dietary restrictions vary between centers and facilitators, but their similarities include removing pork and other red meat, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, and strong spices ...
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Is Ayahuasca illegal?

As you begin your search to embark on your first or next spiritual journey, you find yourself wondering: Is Ayahuasca even legal? That’s a logical question, coming from the western context where psychedelics are illegal. In countries such as the Netherlands and Portugal, drinking the Ayahuasca brew is a grey area. In countries like Peru, Columbia, and Brazil where the medicine grows native to the Amazon rainforest and has been used for hundreds of years, Ayahuasca is legal. In North America, technically the answer is no, Ayahuasca is not legal. However, there are a few Ayahuasca churches (The Santo Daime and the Uniao do Vegetal) in Canada and the United States where Ayahuasca ceremonies are legal ...
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We have helped thousands of people find an ayahuasca retreat

Here’s what they’re saying.

  • “...The Ayahuasca itself is such a beautifully hard and blissful experience. I recommend it ten fold to anyone wanting to really do the work and receive the reward of what that entails. But Soltara did a beautiful job at facilitating it.”

    Talyn Fiore
    8-Day Ayahuasca Retreat, June 2018
    Soltara Healing Center, Costa Rica
  • “If you’re looking to heal trauma, physical ailments, expand your consciousness, or just some personal development I can’t recommend a better place. Great maestros, staff, food, and management. Good medicine with a strong focus on master plant dieta . I will diffidently be back soon.”

    Alexander Brant
    10 day Ayahuasca Retreat, June 2018
    Caya Shobo, Peru
  • “I hugely appreciated that we were taught the process from start to finish: ceremonies, diagnostics, icaros, dietas, preparation and application of plant medicines. The Shipibo philosophy of learning while healing really resonated, and I leave feeling empowered to transform my life and to set out on my own path of healing arts.”

    Jurie Jean Van De Vyver
    14 day Ayahuasca Retreat, June 2018
    The Ayahuasca Foundation in Peru

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