Top Costa Rica Retreats

About This Center


Costa Rica Ayahuasca Retreat

New Life Ayahuasca offers 5 and 7 day ayahuasca retreats. Our mission is to provide compassionate retreat program options to others who are seeking to restore balance to their lives through spiritual and personal healing. Our retreat includes ayahuasca ceremonies, Kambo(optional),  yoga,  a massage and a trip to the beach or waterfall. Spacing is limited for ayahuasca retreats to 8 participants per week to be sure we can provide individualized attention and support during such a personal and profound experience.

Ceremonies and Guide

In an era where the word 'shaman' gets overused, authenticity and true intention are hard to find. At New Life Ayahuasca, you're in good hands.  Since 2014 Matthew has been traveling to Peru, learning the Peruvian traditions and completing plant dietas under the guidance of his teacher and world renown shaman Don Ron Wheelock, also known as 'The Gringo Shaman of the Amazon'. Our intimate ceremonies are performed with respect to the traditions that have surrounded the use of the sacred medicine ayahuasca for centuries. Matthew is our resident ayahuasquero. While he would never refer to himself as a shaman, Matthew’s intentions and passion in his work are unparalleled. There is no question of his integrity or his sincerity in his mission to help others. His presence during each ceremony is strong and grounding. Matthew sings Icaros, plays the gong, guitar and drum to help guide the participants’ experience. He is supported by his wife, Jeanae, who plays the flute and acts as sitter for the experience. 

Facility and Grounds

Our beautiful facility located in the mountains of San Ramon, Costa Rica, is secluded on a lush 20 acre property about an hour from SJO airport. All guest receive a private room and full bathroom equipped with hot water. Guests are invited to use our pool, hot tub and gym anytime during their stay. Our property is filled with lush vegetation, fruit trees and trails perfect for nature walks. Our facilityalso offers a comfortable back patio with  incredible views of the Nicoya Gulf on the Paclific coast of Costa Rica, perfect for watching the sunset.


New Life Ayahuasca offers additional therapies to promote maximum healing during your retreat with us. We believe in combining plant medicines with holistic therapies to achieve a healthy balance of energies and to support tranquility, peace, and growth. Therapies we offer include Kambo, massage, yoga and sound therapy. Our goal is to integrate each of these additional therapies into our ayahuasca retreats, with the hope that they will help each individual prepare physically and mentally for the ayahuasca experience .


Kambo, also called Sapo or ‘frog poison’, is a natural non-psychedelic medicine made from the secretions of the Giant Monkey Tree Frog from the Amazon and is used to treat a variety of ailments. One kambo session is included in every retreat and is a great additional cleansing process during an ayahuasca retreat. The connection between Kambo and Ayahuasca is special – being that the spirit of ayahuasca is what, according to legend, brought about the knowledge of Kambo use and its incredible benefits.


Costa Rica is the perfect destination for a healing retreat. Not only is Costa Rica the safest country in Central America, but it is said to be home to the happiest people in the world, with the country motto “Pura Vida” which translates to ‘Pure Life’. Flights are only appx. $500 round trip from the US, and we provide complimentary pick-up at SJO airport, making the transition to our facility stress-free. Our location in the mountains also provides comfortable conditions with temperatures averaging around 75-80 during the day and 65-70 at night.

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It's very difficult to describe what an amazing experience this was. Matt and Jeanae make you feel right at home upon arrival to their beautiful property. The rooms are amazing and very comfortable, and the view from the back porch every morning is breathtaking. Overall just a very positive energy surrounds this place and I instantly fell in love with it.. The ceremonies are unbelievably astonishing. Matt guides you through this intense experience with absolutely amazing Icaros, Gong, Drum, and Guitar. He becomes one with this medicine during ceremony, and it left me speechless. You can tell he puts 100% of his energy and passion into this, and I hold the upmost respect for him. Jeanae also plays the most beautiful sounding flute I've ever heard, and her presence during the ceremony is very soothing. Matt and Jeanae are very genuine and sincere people and I'm very grateful for what they have done for me. I cannot wait to go back!...Oh and Chopper is the coolest cat you will ever meet! - Sean

Venue Highlights

We provide complimentary pick-up from SJO airport on the start day of the retreat at 2pm. Our 20 acre center property in the mountains of San Ramon, Costa Rica. We have beautiful panoramic views of the Nicoya Gulf. Guests have unrestricted access to our large indoor pool and hot tub as well as hiking trails surrounding the property.


- Private
- 1 Queen Sized Bed
- Full private bathroom (toilet, shower, sink, hot water)
- Towels and Basic Toiletries provided (shampoo, conditioner, soap)


  • Free Wifi
  • Pool
  • Towels
  • Free Parking
  • Kitchen
  • Hot Tub
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Yoga Studio
  • Ceremony Space

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Organic
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free


FULL BREAKFAST - local fruits, bread, organic jam, eggs, oatmeal
FULL LUNCH (non-ceremony days) - A balanced vegan meal with protein and local vegetables.
SOUP LUNCH (ceremony days) - 2 soup options
FULL DINNER (non-ceremony days) - A balanced vegan meal with protein and local vegetables.

  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • Dan B   August 24, 2020

      I will never forget this place

    Every inch of this beautiful sanctuary is etched in my brain. More than a year later I still remember the peace that I felt here. There's nothing else like Ayahuasca and I'm grateful to Matt and Jeanae for introducing me to plant medicine in a supportive and safe way. There was another facilitator whom I didn't get along with, but he was only there to assist during ceremony. He wasn't rude to me, I simply didn't appreciate the energy that he was putting out and I honestly think that it interfered with my medicine experience. For that reason alone I wouldn't want to return, however everything else was wonderful and of course YMMV.

  • Whitney Hanson   September 21, 2019

      Absolutely amazing!

    Thank you Matt, Jeanae and Drew! Four weeks ago today, I arrived in Costa Rica to participate in a five day ayahuasca retreat with a bundle of nerves and a ton of anxiety but with an optimism about finally getting to experience this plant medicine I had been contemplating for years. I will leave out my personal experience as personal is exactly what it is. The experiences of the five people in our group were as broad as each of our personalities and what had called us to this experience. Rather, I will focus on the great care and beautiful setting you will get should you be called to New Life. The property is absolutely stunning situated in the mountains with a gorgeous view of the Nicoya Peninsula in the distance. It has communal spaces and a dining room where you’ll spend a lot of time getting to know the others in your group, a pool and hot tub and winding hiking trails where we saw white face monkeys and toucans almost daily. Each guest has their own comfortable bedroom with private bathroom which was important to me. In between Jeanae’s delicious meals, ceremony day yoga sessions, massages, a kambo ceremony, a waterfall hike, evening bonfires and getting to know the others in your group, there is a decent amount of down time to reflect, relax and set your intention and having a private space can be important to that. Matt, Jeanae and Drew are wonderful at what they do. They are compassionate and patient and humble about the work that they do and the care that they provide. Matt participates in each ceremony alongside the guests and guides the experience with traditional and beautiful icaros. The music he and Jeanae make with gong, guitar, drums, flute and voice adds to the absolute intensity of the journey guiding you through the experience and creating personal transitions. Jeanae and Drew sit in patiently and quietly to tend to any needs you might have. I initially thought I would feel vulnerable having them sit in with eyes on the group but it is likely you will need their assistance at times and without them, the experience would be very different. Having them there was comforting and necessary. Thanks again Matt, Jeanae and Drew! I’ll never forget this experience and am so glad mine was with you!

  • Veranika Shalamitskaya   August 23, 2019

      The Place You really Want to Be

    It’s been a week since my returning from a place of miracles New Life Ayahuasca in Costa Rica and I am feeling all kinds of feels upon arrival . Feeling deep gratitude to Matt and Janae and everyone at New Life for creating and guiding unto the experience of a lifetime ! The place couldn’t be more perfect and appropriate for the healing they provide and guide you unto . The accommodations are beautiful and serene with plenty of space for each participant to indulge into as well as beautiful shared common areas . The spectacular position of a place opens you up to a miraculous scenery and divine views which creates beautiful support in your healing journey . The love and care you feel from Janae and Matt is immerse and genuine , feeling right at home and right where you need to be. I would highly recommend this place for anyone looking for a safe , mindful , loving and true way of healing with sacred plants. The food is an absolute Yum Heaven with plenty of great variety of options for every diet you may be on. I truly cannot wait to return back to New Life for more experiences and journeys ! I am truly grateful for all to Matt and Janae and All the friends at New Life ❤️

  • Huy Clayton-Vo   August 04, 2019

      One of the most profound experiences I've had in my life

    For all of you wayfaring itinerants who are looking for an adventure, but more importantly, are interested in doing some heavy introspection, I can’t imagine a better site for your first time than with Jeanae and Matt at New Life Ayahuasca. About an hour west of San Jose, NLA is located in the mountains of San Ramon. J&M do an excellent job of handling the logistics of getting you from the international airport to their site, so if you have any questions about how you’ll arrive to San Ramon, don’t even worry. Just follow the detailed email instructions Jeanae sends you prior to your trip. My wife and I opted for the 5-day retreat (our first time with this excursion), but in retrospect, we wish we had signed up for the 7-day retreat (to take advantage of the third ceremony) because we were blown away by our experiences with the two that were offered with the 5-day. While you’re going to have an experience irrespective of where you pursue your journey, my wife and I attribute our life-altering experiences to Matt, Jeanae, and Drew. Matt participates and leads the ceremony and possesses commanding presence to the extent that you cannot help but admire the strength it takes for him to be able to lead such an intense journey all these years. I just don’t understand how someone can simultaneously go deep within himself while also performing the icaros. And no doubt Jeanae and Drew also play an equally important role in ensuring that everyone is safe and supported during this process. Meals were prepared by Jeanae, all of which were delicious. The location is private and allows for hiking (there’s 20 acres of land for you to wander around) and swimming (there’s an Olympic sized pool and spa steps away from the retreat center). I can certainly vouch for all of the reviews on this site sharing the details of how the retreat is run (yoga, massages, waterfall, etc). The four other guests who arrived at the retreat were all wonderful people. We’re glad that everyone was able to develop a rapport and trust each other especially given how vulnerable you expose yourself to the experience and the days after going deep with introspection. What I really appreciate about NLA is their laid-back approach to the experience. J&M are two of the most unassuming, down to earth people you will meet and I could not have imagined a better couple (along with Drew) to have been our guides. They don’t force you to participate in the activities offered at the retreat nor do they expect you to share your thoughts and feelings about your experience, but they are certainly open and receptive should you need someone to talk to. I remember after the first ceremony, my wife and I spent some time outside by the firepit with Drew. Let me just say that I was happy and relieved that an individual like Drew was at NLA. Gregarious, knowledgeable, and a willingness to be vulnerable around complete strangers, I could not have imagined a better individual to decompress to. His presence put me at ease and gave me the space to be able to synthesize what could only be described as ineffable. It meant a lot. I’m digressing. I’ll just conclude with if you’re looking for a safe, clean, relaxing atmosphere, look no further than NLA. The retreat center is beautiful, private, and spacious. Jeanae, Matt, and Drew are absolutely wonderful hosts. One last note: they've got 3 cats on the property, but one of them, Chopper, will help you on your journey. He's a protector of sorts. ;-)

  • Jonny Gordo   July 05, 2019

      Set, Setting, Sincerity

    What a profound experience! This was my first experience with Ayahuasca and plant medicines in general. I was in a difficult transition phase in my life where my career, relationships, and mindset all felt like they were flying off the rails. I needed a catalyst to break out of this negative feedback loop and to start enjoying life again. I had done enough research on Ayahuasca to know that it was worth a try, but I did much more research on finding a practitioner that I could trust, and an environment where I would feel safe. I came across New Life by doing a google search and read all of their reviews, and was immediately convinced that this was the place. SET - Jeanae and Matt have designed a program around having the most meaningful experience with the medicine. While this experience may not always be comfortable, they ensure that whatever experience you have, you will be safe and will be adequately assisted by experienced staff if needed. Their program also helps you develop an optimal mindset going into each ceremony. This is achieved by the healthy and delicious daily meals prepared by Jeanae. The meals were Aya-friendly, Tico-oriented, veggie friendly, and absolutely delicious! Their program also prepares you by offering a comprehensive yoga session each ceremony day, which consists of light flow, some balancing, some ab-work for the puke muscles, followed by savasana and a light shoulder massage. Finally, they provide you ample downtime each day, for meditation, intention setting, and reflection, which is very important ahead of ceremony. SETTING - The property is absolutely astounding! It is several acres and includes hiking trails, quiet lookouts with amazing views, a lap pool, a hot-tub, and plenty of nature to explore. On my hike I saw some white face monkeys, toucans, and what I am still convinced are flying turkeys (no one believed me). There were also several common areas for guests to congregate, sip tea, and have post-ceremony crazy-talk. The most important factor with this property is the fact that each guest had their own private room and private bathroom. Each room was surprisingly large and the bed was very comfortable. I found that private rooms are not always offered with other retreats, which is unbelievable to me. While puking together in ceremony is quite the bonding experience, it is very important to have your own space to relax in peace and quiet, and to celebrate your own private toilet-time. I cannot stress this enough. SINCERITY - Matt, Jeanae, and Drew are extremely experienced with the medicine and have the upmost respect and integrity when working with it. Matt does not call himself a shaman, which is a loosely used term these days. I will say that I was blown away by his knowledge, authenticity, sincerity, and respect for the medicine. Matt has an unbelievable gift with music and conducting the ceremony. I have watched several ceremonies on YouTube after this retreat, and nothing comes close. It is hard to describe, but to use a gringo word, it is LEGIT. Jeanae is also extremely talented and plays the flute towards the end of the ceremony. This is a very peaceful transition in the ceremony, and I am grateful for that peace (you will be too!). Drew was also very experienced and helpful in ceremony. I cannot thank you both enough for caring for us in ceremony! Overall, I can't say enough positive things about this experience and the amazing people behind it. I hope to make this trip again sometime. It was truly an unforgettable experience. Gracias para todo! Pura Vida! Jonathan

  • David H   May 13, 2019

      Book Yourself A Retreat Here!

    All the positive reviews that have been said about New Life is accurate and I hope to give some well deserved credit to Matt, Jeanae, Drew for what they do at NLA. Here's some things I can think of off the top of my head: - Warm genuine small tight knit family feel with these guys - Delicious, thoughtful, well prepared breakfast, lunch, and dinner by Jeanae - Great yoga sessions and massage sessions. - Good accommodations with rooms w/own bathroom. - Great affordable prices and value for all that they offer. - Stunning beautiful views, hiking trails, and nice open space. - Ceremonies were safe, respectful, and you feel well taken care of. The medicine they had was top notch as well. - Well thought out schedule for the week to allow for rest and recovery. Overall, just great energy from everyone at NLA and the retreat itself. You will truly feel cared for and have the space to find whatever you're seeking on your journey. I will go back if I'm ever called for another journey. Thank you all again you awesome folks at New Life. -David

  • Grace Slick   April 07, 2019

      A truly healing experience...

    I have nothing but good things to say about my experience at New Life Ayahuasca. Actually, words are hard to come by to really describe it, so I’ll focus on the basics for this review. My reasons for choosing New Life Ayahusca: Like many, I was drawn to ayahuasca for personal, psychological, and spiritual reasons, and I knew that I would likely be diving pretty deep into my conscious in a way that I’d never experienced. Given these facts, I wanted to have this experience in a safe and nurturing environment, so I set out to research via the Google. I came up with lots of “hits” that upon further reading, turned out to be “misses”, until I came across a positive reference to New Life in the comments section about another Ayahuasca retreat in Costa Rica. I ventured over to the New Life site, and was impressed and reassured by the extensive honest information about ayahuasca, including guidance and advice for selecting a retreat. I also was impressed that ceremony size was limited to fewer than 10 people, which I did not see in any of the retreats I researched (some were as large as 90+ people!!). This was important to me, because I viewed this experience as potentially life-changing, and wanted to be around people who viewed the experience as something far more meaningful than checking off a bucket list item. After speaking with Matt and Jeanae on the phone, where they answered my list of questions, and also asked me questions, in particular, why I wanted to experience ayahuasca, I knew I had found the right place. The Property/Facilities Located in a remote, mountainous area, where on a clear day you can see the ocean beyond the rolling mountains and valleys, the retreat center is laid out in a way, where, if you want privacy you can easily get it (private rooms and bath, lots of walking paths, and areas to sit outside to reflect), and if you want community and companionship, you can get that as well (the fire pit at night, the back patio overlooking the mountains, and the dining room). This was perfect for me, because I do like my alone time, and was able to get than when I needed it, but I also was so blessed to be part of a wonderful group of soul searchers, and spending time with these individuals in the communal settings was an integral part of my experience. Care and Nourishment The food was great - all fresh and clean, prepared with love by Jeanae. When meal times were called, we all ran to the dining table! The massage therapist was amazing - he did not speak English (and my Spanish is beyond rusty), but he was incredibly intuitive. He knew exactly where my problem areas were, where I had a chronic tendon inflammation in my ankle, and his touch was perfect for these areas. The kambo was a pleasant surprise. I was undecided about trying it until the morning of, and then opted to do so in order to help me with the next Ayahuasca ceremony. I felt really energized and “light” afterward, and into the next day, leading up tot he second ceremony. Yoga sessions led by Jeanae were grounding and relaxing, and were an ideal prelude to the Ceremony, where going in grounded, relaxed and with intention helps to make the most of the experience. The Ceremony I won’t go into details here, because I believe the Ceremony is meant to be experienced by the individual, and that’s part of what makes it, in my mind, a sacred event. Having said that, I will say that Matt conducts the ceremony with his whole being, with the utmost heartfelt sincerity. I felt safe to let go and travel where I needed to go, whether that be within or outward. Had I not felt that, I could not have had the transformative experience that I did. I also would not want to go back. Jeannae and Drew provided support (for walking, bathroom, any other worries) for our group as Matt guided us in the Ceremony, which was comforting. The Final Word Matt and Jeannae are healers in every sense of the word. Western society needs leaders like them now more than ever. The experience I had at New Life Ayahuasca was indeed in the top five for my life (I’m at the midway point now), and I believe that this experience (the healers, the plant medicine, the ceremony, my fellow soul searchers, the place) will continue to teach me about love, compassion, forgiveness, and openness, and remind me of the work that must continue to keep the fire burning bright.

  • GUY B   February 18, 2019

      Wonderful place and people

    I chose New Life for my first encounter with Ayahuasca last summer on July. Very welcoming space, privet, small, and beautiful. Matt and Jeanae taking care of everything and made everything to let me and the rest of the group feel at home! Definitely recommend New Life!

  • Cooper T   February 03, 2019

      Been twice, will return

    I've been to NLA twice now, and the thing that stands out to me the most about NLA is feeling right at home. The food is great, you house and land it is on is amazing, and the way you are treated is warm and welcoming. It's hard to capture how amazing my experiences there have been, but here is a good summary. Accommodations - You get your own large room with private bath inside their beautiful house. So if you desire privacy, you can have it. There is also more than ample space in and around the house to interact with Matt, Jeanae and the guests if you so desire. Food - Ample, varied, home cooked meals made with fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy grains. Snacks are also left out for you if you get hungry between meals Amenities - Relax, read, or even get a great workout! There is a pool house with hot tub, and lap pool, fire pit, amazing views of the Gulf of Nicoya, tons of chairs, couches and tables around the house, space for yoga lessons taught by Jeanae, and hiking trails, all within a secure and secluded complex. Interactions - Matt and Jeanae are genuinely concerned for your wellbeing and check in with you to ensure you are feeling safe and comfortable. The small group size means is conducive to intimate conversations, so get to know the other guests and your hosts. Or, if you prefer to keep to yourself, there is more than enough space to do so. You'll feel free and welcomed to share your experiences, but not forced. I'll definitely be back, hopefully with friends or family next time!

  • Travis White   January 18, 2019

      Amazing Experience

    I had a really amazing experience at NLA. Matt and Jeanae are very caring, friendly people and they run their retreat in a very professional manner. I was always well taken care of with great food and really comfortable rooms with a private bathroom. The house where the retreat is held is a really beautiful space to spend a week relaxing and taking part in the ceremonies. The ceremonies themselves usually have no more than 8 people and are really well guided by Matt with an additional 2 other people acting as ‘carers’ to assist people if they need anything. It’s always best to do your own research when deciding on which retreat to go to because drinking plant medicines isn’t always an easy journey. But I can honestly say that NLA is a great place to start if you’re looking for a safe, comfortable place to partake where you’re guided in caring, professional hands at all times.

  • Spencer Gerald Wakefield   December 24, 2018

      Do It!!!

    New Life is an amazing place and Matt, Jeanae and Drew guided, comforted and supported me on every step of my journey with Mother Ayahuasca. I truly felt like I was among friends, which allowed me to really let go and experience everything the medicine had to show me. Every member of our group had different experiences but we all came away with the same conclusion: we were better versions of ourselves on the day we left than when we arrived. The Ayahuasca and Kambo were both a little difficult physically and mentally but that is generally true of anything that is capable of bettering you. So quit thinking about it and just DO IT!!!

  • Joy Davis   November 30, 2018

      Best Healing Experience Ever

    I hardly know where to start … Everything about my trip to New Life Iboga / Ayahuasca in Costa Rica was wonderful from the medicines, the location/property, the hosts, the food, the cats, it was all amazing! Jeanae and Matt are phenomenal hosts and wonderful cooks. The house was large, clean, and had great views. The room they provided to me was perfect for my two weeks stay. The food was great - I’m a foodie – and I loved all the fresh, healthy home cooked meals they made! The trails around the property had beautiful views and I was able to see beautiful wildlife like the Blue Morpho Cota Rican butterfly and monkeys! For several years I had contemplated participating in taking iboga for spiritual healing reasons. This past year my life brought some major life challenges that propelled me forward in taking the leap to try both iboga and ayahuasca – and I also had Kamboo to make it a trifecta of healing medicines! And Oh Boy - I am so glad that I did! It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made! The journey changed my life and continues to positively change my life. I had researched several centers to visit, but I am so glad I decided to go down this journey at New Life Iboga /Ayahuasca. I hope to one day return and participate in more Ayahuasca ceremonies! I know one day I will re-enter the Ayahuasca world again! Going through the Ayahuasca in the first week really helped strip away my ego and open me up to heal on a deeper level. Some of my questions were answered through Ayahuasca, but Iboga showed me some deep-rooted parts of myself that needed to be addressed. Jeanae and Matt helped facilitate the interpretation of my visions and experiences by having me work with therapist Brian Murphy. Brian was great and very insightful. I am very grateful for this to be part of the experience. The ceremonies that Jeanae and Matt conducted were great. They both played instruments and put their heart and soul into the experience. For the Iboga ceremony they had a small community of friends that participated which enrichened the experience. After going through this journey, and returning to the states, I had the most amazing sense and feeling of peace that I have never had before. It has taken work to continue this sense of peace, but now I know it - so it is easier to return to this peace. A million Thank Yous to Jeanae and Matt for all that you did for me and continue to do for others! You are truly a blessing to this earth! One of the visions I had during iboga was seeing Jeanae and Matt being given to the earth as gifts from the gods! Thank you again for everything! I pray that all the good you are doing comes back to you a million fold. And I pray all your wishes and dreams will come true – I know they will:) Much love and blessings to you:)

  • Theresa Jimenez   September 15, 2018

      New Life, New View!

    My time at NLA has forever changed me. I gained insights and emotional healing that I never knew were possible. I cannot thank Jeanae and Matt enough for the relaxed, loving, safe and supportive atmosphere. I am extremely happy to have had my first Ayahuasca and Kambo experience at NLA with two truly honest and caring people. My experience at NLA will forever live in my heart and mind and I will see you both again soon! Forever grateful, Theresa

  • NgaNga M   June 28, 2018


    All I can say is that this place is legit. I come from a medical background but I also have had spiritual experiences that left me searching for answers in order to process and accept my gifts. After my trip to New Life, I was able to accept my gifts and now see life differently -from both sides. I was also dealing with some major life changes before my trip. After my visit, I can honestly say that I received the answers , confirmation and gained the knowledge that I needed to know in order to accept my gifts and redirect my life's purpose. I am very grateful to Matt, Jeanae and Wes for their humility and knowledge. Matt doesn't want to refer to himeself as a Shaman but I can say that he's one hell of a teacher. He is selfless and open.I am grateful for the experience and his guidance and for everyone at New Life who helped me during this life changing journey.

  • N Wayne Yoder   May 15, 2018

      A summary of my thoughts and experience with Matt and Jeanae at NewLifeAyahuasca

    I came to this experience as a psychotherapist with approximately 40 years of experience in working with trauma and various issues that we often face in this journey through life. I am no hero and I am not an expert. I want to be very clear about that. While spending a few years as director of a mental health center followed by private practice, I spent many years treating PTSD and various kinds of psychological trauma in civilian setting and 10 years in military settings, three of those years in Afghanistan and three other years in the Civil War of Nigeria. I state this just to emphasize that I have a fair sense of what is sound and solid clinical treatment and what kinds of intervention can be very useful in the healing process outside of a formal clinical setting. I spent a week with Matt and Jeanae and experienced three ceremonies with Ayahuasca. I totally trust the wisdom, the knowledge, and the expertise of Matt and Jeanae. They are with you every moment, available to whatever would be helpful at any point. I felt totally comfortable with absolute trust in Matt and Jeanae and the process. I can highly recommend them. Prior to signing up, they are always helpfull and responsive to any questions or concerns you might have. I believe one can also trust “Mother Ayahuasca“. It is simply a process of trusting, of letting go and giving permission to mother to do her work. 5 Star all around.

  • Misti Birindelli   April 27, 2018

      Epic experience!

    The entire experience exceeded my expectations! Matt and Jeannae were very personable and informative. I felt cared for and guided during ceremonies, and at home and comfortable with all the amenities! The peace I found here, resides in me still♥️ I am so grateful for my time at New Life Ayahuasca!

  • Casey Combs   February 19, 2018

      Perfect First Retreat

    After nearly a year of research, I chose New Life Ayahuasca for my first retreat. After looking at the website and photos for so long, it was amazing to finally arrive. The location was beautiful, with clean and comfortable accomodations and Jeanae prepared tasty meals. She and Matt were very open and informative. My boyfriend and I went together and we were able to be alone or interact without feeling pressured. The ceremonies were safe and intense. Matt and Jeanae are incredibly genuine individuals doing amazing things at New Life! Thanks for everything, we will be back! -Casey & Sean

  • Kyle Mathews   February 07, 2018

      Great Experience

    So the location is great with beautiful views of the sunset over the coast from the top of a small mountain. Private room, bathroom, and meals are great. A great place to relax for a week and forget about the world. The ceremonies are well done and you're always well taken care of. My experience wasn't life changing, there were no epiphanies, but I do feel like I have a clearer direction in life. It's something I've been working on and can't say if this experience helped, but it certainly didn't hurt. I would come back in a heartbeat, everything was awesome!

  • Rachael Dotson   December 20, 2017

      A Life Changing Experience

    New Life Ayahuasca provides a thorough, inclusive, and safe environment for those seeking to meet Mother Ayahuasca for the purposes of physical, emotional, or spiritual healing. I had participated in ceremonies before coming to New Life, but nothing prepared me for the warmth, love, and overall improvements I saw almost immediately upon participation with Matt and Jeanae. Matt's conduction of ceremony and singing of the Icaros in conjunction with Jeanae's constant and consistent care taking abilities induced an experience that I shall never forget. Despite the difficulty that comes with the undertaking of the medicine, I look forward to coming back to New Life Ayahuasca for further assistance in helping me to manage what ails me. Matt and Jeanae are, above and beyond, the best I have been privy to work with, and I am glad to call them my brother and sister.

  • Tim   December 18, 2017

      New Life Ayahuasca

    Matt and Jeanae are very dedicated to their work with this sacred medicine and tend to every detail throughout your stay so that you can focus solely on your own personal work. I'm basically speechless as to the talent and dedication with which Matt conducts the ceremony and I felt safe the entire time. The food is incredible and just what you need, when you need it and the retreat centre is privately located on the top of a mountain overlooking the ocean. The house is perfect for accommodating the group size and is conducive to both alone time or interaction with the other members of the retreat. I felt I could be completely honest about my personal reasons for being there and found everyone to be incredibly accepting and of course non-judgemental. They also have safe high quality medicine that can be trusted. Deciding to work with Ayahuasca in your life can be a tough decision but I can assure you that Matt and Jeanae will take care of you and guide you through the experience. With so much going on I was glad I chose New Life Ayahuasca for my first encounter with this sacred plant medicine. May I wish you all the best on your journey! -Tim, 33, British Columbia, Canada

  • Misha   July 28, 2017

      Incredible first time

    I live in Japan and decided to make a trip out to Costa Rica to try ayahuasca. Mainly out of curiosity, and some personal-development issues I wanted to work on. This was my first ayahuasca experience. Everything I read beforehand pointed to the importance of putting yourself in a great environment (especially the first time) and with a shaman or guide that you can trust. I was super happy with the experience at New Life. I can personally vouch for both Matt and Jeanea who run it — they are wonderful people and have a beautiful, secluded retreat. You're surrounded with a small group of like-minded people so it's intimate, but you don't have to socialize the whole time and can enjoy a lot of quiet/personal space. Also, there is a badass swimming pool and some of the best cooking I have ever had. Honestly, I would pay to stay at their place even if they didn’t have ayahuasca — it’s that good. A little bit more about the actual trip: Taking ayahuasca isn’t some tourist attraction like seeing the Eiffel Tower or visiting the petting zoo— this is the real deal. It isn’t even like a fun mushroom trip. It’s a lot more difficult than that, but it can be very eye-opening. I definitely recommend having an "intention" or point of focus for each ceremony is so you can maintain a sense of purpose. Ayahuasca will transport your mind to a whole different dimension, make you think you’re a tree frog, and kill your ego 1000 times over. It will crush you and bring you back to life. Really, it will put you through the gauntlet, but it's well worth it. I'm excited to see how my life unravels over the next few months after my experience, and I can't wait to make another trip out in a year from now! :)

  • Lucky Rogers   April 27, 2017


    Where do I start ? What an amazing experience, would have never thought I could find such peace in my heart as I did at New Life. Matt and Jeanae are the best of host and combined with the perfect location make for an amazing visit. My visions of peace and happiness will live in my heart and soul for the rest of my life. I urge you find yourself by finding New Life Ayauasca

  • Karolee Kearns Schloth   March 07, 2017

      Fun and Transformative

    I am so glad that I went to New Life Ayahuasca. I enjoyed the intimacy of a small group. My room was beautiful, comfortable and had amazing views of the mountains and bay, as well as stars at night! The food was wonderful. The best was the healing that has transpired from the plant medicine and Matt's shamanic abilities. I am grateful.

  • Jason Peck   November 26, 2016

      Truly Life Changing

    I am extremely grateful for the experience that I had during my 7 day retreat at New Life. This was my first experience with ayahuasca. After spending 3 years exposed to combat in the Middle East I had been struggling with depression and PTSD for years afterwards, seeking counseling and really trying to pull myself back on my feet. I was desperate and stumbled upon New Life and something about it just felt right. Within 24 hours of having the idea to even try ayahuasca I made the reservations with New Life, and now believe it was the best decision I ever made. I received healing here like I could never have dreamed of, and feel like a huge burden has been lifted off of my chest. I will absolutely return once I put into daily practice the personal lessons that I received while I was there. What an experience for the soul! Jeanae and Matt are truly doing something special here. And Randy the cook is doing special things everyday too. The environment is so peaceful, and allows you to truly relax. They are really great hosts, and Matt is legendary during the ceremonies. The view is wonderful, and looking at the stars after ceremony was certainly one of my personal highlights of the week. These guys really built a paradise and are the kind of people that just make you feel at home when you're there. I can't brag about it enough, if you're thinking of going I really recommend this place and didn't hear a single complaint from anyone the entire time I was there so it's not just my opinion.

  • Jesse Dykhuis   October 17, 2016

      Leave your worries at home!

    What am amazing experience! Of course, like anyone who is going to take Ayahuasca for the first time we were a little nervous. The owners Matt & Jeanae made us feel comfortable right away! Communications were timely, thorough and reassuring right from the first inquiry email. As this was also our honeymoon - we wanted a retreat with some basic amenities - flush toilets perhaps? This was absolutely perfect! Every guest had a private well-appointed room and private bathroom. The grounds are gorgeous and the views breathtaking. Meals are provided and are fresh, delicious and follow the rules of the Ayahuasca Dieta. You can take a hike, go for a swim, relax in the hot tub or participate in daily yoga and meditation. You can even get a massage or two! Matt & Jeanae are always available to process something you experienced on your journey. The ceremony is powerful and moving! There two are so caring and knowledgeable - they make the whole experience one you can't wait to do again!

  • Rachel Woldt   August 25, 2016

      Awesome experience at New Life Ayahuasca!

    New Life Ayahuasca offers the complete package. Matt and Jeanae are really great at what they do and they do it with love. The house is spacious and clean with private rooms and bathrooms. The grounds offer stunning views and nature trails a huge pool and hot tub. The food is fresh, delicious, and always filling. The ceremonies are professional and complete. If you are looking to try ayahuasca this is the place to be!

  • David Landes   August 23, 2016

      Finding peace

    Wow, what can I say about my week long experience with Matt and Jeanae at New Life Ayahuasca? There aren’t words to do it justice but I feel compelled to show my appreciation for them and their plant healing capabilities. The environment was everything and more than I expected. The views alone will change you and the facilities are warm, loving and conducive to truth and healing. Their personal stories inspired me and their wisdom guided me to a place of peace that I’ve never known. I know that our paths are destined to cross many more times as I feel drawn to help others as I grow and improve myself. Thank you guys so much.

  • A. Riley   July 14, 2016

      Authentic, safe, and truly life-changing.

    I cannot begin to express the gratitude I feel for Matt & Jeanae. My hubby and I have been wanting to experience Ayahuasca for quite some time and we are so glad that we decided to entrust the crew at New Life Ayahuasca for this life-changing and trans-formative experience. From the moment Matt picked us up at the airport in San Jose, we felt right at home. The retreat center is located about 20 minutes outside of a small mountain town called San Ramon. The grounds could not have been more lush or beautiful. When you arrive at the main gate, you are greeted with a long curving drive that leads to the main house and while winding through the lushly landscaped grounds, one feels that they are entering the garden of Eden. Upon arrival, Matt gave us a tour around the property and checked us into our rooms. Even though we are a married couple, Matt and Jeanae were generous enough to give us separate rooms in case we needed private time to meditate and process our experiences. As a same-sex couple, we were hoping to find a non-judgmental atmosphere with the staff and the other guests and that is exactly what we found. Matt, Jeanae, and the other staff members and guests could not have been more loving, non-judgmental, or supportive during our entire stay. We also made some friendships with the other guests that I hope will last a lifetime. In terms of the ceremonies, they were life-changing, authentic, and well-executed. One of the lessons I got from this experience was that I can oftentimes be very judgmental. Before arriving at NLA, I questioned whether or not the experience would feel authentic since we weren't going to Peru to stay in the jungle. I could not have been more wrong. Matt led the ceremonies and Jeanae provided constant loving support. Matt truly has a gift from the gods. The voice that comes through him when he is performing Icaros is truly healing, loving, and authentic to the core. We could not have asked for better guides and a more supportive, safe, and nurturing environment. We were there for 3 ceremonies and they were all a bit different for everyone. As I've learned, everyone reacts to the medicine in different ways. There were some difficult moments, but I truly feel that I got what I needed, plus so much more. If you are called to Ayahuasca, we cannot recommend New LIfe Ayahuasca enough.

  • Josh Ford   May 31, 2016

      Absolutely amazing in every way possible...

    I don't know that I can properly word my thanks and appreciation for all of you at New Life Ayahuasca, but I'll try. I tried not to come to the retreat with too many expectations, just an open mind and willingness to learn whatever was shown to me. Immediately on arriving I was made to feel at home and found it very easy to settle in and get comfortable. The atmosphere and facility made it very easy to be social or get some time to myself when needed. The meals all week were fantastic and really added to the enjoyment of the experience. The cleanliness of the facility and constant attention to anything we needed was above and beyond. The added trip to the beach was a really nice extra as well as having the pool, hot tub and lots of nature to enjoy on a daily basis. As far as the ceremonies went, I personally couldn't have asked for anything more. I appreciated the sincerity of the ceremonies, the setting, the attention and care given to those of us going through the ceremonies. All three of the ceremonies that I experienced were great learning experiences and Matt and Jeanae played a huge part in that overall outcome. I made some connections on the trip that also made the trip more special and I'm sure I'll keep those relationships for the rest of my life. Thanks again New Life, my world is a better place after the gift of spending the week with all of you!

  • Karla   March 29, 2016

      Life-Changing Experience

    I was going through a rough time in my life when I unintentionally learned about ayahuasca. Having never heard of it up until a month before booking my retreat, I was surprisingly comfortable with my decision to travel alone to another country in hopes of getting better. It just felt right. I had never before experienced with any sort of psychedelic, so in the days leading up to my trip, the nerves started kicking in. Still though, I knew I had to do it. Costa Rica is beautiful and the retreat center is perfectly located. You're able to appreciate unparalleled aerial views of central Costa Rica, and simultaneously enjoy luxuries like hot water and wifi. It truly is the best of both worlds. The amenities make it easier to relax prior to and after ayahuasca ceremonies, and the natural environment allows you to truly be with your thoughts so that you can begin to understand its teachings. The ceremonies were incredible- I can't put into words how profound they were. Ayahuasca is powerful yet gentle at the same time. I would do it again in a heartbeat. If you're considering ayahuasca as a means to better yourself, I absolutely recommend New Life. Matt and Jeanae are sincere people with the purest intentions and they will go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and safe. I brought back home with me a new appreciation for life and my loved ones, and I have let go of years' worth of built up fear and anxiety. I truly feel healed. I have opened up and will live each day as a vessel of love.

  • ND   March 01, 2016

      Wonderful place run by wonderful people

    Where to begin? New Life is a fantastic experience. From the moment you meet them at the airport until the moment they drop you off, Matt and Jeanae will do everything they can to make you feel safe, comfortable, and supported during what can be a very emotional experience. The property itself is sprawling and comfortable, and affords beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and of the Pacific Ocean. If you're lucky you'll experience some epic thunderstorms and from the hilltop perch of the property, you will be able to watch lightning strike over the ocean. Alternatively, you can chill out and watch a movie, read books, do some yoga, go for a swim, or really anything else that makes you comfortable. You'll find that for most things you'll want to do, New Life has the facilities While at New Life, you'll find that time slows down and with the help of Matt and Jeanae, you'll be able to really relax and be mindful in order to hopefully take some big lessons away with you. Moreover, they are always open to answer questions about your treatments, to share stories of their own lives such that when it comes time for the treatments you'll know that you are in good hands. I cannot recommend New Life and its hosts more highly, I am incredibly grateful to have spent time in such a lovely place and with such lovely people, and I cannot wait to go back.

  • Benjamin   February 06, 2016

      Gracious hosts and a spectacular location

    I was determined. I had been thinking about Ayahuasca for about two years before I arrived at New Life Ayahuasca for a week of ceremonies. I came seeking emotional healing and to deepen my spiritual nature and commitment to the path on which I have been for most of my life. The medicine of Ayahuasca has provided both of these for me. The people at New Life Ayahuasca provided a safe, supportive and relaxed environment for this to transpire. The combination of these factors, including Matt’s facilitation skills, in particular his heartfelt singing of icaros, created a vehicle of transformation for me. I chose New Life Ayahuasca for a number of reasons including convenience, the relative ease of travel to Costa Rica from the United States as compared to a South American destination and the lower cost of travel to Costa Rica, although the factor that finalized my decision was that I sensed the authenticity of the people behind this place. This became particularly evident to me when I first spoke with Matt at length on the phone about my expectations and concerns. He was welcoming and receptive and shared insight about the Ayahuasca experience with me that helped me to proceed without confusion or irrational fear. I left that conversation sensing that he was an experienced guide and feeling confident about attending a retreat with him. Several weeks later I found myself in the peaceful rural setting of the New Life Ayahuasca center on 20 acres of land overlooking the green mountainsides of San Ramon, the Gulf of Nicoya and the Pacific Ocean. The location alone is magnificent and restful. By the time the initial ceremony began and the moment to drink Ayahuasca for the first time became a reality for me, I felt completely at ease with Jeanae and Matt and their support staff. I feel fortunate that my first experience was with a small group of just six people and that I felt close and trusting of the people around me. I felt completely safe and supported, and the natural sense of trepidation that virtually everyone feels upon first drinking Ayahuasca had greatly diminished by that time. As the medicine took effect, the experience was magical beyond my ability to describe in words here without resorting to poetry or some other metaphorical mode of expression. When Matt began to sing the icaros, my experience deepened significantly, transporting me into the most deeply felt healing space I have ever experienced. His talent for holding a sacred space through the singing of icaros and his use of various simple musical instruments is remarkable and felt deeply and directly within the heart. As he continued to sing, I felt the most overwhelming sense of gratitude I have ever felt in my life. I felt gratitude for the moment, gratitude for the people I was with, gratitude for the medicine, gratitude for the path that had ultimately led me to that moment, gratitude for the healing I sensed was beginning to transpire for me and gratitude for many other things that escape me as I write this now. The remainder of that first ceremony and the two subsequent ceremonies later in the week were, simply put, the most profound experiences of my entire life. In particular, during the second ceremony, I directly experienced Mother Ayahuasca, or what I have come to call the Cosmic Mother, reveal herself to me in one of her forms and communicate with me nonverbally. A full description of that experience is too involved to include here, but briefly put, it transformed my perception of life and my perception of death into parts of a greater integrated process that exists beyond time as we experience it in conventional terms and that is multidimensional in nature. In the weeks that followed my Ayahuasca experience, I was left with an enhanced sense of belonging in the world and a renewed sense of purpose. Since returning home my perception of death has been transformed. I have a new appreciation of it because I now know beyond any doubt that we are all eternal beings, that death is not an end of life but an integral part of it. I know that life as we experience it in conventional terms is a single limited dimension of a vast multidimensional reality. In other words, through my experience with Ayahuasca, I have realized that we are multidimensional beings because during ceremony I experienced dimensions of my own being I had never experienced previously. While there is still work for me to do and insight to gain, I know that the process to attain these has been accelerated for me in a way that cannot be undone. I will be returning to New Life Ayahuasca in just a few weeks for another week of ceremonies with the intention of deepening and refining the process I started. Thank you Jeanae, Matt and the staff at New Life Ayahuasca for helping to facilitate this for me. I will always be grateful. You are creating a unique sacred space there, both physically and energetically, on your 20 acres in the mountains of San Ramon, something that I wish for others who to experience as well. I have already recommended your center to others and will continue to do so. In fact, a close friend of mine will be arriving there in a matter of weeks, and I am confident that he will be in good hands for his first experience with this amazing medicine.

  • Elizabeth Onheiber   December 17, 2015

      How New Life Ayahuasca changed my life and resolved my C-PTSD.

    Matt, Jeanae and the supporting crew gave me and my healing journey their undivided attention for an entire week as a privileged guest at their center—a sprawling 20-acre estate reminiscent of a roman villa complete with detached indoor pool and hot tub—located comfortably in the idyllic, mountainous Costa Rican countryside. The modern facilities even come replete with Wi-Fi. Because of the difficult nature of the personal inner work that ayahuasca sets you out on, I believe that the comfortable amenities and beautiful facilities helped me focus on the what I came there to do, feeling secure enough to devote my entire attention to the examination, healing, and integration process. The meals they prepared and shared with me were delicious and the week included outings to some local restaurants too. Their villa-esque center has eight (count ‘em) bedrooms, often with private bathrooms. But for the extraverted that crave social interaction with the inevitably awesome people that come here there are ridiculously well-decorated sitting areas in shared spaces literally almost every ten feet. On my 7th day at New Life Ayahuasca I was still discovering Secret Garden-type pockets perfect for private conversations or quiet reflection. I am a writer, and the full-on beauty and sense of freedom of the property inspired me to write almost four times as much material as I would have normally in the same amount of time, and this was all before my life-changing experience with ayahuasca on the third ceremony night. The first two ceremonies didn’t seem like they did much for me at the time, since I didn’t feel the effects I was expecting. But by the time I was peaking during my incredibly successful third session I realized the frustration I felt during these two failed attempts was actually a part of the process and did serve a purpose; it was exactly what I needed to feel at the time. I’ve struggled with Complex-PTSD since childhood, and spent the last decade being pinballed around in the American health care system in a mistaken attempt to commit to the effort of recovery, only to fail to experience symptom relief from over 20 different types of medication, ranging from uppers, downers and serotonin-reuptake whatever-ers. I took those pills everyday religiously, on blind faith that if I didn’t I was just giving up on getting healthy, some of these meds even made me more unhealthy – I gained 80 lbs. and caught an endocrine disorder on the wrongly-prescribed powerful tranquilizer Seroquel. It was the realization that what I was doing wasn’t working and that I need to switch my strategy if I was ever going to triumph over the treatment-resistant and pervasive daily struggle of PTSD. It was this reasoning that brought me to New Life Ayahuasca. Now, I’m so grateful that I listened to that meek little inner-voice that knew what was best for me. Even though I only had an experience that third and final ceremony, my anxiety is down and self-esteem is up. I feel inspired, empowered and incredibly grateful to Matt, Jeanae, Brandy and Nigel: the Human Being Dream Team. Thank you New Life Ayahuasca, and may many more people pass through your doors and find effective healing.

  • Glenn Adams   September 25, 2015

      Wonderful people, beautiful location, and such a great vision and path they have.

    New Life is located outside Sam Ramon, Costa Rica. The property and facility is absolutely gorgeous and and view of the Gulf of Nicoya from their location on top of the mountain make this a beautiful and perfect place for the work they are doing. I was passing through the area coming from San Jose to Playa Samara and just had to stop in and meet the people there and find out what they were doing. San Ramon is only a couple of hours from San Jose, less if you have a car and a little more if using the bus system. My background is not only corporate I.T. (stressful) but also I am a RYT Yoga Teacher and I've been interested for a number of years in how things such as yoga, meditation, diet, mentors, and support systems help with our first world high stress jobs. Jeanae and Matt are wonderful people. They have such a strong sense of purpose, a mission, and empathy. Where they come from and where they are going is wonderful and they are making the world better in a very great way. They only want to share and help other people. They know the value of moments that can turn a life around and understand sometimes it takes a great deal of work to help a person get just one step further to being better, happier, or perhaps even just alive. The facility is as clean and full of creature comforts anyone might want or need. No matter where you come from rich or poor, first world or jungle, this place is comfortable. The region is mountainous with dirt roads leading to it as it should be for the region. The house, the pool area (yes, indoor lap pool in Costa Rica) and the location are really just perfect for a retreat location. I can only imagine all the clients coming from a wide range of cultures and countries, with needs stemming from depression and stress to drug or substance abuse that may find this place and the people there to be a very important part of their journey to wellness.

  • Sindy Solis   September 23, 2015


    To New Life Ayahusca: I will like to express my gratitude to all the people of New Life Ayahusca. I when to a ceremony with Matt and Jeanae last Saturday and I am very impress with their heart and everything they did in the ceremony. Not only they were checking on me all the time but also they are people with a genuine purpose of helping others to get heal. The ceremony had everything; the setting was perfectly care for. I want to congratulate them for running such of wonderful place. I would recommend it to anyone. I also like to send a special thanks to Sergio and Emanuel for always checking on me and for helping me throughout the ceremony. I will be coming back for more ceremonies with the confidence that I am on a safe environment. I wish you many blessings, success and prosperity in the years to come. Thank you so much for everything!

  • Cl Ser   July 22, 2015


    I experienced the best ayahuasca trip in Costa Rica, the place in Atenas is amazing, the hotel and all the benefits in there were awesome, and the night with the chamannes, was so spiritual and connected to one another, I feel how I could understand how we are just one spirit in one dimension, and all those little spirits connected to the huge Mother of creation, that put us in the right place and the right people to understand out mision, i would recomend everybody to try this amazin trip in this place, safe and beautiful. Love


Body, like the mountain
Heart, like the ocean
Mind, like the sky. Dogen

Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

After having just completed my RYT 200 I have been inspired to further my yoga journey and my own personal journey inward. I have fallen in love with yoga and how it has changed my life and I just want to continue to explore so I can share this beautiful gift with as many as possible. Jessica

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.