The Sanctuary of Renana is a medicinal plant healing retreat center offering a unique combination of shamanic techniques and other time-tested, yet modern healing modalities. We are located within a nature reserve, inside the Mondego valley of central Portugal.
Our mission is to provide our guests with the safety and security necessary for them to feel fully at ease during their healing and expansion process. Our focus is centered upon a balanced, comprehensive healing on all levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
At the Sanctuary of Renana we recognize that every guest who comes to work with us is an individual, and will be coming with individual needs. For that reason, we will provide you with access to different healing modalities, administered by professionals, with a wealth of knowledge in their respective fields.
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it Rumi
Venue HighlightsSerra da Estrella translates into, star mountain range, and a fitting description that would be.
On a clear night the sky is lit up in all its billion star glory, without any kind of pollution to tarnish the brilliant view.
By day a treat for the senses awaits, being snuggled into a valley presents breathtaking views, rolling hills & healthy vibrant nature.
Plunge, skip or dip in our generous river that runs right through the grounds. Or perhaps just put your feet up by our luxurious chlorine free swimming pool and absorb some of those healing sun rays Portugal is so famous for.
As we are in the nature reserve the wildlife is thriving in our valley, a long list of mammals and birds, and if you are lucky you may even spot one of our otter neighbours playing in the river right next to your tent!
The area is full of small villages where time appears to have stood still, a rare breath of fresh air in such a chaotic and busy world.
Although you can enjoy rural Portugal and all its charms, the city of Guarda is a short drive away in case you are in need of anything.
We welcome you to this magical place, and look forward to sharing its beauty with you.
- Free Parking
- Tour Assistance
- Yoga Studio
- Includes Meat
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
- Nut Free
Menu/CuisineWe try to cater to everybody's individual tastes.We begin with a primarily vegan or vegetarian diet, but we also provide meat options for those who so choose. Also providing fresh breads and even brick oven pizzas during the retreat.
We always make sure to accommodate any and all food allergies and restrictions mentioned in our guest´s medical screenings as well.
AccommodationsOur venue offers two types of accommodation, Bell tents and Safari tents. The main bathroom and shower area is shared, and toiletries and towels are generally not provided, though can be arranged for you upon request.
We also have a swimming pool, a beautiful river for swimming and fishing, a secluded, outdoor yoga/meditation space, a professionally staffed kitchen, a large organic vegetable garden, a fresh smoothie bar, and optional horseback riding (with an additional cost.
DirectionsWe recommend flying to Oporto airport. From there, it is 3 hours by bus or 4 hours by train to the city of Guarda. We recommend for you to arrive at least one day prior to the start of your retreat and to spend the night in Guarda, as we will be picking up the group there on the morning of the first day, and transporting everyone to the center together. We can provide you with information about buses, trains, and hotels in Guarda once you have completed your reservation, or you can check out the following link:
For bus information:
For trains information:
We are always more than happy to assist you in making your travel plans and reservations.
ReviewsWrite a review - tell others about your experience.
Elena Georgiou January 12, 2019
Loved the facilitators, Ana and Brendan. They are amazingly friendly, helpful, living and caring. The plant medicine ceremonies were well catered for. Hugo - the sound healer accompaniment of the ceremonies was spot on, I wouldn't have the same experience without it. All the staff and the venue itself is brilliant!!!! It was one of best weeks of my life and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone reading this review. You are obviously in the right place for moving your life up a step. Just go with it.
triin kambek October 20, 2018
My experience at The Sanctuary of Renana retreat was absolutely perfect. I felt guided and safe at all times, Brendan and Ana have a wonderful ability to make us feel at ease, which was very important for me as I had no previous experience with Ayahuasca or any other medicinal plant of sort. I guess I am a complete convert now, thanks Renana :) I didn't seek this retreat out, it found me. After my experience I've started to recognise and trust the flow of life and in the existence of synchronicity, and it feels great. The ceremonies really helped me go deep within and do some 'clearing out' and i am still feeling the effects weeks later. I hope this lasts for a long long time :) It's very useful and liberating to be faced with oneself and thanks to Ana and Brendan i had the opportunity to experience this life changing lesson. The venue for the retreat is gorgeous - beautiful nature, a river, a swimming pool, hammocks, lots of little hikes around. The ceremonies took place in a yurt (a yurt!) by the river, and i cannot think of a more perfect magical setting. The food was always super tasty and the staff at the retreat was amazing :) Music for ceremonies was provided by Hugo and he's a true magician when it comes to gongs and sound bowls. Thank you, Hugo! Your sound art really made this a holistic experience for me. In short, if you're looking to have a life changing soul searching experience - look no further. You've found Renana. I will definitely be back.
Ruth H October 15, 2018
Ana and Brendan are amazing. I would highly recommend this retreat for anyone who is looking to do some soul searching. I loved every minute - thanks Ana and Brendan!
JoJo Smith September 28, 2018
I have a catalogue of auto-immune diseases and believing that mind is the cause, I set about finding a safe place to connect not only with Ayahuasca but also Kambo. I found it at The Sanctuary of Renana. Brendan and Ana run the retreat with expert knowledge and unconditional love. I finished yesterday and while not ‘cured’ I believe I’m on the path to good health. Bless them.
Emma Donald September 06, 2018
When great things happen, they happen with flow and ease as though it was always meant to be. Thats how I felt upon hearing Ana and Brendon talking about the story of The Sanctuary of Renana. From their own experiences, their shamans telling them they would continue working with the plants in Portugal, discovering Michel and 'Senses' (one of the most beautiful spots in the world) and of course the amazing Hugo producing some of the most enchanting music known to man. The bonds formed with my 10fellow participants as well as the staff will be remembered forever. It is in settings such as this that true transformations can take place. Thank you
Steve Tilling September 04, 2018
Just got back from an amazing experience at The Sanctuary of Renana. Brendan and Anna were most welcoming from the beginning and held the space for the week with the upmost care and love. The ceremonies were held with reverence and deep connection and plenty of time and space were given to reflection and group sharing. Additional activities such as the steam bath, massage, treks etc, were also welcome and fulfilling and aded to the overall experience. The music provided by Hugo was enchanting and relevant and really enhanced the experience. The property in Portugal was absolutely beautiful and perfect for this kind of retreat. I would highly recommend this retreat and would certainly return again. Thank you all for a wonderful week. Steve
Steve Tilling September 04, 2018
e property in Portugal was absolutely beautiful and perfect for this kind of retreat. I would highly recommend this retreat and would certainly returJust got back from an amazing experience at The Sanctuary of Renana. Brendan and Anna were most welcoming from the beginning and held the space for the week with the upmost care and love. The ceremonies were held with reverence and deep connection and plenty of time and space were given to reflection and group sharing. Additional activities such as the steam bath, massage, treks etc, were also welcome and fulfilling and aded to the overall experience. The music provided by Hugo was enchanting and relevant and really enhanced the experience. Thn again. Thank you all for a wonderful week. Steve
Danielle Oliver July 16, 2018
Renana is amazing because Brendan and Ana are incredibly strong and spiritual beings. Their years of experience in the Amazon with the Shipibo tribe makes them perfectly suited to bring out and share the medicine and teachings with the world in a location potentially easier to access. Excellent solution for anyone searching for this medicine with guides who clearly know the way.
Jon Price July 15, 2018
PERFECT setting for a transformational experience. Brendan, Ana, Michel, Natasha, Hugo, Ben, and the rest of the Renana staff are some of the most awesome and caring people you’ll ever meet. And you won’t find anyone outside of Amazonia with Brendan’s level of knowledge and experience with the medicines. The location and property itself: majestic, just check out the photos. 10-star experience I sincerely wish everyone could have.
Karl Groendal June 29, 2018
I had my first ayahuasca experience at Renana with Brendan and Ana as the most competent and caring guides imaginable :)
Ryan Dankmeyer March 23, 2017
Sanctuary of Renana will give you the authentic Amazon experience while still being safe and comfortable enough. Their shamans are very powerful and knowledgeable and Brendan and Ana are great facilitators. It is a great deal when you consider how many therapies are offered. You will have time to rest, yet stay busy enough. And they have mushrooms!
Carlos Rodriguez November 26, 2016
I become speechless when a life experience is too good. This is the case with the experience I had a Renana. Words will never transmit the exact experience, specially when that experience brings you all the way down to nothingness and then all the way up to unconditional love. The Renana schedule is well designed to ease the healing process. In other words, you get what you need most of the time. There is a day of rest between ceremonies for a reason. It allows the individual to process the events from previous ceremonies as well as write a journal. The location is perfect and far away from distractions. The Shaman is good and emphasizes on personal healing according to each particular individual. Of course every person get a different experience because each individual gets what he/she needs. It flows how it needs to flows. The Ayahuasca medicine sort of adapts to you and walk you trough a process of cleansing, purging and learning. I came to Renana after already having done 26 ceremonies. In other words, I did ceremonies 27, 28, 29 and 30 at Renana. So, for me, there was not a lot of purging and cleaning but a lot of making sense of things that I needed to realize or feel. This includes and is not limited to dreams, visuals and strong overwhelming emotions. Brief personal experience: ( partial JOURNAL ) I had an intense dream last night . There was an abandoned boy at a hotel and I went in a quest to search for his parents. I saw myself with the little boy ridding a dragon over the valley of the death. There were different monsters and things I had to defeat. At one point I woke up and saw a bright light so I closed eyes again not to loose it. Love and compassion were taking over my entire being. it was overwhelming. I tried to hold on to that feeling for as long as I could. My interpretation: The strange sensation of my heart glowing in my chest as I woke up while dreaming about rescuing the boy as flying through the valley of the death signifies my own rescuing through the rescuing of my heart (trough love). Yesterday I had my Aya ceremony #28. I had a heart opening experience. Then I transformed myself into a king cobra. It was not simply the body of a king cobra but the mind and the soul of a king cobra as well. I felt absolutely fearless and extremely powerful. Ceremony #29: At some point I was feeling fear to love but I said no to the fear with a lot of courage and love overflowed my entire being. I experienced a complete heart opening. I received just a fraction of infinite love and it was so intense that my body started shaking. I said, please slow down, remember I am human. Death is easy, but being able to fully love is not. I lost my fear of death long time ago. This was a different fear and to my surprise my fear of loving unconditionally was a stronger daemon than my fear of death. (this was good learning) I kept asking God to imprint this experience in my soul, heart and mind forever. An experience like this, take all fears, doubts and concerns from you. I reached a point of loving that nothing else mattered. It was simply the end of all biological games and concerns. This was when I looked at death as a ticket to paradise and smiled. Did the mushroom ceremony yesterday and I was overwhelmed with love. I felt in the presence of God. Nature was at His command. It was very intense, the most intense thing I have ever done. A day after the mushroom ceremony: I want to take this time to thank my soul, to tell you I love you just as you love me, to let you know that no matter what, I will always be with you. I will embrace you each night. I will cuddle you with the arms of my heart. My soul, thank you for fighting for me, thank you for not giving up.
Taolin Shenya July 20, 2016
Don Marcos is the best Shaman I've ever had the priviledge to work with, he is so kind but hard working and professional. The ceremonies are magical and the medicine is pure. The retreat itself is very beautiful and clean. The food is plentiful and tasty unlike other retreats where the food is unnecessarily bland! 5 stars from me and I will revisit. The whole team are awesome <3
Phillip David July 14, 2016
It's difficult to summarise in only a few words, a place that facilitated the greatest change in my life. For lack of space, I shan't go into my personal experience with the Ayahuasca, (which incidentally is the strongest I've tried.) But instead use this chance to praise the most kind hearted, compassionate and knowledgeable group of facilitators I've had the pleasure of working with. Renana is set in the most beautiful part of the jungle, boasting the most beautiful views, accompanied by the most beautiful souls.. what more could you want?!
Evan Showell June 30, 2016
I just had the pleasure of a 10 day retreat at the Sanctuary of Renana and it was amazing from start to finish. It delivered what was promised and so much more. It not not contained the WOW factor for such a beautiful location and facilities, but the real WOW factor is all the amazing healers and staff who are working there to heal you and help you grow as person. This is a fact and I have only love and gratitude to each and every one of them. I must make a special mention to Don Marcos. He is incredible! such a powerful, caring and loving shaman that gives his all to help heal you! Thank you for all your work! The retreat is well structured, organised, personalised and fun. It contains several healing methods that all complimented each other and I could feel my energy and spirit returning more and more each day. These methods combined very well with the powerful ayahuasca ceremonies participated in. There is plenty of time for reflection and fun! I enjoyed the jungle tours, boat rides and bon fire with the company of my newly made friends and family. I recommend this special place of healing to anyone and I cannot wait to return. Thank you Sanctuary of Renana!