Top Ecuador Retreats


Vikara Healing Center

About This Center

We offer one-of-a-kind, transformational plant medicine retreats at the beach in Olon. Featuring the powerful and sacred plant medicines, Ayahuasca (from the Amazon jungle) and San Pedro (Huachuma from the Andes Mountains), our 9-day retreats are designed to help those who seek healing, clarity, inner wisdom, and connection.

Vikara is the only Plant Medicine retreat center right on the beach in Ecuador. The healing properties of the ocean, combined with your intention, the transformative powers of the fire and the medicines, offer profound healing and life-changing experience.

We work with incredibly skilled Shamans, who have decades of experience in the healing arts and plant medicine ceremonies. Unlike many of the other retreat centers, we keep our groups very small, in order to facilitate a personalized experience and to ensure the safety of all of our guests.

What to Expect

Safety and wellbeing are our main priorities at Vikara. We are passionate about creating an environment where you feel comfortable, safe, and supported through the entire process.

Our Shamans
We only work with experienced shamans that have trained for years with plant medicines. Our compassionate and well-trained healers share their teachings, healings, songs, capabilities with integrity and honor. We work with bilingual Shamans, and ceremonies are conducted in English.

Consultation
Our Shaman, facilitator and team are all here to prepare and guide you through the process. We offer consultations with the Shaman and facilitator before and after the Ayahuasca experience to discuss questions and share your experience. We are also available for post-retreat consultations via Skype.

Group size
Our ceremonies are limited to a maximum of 10 participants in order to make sure that the Shaman can take care of everyone individually during the ceremony. This creates a very unique and personalized atmosphere, which separates us from other retreat centers, who work with much larger groups.

Preparation
All of our activities during the Ayahuasca retreat are focused on preparing our participants for the plant ceremonies. This includes daily yoga practice, breathwork, meditation, spiritual guidance and time for self-reflection. We advise all participants to have confidence in the process and to stay calm and present even if unfamiliar sensations arise. All sensations are only temporary, and you will feel normal again within a short period of time.

The Ayahuasca Diet
The diet typically includes a vegetarian diet excluding caffeine, red meat, fish, onion and garlic, acidic fruits, fermented foods, alcohol and other stimulants such as excessive exposure to exercise, sexual activities and negative influences.

With the chef’s flair in design and knowledge in healing foods, you can expect during your stay that your plate will look as attractive as it does deliver on taste and nutrients. He can adapt as well to your dietary requirement(s) if needed.

THIS PLANT MEDICINE RETREAT IS FOR YOU IF YOU ARE SEEKING

Healing from emotional wounds, trauma, PTSD, anxiety, depression, or addictions
Spiritual growth and evolution
Greater awareness of your blockages so you can finally release them and feel more self-love
Clarity of the truth of the Universe and your purpose in it
New perspectives to get yourself out of old patterns and habits
A deeply fulfilling connection to something greater than yourself
Inner peace and more joy in life.

TRUST IN THE MAGIC OF TRANSFORMATION

 

Trust in the magic of transformation

Venue Highlights

Vikara’s location is also vastly unique from other retreat centers in Ecuador. We are right on the beach in Olon, which makes our ceremonies have an extra special magical sensory and energetic element. Our brand new retreat center is luxurious and upscale, with private suites, emperor king-sized beds, private bathrooms, air-conditioning, hot showers and wifi. Our property also features a swimming pool, ceremonial Maloka, sweat lodge, garden, an amazing yoga shala overlooking the ocean and a community area featuring our dining area and lounge space to relax in. With a spa-like feel to your retreat, you’ll feel like royalty on your journey towards joy, relaxation, clarity, and personal growth.
Each plant medicine retreat features a Shaman from a different region of Ecuador, offering diversity in ceremonies that no other retreat center offers. Every ceremony is different, and each shaman has a particular way of guiding these sacred journeys. All of the shamans we work with are incredibly skilled and experienced, and have performed countless healing ceremonies with many people from all aspects of life.

Accommodations

Vikara offers eight ocean-front suites with shared (two people) and private-room options. All suites include private bathrooms, air-conditioning, locally designed wood furniture, and Wi-Fi. Other amenities include a swimming pool, ceremonial tepee, sweat lodge, garden, yoga shala overlooking the ocean, and a community area featuring the dining area and lounge space to relax in.

Amenities

  • A/C in Rooms
  • Free Wifi
  • Pool
  • Towels
  • Free Parking
  • Tour Assistance
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Cafe
  • Restaurant
  • Fitness Center
  • Yoga Studio
  • House Keeping
  • Bicycles
  • Ceremony Space

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Pescetarian
  • Ayurvedic
  • Gluten Free
  • Nut Free

Menu/Cuisine

Healthy, nutritious meals catered to your dietary needs.
As Hippocrates said, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” At Vikara, food is art and central to our well-being.

“There are corporeal, organic things that need to be cleared before you can see the essential,” Jan Kounen says in the book The Psychotropic Mind: The World According to Ayahuasca, Iboga, and Shamanism. His words poetically sum up why it’s important to physically prepare your body for taking ayahuasca. Most of our bodies are cluttered with all kinds of stimulating, sensational foods from our modern diets — foods filled with salt, sugar, and caffeine. To open yourself up to receive the messages of Madre Ayahuasca, you need to first clear yourself of these toxins.

With the chef’s flair in design and knowledge in healing foods, you can expect during your stay that your plate will look as attractive as it does deliver on taste and nutrients.


*If you have special dietary requirements please let us know

Directions

We are located directly on the beach in Olón, an authentic and quaint village in Ecuador-off the beaten track.

Olon is an easy 2.5 hour bus ride from the Guayaquil (GYE) airport. Here in Olon you will find the perfect balance of nature, people and culture. You can swim with dolphins, practice Spanish with the locals and walk the beautiful 7.6 km beach. Surf is year-round and the beach break is both friendly for beginners and challenging enough for more advanced surfers. The sunsets are epic, and because we are beachfront, you will fall asleep to the sound of waves lapping the shore.

To come from Guayaquil you have 2 options:
· We can arrange for our driver to pick you up at the airport for an extra charge (some of our retreats include transportation)
· You can take a bus from the bus station.

Taking a bus from Guayaquil:
Take a taxi from the airport to central bus station in Guayaquil (may cost between 3 to 5 dollars ).
At the bus station, you have to go to the C.L.P (Cooperativa Libertad Peninsular) and ask for a ticket for a bus DIRECT to Olón. There are many buses to Olón, but only de Direct one could bring you faster.

The bus ride ends exactly at the Olón´s bus station. There we will be waiting for you :)

Reviews  
  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • JK   April 14, 2020

      Great transformation

    Vikara retreat center is a unique place where true healing can take place. I came there for their 9 days plant transformation and plant medicine retreat in February 2020 and it exceeded all my expectations. Roey and Lindsy have created a unforgettable program focused on spiritual growth, meditation, breath work, healthy food,and of course the scared plants: Ayahuasca & Sanpedro. Each member of the team that works in this center is dedicated to support you in your process of healing and transformation. I have enjoyed the integration circle after every ceremony. These sharing circles have truly contributed a lot to my personal growth and understanding better my own situation and also understanding my experience in the night. The shamans Amalia and her sister Diana were animating selflessness, and care to every individual who took part of this retreat. Their voices and songs during the entire night were comforting and restoring a feeling of calmness and serenity. I truly recommend you look no further! This is a place of true transformation.

  • Henny   April 24, 2019

      Truly transformational

    I rarely come with expectation but Vikara has exceeded any I could have had. Vikara is a place I will go back to (hopefully) so that shall tell you enough. For me, what makes this place so special is all the people working there, who give their heart at what they are doing which creates an incredible experience for the end client. You can feel their intention. Truly caring vibes, amazing healthy food, a wonderful deep yoga practice and last but not least a truly exceptional holding of medicinal plant ceremonies – which will leave you enriched towards a better understanding of yourself. Can’t recommend this place enough! Oh and Olon and the beach is just ever so charming!

  • Ruth Shamiso Todd   March 31, 2018

      Fantastic

    Every part of this tailor made retreat was fantastic. From the homemade food cooked by Roey, to the accomodation, surging lessons and company I was surrounded with. Roey is attentive, kind and a pleasure to be around. Like Elba the yoga teacher, when Roey gives a surfing lesson he critiques technique in a gentle but directive way which means that the lesson is challenging but fun at the same time. I was also offered the chance to join in on personal training sessions and we took a bike ride around Olon. The retreat gave me time to reflect, rest and I came away feeling like a new person. This feeling has lasted until now months later and it influences my daily life and decision making frequently. The retreat came at somewhat of an emotional cross roads for me and it inspired me to live a more active life style and I can definitively say I’m so much happier now in the way that I appreciate roach my life. There was no pressure to do the activities in terms of if you needed rest then you could easily say that to roey. The massage was again wonderful and I have recommended the massage parlour to several friends that have visited Montanita. If you’ve not decided yet I would say just do it, you will not regret it, say yes to every opportunity offered to you and enjoy the time you spend in Olon.

  • Benjamin Carlotto   February 27, 2018

      Fitness, Bliss and Elightenmnet

    Vikara, is honestly what you make of it. My wife had sent me for two whole weeks, I did not want to leave!. Life is a journey and along the way we need time to reflect and grow and sometimes even get healthy and physically fit. Everything is available and more at this retreat. I went over to Ecuador with no expectations and found this cute little villa with a beautiful team of people who are there just for you and your experience. Situated on the majestic beach of Olan it doesn't get much better. So many things to do or do nothing at all. I chose to Surf, Yoga and Box most days with Spanish lessons and delightful Massages in between. Besides the sound of a luxurious retreat it really is a simple, humble and beautiful experience that you get out, what you put in. Totally up to you and each time it will be different. Its has changed my life in many ways for the best reasons and I will be back as much as I can. Roey is an incredible and tireless host, Elba is an amazing spirit who will fill your life full of energy and light and work you through your Yoga. I did not do Yoga before this trip I now do it most days. I couldn't recommend this experience more if I tried. Everyone needs to experience Vikara once in their lives at least. Oh and the ayahuasca medicine ceremony is legit and a must. It will be different for everyone and is not any where as scary as people write about on the internet. I will continue to practice this for life also. Thank you Roey and your team. I will see you soon. BC

  • Hannah Ruth Wilson   February 26, 2018

      A Peaceful & Friendly Oasis

    I can't express enough how amazing this place truly is. I had no idea what to expect before we got there and from the moment my best friend and I walked into Vikara we were greeted with so much friendliness and warm hospitality. Roey, Elba, Cynthia and the rest of the team are the most lovely and accepting people and made us feel very at home. Roey also challenged us to try something new and we both surfed for the first time and had a blast! The meals were excellent and getting to meet the other retreat-goers and guests was a pleasure as well. It really was a wonderful escape and provided such a nice perspective of the Ecuadorian coast that I don't think we would have had the opportunity to experience otherwise. I can't recommend this place enough, Roey really works hard to ensure you have the experience that you want/need to have while you're there.

  • Dakota Dickson   February 23, 2018

      Love this Place and It’s People

    All of my experiences at Vikara have been outstanding. This is a great place to escape to and connect with beautiful high vibe individuals. I had the pleasure of experiencing my first ayahuasca ceremony here with an amazing shaman and a lovely group. It was absolutely magical, all I could have asked for and more. Extremely healing. The ambiance has a very open and natural feel to it. Roey is an amazing host guaranteed to take very good care of you and your comfort needs. There is always delicious food, great music and easy going people to connect with. I absolutely adore the yoga instructor Elba, she is a pure hearted soul with warm vibes and the sweetest personality. I am grateful for this sacred space and these genuine souls.

  • Victoria Perez-Carlotto   February 23, 2018

      Life-changing

    Vikara’s Team arranged the most life-changing experience I could have imagined. The ayahuasca ceremony I did was truly moving; it is impossible to describe! It was deep, introspective, visionary and transformational. Not scary at all! I was taken care of with the utmost attention throughout the entire experience, from preparation days before, to coaching and guidance after. I’m already planning my next trip to do it again and would recommend that anybody looking to explore this magical journey look no further thank Vikara and their expert team. Thank you!

  • Dilia G Carballada   February 22, 2018

      Vikara

    I would like to thank all the vikara team for the time that I spent with them. It is not just a sacred experience that you take with you, they also make you fell like part of a small family that you ll belong for good. The yoga with Elba it is an experience that takes you to a new dimension. Her clases goes beyond yoga. Can you come back with me to Spain?? We know that we ll be always connected! The massage with Kimberly are one of the best I ever had. She has a great understanding of the human body and really knows how to tailor to the individual needs. Surfing with Juan makes it so easy and he had so much patience!! Surfing it is quite hard. Nali's vegetarian food it is amazing!! I learn so many new recipes!! I am going to miss your food and yourself, amiga! And the last but no the least Roey, the one that makes everything possible! Always there to help you with anything that you need even if it is only talk with a friend. See you soon amigos!

Why Retreat?

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

Self growth. Vicki
 

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.