Gaia Sagrada Shamanic Retreat Center
- Cuenca, Ecuador
- Send center a message
Gaia = Mother Nature, Mother Earth — Sagrada = Sacred
This is a magical journey through consciousness that will change your life forever. This is a chance to overhaul your system through shamanic healing and realize your full potential. Much healing will take place during these 12 days in mind, body and spirit during this Ayahuasca retreat and San Pedro retreat.
WHY DID WE CHOOSE ECUADOR instead of PERU?
We chose Ecuador because shamans have to be certified and authorized to practice their trade. It is important to us that everyone has a safe experience with skilled shamans who are approved by the government to practice their trade with integrity, skill and a proper education in this particular healing practice. Ecuador has more regulations for shamans.
Ecuador was also picked for the ease of entry for visitors (no shots or visas required, only your passport), and also for its gorgeous, magical, and natural settings (very lush and green!). Ecuadorian people are very friendly and helpful, and we have become quite a part of the Ecuadorian community around us.
WHERE IS GAIA SAGRADA?
Gaia Sagrada Shamanic Retreat Center is nestled in a small community called Llayzhatan (Yay-za-tan) in the Andes Mountains on 55 acres, about 45 minutes outside of the city of Cuenca, Ecuador. We are very near to Jadan (Ha-dan) which means “Close to Heaven.” What a perfect place for Gaia Sagrada!
WHY BOTH AYAHUASCA AND SAN PEDRO CEREMONIES?
We feel that offering both is very important because one without the other is not a balanced experience. Some shamans say Ayahuasca shows you what you need to change or heal, and San Pedro gives you the power to do it.
We offer both Ayahuasca and San Pedro ceremonies because the Ayahuasca is considered the feminine aspect of the medicines; San Pedro is the masculine aspect of the medicines. In this era, it is all about balancing the masculine and feminine aspects in each of us to attain true wisdom. These two very different medicines help with that in every individual.
MODERN, COMFORTABLE FACILITIES
Hot tubs, sauna and modern housing with electric, hot water, and WIFI make it easier to concentrate on your inner journey, yet stay in touch with the outside world if you wish.
We are practically bug free, the air is clean, never too hot or humid, and you can see the milky way at night in the sky with fireflies all around you. During the day is T-shirt weather, with sunny gardens to sit in, and hummingbirds to watch.
DESCRIPTION OF CEREMONIES
12-day Ayahuasca and San Pedro retreats are offered. During these 12 day retreats, 5 Ceremonies are offered: 2 Ayahuaca, 2 San Pedro, and 1 mixed with a powerful sweat lodge experience.
During the Ayahuasca ceremonies you are in a warm and cozy room with no light so you can truly journey deep within. We always have a few people standing by to help light your way to the bathroom, empty your purge bucket, and get you anything you need during the ceremony. Some centers have people express loudly and be dramatic, but our ceremonies are quiet and inwardly focused, with the shamans holding space, using music and Icaros at the proper moments to carry the energy. The shaman is there for your individual healing as you need it.
San Pedro Ceremonies
The San Pedro ceremonies are outdoors. One is during the night and one is during the day, which gives you a completely different experience. One of these ceremonies take place under our beautiful ceremonial gazebo patio, with the fire in the center and the fireflies and stars all around (night time). The daytime San Pedro ceremony takes place on the edge of a beautiful forest with a view overlooking the mountains, completely connected with nature in every way.
Sweat Lodge Ceremonies
The sweat lodge ceremony, with both medicines mixed, takes place outdoors in a beautiful field, with the birds chirping all around you. Connect with the Earth while you go through this deep, cleansing experience, a traditional shamanic offering as part of your healing and awakening. After the sweat lodge we sit under the stars and enjoy time around the fire, connecting with the shamans in a heart felt way.
In total, there are five ceremonies, three at night and two during the daytime so you can have a completely different experience with all the ways that shamans work with people in ceremony. There are many ways to experience shamanic ceremonies and we offer them all!
12 day retreat includes everything – sauna, hot tubs, wifi, food, several workshops and meetings + 5 ceremonies (2 Ayahuasca, 2 San Pedro, 1 both medicines + Sweat Lodge)
$1375 shared room
$1575 private room
$1975 private 1 bedroom apartment (Single)
$1575 each 1 bedroom apartment (Couples)
Our Retreats are At Cost, Non-Profit
We are NOT in this for money, we are in it for the awakening of humanity!
WHO ARE GAIA SAGRADA’S SHAMANS?
Our shamans are true Ecuadorian shamans, so you are getting the real thing! They are experienced and have great big hearts! You will love every single one of our shamans. Feel free to look on our shaman bio page for their history and photos. We spent years looking for just the right shamans to offer ceremonies here, and we bring the best of the best to you here in Ecuador!
Whenever there are problems with Ayahuasca or any other shamanic medicine ceremonies, it’s because the shamans mixed something into the medicine that shouldn’t be there. Sometimes shamans mix in Datura (Toe) or other ingredients to make the experience more intense. However, this is not true Ayahuasca and can become a nightmarish experience rather than a healing experience. When people have a terrible experience with Ayahuasca, it is usually because ingredients are mixed into Ayahuasca that shouldn’t be there (or from taking pharmaceutical or recreational drugs that should not be mixed with Ayahuasca.)
We use only the vine and the leaves for Ayahuasca, NOTHING ELSE! For the San Pedro medicine, only the cactus. Our shamans are under contract to make only the purest medicine with nothing else in it that could cause harm to anyone. Our medicine is the safest possible medicine that can be made, strong and pure.
WHY CHOOSE GAIA SAGRADA?
1. At Cost, Low, Non-Profit Prices, good karmic use of your money. This center is not about commercialism or making money and that is why we offer everything AT COST. Things in Peru cost a THIRD of what things cost in Ecuador, so this truly is our rock bottom cost! No one is getting rich at Gaia Sagrada, not even the directors who work only for housing, food and a small monthly stipend for toiletries and such. The directors only get $300 per month. This is about service to humanity, NO Ayahuasca commercialism.
2. Modern Housing And Facilities. Comfort allows you to focus more on your inner journey. Electric, hot water, modern toilets and showers, wifi internet… LUXURIOUS HOT TUBS and SAUNA. No mosquitoes or bugs. Big thick, comfy mattresses in a real bed in a modern room. No other Ayahuasca center has this level of comfort and amenities. Be comfortable while you journey into the universe within!
3. Shamans Are Registered, Trained, Skilled, And Evaluated. Shamans are examined by Ecuadorian government agencies for their ability to practice their trade, instead of countries where anyone can call themselves a shaman.
4. We use Stainless Steel instead of aluminum pots to cook our medicines, as aluminum is very toxic for your body. Most centers use aluminum cookware.
5. Ease Of Access for Travelers, no vaccines or shots required, Cuenca airport only 45 minutes away.
6. Not Hot Or Humid, pleasant weather all year round. No screeching animals and insects all night long, like in the jungle!
7. Medicine Is Safe, Strong, Pure And Unadulterated. NO additives or mixtures that could be dangerous to your health. We ONLY use pure traditional ingredients, only the vine and the leaves for Ayahuasca, and only the Cactus for San Pedro. NOTHING ELSE! Period! Our medicine is safer than places where they mix things that shouldn’t be included.
8. Sponsored By University Of Metaphysical Sciences, a leader in metaphysics and spiritual teachings, with credibility and tens of thousands of students all over the world.
9. We Offer Both Medicines, Ayahuasca (feminine) and San Pedro (masculine) medicines in order to provide a balanced experience. One without the other is not balanced.
10. Our Shamans Stay With You From Beginning To End, never leaving prematurely before the medicines are finished doing their work with you. At a lot of centers the shamans sing for just an hour or so, and then they end the ceremony and leave you on your own just when you are needing their guidance the most. It is not good if the shamans leave when the medicine is at its strongest heights! Our shamans stay with you for every part of your journey, until the medicine is finished doing its work with you. They are with you to guide you every step of the way.
11. 55 Acres To Hike On, plus miles and miles and miles of country roads to wander in wilderness and small, authentic, indigenous Ecuadorian communities to connect with, with the women wearing their normal indigenous clothing, walking sheep, cows and goats. You will never run out of beautiful vistas and places to explore. Here you will get a taste of what the REAL Andes Mountains of Ecuador are like, far from tourist traps.
TRANSFORMATION WITH LOVE!
You are supported in your Ayahuasca healing journey with love and kindness. You will have a true adventure in consciousness during these 12 days of Ayahuasca retreat and San Pedro retreat. This is a life changing event, a healing retreat that will change how you see yourself and life. Be ready to meet yourself at levels you never thought possible! Meet the master within you an explore the universe that you are.
Jul 21 - 27, 2018 (7 days)
Jul 21 - Aug 1, 2018 (12 days)
Jul 28 - Aug 1, 2018 (5 days)
Aug 11 - 22, 2018 (12 days)
Aug 11 - 17, 2018 (7 days)
Aug 18 - 22, 2018 (5 days)
Sep 1 - 7, 2018 (7 days)
Sep 1 - 12, 2018 (12 days)
Sep 8 - 12, 2018 (5 days)
Sep 22 - 28, 2018 (7 days)
Sep 22 - Oct 3, 2018 (12 days)
Sep 29 - Oct 3, 2018 (5 days)
Oct 13 - 24, 2018 (12 days)
Oct 13 - 19, 2018 (7 days)
Oct 20 - 24, 2018 (5 days)
Nov 3 - 14, 2018 (12 days)
Nov 3 - 9, 2018 (7 days)
Nov 10 - 14, 2018 (5 days)
Nov 24 - Dec 5, 2018 (12 days)
Nov 24 - 30, 2018 (7 days)
Dec 1 - 5, 2018 (5 days)
Jan 12 - 18, 2019 (7 days)
Jan 12 - 23, 2019 (12 days)
Jan 19 - 23, 2019 (5 days)
Feb 2 - 13, 2019 (12 days)
Feb 2 - 8, 2019 (7 days)
Feb 9 - 13, 2019 (5 days)
Feb 23 - Mar 1, 2019 (7 days)
Feb 23 - Mar 6, 2019 (12 days)
Mar 2 - 6, 2019 (5 days)
ReviewsWrite a review - tell others about your experience.
Yihaies Makonnen July 05, 2018
I attended a 12 day retreat at Gaia (April - May 2018) and wanted to wait till I write a review to see the changes that happened to me was real. I don't even know where to start. I am 45 years old and I have lived and traveled around the world and been to other retreats and meditation centers. My Gaia Sagrada experience was by FAR the best experience of my LIFE. And I mean THE BEST. And the reason IS NOT just because of the Ayahuasca medicine, the San Pedro medicine, the ceremonies, the songs, the sweat-lodge (which kicked my butt LOL), the prayers, the location, the food and even the air. All the things I mentions were truly amazing BUT what separated Gaia Sagrada for me was the people. Christine, Salvador, Amalia, Paulina, Jerry, Amanda, Annie, Joe (thought me a life lesson: always hug to your left so the hug can be heart to heart) and all the work exchange students were just AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGGGG! They are truly the Medicine. The love, dedication and attention they give you is one of a kind. I came to Gaia by myself to clear my head and make a business decision. By the time I left, my heart was filled with joy, I started seeing the best version of myself, what I was created to do in this world became more defined and most of all I made friends for life. I can write a book about how great Gaia Sagrada was for me and still is. And when I write my book I will make sure to mention this Amazing place filled with amazing people. I highly recommend Gaia Sagrda. I plan to go back in 2018. Mike Makonnen
Paula Friis July 02, 2018
I attended a 12 day retreat at Gaia one month ago and am still feeling the effects of the transformative experiences that took place there. You are told on the first days that it will be life-changing and believe me it is - and only in positive ways. I came to the retreat to explore my consciousness, as far as I knew I didn't have any major healing to be done, my life was pretty good before Gaia. However my life is immensely better now - not in the Snow White singing songs to the woodland creatures of the forest type of way, but in the way that my perspective on things in life that I deemed difficult or a burden are now welcomed as a chance to grow and to give back. So many teachings that I had learned mentally before Gaia were experienced and 'felt' when under the influence of Ayahuasca and San Pedro and I am now able to remember and return to those feelings when challenges come up. These changes were only possible due to the safe and loving environment that Gaia provides. From the moment I got out of the taxi to see the happy welcoming faces of the work exchangers I felt completely comfortable. Jerry, the main admin guy is a rock who preps you with loads of info for the ceremonies so you feel a lot less nervous and much more at ease with what may or may not happen. The shaman are incredible. Their wisdom and humility guide you through the ceremonies through music. Experiencing the power their music (voice and instruments) had over my experience was mind-blowing. I realised how important it was to trust the shaman with your journey and I 100% trusted Salvador, Omelia, Sophia and Christine. I cannot even put into words how powerful and generous these four are, I just feel so completely blessed to have met them and so honored to have sat in ceremony with them. The fact that it was an English speaking retreat was a huge bonus as well. The facilities were beautiful, so much care has been taken and continues to be taken to make sure the grounds and buildings are kept to a very high standard. I had a room in Tranquillo - a private room with shared bathrooms. It was perfect, the bed was super comfy and it was always serene and quiet. There are hot tubs with a gorgeous natural outlook that is perfect for the days after ceremonies. The food is exceptional and at Gaia they make the most of the abundance of fresh organic fruit and veg that Ecuador excells in growing. One of the best things about the retreat is the connection you make with your 'Gaia family'. I was with the most amazing group of people from all over the world. I was slightly apprehensive before I got there that I may not fit in due to my age - a very ancient 44 :-) - I assumed most other attendees would be very young - nope, this was not the case, there were younger people but thre were also olders ones and age was not a factor, just being human was. Everyone was accepted and appreciated for who they were and what they needed to go through. I witnessed so much healing taking place and people becoming more confident, relaxed and happier in the 12 days I was there. We are all still all in touch on a daily basis while we help each other integrate back into post-Gaia life. We have shared an experience that has bonded us forever and many of us are already planning to regroup at Gaia next year. I could go on for pages about how much I loved my time at Gaia and truly cannot recommend this place enough. Oh and if you are wondering about the medicine - it was magical, strong and plenty was offered. The combination of both San Pedro and Ayahuasca creates a perfect duality of masculine and feminine, with the San Pedro often helping to clarify the messages received in the Ayahuasca ceremonies. Add in a sweatlodge and as they say... you will be reborn :-)
Gertie Italiano January 28, 2018
I am 72 and just completed my second 5 day retreat. Gaia Sagrada is a great place to experience an ayahuasca healing. Accommodations are comfortable and you always feel safe and well cared for.
Cris Toph January 26, 2018
Subjective as any review is, it would be rather incomprehensible that anyone would walk away from Gaia Sagrada empty-handed or disappointed. The staff makes one’s stay there just as comfortable as in a resort. The plant-medicines offered are as potent, genuine and com-passionate as all of the Shamans, namely Salvador, Amalia, Waira and Sophia. Gaia Sagrada is as unique and precious as each of the visitors that are called there. It is a place of community as well as letting be that which arises and dawns on the horizon of being here. Initially drawn there for the combination of Ayahuasca and San Pedro in the Sweat Lodge ceremony; not found anywhere else. Far more was beholden and experienced at Gaia Sagrada than words can articulate. Thus, what remains is wordless gratitude and silent wonderment. Gaia Sagrada is a place where plant-medicines are held and ingested in the right way, with respect rather than make-believe and with humility rather than platitude. There is nothing to strive for other than to surrender to what is; that is sentient life’s wonderment and preciousness…
David Garner January 25, 2018
I have just been to my third retreat here. It feels like a second home. I’m not sure I’d drink the medicine anywhere else as it’s important to do it in a place you completely trust. The shamans and staff are so good and helpful, the food is great and there’s lots of it, even though it’s ayahuasca friendly. Christine is amazing, Salvador is the best and is always smiling. Plus all the other shamans and staff are amazing. Be prepared to meet new friends and get a real family bond that lasts well after the retreat finishes. I can’t imagine a better place to come for these medicines.
Mukky Hudda December 09, 2017
Ill try to keep this short and sweet although i could write a book about this place. it was my first ever Ayahuasca retreat, I stayed here for the five day retreat Dec 2-7 2017 plus an extra day at the end, doing 3 ayahuasca ceremonies and one san pedro ceremony. No issues with getting from the airport to the center, they sent a driver to pick me up. Once there everyone was very friendly and warm, the food was phenomenal, simple due to the recommended diet but they were very creative with making it tasty and not repetitive. The accommodations were also great, hot water in the showers, wifi for those who needed it, books to read, food available 24/7 and the place was very well kept. The ceremonies are beyond words. I didn't know exactly what to expect but i could not have asked for a better experience. It seemed to me while I was doing my research to find a good place, that the whole concept of this plant medicine is becoming very commercialized, however as soon as I found that this place is non-profit, believes in money "karma" and asks us to help out at the retreat center, I knew it was the right one and not only am I happy with the choice I made, I plan on returning in a year for the full 12 day retreat. The shaman who led the ceremony (Salvador) is the most admirable man I have ever met. His presence in and out of ceremony is hard to believe and again is beyond words. The journeys can be very difficult and painful but his guidance really helped me through and allowed me to reap the full benefits of the medicine. The other shamans who accompanied him were equally amazing from their wisdom to their beautiful voices when singing during the ceremonies. Christine, the owner, who is also now a shaman, completed the experience. I wasn't sure what to expect from her as she was visiting her mother when I arrived and I did not meet her until three days after. I was unsure but very curious as to her intentions with starting Gaia Sagrada, but after meeting her, there wasn't an ounce of impurity there. The simplistic living of all those even remotely involved with the center, especially Christine, was evidence that they cared not for materialistic gain and solely wanted to advance in their spiritual paths and help others to do so as well, which explains the power one feels from the moment they step inside. The only thing I would have wanted to be different is to have done the 12 day retreat (which I plan on doing next year). I left feeling spiritually open, emotionally healed, physically cleansed and mentally clear. I cannot thank Christine, Salvador, the other shamans and all those working there enough for the impact this journey has had on my life!
Rebecca F. December 08, 2017
There really aren't words to describe how amazing my experience at Gaia Sagrada was. I had previously visited two other ayahuasca retreat centers in Peru, and none of them came close to the power, authenticity, support, and healing of Gaia Sagrada. The shamans were legit and amazing. They spoke English and provided a deeper level of understanding and meaning behind the Ayahuasca and San Pedro ceremonies. Often times in Peru, you may have a great Shaman, but they don't speak English or you don't understand what's happening during or after the ceremony. Other times, I've experienced very expensive retreats that have nice conditions and food, but the center lacked authenticity, didn't hold a sacred space for healing, and seemed more commercial or money oriented. Gaia isn't this way, Christine, Salvador and Jerry truly care about humanity and helping others heal so they can be more conscious, loving and peaceful. I attended the 12-day retreat and recommended spending the full 12 days if you can. Gaia is in the Andes mountains and it was one of the most beautiful places I've visited in South America. No mosquitos and clean water was also a plus. Gaia really does have it all . . . great support from staff, a peaceful and safe environment, healthy but tasty food, and authentic and powerful shamans who have a strong relationship with the medicine (which is pure, not mixed with other plants or trees which other retreat centers sometimes do). For me personally, I receive a lot of healing and released some significant blocks and/or energies associated with older memories and abuse. I will be forever grateful to the staff of Gaia Sagrada for providing the space and support I needed to heal. I'm writing this review because I remember debating on a few different Aya retreats when I made the decision to work with this medicine. I noticed that many centers have great reviews. I've now been to three centers and also spoken to many others who have been to multiple Aya retreat centers, including Gaia. Hands down we all agreed that Gaia was the best. Hope this review helps in your selection process.
Ajay Makhija December 07, 2017
I attended the 12 day retreat at Gaia Sagrada & it was amazing. The land is absolutely gorgeous, the people are fantastic and the ceremonies are beautiful. Jerry and all the work-exchangers/staff are some of the best people I have ever met. Christine is a awesome and has created a truly wonderful space for healing. The Shamans are amazing especially Salvador - a wise master walking this Earth. The food is clean and yummy, and very creative to boot. This is truly a life-changing experience. So so so recommended!
jefe hudson November 27, 2017
Gaia Sagrada has undeniably changed me. The experience has given me the courage and the confidence to do what I truly want with my life. I no longer fear failure, I no longer want to take the safe easy path through life. I’ve always been told that that I could do anything I want with my life. I was the only one that said I couldn’t. Now I know that I can and I will. It has also showed me that I don’t want to spend my life chasing money to advantage myself, I want to make the world a better place, to contribute meaningfully to our shared experience. I have nothing negative to say. Thank you Christine, thank you Jerry, thank you Salvador, thank you to all the staff, all the work exchangers, and all the beautiful people who embarked on the journey with me. ✌❤, until we meet again
Katarina Eleby August 10, 2017
This is a retreat center unlike any other. If you are considering participating in an Ayahuasca and San Pedro ceremony, look no further. The attention to detail and value of the retreat center in second to none. Why are you still reading this? Reserve your space today and meet your cosmic family!
tim merrigan May 31, 2017
We went to Gaia Sagrada may 2017 retreat 12 day retreat and it was amazing! This place is in the mountains of Ecuador with a beautiful setting. One of the main reasons I decided to go to Ecuador was the ease of getting to the retreat center. I also did not want to fight off mosquitoes in the jungle and in the mountains you did not deal with that. After experiencing this Amazing trip with my 2 boys, I am grateful to all the workers/ Shaman and Christine. They have designed a SAFE and comfortable place for people to do real healing. I also could not imagine if the Shaman did not speak English due to all the interactions that you have with them throughout the ceremonies. This is a place that cares about you and your journey, whatever the purpose looks like.
sherry varghese May 26, 2017
My first experience and I could not recommend a more beautiful..tranquil..place for a retreat..the people are wonderful..the shamans are amazing..especially Salvador..I feel the change in me and it's just been a week that I'm back to work and my normal routine..I haven't felt so happy in...i really can't remember how long...can't wait to go back in November..thank you Christine..thank you gaia sagrada..thank you for helping me see..
Amanda Schendel January 08, 2016
Gaia Sagrada not only exceeded each and every expectation I could have imagined, but it was far and beyond more magical and influential that anyone is able to put into words. I had been looking for a safe, clean and respected retreat for quite and while and had heard many great things about Gaia. However, the beauty, love and care put into this place are just absolutely amazing. I honestly cannot imagine a better center, a more caring owner/operator (Christine) and warmer, smarter and more powerful Shamans and Shamanas. Firstly, the area in Ecuador where you will be is clean, nearly bug-free, and has almost year round perfect weather. The pictures of the center do not do justice to how large and gorgeous it is. Its probably better that way, as the center is almost entirely full months in advance. The beds are comfortable, the bathrooms and showers are huge and always clean, everyone loves to hang out in the "cottage" which has your own kitchen for guests, always filled with fruit, snacks, coffee, tea, etc. There's wifi, a yoga room, a TV room with Netflix and many areas to quietly read or meditate. The grounds are filled with huge trees, hiking paths, beautiful flowers and plenty of areas to explore. Most importantly, the Aya and San Pedro ceremonies with the truly gifted and loving Shamans will transform your life. I was honored to see not only my life and path change, but watch deep hurt, depression and anxiety lift off of people in a mere 10 days. You will be nothing short of amazed by the transformations that take place in this sacred area. Please don't waste time being afraid as many do. If the spirit is calling you, please know that you're in the best of hands and hearts at Gaia Sagrada.
I just did the Gaia Sagrada September retreat with the Ayahuasca and San Pedro and it was amazing! The price is half what other centers are charging and its 12 days instead of 7 or 8. This place is one i can really recommend. I’m going back next year. It was so pretty there too, and no mosquitos, love THAT. There were fireflies everywhere, clear stars, could see the milky way, the three shamans were just amazing, christ like people. Spoke english too so i could talk to them.