The Ayahuasca Foundation

About us

We are a Peruvian non-profit organization that offers two and three week healing retreats at our healing center located inside a National Reserve in the Amazon Rainforest, six and ten week curandero initiation courses at a remote jungle school for traditional healing, and will soon be opening a new research center to study indigenous medical traditions and plant spirit healing.

The Ayahuasca Foundation is dedicated to the preservation and continuation of the ancient science of plant spirit medicine. It is our mission to guard the sacred tree of spiritual knowledge that has grown in the Amazon Rainforest for millenia, and replant the seeds of spiritual awareness so that new trees of forgotten wisdom will again grow throughout the world. Hope fills our hearts with a vision of the earth filled with compassion and respect, but changes must be made… soon.

The Indigenous Cultures of the Amazon have been gradually blending into the invading western cultures, and their knowledge of the plants and animals, as well as their philosophy of who we are and how we should live, is in grave danger of being lost to the false hope of technological materialism. One of the oldest medical traditions in the world may soon be replaced by pharmaceutical capitalism. Many communities have already lost their local healers, and the spiritual aspects of healing are not being taught to the younger generations.

Ayahuasca is a sacred medicine used to provide access to other dimensions to communicate with spirits and understand our true nature. This medicine represents the roots of plant spirit medicine, the foundation of ancient wisdom in the Amazon. Thanks to a group of dedicated healers, these roots have supported the jungle communities for thousands of years. These healers, called curanderos, have protected and preserved this wisdom as it passed from generation to generation, in cultures with no written language. Will the next generation still follow the path of the curandero, or be tempted by the lures of modern society?

We at the Ayahuasca Foundation realize that while fewer and fewer people are making the sacrifices necessary to become a curandero here in the Amazon Rainforest, there are a growing number of people throughout the world who are hearing the call, and are ready and willing to do what it takes to fulfill their destinies. So we are working to facilitate future healers as they search for their path, and we are helping the communities to remember the wisdom of their ancestors, and finding ways to demonstrate how the preservation of their cultural heritage can benefit them and the human race.

Awareness is the key to unlocking our true potential as human beings. The time has come for us to realize our destinies and to move forward to a new reality. In fact, this new reality is actually an ancient reality that we have unfortunately forgotten. Thankfully, not everyone has forgotten. There are still a small number of wise teachers ready to share. We must again become aware with this ancient truth, for it will truly set us free.

The Ayahuasca Foundation was conceived in the spring of 2008 by Carlos Tanner, an American and long-time student of curanderismo. The Foundation is the culmination of four years research and experimentation into how best to spread the ancient wisdom of Plant Spirit Medicine. Carlos has led healing retreats since 2004 and has assisted with the teaching of a six-week Ayahuasca Initiation Course since the first course in 2006. He also organized the Amazon Curandero Seminar in 2008 and 2009. In February 2008 he was given the honor of manifesting the Ayahuasca Foundation into a reality. He quickly set out to acquire the proper certification to be a recognized non-profit organization in Peru, to secure the funding for the preliminary stages of the project, and continued to let the concepts and ideas flow into the project.

The right people have arrived at the right time, and the project has advanced miraculously in a very short time. We have all arrived at the right time, for we all have a role in the events that are about to unfold. Ayahuasca can help us understand our individual roles, as it has and continues to help Carlos and the dedicated Ayahuasca Foundation staff.

Tags: ayahuasca ceremonies ayahuasca retreats initiations peru


  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • Dave Clarkson   October 05, 2018

      Wow.... what an epic adventure.

    Completed the 8 week initiation program in September 2018. How does one describe such an experience in a paragraph of words? Gratitude is a word that's thrown around so much but when you witness the love, patience and passion that Maestro Enrique and the facilitators Dean and Michelle put in, it's simply humbling. Why would indigenous wisdom holders want to impart there invaluable wisdom on the gringo offspring of those who inflicted there people so much suffering? This really is a lesson in service, humility and selflessness (among so many other things). So much information is imparted and so much trauma released. I witnessed so much healing and rejuvenation in not only myself but the other attendees. Simply epic. Highly recommended.

  • Cate Ritter   September 05, 2018

      Life-Changing Experience!

    Words truly cannot express how grateful I am to the Ayahuasca Foundation team. The two-week retreat was the most profoundly life-changing experience I’ve ever had and in all areas of my life. BEYOND EXPECTATIONS The prep diet, pre-retreat counseling, and email support really maximized my experience. I received more from the first ceremony than I thought I would get out of the entire retreat. The deep healing, love, connection, and clarity were above and beyond what I expected. I feel like a new person with tremendous insight on how to improve myself so I can give my best and finally have a meaningful impact on this planet. I got exactly what I needed and more! EXCELLENT STAFF The Assistant Healers and Curandero are the most gifted, loving, kind, and compassionate individuals I’ve ever met. They made sure everyone was well cared for in a safe space and had everything needed for a successful retreat. BEST RETREAT AVAILABLE I did extensive research for months beforehand and, after attending, I can say with confidence that this is the BEST retreat available. Thanks to the retreat staff, I had zero concerns about travel and safety. If that’s not enough, the complimentary treatments put this retreat beyond comparison to any other retreats out there. COMPLETE EXPERIENCE The accommodations were better than I expected for being in the jungle. The food was vibrant, delicious, nourishing and (most importantly) made with love. The educational workshops and integration talks were informative and extremely helpful. The bonding with other participants was unlike any other. We’re connected for eternity. It was truly a beautiful experience — the Icaros and music, wildlife, swimming in the Amazon, connecting with the Mishana community, the nature walks, the star deck, the hammocks, the sacred ceremony space and the love baths! Oh, and the love baths! Need I say more? Sign up now. This retreat is life-changing and life-saving!

  • Steve   July 31, 2018

      Professional and reliable

    The centre is well run by Carlos team, i was there for a month and experienced A deep change in my life and perceptions of life. The plant medicines offered can be a little hard but they have proven to work and once your on board it make life a lot easier. The Ayahuasca experiences I had there are certainly the deepest I have ever experienced and have given me a new deep and powerful insight in to my own life. The team were friendly, welcoming and professional their insights and help gave me a better understanding of journey I’m on and offered new ways of addressing my problems. I cant recommend this retreat strongly enough, this is truly a place of healing and change.

  • E_H   July 21, 2018

      The Ayahusca Foundation is the real deal!

    I have done a total of 4 Ayahuasca retreats in Peru and I wholeheartedly recommend the Ayahuasca foundation. For those out there that are looking to do a retreat, the most important thing to look for is integrity and a safe container. Everyone I met at the AF showed great integrity and care in the work they are doing. I (along with the others in my retreat) felt that the Maestro created a very tight and safe container. The facilities were great and the food was fresh and good. If you are looking to a retreat at a fair price and receive some seriously deep healing then this is the place for you! Ethan

  • Space Frog   July 20, 2018

      quite pleased

    I appreciate the integrity in the offerings at the Aya Foundation. I brought a group to for the 8 day rejuvenation retreat. The maestro was powerful, humble, and kind. The works were strong and the staff was very supportive. The vibration was clean. The retreat center is luxurious compared to other places that I've stayed in the jungle and we were very well cared for. I would bring a group back again. CB

  • Liz Henderson   July 11, 2018

      The Ayahuasca Foundation

    I spent four weeks at The Ayahuasca Foundation’s Riosbos Research Centre in March 2018. It was a wonderful experience with a supportive group and attentive leaders. The Shaman, Don Miguel, is very loving and accessible during one’s stay. He and the leaders evaluate each person individually and their treatment is tailored to their own needs. The plant medicines are skilfully and accurately prepared to address personal issues. Each ceremony is safely conducted with appropriate support and follow-up. For me, I found the “dietas” was quite profound. I often think about returning to focus on certain things and to address other issues at a deeper level. After completing the program, I felt so clear, healthy and more connected to spirit. The experience is still a big part of who I am. I recommend this program to anyone looking for a life changing experience.

  • Blomme Slåsser   July 09, 2018

      Integrity and dedication

    Integral, holistic and incredibly caring <3 I honestly have a hard time composing an adequate description of the time I spent with the AF, but never did I imagine to be met the way that I did here. The care, the passion, the love, the dedication and the integrity with which the work is conducted at the Ayahusaca Foundation is incredibly inspiring and has left me a transformed being. I can highly - highly recommend it! This isn't a place to go for the fireworks, this is a place for healing of the whole. I attended their 8-week initiation course and as long with a very thorough training on how to navigate the ceremonial space and an incredible amount of personal healing - we learned a great deal about how to empower ourselves and continue the work outside of ceremony. The knowledge and ability to continue the work and to properly integrate all the lessons is incredible valuable and I feel I left with a huge briefcase of well practiced tools and a big amount of homework. Between ceremonies we worked with different kinds of plant medicine, everything adding and balancing the time their. I can highly, highly recommend this organization! Thank you!

  • Brendan Ring   July 09, 2018

      My favourite retreat center!

    I attended the eight day rejuvenation retreat and it was absolutely brilliant, I can't fault it. As well as four ayahuasca ceremonies, we had a wide range of other treatments including purgations, vapour baths and smoke baths. The maestro, Don Miguel, prescribed treatments for any individual issues we had and also gave lectures on subjects like Shipibo culture and icaros. The ceremonies were beautiful, the aya was very clean and the assistants, Dean Sophia, Mike and Tiago were very well trained and caring. Carlos Tanner organised everything to perfection, liasing before and after the retreat with us. The center itself is pure magic, located in a national reserve next to the village of the local Mishana community, who are wonderful and actively involved with the center. There are lots of little touches included that really show that bit of extra care, like the jungle walk to see medicinal plants and a post-retreat counseling session to help you integrate your experience once you've got home. I've attended several aya retreats and I think this one is my favourite, I would just love to return for an extended stay.

  • Jurie Jean van de Vyver   June 17, 2017

      Profound, insightful, blessed

    I am so so grateful that the breadcrumbs led me to the Ayahuasca Foundation. This was hands-down the most profound 6 weeks in the jungle I could have asked for. I hugely appreciated that we were taught the process from start to finish: ceremonies, diagnostics, icaros, dietas, preparation and application of plant medicines. The Shipibo philosophy of learning while healing really resonated, and I leave feeling empowered to transform my life and to set out on my own path of healing arts. Thank you to Don Enrique, Carlos, the facilitators, the other open-minded participants, the camp staff and all the incredible support that arrived along the way. Truly humbled, honoured and blessed. If you're looking for an authentic, inspiring, life-altering experience - you've arrived at the right place =)

  • Nadezhda Semenenko   April 20, 2017

      From a beginner view

    I didn’t have any doubts about going to 3 week ayahuasca retreat but I had a lot of fears. So my review will be helpful for people who are fearful and anxious about going as I was. Fears and anxiety were problems what I wanted to get rid of with the help of ayahuasca on the first place. I had more than 10 years of thyroid problems and 6 years ago was diagnosed with Hashimoto and was on medications. I was sure that nothing can help for my disease so I didn’t expect anything about it. I wanted only emotional healing and spiritual insights. If you have anxiety problem you know how it can spoil your life. So here are some fears I had 1 Fears about accommodation Hygienic problems (no toilets or not enough of them or not clean, no water in showers etc) - everything was perfect. Toilets in every room work well they are perfectly clean and showers always have water. 2 Fears about my physical reaction on ayahuasca Here I mean such thing as blood pressure, heart problems or some swell What if I have some specific reaction on ayahuasca and I will die while nobody see? Well that was right for me in some way. I do have very specific and strong reaction to ayahuasca and if I was not in such a safe place like AF I think I may die if not have anyone to take care of me and help me. I never heard or read in internet that someone had same reaction as I did. But even if your reaction will be too strong in AyahuascaFundation you are totally safe. There are 2 facilitators and 1 student for 9-10 participants so everyone can be heard and taken care of. 3 Fears about bad trip What if I have horrible, terrible super scary visions? I want guidance and insight to change my life for better and solve my emotional problems but what if instead I will have visions what will scare my so much that I will become even worse than I was? Even if I will not become worse what if it will be too much scary? There are a lot of reports in internet about how bad it was with ayahuasca and about “ayahuasca is just not my way” etc? What if it will be just meaningless suffering and nothing more? Ok, it was right again and I did had bad trip. If I would have this experience in some other place, maybe my first infernal ceremony experience would be the end of my experience with ayahuasca. But I was in AyahuascaFundation and there were 2 factors which turned unmanageable and terribly scary journey into life changing insight 1 Facilitators made me feel more safe and not alone with their care when I was scared and helpless they 2 Their guidance taught me how to navigate my visions, how to communicate with ayahuasca So I strongly recommend AyahuascaFundation especially it it is your first experience with plant medicine

  • Rachel Knowles   August 01, 2016

      something wonderful

    After many months of researching online, reading books, attending talks and requesting personal recommendations, all roads led to the Ayahuasca Foundation, and I’m very glad they did. The support that you receive from the moment you contact the AF, makes what can be a very challenging experience, feel safe and it doesn't end after the retreat. The Assistant Healers (Skye & Helm) had unconditional acceptance for the group during the experience and have continued to offer support, long after the retreat ended. There is a lot more to it than the ceremonies themselves. After the initial ceremony, the Curandero (Don Ronor) met individually with everyone to discuss their needs; physical, emotional and spiritual, and created an individual prescription of plant medicines, that were then collected fresh from the jungle, prepared and provided. My expectations (although I swore that I had none before I went!) were exceeded in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Experiencing for myself and watching other’s physical (and emotional) symptoms/blockages disappear day by day was both astounding, and by the end of the retreat seemed perfectly normal. Ethically, the AF walks the walk. As a non-profit, you can see where the money has been invested back into the organsation and how it works in symbiosis with the local Mishana community to ensure sustainability of the environment and the culture. If you have any doubts left, give them to the AF. They know exactly how to make them disappear and replace them with something wonderful instead.

  • Elena Fi Go   July 15, 2016

      Great place, lovely people driven by worthy mission!

    I have tons of respect for Carlos, the AF team, Don Ronor and the Mishana community. I attended a two weeks long retreat in February, my first dance with Aya and experience with plant medicine and I am very much looking forward to go back for a 6 weeks initiation course. It is a safe space to explore, grow and heal and time after time I witnessed the care and support from the team, no matter if you are new or you have hundreds of journeys in your passport ( does that exist? spiritual travel passport :), no matter the challenge you are facing…The center is on the land of Mishana community, keepers of unique lifestyle and traditions and masters of happiness in simplicity. They are great hosts, do take care of the visitors and work at the center on the other hand AF is introducing solar power and helps the community back. Studied and worked in the tourism industry for many years, so I can’t help to notice that this is remarkable healthy symbiosis that benefits all, preserves nature and tradition. Loved the place: simple accommodations, always clean with running water all in the midst of the Amazon rainforest.

  • Christopher Lambert   July 07, 2016

      Chamisal retreat

    I was a bit skeptical going in but by the end of the last ceremony, it was revealed to me that the curanderos knew what they were doing and were doing it very well! Your doubts and fears will challenge you, and will keep most people from ever reaching the state of revelation I have experienced. My experience here was the culmination of, serious study, discipline, perseverance, and faith in God. And it really helps having devoted practitioners like the people with AF!

  • Bruno Andersen   July 07, 2016

      Awesome place, staff, locals and shaman

    After visiting a great place in Pucallpa in 2015 i felt i took a chance going to a three week stay at Chamisal but again i was wrong. It turned out to be more than i wanted i terms of inner work and healing. The staff here was very informative about everything from all the different medecins, treatment and life in generall, i felt safe at instant when we met at the hotel in Iquitos before going up river the following day. By going 5min to the riverbank during the hot day, you could easily and safely cool of during a hot day whitout worrying about bugs or critter in the river, this is a huge plus. HUGE. Going back to South America next winter or in 2018, and cant imagine to go somewhere else

  • Sean Corey   July 07, 2016

      Amazing Journey

    I attended the 2-week retreat at the Ayahuasca Foundation in March 2016. From start to finish the entire journey was absolutely amazing. The camp was beautiful, the staff was incredibly friendly and very knowledgeable. They take complete and full care of you during every step of your journey. The ceremonies themselves were entirely life-changing. While at the camp I specifically remember saying "this is the safest place I've ever been in my life". This is a place for true healing, relaxation, growth and good laughs with great people. Book your retreat, you will not regret it :)

  • Craig Chappelle   January 03, 2016

      Kudos to the Ayahausca Foundation!

    In fall of 2014 I became interested in Ayahuasca. I watched countless videos and read books. When It came time to book a retreat, I kept coming back to the Ayahuasca Foundation. I liked the emphasis on overall plant medicine, not just Ayahuasca. I also liked that they are a non-profit that supports a local village. Their rates were much better than the other retreats. I landed in Iquitos in the second week of April 2015, after flying for 24 hours. I was met at the airport by the founder, Carlos Tanner. Then handed off to the retreat facilitators, Helm and Skye. We left for the jungle camp the next morning. The retreat was amazing. I was joined by an international group of 8 other participants. Lifetime friendships were formed at this 2 week retreat. Skye and Helm are amazing. They looked after everyone with unconditional love and care. As well as some light-hearted tomfoolery from Helm! The Mishana Community run the camp and look after the basic stuff, food, cleaning, water, laundry and security. They were wonderful and remarkably able at keeping everything running smoothly. The shaman spent time with everyone and we were invited to tell him every little thing we had going on. He prescribed plant medicines based on needs for everyone. One medicine he made for me, a poultice, cleared up an arthritic condition in my hip. I have had no issues since. I enjoy biking, skating, skiing, etc and have had no issues with my hip since. Amazing! The Ayahuasca ceremonies were wonderful. They recorded all the ceremonies and gave us all a DVD at the end with the ceremonies and photos that Helm and Skye took. They also create a private facebook page for the participants to stay in touch. Rad! I felt comfortable and well looked after at the Ayahuasca Foundation. They are in the process of building a research center that will open this year. I hear it is going to quite posh by jungle standards. They also have a training camp if you want to go deeper into plant medicine. I can recommend the Ayahausca Foundation unconditionally, and can't wait to go back to Peru. It will certainly be to the Ayahausca Foundation when I do! Well done guys!

  • Chris Battis   November 25, 2014

      Very Satisfied AF Retreatant

    I've now done two three-week retreats at the Ayahuasca Foundation camp; this year (2014) and last, and would recommend their programs to anyone with a sincere interest. My initial decision to attend an AF program was entirely driven by intuition, and I would return there again without hesitation. There were several factors that influenced my choice: first, if I was going to spend $$ thousands to visit the Amazon and do an ayahuasca retreat, I didn't want to fool around, and the combination of nine ceremonies in three weeks seemed as though it would be a good start. Second, and importantly, Carlos Tanner insists that each retreat be limited to ten participants, and as the first retreat got underway the logic of this became apparent, for we were able to create a mandala of trust and caring that simply wouldn't have been possible with constant comings and goings of drop-ins or tourists, which seems to be the norm at many other centers. Third, I wanted to experience ayahuasca on its own terms, in a traditional setting, with ceremonies led by trained shamans and observance of the plant dieta throughout the retreat. The leaders of our retreats, Helm and Skye, were simply impeccable and provided a balance of commitment and lightheartedness that kept everyone on track, and I can't overstate the depth of my respect and admiration for both of them. Likewise the indigenous staff, Ari, who helped Dona Wilma lead ceremonies, and Sylvia, who prepared all our meals. The facilities are very well kept up and comfortable and, In short, there was no aspect of the retreat that wasn't well thought-out or that could have been improved upon.

Why Retreat?

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

To feed my soul so that I may return to my students with more inspiration and love to share! Jennifer

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.

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