About This Center

We are the #1 Ayahuasca Retreat Center in the Sacred Valley for a good reason.   Nestled in a picturesque canyon in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, lies our new ecolodge: Arkana Sacred Valley.  Set on the banks of the rushing Urubamba River, this is one of the most serene locations in Peru where you can partake in many different kinds of healing medicines.

Arkana Sacred Valley is our sister lodge to the Arkana lodge located in the Amazon Jungle.   Situated at a lower altitude than nearby Cusco, this property not only provides the perfect environment for the healing plant medicines support and relaxation we offer, but is also an ideal base to explore the Sacred Valley and join our expedition to the nearby Machu Picchu.   Nourish your body and soul with our holistic therapies and our all healthy cuisine, enjoy a soothing massage or experience the local culture visiting one of the local villages. Slip into the spirit of Andean life.

Starve the Ego, Nourish the Soul

Amenities

  • Free Wifi
  • Towels
  • Free Parking
  • Kitchen
  • Tour Assistance
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Restaurant
  • Yoga Studio
  • House-Keeping

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Pescetarian

Reviews  
  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • Guldana   April 18, 2019

      about best retreat center Arkana Sacred Valley

    I would like to share my impressions of my trip to the Arkana Spiritual Center. I was at the end of February and it was my first trip to the retreat center. For a long time I was looking for a good and reliable retreat center. I'm glad I went to the Arkana center. For convenience, there are 2 retreat centers of Arkana: one in the jungle, the other in the Sacred Valley. I chose the second, as I planned trips to the sights of Peru. I was pleasantly surprised by the center comfort and thoughtfulness. Very cozy, in a beautiful area. The rooms have all the amenities (shower, toilet). Nice dining room, and very tasty and healthy food. Special thanks to Alexa for this! The retreat program of the week I received before arrival and knew about what was waiting for me and when. The program included in addition to Ayahuasca, San Pedro, Temazcal, Rape, you can get additional ceremonies, such as Sapo and other. Before the trip, I talked with the doctor of Arkana on Skype. And I was convinced how serious the approach is here and now I can recommend this center to everyone. Everyone who works in Arkana retreat center is amazing beautiful people: Maestro Justina, Maestro Cesar, Jose, Angel, Shantanu, Pamela, Juan, Paco, Ivan, I hope I didn’t forget anybody. They are the most dear people for me now and I am extremely happy to meet them. There were about 15 people on the retreat, and each of us received due attention from the facilitators of Arkana. They did their best from day one to get to know us, prepare us and calm our nerves. It included yoga, meditation, sound meditation, beautiful music after the ceremonies. I really liked the review el_coqero, where he so accurately described each man from the center. If you wish, you can read his review here: https://ayaadvisors.org/dashboard/reviews/el_coquero/ The program of the week was very busy, I only had time to make my notes between events, think about life and find answers to questions. All events were held in such a pleasant atmosphere, the guys laid out 100%. How beautiful was the last ceremony of completion, can not be described in words. Thanks a lot to the team of Arkana!!! The love and vibrations of this place are felt from the moment you enter. All ceremonies allow you to be reborn again. It opens your heart, pulls out all your emotions, and shows who you really are. Everyone has his own experience, and everyone gets his treatment, his purification and comes out renewed. The attitude to yourself changes, you change, the world around you changes. After Ayahuasca I checked it personally on myself. It's like your brain is rebooting, cleaning up all the excess. I got rid of all the junk in there. Within a few months of my trip to the Arkana center, I feel brooding, euphoric and full of energy. As I was told that is the precisely the beautiful challenge: to keep the switch on and live an ordinary life in an extraordinary way! If you are looking for healing I certainly recommend Arkana. The light I found in this house will be with me forever and I try to spread my light and enhance the society.

  • Christiano   April 16, 2019

      Best experience I could have ever asked for

    Highlight of my life. I came to Arkana at a time where I needed it the most, even with the things that I didn't know I needed I was able to receive more than I could have asked for. I spent a week in the Sacred Valley Arkana Retreat before spending another week in the Amazon Jungle. Mother Ayahuasca was calling my name and provided me with so much release of emotional, physical, spiritual and energetical baggage that I was holding onto in my heart, body and spirit. I met so many amazing people that I stay in contact with and am really looking forward to coming back to visit. The team at Arkana took care of me from prior to booking, to after booking, to doctors calling me, to the accommodation and food and to the love that was shared to me that healed me. The experience was not just about the ceremonies but that is where the hard work gets done. If you have been thinking about doing Ayahuasca then Arkana is the right place as they have the most experienced shamans whose mission in life is to heal you. I am so grateful for this experience and I talk about it with such love and joy even though it was the hardest thing I have ever done. I know that what I got from it I could not get from anything else in such a short space of time.

  • Emíle Espíritu   April 15, 2019

      Let Arkana guide you!

    I highly recommend Arkana! My wife and I were very intentional about the destination we chose to begin our journeys with Ayahuasca. The safety of ceremony, the shamans, the Icaros sung for your needs and for your intentions, create an experience that is so other worldy it defies explanation. If you're considering this journey for yourself I invite you seek the Shipibo for their mastery of this art. Let the stewards of this medicine guide you. So many other retreats are highly commercialized, where Arkana literally puts you into the jungle where you can remove yourself from distraction and to do the inward work you were called to do. Journey well my friends. You're in good hands. 🙏☺️

  • David McGee   April 15, 2019

      7 days in the Arkana Sacred Valley Ayahuasca retreat centre

    My experience of the 7 day Arkana Sacred Valley Ayahuasca retreat centre will be a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life. Travelling on my own to peru to an unfamiliar destination had me a little apprihensive. My nerves were immediately put at ease when I walked through the gates and met all the wonderful facilitators, people I now consider close friends. They have nothing but good intentions for anyone who walks through those gates. The experience itself was a deep cleanse of everything I am. It heals and it teaches. I was in awe of the shamans. Beautiful people with beautiful voices. I am already planning my return. I wish i didnt have to leave the first time. Dave.

  • Kalvin Zhen   April 15, 2019

      Life Transformation at Arkana Spiritual Center

    There is no place like home, until I found Arkana Sacred Valley. This place became like home to me. It was about 2 years ago when I first heard about Sacred Plant medicine. I have learned that the Indigenous people of South America have practiced plant medicine for thousands of years for healing. I did a lot of researching during that time before I knew I was going to be laid off from my work. That was when I discovered Ayahuasca. I was a bit skeptical at first when I learned about Ayahuasca Ceremonies, especially coming from a very conservative family background. I told myself that working with Psychedelics is something that I would not dare to try out in this life time. A year later, my work had announced that there will be a massive lay off. My wife was not working at the time and she was pregnant. I became extremely lost and depressed in life and did not know what direction to go. Ayahuasca kept coming up in my mind, as everywhere I went, someone seemed to have brought up the topic about plant medicine. Never in my life have I ever hearded of Ayahuasca Retreats, but it seemed that everyone around me was talking about it. That was when I realized I was being called. That was when I began my obsession over plant medicine research. There are a lot of Ayahuasca retreats out in South America, and there are a lot of mixed reviews of good and bad retreats. I spent day and night studying the sacred medicine; how it works, the benefits of the long/short term effects. Every retreat that I have researched seemed to have been fully booked. I was at the time of desperation and I needed something really quick as I had an adrenaline rush every night, that I needed to discover the truth of Mother Ayahuasca. I have limited down my options into a few retreats, and I have sent multiple emails to the top reputable retreats in Peru. It all came down to convenience, and pricing. The Price in Arkana Sacred Valley I found to be the most reasonable and the representatives were fast with their email responses. The instructions for the logistics of getting to destination were straight forward and easy to follow. I have always been known to get lost every time I travel to a new foreign country, but I have arrived to Cusco Peru Safe without feeling insecure. I was really nervous at first, primarily because I do not speak Spanish and I am entering into a whole new world where I was travelling alone working with plant medicine for the first time. This was the leap of faith that I took, hoping for a full life transformation. We have all arrived at the Retreat from the shuttle, where I had met the rest of my group. Once we have arrived at the retreat, it was like entering into paradise. We all had a nice warm welcoming from the facilitators. After the first hour of learning the house rules, connecting with our group members and meeting the facilitators, we all became really comfortable. It is interesting to say that people believe that Mother Ayahuasca brings the right people into our lives to the retreats for the ceremonies. It was mind blowing to me that after meeting every single individual, I have realized that everyone was the extension of myself. We all have problems in life, but it is very strange to see that we all have similar or identical life issues. It made me felt like as if I was talking to myself, and it was funny to see that we all became so close like family within just a few hours. Arkana Sacred Valley was a place where I had felt really safe; I feel like I can leave my valuables anywhere without having the fear of it being stolen. I had an expensive camera with me that I would just let it sit around and after coming for it a few hours later, it would still be there. When I first read about Ayahuasca Retreats, I was expecting people would go to an isolated place for Ayahuasca Ceremonies, and then we would just sit around and let the lessons sink and integrate on our own. However, the Arkana Sacred Valley was not the place to just take the medicine and get isolated; It was like going to a getaway vacation. There were plenty of excursions, activities and the freedom to do whatever we wanted when it was not the time of Ceremony. The activities were all spread out throughout the day and we had the choice if we were to participate in them or not. All of the excursions are worth checking out, especially Macchu Picchu and the Hikes around the area. The area is surrounded by mountains, water and nature. The perfect place for those who enjoy a nice relaxing meditation. I cannot forget the best part, which was the food. I thought I traveled the world to try out the best cuisines world wide, until I hit Peru. Everything was organic and freshly grown. It was the perfect diet for Ayahuasca that tasted delicious and yet extremely healthy. There is plenty of food for everyone and whenever we are hungry, there are always fresh fruits on the counter, along with water and a variety of choices for tea to choose from. The itinerary was professionally designed and I have nothing bad to say about the schedule. It gave us a lot of freedom to do whatever we want, and we have plenty of alone time. Throughout the whole entire trip, I was never bored and was engaged to everyone's conversation. I was honored to have the chance to understand people deeply with each individuals life experience. Everyone was very supportive and there for each other. I am sure everyone would like to hear about my Ayahuasca experience. I traveled my way into Peru for this life changing experience. It was the best experience of my life, as I have learned a lot about myself within a weeks time. Within a week, we all became like family, sharing our life experiences and our very own Ayahuasca experience. The facilitators has given us a great introduction about the history of the plant medicine along with all it's healing benefits. The my first experience was a strong experience and I did not handle it too well, but I was well cared for. I was looked after by 3 facilitators throughout the night, and I have never felt this supported in my life for a very long time. The facilitators acted immediately whenever we needed extra support or someone to talk to during the trip. We were all in the same room together in the temple. The singing and the music was very peaceful, and even today I would think back about my experience during the ceremony and I would dream about the day I would go back there to see my friends again. I was honored to meeting the Chief Jose, who was always attentive to me, making sure I was okay and feeling 100%. It was really nice to wake up the next day after the ceremony to see such caring people supporting me through my growth. Out of my Ayahuasca experience in Arkana, my life has changed for the better. The Shamans both have 40+ years of experience in Shamanism. They are very traditional and have a lot of knowledge on plant medicine. The whole retreat itself has a traditional outdoor setting for those who want an authentic Ayahuasca experience. I do admit that the Shamans were one of the most genuine people I have met. They went above and beyond to ensure that everyone has been healed from their traumas and wounds. After my experience, I am no longer an alcoholic, I make better choices for my diet, and I have been living my life in peace ever since. I have reunited with my family now as happy as I could be, I have never been so blessed in my life. This is the place that I will definitely come back to as I believe that there is no other retreats that will offer this much for such a good price and an amazing getaway. Thank you Arkana Sacred Valley for transforming my life.

  • Alicia G   April 15, 2019

      AMAZING RETREAT!

    My boyfriend and I went on a 14-day Ayahuasca retreat to Arkana. We spent one week in Sacred Valley and one week in the Amazon. Both centres had such a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere. Reflecting back on our journey, we are so glad that we decided to go to Arkana Spiritual Center to experience Ayahuasca for the first time. I have broken down my experience into different categories! FOOD: The food was simple, delicious and had vegan options which was amazing! They also accommodated for people who had allergies. I personally loved how you were able to grab tea and exotic fruits all day long. ATMOSPHERE I liked how none of the activities were not mandatory. There was some excisions that I did not want to do because I wanted to have more time to reflect on my ceremony from the night before. After experiencing rapé for the first time, I did not enjoy it. When they offered it again throughout the retreat there was no pressure for me to do it again. I really enjoyed how we had a lot of free time to walk around the centre and explore. I LOVED the daily excisions and activities which included yoga every morning, a mountain hike to the salt mine, Machu Picchu, San Pedro ceremony, sound healing, feeding wild monkey’s and so much more! SHAMANS, WORKERS AND FACILITATORS: The shamans, workers and facilitators all truly love what they do. You can see how much they truly love and care for each person who comes to Arkana centre. At Sacred Valley we had two shamans, Isabella and Roberto. They really helped guide me through my tough ceremonies. They both are such amazing people and sang beautiful and VERY powerful Icaros. 

The facilitators did such an awesome job helping the shamans during the ceremonies and were all very committed to helping everyone on their healing journey. OVERALL: For those reading and considering going to Arkana, I want you to know that if you decide to go to Arkana, it will be such a safe place to experience Ayahausca, a place where the intention is to help people in a positive way while enjoying everything else that the retreat has to offer. Arkana is by far such an amazing centre, which is why my boyfriend and I are considering on going back for a second time.

  • Chandler Myers   April 15, 2019

      Wonderful Experience

    My boyfriend and I went to Arkana Sacred Valley for 1wk in September 2018 and were extremely happy with our experience. The staff was open and kind to us and the other guests. They treated us like part of their little family there and we were appreciative of all the support and healing energy. The ayahuasca ceremony is different for everyone, but even when I had a bad experience, I felt safe with the staff and the shaman. The music was amazing and the positive vibes were infectious. We would happily go back and do this trip again! Thank you to everyone at the Arkana Sacred Valley for giving us a wonderful, unforgettable experience!

  • Liam McLaughlin   April 15, 2019

      Explore your mind AND Peru

    Arkana was my girlfriend’s and my first experience with ayahuasca. For two people not very knowledgeable with travelling, we’re both so glad we spent just that little bit extra to choose this center and the 14-day Sacred Valley & Amazon retreat. With 7 days in Cusco and 7 days in the Amazon, we got to explore so much of Peru and explore our minds at the same time. It included 7 ayahuasca ceremonies, a fun-filled day of san pedro, a temazcal sweat lodge ceremony, a kambo frog venom ceremony, and some rapé ceremonies. There was the option to smoke Bufo Alvarius toad venom (5-MeO-DMT) at an additional cost, which we regret not taking (somebody in our group smoked it and left the retreat early looking super at peace and saying they’ve found all the answers they’re looking for). In addition to the incredible inner experiences these medicines unlocked, we also got some amazing outer experiences by seeing so much of Peru! We saw the Cusco salt mines and Machu Picchu, fed monkeys and saw dolphins on the Amazon river, and took a long hike through the Amazon rainforest. Both the Cusco and Iquitos facilities were absolutely immaculate (just look at the pictures), and the staff, facilitators, and shamans were some of the kindest people I’ve ever met. We could tell they really cared so much about every single person there (it must be because of all the ayahuasca they’ve drank). Vegan options and yoga almost every day were two MAJOR bonuses. If you’re looking to try ayahuasca and in a safe, comfortable, and loving atmosphere, you’ll be in very good hands at Arkana.

  • Tammy Sherwin   April 15, 2019

      Arkana Spiritual Center Sacred Valley

    My son and I went in September 2018. From the time of our arrival we were welcomed by staff, facilitators and Shamans. The site itself is beautiful, surrounded by mountains and situated next to a river.The rooms were clean and food was delicious. The group of us was less than 20. All from different places and backgrounds. The one common element was we were all seeking personal healing. The Ayahuasca ceremonies in the moloka were beautiful. The shamans were wonderful as were the facilitator's. The music was beautiful. My son and I felt completely safe. The Ayahuasca ceremonies were difficult but necessary. It was a privilege to be a witness to such a great amount of personal healing within ourselves and others present with Ayahuasca, bufo, San Pedro and temazcal sweat lodge ceremony. The optional Machu Picchu trip was magical. I highly recommend Arkana Spiritual Center Sacred Valley Center. We went home from this trip changed! My sons depression is gone. My dear and anxiety are gone! We usher in healing by being a testimony of change to others around us, our family members, their friends and family. Forever grateful, forever changed one person at a time. Thank you Arkana Spiritual Center Sacred Valley!

  • Nij Udd   April 15, 2019

      Life changing experience!

    I did extensive research before selecting an ayahuasca retreat. I was here for the 7 day Sacred Valley retreat. Arkana is in a beautiful location and it feels magical being there. I was able to remove some mental blockages that were limiting me in advancing further in life. It has been 3 months since I have been back home and already I have made some positive changes that have helped me in my career and personal life. The facilitators and Shamans have your best interest at heart. You will not regret going here. Give yourself the gift of bettering your life. You deserve and owe it to yourself. I cannot thank everyone at Arkana enough for what they have done for me!! I will definitely be going back!

  • Daniel Bleed   April 15, 2019

      Amazing spiritual experience

    In a beatiful setting with comfortable facilities, the devoted staff provide several Aya ceremonies and various other experiences and tools to look at life more positively and return to "normal" life with a deeper and more compassionate approach. They give of their time freely because they are so committed to what they are doing. The dynamic among fellow attendees is also warm and supportive. I attended the Sacred Valley location.

  • Megga Barbarara   April 15, 2019

      Deep healing with Arkana in the Sacred Valley Peru Cusco

    Being a single solo traveller travelling across the world from Australia, I was very nervous. I spent a long time picking the retreat, after years of researching ayahuasca and retreats and at a time in my life when I felt ready, I saw a post from an old high school friend who spoke about his life changing journey at Arkana. It just all aligned it was at a point I couldn’t keep carrying on how I had been. He spoke about the facilities, facilitators and how the set and setting were the perfect backdrop for deep healing. I googled straight away and had all my questions prepared. I immediately felt well informed with Liliana answering each and every question to put my mind at ease. I was well informed about the dieta and had a medical intake. I felt like it was a professional but authentic experience., importantly I felt safe. Prior to leaving I also connected with other Australians that had been on the retreat through the ‘Friends of Arkana’ facebook community. The transition from the jungle to the valley was easy – well organised and I felt safe going from one environment to another. I spent the first week in the Amazon which was an amazing setting to immerse yourself in the spirit of Ayahuasca. Coming to the valley was a different and varied experience. The valley energy was different – a soft echo. A beautiful river backdrop. It has a gentle flow and a peace that allows for the plant to work at such a deep profound level. It was within this retreat that it got extremely deep, it really worked deep within the core and showed me the hidden parts that prevent me from moving forward. The pattern stoppers. It was confronting and real and at times scary and raw. I was so blessed to be around such supportive facilitators that could help me make sense and be there for me in what were some challenging and deep ceremonies. The room was large and the bed massive and cosy. The range of activities including Machu Picchu day trip allowed for a once in a lifetime experience. My group was perfect and I met my soul sister who will forever hold a place in my heart and thanks to the beautiful gifting ceremonies is with me each and every day. The room for the ceremonies was cosy and allowed for a deep experience. I felt myself connect on a very deep level with the medicine. The sweat lodge Temazcal showed me a perseverance within myself, when I truly didn’t believe I could last to the end. San Pedro was a perfect ending allowing for a light ending with such a sacred plant immersed in nature. Having the two experiences really allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of myself and a side of myself I have been longing to meet. The facilitators at Sacred Valley are second to none and I highly recommend a massage with Paco. Angel and his music is amazing – the songs take me back as well as the beautiful harp played by Tutis. If you go – ask for the story of the harp. Arkana cares about integration – which after such a profound, deep cleansing experience is a must. Integration hasn’t always been easy for me – but knowing I can contact or message means I feel supported even when I feel vunerable from the truths it has allowed me to see. I feel like I am still integrating but I have a level of self -awareness that I am working hard toward and for. I understand more layers of a complex onion then I did before which was just murky, muddy confusion. I have memories in my heart that I can call upon in the tough times as the memories of are able to be called upon in times I feel myself slipping back into old patterns. I have added resilience, independence and connections with beautiful humans which will last a lifetime. More importantly I am finally learning to love myself. The Ayahuasca ceremonies were facilitated both by experienced shamans that genuinely cared about healing . We spoke along with facilitators about anything that may come up so we were deeply guided on our journey. The icaros assisted in grounding the experience and the setting of the maloca felt safe with enough personal space and not too many other people. I felt cared for when I felt vulnerable and supported when I had any questions that arose for the experience. I never felt alone through the healing process, the deep care and consideration of the facilitators made me feel safe at a time that a lot of deep healing and processing was coming to light. Group share provided an opportunity to have differing perspectives and allowed for easier transitions. What other group members said to me will remain with me forever in a time I wasn’t quite sure what messages meant. I couldn’t recommend Arkana more – it isn’t a retreat it is a place of a deep healing immersion journey with family. It is a place you go to find the side of yourself that was always hidden inside. I couldn’t recommend more highly.

  • Elsa R   April 15, 2019

      Life saving experience!!

    I spent two weeks at Arkana in February 2019 in which I had the most profound and life saving experience! It would not have been possible with out my beautiful familia I met at Arkana; from my brothers and sisters that healed with me, the Shipibo shamans, the loving facilitators and staff that ran daily activities/outings, the staff in the kitchen that made glorious meals to support la dieta(always made sure I had enough vegan options), the staff sweeping the red stairs each morning that greeted me with authentic smiles and those that provided prompt room cleaning and laundry services. I have pure gratitude and so much love for all involved at Arkana!! The shamans and facilitators genuinely care about you as it is evident in the unconditional love that is felt as they prepare and guide you in working with mother Ayahuasca. They guided me to trust in the divine path with mother aya, to letting go and opening up to the healing process but most importantly they helped me see the divine within myself to trust in my inner strength to continue onward in life. I'm in complete awe and in tears of how the medicine continues to work with me daily as well as in my dreams!!! I'm grateful for everyone that was apart of my experience, muchas gracias!! It is as though I came back with new eyes/perspective for life, reborn as new and I'm finally able to see the path that was laid out for me in this lifetime. My 70 year old dad is completely blown away by my experience and is even interested in pursuing his own journey here. If there is something inside of you calling for this inner journey, trust and listen to it! If so, I fully recommend Arkana Spiritual Center, hands down best decision you will make!

  • SIMON PELLETIER   April 14, 2019

      Safe and caring place with authentic shamanic healing

    I went to Arkana for a one week Ayahuasca retreat this past February. Everything in my life kind of brought me there as if a was pulled by a magnetic field. I was already in a very good place in my life before getting there, and I already had some experience with all the medicine available at the center. The whole process of getting there, discovering/using the facility and meeting peoples went super smoothly, their system is super well tuned. The week schedule is packed with really nice activities that help the group to connect with each other and, at the same time, to make sure you won’t miss a thing. You can always choose to take time for yourself if needed to process your experience. The comfort of their facility is 5 on 5; the quality, the professionalism and the wisdom of the team has put the bar very high. The experience I had at Arkana was way above any expectation I could have had. They are able to handle the plant spirit and the experience of the group in such a genius way that everybody gets every possible tool that they could possibly need to accomplish their goal. The shamanic presence of true Shipibo people is authentic, super deep and leads to ultra safe ceremonies. Since I’ve left the centre, my whole life has taken a different path, all for the best. I am still processing the impact of the week I spent under their care. I experienced things over there that left me with a super deep sense of gratitude to the Arkana team. The amount of love, professionalism and the positive dedication to their intention put so much hope inside me. I truly recommend Arkana, it’s a safe and very caring place where you can meet with the medicine and where you are accompanied by authentic shamanic healing

  • Sarah Good   April 14, 2019

      Genuine healing, authentic people, magical setting...

    I traveled to Arkana Spiritual Center looking for healing from a past trauma and spiritual growth. I left with much more. There are truly no words to express the level of gratitude I have for the beautiful Facilitators, Shamans, Mother Ayahuasca, Sapo, and San Pedro. Years ago I was assaulted while traveling where I feared for my life. This resulted in PTSD and living with fear and shame. My experience at Arkana provided me with deep healing and clarity. Beyond this, I gained many more insights, huge amounts of healing in several other areas, powerful spiritual connection, ego awareness, and my heart cracking wide open. It has since enhanced my professional and personal relationships, and I feel like this is just the beginning. The medicine and experience continue to provide healing and growth. The connection I found with the other travelers, Facilitators, and Shamans was transformational. Since the experience at Arkana can only be described as genuinely ethereal, I know my deep healing was made possible by the marvelous Sacred Valley setting and extraordinary helpers. The comfort, care, and love I received were more than I have ever known and something I will forever carry with me. I recommend Arkana Spiritual Center with my whole heart. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU!

  • Derek Howard   April 12, 2019

      Authentic and Deep Healing

    I was a lost suicidal gay man who struggled with meth addiction, eating disorders, anxiety and self-acceptance rooted in unresolved childhood sexual trauma. In a very beautiful way, Ayahuasca illuminated my darkness and despair with a light that allowed me to connect, see, feel, sort, understand, forgive and recover. It has been a long and difficult journey, but not a day goes by that I do not smile with gratitude and pride over for my life changing decision to work with Ayahuasca and allow the medicine to continue healing me (it is very true what they say about integration—I continue processing the experience with a supportive therapist and friends who have worked with the medicine). With tears in my eyes, I can genuinely say this: today I am connected, happy, and thriving. I am also profoundly grateful to the healers, facilitators, and retreats in the Amazon and Sacred Valley that led me to the present—a moment I previously never occupied. Arkana figures prominently among them. Arkana Sacred Valley is a beautiful, rooted, and established program to begin or continue an Ayahuasca journey. Honestly, it was not my first. My first was with another reputable program in the Amazon forest one year ago. I signed up for this past New Year’s retreat at Arkana Sacred Valley almost on blind faith because the timing, duration and location of the retreat worked with my travel schedule. I had concerns that Arkana would never live up to my first experience, but it did. I also had concerns that my experience at Arkana would contradict or confuse my first experience, but it did not. It was a profound and seemingly seamless continuation of my earlier journey, and there was so much about my experience with Arkana that made Arkana so special in its own right. The Sacred Valley location is truly serene and mystical, and I loved how Arkana offered field trips to take it all in. And the Arkana property along the rushing Urubamba River could not be a more perfect, beautiful and comfortable spot. I spent many wonderful hours sitting along that river wrapped in a Peruvian blanket I bought at the Cusco market reflecting on the Ayahuasca ceremonies that were exquisitely performed by the Shipibo healers, and assisted by the Arkana facilitators that created a beautiful and safe space. I loved that the ceremonies did not abruptly end when the healers ended their amazing icaros, but continued into the night with the guitars, harps and vocals of the facilitators that helped ease you back to physical reality. I also loved how Arkana thoughtfully and effectively incorporated the use of other medicines like Huachuma (San Pedro) and Sapo (Sonoran Desert Toad). There are many, but one moment that really captured the spirit and love of Arkana was when I came back into my body during the Sapo ceremony. What happened during that ceremony was truly profound (I cannot give it away) and I was very emotional after. I saw the owner Jose across the room and mouthed “thank you.” He smiled at me with all the goodness, warmth, and understanding in the world and mouthed back “you’re welcome.” I think about this often, and how lucky I was to be in the hands of people who really do care about healing others. I have to say it again—Thank You.

  • Sam Dillon   April 12, 2019

      My summer of 2018 retreat at Arkana Spiritual Center - Sacred Valley

    I spent a week at Arkana Spiritual Center the last of July and first of August 2018. The grounds are beautiful, healing and harmonious. The Shamans are real indigenous Shipibo, very expert and made me feel safe. The staff and facilitators are very professional and helpful. My life is changed since that experience. One reason is that I sold my air conditioning business and have more time to devote to other things, like yoga, meditation, and writing. There are no coincidences, everything works together for the good. I highly recommend this retreat center. ~Sam Dillon

  • Derek Howard   April 11, 2019

      Beautiful and Safe Space for Authentic and Deep Healing

    I was a lost suicidal gay man who struggled with meth addiction, eating disorders, anxiety and self-acceptance rooted in unresolved childhood sexual trauma. In a very beautiful way, Ayahuasca illuminated my darkness and despair with a light that allowed me to connect, see, feel, sort, understand, forgive and recover. It has been a long and difficult journey, but not a day goes by that I do not smile with gratitude and pride over for my life changing decision to work with Ayahuasca and allow the medicine to continue healing me (it is very true what they say about integration—I continue processing the experience with a supportive therapist and friends who have worked with the medicine). With tears in my eyes, I can genuinely say this: today I am connected, happy, and thriving. I am also profoundly grateful to the healers, facilitators, and retreats in the Amazon and Sacred Valley that led me to the present—a moment I previously never occupied. Arkana figures prominently among them. Arkana Sacred Valley is a beautiful, rooted, and established program to begin or continue an Ayahuasca journey. Honestly, it was not my first. My first was with another reputable program in the Amazon forest one year ago. I signed up for this past New Year’s retreat at Arkana Sacred Valley almost on blind faith because the timing, duration and location of the retreat worked with my travel schedule. I had concerns that Arkana would never live up to my first experience, but it did. I also had concerns that my experience at Arkana would contradict or confuse my first experience, but it did not. It was a profound and seemingly seamless continuation of my earlier journey, and there was so much about my experience with Arkana that made Arkana so special in its own right. The Sacred Valley location is truly serene and mystical, and I loved how Arkana offered field trips to take it all in. And the Arkana property along the rushing Urubamba River could not be a more perfect, beautiful and comfortable spot. I spent many wonderful hours sitting along that river wrapped in a Peruvian blanket I bought at the Cusco market reflecting on the Ayahuasca ceremonies that were exquisitely performed by the Shipibo healers, and assisted by the Arkana facilitators that created a beautiful and safe space. I loved that the ceremonies did not abruptly end when the healers ended their amazing icaros, but continued into the night with the guitars, harps and vocals of the facilitators that helped ease you back to physical reality. I also loved how Arkana thoughtfully and effectively incorporated the use of other medicines like Huachuma (San Pedro) and Sapo (Sonoran Desert Toad). There are many, but one moment that really captured the spirit and love of Arkana was when I came back into my body during the Sapo ceremony. What happened during that ceremony was truly profound (I cannot give it away) and I was very emotional after. I saw the owner Jose across the room and mouthed “thank you.” He smiled at me with all the goodness, warmth, and understanding in the world and mouthed back “you’re welcome.” I think about this often, and how lucky I was to be in the hands of people who really do care about healing others. I have to say it again—Thank You.

  • Manuel Vignoulle   April 09, 2019

      Pruning the un-essential to reach the essence of your soul

    I have no words strong enough to express my deepest gratitude for these 2 intense weeks at Arkana Sacred Valley. It definitely made me grow and changed my life. There is a before and an after Arkana’s experience. It opened an unexplored yet and exciting spiritual path. The place is beautiful, at the feet of the sacred river and surrounded by mountains. The accommodation is really comfy. The amazing food, respecting the specific diet, is a self-service buffet. So you can eat until you feel fulfilled. You can also grab tea and fruits all day long. The shamans are highly skilled, extremely experienced and reliable, and also truly caring. All the facilitators are beautiful beings helping you through your ups and downs with an open heart, a lot of patience and compassion. All the staff is helping you to realize your true potential, pruning the un-essential to reach the essence of your soul. You can really feel that everyone there loves their job and is invested all heartedly in it. I realized so many things during these 2 weeks. I could compare it to 10 years of psychotherapy. The process was sometimes really hard but I was able to deeply understand the causes of some of my blockages and set them free for good. When I left Arkana, I was finally feeling my heart beating, like if it was the first time in my life. No more fortress around it! I felt so much lighter and at peace. I could finally see the beauty of life! Three weeks later, I feel a huge difference in my life. I am at least 50% calmer and solve issues faster whenever they come, instead of flipping out every time I have challenging news. I feel more grounded too. My intuition is very sharp and my sensations as well. My tolerance to hear people complaining is extremely limited, even with my friends. I am careful to keep my energy and my connection with this planet Earth very alive. Somehow, I feel empowered, as so many unnecessary fears are now gone for good. The work I did there was huge and I definitely start seeing all the benefits. Even though it’s hard to put words on feelings, I enjoy life in a fuller way. There is a part of my heart that will always stay with Arkana as it is my first Ayahuasca retreat. I now know I am not alone. We are all together and all connected. I definitely recommend it. I know I will go back there again.

  • Lukasz Zieba   April 08, 2019

      Life changing experience

    Absolutely the most magical, amazing and heart opening place I've ever visited. The experience was beyond anything I could imagine. The whole staff and all the facilitators are so welcoming, loving and helpful - they really make you feel like home. I have never learned so much about myself, spirituality and nature of life than I have during my time in Arkana in Sacred Valley. Working with plant medicine Ayahuasca has changed the way I live my life now. I am forever grateful for the unconditional love I received during my experience.

  • Willie O'Laughlin   April 07, 2019

      Awesome!

    Arkana is an awesome place! I have done ceremonies at other centers, and this is the best I’ve been too. Well laid out, good food, lots of attention from the facilitators and curandero. I love everything about it, the mountains, the huachuma hike, the temascal, it is all good!

  • Shelise Hufstetler   April 05, 2019

      Beautiful, Sacred and Incredible experience!

    Going to Sacred Valley for a week and experiencing the sacred medicine was seriously life-changing. It was honestly magical. The energy of the land, the hidden away retreat center, the sound of the rushing rapids of the river just below and the peaceful feeling was just perfect. I had the amazing opportunity to go to both centers in the Amazon and Sacred Valley. The Amazon Arkana is very raw and real. You're dealing with mosquitos and huge spiders, but the sound of the jungle is so special. If you want a down and dirty experience with the exotic feeling with monkeys and sloths, then the Amazon is meant for you. If you want a more soft, comforting, more modern experience, I would recommend Sacred Valley. I did really love the other medicines offered at Sacred valley such as San Pedro and Temascal that weren't in the jungle. San Pedro was hilarious and such a fun experience! The plant medicine you will experience is built to tear you open and allow for a rebirth of sorts. It pulls apart your heart, your emotional body, your spirituality, your fixed mentality and makes room for the truth of who you really are. No one person had the same experience with the Ayahuasca but everyone did come out a new person. There were so many wonderful medicines and ceremonies and the best part is, all of them supported each other. Also the sound baths, yoga, breath-work etc really brought it all together. It would be impossible not to change in some way even if you chose not to experience any of the medicine. The facilitators were so wonderful and helpful. You can tell that they are all there out of love for others. I always felt safe and protected. As a woman in my late 20s it can be scary to go to another country on your own and be put in such a vulnerable state with the medicine but I can tell you now, I always felt well taken care of and safe. If Mother Ayahuasca has been calling to you, look no further. This is the place the go! You will not find a more authentic experience than this. They have truly thought of everything to make your journey well rounded and as peaceful as possible. Getting there can be a little daunting but I assure you, once you arrive, you will not worry about a single thing (except for maybe where your purge bucket is during ceremony lol). I hope this has helped anyone looking for a life changing experience. You will not regret it. Some things to be aware of: - Honestly do the diet they lay out for you prior to coming and continue it after you leave. Your stomach will thank you. - Wear loose comfortable clothes for ceremony. Things easy to remove in a hurry lol. -The medicine can be hard. Its important to trust the work and continue with faith. Your body might wig out and shake, you might puke your guts out, you might have no physical response at all. Every experience is valid and I promise you the medicine IS working. -Be ready for big changes. You might get information that sets you on a new path. Be ready to accept it. -Go in with an open heart and open mind. Everything you've been taught in traditional "life" will be ripped open and tested. Let go of everything you think you know and be ready to experience magic.

  • Willie O'Laughlin   April 05, 2019

      Magic

    This place is truly magical. The land is so beautiful, nestled between a mountain and a river, and the people are super friendly. I felt at home and safe for my ayahuasca retreat there. The Huachuma hike I the mountains to the Salinas salt mines was also really cool

  • Max Palacios   April 05, 2019

      You wouldn't regret it one bit!

    Arakana was my first ayahuasca retreat, although I did not take the medicine due to an unexpected pregnancy, i still attended the ceremonies and it was the most transformational time of my life. I will be returning to arkana to work with mother ayahuasca soon. also, the atmosphere at arkana was just so pure and healing in itself. I have much love for my arkana family.

  • Dee Sofa   April 04, 2019

      Amazing. Highly Recommended.

    Could not have asked for a better time. The accommodations were clean and comfortable. The facilitators were thoughtful, smart, wise, kind, and intentional. The whole process felt geared toward productive experiences with ayahuasca, and the folks at Arkana have made this their life's work. It shows. I highly recommend this place and will be back. Love.

  • Aaron Walton   April 04, 2019

      My time at Arkana

    To say that my time at Arkana changed my life is an understatement. I can honestly say I didn’t know what love was until spent time there. The team at Arkana are an amazing bunch of people full of love understanding and knowledge. I feel extremely lucky to have chosen this place as my ayahuasca retreat. 100% would go back in a heart beat!!

  • Collin Rogers   April 03, 2019

      Life changing!

    I had a 14 day retreat, one week in the Amazone Jungle Retreat and one week at the Sacred Valley Retreat. It was the most eye opening experience I've had in my life! traumas i didnt even know that i had were comming up and finally left my system! Things from my birth, that i never thought would influence my life became so clear to me. I could finally comprehend and understand knowledge I've had for a long time, but knowledge is only in the head, and this Ayahuasca Retreat made it possible for me to take that knowledge into my heart and through integration i can transform it into Wisdom. The Jungle retreat was amazing (besides the Mosquitos and Spiders, but thats a small adjustment to get used to), I felt really connected to the Jungle and the Ayahuasca Medicine! The Facilitators were all very professional and kind! And the Shamans in my opinion were an amazing help and guide during the ceremonies and were really helpful and insightful in the group shares. The Arkana Amazone Jungle Spiritual Center was the perfect first Ayahuasca experience for me, and i would recommend it to anyone thats thinking about trying to work with this sacred medicine! The Arkana Spiritual Center in Sacred Valley felt like luxury after being in the Jungle for a week. There i felt like I've got so much knowledge about the importance of the Breath in the Breathworks, I've learned about how important Intentions are and how powerful our way of thinking and believes are! The Excursions we had were really intresting, to learn about those ancient cultures and old believes was really humbling! and the Tourguides at both the Jungle center and Sacred Valley were so kind and explained everything you could think of asking them! Long story short, if youre thinking about going to an Ayahuqsca retreat, i honestly dont think there is a better choice than Arkana!

  • Lawrence Coe   April 03, 2019

      perfect

    Perfect. The Arkana retreat in the Sacred Valley is nestled in a beautiful location. The grounds themselves are tended to with love and care and this is more than reflected in the smiles and hearts of the staff that work there. The rooms themselves are comfortable, clean and well maintained (at least our room was), it could sometimes be a bit tricky to navigate the stairs after a ceremony if you're on the top floor but that was no biggy (!) (it did take me like 10 mins to walk up them one night but that's because i spent a while stargazing(!) The facilitators themselves couldnt be better. They genuinely care about you, fill you with love and help guide you on, or start your spiritual journey. The staff really did make the retreat.. The ceremonies themselves are well managed and the energy is electric. if you're on the fence about the toad ceremony - get off the fence and book it - easily the single most profound moment of my life and way more than i was expecting - the ceremony itself is held in a seperate area to the ayahuasca ceremonies and it's very personal and intimate. Those who have said it was disorganized - I don't really agree with that but it is a bit casual/laid back with regards to organization of which personally like. I have enough regimentation in my western life! I will hopefully be back to Arkana - and i look forward to finding out what their amazon retreat is like! oh, and the food - DELICIOUS! I love you guys, all of you x

  • Elizabeth Galvan   April 02, 2019

      Life changing

    I was recently at the Arkana Sacred valley back in January 2019. It’s a great center! I highly recommend anyone wanting to do a Ayahuasca ceremony to go there. Not only do they offer Ayahuasca but also Sapo and San Pedro. The Shamans are knowledgeable and wonderful! They are very open and kind. They both have about 40+ years each of experience with the medicine . Their Icaros are amazing and literally move you! The facilitators are also just as amazing. They are always within reach and always more than happy to answer any questions for you. They all have amazing voices which are wonderful to hear while under Ayahuasca. Everyone there is so kind and always happy to help. The people that run the center are always available for any questions and happy to help. The kitchen staff is wonderful! The food is delicious and they cater to any dietary needs. The staff that cleans the rooms and does laundry is also very helpful. There are a couple of extra services they offer on the side. I highly recommend you try anyone of those out. I did get a massage and tried out magnetism therapy as well. Highly recommended! When I say everyone there was helpful and kind I mean every single person I saw at the center. Even the resident dogs and cat! The center is located near a river that sounds amazing when in ceremony. Arkana sacred valley also offers a trip to Machu Picchu. I would recommend you take the trip. It is extra but definitely worth the money. I honestly can not find one thing I did not like about the center. This trip was life changing! Highly recommend Arkana Sacred Valley center.

  • Elizabeth Galvan   April 02, 2019

      Life changing and highly recommended

    I was recently at the Arkana Sacred valley back in January 2019. It’s a great center! I highly recommend anyone wanting to do a Ayahuasca ceremony to go there. Not only do they offer Ayahuasca but also Sapo and San Pedro. The Shamans are knowledgeable and wonderful! They are very open and kind. They both have about 40+ years each of experience with the medicine . Their Icaros are amazing and literally move you! The facilitators are also just as amazing. They are always within reach and always more than happy to answer any questions for you. They all have amazing voices which are wonderful to hear while under Ayahuasca. Everyone there is so kind and always happy to help. The people that run the center are always available for any questions and happy to help. The kitchen staff is wonderful! The food is delicious and they cater to any dietary needs. The staff that cleans the rooms and does laundry is also very helpful. There are a couple of extra services they offer on the side. I highly recommend you try anyone of those out. I did get a massage and tried out magnetism therapy as well. Highly recommended! When I say everyone there was helpful and kind I mean every single person I saw at the center. Even the resident dogs and cat! The center is located near a river that sounds amazing when in ceremony. Arkana sacred valley also offers a trip to Machu Picchu. I would recommend you take the trip. It is extra but definitely worth the money. I honestly can not find one thing I did not like about the center. This trip was life changing! Highly recommend Arkana Sacred Valley center.

  • Anders Munch Holm   April 02, 2019

      This is for you <3

    This was the trip of a lifetime. Probably several lifetimes, haha. Seriously, if you're curious about trying not just ayahuasca but many different jungle medicines and go on adventures, this is for you. Personally I chose the option where you also visit Macchu Picchu to get the full Peru experience. And then there's the personal development. I know a lot of things have changed, but I've only just come home, so I guess it's too early to spot the difference in daily life yet. Conclusion: I recommend Arkana Spiritual Center of all my <3

  • Chris McLeroy   April 02, 2019

      Life Changing Experience

    I found Arkana from an online search and couldn't be happier with the experience. The staff is incredible. They provide so much love and peace to work my challenges. They are all accomplished artists and provide the energy and music which helped me focus during the ceremonies. My experience with the other guests drawn to Arkana was one of love and healing to the last person. Everyone left with new lifelong friends to stay in contact with. My days were filled with activity and preparation to achieve my goals in both private and group sessions. There were also days to travel to Machu Picchu or hike one of the many mountains nearby to see the Salt Mines. They also provide a guided day tour to shopping at a local village. The Shamans were amazing. They were extremely powerful and knowledgeable about energies and the plant medicine. They controlled the energy during the ceremony and actively engaged with me during each ceremony. I don't have anything negative so say about Arkana. They understand what they are providing and guided me to achieve my goals with the plant medicine. I highly recommend Arkana for anyone looking for a plant medicine healing retreat.

  • Matt k   April 02, 2019

      The Most Rewarding Week Of My Life

    I was lucky enough to spend a week at the retreat for my first ayahuasca experience. After a few years of interest I finally got the calling to come to Peru and after several weeks of research settled on Arkana. It was truly one of the most amazing decisions I have ever made. The setting is beautiful: a garden of Eden full of flowers, and hummingbirds set between mountains and a river on one side. As we entered the grass was impossibly bouncy underfoot and the most lovely dog greeted us at the door. Everyone working at the retreat are awesome beautiful people. They did their best from day one to get to know us and help to prepare us and to settle the nerves. The love and vibes of the place is palpable from the moment you enter. They all have their own talents that they bring to group activities (yoga, meditation, sound meditation, beautiful music after the ceremonies, etc.) The facilities are great, including the rooms: great shower and towels! There’s also unlimited fruit and delicious Hierba Luisa tea at the reception in addition to the delicious meals (including vegan options). Perfect after a night of purging 😉 One of the greatest things about Arkana was being able to spend time with the shamans so that they could get to know you better to help you on your journey of healing. They care deeply about your healing and it is absolutely amazing that they share their experience with us. You are in the safest of hands here for sure. Most amazingly for me was the lifelong friends that I have made during the retreat. After initial nerves and uncertainty everybody left with so much brotherly / sisterly love for each other. Hearing about everyone’s struggles and subsequent healing was remarkable. The sessions after the ceremonies turned out to be just as powerful as the experience itself. It was extremely emotional and heartwarming to observe everyone’s healing in progress. We also had a couple outings as a group: to Pisac and local ruins, then to the impressive salt mines nearby. The final day together was spent with Mr San Pedro where we trekked around the mountains. It was a beautiful day and the perfect way to cap off the trip. If you are looking for healing and hear ayahuasca calling you then I certainly recommend Arkana with all my heart. The love that I have felt over this week will be with me forever and I aim to bring the best of me to everyone around me. I wish you all the best of luck on your journeys.

  • Caleb Palacios   April 02, 2019

      One of the deepest most loving experiences of my life!

    Arkana spiritual center was my first ayahuasca retreat, and I can honestly say it was a amazing experience, and very warming energy at the center, I will most definitely go again for some more work. Peace and love

  • Faan Rossouw   April 02, 2019

      Pure magic with Arkana and Ayahuasca

    Wow. I’ve never felt this way writing a review about anything ever so I’m a little overwhelmed. It feels like a million things want to be expressed all at the same time. So where to even begin. Well, I guess it’s always sage to kick things off with a bit of context. Though I am by no means an ayahuasca expert, I’m no greenhorn either. Counting the three ceremonies I did at Arkana I’ve now probably done somewhere around 60 in total. And of these 60 ceremonies, by my best estimation, I’ve sat with about 20 different groups/facilitators/shamans. And right now, nearly three weeks after I’ve finished the retreat, with all the love and inspiration from the medicine still so present in me, with all the love and inspiration I feel for Arkana and their mission, I feel little need to beat around the bush. So I’m just going to say it. Of those 60 ceremonies I’ve done and of those 20 groups I’ve been fortunate enough to sit with, Arkana is simply by far the best. I mean, not even in the same league as the rest best. I mean, did not know one could go so deep with the medicine best. I mean, was not aware that ayahuasca containers like this could exist best. So excuse the sycophantic undertones that may permeate this review, but there’s simply no way to downplay the magic that is Arkana. So downplay it I shan’t. I sensed that magic right from the go, I sensed that things were just happening on a different level. The first thing we did after the retreat kicked off was a private consultation with the shamans and support team, where we shared our intention with them. The shamans would then, based on each person’s intention and unique vibratory signature, craft icaros just for them. That’s right, these aren’t some songs they sing each night for a performance, they are living prayers. They are co-creations between these gifted healers and the plant spirits, icaros as instruments of healing crafted to serve the unique needs of each individual. I’m really not a person to ever pedestalize anyone, but it was very challenging for me to not be in constant awe of the shaman. Maestra Justina is simply unlike anyone I have ever met. She is lovingly referred to as ‘Charrapita’ by the support team, in reference to a very small but very spicy local pepper. It’s an apt nickname, but only really becomes apparent once you’ve sat in a ceremony with her. It’s only then that it becomes clear that her being stretches way beyond the borders of her tiny frame. I have this sense that all other shamans I’ve worked with in the past became a shaman at some point in their lives - in other words their becoming a shaman was hinged on a conscious decision. There was a time before being a shaman, a choice, then a path to become, and then being a shaman. But with Maestra Justina I have the sense that there was no such moment, no such decision. Maestra Justina did not ever become a shaman - she was born one. Being a conduit of the Jungle and a healer is part and parcel of her fabric - it’s simply who she is. She was born with this gift, born a gift, and even the word shaman, a concept, falls short. She just is - is that, the wisdom of the jungle, the healing prowess of Nature embodied in human form. And it is mostly her presence, deeply forged connections with the plant spirits, and otherworldly icaros that were the driving force behind these ceremonies being of a different caliber. I would however be remiss to also not mention Maestro Cesar, Maestra Justina’s husband and the other shaman that lead the ceremonies. A phenomenal healer in his own right, and yet happy to take the backseat and allow his wife to direct the overall voyage. Individually they are two of the most powerful healers I have ever encountered, together they are a force simply without equal. And besides their phenomenal abilities as healers, they are two of the most bright, beautiful, loving and playful people I have ever met. They constantly laugh a real laughter emanating from the depths of their souls. They do the serious work, but at the same time remind us to not take it all too serious, that we’re all just playing our roles in the great cosmic drama. In addition to these precious indigenous healers Arkana provided us with, they also had a bona fide team of eight all-star facilitators on hand. My sense of astonishment grew as the days unfolded and I got to know each one of them better, as I got to witness the depths of their gifts, as I got to see the true sense of service each one of them embody. They are like The Avengers of the sacred medicine world, anyone of them by themselves would have floored me as a facilitator, and then to have eight of them, it just felt unreal. I could go on and on about every single facilitator and their unique gifts - Juan and his radiant, ever-present smile which only serves to foreshadow the depths of this warm heart. Teutli and all her subtle gifts and expert touches, showing us the power of the drum and the wisdom that it embodies, even for someone like me that “can’t drum”. Paco and his soft presence, cat-like, and yet always there to serve, to support, to share his knowledge. Angel with his impeccable presence, depth of knowledge and sharp, clear delivery thereof - thanks for letting me enjoy that moment with Pink Floyd in the ceremony! Ivan whose medicine is the music, who can pick up any instrument and transport your soul to a different time and place. Pamela, a true living example of what is meant by heart-wisdom. There are however two people at the centre of Arkana for whom I would I would like to offer a few more words. Shantanu is the real deal. From the moment I met him, and apparently this is true for everyone else I mentioned this to, my heart just immediately warmed and opened to him. An affable chap if there ever was one, grounded, humble, present (PRESENT), and just absolutely overflowing with ageless wisdom. He is the “Chief Dharma Enforcer” of Arkana with a diamond mind which he only uses to crystallize the messages that are all clearly flowing from his heart. When Shantanu looks at you, you have no doubt that he is truly looking at you, and I have a sense when speaking to him it’s our hearts that are communicating. With Shantanu there are no unnecessary words, and yet also no unnecessary silence - his speech carries a type of truth that gently cuts straight to the core of matters. For every moment he seemingly has the “perfect” words ready, spoken in a way that is warm and inviting, and in a manner which everyone can understand and relate to. As he reminded me, “knowledge without practice only strengthens the ego”, and it is clear that Shantanu has lived this wisdom, that his wisdom comes from a understanding of this work that stretches throughout all the layers of his being. Jose, the founder of Arkana, is above all a beautiful living example that, no matter where you are in your life, what you are doing, how old you are, or how deeply embedded/invested you are in “the system”, you can completely transform your life. And not only will you transform your own life, but in so doing also become a pillar of light and catalyst for the healing and transformation of countless others. Such a remarkable and beautiful individual overflowing with love. So potent in his ambitions and achievements, and yet when you hang out with him, Jose is “just one of us”. There are no pretenses, no holier-than- thou guru complex, no ego inflation whatsoever. He is playful, loving, open, and vulnerable like a little boy; and when appropriate attentive, insightful, and contained like some wise old sage. Jose is at once both completely relatable, and intensely admirable. In only six days I came to view Jose as just another brother on a parallel path, and also as a teacher pioneering ahead, encouraging and inspiring the rest of us to follow suite. In only six days, I literally came to love Jose with my whole heart. It’s worth mentioning also that Arkana is not only completely and authentically committed to the healing of their guests, but also to the web of indigenous communities and natural environments they are embedded within. I have been to many-a lecture and have read enough blog posts that intend to serve as a “call-to-arms” for the ayahuasca community. It’s no secret that, given the explosion of ayahuasca’s popularity in the West over the last decade or so, there is now tremendous strain on the natural populations of ayahuasca. Lots of talk on the onus now being on this new wave of retreat centres to start taking ownership of this overexploitation and address it by initiating concerted efforts to create sustainable systems for its production. Talks are important, and they serve their role, so this is not a dig at the ones that have created the awareness regarding this issue. Rather, I want to just juxtapose it with what I learned about Arkana. After being in operation for only a handful of years, Jose and Arkana have already developed a number of amazing programs with the Shipibo community connected to their mission. Beyond the replanting of ayahuasca (employing local people in doing so), the Arkana Foundation also has a number of other programs exemplifying their commitment to giving back. They have various programs working with the Shipibo communities to teach them valuable skills they believe would be able to benefit them economically. But what’s more, they are not just telling the Shipibo communities what it is they think would benefit them, but they are asking the communities what it is they need and also providing this - a communications tower in this case. In other word they are not just telling, they are also listening. A true partnership and a solid foundation on which to build a cross-cultural bridge, the type of bridges I believe we need now more than ever. So when you invest in your own healing at Arkana you are not only not not having a negative impact on others (the privileged shifting of the burden, so to speak), not only a neutral effect, but indeed you are having a positive effect. Every dollar you spend at Arkana helps the growth of everyone and everything involved, both directly and indirectly. As you’ve probably noticed the focus of this review is really to express my experience at Arkana specifically. I therefore decided not to espouse the pros and cons of using scared medicines and so won’t be casting any spotlight for a general, meta-level review. There exists ample information on this topic online, and it is really incumbent upon every individual to educate yourself as much as possible on this topic before deciding to see whether ot not this path is for you. I do however wish to share a few thoughts I believe would be value with one obvious caveat: these are all just my opinions. Though this is always true for everyone, I felt the need to highlight that here and now, so please keep that fact in mind. Working with sacred medicines is a path in the truest sense of the word. It is a journey with no destination, where every arrival leads to the discovery of dozens more. Though the potency of it’s transformative potential is unmatched by any other path, both old and new, it’s still no silver bullet and to mistake it for such can only serve to hinder your progress on it. It’s a path and getting on this path, and even more so staying on it, takes tremendous commitment and courage. It’s a decision to willingly submit yourself, totally and utterly, to that which almost everyone else spends all their time and money trying to avoid. It’s to step forward, to open your heart, to stand there naked, and to receive truth. Truth in all its unbridled manifestations both small and big, raw and real, completely unavoidable and undeniable. But on this path we consciously face the bitter truth because, though not pleasant, it is almost always beneficial. Committing to this path and to facing the truth has had a transformative effect on my life, and I have witnessed first-hand the same positive transformation in many others. And this transformation is available to anyone who approaches this path with humility and an open heart. It can benefit all wherever they’re at, from those affected by serious and debilitating trauma or other physical conditions, to those who seem according to society's barometer to have “made it”, yet come as seekers because they don’t know exactly what it is they’ve supposed to have made. We can all walk this path to heal, to grow, to let go, to learn, to reconnect to our sense of humanity, to our sense of something greater with which we are connected. We can do this not to seek happiness, but to seek meaning, meaning which when glimpsed can then reveal where our true source of happiness may be found. Ultimately however nobody can make the decision of whether or not to engage with these powerful alchemical agents but you yourself. The decision, like the only force that can bring about lasting change, has to come from the inside. The only things I can share with you here with complete conviction is that if you do decide to engage with sacred medicines, then there is likely no better place on face of the earth to do so than Arkana. There you may find, as I did, a spiritual home where open hearts, discerning wisdom, and an ever present sense of playful laughter all operate hand-in-hand to ensure the safest and most beneficial container for healing and growth. A word of warning though: Arkana’s schedule is not for the faint of heart! It’s as full-on as full-on can be, and when you dive in you do so as deep as deep can be. If you’re of the resolve to only half-commit to this path, if you only desire to dip your toes in sacred medicine waters, well then Arkana might not be the right fit for you. If however you feel called and the will to commit to real change, growth, transformation, if you are ready to let go of that which does not serve you and become the best version of yourself, well then look no further than Arkana. It’s been about three weeks and I am back home, still flying high with the magic of the medicine and Arkana percolating through me. I am filled with inspiration, guidance, and an expanded sense of humanity and beingness. I believe in Arkana, their team, Jose, Shantanu, Maestra Justina, and most importantly in the dream they are dreaming into existence. I have found a spiritual home, and I am so elated to have started what I believe to be a lifelong relationship, a place where I can continue to come with others to help each other grow and heal. And this is not true for only me, many others have already established this relationship, and of course the potential exists for you too.

Why Retreat?

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

Retreats inspire me to continue to practice and fuel my journey. I always find specified intention and feel it projects me closer to my purpose. Shannon
 

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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