- The Ayahuasca Foundation
- Chamisal Retreat Center Iquitos, Peru
- Aug 11 - 24, 2019 (14 days)
- $1,750.00 - (US)
- 6 traditional Ayahuasca Ceremonies led by an indigenous curandero and the AF assistants
- 2 private consultations with the curandero translated by the assistant healers
- Daily Piñon Colorado brain/blood remedy taken three times a day for the duration of the retreat
- 1 Sangre de Grado digestive system cleanse to reset digestive enzymes and enhance nutrient absorption
- 4 Vapor Baths with five medicinal plants to sweat out toxins and replace them with healing medicine
- 1 Mucura sinus cleanse to cleanse the sinuses and boost immunity against allergies
- 3 Plants Baths to connect further with the plants and soak in the medicine
- 1 Ojé blood purification treatment to remove parasitic organisms and cleanse the blood
- 2 Smoke Baths to increase energetic defenses and protection from negativity
- 1 Chiric Sanango nervous system cleanse to boost the immune system and release emotional blockages
- 2 Love Baths for attracting positive energy, good luck, and love
- Any additional treatments such as poultices, medicines, massage, or whatever is needed
SUNDAY: Arrive and stay in a hotel for one night. Meeting with the other students and facilitators then dinner afterwards.
MONDAY: Go to Chamisal center and settle in. Have lunch and then a discussion on ceremony procedure. CEREMONY #1
TUESDAY: Digestive system cleanse with Sangre de Grado. Private consultations with the curandero. Remedies begin.
WEDNESDAY: Begin vapor baths. Talk on intention, navigation, and soplaying with mapacho. CEREMONY #2
THURSDAY: Vapor baths continue. Inhalent treatment with Mucura to cleanse the respiratory system.
FRIDAY: Vapor baths continue. Workshop to learn a healing song called an Icaro. Guided meditation. CEREMONY #3
SATURDAY: Vapor baths continue. Second purgative to more deeply cleanse the digestive system and purify the blood.
SUNDAY: Plant Baths begin. Remedies continue. Workshop to practice the icaro. CEREMONY #4
MONDAY: Baths continue. Chiric Sanango treatment to cleanse the central nervous system and boost the immune system.
TUESDAY: Baths continue. Additional treatments, massage and meditation. CEREMONY #5
WEDNESDAY: Smoke baths begin. Hike in the jungle and swimming in the river. Relaxation.
THURSDAY: Love baths begin. Final consultation. Integration workshop. CEREMONY #6
FRIDAY: Head back to town and spend the night in Iquitos. Shopping at plant market, souvenirs, etc.
SATURDAY: Meet for breakfast. Receive course certificates and USBs. Say your goodbyes…
About This Event
NOURISHING THE SOUL
The Ayahuasca Foundation’s two week ayahuasca retreat is a chance to turn the corner on life’s path and begin to head in a new direction. Retreat participants spend a total of 12 days at the Ayahuasca Foundation’s Chamisal Retreat Center (plus 2 days in Iquitos) and attend 6 ayahuasca ceremonies led by the Shipibo curandero and the assistant healers. In addition to the ayahuasca ceremonies, participants also receive a wide variety of plant treatments that cleanse the mind, body, and spirit, as well as remedies specific to their afflictions. This ayahuasca retreat is not just for healing physical, mental, and emotional problems, it is also a great way to explore the self and understand the true nature of reality.
The Shipibo plant medicine tradition employed during this retreat allows participants to take greater control of their lives, their thoughts, their actions, and their overall health. The unique qualities of the ayahuasca ceremonies provide participants with the opportunity to play an active role in the healing process, confronting their negativity, past traumas, or possible roots of their illnesses. The plant treatments further enhance this process, working to boost the immune system, balance the digestive system, purify the nervous system, cleanse the circulatory system, and heal the emotional body. The treatment addresses every level of existence and allows participants to personally realize the path to their health and happiness. Further counseling is provided after the retreat to assist with the challenges of integration upon return.
During the retreats, participants receive medicinal plant remedies, purgatives, baths in plant preparations, vapor baths, smoke baths, massage therapy, inhalants, and counseling, in addition to the ceremonies. The assistant healers explain each aspect of the healing process so that participants understand how they can better take part in their own healing. The ayahuasca ceremonies provide the ultimate opportunity to do just that, as well as give the curandero the assistance of the plant spirits, angels and saints, and God. Ultimately, it is not the curandero who heals, it is the motivating principle within all life, or God, working through the healer, the plants, and the spirit.
In addition to the healing work, every retreat participant will also have the opportunity to learn about the science of healing being used by the curandero during their stay. Participants will take part in several workshops demonstrating the various techniques and methods of using medicinal plants to treat illnesses. Not only will the healing take place, but also a great deal of education in the indigenous healing traditions of the Amazon Rainforest. By teaching the tradition during the treatment, the treatment is enhanced, and the knowledge will be a great aid to each participant when returning home. The Assistant Healers will also lead additional activities like yoga, meditation, sharing circles, therapy workshops, and fun games. These complementary practices help to enhance the power and healing potential of the ayahuasca and plant medicine tradition.
After twelve days in the jungle, six ayahuasca ceremonies, and a variety of healing remedies and treatments, participants return to Iquitos with a new lease on life, having turned the corner on their problems and found the path leading to their complete health and happiness. It may take more time to achieve this, so more medicine will be available to bring back home and continue treatment, if necessary. Once participants return to Iquitos, they will have time to decompress and process their experiences in the jungle, and to enjoy the beauty and culture of the Amazon Rainforest. Our staff will assist with travel plans, shopping trips, advice, and anything else we can provide to make the experience more beneficial. We continue to stay in contact with all of our retreat participants via email and social media to provide further support and guidance after the retreat.
This is a place of healing and salvation, my time here has changed my life for the better and I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a professionally run healing retreat. - Steve
Venue HighlightsLocated in the heart of the Allpahuayo-Mishana national reserve, within walking distance of the Mishana community.
Surrounded by over 100,000 acres of protected forest, alongside a gorgeous river.
A botanical garden with a wide variety of medicinal plants compliments the retreat center ammenities.
Completely staffed by the Mishana community, including on of the facilitators and manager.
Star Gazing deck, hammock hut, massage table, hiking trails, swimming, fishing, and (contact info blocked)
AccommodationsPre-program counseling session with (contact info blocked)
Accommodations for two nights at a hotel in Iquitos
3 meals in Iquitos – dinner, lunch, and breakfast
Accommodations for 11 nights at the Retreat Center
Screened in rooms with private bathrooms and electricity
Transportation to and from the Chamisal Center
At least two meals a day, following a healing diet
Fruit, vegetables, quinoa, lentils, grilled fish, eggs, etc.
Translation of entire program when needed
Assistants also add their own experiences and teachings
Access to the Assistants for counseling/guidance
3 assistants will be available throughout the retreat
USB of retreat photos and ceremony recordings
Post-program counseling session with (contact info blocked)
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
- Nut Free
Menu/CuisineA common breakfast includes: Oatmeal, fresh fruit, raisins, eggs, rice, vegetables
A common lunch includes: Quinoa, lentils, salad, sweet potatoes, fruit juice, fish, herbal tea
A common dunner includes: Rice, split peas, salad, eggs, vegetables, juice, teas
DirectionsParticipants fly into Iquitos, Peru airport. Groups leave together in chartered bus to a village along the Nanay river, then travel by boat to the center, located inside the national reserve. It takes approximately two and a half hours to get to the center from the center of Iquitos
100% deposit refund for cancellation 30+ days before event.
50% deposit refund for cancellation 15-29 days before event.
0% deposit refund for cancellation 0-14 days before event.
The remaining balance (total price minus deposit) is due upon arrival.
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ReviewsWrite a review - tell others about your experience.
Michael McKay May 13, 2019
This retreat goes far beyond ayahuascua, using many plants to facilitate the optimal effects of ayahuascua. I came here to cure my addiction to marijuana and was not disappointed. My whole world has changed. The shaman (Don Migel) and his assistants (James, Nick and Victoria) are extremely professional, supportive and educated on ayahuascua, and have changed many many lives through this retreat. They play astonishing music throughout the ceremonies and are there to counsel and support people on their personal journeys. I can't imagine going anywhere else to get the results I got here.
Mendouz Beats November 21, 2018
I was part of a two-week retreat with the Ayahuasca Foundation in late 2018. First of all I want to give everyone some background information on my person to understand my reasons for taking part: I am a male in my early thirties and for decades I was struggeling with deep depression, severe anxiety (social anxiety for the most part) and feelings of deep shame. In the last 10-15 years my depression and social anxiety got so bad, that I was not able to work in any job, were I would be in direct contact with other people. I ended almost all of my social contacts and isolated myself to the point, where I would not leave the house most of the time. Just to go out and do things like grocery shopping was a very challenging thing to do. Especially speaking in front of people was one of my biggest anxieties. So the trip to Peru alone, which took me around 35-40 hours from central europe was a very challenging expirience. But once I was there, although still very anxious, I already felt more secure when I met the people, that would stay in the retreat together with me. Everyone working for the AF I came in contact with, beginning with Carlos, the founder of the AF and all the facillitators and curanderos, that stayed with and worked with the group I was in, to the fascillitators of the group from the Riosbo Center nearby our Center were absolutetly amazing people. Full of love, openness and unconditional acceptance. That fact alone laid the foundation stone of my healing process. More and more was I able to open myself up, put down my guard and talk about my problems with everyone, which by the way was my biggest nightmare before. Just being in that environment helped me so much to let go of my ego and it's fears and to put more faith into the whole process. Let's not forget all the indigenous people from the Mishana community. These people are just absolutetly special and one can see so clearly, that their "style" of living, which is just natural and in harmony with nature, is so superior to the ways our societies live in the western world. The location itself, the Reserva Nacional Allpahuayo-Mishana, is just the most peaceful and most harmonious environment I have ever stayed in in my whole life. When you add the ayahuasca ceremonies and all the other plant medicines, that were part of the different therapies to this equation, you can receive healing on a level, that you could have never imagined before. For myself all the ayahuasca expiriences were very challenging, because all my negative emotions like pain, anxiety, shame and anger, which I repressed since my early childhood, came to the surface and in order to let go of them I had to go through them again. This were the most challenging times of the whole retreat, but also the most rewarding ones. It makes you very proud to know, that you faced your deepest fears again and again, even though you were scared to death before each and every ceremony. One thing about the ceremonies at AF is very special and it was kind of a synchronicity for me personally, to choose AF over other retreat centers. At one point of the ceremony, after the curandero and the fascillitators sang for around three hours, everyone of the group will be individually asked if they want to take part of the ceremony and sing a song for themself and the group. This was one of my biggest fears. As I said, social anxiety was my biggest fear before and therefore just speaking in front of people was my worst nightmare. It took me three ceremonies to do it, but in the third one I tried it for the first time and although I had a full on panic attack right in the middle of "my moment to shine", I went through it and the love, applause and positive energy I received from everyone after was so heartwarming and transforming for my whole being. Seeing that you don't have to be good at something in order to do it in front of other people was so profound and healed me deeply. This feeling of being enough, being okay with yourself right here as you are, this feeling of acceptance of my own self was one of the key moments. It's now roughly a month after the retreat, I'm back home in same environment I was in before, but my whole outlook on my life and life in general has changed deeply. I am able to go out again whenever I want to. No anxiety of getting in contact with other people. I want to tell my story now, I want to talk about all the problems, that I had in the past with everyone. I just want to share my life again. My depression is gone almost completetly I would say. I'm not sure if it's still there, so yeah I would say it's pretty much gone. This dragging mental pain is not there anymore. It's just amazing, I am so proud of myself for doing this journey and I have a lot of motivation for everything, that is going to come into my life in the future. Whatever it might be. When I look back to my condition before the retreat and now after, it's honestly almost to good to be true. If you can relate to any problems I mentioned in my review, I can assure you, that a retreat with the Ayahuasca Foundation will give you deep inner healing of your emotions and energy and a new, positive outlook on life.
Dave Clarkson October 05, 2018
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.
Steve July 31, 2018
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.