The Shadow and the Screaming Abyss: Two Week Special with Dennis + Dorian | Airport Transportation Included

  • Soltara Healing Center Soltara Healing Center
  • Playa Blanca, Paquera, Costa Rica
  • Nov 11 - 25, 2018 (15 days)
  • Dorm-Style Shared Suite (Gender Neutral | Full Size Bunk Beds) - $5,150.00 Dorm-Style Shared Suite (Female[-Identifying] Only | Full Size Bunk Beds) - $5,150.00 Private Couples Suite (King Bed | *Price for 2*) - $10,950.00…

About us


Worlds collide in an exclusive chance to dive deeply into your healing journey alongside two luminaries of our time: Dr. Dennis McKenna, ethnopharmacologist and psychedelic scientist, followed by Dorian Yates, former professional bodybuilding champion and current proponent of holistic health, nutrition, and spiritual growth. This two-week opportunity is a special chance to learn from the perspectives of leaders who have excelled in their fields, with a wealth of knowledge and experience about overcoming adversity, breaking through limitations, and fulfilling their potential in the paths they have chosen.


Join us for a two-week immersive experience connecting with Dennis and Dorian in medicine, community, and ceremony, November 11 – 25, 2018.

Make the most of this unique opportunity while taking advantage of lower package pricing.


Dr. Dennis McKenna, PhD

Dennis McKenna’s prolific career in ethnopharmacology, botany, and psychedelic science spans a wide variety of disciplines, avenues, and countries. He has given numerous lectures on topics ranging from plant medicines, to consciousness, to spirituality, to pharmacology, and has authored or co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed scientific papers and written books, including “The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss: My Life with Terence McKenna”, and “The Invisible Landscape” with his brother Terence. He has also organized conferences, served as principle investigator for various research projects related to ayahuasca and other plant medicines, served as professor of Botanical Medicines and Ethnopharmacology, and conducted extensive fieldwork in the Peruvian, Colombian, and Brazilian Amazon. You can read his full bio here.

Dr. McKenna’s advisory role to Soltara and extensive knowledge of psychedelics and plant medicines has informed our mission of spreading high quality information about these healing modalities. Offering a series of lectures and workshops as adjuncts to ayahuasca ceremony, Dr. McKenna will weave his scientific and cultural understanding of ayahuasca, psychedelics, consciousness, science, and spirituality throughout the week, providing an opportunity for participants to dive deeply into the world of holistic healing, from both an objective and experiential perspective.


Dorian Yates

Dorian Yates’ philosophy and spirituality has informed his approach to both his life and his prolific career. A former professional body-builder, 6-time Mr. Olympia Winner, yoga and meditation enthusiast, dedicated father and husband, and mentor to many, Dorian applies his deeply rooted values to every aspect of his life. Breaking out of the stereotype of what spirituality looks like, his mission is to help others transcend the false limitations and beliefs that may be holding them back from embracing their most authentic selves.

In the second half of this retreat, participants will have the chance to connect with Dorian, share stories, struggles, and triumphs, and learn from this legend while diving deeply into their own healing journeys. Having worked with plant medicines and holistic therapies since his professional days, he has been able to bridge this type of healing work with the discipline and commitment of a long-time champion in an intensely competitive field. Whether you’re interested in overcoming trauma, persevering through adversity, connecting with your body, or understanding the mental fortitude it takes to break through your limitations, Dorian’s life experience can help you dig deep and connect to that inner strength and power.

Earning the nickname “The Shadow” – due to his tendency to remain out of the spotlight and public eye only to emerge in major bodybuilding contests and win – Dorian’s life is a testament to authenticity, devotion, and strength. After suffering major traumatic injuries (just 3 weeks before his final Mr. Olympia competition, which he won despite them), his career as a bodybuilder ended, and he was forced to transcend his previous identity. Digging more deeply into his spiritual practice, he now espouses the benefits of yoga, meditation, ritual, plant medicine and other holistic modalities.


Explore the benefits these modalities have to offer in a safe and supportive environment. Join us November 11 – 25, 2018 for a week of integrative medicine work and deep spiritual healing, combining the time-honored practices of traditional Shipibo shamanism with in-depth discussions, workshops, and lectures from two of the most inspiring minds in the world today.


We look forward to supporting you on your journey

Your stay at Soltara includes:

  • Airport transportation (arrive & depart – see date and time details)
  • 8 ayahuasca ceremonies with highly-experienced Peruvian female & male Shipibo shamans
  • Multiple lectures, discussions, and sharing circles with Dr. Dennis McKenna and Dorian Yates
  • All meals in our conscious cuisine kitchen, prepared fresh daily from organic, pesticide-free, local sources in an ayahuasca-friendly manner
  • Floral baths on ceremony days, with medicinal plants lovingly prepared by our shamans
  • Yoga classes for all levels throughout your stay
  • Guided breathwork and meditation sessions
  • Multiple excursions throughout your stay in one of the most abundant & biodiverse regions on the planet
  • One-on-one consultations with our shamans (and translator)
  • On-site integration workshops and sharing circles with our shamans and facilitators
  • Access to our creative space for music, art, writing, and dance
  • Access to a semi-private beach and equipment for kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling in the pristine Gulf of Nicoya
  • High-speed WiFi in all rooms (although we encourage all guests to disconnect as much as possible!)
  • Air-conditioning in all rooms
  • Lifetime 10% discount for all return visits
  • Participation in our premiere integration program and community with a highly qualified integration support team
  • Optional add-ons including:

    • Professional massages (included in single and private couples lodging; additional cost for dorm-style lodging)
    • Holistic life coaching sessions


Our program is designed for your optimal ease and comfort, so you can free your mind to focus fully on yourself and your experience.

We look forward to having you with us.




We are called to serve medicine in sacred ceremony with integrity, humility, and compassion. By creating a safe space and working only with experienced, well-intentioned shamans and facilitators, we uphold the lessons of the medicines and build a foundation of mutual trust, authenticity, and respect. We are not gurus, preachers, or enlightened beings – our shamans are healers who humbly transmit the knowledge and healing energies of the plants, and our facilitators are devoted to helping guests face, process, and explore difficult experiences and emotions, handle projections, manage expectations, and surrender to the process. We strive to uphold the highest integrity in everything we do and be a beacon for responsible, safe, and ethical practices, such that our guests feel safe and supported to get the most out of their healing.


Dear fellow travelers, if you are thinking of a plant medicine retreat, go to Soltara. It's a beautiful place with tremendous support staff. You will be safe, secure, and cared for. The grounds are beautiful with mature plantings, the rooms are air conditioned and the food is great. I got healing on levels I never expected. The whole experience is truly a gift. I believe I will be back.

Venue Highlights

At Soltara, we work with indigenous Peruvian Shipibo female and male shamans, and have decades of combined experience working at top-rated Ayahuasca retreat centers in the Peruvian Amazon. We are honored to promote the expansion of plant medicines and holistic health in an accessible, respectful, informed way.

One thing that we noticed at the centers we came from was the strong focus on the retreat experience itself, with much less emphasis on the before and after – but preparing for the work and effectively integrating the lessons learned into your daily life is as important as learning the lessons themselves. As such, we want to provide a space to experience these medicines directly, but also ensure that we provide the tools and resources for anyone to begin, continue, or integrate their healing journey, in a way that is best for them.

Our approach to these objectives is three-fold:

- We work with a highly experienced clinical psychologists and integration specialists as part of our preparation and integration support team. These team members have a foot in both Western and traditional medicine practices, understanding health from a holistic perspective that incorporates the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies. We offer individual and group sessions to help you get the most out of your experience.

- We provide high-quality videos, informative content, and educational resources surrounding holistic healing, shamanism, indigenous culture, psychedelic science, spiritual practices, and tips for preparation and integration, among others.

- We invite you to co-create a community with us that fosters open dialogue and a safe platform for people to connect, learn, heal, and share their processes with each other. We at Soltara have found, through our experience, that so much of healing comes from being vulnerable, breaking down walls, letting people in, and holding space for others to do the same. When we authentically share stories, struggles, and ideas, we open up the space to figure things out on a deep level and remember that we are not alone.

The crucial first step to healing the world is healing ourselves, and there has never been a better time. The decisions we make on an individual, societal, and global scale over the next few years will determine the trajectory and course of our survival and our legacy. This is a mission and a movement that is bigger than all of us, but that includes us, and thus it is our humble hope to contribute in whatever way we can, and empower you to do the same.


  • Air Conditioning in Rooms
  • Free Wifi
  • Spa
  • Pool
  • Towels
  • Free Parking
  • Kitchen
  • Tour Assistance
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Cafe
  • Restaurant
  • Fitness Center
  • Yoga Studio
  • House-Keeping

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Pescetarian
  • Includes Meat
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free


We believe healing even takes place in the kitchen. We take on the mantra by the Greek physician, Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” We honor the role of food in our lives and expand it beyond its primary purpose of bodily nourishment – food can be an avenue to dig deeper into ourselves, consciously looking at our patterns and mindsets surrounding not just what we eat, but how and why we eat what we do. Our eating habits don’t just affect our mental health, they also reflect it.

At Soltara, we aim to help you jumpstart this process of connection through conscious cooking on all levels. Diet is an important part of the healing process, both on its own and also to help prepare the mind and body for plant medicine work. We work closely with our shamans to prepare wholesome, delicious meals that adhere to the traditional dietary guidelines of working with ayahuasca. All of our meals are freshly prepared in-house by our loving kitchen staff. From fresh smoothies and juices every morning, to plant-based meals emphasizing local, organic, and sustainable produce, to lean proteins such a chicken and fish, we celebrate the rich local flavor of Costa Rican cuisine, and offer a chance to experience a connection to the land and culture while nourishing the body, mind, and spirit.


We offer different room options and pricing to ensure that a high-quality healing experience is accessible for a variety of budgets. Every room includes all amenities and features listed below.

For those who prefer privacy and quiet, this luxurious and spacious suite features a king-size bed and accommodates a single guest of any gender. Also includes a free 1-hour massage with our licensed massage therapist.

For couples who prefer privacy, our couples room features a king-size bed and accommodates two guests of any gender. Also includes a free 1-hour massage for each guest with our licensed massage therapist.

For those seeking a more economical option, our shared dorm-style suite has 2 custom full-size bunk beds to accommodate up to 4 guests, along with a private bathroom, shower, and ocean-view balcony.

To facilitate your healing and peace of mind, all our accommodations feature extensive amenities, including:

An en-suite bathroom with a spacious private shower overlooking the surrounding jungle
A gorgeous outdoor balcony with comfortable seating area overlooking the jungle and the Gulf of Nicoya
A writing desk/creative space
Air-conditioning & ceiling fans
High-speed WiFi (although the WiFi is fast, we find the connection is even stronger without it 😉 )
Orthopedic beds & luxury linens
Beautiful handcrafted, locally-sourced decor & personal artisanal touches
Daily room service & linen changes throughout your stay
Clean, fresh towels changed regularly (additional towels available upon request)
Full laundry service

All of our accommodations also include all meals, medicinal plant ceremonies, yoga and breathwork classes, workshops, nature excursions, and transportation to and from the pickup location in San Jose.


Please ensure you reserve your spot for your retreat with us prior to booking your flights. If you have any questions during the registration process or are concerned any health conditions (including bipolar, schizophrenia, or psychosis) may prevent you from attending a retreat, please contact us first.

We offer pickup on Day 1 (Sunday) of your retreat at 12 PM from the Hampton Inn and Suites, located about 15 minutes from the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO).

We recommend arriving the day before, on Saturday, and booking your stay at the Hampton Inn, in order to give you time to relax and settle in before beginning your journey to Soltara.

If you plan to arrive on Sunday, we recommend booking your flight to arrive by 9 AM that day, to allow time to get through customs (which can sometimes take up to 2 hours) and get to Hampton Inn in time for the 12 PM shuttle. You will arrive at Soltara around 4 pm that day, after an approximately 2 – 2.5 hour ride through the beautiful rolling hills of Costa Rica, and catching a 2:30 pm ferry ride across to Gulf of Nicoya. We are located about 10 minutes from the ferry port.

Our retreat packages end on Sundays. If you are returning to SJO, please book your departing flights after 3:30 PM. You will be returned to San Jose by 12:30 PM.

We look forward to supporting you in an immersive experience in nature, community, and medicine!

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Book Now:

The Shadow and the Screaming Abyss: Two Week Special with Dennis + Dorian | Airport Transportation Included

at Soltara Healing Center

  • Nov 11, 2018 - Nov 25, 2018 (15 days)


Thank you!

We're glad you've joined our retreat community. See you around :)

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