Amanda Schendel

22 reviews · Write a review

About The Teacher

Amanda's goal as a Psychedelic Leader & Guide is to protect the practice of North and South American Spiritual traditions and ceremonies.

Amanda plays many roles; retreat producer, leader, facilitator, jokester and shaman-in-training. She just may provide you with a song or two during ceremony.

She is a highly intuitive guide and has trained, assisted and facilitated in over 500 psychedelic ceremonies with guests using ayahuasca, San Pedro (Huachuma cactus), psilocybin, tobacco, and rapé. 

Amanda brings a seasoned, varied and light-hearted approach to even deep medicine work.

She spent the past 5 years working with plant medicine and ceremonial healing with guests in Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, Jamaica and around the world. 

She is the founder of The Buena Vida Psychedelic Retreats & a partner of Sol Medicine Mexico.  

  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • Dan Schriner   February 28, 2020

      Life, Hope and Happiness

    I really can’t describe the indescribable experience this retreat was for me. Amanda and Heather guided us on a transformational experience. I left psychological baggage along the way, gained new insight into mySELF, and learned to trust and hope again. The journey continues after arriving home, but with new tools and a can-do mind-set. At age 62, life really can start over, with all the excitement and wonder of the child within.

  • Joe Zingsheim   February 03, 2020


    I had never had a psychedelic experience nor had I smoked "weed". I am 78 yrs old and have stuttered since age 7-8. Reading about Paul Stamets and his experience with mushrooms and stuttering I decided to try the retreat. I was not disappointed. I was well prepared by the staff at Buena Vida. They did a wonderful job in the ceremonial use of psilocybins. I feel the release of emotions and tension in my body has made my speech more fluent. I realize that I have more work to do on my own but that the retreat has started me on a journey of healing. The retreat exceeded my expectations and I am very happy that I went through the experience.

  • Katja von Tiesenhausen   January 21, 2020


    My experience at Buena Vida can be summed up in one word...Transformational. First of all, it is very well organized and planned. Transportation to and from the airport is arranged and well coordinated. Daily activities by the staff, such as meditation, energy work, dance, and yoga, can be as healing and expansive as the ceremonies themselves. The location is very private and safe and like a paradise, allowing for a comfortable, relaxing environment for inner work without distractions or physical discomforts. The chefs prepare food for each meal and it was better than a 5 star restaurant. The ceremonies were the safest ceremonies I've ever attended, which definitely helped the anxiety I had before each one. I felt truly cared for and supported by the staff, who were always readily available and extremely helpful. Through her words, song, drumming, and amazing presence, Amanda leads each ceremony with humor, power, wisdom, compassion, and connection to a Higher Consciousness within all of us, and is an amazing Shamanic healer. The plant medicine was in the form of a tea that did not taste bad at all. I felt no nausea, yet had powerful experiences. I really felt like I was part of a loving family while I was at this retreat. The insights I gained during my journeys have already resulted in more peace and clarity in my life.

  • Julie Dunigan   January 19, 2020

      The Amazing Amanda Schendel

    This is my third retreat with Amanda. She is a super special human being. She is made for this sacred work. There are many stellar dimensions to this woman. With the help of one administrative star assistant, Amanda successfully puts together these amazing retreats with the infinite amount of details: food, lodging, setting, transport, facilitators, down time activities, and the enormity of having successful ceremonies. I believe Amanda has some higher cosmic force backing her up. What is most astounding is that she remains humble, real, honest, authentic, genuine, loving and perhaps most importantly very funny. I believe this to be her secret virtue or ace up her sleeve as it constantly relaxes and calms everyone down. It’s not easy to do this deep work, so Amanda’s humor is an enormous advantage. I am eternally grateful to know her and participate in her wonderful retreats. Jan. 2020, Julie Dunigan

  • Julie Dunigan   June 14, 2019

      2nd phenomenal retreat with Amanda

    Just returned from a second retreat with Amanda in June 2019. I'm starting to believe this woman has SUPER POWERS. The retreat itself couldn't have gone smoother. The accommodations in Ensenada Mexico were so nice they were almost dreamlike. The food was healthy and delicious beyond imagination. Besides planning and organizing endless thoughtful details, Amanda's super powers lie in her shape shifting abilities. Facilitator, teacher, guide, comic relief, medicine woman, and being one of us, as we all bonded together. Words escape me as I try and describe the actual ceremonies. For me they have all been of extreme high vibration, supported with enormous love and protection. They were magical and transformational, I have returned more aligned with my true self!. You are extremely fortunate if you ever get the chance to be part of Amanda's amazing retreats.

  • Courtney P   April 21, 2019

      Exceptional Every Time

    I met Amanda a year prior at my first plant medicine retreat. She was amazing! Knowledgeable, personable, honest, hilarious! I had a wonderful experience. Fast forward some time, and I learned she had branched out and was doing another retreat with a different type of plant medicine. I was a bit nervous, but absolutely trusted Amanda and took the plunge. I have no regrets. She was there through every up and down, comforting and nurturing, and the wings that had begun to bud at my first retreat opened up and allowed me to soar. I am forever grateful for this beautiful woman who truly changed my life. I continue to evolve and a great percentage of that success is owed to Amanda Schendel! Thank you!

  • Richard Prager   April 02, 2019

      Committed, dedicated, and caring

    Amanda was very helpful and supportive before, during, and after the retreat my wife and I participated in with her in March, 2019. She is experienced, knowledgeable, and organized. She really wants everyone to feel safe and comfortable enough to take risks and grow. She has a sparkling personality, a good sense of humor, and great compassion.

  • Evan Renaerts   February 17, 2019

      Amazing Amanda!

    I knew the first time I met Amanda that she was a special being, so full of life and love. This was proven beyond any doubt during the week-long psylocibin retreat I participated in during January 2019! Amanda organized and executed hundreds of logistical details, offered up warm welcomes and held sacred space. She is able to do what she does so well because she is living her passion. I’ve seldom felt more loved and cared for! If you have a chance to be in retreat with Amanda, jump at it!

  • Martha Anandakrishnan   February 15, 2019

      Awesome retreat

    This is the second retreat I’ve done with Amanda and both times she did an awesome job as a facilitator. She was one of the organizers of second retreat in Mexico and she looked after the large number of participants with professionalism, compassion, and a great sense of fun. I was impressed by how well organized the retreat was and how creative she was with the ceremonies. She always made sure our needs were met, whether it was transportation, a hot shower, or help during the ceremony. I highly recommend any retreat that involves Amanda!

  • Julie Dunigan   February 11, 2019

      A true light worker

    I had the great honor of being part of a sacred Psilocybin retreat in 2019 in part organized by Amanda. Not only did Amanda successfully organize an awesome 8 day retreat, constantly working on all of our behalf, but it was a total joy to be in her presence. She has both tremendous comedic gifts and a very healing quality that made us feel completely accepted no matter what type of baggage or wounding we came with. Her compassion, kindness, and knowledge as a facilitator were exceptional and I felt safe and well cared for during these Psilocybin ceremonies. Once deep in the medicine I was informed by the spirit of the mushroom that Amanda and her team were truly made for this sacred work and were part of something extremely important. I recommend her to anyone looking to do this type of deep work and hope that I can return to a future Sol medicine event as it was one of the most beneficial retreats of my life.

  • Blair Owens   February 10, 2019

      Amanda brings love and light!

    Amanda is flowing with creative and loving energy. She is the best friend you can open up to, providing the space to feel safe and accepted while also easing tension with her charismatic and uplifting personality. She has had me on the floor laughing (one of the best medicines), guided me through meditation with her beautiful drumming and singing and has also been there to listen in my most difficult times. Amanda is knowledgeable, comforting and understanding. She is someone I look up to on this path and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to connect with her.

  • Petar Veljacic   November 20, 2018

      What a lovely soul!

    Amanda was one of the fire keepers in my final ayahuasca ceremony at Gaia Sagrada in Ecuador and I remember that she accomplished magnificent work that required loads of concentration and fine skills. She was moving around energies during my stay in Gaia with elegance and inspired many participants with the stories she shared. Key words that describe Amanda (except from being such a lovely soul) : clarity, efficiency and readiness. Looking forward to meeting Amanda again in some other set up!

  • Jansyn Cunyus   November 15, 2018

      Knowledgeable and Passionate

    My husband and I both had the opportunity to have Amanda facilitate our psychedelic journeys. I can say that without a doubt, she is both knowledgeable and compassionate. She helped my understanding of the experience and led me through several breakthroughs that were instrumental in my growth through the process. Her witty hilariousness never failed to lighten up any tense moments that arouse. Her breadth of knowledge on just about any subject matter made conversations with her as easy as they come. I would be honored to have her facilitate another one of my experiences in the future.

  • Megan   November 13, 2018

      Healing Magic

    Something about Amanda and her energy makes you feel accepted- which is a very comforting feeling during ceremonies. From the way she holds herself, holds a ceremony, and holds space for other beings is full of such natural grace it makes you feel warm knowing that you are safe with her. If you have been intrigued by this sort of healing but haven’t taken the leap I’d say that this is the sort of place to do it!

  • Megan   November 13, 2018

      Healing Magic

    Something about Amanda and her energy makes you feel accepted- which is a very comforting feeling during ceremonies. From the way she holds herself, holds a ceremony, and holds space for other beings is full of such natural grace it makes you feel warm knowing that you are safe with her. If you have been intrigued by this sort of healing but haven’t taken the leap I’d say that this is the sort of place to do it!

  • Jeff Canada   November 13, 2018

      Magestic human!

    Amanda was an amazing facilitator and friend on my retreat. Her calming energy was able to ground me and help me along my journey. She gracefully led me through meditations, yoga, ceremonies, massages, and was a kind friendly ear to listen and talk with me. I highly recommend Amanda and am so happy to have her in my life. ❤️

  • Tinatsu Wallace   November 13, 2018

      Compassionate and trustworthy facilitator

    Amanda facilitated during a retreat experience I had in Jamaica, and I absolutely loved her bubbly but grounded presence. Her knowledge, experience, and insight helped me navigate my own experiences, and she's just plain fun to hang out with as well. I would work with her again anytime.

  • Martha Anandakrishnan   November 13, 2018

      Joyful, Intelligent, Caring

    I connected with Amanda the moment I met her—she has the kind of positive energy people are drawn to immediately. The sort of work she does with retreats demands a serious commitment to the wellbeing of the participants (which can be challenging); yet Amanda has a light touch and a sense of humor that make the experience more effective and enjoyable. My best moments were spent with her and I trusted her implicitly. I would definitely do another retreat with her and highly recommend her!

  • Nicole Sambor   November 13, 2018

      Calming Presence

    As a somewhat anxious, introverted person, I have a tendency to keep my distance from most people until I know them well. This was not necessary with Amanda. I felt safe around her from the moment that I met her, while she was working as a facilitator at a retreat that I attended in Jamaica. Her compassionate, calming presence was felt immediately. Additionally, she has a great sense of humor, which helps. The retreat wouldn’t have been the same without her.

  • Sam   September 21, 2018

      caring and compassionate

    Amanda is one of the most caring and compassionate women I’ve ever met. She’s a strong, guiding force who wields her energy like a healing baton. She understands herself and her place within the world she inhabits, and she honors the journey and honors the soul in ways I’d never experienced before. She’s also grounded and hilarious, which makes even the scary moments fun. I’d recommend any time you can spend with Amanda as possible. Her retreat changed my life.

  • Paul Gambill   July 12, 2018

      Amanda is a warm and thoughtful guide who makes experiences more fun

    I went on a retreat hosted by Amanda in July 2017 at a beautiful house in Sammammish, WA. From the moment I arrived until the time that I left, I felt like a very welcome guest. Amanda has such a fun and endearing personality that makes it very easy to feel comfortable with her as a guide. She offered an opportunity to discuss 1 on 1 with her any concerns or anxieties I was feeling, and that was really helpful to preparing me for the ceremonies. Every detail about the weekend was meticulously planned, from food to activities to how to create a comfortable space for all the attendees. I had an incredible experience with her, and I would absolutely do it again if she was hosting a retreat in my area.

  • Katherine Elonna   July 10, 2018

      Joyful and Powerful Leader & Excellent Ceremonies

    I was lucky enough to have Amanda as one of my Ayahuasca facilitators. I've also worked personally with her in a one-on-one mushroom journey. She truly is able to hold space and provide such a caring and warm environment. I think its so important to trust the person who is leading you through these psychedelic spaces. Amanda has a firm grip on these medicines and also has such a light-hearted personality and warmth so that I always felt it was easy to let go and breathe into my lessons and healing. I find her experience with traditional ceremonies helpful as she creates a beautiful and intimate space for your journey. However, she also is a modern teacher and able understand the needs and background of westerners. Overall, I'd love to attend any retreat or journey that she hosted. I can't wait to see what's next for Amanda!


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