What our visitors say about our Ayahuasca retreat.
“The Perfect Jungle Escape for Self Improvement” – by Joe – January 2015
If you are considering visiting Peru to experience Ayahuasca I have to highly recommend Refugio Altiplano. Having visited other centers I have to say that this one hands down tops them. The food is absolutely excellent with fresh fruit and tea delivered to your door every morning and three perfectly balanced (2 on ceremony nights) nutritious meals always including vegetables, chicken fish or eggs, white rice and lentils, and bread as well as a variety of juices. You have the option to add small amounts of salt and sugar for flavor, or not if you want to go official ayahuasca diet.
Accommodations are very comfortable with huge houses and comfortable beds with linen changed out every other day. Houses include running water for shower and sink with electricity in the evenings from 6:30 to 11:00pm as well as an outlet to charge your devices. (Bring an extension cord for multiple devices) Be aware there is no internet service at the center, but for true self exploration and improvement I really believe you need to learn to struggle without it for your stay and focus on yourself. I know, sounded like a drawback to me at first too but its not, suck it up.
There were two shamans there during my stay, Jose and Fransisco who lead and alternate in singing icaros and I believe a third is returning soon. Both are talented although I have to say the things fransisco can do with his voice are mindblowing. Jose will lead you on a tour of the botanical garden containing hundreds of plants each with a unique medical use. Very strong traditional ayahuasca medicine containing only aya and chacruna. Be sure to bring proper footwear for walking through mud, mosquito spray, and a swimsuit for cooling off in the river.
“The Miracle of Ayahuasca-12 Day Retreat at Refugio Altiplano” by Jessica & Larry – November 2014
There are not enough words to describe my husband and I’s experience. We went to Refugio as our last hope, out of a sense of pure desperation, both burdened with a host of physical and mental disorders, stunted emotionally by the weight of life itself. Among them, severe treatment resistance PTSD, depression, anxiety, debilitating insomnia (complete with hallucinations when no substance worked), alcoholism, nicotine addiction, bipolar disorder, I’m sure I could go on. As a registered nurse, I had taken myself and my husband to every specialty you can imagine. Bottles upon bottles of expensive prescription medication literally filled a drawer in our home, each causing it’s own set of side effects-potential for addiction, nausea, constipation, mood disorders, lack of sex drive, weight gain, etc. We were sick and tired of being sick and tired. So terrifed to go to a “third world country”, but more terrified to continue to “live” that way, we jumped.
I could go on and on about the beauty Mother Ayahuasca showed us, the pure spirits and love given to us by our new family at Refugio, but I suspect I’ll be writing a long article or a book, I am literally that filled up with joy! We arrived at Refugio each praying secretly, unbeknownst to the other, that if only one of us could be healed, it would be the other. We got not only healing though, each of us, but a profound spiritual experience as well. If I told you that you could meet God in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, could you not make that journey?
We did a LOT of research before we went to the Amazon, before we choose Refugio. I can not speak from personal experience of other retreats, but I can relate the musings of one of our fellow travelers, who had done Ayahuasca in several other places in North and South America. “This is the place. The other places are sometimes gimmicky, too luxurious, or simply don’t have the heart Refugio has.” He was on his 17th ceremony, and had cancelled plans at another retreat to return to Refugio. I will not bad mouth places that I haven’t been to, but I can tell you, I’m pretty much a city girl. I was 213 pounds, a former hairstylist, and very self conscious about my appearance. I’ve never gone that long without a bag of make up and a blow dryer in my adult life! It didn’t matter, it was freeing!
The Refugio Altiplano has the distinction of having not only an experienced shaman, but an experienced healer. They are a powerhouse duo, native Peruvians (not that expats can’t be good Shamans, I can’t speak on that). The level of healing we received, and the spirit in which we received it, could be no better.
I could go on and on, but I’ll leave you with this-we are still experiencing insights and revelations, and though my husband still has some of his worries, we are drug and substance free! We sleep like normal people, we each lost at least 13 pounds in 11 days (while eating delicious meals 3-4 times daily), and we have HOPE. We will return to Refugio as soon as possible!