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What is an Ayahuasca retreat?

What is an Ayahuasca retreat?

Ayahuasca Retreats in the Sacred Valley, Cusco. 


An Ayahuasca retreat is a program where techniques of Amazonian ancestral medicine and techniques of psychedelic medicine and transpersonal psychotherapy are combined. In an Ayahuasca retreat, the main objective is a healing experience through the exploration of expanded states of consciousness. In a retreat you will participate in ayahuasca ceremonies that will help you to cleanse physically, energetically and spiritually, through a powerful process of catharsis, purging and purification, and you will be supported by the use of shamanic techniques, and a transpersonal psychotherapist will help you interpret and make sense of your experiences of expanded states of consciousness so that you can assimilate and integrate your experience into your daily life.


During the retreat you will receive constant transpersonal psychological counseling. You will have the opportunity to live a transformative and healing experience. The experience with the medicine will help you connect with your Higher Self or travel through the spiritual world. You will have the opportunity to heal childhood wounds or traumas, reconnect with your inner child and integrate the dark aspects of your personality. Ayahuasca is a powerful tool for self-knowledge.


You will also enjoy the magic of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.


Shamanism, Spiritual Journey & profound Healing experience. Welcome to our Ayahuasca Retreats!


A journey into the depths of being, an exploration of the psychic reality and the spiritual dimension, allowings us to know more about our inner world, and connecting with our inner potential of healing, development and evolution.


The process itself takes place for five or six days, and includes two or three Ayahuasca sessions, with a maximum of 6 participants per session. The main objectives to be achieved during the retreat are:



Millenary Psychedelic Science


AyahuascaThe peoples of the Amazon have been using Ayahuasca for thousands of years, and its use has been extended to the present, generation after generation.


Historically, the peoples of the Amazon have used this brew for different purposes, among them, the healing of diseases, preparation for hunting or war, the access to modified states of consciousness allowing a cosmological order to their society, and the connection with the world of spirits. In this sense, ayahuasca is a spiritual technology that allows a deep inner journey, and awakening of consciousness. It is a legacy of ancestral wisdom.


This legacy of wisdom can help to the human being of the modern world, to the people of the big cities who desperately are looking for a reconnection with the spiritual dimension and who want to find meaning to their existences. The contemporary use of Ayahuasca in our retreat center is focused on integrating the amazonian medicinal system and psycho spiritual psychotherapy. 


What is Ayahuasca

A powerful medicinal plant originally from the Amazon jungle, used for centuries by native peruvian peoples. 

A legacy of wisdom from the Ancient Civilization in South America

An spiritual technology to explore the Psychic Reality

A healing plant for Psychospiritual Therapy


Ayahuasca is a concoction with serotonergic action that contains dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and the molecular structure of DMT is similar to the molecular structure of Serotonin which is a neurotransmitter. What happens in our body is that the DMT that exists in some plants and in some foods that we normally consume is degraded by our digestive system which contains an enzyme called monoamine oxidase. Ayahuasca is prepared with two plants (ayahuasca vine and chacruna leaves), the chacruna leaves have high DMT content and the vine contains substances that inhibit the action of monoamine oxidase, these substances are called Harmine and Harmaline and are known as MAOI's (monamine oxidase inhibitors). When DMT reaches the brain through the blood system, the Serotonin receptors in the brain assimilate DMT because they confuse it with Serotonin.


Serotonin is known to be a chemical that acts as a neurotransmitter and is responsible for keeping mood, sleep, appetite and other physiological and cognitive processes in balance. In addition, increased serotonin levels are also believed to help alleviate depressive symptoms. It is known that when DMT activates serotonergic receptors, psychedelic effects are produced. When DMT reaches the brain it can induce intense visual experiences, alterations in the perception of time and amplified states of consciousness. There is research indicating that the positive effects of ayahuasca on depression are associated with the serotonergic action of ayahuasca. 


Because ayahuasca already stimulates the release of serotonin, adding more serotonin could lead to serotonin syndrome: an excess of serotonin that can cause tremors, rapid heart rate, anxiety, and can be fatal. That is why people who use antidepressants such as Prozac or Zoloft should not take ayahuasca, because the interaction between these drugs and ayahuasca intake can cause a serotonin syndrome.


The following link will take you to a clearer description of Ayahuasca medicine:


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How to participate in the Ayahuasca Retreats?

In order to be able to participate in any of the Ayahuasca retreats, preparation prior to the process is very important, the so-called preparation diet, which consists of a series of recommendations or suggestions that are intended to help participants to connect more easily to the healing power of ayahuasca medicine. The diet also prevents certain complications during the experience with Ayahuasca, helps to prepare the body to receive ayahuasca medicine, and facilitates its assimilation. The ayahuasca diet is not always the same in all places, therefore, we have designed a diet that is adapted to the therapeutic objectives of the Ayahuasca Retreats that we organize.


If you are interested to take part in the Ayahuasca retreats, you should contact us to start an evaluation process and to know how it is possible to help you  for preparation and integration of the process. We will provide you with all the necessary information, so that you can prepare properly. It is advisable a preparation several weeks or months before taking part in a retreat.







Who can participate in the ayahuasca retreats?

Anyone who feels really motivated to live this kind of experience, and also who is physically and psychologically prepared to be part of this process, is able to participate in a retreat. For this reason, the evaluation prior to the retreat is very important, since this way, we will know if there are risks for the health. Not all people is able to participate in an ayahuasca retreat. Cannot participate someone under 18 years old, pregnant women, people with some conditions such as a history of heart attack, stroke and some other diseases. Cannot participate in these retreats people suffering certain psychological disorders such as bipolar disorder in the manic phase or people with problems of dissociation of personality. By contacting us, we will initiate an evaluation process to know if you are prepared to participate in the ayahuasca ceremonies.


There are different motivations to participate in the ayahuasca retreats such as, for example, wanting to resolve certain existential conflicts, wanting to overcome certain childhood traumas or overcome any other traumatic experience. The ayahuasca experience can help to release accumulated emotional burdens, triggering a liberating catharsis. In addition, an ayahuasca experience allows a journey into the inner self, opening access to unconscious contents which ultimately allows a greater self-knowledge, and the experience can open access to higher levels of the unconscious allowing to connect with the inner wisdom and healing forces that lie deep within. People seeking healing in this sense, can participate in the retreat retreats, prior evaluation. 


The ayahuasca experience is also a very useful tool for those who are in a process of personality development, or in a process of self-realization or individuation. All the people who participate in the ayahuasca retreats receive a psychotherapeutic counseling according to a transpersonal approach. In case of any disturbance associated with the process of self-realization, people will immediately receive psychotherapeutic help.


How is preparation to participate in the Ayahuasca Retreats?

Thanks to many years of experience guiding Ayahuasca sessions, we know that the preparation process is a very important aspect to be considered before taking part in an Ayahuasca experience; however, most people have little knowledge about what is the most appropriate way to prepare yourself for it. Different shamans and different retreat centers indicate different types of diets or different ways for preparation. And all this information generates some degree of confusion. Not all shamans or retreat centers offer the same recommendations. The question that arises is: What to do? How to be prepared?


While it is true that it is important to pay attention to what traditional wisdom indicates, that is, the recommendations given by the Ayahuasca shamans of the different indigenous peoples of the Amazon rainforest, who for centuries have used the brew as part of their medicinal system, it is necessary to acknowledge that people of the contemporary civilized world, the people of the big cities, they have a very different lifestyle and also a culture very different from the people who live in the Amazon villages. In addition, the motivations that drive people in cities to experience ayahuasca, are very different. Therefore, the recommendations of shamans are not necessarily the most appropriate for people from large cities.


In addition to medical precautions, we recommend a diet that allows the body to be free of toxins, and if possible, perform a purge before participating in an ayahuasca ceremony. It is highly recommended a vegetarian diet, especially low fat and no sugar. We give details of the diet here. And we also provide medical recommendations here. The more the body is free of toxins, the better; and the longer the diet is before the experience with ayahuasca, it is better. There are people who start the diet months before taking part in a retreat, and that is extremely favorable; although, it is possible to start with the dietary preparation, even from 5 days before the Ayahuasca Retreat.


Experience has also taught us that not only is important a diet at the physical level; but it is also very positive an adequate preparation on emotional, psychological and spiritual level, it means it is recommended, as a way to prepare yourself previous to participate in an Ayahuasca Retreat, to practice a spiritual discipline as a daily life practice; for instance, yoga, tai chi or chi kung. It is also very positive to know about a map of consciousness that provides a greater understanding of the psychic structure of the human being, for example: Archetype Psychology of C.G. Jung or the integral practice of Ken Wilber. This type of knowledge helps people to achieve an adequate interpretation of their experiences in ayahuasca sessions and to get a proper interpretation of the experience. In addition, a psychological and spiritual training, such as the practice of meditation, facilitate the integration of the experience in daily life, and, therefore, it will be possible to experience long term effects, after the Ayahuasca Therapy.


How is the dietary preparation?

The medicine men of the Amazon jungle know different healing techniques that include the use of purging plants, teacher plants and dieta plants. In that sense, they know a cleansing and energetic purification technique commonly known as "dieta", which corresponds to the use of a certain plants that must be ingested in a specific way. Normally, the "dieta" is part of the training and preparation of the healers. During ayahuasca retreats we do not work with this "dieta". However, we do recommend a specific type of diet which is called a preparation diet. 


The preparation diet refers to a way of preparing oneself before participating in a ceremony or ayahuasca experience. The idea is to follow a diet that allows the body to be clean, using foods that help the body to more easily assimilate the ayahuasca medicine, avoiding interactions that could produce adverse reactions. The idea is to eat clean and healthy food. The preparation diet includes not ingesting alcoholic beverages or drugs for a period of time before participating in a retreat and avoiding the use of certain drugs.


If you want to see details on dietary preparation, plese see here:


Ayahuasca diet



How is the ayahuasca experience?


AyahuascaThere are many types of experiences that possibly you might live by taking part in an ayahuasca session. Experiences are completely personal phenomena, and possibly there is no experience that is equal to the other. It is not possible to predict what an ayahuasca experience will be like, since each experience is unique. However, it is possible to mention different characteristics of the non-ordinary state of consciousness accessed through the intake of ayahuasca, among them, the visions, the purge, the emotional catharsis, and certain sensations and perceptions particular to this state of consciousness. The type of catharsis that usually occurs when drinking ayahuasca is an emotional release, a purifying and cleansing process that occurs physically, mentally and spiritually. That is, ayahuasca medicine help us to clean at different levels. Frequently, after the cleansing process, it is possible to experience certain psychological balance, deep mental clarity, and inner peace. It is also possible to experience different types of insight during the process, leading us to a greater knowledge of our inner world. In addition, states experienced in ayahuasca ceremonies sometimes facilitate the resolution of existential conflicts or bring solution to various types of psychological traumas and emotional problems.


How is the ayahuasca ceremony?

The ayahuasca ceremony is a central part of the ayahuasca retreats. The ayahuasca ceremony takes place in a special place in our retreat center which we have called "the temple". This space is used only for the ceremonies with sacred plants, it is considered a sacred space. 


The ayahuasca ceremonies are performed only at night. The intake of ayahuasca is performed within a ritual and therapeutic context. Ritual serves several functions and plays a key role in the experience and perception of those who participate in ayahuasca ceremonies. Knowing that one is participating in a ritual helps to focus the mind and to have a proper attitude to face the experience of expanded states of consciousness. It is extremely important to recognize the sacred space, since in that way one knows that the place where the ceremony is performed influences the results of the experience. The temple is also called a healing field.


During the ceremonies certain ritual elements are used such as the use of incense, prayers and a ceremonial table, all of which have a symbolic meaning that influences the way how the experience happens, and it helps the participants to interpret and understand their experiences with ayahuasca in a deeper way. On the other hand, the shaman or the guide of the ayahuasca ceremonies uses shamanic techniques such as the icaros or ayahuasca chants, blowing perfumes, smoking tobacco and other techniques that allow him to open and close doors to another reality, channel energies or spiritual forces, clean the spiritual energy, that is, to help the participants at an energetic and spiritual level. 


In addition, it is important to know that the structure of the rituals can facilitate the psychological process of those who drink ayahuasca, since rituals provide a safe and structured framework that helps participants to face the challenging experiences and to integrate the insights gained during the ceremony.



Ayahuasca Ceremony



Ayahuasca Integration

Living an ayahuasca experience can be one of the deepest experiences of life. It can give us a feeling of spiritual transformation and rebirth. Frequently, people who participate in ayahuasca retreats say that there is a before and an after the experience, since changes can be experienced during the process are often profoundly significant changes that provide new perspectives to existence, and allow us to live and to understand reality in a new and different way.


Thus, generally, people who participate in this therapeutic process would like to continue experimenting, in the long term, the positive and healing effects of this type of therapy. It is very important the way how we translate and interpret our experiences with Ayahuasca; since a correct interpretation can give us light to our path of existence, and can be very helpful for our healing process. 


We will accompany you in your Ayahuasca integration process via online sessions. We will contact you individually via internet. And we will be able to talk about the progress in integrating your experience, one week and one month after your experiences with ayahuasca medicine.


Ayahuasca integration


On the other hand, we provide online advice to anyone who is interested in a longer and profound integration work. Or people who wish to have other psychedelic experiences and require remote counseling and spiritual training can contact us. We provide an online psychospiritual support service.


Center for research and exploring expanded states of consciousness


Psychedelic Integration Sessions




8 days Ayahuasca & San Pedro Retreat (Machu Picchu)


This retreat includes to participate in  3 ayahuasca ceremonies, in a 1 San Pedro cactus ceremony, in 1 offering ceremony to Pachamama (mother earth) and, additionally, you will visit the important Machu Picchu Inca temple, which is considered as a historical and cultural heritage of humanity, and represents an evidence of respect for nature and the interest in the knowledge of the nature of the cosmos, through the study of the movement of the stars, the sacred work of the stone, the cultivation of superfoods and sacred plants such as the coca leaf and ayahuasca vine. You will also visit an Inca agriculture laboratory called Moray and the salt mines. 


Participating in this retreat will allow you to explore the depths of your being, connect with the wisdom of your inner Self, and give you the opportunity to live a deep experience of cleansing, purification and healing. Our Ayahuasca retreats include a therapeutic system that integrates traditional Amazonian medicine and psychospiritual techniques that facilitate the interpretation, assimilation and integration of experiences in ayahuasca sessions.


Our Ayahuasca retreats include the use of a sophisticated blinking light device that helps the brain experience visionary states and other states of consciousness. It is a device that stimulates the pineal gland and the production of endogenous DMT, generating variations in brain wave activity.


You can see all our Ayahuasca Retreats here:


Ayahuasca Retreats


Ayahuasca Research

The Sapan Inka Retreat Center participated in a scientific research entitled: "Psychedelic experiences of people who participated in sessions of ayahuasca therapy". The interviews used as a source of data for the research were conducted at the Sapan Inka Center for a period of 5 years. It is a qualitative research that aimed to describe and interpret the various psychological effects that participants lived during and after their experiences, in the short and long term. It is an important research in which it was concluded that the way in which people perceive and interpret their experiences is very important; because it depends on the depth and duration of the impact experienced, which occurs at different levels; encompassing the instinctive, the emotional, various cognitive processes, and the spiritual.



Sapan Inka Blog

It is true it is possible to learn a lot about Ayahuasca by surffing the internet, but sometimes it becomes difficult to know how to filter the relevant information that we are needing to make a decision.


That’s the reason we have decided to share some information about ayahuasca that we think it might be helpful for you.

If you are interested to learn a little bit more about this, you can visit our blog


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Ayahuasca Retreats

An opportunity to overcome existential conflicts and to solve psychological and emocional issues

Sapan Inka Retreat Center
Ayahuasca Retreats in The Sacred Valley
Who we are?
Sapan Inka Retreat Center looking for an integration of ancestral wisdom from the indigenous culture of the Amazon jungle and the Peruvian Andes to the psychotherapeutic practice.