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Ayahuasca Retreat in Cusco

March 13, 2024
what is ayahuasca

Ayahuasca is a jungle vine that grows in the middle of the jungle. It is commonly found South America. It is quite revered by the indigenous tribes as well as the shamans of the Andean regions. The term Ayahuasca derives from the ancient Quechua language. The Quechua words “Aya” translates to the dead, while “Huasca” translates to vine or rope. The concoction has been used for more than 5000 years for both individual and collective healing. We have the best information about Ayahuasca Retreat in Cusco, please see bellow.

What is Ayahuasca? 

It is an infusion made by shamans of the Amazon jungle based on this “Vine of the Dead”. It serves to alter states of consciousness and obtain new perspectives on your life. In the past many visited shamans to heal themselves from physical, mental, or emotional ailments. Today, the tradition remains strongly rooted in Ayahuasca ceremonies.

Recommendations before taking Ayahuasca Medicine

Please avoid the following for at least 4 weeks prior to your retreat

Please avoid the following for at least 2 weeks prior to your retreat:

Please avoid the following for at least 1 week prior to your retreat:

How they Prepare

Ayahuasca is made by shamans using the Ayahuasca vine (Which contains natural chemical compounds that resemble DMT) and the Chacruno leaves (Which allow Ayahuasca metabolization within the body) Both can be obtained naturally in the middle of the Amazon basin.

These two plants must be collected on a full moon or in the morning, whoever picks it up must be fasting. It takes ten kilos of Ayahuasca to prepare the infusion, the Ayahuasca vine is crushed to make them easier to cook. Then a kilo of Chacruna is added. The preparation is boiled for 12 hours in about 50 liters of water. And while it is being prepared, it is accompanied by chants and by tobacco puffs while asking for specific intentions. Both are to wake the spirit of Ayahuasca. The result is a liquid with a viscous texture and a reddish-ocher color.

Serious Business

The Ayahuasca ritual is a tradition of Amazon tribes and communities for more than 5000 years to establish contact with the spirit of Ayahuascaand to be able to heal of both physical and mental illnesses. Participating in this ritual is a privilegeThe Amazon communities share this intimate custom for those who need a cure or spiritual support for the evil that afflicts them.

Therefore, to take this ritual as a hallucinogen party (Only to feel its effects and compare it with other drugs) is quite an insult to these Amazon communities and their good intentions.

Who can perform the Ritual?

This ancient ritual has to be guided by a Shaman, a native amazon master (Person with many years of experience) who inherited the knowledge of the Ayahuasca ritual from an elderly person of his community. So, if someone offer to guide you through the ceremony be sure they are qualified to do so. Only a native amazon master can do this kind of ritual.

Is the Ayahuasca Retreat in Cusco for Everyone?

Can you do Ayahuasca in Peru? Yes, you can. First, it is a good idea to eliminate any misconceptions you have about Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca is not a recreational drug. It is not something to get high and enjoy the moment or a magic pill that will solve your problems. For the indigenous people of the Amazon, Ayahuasca is more than a simple plant, it is a spirit, a sacred and ancestral ritual for healing.

However, the great introspection trip that the participant will have during the session, with hallucinations, sensations, even vertigo, requires good physical and mental conditions.The same Shaman, will ask you some questions previously to determine whether you fit or not. Remember, the Ayahuasca ritual is performed to heal you and not to harm you. The following people cannot participate in the Ayahuasca ceremony.

People with depressive symptoms can participate in the session. (The ritual is known to offer improvements, even healing to depressive people) But, they must be free of medication even 7 days before the ritual.

How is the Ceremony?

What is the Ayahuasca ceremony? It is a ceremony with strong cultural roots within the original tribes of the Amazon. This is done in a group of 5 to 20 people. Within a traditional Ayahuasca ceremony, you will have the opportunity to receive treatment for your soul and help healing. Participants arrive early in the evening, as the ceremony takes place at night. Before the ceremony begins you will show your respect to the healer (Shaman), who will lead and take your seat on the pads situated around the Shaman, every pad has its own bucket in case you feel sick.

The Shaman usually prepares the site for the ceremony first. This consists of cleaning the space with Mapacho tobacco puffs, prayers, songs, and blessings. After the initial preparations, presentations can take place.


The start ceremony begins in silence, although this may depend on the Shaman. Some sing to welcome the participants. Keep in mind that only medicine songs of the jungle and are sung by the Shaman. This healer may choose to speak with each participant about the intention he seeks, the dosage, or other recommendations for a pleasant experience. Then calls each participant to have a cup of Ayahuasca. The healer also drinks a cup. The ceremony takes place with the lights off and when the medicine begins to take effect, the healer begins to sing. The songs take place throughout the ceremony, these songs can be accompanied by different instruments.

This time after the drinking the Ayahuasca can be an unsettling time, As your consciousness expands, symptoms of dizziness may appear. Physical purging is usually more frequent during the start of the ceremony. The purge is considered a cleansing process, where you expel all those trapped feelings and traumas.


Medicine songs are one of the most important parts of the Ayahuasca ceremonies. The Shamans sing healing songs called “Icaros. These songs help to communicate with the spirits and help in the healing treatments of the patients. Each Icarus has a specific purpose in the ceremony. The healers sing to invite the spirits to be present and perform the cures. The healer can sing throughout the ceremony as patients navigate their own visions and experiences. Shamans also use the Icaros to mark the pace and either to raise or lower the intensity. This is most often seen with drum beats that can go faster or slower depending on the timing.


The ceremony usually ends with a song that helps closing of the circle. The healer provides patients with protection against any kind of spiritual vulnerability. After the end of the ceremony, the lights are turned on and the healer gives a small talk. The shaman is free to add a few words for each of the patients. Then the lights go on and people are free to go to rest. The ceremonies often last until dawn, due to the duration of the effects of Ayahuasca. It is one of the strongest healing experiences in Peru.


The effects of this infusion can vary greatly depending from person to person, the setting, and the dosage and the effects produce a before and after in most users.  Whether you get spiritual insights, insight into your relationships, or a connection to nature, the universe, and your own psyche, many believe that it helps you reach states of enlightenment, where you approach new understandings to the sentimental or material dimension of your life. But be aware some people have bad experiences also.

This mystical infusion has been used as traditional medicine by different indigenous tribes for thousands of years. This psychoactive has become very popular with tourists, who flocked to various retreat centers. Many of these centers are located in jungle areas of Peru and are run by renowned shamans. This medicine is said to be highly beneficial for self-discovery, addiction problems, anger management, and even problems like cancer.

Experience and Side Effects

The healer remains a guide who facilitates a comfortable experience, but it is the spirit of the plant that is considered as a teacher who comes to teach the participant. This spirit could be thought of as an independent entity that transforms the person who welcomes it in, while giving them access to a holistic and dreamlike vision of the world.  But the spirit will function as an internal and intrinsic guide to the individual.

So, in general, what you can expect from Ayahuasca is an alteration and amplification of your state of consciousness. The Ayahuasca experience can result in an extraordinary encounter with the “I”. As well as the identification of a true “I” previously unrecognized and rediscovered. During the experience, there is no dissolution or loss of consciousness. On the contrary, only one modification of it occurs. The person is aware throughout the session of who he is, where he is, and what he has taken. By calling the participants by their names, they respond, but this can lead them away from their main visions.

Also see all our tours in Cusco and Machu Picchu, even to the Rainbow mt.