Chakra Alegria is located roughly half way between the Peruvian towns of Iquitos and Nauta. It is smack in the middle of the Peruvian Amazon, in an area not accessible by road (Iquitos is a town you need to fly into, or arrive by boat. There is no road connection to the outside world). Spread across 81 acres (33 hectares) of virgin Amazonian rainforest, the Healing Centre is, on all sides, surrounded by the towering canopy of the largest rainforest in the world. There are no clearings at the centre ? all the structures and pathways are surrounded by the jungle ? this is because Omar (the owner and operator of the Healing Centre) made a promise not to cut down any trees when he was purchased the land. You do not feel like a visitor to the forest, you fall into the jungle and become a part of it (this becomes very apparent after the first ceremony). You live, breathe, drink and eat the jungle. You bathe and wash your clothes in the jungle streams.
Accommodation is provided in private or shared tambos ? these are raised wooden structures, open on all sides (though protected by mosquito netting), and covered by a round sloped roof. We were lucky to receive a two-story tambo (with a metal, not thatched roof ? this made for very loud night during the frequent downpours), with two hammocks filling the bottom, and the two beds and living area on the top. The beds were large, comfortable, and featured additional mosquito netting, which was not necessary during my stay as the mosquitoes were few and far in between.
Each tambo carried a separate outside composting toilet, where instead of flushing you throw three cupfuls of wood chips down the chute. The toilets are surrounding by mosquito netting, have a sturdy roof, and provide a million dollar view out towards the Amazon. Each tambo also has its own private ??bucket shower?? area ? this consisting of two benches across a nearby stream, and a bucket on a stick. Fish, lizards, frogs and crabs made the river and its banks home, and giant Amazonian snails would float by. We were asked to bring natural soap, shampoo, sunscreen etc as so that we wouldn?t be putting chemicals into the stream and thus into the Healing Centre. Laundry was also done in the bucket, using the natural soap, and dried outside, greedily hugging the sparse and fleeting sunlight that filtered through the overgrowth.
Pedro, the Shaman, is an incredible soul. He conducts the Ceremonies together with Omar and Sheila (who sing incredible Icaros which she learned after having lived with the Shipibo people). As for the actual Ayahuasca ceremony, I can say that this was by far the most incredible,uplifting and life changing experience of my life.
This centre is top notch, with only 7-8 people attending the ceremonies, unlike other centres where the number can be 20-30 people. You get the experience of the Ayahuasca and an incredible jungle vacation, which is worth the price of the ticket by itself.