I’m not sure I’ll be able to explain how grateful I am for my time at Parign Hak, but I’ll certainly try. This place is a “hidden gem”, so to speak, and I probably wouldn’t have found it if my friend hadn’t raved about it to me. I knew I had to go to the Amazon. There are tons of retreat centers in or around Cusco, but Ayahuasca is from the jungle, and I felt like she’d been calling me to the rainforest for many years.
Parign Hak isn’t in Iquitos or Pucallpa, and is well away from all the weird ego-trips, competition, and dark “sorcery” of the Shipibo world (if you don’t know about this aspect of ayahuasca PLEASE research it before committing). Instead we were immersed into the world of the Harakumbut people. Our hosts were loving, attentive and eager to share their culture with us. Tons of people know about the Shipibo culture, but there are many other indigenous Amazonian groups that work with ayahuasca. These people have a fascinating history and culture, and in sharing it with us, I could tell they were strengthening it.
The part of the jungle Parign Hak is located is unbelievably beautiful. It’s in the mountain rainforest part of Manu National Park, and has incredible biodiversity. We saw jaguar tracks, a harpy eagle, this crazy nocturnal jungle rat, tons of birds, among many other amazing things. We visited during a rare cold-front and I ended up wearing my hoodie for the duration of the retreat, which was glorious. Versus, when I visited Pucallpa it was unbearably hot, flat, swampy and full of mosquitos. Manu is completely different, and if you want to see the Amazon in all its glory, I couldn’t recommend a better spot. People come from all over the world just to visit this park, and when you’re there you understand why.
Jessica is the shaman and she doesn’t bullshit you or sugar-coat anything. She’s very serious about the work, (while simultaneously having a great sense of humor about it). She’s a lot like the medicine itself, and will gladly hold up a “mirror” and show you what you need to look at. It’s not always pleasant, but if you’re serious about trying to heal a part of yourself, then it’s exactly what she and the ayahuasca help with. She was always there to talk to, and integrate my experiences. 5/5 stars, and if I could give them more I definitely would!!