Iquitos and Urubamba in Peru
I stayed at Arkana in the amazon jungle in November for 4 ayahuasca ceremonies and it was everything I could have hoped for. The experience is one of the most important and memorable of my life and I wouldn’t change a thing. The medicine was strong and the shamans and facilitators were all top quality. You can’t ask for better guides to help you on your journey.
Firstly, the shamans truly are masters at what they do. They sang beautiful powerful icaros and held the space during ceremony, as well as provided excellent guidance outside of ceremony. But just as importantly, the facilitators are some of the best in the business, helping the shamans to hold the space in the room as well as calm people down when things get hectic (as is prone to happen occasionally when dealing with this kind of medicine).
On my first night I needed some assistance as I was having a rough time, and the facilitators were right there to guide me through it and help me feel safe and comfortable and made the remaining experiences that much better for it.
I could go on for pages about my experience but I’ll save time and just say that I have nothing but good things to say about the actual ceremonies. I always felt safe and secure and in good hands (even when things got tough).
As for the rest of the experience, Arkana has some of the best help outside the ceremony as well. Whether it’s yoga, or breathing meditation, or sapo, kambo, etc, there were facilitators there who could teach you and guide you. I’ve never felt more peace and internal space in my life.
The rest is just a bonus. The daily excursions (to see sloths, monkeys, swimming, etc). They’re nice to pass the time, but they are absolutely secondary to the work that’s happening.
Last but not least, I’d be remiss not to mention the wonderful village of Libertad. This is a village of locals on site and is full of some fantastic people. It’s a chance to get a great look at some local culture (as well as play some Volleyball and/or soccer as a few of us did).
All in all, the only thing I regret is that I only went for week. By the end I was absolutely ready for another week as I had an amazing journey with mother aya. Although here your mileage may vary as I’m sure for some people 1 week is plenty as the medicine can be tougher on some than others.
Next time, I hope to be able to not only go back to the jungle, but also experience Arkana’s sacred valley retreat, which I’ve heard nothing but good things about. Oh well, just one more thing to add to the bucket list.