Iquitos and Urubamba in Peru
so I stayed at both retreat centres the one in the Amazon and sacred valley, I will outline the pros and cons for each:
-Staff are phenomenal, I have never met a group of people who care so much.
-The mystrea can perform spiritual surgery, helpful if you have chronic pains or difficulty connecting to the medicine
-the molokah (the room where you do ceremonies) is spacious so if you like your personal space probably the best choice.
-this is more of an individual experience of mine, but while I was there the group I was were honestly the nicest people I have ever met. This really added to my experience because I felt really comfortable sharing my ayahuasca trips with them.
-food is amazing, and it wasn’t just because I was high, it was cooked so well.
-Wi-fi is sh*t and I didn’t get any cell service either. (But if that stresses you out, you should probably ask your self why)
-bring lots of bug spray like loads, you are still going to get bitten.
-also, bring sunscreen
-when you go to meet the sloths there’s one in the bottom corner don’t touch her shes feisty
-ABOUT THE MALARIA, okay so if your like me and everything makes you anxious your probably going to bring malaria tablets. My advice get Malarone they are the ones that show no co-interactions with the ayahuasca. I took one tablet and then stopped after, why? because that area is actually malaria free. However, malaria does happen to be a problem in the cities so there’s that. Its really up to you, the reason why I stopped was that I was more worried about connected to the medicine than mosquitos.
-cooler climate (if you like that)
-the last day is awesome you take mescaline and hike up a mountain. it is beyond awesome and one of the happiest days of my life.
-Macchu Picchu is pretty cool and that day is run really well.
-again wifi is bad, but the cell service is much better
-there’s no gym
Advice when deciding:
– okay in my personal opinion the sacred valley centre is great if you want to tip your toes into ayahuasca, while the Amazon is great for a really deep transformation.
– About the ayahuasca medicine, it’s beyond amazing. I can’t really describe what it was like with me other than life-changing. Actually its like a defibrillator but for your soul. I learnt a lot about myself and I will be forever thankful the shamans share their medicine with us westerners. I do want to say two things, however:
1) From what I saw there will be one person in every group that doesn’t connect to the medicine at all (SOME PEOPLE, ME INCLUDED, DON”T EXPERIENCE ANYTHING IN THE FIRST OR SECOND GO THATS FINE THE AYA IS JUST WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES PATIENCE IS KEY) however if this concerns you, my advice is to try and find a local shaman who uses legal ayahuasca and see if you connect to the medicine at home and then if you do come to Arkana.
2) NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES ARE POSSIBLE, both in and outside the trip. while I was in the sacred valley one night there was an incident with one of the guests as he acted inappropriately while on the aya (this happens, it’s not the facilitator’s fault they handled it very well, and there is probably a 50% chance that wherever you go this will happen). I mention this because it was scary for a moment and it brought back some bad memories for me. HOWEVER just because it was a negative experience doesn’t mean it wasn’t a constructive experience. Those memories were something I needed to address and let go of, it also showed me that ayahuasca can both inflate and deflate a person ego. Had I not had that experience I would only sing ayahauscas praises with acknowledging like all medicine it needs to be handled correctly.
My advice on this is that if you do have a traumatic experience (which as I said is not unlikely) there’s a reason for it, find that reason.
Finally my advice for Arkana and the facilitators:
You guys were beyond awesome, however, what I think would be constructive would be if you had someone on sight like a psychologist who a guest could discuss their experiences with. I say this is because even though group share was great there were parts of my experience that I didn’t want to share. BUT I do wish I could discuss them with someone, to break them down. The reason why I don’t think this person should be another shaman or facilitator is that that person needs to have a good understanding of mental illness and its psychological processes. It’s just an idea I don’t know if it’s possible, but I think it should be considered.
ALL IN ALL, I had an amazing time and it was exactly what I needed when western professionals were failing me.