Iquitos and Urubamba in Peru
Overall I had an amazing experience at Arkana Sacred Valley 7 day retreat. The facilitators and the Shamans were incredible and that is the #1 priority for a retreat in my opinion. The food was good although it seemed less strict on the diet than the last place I went to. The accommodations were good although it did get a little chilly even with a space heater in the winter. I did have one night where the power went off and since I need to use a medical device to sleep at night this was frustrating as I was told the facility had 24/7 power but the staff took my call at midnight and had someone pick me up and take me to their place where the power was still on which was really nice of them. The location is amazing, right in the heart of Sacred Valley on the river; hiking is great right outside the door.
If this is your first time I HIGHLY recommend following the diet and restrictions on drugs/alcohol very closely for at least 14 days (30 days better) as you will get more out of the experience in terms of insight and visions rather than spending a lot of time up front purging out the junk in your body. Overall I highly recommend this retreat and will be going back!
A few items that are making this review 4 stars instead of 5 (I already provided this feedback verbally and I assume next visit will be 5 stars!):
1) The ceremony hall had no heat and it got really cold at night during the winter. It would have been nice not to have to deal with this as part of the experience, but was doable/manageable with layers.
2) The hike during the Huachuma day was fun but our guide didn’t take us down the safest route. While we all made it back safely this could have been managed more professionally. I know the boundary between staff/participant can get blurred when everyone is taking the plant medicine as part of the experience but this is one time where I feel it should have been a little more of a “guided” hike both up and down rather than blazing a new trail. I still had a blast this day though, one of my favorite days!!!
3) I missed my flight the last day due to the Taxi driver showing up over an hour late. I know this isn’t Arkana’s fault per se, but I still expected them to ensure I got to/from the airport as promised and so this experience was a little disappointing (and stressful!). However, when I spoke to the owner Jose about my issue he agreed to provide a credit in the amount of the cost to change my ticket which speaks volumes about the integrity of this business.