LarsP's Reviews

Gaia Sagrada Shamanic Retreat Center

Listed in Ayahuasca, San Pedro (Huachuma), Spotlight

593-99-864-3857

Via a Llayzhatan Bajo, Ecuador

Reviewed on April 16, 2017. #1 of 195 Reviews

This place is absolutely incredible! If people want the short version, then I can just say that my stay at Gaia Sagrada have been a life transforming experience in a comfortable, clean environment with beautiful people and some shamans who speak English.

Now the longer version…

I’m a pretty organized person, and before I came I would have liked to see a comprehensive review about different aspects of the experience at Gaia Sagrada. We have to be the change we want to see in the world, so now after my stay I’m going to be the one making that review I would have liked to see.

What I have learned/gained from my stay at Gaia Sagrada:
-I have finally learnt how to love myself and accept myself (Which have also given me more confidence).
-Even though it still can change, I got much more clarity about what I want to do with this amazing life.
-I know that I shouldn’t underestimate what’s possible for me.
-I’ve become much better at letting go and healing through these Sacred medicines, I still struggle with letting go sometimes, but now I’ve become much better. I really felt safe to let go and surrender to the dark things, because I feel so safe here.
-I need to open myself up and show my authentic self, and I have become better at it.
-I have finally accepted my relationship with my dad, and I got a completely different perspective on it, where I also see it from his side. As the owner Christine always says: “It’s not like you get a manual on how to raise a kid”, and I had to hear that a few times to really get it.
-Lot’s of emotional healing.
-A healthier body because of the fasting and the healthy food.
-I’ve had some victim mentality that has lessened a lot.
-Some of the best nights of my life. It truly is a party after some of the ceremonies. (No alcohol of course, but music, delicious food, fire, nice people and much).

The Ceremonies:
There are 3 kinds of ceremonies here. Ayahuasca, San Pedro and Sweat Lodge where both medicines is combined, which is my favorite. All of my ceremonies have been wonderful, but especially the Sweat Lodge is something that has surprised me. Before I came I was a little afraid, because I didn’t know if it would be too hot or uncomfortable in such a Sweat Lodge, but to my surprise those were my favorite ceremonies. The heat made it comfortable and there is a surprising synergy between the two medicines. Both the San Pedro and the Ayahuasca is really strong at this place, but if you want you can just ask for a half cup.

Both the Ayahuasca ceremonies and San Pedro ceremonies are beautiful. The San Pedro medicine lasts at least twice as long as the ayahuasca, so the San Pedro ceremonies are longer, but they have structured the ceremonies in a way so you won’t get bored. In the Ayahuasca ceremonies I have travelled deep inside and experienced lots of crazy visuals and got lots of emotional healing, and I’ve got life changing insights from my San Pedro ceremonies. But everyone’s experience of the medicines is different.

The shamans:
There are more shamans than the ones I mention, but I’m briefly going to describe the ones I’ve had the most experience with.
Salvador is really an awesome shaman. He’s funny, good at English and knows just what to say whenever I have asked about anything. His wife Paulina also works here and her and the other girls lead beautiful ayahuasca ceremonies, where you can really feel the feminine energy in a good way. Really comforting. Sometimes Paulina and Salvador have had ceremonies together, which I have heard is magical. Sometimes Salvador brings his friend Johnny to San Pedro which is truly magical. I don’t know how Johnny does it, but he have done some cleaning on me, and it’s magical, it’s like he sees some things I do not see. I did a cleaning with Amalia in the start of the retreat which was really good. I’m always skeptical about those kinds of things, but I really did feel a difference afterwards. I felt more connected, centered, happy, grounded and relaxed. The Sweat Lodge shaman Sofia is also a really beautiful soul, where you can also just feel her deep compassion for everybody.

The environment:
It’s on a beautiful mountain, only 1 hour away from Cuenca which has been enjoyable. The air is really clean and the energy is really good in this place, so I felt like I was on ecstasy when I came, it was really wonderful. There was 3 dogs walking around while I was here and they are all really friendly and nice. At other places on the big 50 acres land there are horses and cows.

The housing:
It’s really comfortable. I lived in the dorm and it was nice, comfortable and silent, which I was worried about when choosing Dorm. It was also a nice way to meet some of the people I was here with. There’s hot tubs, hot showers, good kitchen facilities, tv room, yoga room indoors and outdoors, outside eating area, common room with fire, 2-3 guitar which was perfect for me since I play guitar and couldn’t bring my own. It is 50$ guitars, but you can actually get something pretty solid for that price here in Ecuador, so I was able to entertain the other people with good sound from the guitar (they also have capo for the guitar, bongo drums and other different percussion stuff).

The food:
I know that this is something I really was curious about before I came. I love food.
The food is delicious, healthy and change from day to day, so it is easy to stay healthy. I lost a lot of weight while I was here.
We get three meals a day. Breakfast from 8-10, lunch at 12:30 and dinner at 18:30. But if we are hungry before, after or inbetween meals we have 24 hour access to different fruits, bread and snacks.

The people, the work exchangers, and other staff:
The work exchangers are good at melting in with the guests and often good friendships comes as a result. In my experience everyone could talk to everyone and you really feel like a family after a few days together. I was lucky that other guests were musicians so I had people to jam with, and my guess would be that there often are musicians at these retreats since many people who are drawn to plant medicines are drawn to music and the other way around I believe. The manager Jerry is hard working but takes it all with a smile and has a warm, funny and friendly personality. The owner Christine is really like a mother for us all and has so much wisdom. I have had so much benefit from her talks and from when I’ve talked with her. We also did some Guitar Jamming which was pretty cool.

So overall a fantastic experience. If you have any questions about my experience at Gaia Sagrada, then feel free to message me.

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