904-435-7994 in U.S. or 099 368 8463 in Ecuador
Rio Jurumbaino Macas Ecuador
The retreat owners, Ken and Sun, and their staff are fantastic people. They are grounded, warm, and open-minded individuals who are easy to get along with. Getting to know them was a treat in and of itself and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to meet such loving people! From the first session, I was well taken care of by Sun and she did so much for me during my stay. I realized during my stay that they are running this retreat to truly help people and that is why I give this place 5 stars.
You either stay in their house or the house across the street and they are both very comfortable western style homes. You’ll get your own room with a comfortable bed and a private bathroom. You will get hot water in the showers but you’ll need your own toiletries. Both houses have western style kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms so it doesn’t feel like you’re in the rainforest. If you prefer roughing it, this place may be too comfortable but it was perfect for me because I wanted a safe space to relax after each session.
Sun serves home-cooked meals and fresh juice/ herbal tea throughout your stay and it is just… delicious! For a foodie like me, it was one of the best parts about staying in this retreat. It was fulfilling and nourishing because it tasted great but also because a lot of the ingredients were fresh super foods. (Also, if you like fruits, you’ll love their breakfasts!)
Location and wildlife:
The location is a lovely place in so many ways. Ken and Sun’s house is not far from the central part of Macas but they live just far enough to be surrounded by the wilderness. There is a great view of a river and volcano from their huge yard with lots of exotic plants and trees. This setting was also very rewarding.
Another great perk about the setting was that there were barely any mosquitoes. So the concerns I had with disease carrying mosquitoes disappeared very quickly. (The retreat location is high enough in latitude that such mosquitoes cannot fly up there.) There weren’t any unfriendly/ aggressive wildlife either so I was able to enjoy the lush, colorful scenery and the warm weather without any anxiety whatsoever.
Shaman and the medicine:
The shaman was a lovely man who was certified and experienced. He always gave out good vibes and remained professional, even when he got sick during our stay. Sometimes his older children came with him to the ceremony to participate and that created a warm, friendly atmosphere.
He started each ceremony by giving us a speech, wishing us a good night and sending gratitude to the environment. He sung, whistled, and played instruments masterfully with great timing throughout the night– and this helped me stay in/ get back in to the light.
His brew has a great psychedelic kick with manageable physical strain (so it encouraged less purging compared to other brews). Although the effects of the medicine may vary from person to person, it had a profound effect on me. It was very effective in my healing process and I have gained a lot of insight through the experience.
Unlike some retreats, you will be resting throughout the night after you drink ayahuasca, so there will be no time to chitchat until the next day. Since you get a pretty hefty dose, this was not a problem for anyone in my group and it made for a more intense psychedelic journey.
So was this worth the cost? Definitely.
It is worth much more than what you’re paying for and I would absolutely go back again. This experience made me a fan of the retreat and its people (and their dogs). Personally, I will go back for the profound conversations, the amazing food, and the tropical wilderness of Macas.
Ken and Sun have a lot of love and wisdom to share with the world and you’re missing out if you haven’t stayed with them yet. I recommend a long stay so you can get to know them more and take some time to reflect on yourself and your life. So if you think you’re in need of healing, look no further. Go enjoy your time at ‘Ayahuasca in Ecuador’!