904-435-7994 in U.S. or 099 368 8463 in Ecuador
Rio Jurumbaino Macas Ecuador
• Small, intimate ceremonies
• Excellent accommodations
• Individualized attention
• Great hospitality
• Reasonable price
• More low-key than some other retreats
• Style of ceremony may differ than others
Date: August 14th-24th
What we did: 4 ayahuasca ceremonies, 1 san pedro ceremony
Attending: myself, my wife, 2 friends, 3-4 strangers
We just returned from Ken and Sun’s retreat. Though a bit off the beaten path, their location was excellent. Simply put, the retreat was not that different from a homestay, where several guests stayed in Ken and Sun’s house, while my wife, friends, and I stayed in a similar house across the street. The view was amazing and a great way to wake up everyday. The temperature when we attended was much more comfortable than I expected, and it only rained a few times while we were there. Insects & mosquitoes were also a concern, however none of us even saw that many mosquitoes while we were there. Macas, Ecuador is a great location for such a retreat.
The ceremonies were pretty low-key, which I thought worked well, especially given this was my first experience with ayahuasca. Basically, once you drink your cup there is a lot of quiet time, so you end up sitting with your own thoughts a lot, which might make some sessions difficult. Unfortunately for us, the shaman wasn’t feeling well, so we had fewer icaros than usual (he’s only human after all…). One or two people in our group commented that they preferred the ceremonies with more energy; multiple shamans, several dozen people, and a more socialized ceremony. Others remarked that our ceremonies, with less noise and more quiet self-reflection time, was much more relaxing (zero mixing of energies during the ayahuasca ceremonies). Take your pick, but this style worked for me, especially since our san pedro ceremony more than made up for any possible lack of energy. The location of the chosa was also a great one, full of its own natural energy. So if you’re sensitive to the natural environment around you, this is your place; nestled in dense foliage near a flowing river that you can pitch your negative energy into helped keep my journey on track. The facilities at the chosa were clean, not many insects, and the staff were courteous, calm, and helpful. My wife got personal care from Sun herself, so any issues I had about safety were quickly washed away.
The best and most important part about this retreat, the thing that makes it 5 stars for me, is Ken and Sun themselves. Ken and Sun have a certain calmness about them that really shines through in everything they do. They are genuine “salt-of-the-earth” kind of people; when things got rough, they were consistently reliable when I needed someone to talk to or lean on and share an experience with. Sun assisted during most ceremonies, and made herself available to anyone who needed her help, in particular the females in attendance. Due to their characters, they’ve managed to attract several high-caliber people who assist in supporting what they do, whether its during the ceremonies or taking a day trip to a spa/resort/waterfall/market/etc. Even the food they served us was amazing!
Overall, I highly recommend their retreat. I’ve never felt more refreshed and satisfied from an experience like this. It was truly a life-changing experience that you can’t get anywhere else!