Iquitos and Sacred Valley in Peru
I attended two retreats – one after the other and both for a week. Pulse was about 1.5x the cost, but upon arrival it was very clear where that money went.
The centre itself makes you instantly feel safe – not something I experienced from the first centre, which – whilst great – was a little lackluster on the more practical sides of safety.
They had a very obvious set of structures and boundaries – so you feel prepared, and there are so many staff there – available at all times that it feels a lot like a community looking after you.
Everyone there had their own way to contribute to your experience – sound baths, jungle tours, general camaraderie etc. They went out of their way to let their availabilities known to you, and it’s really only my own politeness that would keep me away from asking for more attention – which I ultimately did anyway.
I had a particularly rough time in my week here – and I found so much support from Val and Craig in that time – and additional support from one of the shamans – and a lot of guidance from Dolan. The guide that ran the jungle / river tours was also exceptional. Visiting the local village was really eye-opening too.
To be honest – I think centres like this – and the other like it around Peru – deal with people in their roughest possible states. They’re dealing with genuine fear, distrust, abuse, torment etc – the kind of emotions that you need to go into the jungle in Peru to deal with. So its not surprising that the reviews can be so varied (yet largely positive). They’re dealing with crises of the psyche (whether you knew that going in or not) and I think it’s a truly valiant effort from everyone at the centre (and the one I attended before).
It’s a scary thing to do, in a scary place (not so scary when you’re there) – and these guys do a stellar job of being a safe place amidst it. You’re looked after from the moment you’re picked up and there are no hidden costs or additional things to buy for the stay. There are options to buy art work or things from the local community – but there’s no pressure – and to be honest I appreciated the opportunity and I suggest taking $200US to do so – there might be something that moves you.
I’ll be back again in 6 months / a year for a fortnight.
Paul (33yo / Sydney)