- Orillas del Río Uchima, Barrio Sacapo, Parroquia San Pedro de Vilcabamba, Loja, Ecuador
Private Ayahuasca & San Pedro Retreat in the heart of San Pedro de Vilcabamba, in Loja, Ecuador. Casa Del Sol works with small groups to optimize the quality of your experience, and share the space as a family. Blessed with a beautiful location within the Valley of Longevity, we integrate ourselves with its powerful medicine; our retreats include walking through its mountains, cleansing ourselves in the waterfalls and in the river in front of our home. We make offerings, meditate, practice yoga, hold sweat lodges and plant medicine ceremonies to encourage this integration.
I attended a retreat at Casa del Sol and was very disappointed with my experience there. I had seen all of the positive reviews so I was surprised with the bad energy I received from Santiago and his wife, and their insistence to write a super positive review after the retreat. While there I lost my camera and $350, which I think they took during a ceremony…I learned after the fact that he was fired from his previous job at Gaia Sagrada for stealing as well. I do not recommend this center. The owners are sketchy and do not really care about the welfare of their guests, they are just looking for money.
I worked with San Pedro and Ayahuasca dozens of times over the past several years throughout Peru. In 2019, I felt called to travel to Equador to attend a 12 day retreat after a friend told me that Casa Del Sol sounded amazing online. This prompted me to research their retreat itinerary. I felt a powerful resonance with the retreat schedule that Casa Del Sol posted on their site. I completed the medical questionnaire and communicated with Belen, (the retreat coordinator) throughout the months leading up to the March 2020 retreat date I chose. Healing was my number 1 focus. My intention was physical healing. Feeling good in my body. Removing energetic blockages, healing past traumas, Creating new thought patterns, and understanding myself on a deeper level. I have a beautiful relationship with the medicines. I was looking forward to working with them in Equador.
Casa Del Sol’s itinerary was beyond perfect. Belen started a WhatsApp group with all of the guests shortly before the retreat started. This was extremely helpful. Belen greeted me upon my arrival to Casa Del Sol. Afterwards Ximena sat down with me and went over my intentions and my reason for coming to the retreat. I felt cared for and safe right away.
Physical activity combined with the ceremonies was very important to me. Hiking and healing in nature was incorporated into everything. This was amazing and wonderfully healing.
The Kambo before the Ayahuasca was the best combination for me. The Tezmacals were absolutely incredible. Santiago and Ximena were the best guides I could have asked for. They were professional, caring, and extremely well- trained in assisting all of the guests. I received beautiful healing during my 12 day stay. Major shifts in my energetic body incurred after my stay. I will especially never forget this iconic visit because it happened right before the borders closed during the pandemic , and my trip to this beautiful village was extended. I am grateful I found Casa Del Sol. I will return again and again. Integration has been a beautiful experience. Ximena, Belen, and Santiago created a group for integration support that provided any and all assistance needed for integrating after the retreat ended.
This retreat had it all- An absolutely amazing staff, a well thought out and meticulous itinerary- geared towards the highest healing for all of us. This was a truly life changing experience. I would give Casa Del Sol 10 stars if I could.
I recently had the pleasure of partaking in the Ayahuasca spiritual wellness retreat at Casa Del Sol, near Vilcabamba, Ecuador. It was undoubtedly among the most memorable and rich experiences of my life that I would recommend to anyone, spiritual seekers or not. Ximena, Santiago, and their beautiful family are some of the most gracious and welcoming hosts I have encountered. They devote great care to the comfort and wellbeing of their guests and are able to facilitate a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere with ease.
Make no mistake however; this experience is best approached as a journey rather than a vacation. Be prepared to take things seriously and address some difficult things to get the most of your experience. I witnessed some real healing and catharsis here, and experienced it myself. It was delightfully juxtaposed with a humour and lightness tended to by all of the skilled staff and facilitators.
Everyone’s journey is different, and although it is difficult to comment on specifics, one unifying aspect was the visceral feelings of peace, love and simplicity we shared. No small feat, considering the pain and trauma some of us were carrying and seeking relief from. In these times of seemingly increasing social isolation and disconnection, the Casa Del Sol family take great care in connecting people from around the world, not only to themselves, but also to each other, to the natural environment, and to something bigger, older, and profound.
As I look back on my experience, I am struck not only by the effect of the plant medicines, and of course the beautiful surroundings, but by the care with which I was taught to treat my experiences, and the refreshing and comforting world view and practices that were gifted to me. Thank you so much for all the wonderful memories!
Just returned home from a truly magical and profoundly transformational 12-day women’s retreat at Casa del Sol. This is not my first time with aya or san pedro (although I experienced new medicina at this retreat for the first time, including special gifts shared by visiting medicine women). Most (but not all) of the guests at my retreat had prior experience with Aya and/or San Pedro, and the medicina shared at Casa del Sol was both strong and unique in many ways. What a privilege to share in San Pedro which began its life in pre-Columbian times! Ximena and Santiago, and their family, welcomed us into their home, and provided a nurturing and healing environment throughout. The retreat begins with one-on-one interviews with each guest privately, and you can be confident any unique needs or goals you have , have been understood. The special visiting shamanas/medicine women were all amazing in unique ways, pure of heart/spirit and radiating love and purpose. Ximena’s right hand (my spiritual sister, Belen) also supported me in unexpected ways. I have never felt so supported as I did in this smaller, more intimate setting. As the oldest attendee during the retreat, accomodation (a taxi) was arranged to get me up the most arduous part of a mountain hike, spontaneously offered and gratefully accepted 🙂 Rooms (including amazing hot showers) were perfect, and I was even able to check my work emails (necessary even during retreat) with ease at any time. As January is the beginning of the rainy season, the sound of the powerful river lulled me to sleep each night, and the beautiful nature surrounding the property itself was so healing that at times, I forgot I had ever lived anywhere else. I love sweat lodges (probably my favorite experience during any retreat), and find new strength and gratitude every time in the process of being (in a great way) brought to my knees – but this was my most intense and highly energetic experience in a sweat lodge by far. Thank you Ximena for the bucket of water over my head 🙂 Just what I needed, and you knew! Just as it is hard to put one’s experiences with plant medicine into words, my experiences at Casa del Sol exceed anything I could have wanted, or am able to communicate using so limited a symbolic form of expression as language, but know that I wholeheartedly recommend this place without any reservation.
I chose to attend Casa del Sol due to the recommendation of a friend of a friend, and my trust in taking another journey into the magical world of South American plant medicine was rewarded by one of the most meaningful experiences in my entire life. Having attended three retreats over the last few years in Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia, I had some experience with the shamanic path and exposure to a variety of different indigenous traditions and healing styles. While my time at the other retreats was positive, the 12 days I spent at Casa del Sol took the experience to a whole other level in terms of the loving community, beautiful environment, and overall heart-centered healing.
I’ve found that the most important factor at any retreat is the quality of the healers and how well you can connect with them. The husband and wife team who run Casa del Sol, Santiago and Ximena, are true warriors of the light, and some of the most humble yet powerful, sacred yet funny, disciplined yet compassionate people I have ever met. They offer an ideal blend of masculine and femine energies, and their work with both the fire and water elements at times made me gasp with its beauty and purity of intention. A huge advantage is that Santiago and Ximena, as well as their older son Mateo, are bilingual. This meant that all participants could fully share their reasons for attending and experiences as the retreat unfolded, as well as be supported without something being lost in translation. Compared to other retreats, I felt like the shamans understood the challenges of Western society and this helped provide a valuable perspective for integration and healing. Santiago and Ximena have a beautiful family and most importantly, they made all of us truly feel like part of their extended family. I look forward to going back next year with my partner and consider them my spiritual teachers.
Two other healers were very important to the overall experience: Mateo – their eldest son who is a shaman in training and one of the most mature and gifted young men I’ve ever met, as well as Titi – their Brazilian neighbor who shared the medicines of kambo and rape. He has a huge heart and a depth of knowledge that helped us learn important lessons during the retreat.
The ceremonies were varied and extremely powerful. I initially was looking to do more ayahuasca ceremonies but came to discover a deep appreciation for the medicine of San Pedro, and how the San Pedro, Temezcal, and Kambo ceremonies all provided an integrated way of healing, with each medicine offering balancing and cleansing for the other ceremonies. I celebrated my birthday on the first San Pedro hike and after bathing in a sacred mountain waterfall, I literally felt reborn! The ensuing ceremonies were each magical, aided by the beautiful songs of the healers, their heartfelt prayers, and a series of offerings that we provided to the various spirits that make up the shamanic cosmovision. I was deeply touched by how much they care for the natural world and their teachers, who are true guardians of the last sacred places on this planet, and their medicine is exactly what the world needs during this time of ecological crisis.
Due to the family environment and intimate size, our group bonded within a few days and I left with friends who I will cherish for life. This sense of community was also even more pronounced than any retreat I attended before. And they get results – I witnessed deep healings for a variety of issues (parental estrangement, ancestral trauma, reconnection to purpose, etc) and after the final sweat lodge ceremony we emerged to bathe in the river on their property and reenter the world with a new perspective and lightness of being.
If your heart is calling you, give yourself the gift of deep healing and a new perspective on life by attending Casa del Sol.
I came to Casa del Sol simply expecting to shed another layer of the onion as they say, but what I got was much more. Ximena, Santiago, Mateo and Titi have created a warm, loving family environment where I felt truly cared for and set the perfect foundation for the intense purification I was about to experience. In short: I met my spirit animal, sweated out tons of toxins, freed myself of some entity attachments, reconnected with my inner child, cut the cord of addiction that I had built with marijuana, learned „magis cuantica“ (quantum magik ;-), met some of the best people who I now call my family, cleansed my liver with kambo, ate some of the best vegan food I have ever had, released ancestral trauma, rediscovered gratitude for my body and the light within me, acquired some great Rapé (and learned that tobacco is something very different from the cigarettes I had known), literally climbed a mountain (walked up lol) and most importantly for the first time in my life at the goodbye ceremony I cried tears of gratitude. This place offers all the very best of south american indigenous medicine: Ayahuasca, San Pedro, Rapé, Kambo and Sweat Lodges. How they plan the retreats and integrate all these medicines carefully into your time at Casa del Sol is an extremely powerful combination and shows their years of experience and expertise. All the medicines complement each other perfectly! For the first time in years I cherish my sober state of consciousness! Muchas Gracias Ximena, Santiago, Mateo and Titi! I will forever be grateful.
Having recently completed the 12 day retreat, I feel very blessed to have experienced the power and synergy of the medicines offered at Casa Del Sol. The power of the medicine, complemented by the energy work that Santiago and Ximena do is priceless and worth experiencing if you are open to the process.
Before heading to Casa Del Sol, I felt that I had a fairly comfortable relationship with the spirit of San Pedro until I experienced the intensity of the process with Santiago and Ximena. This could have only come from a place of complete surrender, trust and sincerity towards the process and medicine. Since then, I’ve felt a deep reverence towards the plant, which helped me in further understanding my relationship with the medicine and more importantly, with myself.
Whether during ceremony or in casual conversation, it is quite evident that when they speak of their experiences or share their insights, there is alot of wisdom to be gained from listening to Santiago and Ximena. There is such a wisdom that cannot be learned simply from reading books but that is passed down through generations, who’ve experienced from and established a harmony with nature, which can be the greatest teacher of all.
Apart from the medicine work, one can experience the feeling of what it is to be part of a tribe, a family of loving people. This energy is evident in their family dynamic and not surprisingly can also transpire to the group, in all its cheerfulness and fun.
The program is designed in such a way, that it allows one to work on oneself while also being part of a community of people, a support system, a family, a tribe, to learn, share and care for one another other. I would suggest that one complete the entire 12 day program to actually begin to see the benefits of the medicine and the work that can be done with it. It’s one thing to work with the medicine in your own space and comfort zone. It is quite another experience to work with a shaman in their realm or space.
If you wish to love in the consciousness of the light, you must be sincere enough to work in the unconsciousness of the dark. Be open, be sincere, trust the shaman and trust the process. I wish you well in your journey!
Wow. What can I say about the magic of Casa del Sol. Words can do no justice in describing this truly euphoric and profound experience.
This was the best choice that I have made for myself in life, not just as an experience but also in terms of the clarity and direction that was provided to me as a result of taking part in this excellent retreat.
What I love most is that the focus is really on doing the inner work required to make changes in life. The focus is not on luxury or providing a relatable westernized experience, which in my opinion reduces the potency of the medicine, but rather on connecting ourselves with the universe, nature and each other as a team, a family and a community and as a divine part of an infinite whole.
Santiago, Ximena, and Mateo (Husband, wife and eldest son) are an amazing team with an unshakable sense of purpose to make a difference in the lives of the participants, the community of Vilcabamba and the world. They possess expert knowledge of the medicine, wisdom centuries beyond their years, and the respect of nature. When these people spoke, the winds formed into vortexes around us! Powerful!
And the vegetarian food prepared by Chef Natalia is the best I’ve ever eaten, period. It’s the icing on the cake of a perfect retreat experience.
This retreat is for anyone who wants to work with medicine to expand their consciousness in regard to themselves and in regard to identifying the gaps that must be covered in one’s own life. You will receive clarity on what you seek at Casa Del Sol, but doing the work to bring it into fruition is your own responsibility.
My rating is 5/5, no, 10/5!
Much Love <3
Casa Del Sol gave me everything I was looking for, within the first two days of the retreat, and then it showed me what I really needed, and then it gave me that too.
I came to Casa Del Sol with the intention of learning how to look past the stories I write with my ego and the expectations that others put on me, to just see and appreciate my life for what it is. And I got that, in a very powerful experience, on day two. After exploring that for a few days, I realized that what I was really missing was the ability to just love my life, to play and share and connect with others on a deeper level. And shortly after I started looking for that, it also came to me in full force. Halfway through the retreat I was worried about coming home and losing what I had found there, but by the end I knew I had received the healing I needed and I was looking forward to coming back, integrating it into my life, and sharing this gift with my friends and family.
There’s so much healing to be found in this place. Santiago and Ximena are some of the kindest, wisest, most loving people I’ve ever met. Their connection to nature, to the plant medicines, to their shamanic traditions, and to each other is inspiring, and they shifted some major spiritual changes inside of me. Their patience and empathy brought our retreat members together into one of the closest family groups I’ve ever known. They knew exactly what each one of us needed, helped each of us see past our personal obstacles, and sent all of us home as better versions of ourselves than we had ever known.
I’m not normally this sentimental, and I don’t write much about spirituality or energy or magic, but this retreat woke up something inside of me that’s helped me to see that I live a much more beautiful life in a much more beautiful world than what I thought a few weeks ago.
Santiago and Ximena, thank you so so much. I will be back.
I met Santiago at another retreat years ago. His work, and undying determination, to assist any and every person looking to heal their spirit, child in themselves, or alleviate from mental or underlying diseases is truly unparalleled. So when I heard about Casa Del Sol, I immediately knew where I’d get my healing done. There’s not even an ounce of regret in my body for venturing out to Vilcabamba.
I arrived a day behind schedule and walked right into the house to find the rest of my retreat group, Santiago, and his marvelous partner Ximena having dinner—they just got back from a morning/afternoon San Pedro hike. Everyone was very warm and welcoming even without me knowing they all took the plant medicine! It was my first time meeting Ximena, and she so kindly catered to my arrival, sitting down one on one with me to ask me questions and how I was generally feeling that very first night. That woman emits pure, exuberant confidence, and her voice, whenever she sings or speaks is angelic…very soothing during ceremonies. It was lovely getting to know Ximena; a hard worker around the property as well as with the plant medicine, and humble just like Santiago.
I’ll spare the details from the rest of my retreat but will say this…the space and compassion found in Casa del Sol is absolutely beautiful…this is coming from someone who was a nervous and timid young man. Santiago and Ximena allow us visitors to feel right at home with each other, staying up all hours of the day and night to just mingle, and really get to being open, vulnerable, and honest with others, but more importantly ourselves! The ceremonies are wonderful and highly immersive! Full of vibrant energy and a safe space to explore higher levels of consciousness under the guide of Santiago and Ximena. I originally was going to stay for 8 days but the location of Casa del Sol, Santiago, Ximena, one of their sons, and my retreat group members captured my heart to stay and do the full retreat. Already plan to go back sometime later in the future.
I had an incredible experience at Casa del Sol. It is run by a family, and they truly open their arms to you and make you feel at home. The surroundings are gorgeous, and there’s a beautiful river at the bottom of the property that is great for bathing in – either after a ceremony or just in the morning. The team of Santiago and Ximena are a perfect compliment – I was transformed during my time there. Another retreat participant kept making the remark that the retreat was really 12 days of spiritual enlightenment that 10 years of therapy couldn’t compare to – and I couldn’t agree more!
So much of the healing that I experienced at Casa del Sol cannot be filtered into words. Santiago, Ximena and Matteo gave their all in an authentic way that inspired me to do exactly the same. I would recommend this center to anyone who is truly dedicated to doing the inner work inside themselves and who’s is willing to face their demons.
I can’t think of a better place to come! Know that at Casa del Sol, you are in good hands and that you will have all the support you need.
I am full of gratitude to this place. Plus, the food is great and the staff will make your bed every single morning! I really felt taken care of. ¡Mucho gusto!
Last June , l spent 10 days in casa del sol. The most challenging but incredible experience in my life. It was a last minute decision but The best decision ever. I have been suffering from anxiety since this year, everything in my life was becoming fear. I was detached from myself, from everything.
What attracted me a la casa del sol was the fact that santiago and Ximena work with different plant medecine, specially San Pedro and also with small group. We had the chance to be only 6 participants. It made the retreat really intimate and special! We were like a family
The casa del sol is an isolated paradise where you can Rest peacefully surrounded by nature. It was home. Nati was always caring and making delicious and nourishing meals.
What l like the most during my journey is the discovery of the shamanic traditions. how it is important for Ximena and Santiago to share it with everyone by explaining the meaning of everything, How much knowledge and passion they have when they share it, sharing their life and unconditional love.
I did 2 hikes with San Pedro, one at the waterfall and the other one on the sacred feminine Montana. Both experience were incredibly amazing and rewarding.
I’m really blessed today that our path crossed , l learnt so much about myself through their guidance and support. I went through darkness during ceremony at the beginning of the retreat where l had to meet my anxiety but l always fell safe and in good hands. The icaros(songs) were so beautiful and powerful, they still resonate in me. The second part of the retreat , I was able to surrender my anxiety and had no more fear of life.
Santiago, Ximena and Matteo through their speech, songs and intentions ; opened deeply my soul, helped me connected with my inner self, the animal spirit , pachamama, the water , the sun….
They Are pure love , pure kindness.
They shared with me The first emotion everyone needs to fully live: Love.
Muchas gracias bob and Frida
Casa Del Sol,
Where to start. ….
The retreat center:
This was not my first retreat, and not the first center I have visited or been apart of but it was one of the best. The groups are small and made way for an intimate setting, with a group of people that you will call family by the final closing ceremony.
The location. Set just outside of town, on a river at the base of a mountain. The gardens offered great space to reflect and sit with your intentions. You could always find solitude, and a place in nature when you needed it. We had campfires, and watched the fireflies sparking in the trees. The star gazing was some of the best I have seen in the world. Town is only a 2 minute taxi to town, and on days off would indulge in massages, local hot tubs, and great food. It is important to stay close following ceremony, and to spend time reflecting. Town offered this without being overwhelmed. Also a great place to stay on either side of the retreat, with great walking trails, hiking and beautiful nature and vistas. You can find anything you need here, including getting in touch with your hippie side. For many, the opportunity to do this medicine without the nervousness of going deep into the jungle, allowed people a better opportunity to surrender and really get to know the medicines. The food was cooked with care and was always a welcomed treat after returning from ceremony. Everyone spoke English and Spanish, and never felt a language barrier, important when you need to speak to the shamans.
The first ceremony allowed for a share circle, traditionally done on the medicine. This allowed each person a turn, to talk into the fire and release what is holding them back and what they would like to work on. There is no better way to break down walls and surrender then beginning with a San Pedro Ceremony, leaving everything on the “table” so you can get to your core truth and support one another on your personal growth. I believe this was a vital step for starting the journey.
We also had the pleasure of some guests shamans, that held space and blessed us with their wisdom and knowledge. The shamans all offering advice and their utmost attention to each person, you felt safe and supported through the whole experience.
It was also one of the only retreats that I have been to that incorporated hiking and being outside of circle on the medicine. Always done in a safe way, the hikes allowed for self reflection time and being within oneself leading to different development then the sharing circles. San pedro connects you both to other humans but also very strongly to nature and it was beautiful to experience this in the primal way, outdoors. Nature is a great medicine in itself, only exuberated on the medicine. We stopped under an orchard and admired views of the surrounding valley, stopping and picking tangerines that were in bloom. We were washed clean by a powerful waterfall, stopping and resting to over the surrounding villages and houses that dotted the mountains. You will never feel more at home.
Ceremony is a very important part of the plant medicine, and respecting the traditions that have been passed down for generations. Ceremony teaches you to practice gratitude (Which, alone, has been shown in Studies to improve mental health- Harvard Health 2017) Gratitude for water, for Pachamama; for yourself and those around you. They held these traditions with the utmost respect and grace. It was a blessing, and I will forever be humbled to the Shamans for holding the space throughout all our journeys.
Many medicines were on offer, and it was a personal choice at any point if you would like to partake or pass on the medicine, and were never forced into or pressured to go beyond your comfort zone. Rape, liquid tobacco, Kambo, Canelazo (A sugar cane distilled liquor) , Sacred Tobacco, San Pedro, and Aya.
(We were also gifted from visiting shamans with peyote. Mushrooms as well- depending on season)
Each medicine with its own spirit and teachings. It was a blessing to have had the opportunity to get to know each of the medicines. Both in combination and each as a sacred teacher. The medicine is strong, and you can feel the love that goes into it. Always touching you in a gentle and caring way.
For many San Pedro was their favorite teacher, for others it was Aya, for myself it was mushrooms, and you knew this going in to the ceremony and gave the utmost care to address the medicines call.
The Shamans and Family:
Guest Shamans: The knowledge and grace that the visiting shamans brought were a blessing. Ximena and Santiago have gone a long way to source only the best shamans who will always guide you with nothing but the purest intentions.
Titi, a Kambo shaman from Brazil, sat with each person individually speaking about any issues or questions you may have before the medicine, and treating each person gently not to push one beyond their own personal limit. Post Kambo session he would talk about what you were cleansing and what issues that you may have, as far as physical and emotional health. Going into Kambo, I was quite nervous and had some concerns, all were addressed and so glad to have gone through with the medicine.
The two lovely ladies who blessed us during the first San Pedro ceremony had beautiful voices and prayers, an intimate knowledge and respect for the medicine, and incredible grace. It was an honor to have shared space with these Woman.
Ximena, Santiago and Family:
No words can begin to express my love for this family. My brothers, and Sisters never showed anything but unconditional love and support. They have raised some incredible kids, that often help out around the retreat and who carry themselves in years far beyond their age. It was an absolute honor getting to know this family and continuing our bond over the years to come.
Santiago is a very approachable shaman, who’s care and compassion are bar none. The love he has for his wife is a marvel in itself, and a beautiful companionship to witness. His patience during ceremonies, making sure my dosing was correct during ceremony (I had quite a high tolerance and needed several doses to get to where I needed to get) is a true reflection of the sheer experience and connection he has to the medicine. Holding space, and leading ceremony is always a huge responsibility ; always there when someone needed him, valuing group safety above all else, I felt safe to completely surrender to the medicines and have the opportunity to really address all my intentions. Thank you for your service to the medicine and this work brother.
Ximena, what a beautiful goddess. You hold my heart, with your beautiful Icaros, thoughtful teaching and a connection and love for this planet and its beings that will always hold strong with me. Your smile, and motherly love was a blessing to have around. We had many blessings during ceremony, including rainbows, eagles, an earthquake, and a thunder storm to bless the children of thunder. You always held prayers and taught me much about offerings from the water, the land, the sky and all living creatures. Not out of show, but because it was important. You can really feel the respect far beyond a “retreat center” I have been blessed to share these times with you. Thank you for your beautiful soul, your path, and just being you.
Family: Not much to say, all beautiful humans, you have done a fantastic job. Matteo is a incredible kid with a great head on his shoulders and have no doubt all your kids will grow up to bless the world with their presence. I look forward to hosting you when I settle to this wonderful country.
Thank you to all the retreat goers that I shared this experience with, you will always hold my heart, and thank you for your work in your own personal growth.
For all those looking for a retreat center, I can recommend this slice of paradise, with all my heart, and will definitely be returning. (Who knows, maybe I will take Santiagos offering of a vision quest on the Mens retreat)
It is a big step to take, to address yourself and grow. This is the perfect place to allow that growth and start your rejuvenated life. You owe it to yourself, because YOU are worth it.
To put it simply; Casa del sol is magical. From the moment you arrive to the instant you leave you feel like you’re safe at home surrounded by family. Casa del sol is authentic. You can feel all of the healing that has taken place on the magical lands and you can feel the love of the mountain and the river, something that you will never forget. Writing a review for a place that is indescribable is quite difficult but I guess the main thing is that I would recommend anyone to attend a retreat at Casa Del Sol. From the ceremonies, to the accommodation, and the food, and the medicine and all that they offer I don’t think I have anything bad to say about it. And I know that, for me at least, I was worried about the price. But this is one of the least expensive plant medicine retreats that you can find that’s held in a safe environment with safe shamans and you get more than you pay for! The itinerary, the accommodation, the food, the ceremonies is worth far more than the financial expense! Ximena and Santiago really make you feel like you are part of their family and you can feel the love they have for every living being and they genuinely want to help in any way that they can. I remember when I first started to attend plant medicine retreats I was kind of scared. Scared of what to expect, the medicine, the people, being in a different country, everything, but there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of at Casa del sol. They make you feel so welcomed and loved and accepted everything far from fearful. Casa del sol is just authentic and full of love and I would definitely recommend it! And I will definitely be back!!❤️
Ximena Morales is a true dreamweaver and I was fortunate enough to be one of those participating in her women’s retreat this past April. Whether you’re looking to connect more to yourself, to source, to the divine, or learn more about the ways of medicine, I cannot recommend this retreat center enough! Casa del Sol is situated in the most majestic of backdrops ideal for connecting to self and Pachamama. The retreat center has all the comfortable amenities you might need, not to mention the serene environment it is nestled in.
I had the pleasure of meeting Ximena and her and her husband Santiago some years back and when first hearing of this upcoming retreat, I knew I had to be there. From the moment I showed interest, Ximena was very diligent in sending me all of the information I needed and answering every question that came up. She is kind, thoughtful, and a beautiful teacher to begin learning the ways of the sacred medicine. It was an absolute privilege to spend the two weeks with her, women from all walks of life, and the skilled and devoted healers and shamans who taught us so much about the medicine and ourselves. This retreat was not only life changing, but life affirming and I’m a better version of myself, my true self, after having completed it. There is just not enough I could say about this retreat center, Ximena and Santiago, their community of healers, and the divine connection they have to that mountain and great spirit. I’m sure this is the beginning of a lifelong connection with Casa del Sol.
I have attended retreats in the past working with different plant medicines which is where I had originally crossed paths with Santiago. So, naturally when I found out that both Santiago and his wife Ximena were doing the work that they were doing in Vilcabamba I was naturally drawn.
I recently attended the 12 day women’s retreat that was part of Ximena’s beautiful dream and vision to provide women with a safe space to explore the depths of themselves and reconnect with their divine feminine. This experience has been unlike anything I have experienced thus far. Ximena and Santiago make it their mission to expose us who seek their teachings to all of their traditions and allow us to learn about this path they walk on a more intimate and integrative level so that we may take these teachings home with us and continue them and evolve them on our own.
I am so grateful to Casa Del Sol and the gathering of so many beautiful teachers in one place to facilitate growth in everyone who opens their hearts to its teachings. This experience at the women’s retreat has opened up a whole new level of understanding and depth to my purpose in this life and I know that this spirit family will always be close to my heart and I know I can call on them for anything.
If you’re thinking about working with plant medicines or just understanding yourself on a deeper level and healing certain patterns, traumas, etc. you definitely should consider Casa Del Sol because they facilitate your healing beyond the medicines and help you realize that YOU ARE The MEDICINE.
This was a great experience. If you have an open mind and an open heart I don’t see how you can go wrong here. If you are looking to reflect and spend some time in nature with the medicine this will be a very good place for you and wonderful people to do it with. Thank you Santiago and Ximena.
Casa del Sol is a truly magical and wonderful place. It is impossible not to be peaceful there, as it is nestled in a valley of lushuss forest, and amazing wildlife. A clean fresh river runs through the valley, providing constant soothing background noise, and a refreshing way to cool off!
Santiago and Ximena made us feel so welcome and relaxed during our stay, and we are so grateful to them for welcoming us into their home. They are two of the most wonderful (and wise) people I have met.
The ceremonies were a really amazing experience. We took part in one San Pedro ceremony, one Ayahuasca, and one sweat lodge. Each was very different, and enlightening in their own way. At all times Satiago and Ximena were there to guide us, and make sure we got the most out of each experience.
My only regret is that we did not stay for longer. Next time we will do the 8 or 12 day retreat to really dive deeper into the experience.
Fully reccomend this place! Medicine for the mind body and soul. We will definitely be back!
Out of the 4 retreats I’ve done so far, this was by far the best! Originally I was solely looking for a San Pedro experience and wasn’t prepared for the ayahuasca ceremonies, but I’m very happy Ximena guided me into staying for the full program. As they decide to only do a limited amount of retreats, Santiago and Ximena give you their full energy, attention and guidance and are always accessible. The group is small (8-12 people?) and personal and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. Their formula of the retreat is very balanced and thought out; I love that there is a nice build up with varied activities (mountain treks, waterfall cleansing, sweatlodge, etc) and proper pre- and post briefings of your experiences.
Their house (where you eat, relax and gather before and after) is beautifully located next to the river and the accommodations are clean and comfortable. The food is always delicious.
It took me a couple of weeks to write this review just to make sure I would be ‘sober’ and ‘objective’ 🙂 … Every time I think or talk about my 8 days with Santiago and Ximena at the Casa del So, it has brought a smile on my face and I still carry a warm heart to everybody I met at the retreat. Once I’m ready for further exploration, I know I’ll travel to Vilcabamba again! (Please let it be the same!)
Casa Del Sol holds a special place in my heart since I attended the 12 day retreat in February 2019. This was my second time using plant medicine in the past few years. I chose Casa Del Sol by the many recommendations for Santiago & Ximena because they are true Shamans and indeed they are. As well I wanted to work with a few different plant medicines & be apart of a smaller group. It was also important for me to experience nature’s powerful healing energy in a lush green mountain setting, which they have created a wonderful comfortable home by the river & powerful healing ceremonial spaces on their property.
I felt safe & comfortable the moment I arrived but I have to be honest, my experience during the first ceremony was not what I hoped for and was quite difficult for me. The day after I thought maybe plant medicine wasn’t for me and I should leave the retreat. I spoke with Ximena about this and thanks to her I stayed experiencing strong transformative healing throughout the remaining ceremonies. I left the retreat having gotten more than I EXPECTED & EXACTLY what I needed. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve returned home with the first few days being extremely challenging for me but since then with daily integration of the lessons I learnt & more being revealed, life continues to unfold for me in the most beautiful magical ways I used to only dream about.
I was HUMBLED, HONORED & filled with BLISSFUL GRATITUDE to have had the opportunity to sit in ceremony and work with Santiago & Ximena. Thank you so much for sharing your teachings, traditions, wisdom & love with All my Relations.
I look forwards to returning January & February 2020.
Inspired and humbled by Santiago and Ximena’s teachings.
Their sacred land alone is pure medicine.
My experience during and after the ceremonies and their loving, open and honest guidance is more and more trust and awareness moving inside and things connecting in new ways. It also showed me where I wander off and dance around my fears and pain. Further integration of what I have experienced and learned will be my challenge and responsibility.
Ximena and Santiago provide a safe place for you to travel and explore. To deepen the connection to your path, to your heart, to earth, spirit and ancient wisdom. I am sure that I will meet them again and I am already looking forward to learn so much more from them.
I had the wonderful opportunity to go to casa del Sol at the beginning of this year and it was definitely a life transforming experience. I am writing this review almost two months after going to Casa Del Sol because I wanted to be done with my integration process to truly look at the impact the retreat had on me. Throughout the course of the retreat, I felt an immense amount of support and love from Santiago and Ximena. They created a safe space for everyone’s process and also spiritual security around all ceremonies. The ceremonies were particularly difficult for me, even though I have taken the medicine multiple times before, and I couldn’t have done the deep inner work I did if it weren’t for Santiago and Ximena and their actual energetic work while I was healing and releasing. Their son, Mateo also assists them in the ceremonies and he is just absolutely wonderful. He was very helpful, kind, compassionate and a beautiful soul in its full expression. There was a perfect balance of masculine and feminine energy in the ceremonies and throughout the whole retreat which created a very nurturing environment and set the tone for my personal journey. This particular retreat was the most healing experience of my life because I got at the root cause of a trauma I’ve been carrying all my life and it felt as if I opened a Pandora box of trauma after another. The food, the land, the river and the retreat in general was absolutely magical and beautiful. I connected deeply with the land during the ceremonies and when I was in the actual medicine I could see the love and deep shamanic roots of both Santiago and Ximena. The energy was very ancient and grounded and I felt as if I was in the presence of divinity, there was pure love radiating from the altar and from both healers. The integration process has been extremely difficult for me and in those moments of darkness, I can still feel their prayers, advice and protection… is as if the ceremony goes on in the higher realms. I have been telling everyone I know how much I recommend going to Casa Del Sol and will be sending my little sister down to Ecuador soon so she can also experience this divine healing. The heart always knows the answer and I am grateful I followed mine by going to Casa Del Sol and having this life-changing experience.
With much love,
I was blessed to first meet Santiago in 2016 at a large San Pedro ceremony he was holding near Cuenca . Following health issues that had been getting steadily worse over six months, going from a super fit Gym Manager , Trainer and Marathon Runner of over twelve years , fitness was my life , to someone who could hardly leave the house some days due to increasing unexplained physical pain and general lethargy . I have often been able to heal myself of minor illnesses in the past but this time I needed some help. I was guided by my Spirit helpers to find a true Shaman who could assist me which thankfully led me to the Cuenca Ceremony. Since I have visited Santiago and Ximena five more times for San Pedro & Ayahuasca ceremonies at their own beautiful sacred land Casa del Sol , Vilcabamba . I can definitely say fate has led me to meet a true Shaman Teacher and Healer. Santiago and his beautiful wife Ximena make you feel like part of their family from the first day you arrive , this is much more than just a retreat experience, both working with such integrity and passion for sharing their traditions and healing gifts in a beautiful safe space. Also ensuring to only work with smaller groups so that you will always receive the personal attention that is needed. From Santiagos beautiful hillside Maloka where the San Pedro ceremonies are held to the traditional Sweat Lodges plus Holy Mountain hikes to make sacred offerings everything is always done with pure attention and integrity. If you have been feeling drawn or desire to meet true family Shamans working with the sacred plants in a traditional way with pure hearts then Casa del Sol is the place for you. I know I will be returning again in the future for more teachings as my journey continues as am now back to full physical health and also following my true soul path thanks to Santiago, Ximena and the Sacred Medicines .
Rose Roker London , UK 2019
I would definitely recommend a retreat at casa del sol. For some days you are part of a lovely family, where Ximena and Santiago work fully dedicated with the plants and the clients. They feel what is important, have a lot of experience, are able to connect as well to nature as to the deeper levels within yourself and they do not hesitate to give everybody the attention one needs. Another big advantage is the choice for groups with maximum 12, and mostly less, people. In this way you get real contact with each other, are able to share your intention, which was helpful to be focused and open up yourself.
The dedication and love which Ximena and Santiago put into the ceremonies is great! I’m very thankful for this intense and beautiful experience :).
I ‘ve just returned from an eight-day retreat at Casa Del Sol in the majestic mountains of Vilcabamba, Ecuador.
It was facilitated by Ximena and Santiago who are a pair of the purest souls I’ve had the honour and pleasure of meeting and they have left me feeling blessed to have walked this part of my spiritual journey with them.
It took me three flights and 22 hours of travel, to get to Vilcabamba from Toronto and I would say that it was worth the journey there. Casa Del Sol is in beautiful mountains and it feels like stepping back into a time of peace, serenity, innocence and love. The lush landscape of the forests, filled with all forms of life and flowing rivers, radiates a positive inviting energy that we from the western world have lost and is missing from our lives.
Upon arrival at Casa Del Sol, I could feel the warmth, caring and love from Ximena as she welcomed me to their place. On the first day, both Ximena and Santiago started the pre-ceremonial blessings and group facilitated process of ensuring that our intentions are in the right place to embark on the many ceremonies that we had ahead of us.
Of course, spiritual healing begins from within us and not from the external, however, with positive intensions that are directed in the right direction, we are more likely to succeed.
After having San Pedro, Ayahuasca, Kombo and Ximena and Santiago’s guidance, I must say that I’m now equipped with the tools to start the real healing journey as I return home.
There aren’t words, that exist to describe how lucky, honoured and blessed I feel to have been guided through all these ceremonies with Ximena and Santiago. They are both gifted with pure unconditional love.
For the eight days I was with them, each day was exciting and a new adventure in the path of spiritual growth. I would recommend their retreat to anyone interested in accelerating their path to spiritual enlightenment. You will not be disappointed.
I love they both dearly!
Amazing. Rare.Transformative. A beautiful expression of ceremonies, prayers, healing, and connectedness. Situated in one of the most beautiful settings one could imagine themselves in. Vilcabamba was the final standing grounds of the Incas, also known for it’s Vilca tree, for which Vilcabamba was named after, a plant who’s bean-like pods are said to take you to the stars and back. Add to this, mountains, rivers, lush valleys, waterfalls, birds, relaxed local beauty and you have located Casa Del Sol.
The medicine ceremonies were powerful, healing, very personal and rooted deeply in the ancient traditions of the high Andes. You will learn a lot and return to yourself the lost knowledge of what these scared traditions teach. I have had the fortunate opportunity over the years to experience other medicine retreats, from Peru to Ecuador, and this one is truly special and something you can’t put in into monetary terms or comparisons. You really should be asking yourself when you can go, not if, and I say that sincerely and without reservation.
Santiago and Ximena hold beautiful ceremonies that you won’t soon forget, to try to put it into words would only take away. They are experienced shamans, holding to a long and powerful lineage of ancient shamanic traditions and customs. They are caring, compassionate wonderful medicine people, they are also husband and wife with four beautiful adoring children. The eldest son Mateo, initiated and working alongside in support. Santiago and Ximena have received some of the highest initiations in relation to this work. Very few people will ever have a chance to experience a retreat like this, so all I can say is follow your heart, you’ll be glad you did.
-In joy, healing & gratitude. -Imad
It was truly an amazing week of healing, reconnecting with my spiritual side, reviving of energies and remembering who I am. Santiago and Ximena went above and beyond pouring loving, kind and caring energies to myself and all the participants who attended the retreat with me. I loved the location and nature, even though it takes long time to get to Vilkabamba – it was worth the time spent getting there. The retreat located in the beautiful lush green side of a mountain, there is a stream running through the property that turns into a river depending on amount of the rain.
I had attended medicine ceremonies before but I never witnessed so much sincere care and genuine kindness provided as Santiago and Ximena do. They gave exact individualized healing to each of the participant needed at that time as per our conversations at the daily sharing circle; and all benefitted from what was done and said in the ceremonies. Santiago and Ximena always facilitated heart-centered discussions amongst the participants to promote friendly and loving environment, where all felt welcomed, included without pressure, despite your spiritual knowledge, race, sexuality etc.
Every day was filled with a ceremony or healing circle; and I had a chance to get out to the near town- Vilkabamba for several outings: laundry, crafts shopping etc.
Food was healthy, vegetarian (with optional fish and chicken on some days) and in plenty amounts, 3x per day, except when required to fast for medicine ceremonies.
Rooms were simple and beds comfortable, I had couple suggestions to the owners – they were open and flexible to accommodate my requests.
Everything was healing and caring about this retreat, even scary-looking guard dog – Floky was always attempting to lick my knee that I injured just before arriving to the retreat; I looked up that some dogs do that to help humans to facilitate healing injuries.
I am deeply grateful to the Shaman-Santiago, Ximena, their beautiful 4 kids (that occasionally popped at the retreat), Mateo-Shaman assistant and made-Nati for this amazing time I had at the retreat.
I am highly recommending this place if you are looking for a deep healing and spiritual growth.
My experience with Casa del Sol was deep, emotional, challenging, spiritually charged, fantastic! Santiago is an amazing shaman, and most of all he is an amazing human being. He was the reason why I decided to come back to Ecuador to experience Ayahuasca and San Pedro once again. (I was at another retreat centre before.) I trust him with all my heart. Santiago and his family became my family too. Thank you to Ximena for your amazing, loving, emotionally charged feminine energy. Thank you Mateo for your openness to experience, strength, you are a brother to me! Thank you Titi for your positive energy and your strength manifesting in such a delicate way.
At Casa del Sol you will be connecting to nature, to your nature as well. You will experience what it means to be part of it. You will see what it means to truly appreciate things we often take for granted.
I really enjoyed Santiago and Ximena’s place. The room (shared) was very comfortable, clean and surrounded by nature. The food was amazing. I felt like a god after couple of days of eating that healthy (and I’m a vegan who really takes care about his diet). Delicious veggie soups, fruits in the morning, light, tasty and nutritionally supercharged diet. Fantastic!
Also, I really enjoyed the late evening meet-ups at the table where we exchanged our experiences and opened up to each other fully.
The ceremonies were very intense to me. Especially the sweat lodge ceremonies turned out to be very challenging and healing. Santiago and Ximena put an amazing amount of work to make sure as much healing is done as possible. Wasn’t easy but was totally worth it. The drums, the singing, all the little details… it’s just mind blowing how dedicated they are in their hearts to do this kind of healing to the people of this world. Thanks for that Santiago, Ximena and Mateo.
I came back different. I now have a different relationship with my body and soul. I also, met my power animal which was super exciting to me. Finally I understood the power that was sleeping in me.
Lots of love to all of you brothers and sisters!
Santiago The Shaman is the real deal but I would stay away as his wife talks about love and healing but is a hypocrite and gives Lip Service to it and undoes any sort of help or healing Santiago does I attended to do ayahuasca and after attending I now suffer from cluster headaches I asked them to help me with my father and I got told effectively to go away so please understand you will get a conflicting service and quite possibly one of them is a charlatan and a hypocrite and I would not say that inauthentic person is Santiago he seems to be genuine but be warned that there is one entity at this Retreat that will work against you you have been warned
Five stars state “near-perfect”, so I had no other choice however I would say “this is simply the place with the people” so just skip the word near!
The location in an epic neighborhood of Vilcabamba, directly on a bank of a river surrounded by beautiful hills and mountains of Andes. The Flocky (a dog) takes care of, anyway already given, security and Natalia serves delicious meals (very fresh and vegetarian) and takes care of our accomodation. So only thing to think about is our spirituality. Here the Ximena, Santiago and their son Matteo came into the game. Set of ceromonies of San Pedro combined with Rapé, Kambo, sweat lodge and finally Aya itself made the journey AMAZING with lots of thoughts to work on during my daily life. In addition, set of acctivities like yoga, painting workshop (to express ourselves in a different way), breathing classes and needless to say several sharing circles made the retreat PERFECT!
Communication with Santiago and Ximena before, during and after my stay is what i actually needed.
One day, after I execute teachings from the current retreat, I will be back to them to get know myself even better.
Thank you all for making this retreat possible!
Santiago and Ximena have created an incredible space for healing. The food provided is fresh, nourishing, alive, and the accommodations comfortable. Most important is working with two incredible healers that bring forth both the masculine and feminine to each ceremony (nature and nurture).
The medicine is powerful and provided me with answers and a better understanding of my own being. However it is up to me to work with the information provided and to remove those patterns in life that hold me back.
They are both very humble, wise, and loving people. They are amazing healers and teachers: I feel blessed to have been in their company.
Have you ever had an experience that was so amazing and life changing, all you want to do is share it with everyone you know?? If you have, then you know how powerful it can be. This is Casa Del Sol.
I was absolutely blown away by the initial love that I felt here energetically and literally. Santiago, his wife Ximena, and their family were kind beyond words. They instantly took my friend and I in line family. After the first 5 minutes of conversation with Santiago, I was instantly comfortable and confident (not necessarily the feelings I had previously.) His ability to share and be a relatable human make him a medicine man like none other. I knew this was the perfect place, in the perfect timing.
Their approach to the medicine, the land, and the entire process of ceremony was profound to see and be a part of. The purpose and intention that this work will give you has potential beyond anything else I have experienced. Learning how to let go of fear and expectation, surrender to the mother, create purpose, and share these lessons with the world.
The medicine was profound. The teachings of Santiago and his family were life changing. If you are considering ceremony and are looking at Casa Del Sol, stop thinking and take the plunge. Dive in. On the other side of fear is always love.
So much gratitude,
I’m not one to usually write reviews – but an experience as personal as plant medicine for healing, this may be the most important decision one makes.
Set and setting and intention bringing to the medicine is I believe the most important. The medicine gives you what you need and what she needs but to have a good place that you believe in the purpose and the reason for being there.. to have this aids so much of what you take out of it. Because the work starts at the center and follows you home where the hard work begins.
Casa del Sol is a family. Truly, and you feel part of it. It’s done for the right reasons and is meant to heal a sick world. Santiago and his family are amazing, they are kind, generous with words and time and will meet you where you’re at. I was just done with biking across Columbia and Ecuador in the Andes for 2 months, in a mindset feeling very connected with the earth and getting to know myself. Santiago graciously led me through my first ceremonies that only grew my connection to this beautiful earth, it’s spirits and the kindness I needed to find inside me.
If you have any doubts about doing medicine in South America anywhere – you should and you’re right. It may not be for you, or maybe not now. But this place and this family will give you the right set and setting to try it – if you believe it’s your path.
If it’s calling you, these people, this land, and the spiritual experience here is the right choice.
My first to San Pedro ceremonies were with Santiago. They will forever be memories that I will hold in my heart. My time in ceremony with Santiago was incredibly beautiful and full of learning and growth. He is very attentive to the energies and bring so much love to his work. No ceremonies my heart was more open than they had ever previously been in my entire life and it showed me a new paradigm and new possibilities which I have carried with me as I have continued working with the plant medicines. Thank you Santiago for all you are doing
Santiago is a great medicine man. I was reluctant at first entering this concept on my own for the first time. Santiago’s diligence and meticulous process of healing, attention to detail and above all else a great positive energetic influence changed my mind after the very first session. He is deeply invested in your healing, in your journey and his treatments are gentle. Thank You Santiago for helping me..
Es una experiencia única, profunda y misteriosa. Es algo que solamente se tiene que sentir. Santiago es excelente en este trabajo.
This is not your average retreat experience, I highly recommend this place if you are looking to do deep work on yourself. The experiences I had here were profound to say the least, and I felt completely safe and supported throughout the entire process. Santiago takes a lot of pride in his craft and it is truly and honor to witness, such a unique tradition and beautiful experience. Also the groups are smaller here and more intimate, you will feel like part of the family. I’m looking forward to returning!
Santiago’s ceremonies are the real deal, because Santiago is the real deal! I did ceremony with him at his former place of employment, as well as at his own venue, for a total of four ceremonies.
Santiago has a way of seeing through a person’s story to the truth that is underlying it. In my case, he could read between the lines of what I wasn’t telling him, (or myself), and call me out on it. I thought I was there only to find inspiration and direction in my life, but he saw the areas where I still needed healing, and he helped me release some blockages that were standing in my way.
It’s been a little over two years now, since I’ve worked with him, and I’m reaping the benefits of those ceremonies and experiences every day, as I am in a much healthier and happier place in my life now, as a result.
Santiago’s medicine, ceremonies and abilities to hold space are all of the highest quality. If you’re looking to work with Grandfather San Pedro, look no further, Santiago is an excellent guide, and his mountain is a beautiful and powerful place!
Casa Del Sol was exactly what I needed all at the right time. Both Santiago and Ximena are now like family, and I’m eager to return to spend more time in this incredible place.
I struggle to remember a time where I felt more cared for, or safer. Altogether my experience at Casa Del Sol was one I will remember for a lifetime, and one I will treasure equally.
Thank you and much love to you both for making the experience so so special.
Casa del Sol is truly a house of the sun. Ximena and Santiago have created a beautiful retreat at their home in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. Their warmth and energy made me feel at home and part of the family. This is a place where I experienced great healing, growth and transformation. Their property is nestled in a valley alongside side a serene river. This was a perfect setting to reconnect with pacha mama (Mother Earth) and become present with every element of the universe.
I was just beginning my journey of healing when I arrived at Casa del Sol. And admittedly felt I was a shell of the person I am now. Ximena and Santiago are experts in their work, their dedication to the teachings of this tradition are evident. Their authenticity, guidance, compassion and love, provided both in and out of ceremony, set me on my path of healing and transformation. I am so grateful to Ximena and Santiago for their teachings and blessings during the ceremonies. There is an undeniable sense of magic at Casa del Sol. This place is truly unique.
I whole-heartedly recommend Casa del Sol!!!
It’s hard to come by medicine people like Santiago, and I’m extremely grateful I found him nestled in the mountains. The healing, insights and gifts I received from that ceremony are still growing fruit in my life almost 2 years later. With humble appreciation, I highly recommend visiting him if you can.
Words really can’t do Santiago and Ximena justice. I’ve been travelling and exploring the medicine traditions of the West since 2013, and once you’ve opened up yourself to these complex realities you understand how deep the rabbit hole goes, and most of all, how infinitely important it is with a pure intention. There simply isn’t one facilitator of ceremony that I’d trust more than Santiago. I’ve been coming back to him many times, and he is the only one I trust fully and who I’d recommend wholeheartedly to other people. His ceremonies are very powerful and work deep through many levels of consciousness, but they are always uplifting and infinitely beautiful. We are all participating in prayer and sometimes singing/playing, and whenever Santiago speaks we better listen, because there is tons of life wisdom contained in this man.
I miss Casa Del Sol like my home. The place itself, located on a mountain next to the pure river Sabanilla, is lush, green and serene. A perfect place for calming down, for hiking the mountains and to contemplate.
I’ve been going to see Santiago and his powerful medicine work since 2015 when I 1st met him.
The 2nd San Pedro ceremony we had, he changed something inside of me.
The next morning after I woke up and started crying b/c I could feel this deep inner shift.
It’s hard to put it into words, but the best way to describe it is he removed whatever blockages there were around my heart.
I could feel emotions, people, nature & everything else a lot more now.
It was as if he took my heart and polished it new.
From this experience, I was able to re-connect with myself and my life-purpose.
This lead me down the path of becoming a men’s life coach helping others.
It has been a career filled with more fufillment and joy. Something that feels in alignment with my values and soul.
In 2016, I came back to see Santiago again and brought my brother with me as well to sit in his ceremonies. These were transformative and helped steer me further on my path.
The songs and the way Santiago conducts the ceremonies is like no other. It’s impossible to be in them and not feel like you are growing and healing as a person.
In 2018, I wanted to start co-leading retreats with Santiago & Ximena. And so I brought 10-clients and we did 3-separate retreats.
Casa Del Sol was the perfect place for new beginners to start working with these medicines.
The groups are small – not big like other retreats so it’s an intimate setting where everyone is taken care of.
The retreat is situated in the beautiful green mountains with clear blue skies and a quiet river running which helps to fall asleep.
There are zero distractions around and this space allows you to go inwards and reflect.
The cabins are brand new and clean.
The food and meals were both delicious and healthy. Ay que rico!
The ceremonies that were lead by both Ximena & Santiago were probably my favorite.
You get to witness both the divine masculine and feminine working in duo, in harmony and balance.
Co-creating magic and healing together. This is rare in the medicine world where two beautiful & powerful souls are merging as one.
Bc Ximena & Santiago both speak perfect English, I was able to learn so much more about the medicines, the traditions and the meanings behind them.
They also have such big hearts and you can speak to them about whatever and they will be gentle, supportive guides.
Santiago’s traditions are not new age – they are steeped in deep traditional roots from both South & North American native traditions & brotherhoods.
This is one of the reason’s I choose to go back every year to learn from him. He’s had so much training and experience from many tribes. I trust him completely.
Also, this was the 1st time I got to meet Ximena and it was an absolute blessing to be with her. We had many interesting conversations. She shares her wisdom and path which has helped me grow and expand even more.
I would absolutely recommend Casa Del Sol to anyone on the medicine path.
The fact that I’ve gone back for the last 3-years, as well as brought my own brother and clients should demonstrate that this place runs with love and integrity.
You will walk away with more clarity in your life.
Feeling more connected to yourself, your life purpose, mission & vision.
You will improve your relationships with others and perspective on the world.
You will also have a chance to heal deep trauma’s and wounds that you have been carrying since childhood.
It was an honor to not only experience this myself, but watch other men go on this same journey of healing & transformation as well.
Thank you Santiago & Ximena for everything. I will see you in 2019 🙂
I joined Santiago and Ximena for a San Pedro ceremony in January 2018 and had an amazing experience. Beforehand Santiago met with us to discuss the ceremony and our intentions, which was important because each person in the ceremony had an affect on the group experience. Casa del Sol is a truly beautiful location and the ceremony site has a distinct energy as well. When the ceremony started Santiago led he proceedings, Ximena assisted and Charlie was the fire keeper. The team did an amazing job of harnessing the magic of the plant and I still cherish the experience 9 months later. Thank you Santiago, Ximena, and Charlie, I hope to return!
I had the pleasure of participating in a San pedro session with Santiago a couple years ago in a retreat, and it was a very insightful moment that reminded me how beautiful life can be. Definitely one of the deepest self-reflection moments I have had thanks to Santiago and his traditions from his ancestors.
Casa Del Sol is an amazing place and Santiago and Ximena are genuine, beautiful and loving people. I am thankful to have been able to sit in 3 San Pedro ceremonies with Santiago. Each ceremony was profound and healing, Santiago is truly an amazing Shaman. I look forward to returning to Ecuador and taking part in more ceremonies with Santiago and Ximena. Their presence, and love for spirit, this earth and all beings is felt in ceremony and spending time with them. The land that Casa Del Sol on is magical with a river and San Pedro growing all around. It is very peaceful
I had the privilege and pleasure to take part in a 10 day retreat with Santiago, Ximena and their family. The experience is something that is difficult to put into words. I can say that it is life changing and am so grateful for everything I have learned. The time and experiences I have shared with them, I truly value and will remember forever. I consider them part of my family and dear friends. I hope that I can continue to come back throughout my life to continue learning. I highly recommend to anybody interested, that if you feel the calling, to listen to your heart and follow it. Thank you for everything you do Santiago and Ximena. You are wonderful people with beautiful hearts
I have to start by saying that Santiago work through a very specific lineage of life-long healers, not the ones that do bullshit energy work, REAL healers. The type of work that will take you back to your very core while understanding new and better ways of understanding life outside, with no need of explanations, impositions, or preconceived judgements. Personally I just came back from a Man Journey up in the mountains and had a very straight forward glimpse of what the medicine did for me (but cant put into actual words). Aside of Ximena, his wife, they both made the place feel like a real home and a familiar environment; which is a great thing for someone going through a complete every day in such a magical place.
The medicine offered is completely effective and should be taken with respect and precaution as one has to remember he or she is in someone else’s home. The room where you stay is cozy and full of wonders (specially while sleeping/dreaming), the rooms are feet away from a vibrant running river and under the clearest sky you’ve ever seen.
Never had a problem with food, everything was pretty tasty, it didnt feel like a “dieta” at all.
Overall, this is the place to stay if you want to really look within and cut the spiritual bulls**t off.
hope this info helps
On many levels my life changed after doing plant medicine with Santiago and Ximena. In the end I lived in Vilcabamba for nearly 2 years and they had indeed become my family. The journey with the plant medicine was both challenging and life changing with so many insights…But the real challenge was to incorporate those lessons and teachings in real life. It was the perfect time to change so many aspects of my life and my heart which was in need of healing. It was truly priceless and valuable for my spiritual path.
Santiago and Ximena has made my journey and time with them so easy, with their support and love. Santiago the Shaman, I have found to be truly humble in his Spirit and heart. A phenomenal teacher and guide through his ancestors and Spirit guides. Where they live and where the ceremonies are held is truly out of this world, magical, surrounding in such beauty. I have and still do highly recommend their services to everyone I come across who may have an interest to go into their selves further for guidance and healing.
I am forever grateful to you both Santiago and Ximena and I look forward to one day seeing you again and being part of your ceremonies again. Sooooo much love to you. Blessings to you both and Casa del Sol xxx
I find healers to be similar to most other aspect of life, there are excellent examples among the average. And there are also bad healers, and fakes. Do your research and treat your spatial health with the importance that it is. I rank Santiago as excellent, mainly because of his uncompromising work ethic. He must be nearing 3 decades of experience, and has studied under many masters.
I met Santiago and Ximena in 2016. We have since developed an in depth relationship. We have shed much sweat, blood, tears, and laughter together. I cannot commend them highly enough in their dedicated and discriminant style of teaching and practicing the ways of their elders, masters, and gurus. And the Masculine/Feminine dynamic between them is quite magical.
I often joke that any clown can run a ceremony when everything goes well; but the joke stops there; because when it comes to heavy in-depth healing, there are very few people I have met in the world that I trust as sincerely as Santiago and Ximena at Casa del Sol.
If you are feeling disconnected from yourself and the magic all around you, then this is the place to connect to sacred teachings and your relation to the earth and to spirit.
Casa Del Sol is a powerful and magical place in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador where you can truly face yourself, to remember who you are. Santiago and Ximena carry the healing traditions of their ancestors with humility and respect, and they are devoted to helping people with love and generosity. I have complete faith in them.
My times in ceremony with Santiago have been some of the most meaningful experiences of my life.
Santiago is a man you can trust. Him and Ximena have created an amazing sanctuary for your healing.
Being in ceremony with Santiago puts me at ease. He has seen many things in his years of Shamanic healing so there’s little that could surprise him. I spent months working with him and never once saw him lose his focus.
Santiago is careful about his intentions and maintains them for you and for himself. I cannot say enough about how much I trust him and recommend him and I always look forward to the next time I get to see him and stay at Casa Del Sol.
Of all the shamans I have even sat with, Santiago is the one I most want to return to, and the one I most highly recommend. I am beyond grateful that I was able to experience the spirit of San Pedro with such a strong, compassionate, understanding, loving healer. If you are debating which retreat is right for you, I would highly recommend you choose to go here. I have witnessed this man perform miracles – he is the real deal!
My husband and I have had the exquisite pleasure of having Santiago guide us through our journey with plant medicine. The first time I was quite nervous until I met Santiago. He is attentive, caring, experienced, intuitive. His level of intuition is one that put me at ease – I knew I was in good hands. He has the ability to challenge and push at just the right time, as well as offer deep understanding and love when needed. I don’t know how he is able to do such intimate work with a group of people but he does. I wholeheartedly recommend Santiago for anyone contemplating this life changing experience.
I have had the great privilege of doing over 20 ceremonies with Santiago, and wholeheartedly recommend Casa Del Sol to anyone looking to improve their life in anyway.
When working with plant medicines, it is very important that we have a good guide, and I cannot recommend anyone higher than Santiago. He is a man of incredible integrity and wisdom. He cares very deeply about every person he works with. Santiago has walked the path for many many years, and has seen and experienced more than most of will ever appreciate. All this wisdom he shares with the people who come to him, and he does so with a deep love for all humans.
Santiago has taught me more than I could possibly express, and he has helped thousands of people in the same way. Everyone comes with different issues and areas to work on, and somehow, Santiago is able to give each person exactly what they need. He will challenge you when required, give you his profound love, and help you open the gates to the greatest mysteries of Life. He shows us the beauty of life, and teaches us how to live in a beautiful way.
I trust Santiago with my life. His work is service to Spirit, rendered with love for all humanity. We are truly blessed to have a teacher like him to guide us. I cannot imagine a greater gift to oneself than to work with this incredible man and his family. If you are considering going, PLEASE GO!
Good luck on your journey 🙂
Santiago is the real deal. A Shaman with deep spirit and humility. The memories of my experience with the medicine and Santiago’s guidance will be with me forever. I hope we meet again.
I had the privilege of being in ceremony with Santiago eight times in 2015. Santiago pointed me towards the ground at a time in my life when I was flying towards the sun, and communicated to me what I needed to hear – not what I thought I wanted to hear. That which truly supports me to grow and live in harmony was empowered and encouraged, and that which was out of balance was brought to the surface and challenged. After I left the world of ceremonies to re-enter the ceremony of life, the experiences and lessons I encountered with him echoed as I passed through a challenging period of change, as if the meaning of my time in ceremony was close to me and playing itself out. Still to this day, my experiences with Santiago and this sacred tradition support me and remind me to turn towards myself for guidance, and for that I give thanks over and over again.
Santiago embodies true dedication, humility, perseverance and patience – without lording it over anyone and without taking credit for it. I was deeply moved to be in the presence of somebody with such a gift to share, who as far as I can tell is doing everything he can to honour that gift properly and share it in a way that’s good. We might not all be shamans but we can all take inspiration from that! As well as my own experience, I have witnessed many people bravely stepping forward to heal and grow, and Santiago is there in memory as an essential part of such meaningful experiences, that lead people forward towards a more well-aligned and balanced life. My time with him was inspiring to say the least, and I am continuously grateful and humbled to have had the opportunity to meet him, learn with him and experience his work in the service of life.
After a personal crisis I spent a few months in Ecuador with Santiago. Casa del sol is a blessed space. As soon as I spent my first night there I began dreaming very vividly and I had not had any dreams worth remembering in years. Through many lessons throughout the next few months, I returned home and made moves In my life I would never of done had I not received what I did at Casa del Sol. I am almost effortlessly in a much more powerful place on the earth and also taking care of myself in a way I had not bothered to do so before. Thank you so much to the Ayala family
I have done a retreat in April 2018 and it has been a life-changing experience.
Santiago and Ximena are two incredible souls, that made me feel at home and as part of their family. Before coming to “casa del sol” I was a bit scared and skeptical about drinking plant medicine (such as San Pedro and Ayahuasca).
But when you are in the hands of Santiago and Ximena you feel completely safe, because they have many years of experience, they have a very strong relationship with the medicine, but most importantly, they do everything with their heart.
I don’t have words to describe how magical and powerful coming to “casa de sol” has been for me. It’s an experience. A life-changing experience.
The only thing I can say to someone that is considering doing a retreat at Casa del sol is to try it, at least once in your lifetime, because your life can change, forever.
Sending so much love and gratitude to Santiago and Ximena, and I hope to see you again soon.
This was such a magical experience. The location is perfect. The medicine was clean and fresh. The participants felt comfortable and safe. Santiago is an amazing shaman – extremely professional and experienced. I highly recommend this site for a deeply spiritual, relaxing, insightful, guided ceremony.
Santiago is absolutely phenomenal. So humble, so in tune with the medicine and the people. I have never met anyone like him and I say that in a very good way. He also has a way to make people laugh that is exceptional haha. I have met countless people who claim to be Shamans but aren’t, well Santiago most definitely is a real one and he’s the best at what he does. The medicine he prepares is of the highest quality, the ceremonies he facilitates are amazing. The place is just so genuine and the energy so loving. I am forever grateful to Santiago and San Pedro for showing me what real shamanism looks like. Thank you!
A first experience with the plant medicines can be quite scary and overwhelming. When you prepare for your trip, you hear and read a lot of things online, some of them discouraging. So it is very important to experience the sessions in the hands of a shaman who makes you feel safe. I felt totally safe with Santiago. I had no problem trusting him with my jump into the unknown. He is very charismatic (eagle eyes!), intelligent, kind, wise, compassionate, and has a great sense of humour. I swear I saw him “commanding” the elements during our session (wind and rain). I couldn’t recommend this great teacher and warrior of the light highly enough.
All my life changed after meeting Santiago. I healed from cancer and I discovered the teachings of the spirits. I came back from Israel to his private retreat and continued to pill off more of what doesnt serve me. Fears, ego and more. In his private beautiful home, I was supported by him and his amazing wife.Ximena has her own unique connection to spirit and strength to guide us in our journeys. I felt so embraced and guided through the whole retreat. The beautiful house, accommodation, food, river, ceremonies in the spectacular Maloca and in the nature, made me find the courage to relocate to Vilcabamba and act on my joy. I am so grateful for choosing Santiago and Ximena to be my guides and I recommend not to hesitate. The money you pay worth more of it. This is the place to be , in order to find the truth. Thank you for being here and offering this pure and intense experience for those that need you.
As many do, I somehow fell into this magical place. I can’t remember who referred the place, but the all the things that kept me in Vilcabamba and the smooth unfolding of working with the team at Casa del Sol. Santiago and Ximena – you made Vilcabamba my second home. I ended up staying for a month and a half, surrounded by beautiful surroundings, gorgeous people and the beautiful healing that has affected my life for years and maybe even longer. I could not recommend high enough.
i met Santiago and Ximena outside of their retreat place in peru.
it was a gift and a honour to have them for a short while with us. Ximena still stays very close to my heart. she is such a strong,beautiful woman. i learned from her true humbleness,true love towards mother earth. her healings during the ceremonies are very deep, their is a lot of ancient wisdom flowing throu her,as she is so beautifully connected to her heart. i m grateful from the bottom of my heart to have met her and have had this wonderful healings with both of them.. it gave me a new picture of this power and deep love we as women carry within us. thank you for your truth and honesty,your beauty and strengh, ylur humbleness and love.
t’s hard to put into words how powerful Santiago’s work is. Working with him was by far the most significant healing and learning experiences I have ever had in my life. I carry his teachings with me every day. Santiago is the embodiment of love, compassion, wisdom, and strength. Simply put, he is a master healer. Even those words don’t quite meet his level of expertise. I offer my highest recommendation for working with Santiago Ayala at Casa Del Sol.
I recommend Casa del Sol to anyone searching for a new way to see the world. Tucked into a mountainside, Casa del Sol is the perfect place to work with the medicines. The landscape is beautiful and the wisdom of the medicine keepers help one navigate through troubling times in ones life. This is a journey you want to make!
I am so grateful and lucky to have had the opportunity to be part of Santiago’s San Pedro ceremonies. They are amazing and among my cherished memories. He has so much wisdom and such a big heart, providing a safe space. Totally recommended for anyone interested in these medicines.
Santiago and Ximena come from the heart in their healing. They are powerful in their intention to be used for your personal journey. They will relate through the circle what needs to be heard, and it is up to you and to me to take the medicine for our own personal—and collective—endeavor. There are very few people in the world I know I can trust with anything I bring to the table (savory and unsavory, sweet and bitter, ignorant and wise…). These two people are top on the list. They welcome you like family, and—like family—they’ll let you know when it’s time to go. 😉 They’ll trust and support you as much as you trust and support them. They are a safe place to land, to learn, and to relearn how it is to be in healthy relation to those (human and non-human) around you. Take care of them when you go. They’ve taken such great care of me. Peace brother. Peace sisters. Love to you. Thanks from my soul.
Of all the Shaman’s I’ve met and the places I’ve been, Casa Del Sol is the real deal! Santiago and his wife Ximena are true Shamans, they know there stuff, and there magick is real. If your looking for genuine, loving and caring people, you’ve come to the right place
I have been down to Ecuodar four times in recent years and I have been really lucky to get the chance to spend time With Santiago and Ximena. Over the years they have welcomed me into their home, given me a place to stay, food to eat and shared many teaching with me. It has been incredible to see the birth of Casa Del Sol and I would recommend it to any one seeking healing through the traditional plant medicines of South America. Surrounded by beautiful mountains, rivers and waterfalls it is pretty hard not to fall in love with this place and these people.
Visions, Spirits, Healing, Ancestors, Magic, Beauty, Love, Sacredness, Divinity, Power, Brotherhood, Care, Kindness, Wisdom, Music, Jaguar, Snake liquor, all of these and much more are only a glimpse of what I experienced In Santiago’s San Pedro ceremony in Ecuador.
It was my first time in Ecuador and I was fortunate to have my first San Pedro ceremony with such a loving decent caring Shaman, who knows what he is doing and knows how to hold a healing space.
Santiago and San Pedro are one in the ceremony, He is the eyes, ears, hands and heart of the medicine and The Jaguar spirit is strongly present to help and support.
I hope one day to come back and go deeper into the medicine with you dear Santiago.
All blessings to you and your family.
When I decide to travel back to South America, there is no question as to where I will go. I felt in such competent, caring, experienced and knowledgeable hands – something of extreme importance to me in such a vulnerable state. I was in awe of the wisdom that has been passed down preciously throughout time and am beyond blessed to witness a gifted, authentic shaman do what he was born to do.
Santiago, Ximena, and their beautiful children have become our family. Their hearts, eyes, and minds are open to the beauty and mystery of what it means to be alive. They have shared their knowledge of sacred plant medicines and ceremony with me, my husband, and some of our closest friends over the past 10 years. Santiago has taught me to that love exists on every level, and that perspective can change everything. He has taught me that there is no good and bad, no right or wrong, there simply is. Life is a delicate dance, an equilibrium constantly being maintained. The art of being present in our lives, of being helpful to all of the lives around us, and of showing up and facing the challenges of the Spirit head on without fear (or with fear, but face it anyway). I have watched as he has helped the men in my life find their inner strength, gentleness, and truth. He has really helped me to see that my life matters, that time is not fixed, and that anything is truly possible if your intention is strong.
Santiago’s wife, Ximena, is my role model as a woman. She is my sacred soul sister. The beauty and light that she emits are awe-inspiring. She embodies the sacred feminine and helps me to see that the woman’s power to create beauty and life is something that we can bring into everything we do, everyday. She taught me how to pray with my whole heart, how to place my hand on Patchamama and just feel the energy of creation flowing. How to say thank you and really mean it. An attitude of gratituted everyday! When I think of Xime, I remember the beautiful offerings that we have made togehter. The water, corn, meat, fruits, flowers, and sweets that we have placed in front of the fire with every intention to feed the spirit for those who are not as fortunate as us.
The best thing about Santi and Xime is that in addition to being role models that give you a glimpse of how rich and beautiful life can be, they are also very down to earth. They are real people with real struggles. They have worked hard for their entire lives to cultivate the garden that is their lives, and they are willing to share the stuggles and vulnerabilities that it takes to live such a beautiful life.
So, yes, I give these people and their healing center 5 stars on Facebook. Go to their lovely home and participate in their retreat. You will grow as a person and your soul will bloom. They provide a safe place for your journey, there is no better opportunity. Visit their nest, and let them welcome you to the sacared family that you forgot you have always belonged to anyway.
One of the best things Ive done in my life up to this point was to join the 12 day San Pedro and Ayahuasca retreat at Casa Del Sol.
The shamans Santiago and Ximena are incredibly experienced working with the sacred medicines, which is very important especially for people like me who havent had that much experience with San Pedro and Ayahuasca before as it is a very intense experience and lots of things can be revealed so you want to have shamans experienced enough to know how to deal with all situations that might come up.
The 12 day retreat was an incredibly valuable experience for me as it helped me to process a lot of things that were hidden in my subconsciousness since childhood and showed me why I act in certain ways. I can only recommend everyone to go on this journey, and at Casa del Sol you are in very good hands:
Shamans with decades long experience, group sharing sessions to help you bettter understand what happened in the ceremonies, great activities and hikes on the days off, everything you need in terms of accomodation and last but not least the food – I expected to have a blant Ayahuasca diet but the food was just amazing and in accordance with the Ayahuasca requirements 🙂
5 stars and much love for Casa del Sol
How do you put your heart into words? How do you show a stranger how much an experience changes you deeply? I can say many things to try and express my love for this man and his family but I know it would fall short. Maybe if I said I an crying at this moment wishing I was sitting on the Jaguar skin in front of the fire listening to the drum and the song of Santi as I approach the edge of conscious reality with confidence. To sense the moment when he looks inside of you and nothing is hidden from him. To feel the love flood over you from many ancestors wash over you and your burdens sucked out during (Limpia) as he takes it into himself and takes it away to be safely discharged.
I will say this, consider yourself blessed because if you are considering this experience and you have found this place then you have been guided to the real and authentic life changing event that will change everything about you forever.
(5 San Pedro Ceremonies)
First I meet Santiago and Ximena a year ago in a tough period of my spiritual Path. From the moment I entered their home and retreat place my healing began. Healing was coming from the food I eat there, from the pure air in their house, from the river in front, from the mountains around, from conversations with others and of course from the beautiful ceremonies held in traditional way, In Casa del Sol I see healthy, strong and loving family, sincerity lives there and there is no room for manipulation. In my work today as a medicine man I feel this strong relationship and support from my Ecuadorian family. Love, Peace, Respect
I went to Casa Del Sol with some deep intentions to heal some past trauma and Santiago led the path to my healing.
The retreat is a lot more intimate than the other ayahuasca retreats out in Ecuador. Santiago truly believes in giving people a personalized spiritual experience versus a big group of people doing ayahuasca..just to do ayahuasca. This is what sets Santiago’s retreat apart. He really cares about giving you the personalized attention to help lead you through your spiritual journey.
The retreat really allows your body and soul to reconnect with nature and the primal animal within us. I was nervous about taking ayahuasca but during the ceremonies when I saw how much experience Santiago had, it really calmed my nerves. I had one of the more intense ayahuasca experiences but I faced my demons and I came out on the other side of the experience with a lot more positive outlook on life.
My experience with Casa Del Sol summed up in four words is: an experience of a lifetime. Thank you Santiago with for your teachings and thank you Ximena for your amazing food!
Santiago is the most thorough and respected San Pedro Shaman that I have had the pleasure of being guided by. He cares for each and every person who crosses his path. The location of his sacred moloka is also such a special place with an amazing view of the valley and the interactions at this place with all forms of nature are simply amazing.
I can highly recommend Santiago and look forward to the day that I can return and once again spend time on the jaguar skin in front of the sacred fire in the awe-inspiring presence of Santiago.
To drink medicine with Santiago is to sit with mystery itself. Caring, Compassionate and whole heartedly devoted to his work
In full disclosure, I help Casa Del Sol with their marketing but only after my first experience at their San Pedro and Ayahuasca Retreat in Ecuador. It was my first time and I felt the need to help them to help others. For those who have not experience a plant medicine retreat before, here’s what I can tell you: It’s like seeing something you can’t unsee, learning something you can’t unlearn, tasting something you can’t untaste, feeling something you can’t unfeel, and loving something you can’t unlove. It’s like learning secret which can hugely beneficial everyone but most don’t know it exists. It’s a path of no return, a game changer, no take-backs allowed. It’s something that cannot be fully told in one sentence or one Facebook post. Santiago and Ximena took us into their home and gave everyone the same level of care, attention, and love you would expect from the perfect family. The whole experience is priceless and I will return.
What Santiago and Ximena provide at Casa Del Sol is truly special. Santiago is a powerful and compassionate man, from a strong Huachuma lineage. My visit to Casa Del Sol was a powerful healing experience, and the wisdoms that were shared and learned were profound. I highly recommend Casa Del Sol to anyone who is serious about true transformative healing from an authentic Huachumero with a beautiful heart.
A truly unique teacher, with life changing results… Highly recommended.
Can’t wait to revisit Santiago. An experience that can’t be put into words.
The certainty with which a recommendation can be made can not be quantified in numerical terms. The only certainty that one can trust is that of the heart, and with that strength of heart I recommend those seekers of truth, of light, of healing make the choice to attend the retreat at Casa del Sol. It will bring you home.
I attended a retreat at Casa del Sol in May of 2017. Factors in my life had completely blown up back home in the state, my car broke down, I resigned from my job because of stress, and I had to vacate my apartment. There was also a personal health scare that came up and after resolving that, I journeyed to Vilcabamba, to be cleansed, to be healed, to be recharged and reconnected more deeply with spirit. There are several options one can find online for a plant medicine retreat. Hell, they seem like a dime a dozen these days. Fortunately, I already knew where and with whom I wanted to seek help, at Casa del Sol, with Santiago and Ximena Ayala.
You see, a few years back, at another difficult point in life, I was blessed to come across the medicine for the first time. And Santiago was there. The healing I experienced during the first ceremony with him, the medicine, the spirits, and the Jaguar was unlike anything I had expected. A hard shell had developed over me, through the years, of pain, of suffering, of anger, of sadness. I imagine there are many others who carry this armor themselves. I’d like to ask where it came from, but we all know the answer to that, it came from me. From the repression of all those moments of low vibrational frequencies that we are zapped with throughout tough days, and tough times. It’s a protection against feeling, against releasing, against healing, against letting goooooo. And it jacks you up. I mean, seriously, man, it jacks you up!! But so it goes.
I sat on the Jaguar skin, in front of the fire of purification, for my personal session with Santiago. Everyone who wants, gets this opportunity. He spoke some words, he asked my name, he brushed my energy field clean with his condor feathers. His assistant did the same. Then he started to massage my back, very gently with thumb and forefinger, going along my spine from top to bottom. And as gentle as he did this, it felt like the energy of his hand was going about three inches deep into my body, into my energy field. It wasn’t anything to be concerned about and it happened quite quickly. Afterwards, he went to his chair in the circle directly across from me and began retching into a bag. I knew what he was doing, but I didn’t know what he was doing, if you know what I mean.
After my session on the skin, I returned to my seat. Over the next few minutes I began feeling a little uncomfortable, anxious, jittery and told the assistant I needed a breath and went up to the bathrooms. Within moments, I broke down sobbing like I never had before. Crying the hurt, releasing the sadness, eliminating the harshness. Well, some of it anyway!!! Santiago, with the help of the spirits, the ancestors, removed some of the hardness, the armor, that I had developed over myself through the years. I am forever grateful for his work and his kindness for that help.
(Side note: your personal journey is yours. To be shared with whom you choose. Do not take this lightly. You are your true guardian. I share my experience so as to shed a bit of sunshine into how things can be for a seeker, to pass along a little knowledge.)
This healing experience, these memories, is what brought me back to Ecuador for his help. Life had lifted me up from where I had been existing and practically carried me down to Vilcabamba and landed me on Santiago’s doorstep once again. To his home, where he takes ceremony with Ximena, his wife. This time, though, the experience was different. Here at Casa del Sol, the setting was more intimate. Two other seekers joined me for the retreat. We were able to share meals with Santiago and Ximena, exchanging stories about life, about the medicine, about healing and our journey’s. The kindness came from the heart, with everyone. A beautiful home in the foothills of the mountains was our setting to explore our soul’s needs, not particularly our own wants.
During this time, I shared some of what I had been doing with my life up to that point. I described my job taking care of children who had been abandoned and the stories of those children’s struggles. Ximena and Santiago just listened, holding space for healing, and asked a few questions along the way. It felt easy, comfortable speaking with them. And it also was important to give them a glimpse into some potential healing areas for the ceremonies to come. And did the healing ever come home!
Taking my seat on the Jaguar skin once again, this time Ximena and Santiago had the insight to push a couple of buttons and wham, boom, I’m releasing some deep seated pains and sadnesses from years and years ago. The flames of the fire flickered in front of me, the tears rolled down my face, the emotions banished into the flames before me. And Santiago and Ximena simply offered words of encouragement, Let it go, Ben. Don’t hold on to that. Don’t you want to be free? Yes, indeed, Senora. Quiero mi libertad!! These burdens we carry, of ourselves and of others in our lives, need to be let go. And I can not recommend more highly a retreat at Casa del Sol for this aspect of self growth.
I am forever grateful for the work of Ximena and Santiago. They are caring individuals, true hearted medicine carriers. Your time at Casa del Sol will be well worth your time. Be open. Be free. And let the spirit of the medicine take you home.
I wish I could find the eloquent words to describe Casa del sol, Ximena and Santiago, It is obvious that they do this work out of their heart, this is their passion, this is their prayer of life to help humanity evolve in a new consciousness, They treat you kindly, with respect, paying attention to your own individual needs, if you’re looking for a safe place and also affordable and then breathtaking location of Ecuador I highly recommend Ca they treat you kindly, with respect, paying attention to your own individual needs, if you’re looking for a safe place and also affordable and no breathtaking location of Ecuador I highly recommend Casa del Sol. May all your needs to revolve be fulfilled, and with this shamans that will help you walk in that direction