Authentic Ecuadorian Shamans who speak both English and Spanish! Talk directly with the shamans, no translator needed. Rare opportunity indeed!
Gaia Sagrada is nestled in the Magical Andes Mountains on 55 acres (22 hectares) with hundreds of miles of beautiful country roads and trails to hike. Most centers are in cramped quarters on a small piece of land, but Gaia Sagrada is expansive, open and free.
Gaia = Mother Nature, Mother Earth
Sagrada = Sacred
This is a magical journey through consciousness that will change your life forever.
This is a chance to overhaul your system through shamanic healing and realize your full potential. Much healing will take place during these 12 days in mind, body and spirit during this Ayahuasca retreat and San Pedro retreat.
Why did we choose Ecuador instead of Peru?
We chose Ecuador because shamans have to be certified and authorized to practice their trade. It is important to us that everyone has a safe experience with skilled shamans who are approved by the government to practice their trade with integrity, skill and a proper education in this particular healing practice. Ecuador has more regulations for shamans.
Ecuador was also picked for the ease of entry for visitors (no shots or visas required, only your passport), and also for its gorgeous, magical, and natural settings (very lush and green!).
Ecuadorian people are very friendly and helpful, and we have become quite a part of the Ecuadorian community around us. Your money helps to support them.
Where is Gaia Sagrada?
Gaia Sagrada is nestled in a small community called Llayzhatan (Yah-zuh-tan) in the Andes Mountains on 55 acres, about 45 minutes outside of the city of Cuenca, Ecuador. We are very near to Jadan (Huh-don) which means “Close to Heaven.” What a perfect place for Gaia Sagrada!
Why both Ayahuasca and San Pedro Ceremonies?
We feel that offering both is very important because one without the other is not a balanced experience. Some shamans say Ayahuasca shows you what you need to change or heal, and San Pedro gives you the power to do it.
We offer both Ayahuasca and San Pedro ceremonies because the Ayahuasca is considered the feminine aspect of the medicines; San Pedro is the masculine aspect of the medicines. In this era, it is all about balancing the masculine and feminine aspects in each of us to attain true wisdom. These two very different medicines help with that in every individual.
Modern, Comfortable Facilities
, sauna and modern housing with electric, hot water, and WiFi make it easier to concentrate on your inner journey, yet stay in touch with the outside world if you wish.
We are practically bug free, (NO mosquitos!) the air is clean, never too hot or humid, and you can see the milky way at night in the sky with fireflies all around you. During the day is T-shirt weather, with sunny gardens to sit in, and hummingbirds to watch.
Description of Ceremonies
12-day Ayahuasca and San Pedro retreats are offered. During these 12-day retreats, 5 ceremonies are offered: 2 Ayahuaca, 2 San Pedro, and 1 mixed with a powerful sweat lodge experience.
7-day Ayahausca and San Pedro retreats entail coming for the first 7 days of a 12-day retreat. This includes 3 ceremonies – 1 Ayahuasca, 1 San Pedro and 1 mixed with the powerful sweat lodge experience.
During the Ayahuasca ceremonies we always have a few people standing by to help light your way to the bathroom, empty your purge bucket, and get you anything you need during the ceremony.
Some centers have people express loudly and be dramatic, but our ceremonies are quiet and inwardly focused, with our expert shamans holding space, using music and Icaros at the proper moments to carry the energy.
The shaman is there for your individual healing as you need it from beginning to end. Between ceremonies you are supported with experienced staff to talk with about your experiences if you need any help.
San Pedro Ceremonies
The San Pedro ceremonies give you a completely different experience. These ceremonies take place under our beautiful ceremonial gazebo patio (maloka), on the edge of a beautiful forest with a view overlooking the mountains, completely connected with nature in every way. Some San Pedro ceremonies are done walking through nature on Gaia’s incredibly beautiful land, with beautiful vistas in every direction.
While Ayahuasca takes you to your inner dimensions, San Pedro opens your and shows you how the dimensions intertwine and overlap with each other.
Sweat Lodge Ceremony
The sweat lodge ceremony, with both medicines mixed, takes place outdoors in a beautiful field, with the birds chirping all around you.
Connect with the Earth while you go through this deep, cleansing experience, a traditional shamanic offering as part of your healing and awakening. After the sweat lodge we sit under the stars and enjoy time around the fire, connecting with the shamans in a heart felt way with laughter, music and love!
In this ceremony, the San Pedro is given first, then if you want to take the Ayahausca you can later in the ceremony. It is optional, but don’t miss this exquisite experience of both the masculine and the feminine medicines together. It is like having both grandfather and grandmother holding your hand in this journey.
This is often everyone’s favorite ceremony, as it brings everything together, the male and female aspects of the medicines, and a balance to the experience. Places that tell you not to mix the medicines are usually ones that don’t offer one or the other, but we have found that this is the most healing experience of them all and there are always good results!
Each ceremony is different
In total, there are five ceremonies in a 12 day retreat with the option of 2 extras if you choose to partake, and the 6 and 7 day ceremonies also have 3 ceremonies each with extra ceremonies if you would like to partake as well.
Each one is a different kind of ceremony so you can experience all the ways that shamans work with these traditions. There are many ways to experience shamanic ceremonies and we offer them all!
12-Day, 6 Day and 7 Day Retreats includes everything – sauna, , wifi, food, several workshops and meetings + 5 – 7 ceremonies with a day of rest between each ceremony. It is very important, not to rush through the medicines.
Be careful with retreats that offer back to back ceremonies each day or squeeze too many into a retreat. It is important to process the changes happening for you, and get plenty of rest so you aren’t tired for the next ceremony. Better to spend a couple extra days in retreat than to rush through the medicines.
12 Day Retreats
$1575 shared room
$1775 private room
$2175 private 1 bedroom apartment (Single)
$1775 each 1 bedroom apartment (Couples)
7-Day Retreat: Come for the first 7 days of a 12 day retreat. There are limited spaces for the 7 day retreat option, as it is mostly filled by those who want to stay for the full 12 days. We encourage you to go for the 12 day retreat though because you will find that only 7 days is not enough! If all you have is 7 days though, we are here to accommodate your needs.
$1075 shared room
$1275 private room
6-Day Retreat: Come for the second half of the 12 day retreat, last 6 days, everything included.
$1050 shared room
$1250 private room
Our Retreats Are At-Cost, Non-Profit
We are not in this for money, we are in it for the awakening of humanity! Our expenses cost 5 – 6 times more in Ecuador than Peru, and yet our prices are even more affordable than most places in Peru. We operate at the edge of expenses because we care about everyone of all income levels to have the opportunity to have this experience.
Who are Gaia Sagrada’s shamans?
Our shamans are true Ecuadorian shamans, so you are getting the real thing! They also speak both English and Spanish, which gives you the chance to have a direct conversation with the shaman and experience the ceremonies in English, which is a rare opportunity indeed!
There is no other center we know of where there are authentic South American shamans who speak both English and Spanish. This is a rare opportunity and one of the things that makes Gaia Sagrada so special. A jungle shaman who knows nothing about Western culture will not be able to help with the problems most Westerners face. Our shamans bridge both the Ancient and Modern worlds so they understand the issues you are coming to heal or understand.
Why Gaia Sagrada Is Highest Rated Ayahuasca Center
People who have been to other Ayahuasca centers tell us all the time that Gaia Sagrada is the best place out of all the centers they have been to and that Gaia Sagrada sets the standard for what an Ayahuasca retreat center should be, even outshining the famous and super well known ones.
They also like ours most is because no translator is needed and our shamans are always around for people to talk to, spend time with people outside the ceremonies, and our shamans stay with the people from the beginning to the end of the ceremony.
At most centers the shaman sings for a little while and then disappears, never to be seen again until the next ceremony. If you see them around you are supposed to not talk to them or bother them. Our shamans are always available, approachable, and are happy to talk with you.
Our shamans spend time with everyone and give individual attention to each person not only during the ceremonies but also between the ceremonies. You can actually sit by the fire and enjoy their company! This is one of the things that makes our center unique.
Sofia (sweat lodge, temezcal) is a woman who is a practicing psychologist in Cuenca. She is compassionate and motherly, full of gentle wisdom.
Salvador is a shaman who practices in many places, Ecuador, Venezuela and Mexico, and he is known for his compassion and sweetness, as well as his exceptional skill in guiding the energies of the Ayahausca ceremony in an intuitive way. His healing sessions with each individual are life changing.
Paulina is also a shaman who brings a beautiful feminine touch to the Ayahuasca Ceremonies. She is loved by everyone for her sweetness, strength and wisdom. Her Icaros (medicine songs) are otherworldly. She is a sparkly and beautiful person.
Amalia is a beautiful shaman who is very nurturing and wise, moving with the medicines in a very motherly and caring way. She holds a healing space with gentleness, and gives each person the care they need in a lovely way. She works with people one on one with powerful “limpias” (cleansings).
Christine holds space in ceremony with a combination of strength, gentleness and kindness that is quite rare. She touches the hearts of those she works with in her ceremonies. She is a shaman who has a way of calming any person who needs it and can help each person take their power back from the places they lost it.
Nase is a Shuar shaman who has truly mastered the art of holding ceremony, and works with Ayahuasca in a way that brings clarity and self awareness to all the participants in his ceremonies. He is powerful and kind, a unique and beautiful person, with precision and intention that goes straight to the heart.
Namur is another Shuar shaman who is amazingly captivating with his Icaros and heart. He is a magical being with a kind and friendly way that is rare among humans. He is committed to his work with the medicines and does so with mastery. He can direct the energy in a beautiful way.
Male and Female Shamans At Each Ceremony
We have both a male and a female shaman at the Ayahausca ceremonies. At the San Pedro ceremonies there is a male shaman and a female firekeeper. At the Sweatlodge ceremonies, we have a male and a female shaman. This keeps everything in balance.
Women Are Truly Safe at Gaia Sagrada
Women are truly safe at Gaia Sagrada, particularly given that the founder of Gaia Sagrada is a woman and there are always male and female shamans in every ceremony.
You will love every single one of our shamans. Feel free to look on our shaman bio page for their history and photos.
We spent years looking for just the right shamans to offer ceremonies here. Shamans who can also speak English was no easy task to find, and we bring the best of the best to you here in Ecuador!
Whenever there are problems with Ayahuasca or any other shamanic medicine ceremonies, it’s because the shamans mix something into the medicine that shouldn’t be there. Sometimes shamans mix in Datura (Toe), Nicotine, or other ingredients to make the experience more intense.
However, ingredients mixed in is not true Ayahuasca and can become a nightmarish experience rather than a healing experience. When people have a terrible experience with Ayahuasca, it is usually because ingredients are mixed into Ayahuasca that shouldn’t be there (or the person is taking pharmaceutical or recreational drugs that should not be mixed with Ayahuasca.)
We use only the vine and the leaves for Ayahuasca, nothing else!
For the San Pedro medicine, only the cactus. Nothing else.
Our shamans are under contract to make only the purest medicine with nothing else in it that could cause harm to anyone. Our medicine is the safest possible medicine that can be made, strong and pure.
Why Choose Gaia Sagrada?
- At Cost, Low, Non-Profit Prices, good karmic use of your money. This center is not about commercialism or making money and that is why we offer everything AT COST. Things in Peru cost a fifth or sixth of what things cost in Ecuador, so this truly is our rock bottom cost! No one is getting rich at Gaia Sagrada. Even the directors make only $380 per month, and get housing and food. This is about service to humanity, NO Ayahuasca commercialism here!
- Modern Housing And Facilities. Comfort allows you to focus more on your inner journey. Electric, hot water, modern toilets and hot showers, wifi internet… LUXURIOUS HOT TUBS and SAUNA. No mosquitoes or bugs. Big thick, comfy mattresses in a real bed in a modern room. No other Ayahuasca center has this level of comfort and amenities. Be comfortable while you journey into the universe within!
- Shamans Are Registered, Trained, Skilled, And Evaluated. Shamans are examined by Ecuadorian government agencies for their ability to practice their trade, instead of countries where anyone can call themselves a shaman.
- We use Stainless Steel instead of aluminum pots to cook our medicines, as aluminum is very toxic for your body. Most centers use aluminum cookware.
- Ease Of Access for travelers, no vaccines or shots required, Cuenca airport only 45 minutes away. There have never been any medical emergencies, but if there was one, a fully equipped modern hospital is only 35 minutes away by car. No walking through bogs, hiking, motorcyles or boats required to reach help if needed. Even a clinic is only 15 minutes away, yet you are in a pristine 55 acre country setting under the stars with no lights or buildings interfering with the view. You would never know you were close to civilization. This makes our center one of the safest to experience these medicine journeys.
- Not Hot Or Humid, pleasant weather all year round. No screeching animals or insects all night long, like in the jungle!
- Medicine Is Safe, Strong, Pure And Unadulterated. NO additives or mixtures that could be dangerous to your health. We only use pure traditional ingredients, only the vine and the leaves for Ayahuasca, and only the Cactus for San Pedro. Nothing else! Period! Our medicine is safer than places where they mix things that shouldn’t be included.
- Sponsored By University Of Metaphysical Sciences, a leader in metaphysics and spiritual teachings, with credibility and tens of thousands of students all over the world.
- Instead of large, overpriced and commercial, we keep ceremonies Small And Intimate so each participant gets individual attention.
- We Offer Both Medicines, Ayahuasca (feminine) and San Pedro (masculine) medicines in order to provide a balanced experience. One without the other is not balanced.
- Our Shamans Stay With You From Beginning To End, never leaving prematurely before the medicines are finished doing their work with you. At a lot of centers the shamans sing for just an hour or so, and then they end the ceremony and leave you on your own just when you are needing their guidance the most. It is not good if the shamans leave when the medicine is at its strongest heights! Our shamans stay with you for every part of your journey, until the medicine is finished doing its work with you. They are with you to guide you every step of the way.
- 55 Acres To Hike On, plus miles and miles and miles of country roads to wander in wilderness and small, authentic, indigenous Ecuadorian villages, with the women wearing their normal indigenous clothing, walking sheep, cows and goats. You will never run out of beautiful vistas and places to explore. Here you will get a taste of what the REAL Andes Mountains of Ecuador are like, far from tourist traps.
Transformation with love!
You are supported in your Ayahuasca healing journey with love and kindness. You will have a true adventure in consciousness during these days of Ayahuasca ceremonies and San Pedro ceremonies.
This is a life-changing event – a healing retreat that will change how you see yourself and life. You will see the evidence of this in our more than 500+ reviews on Ayaadvisors.org and Tripadvisor.org
Be ready to meet yourself at levels you never thought possible! Meet the master within you and explore the universe that you are.
It was clear from stepping onto the property that a lot of intention and attention goes into the development of Gaia Sagrada. The staff were without exception incredibly giving of themselves the entire time. The “family” of shamans also gave of themselves exceptionally and it is hard to find adequate words for my appreciation of what they shared. It was even more surprising to discover how supportive and tight the group with which I was experiencing would become. Everyone was there for everyone throughout, and that was beyond value. The Gaia Sagrada staff even followed up with those who needed it after the retreat was over. I was not expecting to so overwhelmed with care and attention, to have such a well-thought-out experience for twelve days, to feel so absolutely taken care of and protected. Exceptional facilities, exceptional people, exceptional value. I can’t imagine how I could have made a better choice.
A mystical, personal and transformative experience. I have returned with all of my intentions realised and more. I had no prior experience with entheogens but had undertaken my preparation work in accordance with the advice provided by Gaia Sagrada and my own on-line research activity. I went in open minded therefore and with a good attitude, respectfully seeking to experience all that the medicine promised. I was not disappointed. The web-site information by the Centre is honest and accurate and should answer most of your practical questions in deciding whether this journey and this particular centre is right for you https://gaiasagrada.com/
What is harder to obtain from a web-site is the heart and spirit behind a place. The contribution made by the leadership team led by Christine Breese the other Shamen and leadership team of “staff” and work exchangers was excellent and would meet the standards of any professional body or corporate organisation; yet everything was delivered in an attitude of service, love and support for all who were present. Coupled to this was my fellow visitors who brought their own intentions, undertook their own preparation and bravely committed to their own journey by their participation in the structured and facilitated ceremonies, family meetings and available workshops. What a web-site cannot get across either is the comfort that you will find from the quality mattress, blankets and pillows in the bedrooms and maloka rest areas nor the power of the Icaro’s and spiritual songs brought by the Shamen and work-exchangers during ceremony nor the delicious and plentiful food and fruit that is available each day, served up with skill, diligence and care around a well planned time-table.
As someone who was “not much of a joiner” when it comes to group activities I was blown away by the sense of love, belonging and open heartedness that I was enabled to feel towards both the natural world and for those who shared all or part of my 12 day journey of discovery. It was my clear intention to address specific areas of perceived need in my life. My experience with the medicine changed both my perception of what the nature of reality is as well as what my need actually was. My 1st ceremony had me both whoop out loud with delight as well as express both the phrase “It is real” as well as “I am home”. These beliefs only strengthened with each experience thereafter. Reading about other people’s experiences may help you decide whether you wish to undertake such a journey yourself yet it cannot replace or substitute for it. What I can confirm is that the medicine and practices at Gaia Sagrada has produced a change in me which I already know has been a pivotal moment in my life. This outcome appeared to be replicated for all of the other guests and work exchangers whom I now feel are part of the one Gaia Sagrada family along with me.
All things considered my decision to travel to Equador and commit the time and expense required at the time to complete the 12 day trip at this Gaia Sagrada retreat centre, is already viewed as having been a priceless investment. I lived in the dorms and booked the extra Shaman cleansing ceremony, the 2 extra Ayahuasca ceremonies and I went on the optional day trip to Cajas National Park which were all great and journey enhancing. If you decide that this trip it for you, then I hope that you too discover the value of your own journey and I look forward to welcoming you to the Gaia Sagrada family, along with all others who have gone before.
The most incredible, life changing 2 weeks I’ve ever experienced. I can’t recommend Gaia Sagrada enough. Every small detail and the overall beauty of the place is perfect, the shamans are so wonderful – I completely felt at ease in their ceremonies, the staff have amazing energy and genuinely want to make sure you have the best experience and Christine, the founder, is one of the most inspiring people I’ve yet to meet. If you want to try ayahuasca and San Pedro in a beautiful and safe setting with a wonderful group, you probably can’t find anywhere better.
Gaia Sagrada should be your only option for first time medicine takers
A near perfect experience, if you want to be absolutely taken care of from the moment you are picked up from the airport, to being dropped off on your last day, then this is the place.
The staff here are top tier, many have already been in your shoes. They really set the tone for an incredibly supportive, safe and professional experience.
The facilities are A+ everything is modern and cleaned every day.
The food is some of the best I have ever eaten, as a meat eater, I never felt hungry or unsatisfied with the vegan food offered over the 2 weeks. The kitchen staff are pro’s.
The Shamans are amazing and I cant stress enough the importance of english speaking Shamans
The grounds are beautiful and serene
You can choose to be as social as you wish, everyone has their own space
Same day Laundry facilities
incredible price for the experience.
So many free activities between ceremonies.
Dont sell yourself short , for a risk free experience just go to Gaia, you can always try other places and take risks in the future.
I have attended two retreats at Gaia Sagrada and most recently, volunteered there for two months. Actions speak louder then words, and my continual patronage is the best review I can give. It’s not that I am not curious about other retreat centers, Peru, etc. I am. But I have not sought out another ayahuasca retreat center because I can’t imagine a better experience then Gaia Sagrada.
The shamans are compassionate, humorous, and skilled. They make you feel SAFE, a necessity for any kind of real healing. A lot of people pay lip service to the idea of bettering the world, not being in it for the money, etc, but the owner, Christine, is really in it for the right reasons, and that positive intention cascades through the whole community and attracts the right people.
It’s a very rare, special place. If you are an experienced plant medicine person, look no further–this is an amazing retreat center. If you are new and on the fence and stuck or dealing with something hard and afraid to take the plunge… do it. You won’t regret it. It will change your life.
Gaia Sagrada is quite possibly the best place in the world to do plant medicine. The location in the mountains is stunning, and the altitude means it is cooler and there are no mosquitos, unlike the heat and humidity of the jungle, no being eaten alive by bugs at Gaia! Which is not something you want to have to worry about in ceremony, believe me! The center itself is just too cute! It’s not a 5 star hotel so don’t expect luxury, but it’s very cosy and comfortable. Especially the beds! You can tell that the mattresses are of very high quality. The hot showers are fabulous too! And the food! My god, I never expected food at an Ayahuasca retreat to be sooo good!
Now for the ceremonies. WOW. I have participated in ceremonies at a few different centers in Peru and the ceremonies at Gaia Sagrada are by far the best. This is mainly due to the shamans. The fact that they speak English is a god send and allows you to really get to know them. And when you do, you understand that they are genuine loving people with such strong integrity. Their love for humanity is obvious and the work they do to help us heal is beyond words. And their singing! Just amazing. The sweat lodge ceremony was otherworldly. I just cannot use words to describe how transformational these ceremonies are.
As well as the shamans the team of staff and volunteers that are on hand to help during ceremony, and throughout the retreat, made me feel so safe and taken care of. It really allowed me the space and trust to go deep with the medicines. Unlike in other places where I didn’t feel as safe or looked after, my experience with the medicines wasn’t as profound.
You can tell that everyone at Gaia really cares. There are volunteers living there for months at a time because they believe in the power of plant medicines and want to help others have a meaningful and healing experience with them. Everyone really makes you feel part of the family from the moment you arrive.
Honestly, don’t bother with anywhere else for plant medicines. Gaia Sagrada is the best.
I will never forget the twelve days I spent at Gaia Sagrada. It is the most loving, nurturing, and welcoming environment I’ve ever been in! The volunteers and staff are AMAZING, and they go above and beyond to make you feel safe and supported. I truly feel like I have a new family now, and the relationships I formed with fellow guests and staff/volunteers alike are stronger and more authentic than I could’ve ever imagined.
The retreat itself is beautiful. You are surrounded by nature, which adds a certain authenticity to the whole experience. The food is healthy AND delicious, and you have access to tea, fresh fruit, and various snacks throughout the days.
The ceremonies are amazing. I felt completely at ease, which allowed me to fully relax while I was taken on various journeys. The shamans will ensure that you feel safe, and they bring such a beautiful energy to the whole experience.
I would recommend Gaia Sagrada to anyone who feels ready to explore Ayahausca and San Pedro. In fact, I’ve already recommended to most of my loved ones. Gaia exceeded my expectations, and I hope to go back someday soon.
Thank you so much to all the lovely people who Helped make this journey as great as it was! I love you all, and am infinitely grateful for this life-changing experience! Xx
A great retreat center, strong medicine, a caring support staff, and most importantly, wonderful shamans that protect the ceremony space and support attendees to the fullest. If you are looking for a spiritual and healing place which is very safe (and comfortable), look no further.
I had a 6 day retreat at Gaia Sagrada, and I can honestly say that this is a place of healing and well practiced intention. This deserves 5 out of 5 being true to Mother Earth and the plant teachers she has provided for us.
I would recommend this for those who have a calling- That is to say this is a sacred place built around positive intentions for yourself. All the time here the only focus should be your healing, and grow from there.
The plant healing was hard work, which gives it a greater appreciation. For me I was not able to sit back and relax, and for good reason. Healing could not be done while taking a back seat. It required a complete involvement.
Mother Earth has definitely set this place aside for those who Will it to come.
As for the staff, the many beings there that work and live at Gaia Sagrada are not to be overlooked. They are all gems, rare ones with hearts of emeralds and minds of pearls. Be honest with yourself, and you will find they will float around you, making sure you have what you need to heal- nothing more or less…
..Well there ARE hot tubs.. but that’s okay… it’s for your healing(put the eucalyptus leaves in the water…trust me) 😉
Trust in the Earth and your intuition.. you will be taken care of.
Gaia Sagrada is the retreat center to go if you want to have an authentic shamanic experience while at the same time be safe, cared for, and even have a little luxury such as hot tubs in the middle of a wonderful mountain-forest area. My experience there was life-changing and I especially enjoyed the combination of ayahuasca and San Pedro ceremonies, which you hardly find elsewhere. The shamans and volunteers have an amazing presence and you will find a new family of like-minded people there. It’s not near perfect, it’s perfect!
Look — Gaia is an incredible place on all levels. I just came back from a 6-day retreat and can assure you that it’s clean, safe, and extremely respectful of the shamanic traditions.
I’ve experienced the deepest levels of serenity and self-love in my entire life after going through my 3 ayahuasca and 1 san pedro ceremonies. The staff are loving, patient, everything’s well organized, and the food is simply incredible.
If you’ve felt called towards using plant medicine as a tool for emotional or spiritual growth, you simply NEED to consider going there.
If you are reading this review, perhaps you have been called like I felt I was. Christine, the founder of Gaia Sagrada, has built a bridge between the beautiful and powerful Ecuadorian Shamans and those who choose to pursue spiritual growth and deeper connectivity with loved ones.
I have been a practicing licensed counselor for 30 years, but have never witnessed intervention derived from intent so pure and effective, with the sole purpose of helping participants grow.
I have maintained contact with my particular Gaia Sagrada group and staff, now feeling they are family.
My life’s work is music. I was moved to tears, again and again, by the ceremonial music played by the Shamans, Salvador and Nase, to mention a few.
The facilities, delicious food, beautiful gardens, and especially, the caring staff, were perfect. You can’t go wrong with Gaia Sagrada. Go and see for yourself.
I love this place! The shamans are amazing. The medicines are super strong. Lots of helpers and so caring. Food is awesome. Everything is comfortable. Wifi is terrific and fast enough for everything i needed. Ceremonies are really special and done beautifully. I will be back! Thank you Gaia Sagrada!
If safety is important to you, this is the place. Gaia offers professionalism, cleanliness and compassion from the owners to the shamans to the staff/volunteers. The grounds are beautiful, the medicine is powerful and the ceremonies are facilitated in such a beautiful and sacred way.
Gaia Sagrada changed my life before it even really got going. I was told that I was suppose to be deeply insecure and partly miserable just because I was young and angsty, and being able to let go of pain and see, and be able to appreciate all my privilege before I hurt the people around me more was a gift. I feel rebooted, refreshed, and thankful for the experiences the people around me where strong enough, and kind enough, to share. I hope I was as much of a help to them in some small way as they where to me, and one day I hope when I have a little more life experience to share, I can come back and volunteer. Gaia taught me how to love myself again, when I should have in the first place. In an unfortunate twist of fate I was also in a pretty terrible situation just after I left, and the tools I learned in Gaia helped me forgive, let go, and move on from it in a way I never could have before. It made me a stronger, happier, and more self aware person and I will never never never forget it. Also, The. Food. Is. Bomb.
I was so blessed to have come across gaia sagrada for my first ayahuasca retreat in South America that practices more traditional ceremonies than the ones I attend at my church in the US.
From the time I arrived to the time I left I was cared for. I’m still being cared for 1000s of miles away by little messages just asking “how are you doing?”.
One thing I worried about when flying around the world to take part in aya and san pedro ceremonies was, “will my physical, energetic, mental, and spiritual consent be respected”? At gaia sagrada, all forms of consent are fully respected. I was never coerced to do, say, or think anything that I did not fully want to do myself. What a blessing, since I came to gaia to heal from coercive identity, coercive religion/dogma, and coercive sexuality. Gaia sagrada knows the importance of practicing consent in plant medicine spaces and in all spaces.
Christine is a very wonderful human and I would love to know more about how her dreams all manifested into the beautiful healing center named Gaia Sagrada. Christine gave a talk about the medicines at the beginning of the retreat. In my opinion, she is a powerful alchemist that knows the skills necessary to liberate ones mind and become empowered again after being conditioned by trauma. I know she offers essential wisdom to those who wish to take it. She does not claim being a guru and I never got cult vibes from her. She gracefully shared her path with the retreat group and it was up to you how to interpret it. I hope to one day touch as many lives as she has with the healing power of the earth. A true medicine worker.
I feel so honored to be exposed to the native healing technologies that the shamans used in ceremony. Paulina, Amalia, Sophia, and Salvador provided me with the space to heal in a way I have never experienced in the west. They protected me as I opened my heart and mind with their powerful medicine. I feel so blessed and grateful that they have trusted me with their ancestral healing knowledge. The ceremonies were long but I always knew I could ask for anything I needed in emergency. Having water withheld from me momentarily in the ceremony and then given to me helped me realize the importance of water. In the west, I have taken water for granted. Never again. Anything can be your medicine if you have enough respect and gratefulness for it. After the ceremonies ended, plenty of delicious fresh food and cold water were provided.
Definitely take part in the sweat lodge ceremony if you feel called to it. It was incredible to have the most gorgeous moment created for me after the ceremony ended. I wont spill the details though, becuase the surprise of the after ceremony eternal moment was so incredible.
I am genderqueer and felt comfortable making space for my identity amidst the masculine/feminine talk of the retreat. Other queer and trans people, if you assert your identity and path at gaia sagrada, you will be held and respected and loved. All paths are welcome here. Dont let your conditioned trauma-reaponses keep you from accessing this great healing.
This was the best money I have ever spent. Better than 8+years of expensive psychotherapy in the US. I am eternally grateful and hopefully will return when the time is right.
I recently attended a 12-day retreat at Gaia Sagrada. It was the best thing I have ever done for myself, for my family, and for everyone with whom I come in contact. The ceremonies gave me exactly what I needed. I went to Gaia Sagrada intending to release some trauma residue, experience myself as powerful, and pierce the veil of duality. I did all of that, to one degree or another. Obviously, this is the work of a lifetime, but I made significant strides in the space of 12 days, thanks to the wisdom, compassion and skill of the shamans, the staff and the volunteers (and of course, to my own willingness to do the work). I felt completely cared for and held in a safe and strong container. The property was beautiful, the accommodations were comfortable, the food was absolutely delicious, the classes and workshops were super helpful. Ayahuasca and San Pedro ceremonies are not for everyone. But for those who feel called to work with these medicines, I can’t imagine a better environment in which to do it. I will be back.
Ayahuasca ceremony can be very helpful. I have done ceremonies and retreats in several different settings. However, I have two main criticisms of gaia. Firstly, the ceremonies were the longest I ever experienced and there was not enough water available. I found this to be dangerous and unnecessary. Secondly, I found Christine, who runs this place, to be a bit scary. Like many gurus, if she is adored and praised then she responds kindly. However, she became weird and creepy when presented with criticism. One pattern is that she brings up the personal struggles of people with criticisms and insinuates that their judgment is clouded by their immense, all-consuming pain. I do not have all-consuming pain. I just believe that Christine is somewhat un-well. Its possible to have a good experience at gaia (mine was very mixed) but go with open eyes. Best of luck in your search for a retreat.
Biggest waste of >$2000 I’ve ever experienced!!! Ceremonies were an endurance contest!! WAY too long!! Never had an ‘experience’ of any degree!! Waste of time and money!!
Words can’t express how profoundly grateful I am to Gaia Sagrada; to Christine for building a haven of love and healing, the shamans (Salvador, Amalia and Sofia) for sharing their beautiful traditions with us, the awesome staff (Sinclair, John, and Emily) who are supportive and run a well organized operation, the helpful volunteers, and last but certainly not least, the plant medicines. My group and I were there for 7 days last week and had such an amazing experience. I still feel fantastic and feel more deeply appreciative each day. The grounds were absolutely beautiful and had such a nice energy to it, and the accommodations were comfortable. The shamans and staff worked tirelessly in making sure everyone received the attention and support they needed. Each ceremony was incredible with the traditional native music and regard for the power of these healing medicines.
When we initially arrived, being from New Jersey, I was reasonably cautious about opening up, but by the end and working out my own inner demons, I truly felt a deep bond with the entire group and staff. We left as genuine friends.
I highly recommend Gaia Sagrada to experience the plant medicines and take a journey inward to heal from the baggage we all carry, truly feel what unconditional love is, find true peace and see this beautiful world for how precious it is. What a gift this retreat was. Thank you to all at G.S.!
I have been at Gaia for a number of retreats. I am so glad I came here to try the medicines for my first time. I felt completely safe and at ease which allowed me to dive deep into the medicine and ceremony. I really appreciated the fact that there are female shamans here. On that note, ALL of the shamans are amazing, kind hearted, and beautiful souls. I learned so much from my time here and I am ever grateful. The food is delicious and healthy and plentiful. The facilities are clean and comfortable. I really enjoyed the vibe here and the extra activities, workshops, and services offered. The volunteers are lovely and very helpful and made me feel at home and cared for. I made many lasting relationships here. I hope to return sometime. Thank you to Gaia Sagrada, all of the Shamans, volunteers, and to Christine and Bruce who created this beautiful home for people to come heal and bloom <3 Much love – K
Wow! thank you Gaia Sagrada. This place came highly recommended from a friend. Just finished a 12 day retreat. The facilities are gorgeous, food is delicious, staff is super kind, shamans have great energy and the medicine is strong! Aho all around 🙂
I had a great experience at Gaia, everything exceeded my expectation. The staff were very helpful and totally ready and willing to go above and beyond for everyone staying there. The dorms were comfortable, the shower facilities were great. The property itself is stunning and the cooler temperatures keep the mosquitos away. the ceremonies were very professional and medicine was good. I highly highly recommend Gaia to anyone who is considering an ayahuasca experience. I am not vegetarian but that was all there was and the food was simply excellent.
Come for the Ayahuasca, stay for the food! Truly a great place to heal, gain clarity and feel connected to people. Highly recommend. Don’t even think about only doing 5 days, the sweat lodge is a must! (I extended my stay to do the 7 days.) I thought it was worth paying a bit extra for a shared room, over the dorms.
I stayed at Gaia Sagrada for 1 year and it was one of the most amazing experiences in my life. Working with Christine and Salvador during ceremonies was an absolute blessing. 2 highly trained shamans that, if you don’t believe in magic, will show you it certainly is real after experiencing these 2 amazing humans at work. The people I met whilst working there, both guests and volunteers were just amazing people. I feel so blessed to be able to see first hand the plant teachers healing deep wounds in people that they themselves never thought would heal, and just to see them smiling again. Guys, these plant medicines work, coupled with highly skilled medicine people and an amazing supporting environment and team, Gaia Sagrada is truly a beacon of light and love. Don’t take my word for it, the first step to a hero’s journey begins with you!!
I attended 12 days retreat, also I took 2 optional Ayahuasca ceremonies.
As there is a lot of misconception I’d like to talk about what Ayahuasca and San Pedro is and what it is not in my opinion.
Ayahuasca: I personally did not experience anything that I could call consciousness expansion. How I see it now Ayahuasca helps you better process information that you already have, breaking your usual “thought loop”. And maybe process it in a different way that you were able before. Ayahuasca ceremonies were emotionally and physically draining.
San Pedro: I’d say it makes you emotionally open, stable (or numb?) to an extent that no external or internal criticism bothers you.
San Pedro ceremonies are really Group Psychotherapy Under Influence sessions with a Shaman as a psychologist.
Sweat Lodge: during that ceremony I felt the best I ever felt in my life, for a short time.
Salvador is very interesting and wise person and a very good psychologist.
San Pedro and Sweat Lodge ceremonies led by Slavador, with him drinking it as well were the best: eye opening, educating, entertaining, fun.
Amalia is beautiful, compassionate and just a perfect example of a good human being. Observing their right reaction at the right time was the most helpful.
Christine is pretty good, I feel she works best with spiritual people.
Nase and his family: looks like they expect you to experience your journey yourself… Their music is magical. Otherwise I personally did not feel them.
Volunteers and staff:
Unfortunatelly I did not have a chance to know them better, but most of them doing a great job there no joke.
Bad: I did not receive what I came for, no consciousness expansion 🙂
Good: I was able to make peace with my past: I found a number of my biological dad, called him first time in my life and we agreed to meet sometimes.
Also I no longer angry about my ex wife leaving me and understood what brought us together and why we pushed each other out of our lives.
There are a lot of more subtle changes.
Was it worth it? Absolutely.
I attended a 12 day Ayahuasca and San Pedro retreat February 2018 and I have to say it was the most memorable and transformational experience I’ve ever had. Right from the beginning we were made feel right at home and in safe loving hands.
The Shamans and Shamaness’s are incredible, they are so thorough and attentive and make really beautiful medicine’s. They work so hard to deliver the best ceremonies, to help everyone throughout their journeys and their music was (words can’t describe how beautiful and powerful their music is)
Christine and her teams of staff and volunteers are amazing and very special people, they were always there when I needed them and their love and positivity was so real and contagious ❤️
And finally I cannot express enough the love and gratitude I have for all the guests that I had the pleasure to share the experience with. They are friends/family for life. I shared with them all one of the most special moments of my life and I’ll never forget it.
I can’t recommend Gaia Sagrada highly enough. To be honest, it was such a rich & extraordinary journey, that I’m still trying to find the right words to do it justice. How do you describe the indescribable?! All I can say right now is that it was the most profound, magical, humbling & cathartic experience of my life. Aside from the incredible healing properties of the plant medicine, you are set in the most beautiful of surroundings, whilst being looked after by the most fabulous, caring bunch of people. There is nothing not to like about this retreat, so if you have the time & the inclination for a spiritual adventure like no other, I suggest booking yourself a spot ‘tout de suite’. I can promise you that you won’t regret it ♥️
Everything about my seven days at Gaia Sagrada exceeded my expectations…everything. The ceremonies were very well planned and expertly-led, which created a safe space to really go deep into the experience of the medicines. The Shamans, Salvador and Amalia, were really great at leading these powerfully healing and transformative gatherings. Thanks to them, I left the retreat having gotten more than I expected and exactly what I needed. The staff and work exchangers, without exception, were friendly and helpful in so many different ways. The entire experience was infused with their positive energy, compassion, and commitment to our healing. I am not a vegan or vegetarian, but I have to say that the food, thanks to Carol, was really terrific. The accommodations were not exactly posh, but they were certainly more than adequate. One thing that I definitely did not expect was how closely I would bond with the others in my group of 30 and with certain members of the staff. A big part of the experience was the sense of loving community, and an awareness of how much of the healing that happened here came through this sense of interconnectedness. Finally, I have to express my deep appreciation for Christine, whose vision created this wonderful place. My only regret is that I didn’t stay for the entire 12-day experience, but now I know what to do when I return.
I went to Gaia Sagrada in February 2019 and the grounds, the food, and the staff/volunteers were amazing. The ceremonies and activities are very well organized and the shamans are truly eager to promote healing through the power of mother Aya and father San Pedro. I experienced a lot new prospective insights though the ceremonies and harmony among staff and guests tremendously help though the journey. The sweat lodge was the most powerful and joyful spiritual experience I ever experience so far. Gaia Sagrada is top notch when it comes to healing retreats, their holistic approach truly made my healing journey easier to handle. I certainly visit Gaia Sagrada again without any hesitation.
I had a wonderfully transformative experience for my first time using South American plant medicines. From the very moment I arrived, I felt safe, comfortable and at ease due to the exellent facilities and volunteers/staff/Shamans who are nurturing, kind, and open. This created a peaceful and high vibrating setting in which I was able to work on healing myself from past traumas and present worries. I have left this 12 day retreat feeling inspired, confident and healed from my anxieties and worries and have connected with many beautiful souls during my time there. I would highly recommend Gaia Sagrada to any newcomers to plant medicines, as you will undoubtedly have a safe and comfortable experience in the care of some of the most incredible and knowledgeable Shamans. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to experience Gaia Sagrada.
Gaia holds a special place in my heart. The retreat has an extremely well thought out curriculum held in a safe and supportive environment. There is plenty of information and guidance provided for everyone to have a safe and healing journey in the realms of plant medicine.
Gaia thrives on feedback from guests and incorporates this into the very next group of guests. That’s how they’ve developed such a constructive and positive program.
You could spend a lot more and get a lot less. If you’re looking to do some deep exploring in a positive and caring environment, look no further.
Christine, the founder, has developed an extremely special place and I know that I will find my way back when I’m called again.
Keep up the amazing work Christine and staff!
Gaia Sagrada is a safe and beautiful place for first-time Ayahausca and San Pedro journeys. It fuses both contemporary and ancient Shamanic practices.
The Shaman are amazing, powerful and compassionate.
Accommodation was comfortable and food excellent (and Ayahausca and San Pedro safe.)
Peaceful mountain surroundings. And close enough to Cuenca if you want/need to go to town.
Good use of technology for maintaining retreat relationships afterwards.
My days at Gaia Sagrada where truly amazing. The most healing I have ever done. It was everything I could have hoped for and way more. Ayahuasca is so powerful, I am beyond grateful to get to know this medicine plant.
Also, very thankful to all the shamans, staff and the work exchangers at Gaia. Everybody made sure I felt safe an taken care of every second of the way. Food delicious! Would definitely come back here!
My partner and I attended the 12 Day retreat in October 2018. The retreat consisted of 2 Ayahuasca, 2 San Pedro and 1 Sweat Lodge ceremony. We were first timers in the use of these amazing plant medicines. The process of selecting the right retreat centre began over 6 months prior. I researched it to death on google, social media (you tube) and Blogs – in fact, at Aya advisors is was where I came across Gaia Sagrada . We wanted to this first experience to be safe, reliable and more importantly in English. The Gaia Sagrada won out because of excellent reviews from past participants and the fact they had English Speaking genuine govt. approved Shamans. I checked out their website, i and shaman experience before making the decision.
In summary – I cannot reccomend them more highly. It was THE MOST AMAZING EXPERIENCE of my life and if you are a FIRST TIMER like us, I would very highly recommend that GAIA SAGRADA be your first experience.
The location is magical – on a mountain just outside Cuenca, Equador. We were upgraded to an apartment (Thank You Jerry) during the stay. It was spacious, clean and had an attached separate bathroom and shower. The food was outstanding – i never knew vegetarian (a special thank you to all the volunteers in the kitchen who make this happen) could taste so good. We even had a Mexican food night – WOW.
The Shamans (Salvador – you are AMAZING and a very special man), Amaliya (you are just as amazing too). I will never forget the Icaros (songs) you guys sang during the ceremonies. Your voices were magical. I still remember them. To all you first timers and those who have experienced it elsewhere, I can guarantee you that Gaia Sagrada is not to be missed.
We were in a group of 28 but felt we were treated with individual care and love during and after the ceremonies – supported by an army of volunteers on this spiritual journey.
Christine, thank you for creating this amazing space (a bubble of love, caring and sharing) to heal and grow spiritually in an open and amazing environment. Your vision and passion has created this sanctuary for us to grow. Jerry (the manager), you are an amazing person doing some really good work in making sure Gaia Sagrad grows and function without a hitch.
PLEASE GO TO GAI SAGRADA if you want a profound, safe and meaning experience. We did. We are planning to go back again and again.
I spent 6 days at Gaia Sagrada and the only thing I would have done differently is to spend more time! The people and setting are truly perfect. It was my first experience with both San Pedro and Ayahuasca, and the shamans, staff, work exchangers, and other guests made me feel safe, accepted and supported. I would have learned a great deal about myself in that environment even without the medicines, although the medicines themselves were next level!
Can’t thank everyone involved with this beautiful place enough.
My experience at Gaia Sagrada was absolutely life changing. I was struggling with severe depression for most of my life, and the 12 days I spent there helped me tremendously. I really can’t overstate how great a place it is and how wonderful the people there are. All of the staff, volunteers, and guests are kind and caring. There’s always someone to share what you’re going through with or to share something with you. The owner Christine does everything in her power and then some to make sure everyone has a good experience. The housing and facilities are very comfortable, the food is great, and the property is beautiful. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to spend my first Ayahuasca/San Pedro retreat. If you’re thinking of doing something like this for the first time (or even a second+) I strongly recommend Gaia Sagrada. It’s a truly wonderful place.
My husband and I signed up for the 12 days retreat Ayahuasca and San Pedro and those 2 medicines are perfectly safe. You are guided through and through the whole time. The shamans working there are very knowledgeable and professional.
I had some childhood traumas I wanted to heal: I was very happy with my life but still struggled to stay away from fear and anger from time to time. Plus we were talking about starting a family, but I was simply terrify to bring a new life into this damaged world, full of people who can hurt you.
Well let me tell you: this place, these medicines, the other guests and people working there had the effect of 20 years of psychotherapy in 12 days. I cannot recommend this place enough! I am now at peace, full of energy, of love and sooooo ready to have babies
I can’t wait to put into practice all the things that I have learned from this retreat.
I have totally made peace with my past : the past is behind, learn from it – the present is here, live it !
The facilities are amazing (they even have hot tubes, awesome), very environment friendly, huge propriety, super clean, beds are very comfortable and the wifi works well. And the food… OMG just delicious, abundant and completely Ayahuasca friendly (you have to follow some diet guidelines to make sure you react well with these medicines). I know some retreat only offer rice and plantains, well here you will be nicely surprised at every meal.
In addition this is a Non Profit. At first, we considered their prices a bit high but after a lot of research, it’s actually the best deal we found! Anyway, I promise you, you won’t regret it. After all, what better investment could you do than in yourself?
I would totally recommend this place, go find yourself at Gaia Sagrada!
I attended the retreat from September 1-12, 2018. It was the best decision I have ever made!!! The retreat is well organized and the property is magical. The shamans were incredible and all the beautiful individuals working there were warm and genuine. Christine has created such an amazing place and I hope to return sometime. I experienced and witnessed healing unlike anything I have ever seen. I highly recommend Gaia Sagrada!
I went to Gaia Sagrada, primarily because I wanted to accompany my wife recover from past Trauma and expand my spirituality. But what I found was much more than that…
First, the property is very peaceful with everything that you would need, including hot tubes, sauna, hiking trails, fast wifi, etc.
The food is amazingly good and aplenty.
The community formed by the work exchangers and the guests is amazing. We came as strangers and left as a family.
The medicines are potent and unlimited.
The shamans are very skillful, kind and available.
Overall everything is very professionally run.
You don’t have to worry about anything but your self recovery.
As I said at the beginning, I came more as a support. But I gained immensely from this retreat.
I had some fear, some small anxiety, a small loss of purpose in life.
Every single things got fixed. I haven’t felt this peaceful in my mind and my heart for ages.
I can’t praise enough this little paradise on earth.
If I had more time, I would have definitely stayed here as a work exchanger.
I am very grateful that this place exist.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
My time at Gaia Sagrada was the most beautiful, difficult, healing, magical, and rewarding experience of my entire life. I can not recommend it enough. I let go of so many things that were no longer serving me. I found what I’ve been looking for my entire life. My heart is so open, and the gratitude I feel for every aspect of life is almost unbearable at time. I feel like if just one more beautiful leaf was in my world, it would be too much to handle and I would just float away on waves of love. I came there depressed, disconnected, fearful, stuck in my head, basically a mess. I left feeling grateful, blessed, so full of joy, full of love, and with such an open heart. I sorted out a lot of my life’s path, and feel like I found some direction. I received tools to help carry this new found life into the “real” world. I met lifelong friends. I had so much fun. The work on myself was hard, but it was the most worthwhile thing I’ve done for myself ever. All the staff and work exchangers were angels. The Shaman’s were masters of their craft. The food was the most delicious and healthy I’ve ever consistently eaten. The facilities were so clean. The buildings and artwork on them were so beautiful. I can’t wait to come back. If you’re thinking about going, do it. It will be among the nicest things you’ve ever done for yourself. You deserve it.
I attended a 12 day retreat at Gaia (April – May 2018) and wanted to wait till I write a review to see the changes that happened to me was real. I don’t even know where to start. I am 45 years old and I have lived and traveled around the world and been to other retreats and meditation centers. My Gaia Sagrada experience was by FAR the best experience of my LIFE. And I mean THE BEST. And the reason IS NOT just because of the Ayahuasca medicine, the San Pedro medicine, the ceremonies, the songs, the sweat-lodge (which kicked my butt LOL), the prayers, the location, the food and even the air. All the things I mentions were truly amazing BUT what separated Gaia Sagrada for me was the people. Christine, Salvador, Amalia, Paulina, Jerry, Amanda, Annie, Joe (thought me a life lesson: always hug to your left so the hug can be heart to heart) and all the work exchange students were just AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGGGG! They are truly the Medicine. The love, dedication and attention they give you is one of a kind. I came to Gaia by myself to clear my head and make a business decision. By the time I left, my heart was filled with joy, I started seeing the best version of myself, what I was created to do in this world became more defined and most of all I made friends for life. I can write a book about how great Gaia Sagrada was for me and still is. And when I write my book I will make sure to mention this Amazing place filled with amazing people. I highly recommend Gaia Sagrda. I plan to go back in 2018. Mike Makonnen
I have spent a couple of months as a work-exchanger at Gaia Sagrada. And I absolutely loved it! There is something special in there. What Christine and her team have created is fantastic. I’m very grateful and happy for the opportunity to be a part of the Gaia Sagrada family at least for those months!
Thank you very very much to everybody who I have met there, especially to Christine, Salvador, Jerry and Bruce.
(PS: when you are there, find a time to speak to the amazing man behind the scene, Bruce, and enjoy cheerful and wise conversation with him 🙂 )
Miss you x
I had the chance to live at Gaia for over 10 months as a work exchanger and every single day i woke up with so much gratitude! I absolutely love everything about Gaia Sagrada. This beautiful 55 acres of land attracts the most inspiring, positive, high vibrational, understanding and caring poeple on the planet. The Shamans (Salavador, Amalia, Wuaira, Sofia, Christine, Nase, Namur) are experienced, fluent in english and spanish and have so much wisdom to share. They are so pure in their purpose of helping each and every person. The ceremonies are beautiful. The food is healthy, fresh, delicious and always available ( however tipycally with the plant medecines it is suggested to fast sometimes before/during ceremonies ) The community type of living is a delight, the weather is great, the warm fire almost every night are amazing for ambiance, the library is full of fascinating books, each interactions feels like a blessing and there are so many little hikes to discover around the area or property. Each and every work exchanger is devoted and passionate about the healing and support that happens daily at Gaia. They really go out of their way to make sure everyone feels at home, welcome , at ease. If you are not used to feeling like you fit in, be ready to be part of a family of poeple that accept you and love you and support you completely. Christine and Bruce are very caring souls. There are also interesting workshops, yoga, meditation sessions and other things organised on a daily basis that complete the whole experience. I highly recommend Gaia Sagrada, it is one of the best kept secrets of Ecuador. <3
I attended a 12 day retreat at Gaia one month ago and am still feeling the effects of the transformative experiences that took place there. You are told on the first days that it will be life-changing and believe me it is – and only in positive ways. I came to the retreat to explore my consciousness, as far as I knew I didn’t have any major healing to be done, my life was pretty good before Gaia. However my life is immensely better now – not in the Snow White singing songs to the woodland creatures of the forest type of way, but in the way that my perspective on things in life that I deemed difficult or a burden are now welcomed as a chance to grow and to give back. So many teachings that I had learned mentally before Gaia were experienced and ‘felt’ when under the influence of Ayahuasca and San Pedro and I am now able to remember and return to those feelings when challenges come up.
These changes were only possible due to the safe and loving environment that Gaia provides. From the moment I got out of the taxi to see the happy welcoming faces of the work exchangers I felt completely comfortable.
Jerry, the main admin guy is a rock who preps you with loads of info for the ceremonies so you feel a lot less nervous and much more at ease with what may or may not happen. The shaman are incredible. Their wisdom and humility guide you through the ceremonies through music. Experiencing the power their music (voice and instruments) had over my experience was mind-blowing. I realised how important it was to trust the shaman with your journey and I 100% trusted Salvador, Omelia, Sophia and Christine. I cannot even put into words how powerful and generous these four are, I just feel so completely blessed to have met them and so honored to have sat in ceremony with them.
The fact that it was an English speaking retreat was a huge bonus as well.
The facilities were beautiful, so much care has been taken and continues to be taken to make sure the grounds and buildings are kept to a very high standard. I had a room in Tranquillo – a private room with shared bathrooms. It was perfect, the bed was super comfy and it was always serene and quiet. There are hot tubs with a gorgeous natural outlook that is perfect for the days after ceremonies.
The food is exceptional and at Gaia they make the most of the abundance of fresh organic fruit and veg that Ecuador excells in growing.
One of the best things about the retreat is the connection you make with your ‘Gaia family’. I was with the most amazing group of people from all over the world. I was slightly apprehensive before I got there that I may not fit in due to my age – a very ancient 44 🙂 – I assumed most other attendees would be very young – nope, this was not the case, there were younger people but thre were also olders ones and age was not a factor, just being human was. Everyone was accepted and appreciated for who they were and what they needed to go through. I witnessed so much healing taking place and people becoming more confident, relaxed and happier in the 12 days I was there. We are all still all in touch on a daily basis while we help each other integrate back into post-Gaia life. We have shared an experience that has bonded us forever and many of us are already planning to regroup at Gaia next year.
I could go on for pages about how much I loved my time at Gaia and truly cannot recommend this place enough. Oh and if you are wondering about the medicine – it was magical, strong and plenty was offered. The combination of both San Pedro and Ayahuasca creates a perfect duality of masculine and feminine, with the San Pedro often helping to clarify the messages received in the Ayahuasca ceremonies. Add in a sweatlodge and as they say… you will be reborn 🙂
When I arrived at Gaia, I immediately felt home. I had work with ayahuasca before my trip to Ecuador, but, arriving here, I knew right away that I was at the best place possible to continue my journey. I was suppose to stay only 3 months as a work exchanger and I finally decided to extend my stay for 3 more months. The nature on the property is incredibly beautiful and rich. The accomodation is very nice. The ceremonies are conducted with a lot of care, intelligence and wisdom, with a lot of respect for the traditions. I’ve learned so much here, about ayahuasca, about myself, about how it is to live in a loving and caring community. I’m forever grateful that I had the chance to be part of this incredible and magical adventure. Thank you Gaia!
Gaia Sagrada was one of the most important and transformatiomal experiences of my life. I am eternally grateful to Universe, Divine Source, for choosing me to experience this, to Gaia, its owners, the Shaman, the staff and work exchangers for be an integral part of my journey.
I cant say enough about this place, and this experience.
Extremely happy with my experience at Gaia Sagrada. I have come back a second time to volunteer due to the environment you are surrounded by and the richness of life that comes from all that happens at Gaia. You really do have to come and see for yourself but I can rest assure to you that if fear is in your corner right now, that will be swept away by the love and light that shines in this healing centre. Everything about it speaks on behalf of your safety and emotional well being.
I have not been to another retreat centre so I don’t have a comparison but I need not one to know how this place makes me feel and the countless people that come through it.
I am honoured to be able to help at such a place and to have received and continue to receive the many blessings that I get from all that happens here.
grateful forever for this place, the shamans, the medicine, the people and all that makes it a safe haven for people to come and do the inner work that they need to lift the veil of darkness that dampens their life or simply to ignite the curiousity of the mountains, culture and medicine into their experience.
Most incredible experience of my life. I have never experienced more love, patience, respect and healing than at my time at Gaia Sagrada. The shaman are incredible, so wise patient and passionate about what they do – I am beyond humbled and inspired to have had the honour to sit in ceremonys with Salvador, Paulina, Amalia and Huaira. Christine has the biggest heart and it reflects in the space she has created. The facilities, food and family were more than i could have dreamed and after three months at Gaia I truly transformed, I entered a shy shell of a person and left as me again. And over a year later im still learning.growing and evolving all as a result of my time in the mountains.
THANK YOU GAIA♥️
I was a work exchanger at Gaia Sagrada, and it was the best time of my life. I was only supposed to stay 3 months but ended up staying six months (and overstaying my visa oops), but it was the best decision I ever made! I fell in love with the beautiful location, the beautiful atmosphere and the beautiful people. Christine has the biggest heart of anyone I have ever met and really has poured her heart and soul into making Gaia the best it can be. Jerry the manager is a true soul brother and I couldn’t think of anyone else more capable of managing this healing space. The Shamans are of the highest quality, and I had tried the medicines before in both Costa Rica and Colombia so I had a lot to compare it to. They are so caring and genuinely feel it is their mission to help anyone to heal no matter what the circumstances. Also their English is excellent. The community of work exchangers was truly like a family and I have made true soul friends that I know will stick with me for life. If you are looking for a monumental life change in a beautiful location with people you will remember for life, this is the place for you.
Twelve days of profound healing processes, perfectly scheduled and framed. A living organism of beautiful forces that change your life.
Practically, the centre is very scenic and atmospheric, very well run, with great food and a series of additional services, basic but clean and functional accommodation that fits much better to the pupose than a luxurious resort. I can not praise the organisation that gives you all insurance during your somewhat irreal journey.
The location in the High Andes as such is beautiful (you could spend 12 days there even without the retreat), the proximity of Cuenca makes it accessible while keeping the secluded aspect.
Financially, it is a great value for your money, basically keeping it to 100€/day full board, accommodation and all the “services” (ceremonies, shamans, medicines).
The amazing bridge that is created there between the indigenous traditions and the Western world is unique.
I feel very lucky to have chosen Gaia Sagrada and I want to come back soon.
First, the retreat does deserve the glowing reviews for the medicine. I experienced the transformation of the plant medicines, but as a work-exchanger, I also experienced troubling, neglectful behind the scenes lapses that put all of our health at jeopardy.
The main issue I will review here is sanitation. During the first retreat, I noticed the main cook sick, coughing all over everything he prepared and that the dishes were washed in lukewarm water with no sanitizing procedure. Germs were not being killed and people (including myself) were getting sick with colds/flu/pneumonia from this major lapse in proper protocol.
I brought this up to the owner, Christine, by email and she replied back how thankful she was that I brought the issue up and to please be “the boss” and implement sanitizing the dishes. I tried to do so and was met with hostility and personal ridicule by management. “You act like your better than us” was the shockingly inappropriate response by the two on-site managers when I asked when we might start the simple 3-basin dishwashing system.
The next retreat people were getting diarrhea. I chose to sanitize my dishes and take them back to my room each time. I never got diarrhea.
Oh, and when they pass around the ayahuasca, only one cup is used unless you ask specially and even then it’s poured into the communal cup then into an individual cup. They say things like “mother ayahuasca” will take care of any germs. This issue was brought up by another. And, really mother ayahuasca has plenty to do so, again, people need to use common sense to avoid spreading illness.
The chef and management ostracized me for trying to make a simple yet extremely important improvement so, after informing them and Christine, I left early. Not what I had in mind for part of the transformation but important lesson nonetheless.
After a very rude email from Christine and her withholding my deposit, she said they have implemented the procedure. Hopefully, they have. But still it came at a high cost both to my health (took 1 1/2 months to recover from the flu bug), mental stress, cost of travelling Ecuador early rather than staying at an unfriendly retreat and the health of others.
The medicine, the shaman and the people other than the owner and management were all wonderful. If you go, just be sure your dishes are properly cleaned and trust your intution for anything else that seems “off.”
Wow! What an utterly profound, insightful and life changing experience I had at Gaia Sagrada. It was really hard to leave after after my retreat. The connections I had here with the other participants along with the shamans and helpers felt like ten year friendships compressed into a 12 day period. Gaia Sagrada literally thinks of everything to make your stay as profound and comfortable as possible. The food was wonderful, the shamans were fantastic, the scenery is beautiful, the accommodations were perfect. Just simply blown away by this place.
The sweat Lodge with the combination of both San pedro and Ayahausca was perhaps the most profound experience of my life. The final day San Pedro ceramony was one of the best and most enjoyable experiences of my life also.
Just an all round life changing experience. I am in deep gratitude for everything Gaia Sagrada has done for me and will be coming back in the future.
Ayahuasca is always going to be a tremendous journey in and of itself, however I’d like to call attention to Gaia Sagrada for the amazing set and setting that brought out the best possible experience for me.
Firstly, it’s in the mountains. This means cool but comfortable overnight, and warm but not too hot during the day. No mosquitoes. Beautiful pine woods, ponds, streams, waterfalls and views. The buildings are lovely – comfortable and homely with a lot of very beautiful artwork, mostly done by retreat participants.
The staff and work exchangers are there for you when you need them, for practical things (laundry, directions, snacks) or for emotional support and help processing or talking through and understanding your experiences. A special shout-out here to Christine (shaman/owner/manager) who spent a number of hours comforting, supporting and checking in on me during a big purge!
Also worth mentioning are the centre’s ‘shaman’ dogs. They often join the ceremonies and know when something is up with someone, and lie down next to them or put a paw on them for reassurance. This happened to a number of our family (retreat participants) and added a great feeling of being looked after and loved.
The ceremonies are conducted in a very ceremonial fashion (sounds obvious, but I get the impression this is not always the case). The work that the shamans do is marvellous; watching them work with other people particularly during the San Pedro ceremonies is fascinating and insightful (let alone your own time on the mat!). The respect and gratitude that the shamans show for water, life, family, food, fire, earth, and the other basic things of life definitely constituted a large part of the healing process for our ‘family’ – a demonstration of how to live life that isn’t despondent, anxious and removed. The singing truly guides you deeper, particularly Huaira: her voice is amazing and it flows with the medicine in an indescribable manner.The shamans are accessible; they stay after ceremonies for a bit to talk to people about their experiences and to answer questions if you have any.
Some advice – stay for a few days before and after the retreat. You get to meet everyone else in dribs and drabs (great for remembering names), explore the environment, and have some extra processing time in a peaceful environment at the end. Cuenca (local city) is also worth a few days, as is a trip to Chordeleg if you have an interest in silver jewellery (it is absolutely beautiful!).
What a Paradise to stay. Very professionaly organized. A unforgettable experience that gave me important insights. Thank you very much.
Where love, peace, and healing take place.
If you are looking for plant medicines in a good and safe environment, Gaia Sagrada has everything you need for your journey, all the staff and volunteers who work are very helpful, loving and caring, Salvador and Amelia ( The shamans ) are beautiful people , and I’m very grateful for the all the work they do to everyone.
The facilities are simple but super comfortable, pleasant beds, hot shower, and yummy tasty food and different activities every day, this is definitely a great option for sacred ceremonies. I’m definitely will be back!!!
Thank everyone, especially Cristine for creating Gaia Sagrada where love, peace, and healing take place.
Peace and Love <3
I spent a lot of time researching and reviewing ayahuasca ceremonies before I came to Gaia Sagrada. Gaia Sagrada’s retreat offered far more than I could have imagined: authentic, highly skilled and attuned shamans, beautiful and moving ceremonies, gorgeous food and surrorundings, and the most supportive, loving and amazing staff. Most importantly, even by the second ceremony, I felt huge shifts in healing, consciousness and understanding, and insight and transformation throughout the retreat, and beyond The attention to detail – comfort, relationship, care – was astonishing, given the size of the center and group. Our group of 30 came as strangers, and we left as family. If you are looking for healing in a beautiful and supportive environment, this is the place.
I did the 12 day retreat at Gaia Sagrada and could not have been more HAPPIER with my decision. I chose Gaia because it was in Andes as well as that they offer not just Ayahusaca ceremonies but also San Pedro and Sweat Lodge (my favourite!) that I had not seem many other places offer. This gave me the opportunity to grow with more than one plant medicine and ceremony.
Here is a summary of why I think Gaia Sagrada is a wonderful place for you to begin your journey:
* You are completely supported during your process. There are Work Exchangers who help you throughout the ceremonies and in between. You can always approach any of them for a chat, they are super friendly and compassionate.
* Shamans are warm and kind natured people.They speak English which is great and they stick to tradition so it’s not here you go here’s your Ayahuasca, they spend time in prayer and conduct rituals before handing out any plant medicine
* The food is great, you wont go hungry! They are pretty creative in there and can do lots of great healthy meals
* They do sharing circles too, so everyone can talk about their experiences as a “family”. Can be confronting at first but it’s kinda nice at the same time, something I imagine group therapy to be like.
* There is a cottage you can hang out it, it’s really cool with a seat swing and a fire place…you can connect to Wi-Fi and hang reading a book or writing a journal.
* They have GORGEOUS dogs on the property that love a good cuddle
* I didn’t stay in the Dorm but in the 2 bed private room and was very comfortable. Facilities were CLEANED EVERY DAY. Showers and toilets were always clean!
In summary, I HIGHLY recommend Gaia Sagrada. I would say that you are better off doing the 12 day retreat. Quite a few people who did the shorter retreat wished they had completed the 12 day.
Hope this post helps and all the best on your journey.
Fabulous compound in the great hills near Cuenca, Ecuador. Loving and helpful staff. Shamans’ skilled and artful guidance opened up attendees to deep experience. Food was soooo welcome and delicious! The time flowed by, and with deep gratitude and some sadness, my five day journey was over. I’d gladly go again.
Bonjour à tous les francophones,
Bon déjà, premier commentaire en français pour Gaia, et ça mérite clairement !! Je vous conseille d’y aller les yeux fermés, c’est pas pour rien si c’est la deuxième retraite spirituelle la mieux notée de ce site.
Les cérémonies sont menées en anglais. Il est donc fortement conseillé de parler anglais couramment. Les Shamans parlent évidemment espagnol mais la plupart des participants sont anglophones.
Les installations sont magnifiques, les photos ne rendent pas du tout justice à ce coin de paradis paumé dans la cordillère des Andes. Le centre dispose de tout le confort moderne, j’étais en dortoir et le lit était confortable, j’avais une couette et un oreiller, pépère quoi. Les parties communes sont aménagées et joliment décorées. Si vous voulez vous isoler, la taille du terrain vous le permet amplement.
Le gros avantage par rapport aux centres spirituels péruviens c’est que l’Équateur veille au grain et ne laisse pas n’importe qui ouvrir ce genre d’établissement. Par ailleurs Gaia Sagrada se trouvant à environ 2600 mètres d’altitude, il n’y a pas de moustiques !
Que dire des Shamans… Que j’ai aucune espèce d’envie d’en essayer d’autres !
-Christine, la taulière, la patronne, la madre, la fondatrice de Gaia Sagrada, sa spécialité c’est les cérémonies San Pedro. Tout comme avec Salvador, on sent son expérience, son style est particulier, il faut venir tester pour comprendre. On sent vraiment son instinct maternel avec nous, elle arrive toujours à trouver les mots justes, elle sait comment décoincer les nœuds sur le plan spirituel. Sa passion est palpable, elle est clairement pas dans le délire de prendre des sous en donnant deux ou trois visions à des gringos en mal de repères.
-Salvador (ce prénom prémonitoire s’il en est) a 20 ans de métier dans les pattes et ça se sent. Ses cérémonies Ayahuasca et San Pedro et ses Sweat lodge mêlent traditions et modernités, solennité et humour, rire et pleurs, réalisme et magie, les icaros (chants sacrés) vont vous transporter ailleurs. Il est en général assisté da sa femme (que je n’ai pas eu le privilège de rencontrer) ou d’une autre Shaman (Amalia, Sofia et Huaira quand j’y étais début juillet 2017).
En plus de ces deux experts, je tien à en placer une pour le General Manager, Jerry, cet homme s’occupe de gérer Gaia Sagrada au quotidien, et il exécute d’une main de maître, il mène aussi les réunions de lendemain de cérémonie.
La petite poignée de volontaires sera aussi là pour vous aider lors des cérémonies si vous voulez aller aux toilettes, parce qu’autant dire les choses, sous Ayahuasca c’est extrêmement dur de bouger ! Ils vous cuisineront aussi de bons petits plats à base de produits frais (Monsanto ils connaissent pas en Équateur ^^). Bref, vous apprendrez à les apprécier et à les remercier comme j’ai pu le faire.
Je suis pas du genre hippy, bien au contraire, j’étais juste face à un problème que j’arrivais pas à résoudre et en 12 jours j’ai avancé comme jamais je ne l’aurais cru. Je savais pas dans quoi je mettais les pieds et c’était un truc de malade. En gros c’est tout ce que vous avez lu et plus encore. Si vous avez senti l’appel, c’est à Gaia que ça se passe.
Je finirai en disant MERCI MILLE FOIS pour cette expérience qui a changé ma vie.
Hello to all francophones,
Well already, first comment in French for Gaia, and it deserves clearly! I advise you to go there with your eyes closed, it is not for nothing if it is the second highest rated spiritual retreat of this site.
The ceremonies are conducted in English. It is therefore strongly advised to speak English fluently. Shamans obviously speak Spanish, but most of the participants are English speakers.
The facilities are beautiful, the photos do not do justice to this corner of paradise lost in the Andes. The center has all the modern comforts, I was in dormitory and the bed was comfortable, I had a duvet and a pillow, cushy what. The common areas are furnished and nicely decorated. If you want to isolate yourself, the size of the land allows you to do so.
The big advantage with regard to the Peruvian spiritual centers is that Ecuador keeps a watchful eye and does not let anyone open this kind of establishment. Besides Gaia Sagrada being at about 2600 meters above sea level, there are no mosquitoes!
What to say Shamans … I have no desire to try others!
-Christine, the taulière, the boss, the madre, the founder of Gaia Sagrada, her specialty is the ceremonies San Pedro. Just as with Salvador, we feel his experience, his style is particular, we must come to test to understand. We really feel her maternal instinct with us, she always manages to find the right words, she knows how to loosen the knots spiritually. Her passion is palpable, she is clearly not in the delirium of taking pennies by giving two or three visions to gringos in need of landmarks.
-Salvador (this premonitory name if it is) has 20 years of work in the legs and it feels. Its ceremonies Ayahuasca and San Pedro and its Sweat lodge mix traditions and modernities, solemnity and humor, laughter and tears, realism and magic, the icaros (sacred songs) will carry you elsewhere. He is usually assisted by his wife (whom I did not have the privilege to meet) or by another Shaman (Amalia, Sofia and Huaira when I was there in early July 2017).
In addition to these two experts, I want to place one for the General Manager, Jerry, this man deals with managing Gaia Sagrada on a daily basis, and he performs with a master hand, he also leads meetings the day after ceremony.
The small handful of volunteers will also be there to help you during the ceremonies if you want to go to the bathroom, because so much to say, under Ayahuasca it’s extremely hard to move! They will also cook good meals based on fresh produce (Monsanto they do not know in Ecuador ^^). In short, you will learn to appreciate and thank them as I was able to do.
I’m not the type hippy, on the contrary, I was just facing a problem that I could not solve and in 12 days I advanced as I never would have thought. I did not know what I was up to and it was a sick thing. Basically that’s all you’ve read and more. If you felt the call, it’s Gaia that happens.
I will end by saying THANK YOU THANKS for this experience that changed my life.
I arrived quite late, around 10:30pm, so it was dark but I could already feel like I was going to love exploring this place in the morning. What really warmed my heart was the Work Exchangers coming out to greet me and give me a hug. Something I definitely needed after a long 26 hours travelling.
I stayed in Casa Del Sol which was so cute and I had the room to myself the whole retreat which was an added bonus 🙂 Plus its near the showers so not too far to dash back to the room if you forget your towel 😉
The grounds are amazing and have a way of making you feel right at home. I swear this place is magic! The top pond is a lovely secluded place to go and meditate or chill out but failing that, there are hammocks everywhere! Everyone is so welcoming and treat you like family, its exactly the experience I wanted.
The shamans were unreal! absolutely God sent angels with such wisdom and humour which is always important. The ceremonies were just beautiful with all the love, care and attention you could ask for however, the songs and Icaros were completely enchanting and guided you along your journey. Makes my heart burst with sheer happiness thinking about those songs! The medicines were strong and the Grandmother and Grandfather spirits full of insights, wisdom and lots of self love advice. It was hard saying goodbye to the amazing Soul Family that we had bonded to become over the course of the 12 day retreat, but I know its not goodbye but see you all very soon.
This will trigger and inspire you to be a better you, show yourself some self love and book to go see Christine, Jerry, Salvador, Amalia and all the other wonderful light workers at this amazing retreat. It will be the best experience of your life x
Subjective as any review is, it would be rather incomprehensible that anyone would walk away from Gaia Sagrada empty-handed or disappointed. The staff makes one’s stay there just as comfortable as in a resort. The plant-medicines offered are as potent, genuine and com-passionate as all of the Shamans, namely Salvador, Amalia, Waira and Sophia. Gaia Sagrada is as unique and precious as each of the visitors that are called there. It is a place of community as well as letting be that which arises and dawns on the horizon of being here. Initially drawn there for the combination of Ayahuasca and San Pedro in the Sweat Lodge ceremony; not found anywhere else…
Far more was beholden and experienced at Gaia Sagrada than words can articulate. Thus, what remains is wordless gratitude and silent wonderment. Gaia Sagrada is a place where plant-medicines are held and ingested in the right way, with respect rather than make-believe and with humility rather than platitude. There is nothing to strive for other than to surrender to what is; that is sentient life’s wonderment and preciousness…
For those wanting to breathe
For those here
This is for you
The greatest gift you can give to anyone is that of the care of yourself
And undoubtedly this will be one of the hardest walks you will ever go on
The benefit of taking the journey of at Gaia is that you are shrouded in love
Individualized and uncanny support
There is something here for everyone
This is for you
Sure, If you need more convincing read the other reviews.
But lets be real…
If you’re here you already know – THIS IS FOR YOU.
Absolutely amazing people and place. I stayed here for the 12-day retreat and the experience was and will be one of the best of my life.
Thank you and kind regards
My 12 day Gaia Sagrada adventure far exceeded my expectations and was the best investment I’ve ever made in myself and in my life. I went there with an intent to heal from a very tragic event in my life that happened in 2014 (the death of my adult son at the hands of police in my presence), but far more than that one life event was healed by the plant medicines, and the healing is still going on! Grandmother Ayahausca was gentle and loving in her restorative healing at times, but very tough and lovingly adamant at others. She gave me just what I needed when I needed it. Father San Pedro taught me to love myself and that there really are people out there who love others and do so with an open and willing heart. I’ve never experienced such a feeling of loving acceptance anywhere else in my life from both the shamans/staff and from the other participants, and I’ve made many life-long friends/new family members that I plan to see again. Christine, each of the Shamans and the work exchangers are the type of people I always want to have in my life, and I hope to have the privilege of seeing many of them again. Salvador is a wise, gentle and loving soul who is also blessed with a great sense of humor and Amalia’s loving compassion and generous spirit touched me deeply. The music was beautiful and touching and there are several very talented singers/musicians who contribute to the ceremonies. In addition, each of the ceremonies was amazing, and I feel such a sense of honor and gratitude to have taken part in the communion with the plant medicines and the shamanic traditions – they were unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced!
On the practical side of things, if you prefer to sleep warm, get a regular room instead of staying in the dorm (I moved to a regular room from the dorm a few days into the retreat). My body temperature is two degrees lower than average, so even with three wool blankets, I froze most nights until my room change. Also, bring warmer clothing rather than shorts and t-shirts. A winter hat, warm coat, gloves and wool socks will help in a big way during the Ayahausca ceremonies, and I was very happy that I brought my eye mask to help me focus on my inner self without the distractions from outside sources.
Finally, if you are a single woman wondering if it is wise to be traveling alone to Ecuador to attend this retreat in Cuenca, rest easy that the trip will be safe, if not a bit challenging for those who do not speak Spanish, like myself. My friends and family members were concerned about my being kidnapped and human trafficked (lol), but they had nothing to be concerned about. Other than the tarantulas, the most frightening thing that happened was trying to find out whether my luggage had been sent through from Guayaquil to Cuenca (which it was, and I shouldn’t have worried). So, if Mother Aya is calling you like she called me, don’t hesitate – book your retreat and your flight today!
Gaia Sagrada is a beautiful place that welcomes you with rolling hills and mountains. The service is wonderful, the food is really great, and the staff take very good care of you.
The ceremonies were so special – authentic and full of love and appreciation for all that Mother Earth provides us with. The medicine is good and transported all of us in the ways we needed to be.
What a beautiful experience! I would highly recommend Gaia Sagrada to anyone who feels the calling.
Ill try to keep this short and sweet although i could write a book about this place. it was my first ever Ayahuasca retreat, I stayed here for the five day retreat Dec 2-7 2017 plus an extra day at the end, doing 3 ayahuasca ceremonies and one san pedro ceremony. No issues with getting from the airport to the center, they sent a driver to pick me up.
Once there everyone was very friendly and warm, the food was phenomenal, simple due to the recommended diet but they were very creative with making it tasty and not repetitive. The accommodations were also great, hot water in the showers, wifi for those who needed it, books to read, food available 24/7 and the place was very well kept.
The ceremonies are beyond words. I didn’t know exactly what to expect but i could not have asked for a better experience. It seemed to me while I was doing my research to find a good place, that the whole concept of this plant medicine is becoming very commercialized, however as soon as I found that this place is non-profit, believes in money “karma” and asks us to help out at the retreat center, I knew it was the right one and not only am I happy with the choice I made, I plan on returning in a year for the full 12 day retreat.
The shaman who led the ceremony (Salvador) is the most admirable man I have ever met. His presence in and out of ceremony is hard to believe and again is beyond words. The journeys can be very difficult and painful but his guidance really helped me through and allowed me to reap the full benefits of the medicine. The other shamans who accompanied him were equally amazing from their wisdom to their beautiful voices when singing during the ceremonies.
Christine, the owner, who is also now a shaman, completed the experience. I wasn’t sure what to expect from her as she was visiting her mother when I arrived and I did not meet her until three days after. I was unsure but very curious as to her intentions with starting Gaia Sagrada, but after meeting her, there wasn’t an ounce of impurity there. The simplistic living of all those even remotely involved with the center, especially Christine, was evidence that they cared not for materialistic gain and solely wanted to advance in their spiritual paths and help others to do so as well, which explains the power one feels from the moment they step inside.
The only thing I would have wanted to be different is to have done the 12 day retreat (which I plan on doing next year). I can only describe this place as perfect.
I left feeling spiritually open, emotionally healed, physically cleansed and mentally clear. I cannot thank Christine, Salvador, the other shamans and all those working there enough for the impact this journey has had on my life!
There really aren’t words to describe how amazing my experience at Gaia Sagrada was. I had previously visited two other ayahuasca retreat centers in Peru, and none of them came close to the power, authenticity, support, and healing of Gaia Sagrada. The shamans were legit and amazing. They spoke English and provided a deeper level of understanding and meaning behind the Ayahuasca and San Pedro ceremonies. Often times in Peru, you may have a great Shaman, but they don’t speak English or you don’t understand what’s happening during or after the ceremony. Other times, I’ve experienced very expensive retreats that have nice conditions and food, but the center lacked authenticity, didn’t hold a sacred space for healing, and seemed more commercial or money oriented. Gaia isn’t this way, Christine, Salvador and Jerry truly care about humanity and helping others heal so they can be more conscious, loving and peaceful. I attended the 12-day retreat and recommended spending the full 12 days if you can.
Gaia is in the Andes mountains and it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited in South America. No mosquitos and clean water was also a plus.
Gaia really does have it all . . . great support from staff, a peaceful and safe environment, healthy but tasty food, and authentic and powerful shamans who have a strong relationship with the medicine (which is pure, not mixed with other plants or trees which other retreat centers sometimes do).
For me personally, I receive a lot of healing and released some significant blocks and/or energies associated with older memories and abuse. I will be forever grateful to the staff of Gaia Sagrada for providing the space and support I needed to heal.
I’m writing this review because I remember debating on a few different Aya retreats when I made the decision to work with this medicine. I noticed that many centers have great reviews. I’ve now been to three centers and also spoken to many others who have been to multiple Aya retreat centers, including Gaia. Hands down we all agreed that Gaia was the best.
Hope this review helps in your selection process.
I attended the 12 day retreat at Gaia Sagrada & it was amazing. The land is absolutely gorgeous, the people are fantastic and the ceremonies are beautiful. Jerry and all the work-exchangers/staff are some of the best people I have ever met. Christine is a awesome and has created a truly wonderful space for healing. The Shamans are amazing especially Salvador – a wise master walking this Earth. The food is clean and yummy, and very creative to boot. This is truly a life-changing experience. So so so recommended!
I had the most wonderful 12 days at Gaia Sagrada and it was one of the best experiences of my life.
I have done ayahuasca before but was naturally quite nervous as I didn’t know what to expect for the duration. My brother did the 12 day retreat 6 months before and said it was the best decision he had made and I totally agree! Some people did 7 days during my stay therefore they did not do the last Ayahuasca and San Pedro ceremonies which were my (and a lot of other people’s) favourite and everyone had become so close by then.
Seeing as you’re flying to the other side of the world, you may as well make the most of it and learn as much as you can about yourself if it is feasible.
It is the most beautiful setting in the perfect surroundings and everyone here was so loving and caring, including the adorable dogs who sat next to you during ceremony if you were having a tough time. On 2 occasions, Yogi was there to help me 🙂
All of the ceremonies were very intense for me; physically and mentally extremely draining, it was like having a full on workout. On the other hand, some people just lay there calm and still with no visuals, everyone had such different experiences. The setting in the Moloka was wonderful each time with everyone positioned in a circle around the fire and it was very comfortable and warm with the blankets keeping you cosy.
I met the most amazing people including the staff, work exchangers and Shamans too. There are too many people to name but Jerry, Christine and the shaman Salvador were incredible, thank you for looking after us.
The experience has given me a different outlook on life and has enabled me to appreciate the things that matter, even though you may not necessarily know what path to take. Food and water is so precious and you will DEFINITELY find this out when you are there.
The food was so delicious! A massive shout out to Francesco and the rest of the kitchen team for being so creative with every meal! You will not go hungry here, well, apart from when you need to fast before ceremonies, hence why you will massively appreciate eating afterwards!
I can’t recommend Gaia Sagrada enough and don’t have anything negative to say. I will always remember the good times here, as well as the intense ones and also how we laughed so, so much! Things are still processing in my head and it’s up to me now to make the changes in my life that I want to address.
Gaia Sagrada has undeniably changed me. The experience has given me the courage and the confidence to do what I truly want with my life. I no longer fear failure, I no longer want to take the safe easy path through life. I’ve always been told that that I could do anything I want with my life. I was the only one that said I couldn’t. Now I know that I can and I will. It has also showed me that I don’t want to spend my life chasing money to advantage myself, I want to make the world a better place, to contribute meaningfully to our shared experience. I have nothing negative to say. Thank you Christine, thank you Jerry, thank you Salvador, thank you to all the staff, all the work exchangers, and all the beautiful people who embarked on the journey with me. ✌❤, until we meet again.
I went into my retreat at Gaia Sagrada nervous, wide-eyed, and with no real clear expectations. I only knew that based on my research and their webpage, I liked their mission statement and trusted their integrity.
Now that I’m back, I’m here to give the highest possible review I’ve ever given to any service in my life. I am a well-experienced traveler (I am 36 and I have visited more than thirty countries, both on and off the beaten path, as well as all fifty United States) and I have to say that what you will get from a stay, no matter the length, at Gaia Sagrada will be worth more than any amount of money they could charge.
The staff isn’t friendly, they are like family. The food is delicious, nutritious, and cooked with love for the “clients” (although they would never think of us as clients) and best of all, the ceremonies aren’t watered down, westernized, or inauthentic…the Shamans and others who will attend you are the real deal: people practicing something that predates most western civilizations.
I can’t praise this center highly enough, for even with medicine and rituals, it’s still a five star experience based on the camaraderie, facilities, breath taking views, hiking, and amenities that are all included. Show up with clothes and an open mind, leave your cash at home, and relax and bliss out!!!
If you suffer from anxiety and are worried about “what will happen” to you, then you must go here, because they have done everything humanly possible to attend to any and all forms of anxiety that most of us first-timers carry into such an event.
I can’t wait to go back to Gaia Sagrada. Everything about the center surpassed my expectations. They need to get Salvador a shirt with a big “S” on it because he is a Superman. Major gifts were bestowed upon me during his ceremonies. Christine Breese is a very advanced person and quite frankly I’m not sure earthlings deserve to have her among us. She and the healers on staff helped me through a very difficult time in my life. I think going there, even just for the 5 day retreat– which was all I had time for– was probably the equivalent of 1 year of intensive therapy. And it would have to be an exceptional therapist to equal what Salvador and Christine and Jerry (and their guest shamans) did for me, and it’s almost impossible to find such a good therapist, so just go to Gaia Sagrada. They seem to know so much about the processes that humans go through, I think they could probably help anyone with anything. Many positives about the center and facilities: delicious food, magical surroundings, no mosquitoes, ample water and hot water, warm bed, decent wifi even, in the central area. I could go on and on, and yes there were some slight negatives, but they had to do with my feelings about the travel scene and also some quirks about Ecuador. Anyway it really was quite an adventure. Thank you to everyone at Gaia Sagrada. The permanent staff they have, and their m.o. for taking care of their guests, is exceptional and helped restore my faith in goodness. I hope to return very soon. If you are lucky enough to go, I hope you have a beautiful experience too.
My experience at Gaia was nothing short of Epic. The space is beautiful, nestled in the Andes, quiet, serene, peaceful, with various opportunities for you to settle in and relax. I’ve done a TON of inner work and yet I came with a profound intention. The circumstances of my life were demanding of me that I step up and be a me that could play this bigger game. I had just shut down my life on the east coast and was in route to California where my partner and I were going to resettle in California. I flew to Gaia and my partner continued into Cali to find us a place to settle into.
Gaia definitely met my expectations and helped me to fulfill my intention. The work was profound, the Shamans next level, the staff friendly, supportive, compassionate, and most importantly heart-centered. We were well cared for during ceremony as well as, and almost more importantly outside of ceremony. There was always someone to chat with, a fellow retreat participant on work-exchanger. I slept in the dorm and loved it, it was really nice to connect with the work-exchangers in that way, the men (in this case) who assist in the daily functions of keeping Gaia running smoothly.
Important for me was going to a center that would accept me, given I have type 1 diabetes. Gaia had no problem with that and was totally supportive and willing to meet whatever needs I had. It felt really comforting to know they could hold a container for me to work through the layers related to the diabetes. Salvador the shaman speaks english, knows what diabetes is, and knew how to assist me, expertly in navigating the layers that activated for me on the medicine.
I’d def. recommend Gaia, please, go. You won’t be disappointed. The work is not easy, but definitely fruitful. My life has changed since Gaia. I went in with a sense of what I wanted to achieve, and achieved so much more growth than I could have ever imagined. I was blown away by the end, filled with so much gratitude I could burst.
Honestly I don’t necessarily look forward to going back to Gaia, the work wasn’t easy as I said, but when the medicine calls me again, if it does, back to Gaia I will go. Such an amazing place filled with amazing people. Jerry operates form a place of pure service and open-heartedness and Christine is an ancient woman filled with so much wisdom and heart, that any moment you get to spend with her, will be a cherished memory for you.
And, please know, my world only touch the surface of the experience and what I gained from my two weeks at Gaia. Memories, breakthroughs, and friends for life!
So much love and gratitude,
This is an outstanding retreat! I could not recommend it enough!! Safe, comfortable, affordable and absolutely gorgeous. I had a truly life-changing experience here, when I arrived my heart was heavy with self-loathing, I was suffering from anxiety and was dealing with physical illness as well. The day I left I was the most beautiful, capable, flexible, strong and charismatic I had ever felt. I wondered why I felt so hurt in the first place! It was like dropping a rock filled backpack. And every day my calm blissfulness gets stronger and deeper. No exaggeration, it doesn’t stop building, it’s been one week and the energy in my heart keeps compounding exponentially. I can’t imagine going back to way I was living beforehand! If you are hurting in anyway, for any reason, this retreat will heal you. Christine and Bruce have built a sanctuary, they are knowledgable and passionate people who are committed to your experience. They have pulled together a team of extraordinary individuals, you’ll be inspired by everyone you meet! The Shamans!! OMG they were incredible people, it was a blessing to meet each of them, hear their songs and receive their advice. Absolutely authentic, each Shaman had their own speciality, their own magic. And the work exchangers, the people who cook your food and do your laundry, they are great people as well! They just want to learn about the medicines and how to facilitate healing. Really the community there is what sets this place apart. One dude played violin while we sat in comfy beds around the campfire under the stars, it was awe-inspiring! I will definitely go back! Choose Gaia Sagrada and you will thank yourself!
Very special place in a beautiful surrounding. Good food, great staff and above all a very good shaman. Must go!
What an amazing experience, I would advise anyone who is contemplating the meaning of their existence to go for it. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. I will be going next year and maybe many more after. I cannot express in words the love and compassion I felt while on retreat, needless to say it was an experience that not only changed the course of my life but is one I will never forget as long as I live.
Do I recommend Gaia Sagrada, HELL YEAH!!! You will never regret it, even if it wasn’t what you expected. GO FOR IT!!!
Gaia Sagrada is truly a magical healing center! Right away we were greeted with hugs and smiles by a large group of work exchangers who continued to take care of us throughout the retreat with pure and genuine kindness. The retreat is incredibly well-organized and the price is unbeatable for what you get. Jerry and Christine are wonderful guides throughout the journey and the shamans are all incredible. They create beautiful ceremonies and are very careful to pay attention to the needs of the individuals and the group. I love that there are both Ayahuasca and San Pedro ceremonies as this brings a very balanced healing energy. I would love 100% recommend this retreat. On days there aren’t ceremonies it is a beautiful setting to relax, have some much needed down time, (bug free!) and enjoy the delicious healthy food made with love, and there is an opportunity to visit the town of Cuenca.
A life-changing experience.
I learned a lot about myself and the world while having the time of my life.
This retreat is not only about Ayahuasca and San Pedro – it is also about the amazing people you meet here: the shamans (the wisest people you will ever meet!), the staff and work exchangers (many thanks to them for making this retreat such a great place!) and last but not least the retreat participants (you guys are an inspiration!).
I am very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the Gaia Sagrada family. I will definitely come back soon!
I had an amazing time at Gaia Sagrada. Everyone, from the staff, to the work exchangers, to the other guests, to the shamans, were simply incredible people. The ceremonies themselves were beautiful and taught me a huge amount about myself and how I live my life – lessons that I can now take with me as I begin the biggest ceremony of all: life itself. The excellent shamans, too, in particular, made these experiences extra special. Jerry Rabas, the general manager, also personally provided an enormous of support to the participants. The food was delicious and always plentiful, and the grounds were bucolic and pretty. The only small critique that I have, is that the location of the retreat sometimes felt a bit isolated and even slightly claustrophobic given the general lack of views of the mountains (many of the buildings where you spend most of your time are surrounded by trees, although if you do some walking around the property, you can find a couple of nice vistas) and the lack of easy access to the surrounding areas/nearby towns as we were quite far down the side of a mountain. If the retreat were slightly shorter, this likely wouldn’t be an issue, however given that the retreat is nearly two weeks and it’s hard to leave the grounds at will given the location (we did have one organized day trip off the premises), it did affect my experience slightly. Ultimately, however, for me, this is a rather small “blemish” at an otherwise perfect retreat, and the positive aspects of the retreat outweighed this (I’d give the experience a 4.5/5 if possible). The equal balance of ayahuasca and San Pedro, too, make this place particularly special. I highly recommend Gaia Sagrada for people looking to work with these deeply profound and healing plant medicines. It’s not easy work, but it’s absolutely worth the journey.
This is a retreat center unlike any other. If you are considering participating in an Ayahuasca and San Pedro ceremony, look no further. The attention to detail and value of the retreat center in second to none. Why are you still reading this? Reserve your space today and meet your cosmic family!
I’ve been to Gaia twice. On the first visit, I was really just looking for the ayahuasca experience, without varmints. And there weren’t any varmints, except the cute ones, like fireflies and hummingbirds. It’s a nice place, beautiful, if that matters, and civilized. It’s also authentic. Sometimes I wished it was less authentic, but in the end I was grateful. I expected it to be infested with bliss-junkies, eco-Nazis and nutrition-trolls, but it wasn’t. I mean, as you know, enlightened people tend to be insufferable. That’s the thing; they were just lovely people, the crew included. The kind of people that you wish your friends, family and colleagues were like. All of the material attributes that get assigned to us, things like social rank, gender, age, appearance, education, etc., seem trivial and impertinent at Gaia. For me, that’s a big deal. Apart from the medicines, that’s why I went back. I wanted to see if that first group that I was with wasn’t just a fluke. It wasn’t. The second group was just as nice and just as fascinating. Probably not a coincidence.
Maybe it’s because Christine, the director, sets an example; it’s certainly not by edict or dogma. She has a massively impressive spiritual tool-belt. And maybe it’s the medicines; it’s a custom-fit for whatever you bring. Ayahuasca isn’t a joyride and no one understands what that even means without the experience of it. For me, it was an actual medical healing. For most people, it’s an emotional or, if you prefer, a neurological healing. Everybody gets a bump in consciousness. Everybody. The ceremonies and the shamans are devout, cool, reverential and caring. Also beautiful. A lot more than you would expect. You may come in feeling like you are living your life like an extra in somebody else’s movie but you leave as the star of your own movie. Even if you think of life as a mere amusement park, this is the one ride you don’t want to skip. I view Gaia Sagrada as a paradigm of social harmony. That would be a lot to live up to and at no time did I ever hear Christine refer to it as such, but for me at least, it’s a very bright light in a dimming world.
If you are reading this, then I am going to go ahead and assume that aya is calling to you. This means that you should just go ahead and plan your journey, and even if you don’t choose Gaia Sagrada, you should definitely choose to experience ayahuasca somewhere. So: why Gaia Sagrada?
1) You will be taken care of in the utmost way. You will be safe, feel loved all the way around, and it’s not just a hippie fest. Jerry will look after all the logistics and there will be plenty of interesting, nurturing helpers to see you through every aspect of your journey. The level of love, care, and non-judgement I experienced here was unprecedented by anything else in my life. I received more nurturing here in two weeks than I probably got in my entire childhood.
2) The Shamans! I foolishly believed I was going down to Ecuador to drink plant medicine in a circle with some other people, and that was about it. What I didn’t realize was that there were humans so full of wisdom (thousands of years worth) and giving and sharing that were going to impart all of their knowledge upon me. The ceremonies held just as much weight as the medicine, for me. My undying gratitude goes to Salvador, Paulina, Sofia, and Christine for all that they give. In my opinion, the Shamans alone are worth the trip.
3) Gaia is very easy to get to, the altitude is high enough to avoid some of the drama of the jungle, and it is a very comfortable place to stay. There will be people there to cook for you, do your laundry, and help you adjust to altitude. There is wi-fi if you need to stay connected, and some cool critters to lighten your mood if you have some rough going along the way.
Don’t be afraid of aya- she will give you exactly what you need- and Gaia Sagrada will help facilitate this the entire way. We will be back.
We went to Gaia Sagrada may 2017 retreat 12 day retreat and it was amazing! This place is in the mountains of Ecuador with a beautiful setting. One of the main reasons I decided to go to Ecuador was the ease of getting to the retreat center. I also did not want to fight off mosquitoes in the jungle and in the mountains you did not deal with that.
After experiencing this Amazing trip with my 2 boys, I am grateful to all the workers/ Shaman and Christine. They have designed a SAFE and comfortable place for people to do real healing. I also could not imagine if the Shaman did not speak English due to all the interactions that you have with them throughout the ceremonies.
This is a place that cares about you and your journey, whatever the purpose looks like.
Words can not express how much gratitude I have for Christine, Salvador, Amalia, Sophia, Paulina, Jerry, and the staff of Gaia Sagrada. My experience was magical, miraculous, again, no words can describe how amazing it was.
The Shaman/Shamana’s are truly the most beautiful souls you will ever meet, inside and out. So kind, gentle, humble and yet so VERY POWERFUL and FULL of WISDOM. They are all true examples of what being a human should be, they all carry such wisdom and grace. Their work is their passion and I could truly feel how much they love what they do and how much love they have for the universe and man kind. That in itself is worth making the trip to Gaia Sagrada.
The experience I had with the medicine in combination with the wisdom and love of the Shamans was beyond miraculous, again, their are no words in the human vocabulary to describe how incredible it was. I followed my intuition and it led me to Gaia Sagrada and now I know why. The combination of Ayahuasca, San Pedro and the wisdom of the shaman/Shamanas felt like the perfect balance of what I needed. I could truly feel the difference between the powerful healing feminine energy of ayahuasca and the powerful healing masculine energy of San Pedro. Aya gave me back my power and San Pedro showed me how to harness it.
The Sweat lodge was my FAVORITE ceremony, it truly opened me up to the feeling of being one with the universe. It gave me the sense that those who are called to do this medicine are not just called to heal themselves but also called to heal the universe.
Christine REALLY cares about the work done at Gaia Sagrada, she genuinely wants to heal the universe. She truly loves the people who come to the retreat, as well as the people that work for her and with her, she LOVES everyone. I could feel her deep desire to heal the planet, and change the world with the work she does at Gaia Sagrada and I truly believe she is making a huge difference with her wisdom and compassion.
Jerry is the manager and he too works magic, he truly has passion for what he does He is a hard working man who keeps the place running smoothly, and like an Olympian he makes it seem effortless.
The staff is mostly made up of volunteers, and they are all beautiful souls who truly care about what they do and why they are doing it. The food is excellent, the facilities are beautiful, clean and cozy. The setting is absolutely gorgeous, Ecuador is truly magical. I stayed in the dorm and really enjoyed it.
The participants are amazingly courageous people, the best people you will EVER meet! It is inspiring to meet people willing to travel so far to face so many fears. This work is NOT easy, but well WORTH it. I witnessed many people transform tremendously in such a short time period. It is so beautiful to see so many lights turn on with in the human soul. People literally look like different people after they take the medicine. When they smile now it is truly from their soul.
My time at Gaia Sagrada was truly transformative. I will probably come back to edit this review because words are failing me. But I wanted to express my gratitude TO Everyone especially Salvador, Amalia, Sophia, Paulina, Christine, Jerry, And all the fire keepers, Francesco, Chad and especially Nora and Jayson, two VERY talented beautiful souls. Also the Staff and ANYONE who is willing and courageous enough to travel to Ecuador to experience the miracles that Gaia Sagrada provides.
I want to give a special thanks to Paulina for coming to the sweat Lodge Ceremony, her presence really amped up the magic of the day. I was disappointed I wasn’t going to be able to work with her and experience her shamanic healing, so when she showed up It truly felt like a gift from God.
For anyone reading this contemplating taking the medicine, and it is leading you to Gaia Sagrada have faith that there is a beautiful reason for it. Gaia Sagrada is a a life changing experience.
Gaia Sagrada is a sacred place. I cannot write all of the praise that it deserves.
The staff and the shamans were kind, compassionate, patient, careful, honest, authentic, wise, and skillful. One can act quite silly while under the medicine, and never once was I met with anything other that absolute care and unconditional love and patience. The shamans are out of this world.
The site is beautiful and comfortable. The hot tubs in the rain with a backdrop of forest is my particular favorite. The delicious breakfasts. The comfortable facilities and reliable internet. Beautiful hikes. Wise dogs (who 100% help out during the ceremonies).
The ceremonies and beautiful, the icaros are beautiful.
this retreat is really a treat. I have been recommending it to EVERYONE since I went. If it calls to you, DO IT! You will not regret.
Learned how to love myself here. Looking forward to going back next month to learn more about myself. Life changing.
The medicine and support network to improve quality of life.
I attended this retreat twice: once a little over two years ago, and again in April 2017. Although it was terrific the first time I attended, it is now really at the next level under the new General Manager Jerry Rabas, with enhanced supplemental activities and support. All the below details refer specifically to the April 2017 retreat.
The ceremonies alone were enough to have a huge impact on my life, but when you throw in the opportunities to take group/private meditation and yoga classes, get massages, go on group hikes, attend a shamanic cleansing ceremony, and receive exceptional social support, the retreat was a truly transformative experience.
There are two equally vital components of this retreat that I think would be unlikely to both be matched at other retreats:
1) The Medicine (Ayahuasca; San Pedro): Ayahuasca seems to be the more well known of these two medicines, but after doing 4 Ayahuasca and 5 San Pedro ceremonies, it has without question actually been the San Pedro that has had the bigger impact on my quality of life. San Pedro does not seem to be offered at many retreats, and I don’t think I’d consider attending a retreat that did not have at least 1 San Pedro ceremony.
2) The Support Network: I would be very surprised if the support network at Gaia Sagrada is matched at any other retreat. I interacted with 4 shamans and found them all to be incredibly supportive, loving, engaged, and knowledgeable (and one is even a psychologist). On top of that, Christine and Jerry provided valuable wisdom and encouragement throughout the whole retreat. There are now 20 work interns at Gaia Sagrada with varying degrees of experience with the medicine, and I was totally blown away by their helpful insights and kindness. Finally, I found my fellow students in the retreat to all be incredibly inspirational and supportive.
The most significant differences I have noticed since returning to my daily life has been an increased sense of a) inner peace and ease in a human body, and b) security and confidence in myself.
A few particularly key takeaways from the most recent retreat that really got ingrained in me at a deep level during the ceremonies and will guide me moving forward include:
a) Being more authentic and willing to be vulnerable
b) Being present in the moment and having faith in the journey (resisting life less)
c) Letting go of my ego. Not be so judgemental of others
Some key changes to my daily life that I have implemented immediately upon return from the most recent retreat include:
a) Practicing two new meditation techniques daily
b) Starting a daily stretching routine to work on my flexibility (previously a huge weakness for me)
c) Committing to attend 1 social group event each week to connect with new people and expand my social network.
d) Implementing changes to my diet including eating more fruits and vegetables and reducing meat consumption.
I would highly recommend attending a retreat at Gaia Sagrada, and do not know of anything else out there that has a greater potential for improving well being and reducing suffering.
I attended Gaia Sagrada for the March 18 – 29 retreat with my girlfriend. We specifically chose here after much online research as it appeared to be the safest most reputable place to have our first ever ayahuasca ceremonies. With great facilities, English speaking shamans, lovely location, female shamans, sweat lodge and San Pedro ceremonies included this is indeed a fantastic choice for anyone seeking advancement mentally and spiritually, especially those on their first foray into these plant medicines. Christine runs the retreat with the best intentions and with all her love and desire to create a safe open non-judgemental environment in which to further her clients’ spiritual and physical well-being. With Jerry, Nora, Jayson, Jana and so many other beautiful people helping her she has created a splendid place to get into the work. The ceremonies are very well run with lovely music and often female energy, while some really cool dogs offer much-needed relief and support to those who need it most. The food is great with plenty of choices. Everyone who attends can be assured they will be looked after properly, with friendly assistants and helpers within reach at all times. Well worth considering!
This place is absolutely incredible! If people want the short version, then I can just say that my stay at Gaia Sagrada have been a life transforming experience in a comfortable, clean environment with beautiful people and some shamans who speak English.
Now the longer version…
I’m a pretty organized person, and before I came I would have liked to see a comprehensive review about different aspects of the experience at Gaia Sagrada. We have to be the change we want to see in the world, so now after my stay I’m going to be the one making that review I would have liked to see.
What I have learned/gained from my stay at Gaia Sagrada:
-I have finally learnt how to love myself and accept myself (Which have also given me more confidence).
-Even though it still can change, I got much more clarity about what I want to do with this amazing life.
-I know that I shouldn’t underestimate what’s possible for me.
-I’ve become much better at letting go and healing through these Sacred medicines, I still struggle with letting go sometimes, but now I’ve become much better. I really felt safe to let go and surrender to the dark things, because I feel so safe here.
-I need to open myself up and show my authentic self, and I have become better at it.
-I have finally accepted my relationship with my dad, and I got a completely different perspective on it, where I also see it from his side. As the owner Christine always says: “It’s not like you get a manual on how to raise a kid”, and I had to hear that a few times to really get it.
-Lot’s of emotional healing.
-A healthier body because of the fasting and the healthy food.
-I’ve had some victim mentality that has lessened a lot.
-Some of the best nights of my life. It truly is a party after some of the ceremonies. (No alcohol of course, but music, delicious food, fire, nice people and much).
There are 3 kinds of ceremonies here. Ayahuasca, San Pedro and Sweat Lodge where both medicines is combined, which is my favorite. All of my ceremonies have been wonderful, but especially the Sweat Lodge is something that has surprised me. Before I came I was a little afraid, because I didn’t know if it would be too hot or uncomfortable in such a Sweat Lodge, but to my surprise those were my favorite ceremonies. The heat made it comfortable and there is a surprising synergy between the two medicines. Both the San Pedro and the Ayahuasca is really strong at this place, but if you want you can just ask for a half cup.
Both the Ayahuasca ceremonies and San Pedro ceremonies are beautiful. The San Pedro medicine lasts at least twice as long as the ayahuasca, so the San Pedro ceremonies are longer, but they have structured the ceremonies in a way so you won’t get bored. In the Ayahuasca ceremonies I have travelled deep inside and experienced lots of crazy visuals and got lots of emotional healing, and I’ve got life changing insights from my San Pedro ceremonies. But everyone’s experience of the medicines is different.
There are more shamans than the ones I mention, but I’m briefly going to describe the ones I’ve had the most experience with.
Salvador is really an awesome shaman. He’s funny, good at English and knows just what to say whenever I have asked about anything. His wife Paulina also works here and her and the other girls lead beautiful ayahuasca ceremonies, where you can really feel the feminine energy in a good way. Really comforting. Sometimes Paulina and Salvador have had ceremonies together, which I have heard is magical. Sometimes Salvador brings his friend Johnny to San Pedro which is truly magical. I don’t know how Johnny does it, but he have done some cleaning on me, and it’s magical, it’s like he sees some things I do not see. I did a cleaning with Amalia in the start of the retreat which was really good. I’m always skeptical about those kinds of things, but I really did feel a difference afterwards. I felt more connected, centered, happy, grounded and relaxed. The Sweat Lodge shaman Sofia is also a really beautiful soul, where you can also just feel her deep compassion for everybody.
It’s on a beautiful mountain, only 1 hour away from Cuenca which has been enjoyable. The air is really clean and the energy is really good in this place, so I felt like I was on ecstasy when I came, it was really wonderful. There was 3 dogs walking around while I was here and they are all really friendly and nice. At other places on the big 50 acres land there are horses and cows.
It’s really comfortable. I lived in the dorm and it was nice, comfortable and silent, which I was worried about when choosing Dorm. It was also a nice way to meet some of the people I was here with. There’s hot tubs, hot showers, good kitchen facilities, tv room, yoga room indoors and outdoors, outside eating area, common room with fire, 2-3 guitar which was perfect for me since I play guitar and couldn’t bring my own. It is 50$ guitars, but you can actually get something pretty solid for that price here in Ecuador, so I was able to entertain the other people with good sound from the guitar (they also have capo for the guitar, bongo drums and other different percussion stuff).
I know that this is something I really was curious about before I came. I love food.
The food is delicious, healthy and change from day to day, so it is easy to stay healthy. I lost a lot of weight while I was here.
We get three meals a day. Breakfast from 8-10, lunch at 12:30 and dinner at 18:30. But if we are hungry before, after or inbetween meals we have 24 hour access to different fruits, bread and snacks.
The people, the work exchangers, and other staff:
The work exchangers are good at melting in with the guests and often good friendships comes as a result. In my experience everyone could talk to everyone and you really feel like a family after a few days together. I was lucky that other guests were musicians so I had people to jam with, and my guess would be that there often are musicians at these retreats since many people who are drawn to plant medicines are drawn to music and the other way around I believe. The manager Jerry is hard working but takes it all with a smile and has a warm, funny and friendly personality. The owner Christine is really like a mother for us all and has so much wisdom. I have had so much benefit from her talks and from when I’ve talked with her. We also did some Guitar Jamming which was pretty cool.
So overall a fantastic experience. If you have any questions about my experience at Gaia Sagrada, then feel free to message me.
The best decision I’ve ever made. I researched quite a bit before choosing Gaia Sagrada. Everything about the experience was 110% – the ceremonies, the shamans, the accommodation, the healty & tasty food, the level of care, attention and integrity, the sense of connection.
The results – I received everything I asked for, and more. The medicines were profound and appropriate and I always felt well-cared for during the ceremonies, which were beautifully conducted.
I’d recommend this experience to anyone.
The first of many rules at Gaia Sagrada is to not say anything negative about Gaia Sagrada, and to not leave a negative review. If you’re wondering why there’s very little honest reviews about the place, it is because everyone is under a gag order to not express themselves if they disagree with what happens there. It is a beautiful place with great facilities, comfortable beds, hot showers, beautiful animals, awesome people, breathtaking landscapes….but it also has its downside. It is run with a top-down authoritarian approach with a lot of rules that can make it feel a lot like a strict school. The people in charge posit themselves as “all-knowing” experts and if you disagree with them then you are doing something wrong or do not understand their superior knowledge. If you are looking for somewhere to heal yourself and want to be in charge of your healing, then this is probably not the place for you. During the san pedro ceremonies they offer a pseudo-psychological therapy session for everyone involved that all participants must sit through whether you like it or not. If you were hoping to commune with the universe and the natural world during your san pedro experience you are out of luck because you must sit in the one position for over 20 hours and listen to the traumatic experiences of over 30 people at the retreat and the sometimes questionable advice that is doled out in a slow and often condescending manner. If you are tempted to leave the ceremony and appreciate the natural world, then this is some kind of demon leading you astray or you are considered to be someone who is not supportive of the rest of the participants. This is one of the many cultish control mechanisms that they employ to get you to do as they want. If you leave the ceremony early, they threaten to kick you out of the retreat and not return your money. The ayahuasca is watery and not very strong, and the majority of people were not having the experiences that they had hoped for. This again was blamed on the participants either having too high expectations or that they were resisting the medicine. Christine is a well meaning person but can get carried away with controlling the ceremonies and it is clear that this can cause frustrations with the shamans. She makes it clear that she enjoys extremely long ceremonies and spends hours repeating the same prayers in a slow and drawn out manner. There are people who haven’t eaten for long periods, are tired or in physical pain, but she wants to be there so everyone has to stay. It wasn’t all together a terrible experience and some people really appreciate the way that it is run and gain a lot out of being there. If you are someone who wants to take some autonomy over their own healing and believes that they can make the best decisions about what they need, then this isn’t the place for you.
What a beautiful experience! I participated in two retreats. During this time, I came to know the other participants and work exchangers as family, as part of a loving and fun community.
The flow of the retreat is well thought-out; starting with ayahuasca, then san pedro, then a sweat lodge, another ayahuasca, and a final san pedro ceremony. I was initially nervous about the sweat lodge (in which you drink both san pedro and ayahuasca), but it ended up being one of the most profound ceremonies I’ve done.
The shamans are excellent – they hold the space with love and bring their wealth of experience to every ceremony. They are gentle and kind and funny. The process of becoming a shaman in Ecuador is incredibly long and intensive, and all the shamans bring their years of hard work to the table.
The work exchangers of Gaia are the wheels that keep the place going, and their hard work is evident. They are incredibly supportive and friendly and enthusiastic about plant medicine and being of assistance to participants in every way.
I have a lot of experience with plant medicine (having done retreats in multiple places in Peru, Costa Rica, and Ecuador), and I can say with confidence that the plant medicine experience at Gaia is top notch.
Wonderful and very insightful! The setting and accommodations was very conducive to inner reflection and soul searching. The staff was outstanding and very attentive! I highly recommend Gia Sagrada. You won’t be disappointed. Stew
Gaia Sagrada is a wonderful place to heal and/or expand as a person. I came to Gaia as part of my quest to grow and explore what this life is all about. I also came to get clarity about my future and heal anything that needed to get healed so I could move forward in this life with more ease and purpose. I got all that and more! First of all Gaia Sagrada is breathtakingly beautiful. Even before we took the medicine, the energy of the land the retreat is one went to work on my spirit. The weather is next perfect year round and there are no mosquitos to deal with. There are friendly dogs running around giving and receiving love too! The food is awesome, healthy and fits the diet recommended for a plant medicine experience. The staff and work exchangers are full of love and are non-judgmental and friendly. The beds are super comfortable so sleep was easy and restorative. There are great hikes and activities to do and they even schedule a trip to beautiful Cuenca or surrounding sights so you get a vacation during the healing!
The plant medicine part is nothing short of PROFOUND. Trying to explain it in words is hard but let me just say that in my group we had some seriously heavy and tough work that people had to do. We bonded right off the bat and people really opened up about their pain and I think that’s when the healing really took hold. This is a place you can let it all go, open up and KNOW that people are there with you, going through it too and wanting you to get better in your own way. After our two weeks together I saw completely new people! I’m not just saying that they were smiling more or more friendly. They had an entirely new spirit and energy, stood a different way, voice changes, eyes sparkling. It was incredible. The Shamans are so knowledgable and caring, you can’t help but give thanks for the opportunity to be a part of this ancient tradition and receive the fruit of so many years of their training. The owner Christine Breese has the tools and expertise to empower people to transcend and move on from their past pain, she’s an integral part of the ceremony and a wonderful healer. Her partner Bruce is the kindest dude around and keep the wheels of the retreat turning. This isn’t a mill just churning out people and not caring about what happens after or if they are really getting to the root of why they came. If you come with an intention and the will to weather the entire journey and transform, you most certainly will!!!
The best shamans in South America work here! I was blown away by the instant connection I had to the staff and shamans here. Nothing but open hearts and any closed heart that arrives on retreat is quickly opened. Nothing but love lives on this mountainside which is such a beautiful location for healing. I loved my time here and look forward to returning anxiously.
I was blessed with the opportunity to arrive here in this beautiful place for a 12-day retreat. It’s really magical place with serenity and glitter (yup, you’ll be getting some)! 🙂
If you’ve properly done some research and feel it’s right for you, I would HIGHLY recommend Gaia Sagrada. It was my first experience working with plant medicine and I really enjoyed Ayahuasca, San Pedro, and Sweat Lodge as they all work in synergy to help whatever intentions you put forth. I did not partake in the special Peyote teepee ceremony nor private Ayahuasca session but you might get a chance to on your retreat! I really enjoyed how the shamans held the maloka space during ceremonies and I’ll always remember the hauntingly beautiful icaros that Salvadore sang. All I can say is that plant medicines are something beautiful to be experienced and has been the most profound experience of my life thus far!
The dorm accommodations were comfortable, food was yummy after being on dieta for 2 weeks prior, yoga sessions were relaxing, and WiFi was great to keep in touch with loved ones! The surrounding area is a beautiful 55-acre space for you to roam free and there is an opportunity to go hiking to the waterfall too. Karma yoga wasn’t too bad either as I did dishes, weeding, and gardening the San Pedro Garden (it’s beautiful too).
Thank you so much for Salvadore, Santiago, Sofia, Christine, Jerry, and many of the volunteers and attendees. I’m grateful that such an enchanted space exists for those who need healing. I will remember all the friends I’ve made during the retreat and how much of a bond we came home with, enough to come visit them on my travels next year. I’ve taken much from my experiences and still integrating what I’ve learned weeks after as well as trying out new practices for spiritual growth. Much love and good vibrations to everyone. Hope you are able to find your way to this magical place.
I recently attended a 12 day retreat at the Gaia Sagrada which finished about 2 weeks ago , and all i can tell you is if your looking for a retreat do yourself a favor and book here……….i did my research before i went and this place had the by far the best feedback compared to all other retreats even in Peru and after attending the retreat i could see why……..all the positive feedback’s are well deserved as the shamans Santiago and Salvador and Christine the person in charge of the place all know exactly what their doing and if its your first time this is where you want to be…
I had a amazing experience and after all my negative emotional blockages, negative mind chatter etc were gone and i was in bliss…..It was totally worth it and i will probably go back again for a different purpose 🙂
Came to Gaia Sagrada dazed, confused, and not knowing what to do with the rest of my life. From day one, I experienced: Beautiful place. Beautiful space. Beautiful people. Beautiful ceremonies. Beautiful medicine. Felt so good being there. My heart was aching when it was time to leave. I know that I will never be the same. I know that if I continue my spiritual homework and stay connected, I can change the world–starting with me.
You should come and see.
I came to Gaia Sagrada from Israel and felt at home from the first moment. Everything is so supportive: The clean rooms, the bathrooms, the amazing landscape, the stuff, the professional Shamans and Christine her self, making sure we are safe and supported at all times. I healed from cancer and I am so grateful fro Christine for building this amazing place and creating an energy field that matches the light workers to bloom.
I am so impressed from the organisation and the conditions offered, that I recommend my children to come only to Gaia Sagrada, where I know that they are guided and safe.
I just got home from a wonderful journey! As a next step on my spiritual journey, I want to meet Madre Aya, but Gaia also works with San Pedro, and I now know what a powerful combination this is. The shamans (Salvador & Santiago) are professional, very wise and always carry the beautiful ceremonies with much grace and lots of humour, although they are very serious about it as they genuinely are there to help heal people. The location in the mountain with its amazing nature is just perfect. The staff are very kind and helpful, their welcome hug makes you at ease the very moment you arrive. The other guests are now my family and longtime friends. I am sure I will some day return to Gaia as I already miss it. Whatever your purpose is, you will get more out of it than expected, I sure did!
Grtz Bart H
The psychedelic experience is influenced greatly by set and setting. What you bring to the experience, your purpose and mindset are factors of great importance in determining what transpires. This is why they talk of diet and cleansing to create a vessel ready to accept the plant teaching. Only you know the set you bring. If you believe you are ready, then the setting at Gaia Sagrada is no problem at all. It is an oasis of incredibly beautiful gardens high in the Andes with amble space for solitude or communion with others on the journey. There is a lot of positive energy generated by their lovely staff and work exchangers that creates an atmosphere of tranquility, joy and love. The amenities and meals are very good. Having tried both, I found the mountain venue a much more tranquil setting for the psychonaut than the jungle. I also liked the opportunity to experience both ayahuasca and san pedro from an english speaking shaman. We all are different, but for me the jungle/Peruvian ayahuasca was more visionary while the mountain san pedro of Santiago was top shelf medicine as were his transdimensional healing skills demonstrated in ceremonies that were intense and transformative. To survival in ordinary reality all these retreat centers have to be sensitive to these web reviews; Christine seems to be able to keep this reality in perspective and not let it encroach on the experience. It was a peak adventure for me and I highly recommend it for your consideration. Don’t miss the spa in Cuenca on the rest day and give regards to Yogi for me!
I’ve experienced a Shipibo Amazon Jungle Peru retreat and now Gaia Sagrada. I will say that much more healing and learning occurred here at Gaia than in the jungle. The English speaking Shamans and the love with which each ceremony is conducted is truly amazing to experience. One definitely gets plenty of individual attention even when we are reluctant to bring things up. The sweat lodge was to my surprise a tremendous tool in my transformation. The San Pedro ceremonies help create a bond among everyone and they are superb. The Aya ceremonies were conducted equally well and each person has his/her own personal experience. Very professional leaders and great supporting staff, location, ease of travel, peaceful loving environment – all made this the best experience I could have imagined. Five stars for certain.
Gaia Sagrada truly is heaven on Earth. I couldn’t flaw it even if I tried. I stayed for one retreat and then volunteered for 2 months after – about 3 months at Gaia in total. I have never in my life known so much beauty, love and light from a place and all its people. The Shamans have selfless, dedicated and beautiful souls. As they say in ceremonies that they put their lives into the ceremony and the work they do and this truly comes across in the best way. They keep it light and funny, they know how to make it a good time, but also when to be serious. And the Icaros will blow your mind and maybe even reduce you to tears, with or without the medicine to influence it. Truly their music alone is medicine. I have seen people come and go with all sorts of different reasons, traumas, illnesses, addictions, and the healing they all receive is just beautiful to watch. Every person who comes is filled with love the minute they arrive, right until they end, both through the medicines, the place and the people. I have made friends and family for life, my soul family. I went there as a depressed, burdened heavy soul, and in my healing I felt love like never before, and healed myself in ways I cannot fully describe. I now feel free, i know who I am and I know that I am love, and that everyone is love. After every ceremony I was not the same but for me the most powerful ceremony was the Sweat Lodge, I truly was reborn after I left the ceremony. The person I was before Gaia is not the person I am today – as other reviews say, there is a life before and after Gaia, and it will change your life in the BEST way. But don’t be afraid, you will be completely looked after and any issue you think is unresolvable, is resolvable. The medicines are hard work and not a quick fix, and its never a walk in the park, but so so so worth it, I promise you. The food is amazing and the organization of Gaia Sagrada by the volunteers and the Ecuadorian workers is incredible, everything always looks so beautiful and there is always so much love, you can feel it in the air <3 I have never tried any other retreat centre but I would recommend this place to absolutely everyone I know. Thank so dearly sweet Christine, sweet Paulina and Sophia, Brucingtons, firey Cythia, and thank you Salvador and Santiago for changing my life and healing the world. There are no words that can express my profound gratitude <3 <3 <3
ps. if anyone wants to ask me anything feel free – firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook Zoë Houghton, love and blessings to you all x x x x
The Saia Sagrada is a breathtaking beautiful retreat with loving and supportive staff that take you through the ceremonial process with care and expertise. I do not exaggerate when I say that hands down this was the most incredible, transformative spiritual experience I have had in my entire life (and I’ve been around for more than 60 years). I encourage anyone who is interested in spiritual growth and choosing to walk a life of love, peace, joy, clarity and happiness to give this tremendous learning experience. I am personally sending my 29 year old son in January. Can’t think of a better gift to give a young person starting in life.
I went there as a first timer in the whole ayahuasca experience. I was blown away soon as I get there. Awesome, lovely people and work exchange workers where the best!! The lodges and rooms where amazing as well. The reason I went is because I was suffering from depression and addiction for over 17yrs. I’ve been to rehab, NA and psychology. None of that ever worked for me. I didn’t have high expectations going there but wow I was blown away. Did 5 ceremonies and the old me died there and a new me was reborn. Love this place definitely going back. I would recommend this place to anyone that is suffering from addiction ando depression well worth it.
This is the retreat you’re looking for.
* Powerful, clean medicines.
* Caring and experienced shamen, who speak wonderful English as a bonus!
* Amazing grounds high in the Andes, under the stars, crisp air, without any hint of dankness you might encounter in the jungle. The property is beautifully integrated with local population who’ll always greet you with a hello and smile.
* Plentiful food that will help your body replenish before and after ceremony, usually prepared and waiting for you three times a day.
* Excellent accommodations that you’ll always look forward to coming back to after your journeys.
The pictures on their web site really don’t do the place justice and I’ve heard they are updating it.
I’ll be returning again..and again to realign with the universe.
I loved the Shamans but honestly my retreat at Gaia was a mess. I hope Christine is doing better but she was not in a good emotional place and I question her stability. The staff and shamans were all wonderful and so I did get a lot out of the experience. But, the general sense from my group was that we wouldn’t go back. I’ve also heard that this website doesn’t post negative reviews. If you’re seeing this then thats a very good sign. I certainly encourage you to go on a retreat if you’re considering it – but I would go elsewhere. I’m very curious about Lotus Vine which incorporates meditation into the retreat which I think would be enormously beneficial. I’m 100% sure they’re are good cheaper retreats around but would probably not risk it myself and would spend more next time – unless I had a very good reference or did more solid research.
I had been to three other centers in Iquitos, Peru to drink ayahuasca. I had done mushrooms in Amsterdam twice. I sought out G-S primarily for san pedro which I had never done before. I wanted to see what the cactus had to teach. First the setting is literally breathtaking, +9000 feet on the mountainside among farms, cows, horses, lamas, overlooking a stunning valley. Wow. So peaceful. The only drawback was it took my body a day or two to adjust to the altitude but then I was fine. Thus, at G-S I got to do ayahuasca again as the first ceremony. It was gentle, instructive, and beautiful for the icaros, beautiful music Salvador, Polina, and Christene made, and the fire was definitely unique. The second ceremony with san pedro was mind blowing for the novel and unusual way it was conducted, part theater, part group psychotherapy, part pyrotechnics, part council. The tag-team of Santiago, the hat, jacket, face paint, decorated belt, leopard skin, fire, and Christene, her experience and wisdom and motherly concern, it was the most and usual beautiful thing I had every seen. A knockout. The third ceremony with sweat lodge was by far the most difficult. Native peoples say the sweat lodge teaches through claustrophobia and anxiety–and although I experienced neither of these, I still wouldn’t want to do it again. The fourth ceremony with ayahausca was by far the most powerful and over-the-top. The medicine came on fast and strong. The final san pedro ceremony was held outdoors and while it was not as stunning at the first san pedro–I knew what to expect this time–it was probably it was best that way as a send off. The food was unique and very well prepared, bland but delicious. They gave us a day off and my group (7-9 of us) went to the ruins at Ingapirca which was set on this stunning (I’m running out of adjectives!) plateau in a valley. From there we went to Cuenca where we had lunch, sat in the park and talked, and subsequently ate dinner at this cool open-air restaurant called Goza on Calle Larga, if you go that way. In conclusion, Christine attended and participated in every ceremony which is mind boggling how she does it. She sat right up front with the hot stone and was taking the heat full on. She’s a talented musician, a caring and resourceful person, and an inspiration, particularly for women trying to find their way as healers in what remains largely a “man’s world.” She has an original point of view and something important to say. Overall, I’m still integrating everything I learned which I expect to take years. Ecuador is a must see, especially if you make the Guayaquil-Cuenca trip by van or bus: the Andes are truly amazing. In fact, I’m glad I came this way (while the Cuenca airport was closed) and consequently I would recommend this 4 hour journey through the mountains; I got to see more of Ecuador, the people, the culture. If I had any advice it would be to bring a notebook and take plenty of notes; it helps to a matter of discipline, to put matters in their place, to remember, to make sense of things. G-S is a good place to start, that is, if you want a taste of ayahuasca, san pedro, and the sweat lodge. If you want to go further into the different medicines, you can then branch out to other places.
I chose Gaia Sagrada as a retreat center because I kept coming back to their website and the vibes I got from it where simply vibes of caring for humanity, love and integrity. And that’s exactly what Gaia Sagrada is. Having done a few Ayahuasca ceremonies before, I am impressed with their powerful shamans, who not only speak english but also understand the Western world to a certain degree and the baggage we bring along with us when heading down to South America for healing. A shaman speaking our language was especially helpful during the San Pedro with it being a very interactive ceremony, there was a real exchange happening.
Aside from the shamans, Gaia Sagrada is truly a healing place, once I entered the gate of the property I could feel the energy shifting and it felt like leaving anything negative at the gate. Everything that is done and prepared at Gaia Sagrada is of integrity, the food is just unbelievable even though it is Aya-food. The fact that Christine, the founder, took part in all the ceremonies, shows how much she cares about the people that come there and made the ceremonies even more powerful.
I would and will return there anytime again and would recommend it to anyone looking for a retreat. Namaste!
This place is absolutely remarkable and the family of people behind it are some of the best people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. It is the perfect manifestation of what a plant medicine center should be and should be an example for all to aspire to. The shamans are exceptional and are masters in what they do. The medicine they prepare is made with love and respect and that goes a long way with those who take it. The grounds are incredibly beautiful and constitute medicine in their own right. Each ceremony is orchestrated with so much respect and beauty and with so much consideration to the true ancestral traditions. Christine, the founder, and all the staff and crew are some of the kindest people I have met and approach guests with so much compassion and wisdom. These people are in it for the advancement of human consciousness and our healing and not for any monetary reason. I’m so grateful to have experienced Gaia and will certainly be back! If you’re looking for a place to experience These plant medicines in a safe and trustworthy environment, look no further. Thank you all for all that you do and I hope that you’re able to keep on this good path always! Much love to all of you.
This is a magical place, anyone that is interested in experiencing ayahuasca or San Pedro medicines should come here. The shamans are incredible, you will be treated with so much compassion. You will have support and have the confidence that you are drinking the medicines in a really safe environment. I saw lots of healing take place and all participants became a family. While there is a diet to adhere to, the food is really great and there is lots of it, so no need to starve yourself all the time. I find it hard to believe that there would be other retreat centres as good as this, it really is a special place.
At this retreat, the shamans’ (Paulina, Salvador, and Santiago) singing in beautiful tones/ harmonies and performing with various musical and shamanic tools/drumming during the ceremonies were very intense but well balanced, quite powerful, and definitely soul touching and healing/cleansing, connecting.
Each ceremony experience felt soo different.
And I liked the required one day rest in between the ceremonies, just perfect for a whole healing experience. The medicine was very safe and powerful. Profound wisdom is well offered during my entire experience over there.
I almost never write a review unless something exceeds my expectations! Just completed a 12- day retreat with a lifetime’s memory of beautiful nature setting, fresh wind, beautiful people and angels/healers and plentiful of nourishing healthy food everyday in this wonderful, rare and magical place in Ecuador. Words cannot describe the experience!
From my arrival/ day one, I could tell that this place was right for me.
Everyone works there approaches everyone with a smile and open heart genuinely.
Much gratitude to Christine who is a beautiful earth angel who built this place to make healing available for others! She works with amazing shamans who are truly genuine! I’ve met many many healers before, and the shamans work there are absolutely genuine shamans/ healers/beautiful angels!
I would definitely come back with more friends!
This has to be the best Ayahuasca/San Pedro retreat. There were people here from many different countries. The shamans speak English which contributes so much more to the ceremonies. Then there is Pauline who added so much more to the ceremonies with her beautiful voice.
The two Ayahuasca experiences were totally different for me. The first was mellow and relaxing. The second was more detoxing and quite the experience. The San Pedro brought forth a spiritual healing and the next day I was full of energy. At age 76 this was a very rewarding and spiritual experience for me. If you are past 60 and in very good health, then go for it. Although the participants were much younger, I felt very much accepted and loved by all. If you are ready for a spiritual awakening then GAIA SAGRADA is the place to go.
It has been a number of months since my trip to Gaia Sagrada. I made the decision to go as I had exhausted all other options. Ordinarily I would be quite cautious about such retreats so I came with a fair amount of uncertainty about it all. What I experienced there was an amazing experience, not an easy one for me by any means but one which I would never undo.
At Gaia I found a group of people ready and willing to provide love and a huge amount of support for my journey.
Christine who was present throughout all the ceremonies. I was so grateful to have her there. Some of the ceremonies were a challenge for me but having her there meant I got through the hard times by just feeling reassured and safe by her presence. All of the shamans were amazing. Salvador and his wife and Santiago. Having had no prior experience of plant medicine and having read negative stories online I felt confident in their ability and their intentions toward the group were nothing but full of warmth and sincerity. The amount of energy they put into the ceremonies is tremendous. I am very privileged to have met them and also very grateful for Christine and the shamans to have come to together at Gaia to provide people with such an experience.
Not to be forgotten are the volunteers. Whether they were assisting in the ceremonies, cooking delicious food in the kitchen, tending to the beautiful grounds at Gaia or simply sitting having a chat. Amazing generosity and support from all of them. thank you!
Lastly the place itself is a little bubble of calm on the side of a hill top. The accommodation is modern, very comfortable and well maintained. There are a variety of spaces on the grounds from which one can choose to sit, chat, meditate, practice yoga or just be. Its hard to leave.
Overall I couldn’t have asked for more from this place I am very thankful for this place and experience. I will be forever grateful.
From the moment I arrived at Gaia (May 2016), I knew I had made the right decision; the vision and love with which Gaia Sagrada was built was evident immediately. The grounds are beautiful, the facilities are modern and well-maintained, the meals are hearty, the communal kitchen is fully stocked, and the work exchangers are so warm and welcoming. In addition to the wealth of information on the website (which addressed most of my concerns), once registering, it was easy to contact staff with additional queries, and the meetings during the retreat are comprehensive in addressing remaining questions. During the ceremonies themselves, which can be uncomfortable and intense, the kindness and attention of the workers on hand to help made me feel utterly safe and well cared for. All this being said, nothing can fully prepare you for Ayahuasca and San Pedro; it has to be experienced to be understood. What I received was far more than I ever could have imagined. My experience at Gaia gave me a way of making peace – with myself, my past, and with the world. While every person will have a different experience based on their needs and their journey, I can assure you that Gaia Sagrada is a secure and nurturing place to have that experience. What’s more, you’ll come away with a new family with whom you can continue sharing your journey, beyond the retreat… because the learning and insights don’t end when you leave Gaia. Safe travels.
I can only echo all of the incredibly positive things others have shared about the different elements of their experiences at Gaia. The one thing I would add is that if you listen closely and pay attention to Christine, the founder, and the shamans, you come to see that what is offered at Gaia comes with a big vision. The work they do there is intended to benefit the entire world and to bring about a more beautiful and loving reality. This is a retreat center that can provide a wonderful introduction for those just setting out on the path of spirit. But it can also provide an extraordinary opportunity for those already doing their spiritual work in any tradition. They seek to support deep awakening for individuals and also for the entire world. This is not just your average, everyday retreat center – they are doing deep, important and visionary work.
Under the direction of Christine Breese, Gaia Sagrada facilitates an outstanding twelve-day Ayahuasca/San Pedro retreat. I appreciated the timely, detailed, and helpful communication from the staff before, during and after the retreat. At Gaia Sagrada support, kindness, and respect are expectations and it’s beautiful to see how the community–from first-time participants to experienced exchange workers–exceed these expectations at every turn. Getting to and from the facility was straight-forward, the accommodations were comfortable, and participant access to exceptional shamans and a beautiful setting, made for an experience, which has profoundly impacted my life.
While other opportunities to attend an earlier retreat at another center arose, I waited 2 years until I could fit in my schedule a retreat at Gaia. It was worth the wait! Gaia is such an amazing place. So much love and filled with people who truly care and treat the plants as medicine. This is the place to go if you seek healing and transformation. I cant imagine going any where else. Everything was perfect: the food, accommodations, location, and people. The shamans are passionate and loving professionals and the owner, Christine is truly a special human being with a big heart. I will definitely be going back again one day!
Peace for the heart, body, mind and spirit, I felt uniquely at home at Gaia Sagrada, inside and out. The staff were more supportive during this retreat than anything I previously experienced as an adult. The shamans, Salvador, Amalia, Sofia, and Santiago each offer genuine guidance for relating deeply with the planet and are intelligent, profoundly compassionate, funny, and highly skilled. The food is superb, and fellow adventurers within the Gaia Sagrada environment were all readily supportive. The Andes provides a strong backbone for exploration, for knowing a land lush with rivers and peaks. Frogs at Gaia Sagrada pulse acoustically like contact between two sticks — it sounds like the trees are talking. Christine sings beautifully, and her good counsel and omnipresent love is the cornerstone for retreatants’ intentions to live authentically and from the heart — values which persist after departing the land.
Gaia Sagrada is one of those places which you miss already when still being there. When I was going to visit this beautiful places in Andes mountains I didn’t really know what to expect and I received more than I could ever imagine: breathtaking views, deep, amazing ceremonies, beautiful people and… mystic dogs! From the first minute, when I got out of the car, I knew this is the right place – you can just feel it in the air without doubts! This is definitely the right place for people who have never tried Ayahuasca or San Pedro before, because you can feel completely safe in Gaia Sagrada. You will never be left alone if you are going through a hard time, there is lots of people to help you (including beautiful and caring Christine). Every ceremony is really special, the shamans are amazing and they are true masters of the ceremonies. They are so wise and approachable at the same time. And they speak English so you can chat with them about everything! Don’t think that you are going there only to drink Ayahuasca, because San Pedro is an integral and really important part of the retreat. I didn’t know about it before but now I can’t imagine the whole experience without it! It is hard to describe how those two plants work together to heal you. But it is not only about taking medicine… It is also about amazing people you meet there (other participants, shamans, work exchangers and of course Christine and Bruce), about love and respect, about finding the way if you feel lost, about remembering yourself if you forgot, about feeling simple joy again, and beside all of this is about having fun! 🙂 I could write and write and write about this place, there is so many things to say, you just have to go there and see it with your own eyes.
I simply love Gaia Sagrada, I would love to come back there and I am happy for of all of you people who will choose this place for your experience. That is gonna be the right decision! So don’t think about this anymore, just go there and let the magic happen…
This place is not only about the medicine. It is the whole experience. The location, the people, the exchange workers, the Shamans, the weather, the workshops, and the founder Christine, she is an amazing person.
Firstly the location is safe, it is beautiful and green, and the air is clean. Coming from somewhere like London which is a busy and polluted city, the clean atmosphere in Gaia is healing enough just on it’s own. The land is big so you can take walks and have alone time in a completely safe setting if you wish. You can do some hiking, pick a good location to meditate or do yoga or even exercise. Nothing will beat the magical scenery of the clouds meeting the mountains, and the green view. It looks like a beautiful painting everywhere you look. Almost surreal. I traveled as a solo female and at no point did I feel unsafe. This is a very safe place to be, and remember that the director is a female who makes this place extremely safe for all women. You will see how women are appreciated and treated with respect here. So have no worries if you do as I traveled as a solo female.
The staff and exchange workers around are totally amazing, passionate and caring individuals. They are there to always help with a smile or just to have a great conversation with as all of them have experience with the plant medicine. From the moment you touch down in Gaia and until you leave they are all there for you.
Christine the director of the place is an amazing soul, teacher, and mother. Her vision, and purpose for building this retreat is for the bettering of humanity and this is reflected through everything at Gaia. She is at every ceremony, and is there to help with anything you are going through. Her talks, insights, lessons and workshops are mind blowing.
Now lets get to the medicine. The medicine is pure and the Shamans do no mix anything else into the medicine like other places may do. You meet the medicine at its purest form. It is powerful. Just remember to have your intentions ready to why you are taking this journey into consciousness in the first place and the medicine will give you the answers you need. All you need to do is have an open heart and don’t resist what it shows you. These medicines are amazing and powerful, presented to you with the old traditions. Remember to pay attention and pay the respect in preparation for the medicine in following the correct diet and be in a humble state before you meet the medicine. Life is way beyond what you think it is and the medicine will show you this.
Have you ever met anyone who balances professionalism, power, wisdom, humbleness, kindness, knowledge, and who can move you dimensions by singing? Well, you will do once you meet the shamans, and that is the least to describe them. They also have a great sense of humor too. When it comes to helping you, directing you, advising you and leading a great ceremony they do an amazing job. They also speak English too and they are so welcoming to have a conversation. They are willing to share some wisdom with you at any time you want.
Lastly, I have to add this as an animal lover; The dogs at the property are just beautiful and you will fall in love with them. You will make a ton of soul mates as you will experience this journey together. So keep an open mind and an open heart, be ready to learn, and to grow and you are in for the safest and most powerful journey of your life. My life is split into two: Before and After Gaia Sagrada.
Gaia Sagrada is truely a magical place. Seems silly to say but ive never been to a place like it in my life. I choose Gaia on pure instinct and I was right. The experience was transformative in many ways.
I completely agree with the other reviews left by my fellow May brothers Brad, Thompi, Alex and Ufi with regards to the medicine and the quality and the human nature of the shamens, the comfort of the place and ofcourse Christine who is so reasuring to have in ceremony. The geniune love and compassion she has for everyone is so touching. I recommend reading their reviews for more of the nitty gritty.
As for me I would summise the following:
1. You might get just as much from Grand father San Pedro as Mother Ayahausca.
2. You might come alone and realise after 1 hour that you came with about 30 deeply connected friends from all over the world
3. You will have a new found love and respect for both Water and … Watermelon
4. You might find that other group members or soon to be known brothers and sisters provide the insights into yourself and the healing for you
5. You might find you provide healing for each other
6. You may be blessed with others singing in ceremony or blessed with words from a elder in the group.
7. You might find the hills, trees and lights around the property are not all what they seem
8. You might find your having the most real conversations you have had in years in a hot tub in the dark woods
9. You might find that you hug people everyday and are saying the word Aho as much as any other 🙂
10. You might find yourself wanting to return one day
11. You might find out that ‘Yogi’ is not a dog 😉
Gaia Sagrada is a magical place. If Ayahuasca is calling you then look no further than this place. Christine has created a place of beauty and I honestly don’t know how she could make it any better. As soon as you arrive you are greeted with hugs from everyone and you’re immediately made to feel comfortable. The work exchangers are wonderful and will always be there with anything you need. Expect plenty of hugs whilst staying at Gaia! Before I went to Gaia I was told my retreat members would become my new family and this couldn’t have been more true. Get ready to meet likeminded people and create a new family who will always be there for you.
It is hard to find English speaking Shamans but Gaia has found some! The Shamans are wonderful and they are always willing to talk to you and answer any questions you may have. I always felt safe, looked after and I am still in awe of their knowledge and wisdom.
It is so important to have a rest day between ceremonies so that you can process and rest. You will have a family meeting the day after a ceremony which really helps you process everything that has happened. You will find that you’ll learn SO much from your fellow retreat participants and their experiences with the medicines.
The Andes Mountains are absolutely stunning, the air is pure and fresh and there are plenty of places to take a time-out and simply sit in nature and ground yourself. You can go on hikes, go for a run or simply take a 5/10 minute stroll and find a spot to meditate or just relax. Everywhere you look you will be mesmerised by how breathtaking the views are.
The food at Gaia is delicious. If you are a meat eater do not worry! The food is magnificent, full of flavour and there is plenty of it. As for accommodation, I stayed in Casa Tranquilo and I couldn’t have been happier with my room.
At night there is usually a fire going where you can chill & sit and talk to your new friends. There are plenty of places to sit and chill, there are benches scattered throughout the grounds as well as hammocks & chairs. The community centre has wifi, its own kitchen and they even have Netflix! There are also a few guitars and musical instruments which are great fun especially when everyone has a good jam session!
There is usually someone teaching Yoga every morning and some people offer their own services such as massage, reiki etc.
They say Mother’s know best and I feel Mother Ayahuasca was calling to me because she believed I needed San Pedro too! A lot of people come to Gaia as they are drawn to Ayahuasca but let me tell you that San Pedro is a beautiful plant medicine. Imagine your heart being cracked open so you can receive endless amounts of love, clarity and wisdom. I am so thankful I got to work with San Pedro and I believe I actually got more out of this medicine. I had so many questions and they were all answered.
My experience at Gaia was truly life changing and I witnessed countless transformations in my fellow retreat members. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity and it is an experience I will never forget.
Thank you Christine for creating such an incredible place of healing and love. You are giving people the tools to transform their lives and make this world a better place.
Thank you Christine, Bruce, Salvador, Santiago, Paulina, Sofia, the work exchangers and everyone involved at Gaia Sagrada, and of course, thank you to my new family, I love you guys.
PS. I am going back to volunteer in August so to anyone reading this review and thinking about going to Gaia, I hope to see you there, you will not regret it 🙂
Stayed May 2016, Travelled Solo
Aho (Amen) to everything that Thompi, Ufi and everyone else has said positively about Gaia Sagrada Retreat Center, Christine, the Shamans, the food, the experiences, the enlightenments, the life altering medicine provided, the participants & work exchange family, the lodging, the daily schedule to keep things moving forwared, the dogs, the water ceremonies, relationships created, love spread, city of Cuenca. All of these people, places, and things made this a once in a lifetime unicorn of an experience! I found out who I am and what my highest potential is; I also found solutions to several of my hangups, and my observation of other participants revealed that they, too, were being helped in ways unique to their personal needs.
I had felt much despair and hopelessness in my daily life, for about 1-2 years prior to attending May 2016. I left Gaia Sagrada feeling love for myself and every single person I had spent my two weeks with at the retreat center. To sum up my trip, I’ll put it this way.. I cried leaving, as I rode away for my last day there leaving everyone and everything behind that I had just come to love. Thankfully I had Jud a little longer to share some time with on the ride to the airport. I miss each and every one of you, and simply know I’ll be back in due season again, hopefully within the next year. I pray that these beautiful memories created as a Maybird 2016, will remain in our minds for all of our lifetimes to come. Aho!
I’ve already rewritten this review a few times because I feel like it will never do Gaia Sagrada justice.
The place alone is so beautiful. There’s flowers everywhere, a beautiful view of the mountains and every detail just feels right. The rooms were more than I expected. It wasnt over the top, it was perfect. I felt so comfortable there. I was never for one second worried that something would be stolen or I’d get lost or anything bad would happen. I would knowingly leave my phone and other belongings some where and know they’d be there when I came back.
The wonderful people who worked there were more than happy to help you with anything! If you needed to know where something was, had a question about how things worked or if you just wanted to talk, they were there. And the food they make is amazing!! I’ve been a vegetarian for 10 years and I’ve never had that wide variety of foods before. Everything was mind blowing.
Christine is like no one I’ve ever met before. She has this beautiful energy and amazing gift to know how to make everything OK. You just feel so comfortable when she’s around. I was having a hard time in a couple of the ceremonies and she was there. Making jokes, comforting me, and making me understand what was going on. I’m so grateful she was there.
Now the ceremonies… I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful and powerful they were. Each and every shaman fit perfectly in the ceremonies. If it were anyone else I don’t think it would have been the same. Their musical instruments, their voices, their prayers, their jokes! Being able to experience these ceremonies and rituals alone, even without the medicine, was worth every penny.
I could go on forever and not find one negative thing to say about Gaia Sagrada. The second you step out of that taxi your life is beginning to change. The strangers become family. You have this bond, this love, respect and compassion for every single person there. It’s amazing.
I would never go any where else to take these medicines.
Just got home from the May 14th 2016 12-day retreat. I arrived with very high hopes for the medicine, and terrified of all the new people I would have to meet and interract with without alcohol.About 4 seconds after I got out of the provided ride from the airport to the retreat, I was jumped by ten strangers(now my soul brothers and sisters) who all gave me a hug and welcomed me in a heartfelt manner I was very unaccustomed to. And those 4 seconds were the last apprehensive ones I had during the entire retreat. The social climate is just perfect. Everyone there understands why you feel you need the medicine, and everybody respects you for taking the step to do something about your problems. I was as apprehensive to discuss my personal problems as much as anyone is, but it wasn’t even an hour before I felt that nobody would judge me, and I believe this was a huge part of the healing process aswell. It really helped me open up.
The shamans, Salvador, Santiago, Paulina and Sophia are all amazing. Their wisdom is too great to have accumulated during only one life time, and not only do they speak excellent english, they’re also freakin’ hilarious! Before and after the ceremonies they’re happy to chat with you, even for hours, and they discuss everything from ancient architecture, pop culture, plant medicine, the spirit world and everything in between. And now and then they throw in a statement or a choice of word that completely catches you off guard, and laughter ensues.
The medicine sure did it’s part, and what I realized, and hadn’t prepared for, was how the ceremony with the shaman’s wisdom, constituted a whole-package-deal, where the response of the shaman to any of your co-participant’s issues could just as well be applied to your battle with your own demons and problems.
After each ceremony I had an unshakeable sense that every single thought and worry had been anticipated by the extremely experienced shamans.
Regarding the medicine, it’s extremely potent, and all of it is prepared, blessed and served by the shaman who holds the ceremony. These are very serious and competent people who puts alot of faith and love in their concoctions. This lets them run the ceremonies with complete confidence and understanding, and let them focus whole-heartedly on your specific journey.
Christine has created a haven for people who are serious about defining their life purpose, rid themselves of emotional bagage and heal their souls, and she’s present at all ceremonies, always have a smile and a listening ear available, and is a wonderful, down to earth person. I have nothing but love and admiration for this remarkable woman, and apart from my wish that everyone in the world should go through these ceremonies, I pray that you decide to try Gaia Sagrada first.
All you need to feel part of the group, is to have a healthy sense of respect for others. That’s it. What made me decide on Gaia Sagrada was the emphasis on personal responsibility, and the fact that it’s purpose is to heal the world, not make money, Therefore there are plenty of options available for those who hasn’t got a fat wallet. For example, you can do work, such as kitchen duty, prepare for ceremonies, gardening and cleaning to name a few, and in that way reduce your cost for the retreat.
My room at Tranquilo(one of the housing units in the complex) was a single person one, with nice furniture, mosquito net windows blankets, towels and next door to the toilets. There are tanks with filtrated drinking water positioned all over the area, the facilities gets cleaned daily and the food is made from scratch, worthy of a Michelin Star and perfectly synchronized with whatever ceremony you’re preparing for.
I can’t think of any reason why anyone would want to go anywhere else, and I personally emphasize that people should consider Gaia Sagrada as their firsthand choice, as I do that they should consider taking Ayahuasca.
Thank you for reading, thank you Christine, Salvador, Santiago, Paulina, Sophia, my co-participants and the work exchangers for greatly helping me become the best person I can be. Can’t wait until next time!
Warmest and sincerest blessings,
Gaia Sagrada and the work carried out by it’s visionary creator and wonderful (English speaking) Shamans surpassed all my expectations. If you are curious about exploring and expanding your own consciousness, then look no further than this magical retreat in beautiful Ecuador.
The entire experience was a revelation, and I couldn’t possibly recommend it enough to anyone seeking true personal growth in a safe and loving environment (where wisdom, integrity and professionalism was exercised by each and every one of the passionate souls involved throughout each step of an incredible journey).
My love and gratitude to Christine, Bruce, Santiago, Salvador, Paulina and Sofia (not to mention all you awesome work exchangers and my fellow 2016 Maybirds!!).
Gaia Sagrada is undoubtedly one of the most precious gifts ever to grace the face of God’s green Earth.
Whether or not you are looking for deep healing, wisdom of the ages, or a clear path of what to do next in your life, let this be the sanctuary of your unfoldment.
I was blessed in my two weeks’ stay to come across some of the most beautiful souls I have ever met. Christine is a true angel. Her mission and purpose are pure in intent and powerful in scope—let her gardens of peace nurture your heart.
All of the shamans, work exchangers and staff working for and with Gaia Sagrada are true gems of a higher order—their work is heavy and lighthearted at the same time. They are dancers, musicians and artists of the spirit realm. I am so humbled to have been blessed by their presence and company.
The Andes Mountains was the perfect location for my ayahuasca experience. Instead of dense, thick jungle, my spirit was able to soar through the landscape and across the rolling hills of Ecuador. I am so glad that I chose this retreat as my place of centering. Gaia Sagrada is a blessed community.
Additionally, the San Pedro experience has been a monumental supplement to my renewed heart consciousness—not often will you find a center such where more than a few plant medicines are offered as a tool to unlocking potential. I am so blessed to have engaged these medicines separately, together, as well as in the sweat lodge setting. Speaking of—the plant medicines are indeed strong and profound.
The amenities and food were all so wonderful—you could truly not have asked for more. If you are looking to do deep inner work and really go the extra mile in excavating your love and purpose in life…look no further!
Thank you, Gaia Sagrada!
Stayed Spring 2016, travelled solo.
The staff is friendly. The shamans, Salvador, Paulina, Santiago, and Sofia were all amazing. The fact that Salvador and Santiago speak English makes all the difference. Christine, who runs the place is full of love and advice. You definitely feel safe there. If you get a chance, go.
I have visited the retrait 14.-25. May 2016 and I am fully satisfied. From the beginning when I arrived in the retrait center when the people there gave me a hug, during the retrait with all the ceremonies and the day off’s and all the possibilities everyone had there (eating in the kitchen fruits and further food whenever we wanted to, relaxing and chilling on the very nice big place with a lot of beautiful nature, playing music, doing yoga or just enjoying to talk with the people there, till the last day when I left the retrait center, I always felt much much deeply love there, especially from Christine who built the retrait center and made all this possible. I am very happy about my experience and appreciate it so much, words cant describe it and I still did not tell every nice thing I experienced. There were too many!
Thank you Christine, thank you to the Shamans Salvador and Paulina + thank you Santiago! You all were so special and helpful and I definitifely recommend this retrait center to anyone who just want to relax in the nature or who wants to participate in Ayahuasca and San Pedro ceremonies with very experienced shamans and a lot of experienced helpers with the perfect environment. I also appreciate the great work of all the helpers there in the ceremonies and all other days you were there for us all!
I must say, firstly I was not sure and just found this retrait center trough http://www.ayaadvisors.org but now afterwards, I am so happy to have chosen the right retrait center with the right people and the right location.
I will remember my retreat at Gaia Sagrada as one of the pivotal turning points in my life. The insights I gained and the relationships I developed with others and with my inner self have durably enriched my sense of peace and joy in daily life.
The shamans are amazing, the medicines are truly potent, and the ceremonies were challenging in all the right ways, but the unique gift that Gaia Sagrada has to offer is the absolute serenity and comfort of the environment Christine has created on the mountainside. The staff, the facilities, and even the ground itself all seem to radiate peace and tranquility. Everything seemed to be perfectly attuned to maximize the power of the medicines and promote a perfect balance of reflection, healing, and interpersonal growth.
I look forward to returning regularly!
My two weeks at Gaia Sacrada were arguably two of the most challenging, inspiring and profound weeks of my life. The Shamans at the center (Salvador, Paulina, Sofia, Santiago and Cynthia) are absolutely incredible. They are experienced, kind, caring, talented, and enthusiastic to share their tradition with others. It’s clear that they have the best intentions for healing in mind at all times. I felt so safe, supported and encouraged by them. Christine, the owner of the center, is also an incredible woman. She has dedicated her life to the healing and consciousness training of others, and is so good at it! As a female staying at Gaia alone, I felt extremely safe and that I was treated with respect at all times. The center itself is beautiful, tucked away in the forest about a 45 minute drive from Cuenca. The facilities are modern, comfortable and clean. The food (almost entirely vegan) is awesome! I cannot recommend Gaia Sagrada highly enough!!
This place is truly wonderful. When stepping into the world of plant medicines and making a large investment (both time, money, and, most importantly, emotional and physical well-being) into getting the best experience possible, one cannot go wrong with Gaia Sagrada. In fact, I will say that is a massive understatement; I cannot think of a better location or group people that could do this any better than they do at Gaia Sagrada. Although the location is absolutely beautiful (mountain setting in Ecuador) with lots of green space and quite country side to explore, what really makes Gaia Sagrada special are the people that work there. The owner of the establishment, Chrinstine, shows her dedication to her work every day in the way she runs her retreat center and how she handles her staff and customers. The happiness in this place is overwhelming and I believe that is due to the safe and open atmosphere that has been created here. Christine really shines during the ceremonies where her natural intuition and compassion regarding the people she is healing comes to the forefront in an unprecedented way, in my experience. The Ceremonies themselves are evenly spaced apart for ample physical and emotional recovery time (this is a very good thing, the ceremonies can be very draining and the body/soul needs time to rest). They are run by excellent shamans who can communicate very well in English and are willing to share their knowledge and culture for the good of healing (this is truly a treat and blessing to be able to experience this type of setting as a foreigner and should not be taken lightly). The plant medicines are powerful, however the space created during the ceremonies are very safe and all of the participants are there to help each other. One of my favorite parts of this entire experience is the level of catering that is given by the staff. First off, the food is EXCELLENT; it is fresh cooked every day and never failed to disappoint (on the contrary, it was expertly made and there was plenty of it, also the fresh platters of tropical fruit after ceremonies are to out of this world (forgive the play on words)). The staff themselves are always friendly and will hug you and give you a smile whenever you need it. I think one of the things that stuck out most in my mind was that they are on duty during the Ayahuasca Ceremony to help participants walk to and from the bathrooms to insure no-one falls down ( the medicine makes you a bit wobbly on your feet). It is the little things like this that make Gaia Sagrada so great. They welcome you into the space with openness and love and I immediately felt like part of the big family they have created.
I could go on, but I will stop here. This place is truly magical in more ways than one and worth every penny, minute, and emotional investment spent. Cannot say enough good things about this place.
Peace and Love
I chose Gaia to try out plant medicines for the first time and couldn’t be happier. The 12 days are organizes perfectly and everything worked out good. Everything was beyond my expectations. The people you meet, and the experience was definitely life changing.
I had completed an Ayahuasca and San Pedro retreat near Iquitos, Peru one year ago (2015). My issues were depression and PTSD, and although I loved the experience, I did not feel the healing I had been hoping for. I had no idea what to expect from Gaia Sagrada. Basically I was blown away. There was a perfect balance between the two medicines.
The accommodation at Gaia was comfortable, although it being April, next time I would pack warmer clothing. My only complaint is that I was feeling cold most evenings! Should’ve brought more wooly socks! The food was vegetarian and ayahuasca friendly and was prepared with much thought and love. I think even the meat eaters were satisfied.
There was a lot to do. In Peru we spent our off time just melting in hammocks. At Gaia Sagrada you can opt to do the “karma yoga” chores: we washed dishes, weeded the flowers, cleaned up the ceremony Maloka, and painted. We seemed to chat a lot more to the other participants, but also had ample opportunity to be off by ourselves if we wished.
The ceremonies themselves cannot be described as they are different for each person and morph with each ceremony. In Peru I worked with a wonderful Shaman named Mani, but I did not have the option of connecting with him on a personal level – we were not really permitted access to speak with him outside of the ceremony and also he did not speak English and most of us did not speak Spanish. At Gaia Sagrada the Shamans speak English and are very approachable. If you choose to get a personal cleansing with Salvador, you will not be disappointed. He is one of the kindest, most gentle people I’ve ever met. He gives so much of himself to each participant. Santiago gives each person one on one time during the ceremonies and the insights that came forth were life changing. Christine and the Shamans that she has painstakingly searched out share their own life experiences freely. This helps you to see where the medicines can take you when you open up to them.
At Gaia Sagrada I felt my mental health issues lift off of me finally. They no longer felt like protection for me, and were no longer welcome. I feel healed from my most serious barriers to life.
Ultimately we heal ourselves. My advice? Speak during the group sessions after ceremony. Say things aloud that need saying. Then open your heart without pressure and the medicines will do their work. Be patient. Sometimes it seems like it’s “not working”. It is, the medicines know better than we do what we need. Go to Gaia Sagrada and let them look after you in a gentle way and then take what you learned home with you. They can be tough too. Sometimes we need that. But always with love!
I needed my experience in Peru in order to be open to what the teachers and healers had waiting for me at Gaia Sagrada. Going forward I will be recommending only Gaia to the people who are interested in this kind of awakening.
To Christine, Salvador and Santiago, to Paulina, Cynthia and Sophia, to Yogi, Shanti and Raja (the dogs), God bless each of you from the depths of my heart. Xoxox
The whole experience was amazing! great fun-loving staff, comfortable amenities, and profound spiritual experiences with the medicine! will definitely be recommending Gaia Sagrada to all my friends!
Gaia Sagrada is beautiful, peaceful, scenic retreat. Perfect spot to reset mind, soul and body accompanied by lovely, caring and supportive people.
Christine and all Shamans are ” wizards” with endless energy and love. Ceremonies are cleverly planned and scheduled in orded to maximize experience, learning and healing.
I highly recommend Gaia Sagrada as a place for your spiritual journey!
Gaia Sagrada is a world class retreat center. Without hesitation, I rate it five stars in every criteria. Christine and the Shamans are some of the world’s best with decades of experience working with plant medicines and metaphysical sciences.
Want to cure a dis-ease, end an addiction or become free from illness? Want a life-time of healing in 12 days? Come to Gaia Sagrada!
You won’t find a more safe, secure, loving and supporting environment to heal. Hands down, Gaia Sagrada is the best place to experience the plant teachers and learn of the ancient traditions which put the responsibility for our lives, health and thought processes back into the hands of the individual.
I’m eternally grateful to Gaia. It quite literally gave me my life back. I’ve been there for two retreats, and yes, I’m totally going back.
I felt well supported here, and had some incredible transformative experiences. The land and people are beautiful, and I made lots of friends- especially with the volunteers who were very loving and friendly, and sometimes absolutely hilarious. In the ceremonies I got answers and leads into virtually all of my questions that had been causing me tremendous anxiety before coming down here, and if I hadn’t felt so safe with the structure and the shamans at Gaia Sagrada, I don’t know if I would be so happy and feel so much lighter now that I’m back in the states. This place is very well set up, so there’s very little to worry about while you’re in the retreat, which frees up a lot of space to relax and meditate and process the changes you want to make in your life. I hope you find what you are looking for! Perhaps Gaia Sagrada is that place 🙂
Ok so, Gaia sagrada is a wonderful place that has been organized with the right ideals for combining the ayahuasca experience with a comfortable stay and more then adequate support. I went down there for a 2 week retreat and I am glad I chose this place. Everyone there is incredibly friendly, welcoming you with a hug from the moment you show up on the property. The shamans are available and introduce themselves to you, they enjoy talking with you and getting to know you. After all, it is their job to help you out and heal you.
Accommodations are quite nice and were more than I was expecting. Beds and rooms are comfortable and clean, The showers were large and nice with all the marble, plus plenty of hot water and good water pressure. There are many extra amenities around, such as hot tubs, saunas, volunteer given yoga and meditation classes. There are also sometimes people around to give paid massages, and many other people around (support staff and other retreat participants) to talk to and hang out with. There is also a TV with movies and netflix.
The food there is great. it is all vegetarian and although I am a regular meat eater, the food was filling and delicious and I didn’t find myself craving meat very much. Tons of fresh fruit and different meal choices at mealtimes. There are also options for snacks and other meals you can make on your own if you are hungry at off meal times. Coffee and teas are available as well. A great selection and some new foods I normally would not have tried.
The ceremonies were incredibly well ran, thought being given to every possible aspect. The moloka and ceremony space was comfortable and safe, there were support staff around to help you to the bathroom or provide care if necessary. The shamans were there to do work but they also kept the mood light at the right times and also made sure everybody was taken care of. The ayahuasca was strong and provided the perfect experience in which we had gone down there for. 🙂
I could talk for hours about this place but I will keep it short. It is definitely worth going to this place, it’s very comfortable which is important when doing an ayahuasca retreat, you will need time to integrate your experiences and talk about them with staff or other people who are undergoing it with you. I feel I could spend weeks there working with ayahuasca and working on things in my life and learning. My 2 week experience alone was a lifetime of information and healing. I just wish I could stay there forever. Christine, the organizer of Gaia Sagrada, is great, very wonderful person to be around and I just wanted to soak up everything she said. I could listen and learn from her for the rest of my life if I could!
Already I have been looking at my bank account and contemplating going back again. A+ experience, I am sad it has already come and gone, but glad for the experiences and knowledge I have brought back home with me.
Thank you so much!
Stayed February 2016
My time at Gaia has been more than transformative; it has been life changing. Christine, Santiago, Salvatore, Sofia and all the staff have been excellent. During that stay, a fellow kept on telling me “is this real?” There was no way of knowing what was the difference between the dream, the inner world and the outer world. It was just magical. The experience is not necessarily easy and always pleasant though, but that is the reality about Ayahuasca! After all, I would not have gone all the way to South America to “take it easy”… I felt that there was lots of depth with the organization and the Shamans, meaning that it was up to me to chose how deep I wanted to go down the rabbit hole. These guys were more than able to handle the depth I could reach, they are well trained. The schedule is perfectly balanced allowing just the right amount of rest between the sessions.
I developed a deep level of affection for all the participants. Initially, I thought we were too many, but as the days progressed, I gradually realized that each participant was a part of me and learning to accept their strength/weaknesses was just to learn to accept myself. I feel that I now have a new big family to support me in my daily life and that feels awesome. Of course, each individual must tap into their intuition to feel if that retreat center and if an Ayahuasca/San Pedro retreat is good for them. Gaia Sagrada was definitely the right choice for me. Many thanks to all involved.
For those who never did Ayahuasca, I recommend attending a 10 days Vipassana retreat before attending an Ayahuasca retreat. Vipassana is a tool to help handle adversity from an objective perspective. Had I not had that training before Ayahuasca, I would not have benefited from the experience as much. When Ayahuasca kicks in, man oh man you are in for a ride, so better be able to handle it from within. Santiago used to say: “Take only what you can handle”. If you are like me and like to push the limits, better be equipped with the right tools to handle that experience.
May we keep the dream going…
With all my love
I went to a 12 day retreat at Gaia Sagrada in July 2015 (this was my first experience with Ayahuasca and San Pedro). It was the most important experience of my life.
Medicine – The most crucial thing, in my opinion, is the respect that is given to the plant medicines at Gaia Sagrada. Everything stems from this. The place has a purpose and philosophy, and I recommend anyone considering it to invest the time in reading through their website. It also helps that they don?t limit how much medicine one can drink during the ceremonies; you don?t want that constraint when on a transformational journey.
Shamans – The shamans at Gaia are incredible! Their expertise and care sets them apart. They are gentle when possible and strong for you when needed. At the end, you will just look at them and experience gratitude that goes beyond words. They are wise and share their wisdom in an accessible way. For a non-Spanish speaker, it was important for me that they spoke English so I could communicate with them without any language barriers. The combination of Christine and the South American shamans makes for a unique and wonderful experience.
Ceremonies – The ceremonies are absolutely beautiful. There is so much meaning to every act, and as the plant medicines open you to learning, you start understanding why things are done the way they are. The most beautiful images I remember from my time at Gaia are from the ceremonies – peering out at the gorgeous night from inside the sweat lodge, food laid out in front of the fire at the end of a San Pedro ceremony, the shamans singing by the fire, etc. Even when the medicine was giving me a hard time, the beauty of the ceremonies would give me faith and strength to push through. Also, I don?t think the sweat lodge ceremony is available in most other retreats. For me personally, this was the game-changer. I now divide my life as Before-Sweatlodge and After-Sweatlodge.
Safety – I remember being scared right up to the time I arrived at Gaia Sagrada, and after that it was just apprehension and not fear. This is because I truly believe that our safety and wellbeing is a primary concern at Gaia Sagrada; we are being looked after in ways we don’t even know of. I cannot stress how important this is. With these plant medicines, most of us are participating in something that is far beyond our understanding. You better trust the people who are taking you on this journey with your life. And this level of safety let me focus on my healing rather than worry about things.
Community – The work exchangers, who pretty much run the place, are the most wonderful bunch of human beings I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. Just thinking about them now is filling my heart. I felt so loved and cared for because of them. I never for an instant felt alone in the journey I was undertaking. The first couple of ceremonies were pretty harsh for me, and several of the work exchangers took time out from their busy days to sit and talk to me, help me understand, share their own experiences. This made all the difference in the world. I learnt so much by talking to them, working with them, and just plain being in their presence. Christine puts a lot of thought into who are the people she brings into the center to support us. The work exchangers have walked a variety of paths and have a lot of wisdom to share. These people are my role models in love and empathy. I spent so much time talking and laughing with them, and those moments will always remain precious to me. They are my friends now, and I think of them every single day.
Facilities – Before I got to Gaia Sagrada, I didn’t give much importance to the living conditions, thinking – “I’ve lived rough before, comfort is not important to me during this retreat”. Boy was I wrong. Because of the challenges you are putting yourself through, facilities and comfort become extremely important! A good night’s rest will help you make the most of the ceremony the next day. An extra couple of blanket will help you focus on learning rather than the cold. Time in the hot tub after a ceremony will help you make sense of the things you are discovering. The retreat is located in a massive, breath-taking estate, with beautiful trees everywhere you look. Being in such a place after a ceremony is like a lesson in being able to see the beauty that constantly surrounds us.
Fellow retreaters – The bond that is formed by undertaking this journey together is very special, and a sense of family is quickly formed among the retreaters. It is important that everyone feels comfortable sharing their deepest thoughts, things that remain bottled-up in the real world. And Gaia Sagrada has a special quality that attracts like-minded individuals who love and support one another. All my fellow retreaters are my family now, and I continue to share my experience with them even after the retreat.
Finances – I personally feel that the cost of the retreat is small when compared to all that is gained from it, and how good the facilities and ceremonies are. Furthermore, I feel so positive that my hard-earned money went to furthering such a wonderful vision that Gaia Sagrada has.
Healing/Transformation – At the end of the day, this is the purpose for Gaia Sagrada?s existence – to help people heal or transform. Everything is oriented around maximizing this – the schedule, the ceremonies, the facilities, the entire estate. You get as much out of the 12 days as is possible. And this should be the only reason one should go to a retreat – to heal or transform (I would just use the word heal, but looking back, I don?t think I would?ve understood it before experiencing the ceremonies).
Advice for first-timers – This was the most challenging experience of my life. It was incredibly difficult at times – mentally, emotionally, physically. But the reward was 1000 times greater than the challenge. So go in knowing that it will demand every ounce of strength you have. Take the time to make sure that you are ready. I spent a whole day meditating over this decision and finally came to the answer as yes. Two years ago, I wouldn?t have been ready. Once there, pay attention to what the shamans and Christine say, they have such a deep understanding of these medicines. And remember that what you get from the experience is in proportion to what you put into it. While I was there, my entire focus was on learning and healing, and I am a better human being for it.
I will be going back to Gaia Sagrada as often as once every year after this. I was blessed enough to find this incredible place in my very first exposure to plant medicine, and I can?t imagine a better environment to heal in. Gaia Sagrada has the same place in my heart as the home I grew up in. Crazy how life-changing 12 days can be.
I went on the February 2015 retreat. This was a great experience & recommendable to anyone who may be interested. The people are really friendly & the lodgings were comfortable. The scenery alone is worth the price.
I had such an amazing time at Gaia. Everyone i met was so great. Going through these ceremonies changed everything for me. Before this i had been struggling with so many issues, being able to work through it all brought so much joy to my life. I will always remember my time at Gaia.
my husband and I are on a one year “time out” this year and started with a 4 month trip traveling in South America to learn Spanish. We have heard about Ayahuasca before and always wanted to try. Originally we were planning to do it in the Amazon but somehow we were not convinced about places we read and it didn’t work out until I found Gaia on the internet. That was totally more what I was looking for: instead of heat and mosquitoes – nature and peace in the Andes PLUS we could not only experience Aya but San Pedro too. While reading about it I knew that was the right choice to book and we got in contact with Gaia. Already by e-mail contact we felt welcome. As I am claustrophobic I wasn’t sure if sleeping in a dorm would work for me but everything was handled and worked out the way it should. I don’t want to get in too much detail about my own personal experience with the plants because I think that it works different for everyone and there is always a different journey and story behind it but rest assured that you are always guided and save at all times. The Shamans are just amazing, so is Christine and everyone else at Gaia I met. I would not say that all me fears and else are totally gone just by joining this retreat but I can definitely say that it helped in many ways and to see things differently. It’s a journey worthwhile taking but most of all it’s the people at Gaia who make this trip unforgettable for me. Keep on doing what you are doing! Have a good day – have a good life 🙂
I went to Gaia Sagrada not really knowing what to expect of the place, or of plant medicines?
As it turned out, I absolutely LOVED the place, the people, the medicines, and the ceremonies, so much so that I ended up changing my flights staying for TWO retreats? During this time, I had experiences of almost indescribable beauty, the likes of which I have never even CLOSE to experiencing before…
Gaia Sagrada exceeded my expectations in every way. I found the place incredibly nurturing and rejuvenating. Christine, Bruce, and all the staff and volunteers were just lovely, and the place had a great atmosphere! All of the Sharmans (Salvador, Santiago, Paulina, Sophia, and Cynthia) were wonderful. The ceremonies were powerful and life-changing.
I witnessed more than 40 people go through the retreat process. Almost all of them made significant changes in this time, leaving much more confident and happy than when they arrived. Almost all also reported that the retreat had exceeded their expectations. (Warning: The exception seemed to be non-initiating spouses? 🙂 )
The process is definitely CHALLENGING? Plant medicines are no ‘walk in the park’, but the retreats are structured in such a way that the groups bond very quickly, which means that everyone has a lot of SUPPORT in the process. And everything is there to support the process: beautiful surroundings, comfortable beds, great food, hot tubs, hammocks, yoga sessions, cosy fires, beautiful gardens and wonderful company.
If you are curious about plant medicines, have issues you want to sort, or just want to add some extra sparkle and pizzaz to your life, I highly recommend checking it out!!
Gaia Sagrada is still a relatively new/young retreat. It is lovely to ponder the great FUTURE it has ahead of it, and how much positive change it will generate in the World!!
I arrived at Gaia Sagrada in support of my husband with high hope for the healing he desired. I departed feeling blessed and grateful for my own experience. My skepticism and fear about using plant medicines is gone. During the ceremonies, my heart opened and I literally awoke with a new level of consciousness about who I am in the world and the healing and reconciliation I’m meant to bring about in the world (most importantly my own, of course). My awakening has continued beyond belief since returning home four months ago. My life continues to shift dramatically.
The location is beautiful and comfortable. I appreciated the healthful meals designed to optimize our interaction with the plant medicines. Christine, Bruce and the staff were most helpful and “in service” at the highest level. I highly recommend Gaia Sagrada as the retreat center of choice.
When i was first was looking for an Ayahuasca retreat i discovered Ayaadvisor and the comments that i read from Gaia were more than inspiring for me. Knowing that Ecuador is the only south american country that regulates the “Shaman” title and understanding that this center obliges the shamans to brew only the purest form of these plant medecines; all of the above made me go for Gaia Sagrada (july 2015).
Life rarely gives you more than you expect. Gaia Sagrada did it for me, big time !
The facilities at Gaia are almost club-med like. You can expect comfort, the beauty & peacefullness of the surroundings and a most wonderFULL community working together in making your stay a most life-evolving one. You rapidly feel like adopting this new home as you choose (or not) to contribute to the workings of this jovial community, getting to collaborate with the work-exchangers and the few members of the regular staff in a very open minded and spontaneously collaborative way, wich makes this stay an inward and outward rooting one.
As for the 5 ceremonies that you go through; Ayahuasca (2) & San Pedro (2) experiences (+1 with both medecines), they are leaded by Christine (the founder & aspiring shamana) and 2 shaman’s (Salvator and Santiago). They bring these experiences to the level that you decide to work at. Their wisdom is very precious since facing Ayahuasca (or San Pedro) is no cup of tea ! The shamans well embodied wisdom ideally dispose you to psychologically and spiritualy take fully advantage of these plant medecines.
I preferred the following peacefullness that Ayahuasca brought me. San Pedro is a more uplifting cactus plant, based on mescaline. I chose not to do the last (San Pedro) ceremony since the Ayahuasca after effect is EXACTLY was i was looking for in my life. I am now rooting it’s virtues in my day to day life after coming back home. Seems for the moment like this brain rewiring experience will make ALL the difference for reinvesting my life in a way that will freshly open doors instead of keeping on closing them like i was previously doing with my life…
More than an experience, Gaia Sagrada & Ayahuasca exactly brought to my life what i needed. I have been working a lot on myself for the past years, but Ayahuasca’s virtues *emotionaly glued* all the work i have been doing (psychotherapy and other types), wich makes ALL the difference in the world when you want to fully reinvest your life, reconciling your emotional blind spots in a way that you have always hoped for, so you can finally be the change you want to see in the world. . .
Preparing for this experience is essential if you want to fully benefit from it. I respected the diet for a month before going there, meditated A LOT on my intentions, and i know (compared to others that did not) that i went further down my “rabbit hole”. I am know benefiting from it, in a durable and rooting way it seem’s, specially relationship wise.
If you want to have a better understanding of the workings of Ayahuasca, absolutely check out this documentary ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=4DTEGrB5_ZE&app=desktop
Eternally grateFULL, thanks Gaia ! ! X X X X X
Gaia Sagrada became a second home almost immediately! It’s an impeccable location to allow oneself to heal, grow, and simply explore.
It is a well established retreat center with great housing, a delicious variety of food dishes, and a lot of chilled places where one can meditate and reflect upon their enriched journeys.
The lovely and stellar people one potentially comes across in this place is indescribable, they just open up new worlds and perceptions. My own group was amazing and insightful upon their 12-day retreat–I learned a lot about them and myself in between several shared moments we had. At Gaia no one is their to judge and everyone is there to be open and vulnerable which brought the best nature in us all!
I cannot say enough about the ridiculously awesome staff and work ex-changers I’ve encounter at Gaia; They correspond great with everyone that comes across the gates of the property. The love, support, and stories they imbue on a daily basis are incomparable to anywhere else.
One can be assured that all ceremonies throughout the retreat are safe, with the rock star shamans providing you with guidance through it all, and the work ex- changers always looking after your level of comfort and well-being.
I found out many unconventional truths and resolutions from things that used to be unfathomable for me. And I can’t say or express enough to thank you all–the lovely people in this small piece of paradise that call it home. Regardless, thank you Christine and Bruce for welcoming me into your marvelous home, I appreciate the time and patience you guys and your staff have given to the people. I’ll definitely be going back in the near future!
Best wishes to all, Robert.
When I was looking for an Ayahuasca retreat center, I came across this one, and it sounded great (the hot tubs in particular), but I wasn’t sure if I’d be losing any sense of authenticity by coming here instead of some place in the Amazon jungle in Peru.
After seeing many, many different stories and documentaries about peoples’ various Ayahusca experiences, I realized that bugs are large part of being in the middle of a jungle, and at least for me, I didn’t want that distracting me.
Now, after having been to Gaia Sagrada earlier this year (2015), I can tell you that it is certainly 100% authentic. My life was forever changed for the better there, and for that, I’ll be eternally grateful. The work that Christine, the co-owner of the center, is doing there with the Shamans on her team and an ever-changing staff of the highest caliber of salt-of-the-Earth people is almost beyond words.
SO many people are being transformed there, myself included, and when you’re there for any significant amount of time, the energy in the air is just palpable! The staff are all friendly and helpful (they enjoy what they do and actually want to be there vs. just being at a job), and the shamans are extremely wise but yet kind and down-to-Earth. They welcome you with open arms and treat you as a member of the family.
The first shaman I met was Salvador, in my shamanic cleansing (which is well worth the extra $25 or so), and from the moment I stepped foot in the door, his warm, beaming smile and kind, gentle spirit put my mind at ease.
Being nestled in the Ecuadorian Andes makes for one of the most breathtakingly beautiful backdrops you could ever wish for. It’s the stuff movies are made of! And the view of the night sky will absolutely take your breath away. I tend to forget how many stars are hidden from view when you’re in the city, but when you’re here and you look up and see the universe in front of your eyes, it’s just spellbinding.
In all fairness though, I should point out that this isn’t glamping either. It’s not intended to be a vacation, but rather a soul searching journey that won’t be all rainbows and sunshine. There’s plenty of that too though, believe you me! When your spirit is free of the shackles that are weighing you down, you will feel like dancing, and you’ll probably be smiling so much that your cheeks get sore (seriously!).
When I first arrived, I was torn to shreds inside for reasons too lengthy to get into here, but when I left, not only did I feel genuinely whole again, I also had a whole new perspective on my life. More importantly, it wasn’t just something that was given to me. No one waved a wand and *poof* I was better. It took openness, a suspension of skepticism, much pondering and soul searching, sharing of painful thoughts and experiences with others (which helped us form what I believe are lifelong bonds), and both mentally and physically turbulent work during the ceremonies.
I was truly pushed to my limits at times, but what I got out of it mere words fail to accurately describe.
I never expected that my fellow travelers would play such a HUGE role in my/our recovery either. They and the staff at Gaia Sagrada have become like a second family to me, and I don’t say that lightly. Each and every person there contributed in their own way to my experience, and if there’s one piece of advice I can offer you, it’s to socialize while you’re there, especially if you’re really struggling. Everyone else there will be struggling with their own demons, and I can guarantee you that you will glean from each others’ own perspectives throughout the experience, and everyone will be better off for it.
After the experiences I had, which include seeing my fellow travellers’ lives change right in front of my eyes as I was experiencing my own transformations, I want more of that. I mean that’s just the good stuff that life is made of! I feel like when I was there, I had returned to a place in my soul that just felt so right that I’ve decided to return in just about a month now to participate in the work exchange program there.
The idea that I can meet even more amazing people from all around the world is incentive enough in itself, but to also be able to play some small, supporting role in their own healing and to watch their lives transform as mine did, is enough for me to know that this will be one of the most rewarding chapters of my life.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking to make your own journey, and I welcome you to join us. All you have to do is come with an open mind, be yourself, and be ready to confront your demons. With the boundless love and guidance of the amazing people here, if you put in the effort, you will be successful, and your life will forever be better off for it.
I look forward seeing you there.
P.S. I’ll be at Gaia Sagrada starting mid-September of 2015, so if you’re ready to join us, please feel free to reach out to me and let me know if I can help answer any questions you may have. I’ll be more than happy to share my own experiences, and I’d love to hear your story and get to know you better too.
This was one of the most transformative experiences of my life. I cannot express the gratitude that I feel for the existence of the place. I went in knowing that I wanted to address somethings in my life that I didn’t think I had the capacity to deal with on my own. With the help and support of everyone there, I not only was able to deal with the things I wanted to address, but was able to move beyond my specific issue to deal with all the junk in my life that led me to that point. What an unexpectedly wonderful experience. Thank you Gaia!
This is a wonderful working retreat.
The People are very friendly and personal.
The accommodations are very good.
The food is abundant and great.
The grounds are beautiful.
The ceremonies are powerful and transformational.
The land is sacred and the shaman’s are genuine and powerful.
It is a great way to improve your spiritual life in the company of other
like minded individuals.
Please go if you want to support yourself and the planet.
Gaia Sagrada is the most amazing healing experience that allows you to learn to trust and know yourself and your spirit in the most important and safest possible way. I believe it is the most powerful and authentic way to clean yourself not just physically but spiritually as well. Gaia Sagrada provides a beautiful environment with a team of professional and evolved souls who help bring about profound and lasting change that support you and everyone who has the privilege to stay at this very special retreat that I am looking forward to return to and have no hesitation in recommending to anyone who is ready to walk their truth thank you Christine, Bruce the wonderful helpful staff and the Shamans who are of the highest order gracias Dani & Steve ??
I have been interested to plant medicines and have been wanting to explore them for a while now. I couldn’t imagine any better place than Gaia Sagrada for this. The teachings I obtained from the medicines, the shamans, Christine, and the others in my group were life changing. Viewing the world, my life, and those around me in a whole different light. Gaia is truly a place for healing and awakening. I have nothing but the upmost respect for everyone who came together to make Gaia possible. I really believe that everybody…whatever age, gender, race, religious view etc would benefit from participating in this retreat. This is a place to really evolve and elevate human consciousness. Ive truly learned more about Love, connectedness, and appreciation. Gaia is placed in the most beautiful setting. Surrounded by nature it the mountains. absolutely blissful. The staff who were there are amazing people with pure hearts. I can honestly say that everyone who attended Gaia with me are my soul family and they will hold a special place in the heart forever. I cant recommend this place enough. I am just so grateful to have been able to experience Gaia and plant medicines with the most amazing people I have ever met.
Love and Light all xo
A new dawn and a new day. Birds are singing here, every moment is alive and the people are enriched with newfound vitality. Oh how it feels to be alive and well. A year ago, I was called to take ayahuasca as I felt I wasn’t fully living my life to my upmost potential. I have been holding to some grievance due to a tragic passing away of a very dear one and many unfortunate events that have occurred in my life. Although I am quite a happy person, there has been a heaviness I have been carrying on my shoulders and a tender sadness deep in my heart. Since coming here, I was able to accept myself and the circumstances and I began to release the suffering I have been holding on to for so many years. I feel empowered to move forward with my goals and to take steps towards my true calling.
The Shamans are absolutely amazing and are true light workers and Christine is always along side with us in every ceremony. She is a true blessing, her aura is open and loving and she holds profound wisdom. I am also grateful for the opportunity to be able to stay on and do a work exchange for another retreat. Once a participant and later a work exchanger, I watched these new arrivals become closer and undergo their sometimes difficult transformations. I am honoured to be able to assist and I am truly humbled by the whole experience. The food is made with love, the facilities are more than comfortable and the surroundings are so tranquil. I miss Gaia Sagrada and the people there. I am hoping on returning some time in the future. Much love and many blessings to Gaia and her great team!
Ask yourself this question,What is your Purpose??? At Gaia Sagrada this question is going to be poised to you many times…. Are you looking for purpose in your life? Well, let me save you some time. I researched what seemed to be all Shamanic centers, and Gaia is the one that kept coming back to me. I am so happy I picked (or maybe it picked me) this place. Christine is an amazing soul,with such passion for the center she has spent tiredly creating and continuing to work on. I arrived there, and from the very first moment knew I had chosen the right place, the staff greeted me with hugs and huge smiles. Her partner Bruce is also a kind and very generous man, as I had an old injury swell up, and he made sure to check in on me, and help with some natural treatments that worked! The facilities are Un matched to anything else i have seen. You want a hot shower after a long amazing ceremony, they have it, you need to send a email, they have wifi, you need a cab with a driver, they will call it, most importantly, you want a shaman who speaks english, and will talk with you, they have the best. The shamans and shamanas here are the best, the put on the most amazing ceremonies, and talk to you before hand about anything you wish. They stay the entire time, and even after they were there to help process anything you needed. I believe they set the bar so high, that it would be hard to top. Gaia offers both ayahuasca, (the grandmother medicine) and San Pedro (the grandfather medicine) I believe this is perfect, as you get both sides, and Shamans who are very experienced in their work with these medicines.You will make friends from around the world for life. If you are on the cuff about going to S. America to experience plant medicines, or cant choose, I say book with Gaia now, as Christine’s center is the best and I cant wait to get back, shoot you might never want to leave…
Much love to Christine,Bruce Salvador,Santiago,Sofia,Paulina,and all the staff at Gaia Sagrada!
I did a lot of research before picking Gaia. My expectations were exceeded in every way possibleI and I was gifted so many incredible lessons. The larger group of 24 was so powerful in ceremony especially with such skilled shamans guiding the way.
Medicine for the people
Inspired by Nahko and Medicine for the people
You see here we are once again. You took off into deep space in search of truth and light. You believed you were taking a trip. Instead that trip took you on a ride that you would of never expected. Creating connections between things that were once unimaginable. Opening your mind to the truths that had laid right front of you awaiting discovery. Now with eyes wide, full of the ecstasy of discovery your find yourself far away from home and alone. You quickly realize the importance of what you have learned at the exact moment it all starts to fade with a sudden pull back to reality.
You quickly without hesitation grab ahold of your new found treasures and use everything you have learned to protect them from the darkness. With the hope of returning whence you came to share the your riches with the ones you left behind. To tamper with such things is to spoil them and to grasp them is to lose them. Nonetheless now more than ever you realize that there is much work to be done. You revert to the mind of the traveler channel this new found power in order to plot your path back home. Knowing from previous journeys that it is not the path that is important but rather the act of plotting ones own way that holds value. So you take the plunge back into the abyss. Holding your values close hoping they will guide in your search of the safety and comforts of home. Right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot , step by step. Never looking back to the moments that no longer exist. This journey is long and dangerous through a place of doubt and confusions. Where lines are blurred beyond recognition. With bit of patience and more than a little luck you will find your home. Only to discover that reentry is the son of a bitch.
The final act in this story is one of complete self destruction and rebirth. So with no way back and discontent with standing still you take the leap of faith yet again. At first the gravity of your decision is weak and unclear. As you get closer you will build speed and the pull will begin to show its hidden strength. Without a doubt you will hit turbulence and temperatures will rise. At this point focus is the key to staying in the moment. Reacting to the destruction will prove fatal. This is a time for action and trusting that your heart will guide you home. So you grit your teeth and hold on as if your life depended on it. Everything you have learnt, everything that your have worked for and held dear from your travels is torn away. It will burn you deep down to your core. If you can managed to let go of your treasures instead of being burnt up with them as they are ripped away you will find yourself back home safe and sound. Scarred beyond recognition from what you were before you left. These new markings once healed will provide you with strength for the future. After completing this cycle and standing at the point whence you came. You finally have a chance to look back and realize that you have changed, that you are different than before. The truth and light that you were seeking was always there clear as day but you were blind and that all this is simply a reflection of a moment in time.
Life changing experience. This is a huge facility that has pretty much everything to make your stay a great one. The staff and shamans are very friendly and really care about making your experience a positive one. The food, hot showers, access to tech, and vast scenery are all things that help to take the experience to the next level. Gaia surely has something for everyone and will be a solid transformative experience for most.
I had a fantastic time at Gaia Sagrada. Super friendly staff, lovely food and set at a amazing location up in the Andes. The shamans had so much love and wisdom to share, the ceremonies were beautiful and life transforming. The hosts Christine and Bruce are very welcoming and loving people.
This is an amazing place to come. My intention was to heal and get away and I’ve done more than that. Made some great friends including the staff who are very supportive and caring. Christine who runs the ceremonies is very knowedegebale and knows whats she’s doing. This place has everything you need. I got a little sick and they did everything they could to get me 100%. I highly recommend this place in the magical Andes mountains.
Gaia Sagrada is definitely a special place. I was initially a bit apprehensive because it was a very different set up to the retreat I had done previously, however I was pleasantly surprised. The facilities are amazing and you really are looked after. I feel that having both ayahuasca and san pedro ceremonies adds a totally amazing aspect to the retreat. All the Shamans were amazing in their own unique way. It was also great that they spoke English and you could actually have proper conversations with them. The experiences I had at Gai Sagrada have changed my life, I have been moved in such a profound and humble way, I am still in awe. I would highly recommend Gaia Sagrada to anyone that needs to be healed or that wants to expand their consciousness, you’ll be amazed what is possible with these sacred medicines
Gaia is an amazingly spiritual place. Love flows through the fresh flowers, the staff, the volunteers, the shaman, the food, EVERYTHING! Here I learned how to love everyone – most importantly, I learned how to love myself in all of my imperfections. I came to realize that I am connected to and a part of something greater than I could have imagined. Christine is an amazing healer and spiritual director and I am so grateful that she followed her dreams to make this place a reality. After attending the retreat, I knew I had to be a part of it so I am choosing to stay for a couple more retreats as a volunteer so that I can be a part of the healing. The facilities are also very nice – probably some of the best I have seen in South America. You really can’t beat the price here either. I would encourage anyone that is seeking relief from suffering, direction in their lives, or greater spiritual connection to attend a retreat here. I received all of these things in just 12 days! You can have it!
Wow all I can say is that Gaia Sagrada far exceed my expectations. the facilities and the staff are top shelf and wonderful the Shamans are simply amazing and beautiful people. Christine has done an exceptional job and is an amazing host and very gifted. The medicine does things that go far beyond what the mind can understand and provides both physical and spiritual healing. If you are thinking about a Aya retreat this is the one! Thank You
I was a volunteer at Gaia for just under 2 months and could have stayed forever. I was able to participate in several ceremonies during my time at Gaia that were life changing; 3 aya, 1 San Pedro, 1 sweat lodge, and 1 fire keeper position for the sweat lodge. I was also lucky enough to get to know 3 retreats worth of guests and watch their amazing transformations take place, as well as my own. I cannot say enough great things about Christine and her center. The food was top notch, the beds and sheets were so comfy (much appreciated after 3 months of backpacking), the grounds are breath taking and all of my coworkers were so helpful and friendly. I highly recommend Gaia to anyone who is seeking medicine and hope to return with some family members of my own in the future! Thank you Christine, Salvador, Paulina, Santiago, Sofia, and so many others for providing me with such a transformative family style experience.
What can I say about a place and experience that is beyond words? Let’s start with the setting. This place is on a mountain top in the Andes Mountains. There were no mosquitos and the temperature was very pleasant. The view was absolutely breath taking! The facilities are first rate…very new and modern. I was very comfortable and had incredible sleep. Now onto the hear of the place – Christine, the Shamans and the Staff. These people REALLY walk the path! This is serious work for them and you can feel their dedication and hearts reaching out to you during each ceremony. Christine alone is a force of love. She has a gift to know exactly what to say to you to encourage the best outcome for you. The Shamans are FOR REAL spiritual leaders. These people are connected to God and their abilities/skills are clearly evident. I was continually amazed at each ceremony by these people and their dedication to this calling. Their pure love for each person and mother earth was inspiring. And then, there’s the Staff – from Carol’s magical cooking and beautiful smile to all of the others who took such great care of us during the entire adventure. This was such a wonderful experience. I highly recommend this place to anyone considering an advancement in consciousness. Peace & Love, Michelle M.
When I was looking for the exact right place for my ayahuasca experience, I knew that I’d found it the moment I landed, what seemed “accidnetally” on the site. Gaia Sagrada is unique. Located in the Andes mountains, it’s incredibly clean and beautiful. The Shamans are wonderful and loving beings, both male and female and, they speak English. In addition to the Shamans, we have the very warm, loving and shamanic Christine, who is responsible for bringing this magical place into existence. Somehow, she brings it all together and manages not only to oversee the retreat and all that it entails but is also able to be there, open and available, for everyone. This woman has more love in her heart than I’ve encountered in a long, long time. Just writing this makes me want to jump on a plane and return. Add to this the most amazing volunteers imaginable (you know who you are, but I have to thank Patrice, Carol, Allie, Sami, Andy, Sylvia, Danielle…and more) and you have the perfect recipe for a wonderful and rich experience.
I also thank and fully appreciate my new family of co-Retreaters, all of whom I love beyond what a normal two weeks would allow. Bottom line, it was perfect, and I will be back.
You will love your experience here! It is exquisitely beautiful, safe, and all that they say it is! The people are kind, helpful and become better-than-family very quickly! The food is plentiful and nourishing! You will be so glad you chose this center to experience your dream journeying! The Shamans, male and female, are well trained and genuine in having done so much of their own work. They are perfect guides to take you on your own transformational journey! And if you take some extra time to experience the rest of Ecuador as well, you may not ever want to go home!
This place is amazing, and Christine and the shamans are amazing. Personally, I didn’t get a whole lot from the San Pedro ceremonies, but I’m glad I got the opportunity to try, and many other people did benefit from them. The Ayahuasca on the other hand–wow! I really enjoyed the sweat lodge as well. Ayahuasca gives you the most bang for your buck time wise in terms of healing of anything I have tried, which is a lot of things (I have had a dedicated yoga practice for the past six years). This place is authentic while still providing enough luxury to keep comfortable.
I honestly don’t think I can do justice to Gaiasegrada with words, but I’ll try. It was the most beautiful and enlightening experience of my life. Absolutely everything was completely spot on. The staff and volunteers were legends, the food was brilliant, the ceremonies and shamans were beyond words, the location was stunning, the facilities were great and the experience was life changing. A place so full of love and beauty you can’t possibly imagine it before you’ve experienced it or explain it once you have.
This is the place to be if u are ready to experience ayahuasca. Everyone in the retreat is helpful, caring and genuine. Shamans are amazing. And you don’t have to worry about Mosquitos. Cuenca is a beautiful and charming city. Ecuardirians are friendly. Go to Gaia. U won’t regret it.
Copying and pasting my review from Trip Advisor, there are pictures there too: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294309-d6160601-r268938311-Gaia_Sagrada_Eco_Lodge_Retreat_Center-Cuenca_Azuay_Province.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT
You’re probably reading a lot of testimonials and stories of peoples experiences, and yes, most of them sound too good to be true. But please let me assure you that these are not fairy tales. THIS. STUFF. WORKS. I’ve been on a life long journey to tackle my depression and for once in my WHOLE life I feel like I can really see the light and am understanding just how lucky I am to be alive… GAIA SAGRADA is the place to go!!! It took me and my parents literally, MONTHS to find this place simply because no other place spoke to us like this one. Gaia Sagrada is certainly a place like NO other. For the price to quality of stay ratio, this place definitely beats the rest. By far.
I’ve added a good number of photos so you can SEE for YOURSELF the quality of the place! This can and will be the best trip of your life. I personally guarantee it.
–A world traveler.
My experience at Gaia was absolutely life changing. What I found there was beyond my expectations and everything I needed in my spiritual journey. I am forever grateful for the angels on earth who facilitate healing and cleansing at Gaia. Kindness, love, service, and genuine care is abound among the participants and the staff. The shamans and shamanas are incredible. And the work that Christine is doing is heaven sent. I now walk trusting spirit and giving thanks every day for this wonderful life. Mitakuye oyasin.
This place is such a blessing and I feel fortunate to have been able to spend time at Gaia Sagrada. A month ago, I found out that my father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Seeking a healing and safe environment for him, I decided to research ayahuasca healing centers and found Gaia. I am not new to the experience with psychedelics and have been to a Peru retreat center a few years ago. Both environments were incredible, but my father and I’s experience at Gaia stood out because of the variety of ceremonies that they provide with both San Pedro and Ayahuasca. Their shamans are very good people full of light and love. Christine (The owner) is such a beautiful soul that you can tell really cares about the participants in every single one of her retreats. The amount of love and support my father and i received during a 12 day retreat was incredible. I would recommend this place to anyone that has a desire to search within.
What to say more than what was already said before. The previous reviews helped me to choose Gaia Sagrada in Ecuador as for my first attempt of Ayahuasca and san Pedro in April 2015. I can confirm everything that it is said for this retreat and beyong, as the place, the staff, the shamans and the medecines are all very helpful.
I had a very good experience during those 2 weeks and met a second family with all the other persons there with me. As you probably noticed i’m not an english person, and everything is in english in this retreat (less all the songs of the shamans that are in spanish or queshua), so if you don’t speak english or spanish, then it can be tricky but I’m sure that communication will not be a problem at the end.
All the best for the future of this place as it is an oasis for persons searching answers (and even good vegeterian food !!! lol).
Are you ready to embrace life with joy, gratitude, and new awareness? Are you ready to see yourself as a sacred being, worthy of love and respect? Are you ready to honor yourself and others, forgive self and others, accept healing for self and others? If this resonates with you, then Gaia Sagrada is the place to be. This retreat center offers all who enter its gates an opportunity to grow in consciousness, to expand awareness, and to greet new levels of Self and Spirit. With gentleness and integrity, Gaia Sagrada will cradle you as you give birth to your new self– a being full of innocence and grace! I am deeply grateful to the shamans, the staff, and the land for making this retreat possible and for bringing sacred healing both to me and to the world.
I have just been on the April retreat, and wow what a beautiful, amazing experience. I will take this with me for the rest of my life. Firstly, it is such a caring environment, and I felt so cared for by Christine and all the staff. It was my first experience of shamans, and I thought they were amazing, so knowledgeable and wise, and I put my trust in them immediately.
Gaia is located in such an amazing area with great views and walks to go on. We were given such amazing healthy food that was cooked for us, there was plenty of choice and it didn’t seem that I was on an ayahuasca diet!! Also the group I was with were such amazing people, all there for the same thing and we became very tight and supportive of each other.
The conditions at Gaia Sagrada are very comfortable, you can have a private room or dorm which is clean. They even have guitars! Now the medicine……this was my first experience but wow!! It was very strong, but I always felt very safe and woke up after feeling really good. I have learnt so much from my experience and have been given so many life lessons in such a short length of time. Thank you so much Gaia!!!!!!!!
My Wife and I, we took part in the 2015 April 4 – 15 Retreat. Arrived one day early and stayed one extra day after the retreat. We had enough time to get to know the place and we could have enough rest after the very intense program of the retreat. The last San Pedro ceremony was a beautiful but exhausting event which went on for the whole day, so leaving right the next morning would have been a bit challenging. So if you can, stay an extra day (or two). You won’t be alone. The volunteers and about half of the retreaters will stay there longer. And it is not just for the rest. The place is so breathtakingly beautiful, you will be glad to make that extra walk around the property, before forcing yourself to leave this paradise behind. Please be aware, that many of the participants decide not to leave at all. They stay on as volunteers and I can fully understand why. So keeping a little bit of extra money for this kind of “emergency love affair with Nature” is advised.
We stayed in the upper level apartment which has its own washroom and a shared shower with the lover apartment. If you have trouble falling asleep among a group of happy folks, anxious to talk the whole night over about all that magic happening in real time, then the apartment is a good choice for you.
The food at the retreat is unbelievably good. I’m a meat eater, so trust me when I say this: you will not miss your meat at all. And there is always something special for Vegans, too! (If you arrive early, please ask the driver to stop by the supermarket and get some food, since the kitchen only opens at the first official day of the retreat)
What really makes Gaia Sagrada the best retreat on Earth is the People. And not just the amazing staff, the absolutely charming and wise Shamans and the always ready and always kind volunteers. We have found out quite quickly, that every single fellow retreater were somehow related to us, and to our journey in life. We were family from the very first moment we met.
Must love dogs! The retreat has a well trained ceremonial canine team, too. They know when to show up to comfort you, or to keep those “bad vibes” away. You can’t have enough love for those rascals!
The individual shamanic cleansing is a must have. The program says it is optional, but if you miss it, you will regret it. It sets up the mood and prepares your body to be one with nature. It gives you a glimpse into the scents and sounds of the ceremonies of the retreat.
If you are like me, who had no previous experience with plant teachers, this is the best place to start. The staff and the volunteers will take care of you, making the first experience the best experience you will ever have.
If you are a well traveled plant explorer, then come to this place to see how much difference it makes, when you are with family to take the journey to your inner universe.
We are just back home, but already planning for a return in the near future.
Thank you Gaia for the all around perfect experience.
This place is amazing, high in the mountains away from mosquitos,and jungle noise, I felt nothing but love and safety from the moment I arrived. The Shaman they work with are under contract to produce only pure ayahuasca tea, and pure San Pedro cactus tea NO additives. The Shaman never leave the ceremonies until they are closed. Delicious vegetarian food and drink is all you can eat at meal time. The healing I received and witnessed will be with me until I die and beyond. If you’ve read this far its time to do it! You won’t be sorry. Check out their website and compare.
Peace and Love
Mike from Spokane WA
April 4-15 2015 retreat
Gaia Sagrada not only exceeded each and every expectation I could have imagined, but it was far and beyond more magical and influential that anyone is able to put into words.
I had been looking for a safe, clean and respected retreat for quite and while and had heard many great things about Gaia. However, the beauty, love and care put into this place are just absolutely amazing. I honestly cannot imagine a better center, a more caring owner/operator (Christine) and warmer, smarter and more powerful Shamans and Shamanas.
Firstly, the area in Ecuador where you will be is clean, nearly bug-free, and has almost year round perfect weather. The pictures of the center do not do justice to how large and gorgeous it is. Its probably better that way, as the center is almost entirely full months in advance.
The beds are comfortable, the bathrooms and showers are huge and always clean, everyone loves to hang out in the “cottage” which has your own kitchen for guests, always filled with fruit, snacks, coffee, tea, etc. There’s wifi, a yoga room, a TV room with Netflix and many areas to quietly read or meditate. The grounds are filled with huge trees, hiking paths, beautiful flowers and plenty of areas to explore.
Most importantly, the Aya and San Pedro ceremonies with the truly gifted and loving Shamans will transform your life. I was honored to see not only my life and path change, but watch deep hurt, depression and anxiety lift off of people in a mere 10 days. You will be nothing short of amazed by the transformations that take place in this sacred area. Please don’t waste time being afraid as many do. If the spirit is calling you, please know that you’re in the best of hands and hearts at Gaia Sagrada.
Gaia Sagrada is a very peaceful and beautiful place.
High up in the andes, you can almost feel that you re with the stars.
I went there only for 3 days, but i’m sure to come back soon.
the accommodation are great and very clean. and the staff and volunteers are very nice and helpful.
Salvador is such an amazing chaman.
i had such a powerful and eye opening experience.
I can’t wait to go back for a retreat.
Thank you Christine and the whole team.
Have a good day, Have a good life… I just finished the retreat at Gaia and I must say this has been one of the best things i could have ever done for my life, after many failed attempts and struggles with life and all the chaos that ensues, I am finally at peace and full of love.
The Shamans are full on and incredible and always around for advice, or just to hang out with. I will def. be back and soon… thanks for my new life
I would highly recommend Gaia Sagrada to anyone who is searching for a safe and legitimate place to experience healing and transformation with plant medicines. I had done a lot of research prior to my journey and having just completed the 12 day retreat, I can say with 100% confidence that I made the right decision. The power and purity of the medicines combined with the wisdom and expertise of the shamans made for an unforgettable experience that has left me with infinite gratitude. Heartfelt thanks to Christine, all the shamans and the staff for taking such good care of us. I will never forget this experience and am in love with my new spiritual family.
Gorgeous setting, comfortable accommodations, loving staff, and healthy food set the stage for a wonderful first time experience into the ancient tradition of healing through plant medicine. The ceremonies were facilitated by experienced and dedicated local Andean leaders (Shaman). I felt safe and well cared for throughout each ceremony?allowing me to relax, breathe, and experience a deep physical and spiritual healing that was long overdue in my life.
The leader of the retreat center, Christine, is a person of high integrity. She was personally invested in providing the best experience for each participant in the retreat. I felt personally honored at every event.
When considering a retreat in Ecuador vs Peru, I chose Gaia Sagrada due to the mild climate, proximity to air travel, and reasonable cost. The week I attended was rainy and cool, much like the Seattle weather I had left behind. Layered clothing and a light rain coat was the order of the day. The cool nights allowed me to sleep really well. I doubt that would have been the case in a sweltering Peruvian jungle setting.
If you have the time, I suggest adding several days to the back end of your trip to allow exploration of Ecuador and sharing of time with the new friends you will meet. Your spontaneity will pay huge dividends in the form of adventure and lifelong friendships.
A most beautiful experience. The two medicines (ayahuasca and san pedro) complement each for a greater healing than either medicine taken alone. Christine and the shamans here are some of the most kind and caring people I have ever met, and make themselves available throughout the retreat to everyone. Their love and acceptance is contagious. I have participated in two retreats at gaia sagrada, and cannot put into words how rejuvinating and healing these experiences have been, on all levels. Thank you so much Gaia Sagrada!
Gaia Sagrada is a unique place in the world of Ayahuasca. It is located in the Andean mountains, it’s stunningly beautiful and feels very safe. The Shamans are exceptional, humble as they are gifted and there are both male and female Shamans. Incredibly they could speak English well! Christine, who is responsible for imagining this magical place into existence, is intuitive and caring, she does an amazing job running the retreat and just being there for everyone from the Retreaters to the Shamans. And then with the help of the volunteers (Carol, Tracy, Ron – you were all amazing), you basically feel at home for the 12 days of the retreat.
For me personally, I wanted to do a retreat together with my Wife. But, if it was not for finding Gaia Sagrada then I would have had to do it without her. I will always be grateful to Gaia Sagrada for creating a space where we could feel safe enough to have and share these deep journies together.
There are even more things that makes Gaia Sagrada special, the food was soooo lovely, nutritious but so tasty too – inspiring!! The facilities: outdoor and indoor fires every day, wifi, steam room, Jacuzzi, the garden etc. It’s really a credit to Gaia Sagrada that these amazing facilities feature towards the bottom of the list of what they had to offer. It really is the people there that make it, down to the Retreaters that came, they were all so amazing, and it’s so great, a couple of months later, keeping in touch with them and hearing the stories of their transformation. On arrival I thought that a smaller group might have been better but by the end of the retreat I had really come around on that, the ceremonies were powerful and it was a blessing for every person I befriended there.
* I recommend that you keep some extra time at the end of the stay so you can stay there for longer. We didn’t, but we wished we could have stayed for longer as many of the others did too.
Gaia Sagrada is to be experienced as words alone cannot do justice to the magnificence of the experience that I had during my 12 day retreat. My expectations of what I was to experience were totally exceeded and I’m in deep gratitude to Christine, Shamans Salvador, Santiago, Sophia & the whole team who make this experience so wonderful. Once again THANK YOU!
I have participated to a 12 days ayahuasca and san pedro retreat. Initially like many other people i was only looking for an ayahuasca experience but quickly came to understand how the 2 medicine nicely complete each other and allow to make positive and long lasting changes in my life. I would not change a thing to the way ceremonies and the retreat were organised, the team and shamans work in an ethical and powerful way. I could not have dreamt of a better place for a first time ayahuasca ayahuasca and shamanism experience.
You’re gonna love this
After much research i decided upon Gaia Sagrada as the place that looked to be the best place for me to experience the medicine. It was much better than I ever expected. The climate was mild, Virtually no mozzies unlike the reports of those who have been in the jungles…….and the views from the hills were magical. A few of us walked every second day or so around on some of the local roads.
The Accommodation, faculties, food and staff were awesome. Some one remarked ” This is where North America meets South America”, I could not agree more.
So, with the accommodation, food and helpfull staff so good it allowed me to concentrate and just be, to allow the medicine to do what it had to do.
The ceremonies with the shamans were something to behold. I had never seen anything like it before and to participate in them is something i will never forget. The ceremonies were set out and done in a way that was perfect for me, with enough time to rest and recuperate between each allowing me to receive the most from the healing that i was seeking.
I got the results i was looking for and wished i could have stayed longer. My fellow travellers were some of the most “real” and authentic people i have ever met. Adding greatly to my experience and healing.
In years to come I will look back and see that this retreat will be a pivotal turning point in my life. Thank You. I am eternally grateful. One day I will be back as my journey with the medicines is not over yet, and wish to bring my family when i do. Very Safe and friendly place to go.
I had a great two weeks at Gaia.. it was my first time doing any kind of medicines or any kind of hallucinogens, and I felt very supported and safe.. the shamens were fantastic very friendly very approachable. Facilities were really good too.. very relaxing place .. just watch out fir the dogs if you go for a walk to the shops.. take a stick!
One amazing thing I can say is WOW!
These folks are doing it right! I was called and I answered. The shamen and Shawomen of Gaia Sagrada are amazing and skilled healers. I sat in amazement and watched as my brothers and sisters were counselled and healed one by one. The personal attention and healing that is openly and gracefully given freely and abundantly in the ceremonies is profound and personal. Salvador, Paulina, Santiago, Christine, Teresa these human family folk are rainbow. They have the very best intentions and take personal time with each person in the group. They address your purpose and intentions and help you realize your healing and help you make your healing real. These folk are true healers in the spirit. If you are being called to the medicine, Gaia is the place for you. The ceremonies and souls attending were blanketed with positive and powerful protection and no negativity was allowed into the ceremonies. IMO. I will be returning with my wife. So profound that my life will be forever changed for the positive and best for all souls affected.
thank you thank you thank you .
Much Love !
I can not put into words as to how much appreciation and love I have for Gaia Sagrada. From the people, the environment and yes, even the pets (3 amazing dogs) will always share a special place in my heart. The shamans are incredible, the facilitators and helpers around the entire place are heaven sent!
I was a little skeptical at first because I have already done a ceremony in the amazon with traditional Shaman in the jungle but the experience you get from Gaia is like no other. Just let go and give in!!! I promise you’ll never look at life the same way again!! you’ll definitely see the changes from day 1 building to day 12 (some days will be tougher then others)..Don’t get me wrong , it’s not a walk in the park.. You have to earn it like everything in life. I’m a better person and man thanks to the lovely team at Gaia Sagrada !!!
Thank you so much!!! I’ll be back for sure!!!
it was hard me to Choose a retreat at the beginning I just knew I wanted to do Ayahuasca but then I found out about San Pedro and that led me to this place I would highly recommend it if it’s your first time going to ceremonies or even if its your 6Th time this is a very good place to go to. it combines traditional teachings with modern accommodations like the prophecy of the eagle and Condor its the North meets the south. The volunteers the workers the shamans are great here you wont regret it.
I just finished my retreat ant Gaia Sagrada and it was an amazing transformative experience. The accommodations are fantastic with options for a dorm bed, shared room, or private room. The staff were well organized friendly and always helpful with any and all needs.
And let us not forget the ceremonies. They are structured to maximize the experience, first breaking down the barriers I had erected around and within myself with the first aya and Pedro ceremonies followed by the rebirth in the sweatlodge, and finishing with Another Set Of Aya And Pedro To Help rebuild and solidify the lessons and experiences gained.
Christine has built a fantastic retreat center and is a kind wise influential guide for this journey of life.
The shamans facilitating the ceremonies are respectful responsible individuals who practice their craft with respect to tradition. It was remarkable to witness and I am forever grateful for their efforts and guidance during my stay.
If you have any doubts about whether or not to participate at Gaia Sagrada, you would do well to dismiss them and take the plunge. Trust in the caring cradle of rebirth Christine provides. The experience will well be worth it.
This was a mind opening experience, that allowed me to take a look at my inner self. The care and respect that was given to the ceremony by the Shaman and the care respect and safety that was ensured for each and every guest by the owner/organizer of the retreat were reassuring. There was an almost immediate rapport and implicit trust established between Christine and each guest. Everything was so well explained and discussed that I had every confidence that my journey would be safe and beneficial. These people are so caring and want what is best for each and every guest that comes to participate in their retreat. The local people just love them because of the way they are treated and because of the differences that have been made in the local community since Gaia Sagrada came into existence. I will be making another trip later this year with my wife.
Gaia Sagrada was an amazing experience that has changed my life forever. I am eternally grateful. I was not guaranteed any cures but I left the retreat with a healed lower back and a whole new perspective towards my life. The experience and medicine made me whole with nature and our Mother Earth.
The experience was inexpensive compared to other retreats in South America and the facilities provided everything I needed. Its Love over profits. Caring over competition. There is some comfort food but majority of the meals are vegetarian. Luckily the cooks in the kitchen are amazingly good and the staff is filled with divine love and purpose. This experience will make you toss your paradigms, dream, and realize that one day the world can be this loving and caring.
Ceremonies can last over 12 hours depending how big your group is, so make sure you get enough rest before each one. The medicine works for everyone differently, for me it worked internally and helped me release negativity that was dwelling way too long inside of my body.
You will become family and friends with your group and your love will last eternally. The only negative of the retreat is saying goodbye to Gaia Sagrada family and your new family. We all cried and were all thankful, so thankful. Thank you Gaia Sagrada. Thank you…
Going to Gaia Sagrada was the most life changing experience of my life. Nestled in the Andes mountains it is the perfect spot for a retreat. The retreat itself is a beautiful place very well planned out with modern buildings and infastructure. The food prepared was amazing. The combination of ayahuasca and San Pedro ceremonies is spectacular. I couldn’t imagine doing one with out the other, the shamans Santiago, Salvador, Sophia and Christine were so amazing full of love and kindness. I came there to address issues of anxiety, worry and addiction and came away a new man. I feel reborn with all my problems completely gone. These wonderful people showed my how to live the life I always wanted to live but thought I could never have. I am already planning to return to gaia sagrada a year from now, I believe these medicines will be a part of my life forever. They have brought me to a better place and I urge everyone to experience gaia sagrada.
Gaia Sagrada is perfect. I stayed here because i prefered going to Ecuador instead of Peru. The price seemed really fair, and I was excited to try ayahuasca as well as San Pedro. I got a private room at Casa Tranquilo which was nice. Small room, but very cozy and private, for when you need a break from it all. The ceremonies take place over about 10 days, every other day basically. 2 ayahuasca ceremonies, and 2 san pedro ceremonies as well as a sweat lodge where you may combine both plants. The ceremonies were led by medicine men and women as well as by christine the host of gaia sagrada. all were excellent spirit guides in healing. i was truly touched by everyone. Santiago, Salvador, Christine, and Sofia and her daughter Sol. what a magical and eye opening experience. if you feel called to do this, heed the call. you are being called for a reason. fear not. you won’t regret it. gaia sagrada takes place on 55 acres of Andean mountains. lush green forested land with gardens. serene and peaceful. inspiring. everything felt right. food is all vegetarian. between the vegetarian diet and purging during ceremonies, i lost 13 pounds in 12 days! we had 24 people in our crew which i think is a full house. men and women from all over the world. and all ages too. i think the youngest lady was 22, and some men and women were in their 60s. all in all an experience for the ages, wisdom and teachings that will inspire for a lifetime. i highly recommend it! hope this review helps you find what you are looking for.
Words can’t describe how meaningful this experience was for me. I finally have the courage to follow my dreams, how unreasonable or crazy they may seem. As a result I wake up with a big smile on my face everyday. What you guys are doing is pure magic and I can’t thank you enough.
Christine and the Shamans made me feel super safe during my entire stay, and gave me all the support I needed in order to get the most out of the experience.
I understand that you might be hesitating or scared, but don’t be, this place is pure paradise and the ceremonies will change your life for the better!
Truly a remarkable and life changing experience! All the people here are incredibly welcoming and warm people, truly make you feel at home! Set in the beautiful mountains of Ecuador with great views of the entire valley! Watch out though, you’ll get winded fairly easily if you’re not used to high elevation! They’re very accommodating to those with vegan diets and most of the food they make are vegan friendly! You also have an open kitchen which i took full advantage of! So much terrific fruit there, some of which are grown by one of the employees mothers! best papaya I’ve ever had! The shamans there were some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. Funny and very knowledgable about life and their medicines. Both ayahuasca and san pedro compliment each other so well! i don’t see how you could do one and not the other. The sweat lodge was a truly profound experience, stripping you down to your bare minimum and reconnecting you with the earth like you’ve never felt before. I went into this retreat feeling depressed, lonely and unfulfilled but left it feeling so much love and gratitude for everything around me. Coming down here was a shot in the dark as i didn’t know what to expect from these medicines but now that I’m back i couldn’t imagine not having this experience. I now have a new perspective on life and its wonderful! Thanks Gaia Sagrada! I hope to come back again!
When my partner and I decided to try ayahauska for the first time we wanted a safe and authentic experience. Giai Sagrada turned out to be exactly what we were looking for. Nestled into the hillside in the equadorian highlands surrounding Cuenca we found the place a truly peaceful sanctuary allowing us to relax into a wonderful and personally profound experience. The social atmosphere was very friendly and welcoming – and supportive for those new to the ancient practice of using plant medicines to promote personal growth. Not only did we have a really profound experience, we had a lot of fun and met some really lovely people. I highly recommend this retreat to anyone wanting a genuine ayahauska experience
Gaia Sagrada is just the perfect shamanic retreat center. For first timers or more experiences persons, everybody seems to fall in love with this place and never wanna leave! The location is gorgeous, the facilities very comfortable and the people there just amazing! Christine and Bruce, the owners, know exactly what they are doing and the shamans are simply amazing. The ceremonies are beautiful and powerful, you will not regret to have chosen this place, the best of the best!
This place, is such a wonderful place. It’s beautiful and pleasing to the eyes. The air is so fresh, I loved the smell of the pine trees specially. The flowers and garden are just gorgeous. The buildings make you feel so welcomed, like you belong there. Took a few walks in the area. The ceremonies were amazing. Each and everyone of them taught me something. The staff works really hard on giving everyone a great experience. The diet was a first for me, but i loved it. No meats. I loved that you can just relax, no pressure.
I’ve come out of this retreat a new person. My life is not perfect, but i know, i really know and feel it and believe it that things will be alright. I’m doing all the things i wanted to do, but somehow before i lacked the motivation. I am genuinely, truly a happy person. My view has changed. I am alive and enjoying it.
Gaia Sagrada is an pure magic. Words cannot describe the amazing journey I had with my 20 some other brothers and sisters lead by the grandmother and grandfather medicine plant spirits that were so meticulously guided by shamans Salvador, Santiago and Sofia under the leadership and love of Christine, the founder. Journeying wasn’t easy but through individual guidance and an amazing support system, I found my peace with the medicines and unleashed my universal self. The retreat is incredible and I’m sure I’m won’t fully realize the change that has occurred until later but all I know is that I left a much lighter person, at peace with the world, forgiving of the past with a constant smile beaming of love on my face. Gaia sagrada is special beyond words. I’m so thankful my introduction to aya and San Pedro started here.
Such an amazing place. I can truly say this retreat changed my life. I don’t think you can find a place that truly cares for you the way this place dose. That being said if you are looking for a place where you sleep in tents in the jungle and have bugs biting you all day and night. This is not the place for. If your looking for an authentic retreat with most of the comforts you have at home and a few more ( spas and hot sauna ) great sleeping accommodations look no further. All in all I would return, with friends!
I had the most amazing experience in my life at Gaia Sagrada, which I am just unable to describe with our so limited human language!
Entering the magical world of the spirits, seeing people healing from diseases, they claim unhealable, connecting with the others on so deep level, that you feel like family, just after one night, seeing into their true nature, seeing the souls of people, plants, stones – this is something, that I will never forget and I will definitely come back at Gaia again!
Thank you so much for everything Christine, Bruce, Salvador, Sophia and Santiago, you are amazing and will always remain in my heart!
This is an excellent choice for those with little or no experience with the medicines. A beautiful natural setting with good accommodations and amenities, and the food is excellent. The San Pedro shaman, in particular, is skilled and excellent. I also found the sweat lodge experience in combination with the mild San Pedro medicine to be a powerful experience – cleansing, strengthening, challenging & uplifting. This retreat will be of benefit to any serious seeker or to any seeking healing from emotional or traumatic hurt.
I recently attended a 12-day Shamanic retreat at Gaia Sagrada and below is my review:
– Beautiful property. The facility is absolutely excellent…. clean, comfortable, and tranquil
– The views of the Andes are postcard-worthy
– The staff was extremely helpful / kind and spoke both Spanish and English
– The weather in Cuenca is never too hot or too cold with ZERO bugs… I packed my thermals and was happy I did. It can get cool in the evenings.
– SAN PEDRO… While I was searching facilities, Gaia Sagrada was one of the only places that offered San Pedro. I wasn’t sure what to expect, however, San Pedro now has a special place with me.
– Shamans – During my stay, we had a total of 3 different Shamans lead our ceremonies. All of them were excellent with a special thanks to Santiago. Participating in one of Santiago’s San Pedro ceremonies is worth the entire trip.
– Altitude 9000 ft. This wasn’t an issue for me, however, be prepared to take a few extra breaks while hiking.
Overall, you cannot go wrong with Gaia Sagrada. The price is extremely affordable and the food is EXCELLENT. I met some incredible people from all over the world and had a wonderful stay.
Gaia Sagrada is a world class Ayahuasca Retreat Experience!!!! For anyone wanting to explore the traditional Native Medicine Path of healing this is the place. The location, a 45 minute drive into the Andes mountains from Cuenca, is a hidden valley and one of the most peaceful and breathtaking places you’ll ever experience. The owners of Gaia Sagrada, Christine and Bruce, are incredibly loving compassionate guides who will make sure you are comfortable in every way. Their shamans come from Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and are all licensed by the government of Ecuador. Their great compassion, love, and strength will change your life as they share their knowledge and wisdom of their traditions with you. This is the real deal! There is no tourism here. Gaia Sagrada provides the perfect supportive and secure setting to discover the traditional Native Medicine Path of healing for yourself! It changed my life. It will definitely change yours. The retreats are 12 days and introduce you to both North American and South American Native healing traditions, inclusive of Ayahuasca, San Pedro, and Peyote ceremonies. The facilities at Gaia Sagrada are very comfortable with a range of room options. The hot tubs are awesome, and the food is magnificent. You’ll eat like kings! As far as price is concerned, compared with other centers worldwide, Gaia Sagrada is the best quality value at the best price and should definitely be your first choice!
Gaia Sagrada has turned out to be the best thing that has ever happened in my life. I’ve been to other centers, but this one is by far the best Ayahuasca center in existence. It is more than just the ceremonies and the shamans. There is something more going on here and I’m not really sure I can say it in words. It’s something indescribable and otherworldly.
The spirits are everywhere on this land. It is like a vortex, a doorway into the other dimensions here. The land is breathtaking, and I can almost see the spiritual energy here with my eyes.
The name of the town nearest Gaia Sagrada is called Jadan, which means in Quechua “close to heaven.” I think that might be actually true. This is as close to an angelic realm as I have ever gotten! Sitting up here in these mountains in the clean air is as close to the sky as we can get.
I cannot say enough good things about Gaia Sagrada, the shamans, Christine Breese from University of Metaphysical Sciences (I just signed up for the University of Metaphysical Sciences too!), Bruce (one of the directors) and all the people who live and work here. It has been a transformational moment in my life that I will never forget. I have been growing so much and it is supportive to my spiritual path here. I can’t even imagine being anywhere else in the world right now.
There is something about Gaia Sagrada that is timeless. I’m not even sure I am in the same reality where all the bad things are happening in the outside world. It doesn’t seem possible that Gaia Sagrada can be on the same planet because it is like being in and angelic realm here.
The people are wonderful, the nature feels comforting, the quiet and peace is addictive, and even at night there is light with all the stars and fireflies everywhere. There is so much spiritual light here I hardly need a flashlight!
The shamans have helped me so much. I am not the same person anymore. Christine is like a mother to me, and the shamans are so wise. She works closely with them in a way that just defies reality. Between all the shamans, Christine and Bruce it is impossible not to turn into the best version of myself. A-ho!
ayahuasca is the feminine. san pedro is the masculine. and Gaia Sagrada is the catalyst for the exploration into both of these polarities.
the retreat is nestled in the Andes mountains right outside of Cuenca, Ecuador. it is far from “roughing it” but also so simple and serene like a fresh breath of air. everything is provided as needed; from fresh & organic meals to wifi. there are about a thousand hammocks! and did i mention hot tubs? yeah, hot tubs.
the Shamans are truly experts in their practice; wizards sitting at the helm. they are the lighthouse beacon to guide you as you sail through your rough waters. after working with them, i now understand what Giaia Sagrada meant when they said they took extra care in finding the most fitting Shamans.
the sacred medicine is pure and filled with magic. no spoilers here. you will have to find out for yourself!
then there is Christine and Bruce. like mother and father. they truly care about each individual at the retreat. they both create and nurture a safe, open and positive space for everyone to unravel and grow.
all of these parts of Gaia Sagrada make up the metaphorical ship. sea worthy and maned by an expert crew. the final piece is for you to captain it. they’re waiting!
Gaia Sagrada in the spectacular and picturesque Andes, located just an hour outside of Cuenca. The buildings and grounds are beautiful. The landscaping is a spectacular floral display that has been orchestrated by a lovely Australian woman, Edith, who tends to others as much as she does to the gardens. Gaia Sagrada provides a space for the promotion of a new community and a unique venue for self exploration through ritualistic ingestion of the sacred medicines, Ayahuasca and San Pedro. The medicines are administered under the expert supervision of authentic shamans. Perhaps the most unique aspect of the venue is that the participants are deeply invested in the healing of one another. There are several meetings in which Christine, the co-owner and facilitator, assists the participants in divulging the issues that they have come here to heal. This process creates a transparency and authenticity among participants.
We were here on a work exchange and our primary duty was to prepare food for the retreat. We worked in a well-appointed kitchen cooking up tasty vegan and vegetarian cuisine. We were supplied with what was needed often by co-owner Bruce. His buoyant,efficient and friendly presence was a welcome visitation to the kitchen. The kitchen became a hub of activity once the retreat began. One of the primary activities there was the processing of the participant?s sacred journeys. Friendships deepened as participants candidly exposed their experience and aided one another in unravelling the deep meanings brought forth by their journeys. The ambience in the space was one of intense yet light hearted inquiry. We found ourselves involved in many lively and psychologically profound dialogues. It became obvious that conversing over food deepened friendships, spiritual awareness and healing. We also assisted during some of the ceremonies, witnessing the experiences that the sacred medicines were providing.
I noticed progressive changes in all of the participants as the retreat continued. By the end of it some people seemed totally transformed and everyone reported positive progress in their healing. I highly recommend this venue for anyone who is seeking self realization, a new community, or a place to rest from the crazy world.
Gaia Sagrada is the perfect retreat in many ways – from the peaceful location, great facilities, the friends made, the beautiful ceremonies and shamans, and importantly Christine and Bruce who put it all together, these guys are two of the most kind and lovely people I have met! Thanks for everything guys!
The San Pedro and Ayahuasca medicines really compliment each other well, I have left the retreat feeling lighter, more positive and full of joy!
Gaia Sagrada is a quiet and spiritual place to heal whatever needs healing. I was there in January and February. I realized at the end of my 1 month stay that the pain was gone from my shoulder and my foot. Was it the healthy eating, the spirit of the place, or the shamanic ceremonies? I don’t know, but there is something magical and healing about the place.
I had a wonderful journeys at Gaia Sagrada. Christine and Bruce are beautiful people….I really love those two… the shamans that lead the ceremonies are very attentive and skilled…..and helped guide all us thru these transformations ….i look to forward coming back in december and bringing some friends along to experience this powerful plant medicine .
I participated in a 12 day Shamanic Retreat and it was truly an absolutely amazing unforgettable experience! I found Gaia Sagrada through the University of Metaphysical Science which I have been a student of for a number of years. Christine and Bruce have created a setting in the Ecuadorian Andes that has a feeling of magic, love and beauty like nothing I have witnessed before. The use of the medicines are directed for healing of each individuals inner paths and for the group that is there together as a whole. The retreat is set up in such a way that one gets to experience the medicines in different states, times and places along with a number of amazing shamans to guide one through the journey. The accommodations are top notch with a 1st class feel. The staff is amazing and all your needs are taken care of, and the people you will meet on your retreat will be lifelong friends! The experiences are straight from the heart and inner self and unite everyone in the moments that last lifetimes. I particularly liked the Sweat Lodge ceremony, the feeling during and coming out of it at the end are just the beginning! It was out of this world! I would recommend Gaia Sagrada to anyone beginner or advanced in spirituality that are ready to meet the Grandmother and Grandfather plant spirits and also to enjoy great food, amazing people and mountainside beauty all in one place!
This is indeed an adventure into your inner being! I learned a lot not only from the medicine and shamans, but from all the retreat members and staff. Bruce and Christine are definitely superb hosts and excellent human beings. They really and truly care about our mother earth and every single participant in the retreat. I do recommend this retreat if you ever come down to Ecuador. Your life will change!
Gaia Sagrada is a beautiful place to find what you are looking for, in regards to Ayahuasca healing. I found a certain peace here, along with many great new friends during my retreat in May. Christine and Bruce, whom operate and manage the center are truly wonderful people, and couldn’t ask for better hosts! Love you guys.
The facilities are lovely, considering that this is deep in the Andes Mountains, and VERY affordable comparatively to the other retreats that I’d looked into before deciding on Gaia Sagrada. It truly is a wonderful place, and Christine does a great job at making the experiences these healing medicines, comfortable for everyone.
The shamans for both Ayahuasca and San Pedro were great teachers in healing, but also in love and respect. I’ve learned so much from them all, and now believe I am on the path to a new life full of purpose thanks to them: the purpose which my heart truly beats for.
Life is full of change and wonder, so I will be visiting again indefinitely to make sure my heart stays on the right path. I owe my new outlook on life to this place, and hope to someday return the favor. Muchas Gracias!
I have had a beautiful retreat with Christine and Bruce. The love and care are amazing, and the place is new, fresh but comfortable, welcomming and homey.
I have dona a retreat in april 2014. Different ceremonies have different shamans, I especially loved the san pedro/aya sweatlodge and the ceremonies that santiago did. Such wisdom, i can only be honored and humbled that i have had the opportunity to have this as part of my life journey. Please give Christine a huge hug from me when you see her (-;
Kind regards, Suzanne, the netherlands
Everything about this place is created with love and great attention to detail. Christine and Bruce and their maestro builders have made beautiful buildings and gathering places, with hot water, good water pressure, beautiful views and deep ceremonies. One feels tremendous support at Gaia Sagrada for one’s lifepath. The balance of different medicines foster a more complete emergence in to new dimensions of consciousness and awareness of the beauty way carried by indigenous lineage keepers. Gaia Sagrada retreats offer a rare taste of complimentary medicines that synergize and amplify one’s awareness of life, People leave with a feeling of deep soul family, with open hearts, a sense of how to proceed and enthusiasm for one’s emerging path.
My time at Gaia Sagrada was a beautiful experience that I wouldn’t have changed for the world. Christine and Bruce are so accommodating, the ceremonies are beautiful and the place has a magical air to it.
See you next time!
I had a wonderful experience at Gaia Sagrada. The facilitators Christine and Bruce are beautiful and caring people and the shaman that lead the ceremonies are attentive and skilled. I would not have changed anything about the experience and look forward to visiting again.
The Gaia Sagrada Retreat was a life changing experience. The friendly staff make sure that everything is in place for you to have a safe and wonderful experience. The shamans are full of so much love and carry all the wisdom from their generations. The sacred plant ceremonies take you on a journey that sheds all of your fears and you come out with an expanded view of life. My heart has been open and the blockages have been removed so I can live a happy and fulfilled life. There is something for everyone here no matter what stage you are on your spiritual path. It is one of the only places where you can experience Ayahuasca, San Pedro and Wilka ceremonies in a peaceful serene environment.
I strongly recommend the Gaia Sagrada retreat as a place to experience the sacred plants and have your deepest questions answered.
Love and light 🙂
I had an outstanding stay at Gaia. I participated in a 12 day Ayahuasca retreat to start and then stayed for another two weeks to volunteer and to just enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Gaia is a little bit of a quiet paradise surrounded by mountains and nature.
Christine & Bruce, the hosts are some of the most welcoming, gracious, accommodating and kind people I have ever met. I felt like I was at home. They have created a beautiful sacred place with Gaia that is filled with peace, love, and special energy. It is quite luxurious as well…as it is modern, comfortable and almost brand new.
The Ayahuasca retreat was life changing. I would HIGHLY recommend it and I can’t say enough about it. I would go back in a heartbeat and i plan to actually at some point. Our group became a soul family as we all went through a true transformation. I wrote a thorough explanation of my experience on my blog http://www.thecuriousrambler.com Please read it as it will explain fully what to expect.
Thanks Christine & Bruce! Much love & gratitude to you!
I LOVE Gaia Sagrada. I just did a retreat here and they are wonderful! The shamans are magical and really helped me, and the medicine is strong! Here is a description of their shamans http://gaiasagrada.com/shamans-at-gaia-sagrada-photos-bios/. I am a changed person for sure, and now i have a new family, as all of us in the ceremonies became best of friends as we did this journey together.
I was so happy with how modern the housing is too. They have a sauna, hot tubs, hot showers, no bugs, no sleeping in a hut, its great! I even got to look at galaxies through their telescope! What i don’t understand is why those places where you sleep in a hut in a shared room and bathe in a creek are more expensive than this place that offers such modern and comfortable facilities?
This price is so cheap and i even could afford my own private room! They have cheaper prices for dorm and shared rooms, and even the private room here at Gaia Sagrada was cheaper than the cot in a hut thing with a mosquito net and bathing in the creek in Peru!
The other reason i chose to go with Gaia Sagrada in Ecuador is because Ecuador has regulations about shamanism and not just anyone can practice shamanism in Ecuador, like the free for all thats going on in Peru. I’m really happy i made my choice to do an ayahuasca retreat at Gaia Sagrada in Ecuador because I felt really safe, Gaia Sagrada i picked incredible shamans after sorting through a lot of them, the shamans even sign a contract that their medicine is pure and nothing unknown is added (one of my biggest worries with the Ayahusca in Peru) that could result in death.
I would recommend Gaia Sagrada Eco-Lodge to anyone for Ayahuasca retreats if you are looking to do it in Ecuador where the shamans are more for sure to be qualified since there are more regulations in Ecuador than in Peru.
Gaia Sagrada rocks!