Authentic Ecuadorian Shamans who SPEAK BOTH ENGLISH AND SPANISH ! Rare opportunity indeed! Talk directly with the shamans, no translator needed.
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.
WHERE IS GAIA SAGRADA?
Gaia Sagrada is nestled in a small community called Llayzhatan (Yay-za-tan) in the Andes Mountains on 55 acres, about 45 minutes outside of the city of Cuenca, Ecuador. We are very near to Jadan (Ha-dan) 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
Hot tubs, 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, 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 withe 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 the 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.
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. While Ayahuasca takes you to your inner dimensions, San Pedro opens your heart 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.
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, each one a different kind of ceremony so you can experience all the ways that shamans work with people in ceremony. There are many ways to experience shamanic ceremonies and we offer them all!
12 day retreat includes everything – sauna, hot tubs, wifi, food, several workshops and meetings + 5 ceremonies with a day of rest between each ceremony, which is very important, not to rush through the medicines. Be careful with retreats that offer back to back ceremonies each day. 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.
$1375 shared room
$1575 private room
$1975 private 1 bedroom apartment (Single)
$1575 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.
$985 shared room
$1185 private room
(apartment is sometimes an option for the 7 day retreat, but not always, ask us)
OUR RETREATS ARE AT COST, NON-PROFIT
We are NOT in this for money, we are in it for the awakening of humanity! Expenses cost 4-5 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.
Many people who have been to other centers tell us why they like ours most is because no translator is needed and our shamans are always around for people to talk to, spend time with 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 down and have lunch or tea with our shamans, or sit by the fire and enjoy their company! This is one of the things that makes our center unique.
One of our shamans, S|OFIA (sweat lodge, temezcal) is a woman who is a practicing psychologist in Cuenca. She is compassionate and motherly, full of gentle wisdom.
ROQUI is well known and famous in Ecuador for his work at major conferences, gatherings and indigenous ceremonial events all over Ecuador, with lots of press and media coverage.
SANTIAGO is another well known, skilled, and intuitive shaman. Many seek to work with him, as he is well respected and admired. His ceremonies are unique, like no other San Pedro ceremony anyone has ever seen.
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 a skilled and intuitive way. His healing sessions, “limpias” (cleansings), are amazing!
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.
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.
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, and ones that can also speak English was no easy task, 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 mixed something into the medicine that shouldn’t be there. Sometimes shamans mix in Datura (Toe) or other ingredients to make the experience more intense. However, this 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. 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?
1. 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 quarter to a fifth 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 $340 per month, and get housing and food. This is about service to humanity, NO Ayahuasca commercialism here!
2. 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!
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 or 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.
6. Not Hot Or Humid, pleasant weather all year round. No screeching animals or insects all night long, like in the jungle!
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Instead of large, overpriced and commercial, we keep ceremonies Small And Intimate so each participant gets individual attention.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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 7-12 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. Be ready to meet yourself at levels you never thought possible! Meet the master within you and explore the universe that you are.
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 – email@example.com 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 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.
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!!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 “cottag