We are an ayahuasca retreat healing center, operating as a lodge in the Amazon rainforest. We are located 90 minutes outside of Iquitos, Peru near the small village of Llanchama along the Nanay River.
We provide traditional Shipibo medicine services wich includes: healing and learning diets, master plant medicine, and traditional Shipibo ayahuasca ceremonies.
Once you are here, you will meet with our shaman master healer Ricardo Amaringo, and with the asistance of a profesional translator, you can explain him your intention for the healing procces.
Your treatment will then be tailored to your personal needs, often including further treatment with a master plant. Furthermore, in traditional style, you will then adhere to a strict healing diet developed to promote the healing work of the curanderos and our medicinal plants.
Once on the diet, you will be invited to participate in ayahuasca ceremonies four times a week, for further ceremonial healing under the guidance of Ricardo and his assistants shamans. In ceremony, you will be further treated by the curanderos through the traditional healing song, called icaros.
The day after every ayahuasca ceremony, with the exception of Fridays, there is a group discussion led by Ricardo to review experiences in the ceremony and the progress of all of our participants, apprentices and visitors.
In some cases, further treatment techniques are also indicated, including healing plant preparations for bathing and vapor treatment, or cataplasm.
Traditional treatment requires time, so visitors are encouraged to visit us for one week or more. Group programs are often designed for 10 days or 2 weeks and more advanced treatment can take one/two months or longer.
For particular individuals, we also offer traditional diets for learning under the guidance of Ricardo. This level of training is best discussed in person with Ricardo himself.
We charge an all-inclusive daily fee for our services, which covers transport from the Iquitos airport, private room, modern bathrooms and showers, diet meals, laundry service, electricity, wifi internet, traditional medicine and experienced international facilitator staff support.
If you are interested in visiting, please email us to establish contact and verify availability at our center. From that point, we can plan your visit!
Nihue Rao was recommended to me by some people that I came to trust at a shorter retreat earlier this year. I’d been looking forward to it for quite a few months and I felt at home as soon as I got there. It was great to meet the other passengers and it was very quickly clear to me that the facilitators care deeply about what they do. Nihue Rao has a very relaxed atmosphere – passengers can even take a break on non-ceremony days by visiting Iquitos if they choose.
The maloka has a rather inspiring design – such a sense of space when looking up into it. I was also impressed by the how many Shamen were available each night – one maestra in particular had such a distinct singing style. Absolutely beautiful.
The Ayahuasca is made fresh every ceremony day – good, strong medicine! I also appreciated going into their Spirit Garden and the art maloka.
Excellent and professional ayahuasca experience.
This was my first time with ayahuasca, but I immediately felt comfortable upon arriving at the center and meeting with shaman Ricardo. The staff and facilitators are very helpful and I felt completely safe and secure during the experience. They answered all of our questions and provided a lot of information so we could understand the healing process.
I highly recommend this center. The location was perfect to disconnect and relax, while focusing on healing intentions. Discussing the ceremonies the following day also was helpful to prepare for the next ceremony. The grounds are amazing with lots of animals, plants, and a great place to be. I also really enjoyed connecting with the other passengers.
I can’t say enough good things about this center, and I definitely see why many travelers choose to return in the future for more healing.
Nihue Rao provides the ideal settings for a profound spiritual healing and learning. The staff is friendly and 100% dedicated. Ricardo is a true master and the powerful experience of ayahuasca ceremonies under his leadership have truly changed my life. Nihue Rao is a no nonsense authentic shipibo ayahuasca center… The real deal
Being a single female taking ayahuasca for the first time, finding the right place was really important for me. I did A LOT of research before choosing Nihue Rao.
The communication, travel arrangements and pick-up from the airport were easy. I felt welcomed on arrival by the staff and integrated very quickly into the Nihue Rao schedule. The day after I arrived, when all other new passengers had arrived, we had an orientation meeting with the centre manager, Benoit and an introduction about how to think about and set our intentions for the ceremonies. Later that evening, we each met separately with the shaman (Ricardo), the centre manager (Benoit) and an interpreter to talk through our histories and our intentions. It was at this meeting, we were also advised of what plant we would be dieting for the duration of the stay. The plant is separate to the ayahuasca and is ‘prescribed’ specifically, depending on what healing you need. You take your plant daily (except Sundays).
I was nervous taking ayahuasca for the first time and found the ayahuasca strong (although I have nothing to compare it too). However, I felt safe at Nihue Rao and well supported by the staff. During ceremonies, staff were attentive to people’s needs, attending to the delicate balance of when to provide support and when to give passengers space on their journeys. I don’t think this is an easy task for the staff or facilitators and yet, they generally seemed to get that balance right.
I had a couple of difficult and frightening ceremonies (I had 7 ceremonies over 13 days) and felt well looked after by the facilitating staff. During one of these difficult journeys, one of the facilitators spoke very firmly with me about what I needed to do and although, I did not experience him as helpful at the time, I realised afterwards, his advice was exactly what I needed.
I have read in other reviews about the shamans being distant and I don’t see it this way. I think if you go with an expectation for them to be a particular way, you might be disappointed. I read an article recently that explained the need for shamans to maintain some distance from passengers so that they can do the necessary work during the ceremonies. After most ceremonies, there was a debriefing/process group the next day, which I found useful. It gave all passengers an opportunity to share their experience and for the shamans to give advice about the process, intentions for the next ceremony, whether to consider drinking more or less ayahuasca etc.
In terms of the environment, it had everything I needed. Basic but safe and clean accommodation, each hut with it’s own hammock. The communal areas were comfortable, relaxed and clean. The food was basic (as per the ayahuasca diet) but delicious and plant of it (2 types of river fish, 2 types of lentils, brown or white rice, quinoa, plantains and potatoes). For breakfast, there was also porridge and sometimes pancakes. There was access to fruit all day (bananas and apples) and also to herbal tea. There is an art maloka with lots of art materials, which I found supportive in between ceremonies to process some of my journeys. There is lots of space to either be with people or to be alone.
I initially found the maloka space daunting, with 20 short-terms passengers (staying 10 days – 1 month) and 5 or 6 long-term dieters (6 months +). However, as time progressed, I enjoyed sharing the space with others and noticing what this brought up in me and my own process. It was not different to dealing with people in everyday life, however, on ayahuasca, I had a chance to look at this more clearly and really face those feelings.
I believe Nihue Rao is truly focussed on healing. They kept people focussed on healing and sometimes this required straight-talking – I appreciated that.
I intend to return to Nihue Rao as I believe it surpassed my expectations in terms of healing, safety and experience.
It´s hard for me to leave a review for Nihue Rao in a detached, objective way. And it is hard simply because I love this place so very much, I consider it almost as family, and I mean that quite literally.
The shamans, led by Ricardo Ammaringo, a true Master in the most authentic sense of the word, are fabulous. They are powerful, powerful healers, but they are also kind, and even irreverent at times, they love to laugh and smile. I think particurlarly of Miguel, a man who lives with what can only seem as a permanent grin on his face, with permanent joy.
The medicine at Nihue Rao is extremely strong. It is extremely powerful. I don´t particularly like to say something like ¨it is better than other places.¨ What I can say is simply that the medicine here is as powerful as you can find in the Upper Peruvian Amazon.
Nihue Rao is a place for healing, and it is a place for learning to be a shaman. It is nice, but if you are looking for a luxury ¨tourist¨ experience, this may not be the place for you. This is a place to do real work, real healing on trauma and the various slings and arrows life that life throws at us. And perhaps most imporantly, it is a place where you will meet some life long friends. The community here is amazing.
The staff is great, led by Benoit the director of the center, they will help you when you need it, and they will also push you to do your work so you can grow as a human being.
I honestly cannot reccomend Nihue Rao enough. All I can say is that it is a very special, magical place.
Nihue Rao is my home away from home. I have been traveling there since 2015.
I will be traveling home once again to N. Rao in two weeks. This trip will mark my 5th visit in three years. I go there not because it’s the most luxurious of the centers in Iquitos or because it has the highest ratings on the most popular aya review websites. I make my pilgrimage year after year because I truly believe Master Shaman Ricardo Amaringo cares and genuinely wants to help and heal humanity. He is a well respected, straight shooter shaman and his gift to limpiar y sanar is remarkable. I can say this because I’ve witnessed many healings over my years at N.Rao. Do your research and follow your heart. Your inner compass will guide the way.
This was my third visit to Nihue Rao an again I got what I needed through taking Ayahuasca and dieting on a second master plant for 10 days. My stay was filled cleansing old stagnant energies and then being able to have a deep magical experience.
I felt supported by all the staff, especially by the facilitators who were always around to offer advice and guidance. This especially plays a big part if you might feel nervous or unsure.
The traditional Shipibo meals fill you up and really help in conjunction to the master plants to open you up to a deeper healing.
If you have any concerns contact the retreat to get your questions answered. One last bit of advice is to trust yourself and be open to change. Their is a reason that Ayahuasca has found you. Healing is first step to starting a new journey in life.
All the best
For my first time Ayahuasca experience, I felt safe, cared for, and given an incredible opportunity in this place to heal and be healed by kind and capable shamans.
The transportation and greeting were easy and even fun. The initial information exchange was well organized. Facilities are fantastic – exceeded my expectations. Very clean bathrooms, comfortable private space, shared space and maloka. Hammocks everywhere The staff were always kind, helpful and willing to listen. They do their utmost to tailor the experience to individuals and to help each person.
There is a mix of self-directed healing and group & leadership-based healing. The group sharing, note-taking and feedback from the shaman is very helpful. Outside of the group sharing there is plenty of opportunity to reflect on the experience of the previous ceremonies and to look within for direction.
I went into the experience without expectation and ready to make real change in my life. For that I am so grateful. During the ceremonies I faced deep aspects of my life and of myself. It is not always pleasant, although sometimes it is, and yet every part of the experience is contributing to healing. After only two weeks I came out further along the path of healing than when I arrived, and ready to face things that had been holding me back for years.
Thank you Nihue Rao!
Hi, I just returned from a 14 day visit to Nihue Rao. The typical stay is 10 days with participation in 6 ceremonies. I chose to go for a full 2 weeks and participate in 8 ceremonies. I did a lot of research on a variety of retreat centers and felt very guided to Nihue Rao. I am very grateful for following my guidance. Watching Master Ricardo’s video on Nihue Rao’s website, I quickly connected to his cariño and commitment to assisting people to heal their traumas from life, heal their bodies, minds, and souls, and fill themselves with light and love.
I prepared for my trip, my intentions for healing, and began the suggested dieta2 weeks before my arrival. I feel that both gave me a head start to receiving what I was looking for. Each “pasejero” (guest) has an initial meeting with Ricardo and translator (for those of us speaking English). We went over surgeries, medical background, medication and drug use, mental and emotional histories, etc, etc. From there I was assigned a master plant that I would be taking daily along with the ceremonies and Flower Baths to support my healing journey.
One thing I would say from the outset, if you are looking for a fun experience, be an Ayahuasca tourist, just to try it out, this is NOT the place for you. The community and center are committed to serve and support those committed to their healing process. That is what the shamans, the plant medicines, the food, ceremonies, and all the support staff are committed to…the support of the guests in releasing mental, emotional and physical traumas from their lives, addictions, and disease. I recognized long ago that we all have baggage we’ve been carrying from our life experiences, and this baggage influences choices I made in how I engaged in life and in what direction. I wanted to be free and clear from these influences, so I could make choices that were in my best interests and in alignment for why I am here on this earth at this time, to bring my gifts to the world. I know from personal experience now that Mother Ayahuasca, with the assistance and support of Maestro Ricardo and his team, clears this “stuff” and returns us to the Love and Light we naturally are, the way we entered the world at the beginning of our lives. An important part of the healing/learning process is the “morning after” group conversation with Maestro Ricardo or Benoit. Recapitulation of the highlights of my journey helped me integrate my experience, receive clarification on any issues, and receive any support needed. I found that each of us shared from the depths of our experience and their was no judgement from the other participants. We were all working through our own “stuff”. Powerful
Wagner mindfully and caringly prepared our daily Master Plant dosage prescribed by Ricardo. He also prepared our twice weekly Flower Baths to help clear our energetic bodies. Elocario mindfully spent hours each day in preparation of the Ayahuasca brew. From the chopping of the fire wood and building the fire, to the hammering of the Ayahuasca vine to open it up for boiling, to how he alternated laying the Ayahuasca and then Chacruna leaves until the large pot was full, then pouring water to cover all the material and then begin the hours long boiling process. All in all, it took around 8 hours to boil the liquid down to a thick liquid that would be the medicine for that night’s ceremony.
The kitchen staff caringly prepared our daily meals. The food is very basic: lentils, rice, quinoa, potatoes, 2 kinds of fish (the tastier fish was also the bonier fish, but well worth the slow process of deboning). For breakfast there also was oatmeal and sometimes pancakes and a banana sauce. There were always bananas and apples all times of the day. The simplicity of the diet was to support the cleaning and clearing by Mother Ayahuasca: no salt, sugar, butter, oils, spices. And it was all worth it.
There were also staff that cleaned the ceremonial maloca each day, as well as others that cleaned the bathrooms multiple times a day.
I want to thank Harry and Luis, who came to Nihue Rao for a 4-month period to help facilitate the Pasejeros arrival, navigate the various protocols, as well as in the ceremonies themselves. They were invaluable to me multiple times, and absolutely supported my processes, questions, and requests. Luis was one of the translators and truly connected with what we were expressing and intending in English. I am also grateful for Sergio, another of the facilitators and one of the interpreters, for his support and guidance along my challenging and very rewarding journey. Managing the overall operations and Ricardo’s right-hand person, Benoit guides the flow and tempo of the center. I am grateful to Benoit for some guidance before my last ceremony to complete my intentions from a place of strength, integrity, and an act of power.
Overall, thinking of my experience at Nihue Rao, I am filled with deep gratitude, respect, and Love for the place they hold for those of us courageous enough to visit, to heal, and change our lives to the core. Their integrity and commitment and the medicine lineage runs deep.
Thank you and many Blessings
I can highly recommend nihuerao. I felt safe and well cared for at all times. The staff is friendly and professional, creating an atmosphere of home away from home. Ricardo and the visiting shamans led beautiful ceremonies with powerful icaros. A great place to go to for healing@
I recently stayed at Nihue Rao for the month of July and I still feel amazing!
I have traveled to Peru in the past and stayed at other centers but Nihue Rao was the best choice I could have made! I am so grateful for all the healing I received and I healed even more than I thought was possible!
The Ayahuasca was strong, and of course Ayahuasca healed me but I have to also give my thanks to the facilitators, Maestro Ricardo, and the shamans.
I truly know without these special people I wouldn’t have had such transformative and positive results. This was a whole new level and Nihue Rao totally exceeded my expectations!
I came to the center with a LONG list of intentions for healing. Some physical but mostly emotional and childhood traumas. I was able to heal ALL of my intentions and many more intentions that came up as the weeks went by. I’m incredibly pleased with the results and I still feel so full of Love and Light. The staff here call the center a “Spiritual University.” It really is a place for Spiritual Evolution and Transformation.
The facilitators and Ricardo were immensely important to the overall experience. Without their help, guidance and advice during my stay, I wouldn’t have been able to go as deep in ceremony and heal as much as I did. Everyday, after the ceremony we would have a group integration meeting, were everyone would briefly discuss their journey and share their most important visions. This helped Ricardo to understand our progress and he would use this information to help heal us for next ceremony. He took the time to answer our questions, and explained to us in detail how to work with Ayahuasca in the best way. The do’s and don’ts and how to get the most out of every ceremony. I gained so much information during these shares that my ceremonies evolved to a whole new level and it went beyond what I knew was possible. I healed at a soul level. I’m so thankful because I know Ricardo’s insights and the mastery of the shamans made all the difference. Thank you!
Also, during my stay the facilitators were such an important part to the functioning of the center and my overall progress. Again, if it wasn’t for them I don’t think I’d have had such successful results. I would often feel I needed some advice and the facilitators were amazing at giving great insights into my questions and most importantly they helped me narrow down and figure out my healing intentions for the following ceremonies. After talking with them they would bring me so much clarity and left me feeling more confident. It was obvious how much time and energy they put into making the center run smoothly and how dedicated they are to helping us with our own individual healing and transformation. They truly had our best interest at heart and they are such a blessing to the center. Thank you so much Benoit, Nora and Meru.
I couldn’t have done it without you!
Master shaman Ricardo was by far the best shaman I have worked with. He truly cared about each of us and wanted to help us heal. His integrity and connection to God, the Light, and the medicine is pure. His ceremonies were intensely powerful and beautiful.
I trust Ricardo and plan to come back to Nihue Rao and train as a shaman under him for one year. If anyone is looking to learn shamanism I definitely recommend this center. It’s extremely important to work under a trustworthy shaman and I won’t be needing to look any further!
Overall, the experience was beyond amazing! I came alone as a 30 year old woman and I want to say to all woman considering Nihue Rao, I felt completely comfortable at all times. The staff and the shamans have the upmost integrity and I felt safe in ceremony and outside of ceremony.
I can’t wait to come back. Thank you all so much!
Before coming to Nihue Rao, I had a lot of hopes for this place after reading Joe Tafur’s book called The Fellowship of the River, I thought I’m finally going to have a real shaman look at me and help me heal, so I opened up to them, telling them my most private issues that I was dealing with at the time thinking Ricardo and his shamans will be able to provide more effective healing if I tell them everything about myself. I also told them about my deep emotional traumas and how there is a high chance of me acting out dramatically during the ceremonies to let out repressed emotions held up over many years of living with social anxiety and depression.
When I first came to Nihue Rao, I could immediately intuit something was not right about the place, the people who did dietas there seemed downtrodden and the staff wasn’t meeting me with friendly open arms and hugs and they definitely didn’t radiate love, the whole vibe was just depressing and this isn’t what I expected from all the glowing reviews I’ve heard about this place and how Ricardo was the master shaman being able to heal people with his 40+ years experience. Despite having this intuition, I just kinda ignored it, thinking that I had too many great expectations for the place.
First ceremony: Ricardo comes in the maloka wearing sportsware and a baseball cap, it’s just another day at the office for him, he sits at his shamanic spot and shortly after starts yawning, falls asleep and starts snoring loudly. All the while people are casually being called to come up and have their drink of Ayahuasca. Okay fine I think to myself, I guess we don’t need any of the “ceremonial formalities” and the shaman doesn’t need to wear his shipibo clothes, casual comfortable clothing will do….
My experience during the ceremony can be described as chaotic because all 6 or so shamans sing their icaros at the same time which sounds like an orchestra missing a conductor, so it can be very difficult to tune yourself to any of the icaros as they tend to blend in. Also with so many people in the maloka (around 25) and all the shamans singing their icaros, the energy can quickly get very overwhelming and I don’t see how they can provide individual help when so much is going on. When I was struggling during one of the ceremonies, with my ego completely dissolving, none of the shamans offered their help, they didn’t come to me to sign icaros or offer their guidance.
When the third ceremony was officially over, I was still feeling the effects and I started having some break throughs, purging and roaring which I felt like were very healing for me because I was releasing a lot of repressed emotions, including anger. At this time, I personally asked Ricardo to continue singing icaros to me, which he did and I’m thankful for that. However, the next day, I was called to speak with Ricardo, and in short, I was told that I was disturbing the pasajeros (other people in the maloka), I told them the ceremony was already over at the time I started having my purges, but they still insisted that I was disturbing people who already went to sleep. I was left confused after this, am I not allowed to purge and express my repressed emotions? How am I to heal myself when I’m told to keep quiet, even after the ceremony is over? I thought this was the whole point of coming to the wild jungle, where I would be able to release some of the wild energies I have repressed for a long time (like many, if not all of us do). When speaking about this during one of the shared talks, I was basically scoffed at and even ridiculed by Martina, telling me something like “you should keep the wild beast to yourself”.
My “wild beast” didn’t want to have any of this though, and it would try to release itself on a few more occasions and they kept telling me I’m scaring and disturbing other people and I’m not allowed to behave in such ways. I kept telling them, this is the whole point of me coming here blah blah blah…..so this drama would continue, until one night, during one of the ceremonies, I openly started telling them how I felt, which only lasted like 1 minute. During this time, apparently many of the pasajeros got scared during my speech, I think it’s because I was speaking with my natural, confident and powerful voice. The next day, all the shamans had a meeting with me in the “creative/arts tambo” and shared what they thought about my absolutely inappropriate behavior, I felt like I was a school boy being ridiculed and scolded by teachers. I was told the same thing about scaring pasajeros and inappropriate loud behavior…..
From my experience, this center cares more about money than real healing, they have a lot of people coming in every week and they try not to go too deep in people’s issues, because that entails a lot more work. Despite many of the glowing reviews here (a lot of which are one paragraph and seem to be fake) I would advise anybody seeking real healing to avoid this place and look for people that genuinely care about healing you on the deepest level, I also recommend looking for a smaller place with 5-6 people in the group at a time and make sure you’ll be able to express yourself in whichever way you want. Being told to keep your mouth shut and not to be loud during your most emotional moments in your life, while you’re in the wild jungle is too ridiculous.
The love and tenderness everyone has shown me and the dedication of the Shamans is beautiful. I am a 61 year old woman who came here alone not speaking any Spanish and the center helped navigate my way.
I had a lot of anger, fear, shame and downright hatred for when things did not go my way. These emotions were literally killing me. Under the care of the shamans and the mother Ayahuasca, I cleaned these unhealthy emotions from my body. I feel they saved my life.
I highly recommend the Nihue Rao center. My experience has been great. It is a safe environment in which to do deep healing work. I came here as a single women by myself and never needed to worry about my safety. Everyone that works here has been very supportive, helpful and professional. During the ceremonies the Shamans will give every passenger individual attention and help in the work that needs to be done. Upon arrival you get an interview with the master Shaman who assigns you a master plant that supports your process for the duration of your stay. If you feel called to do some personal cleansing work to clear old and new traumas than this is the place to do it.
Nihue Rao is a great center if you want an authentic Shipibo experience. Maestro Ricardo and the other shamans are very powerful and help a lot of people with various issues emotional, spiritual, and physical. The center is well run and very safe. You can trust these guys. It is very, very important who you work with as a shaman. I worry about people going to random centers because you can really get screwed up with bad energies and black magic. This won’t happen to you at Nihue Rao.
I just returned from my 2nd stay, this one for a month long healing diet. It was amazing. Maestro Ricardo and crew are the real deal. The facilities are safe and clean. There’s toilets and showers, nice accommodations, and the best food you can expect while on la dieta.
If you want to do Shipibo ayahuasca ceremonies, do yourself a favor and go here. You can find cheaper, but you can’t find better.
It was my first time taking ayahuasca so I was a bit nervous and unsure about the experience. As soon as I arrived at nihue Rao I was greeted by smiling faces and friendly down to earth staff. I was made to feel comfortable straight away. Talking with other people there who were more experienced then me I kept hearing how lucky I was to have found this place as their experiences at other places had not been nearly as deep and special as theirs at nihue Rao. Ricardo the shaman was fantastic and I walked away with alot of respect for the work that he does and what he has created at nihue Rao. I did alot of work on myself while I was there and so much inside me has shifted thanks to nihue Rao. I could not recommend this place enough and will be back as soon as I can!
Being an Ayahuasca virgin, I am grateful that it was Nihue Rao I ended up going to.
For me, it was a beautiful safe place to meet and experience the master plant for the first time. Physically as well as psychologically. The nature, the facilities, the facilitators, shamans and people around; co-passengers and local community who’s involved in running the place. As well as the respect and care for the individual passengers, plants, diets, experiences and processes.
As to my experience with Ayahuasca on this first retreat, I am still processing. And it feels like there will always be a little something. I now understand that it is a medicine and why people call it transformative. I also believe that it is not for everyone and that you should take care and be 100 % honest and transparent to the shaman, so s-/he can give you the best advice for your individual treatment.
For anyone looking for a beautiful safe experience with Ayahuasca, I can wholeheartedly recommend Nihue Rao.
This far, I have completed two (2) stays at Nihue Rao over the last year. My reasons were for healing of childhood trauma and an addiction, both of which I’ve received healing on a deeper level than I e experienced with talk therapy and group counseling alone. Ayahuasca breaks down all defense mechanisms so the subconscious can be accessed, thereby trauma can be healed. It’s an amazing and powerful medicine but not for everyone. For me it’s been a true gift and I’m grateful I’ve had the opportunity to heal using the medicine. I’ve also done a dieta with a master plant, Ajos Sachs.
I plan to go back to Nihue Rao for more work with Ayahuasca and master plants. I highly recommend Nihue Rao and it’s traditional approach to healing and spiritual growth. No frills needed!
Great experience. Legit shamans. Clean, strong medicine. Friendly and helpful staff. Peaceful environment. Quality facilities. I have no regrets about spending 40 days in this magical place. It’s expensive but you know your money is supporting the many good workers and their families. I am privileged to have access to this medicine and to call these people my friends. Thank you, Nihue Rao. Peace, blessings, and may you all continue to do this sacred work.
This was my second visit to Nihue Rao, my first coming in September 2014.
I went for 30 days, so 16 ayahuasca ceremonies.
I don’t know where to start………..
From start to finish the whole experience has been incredible. In Ricardo’s words I was “loaded” when I arrived 4 weeks ago.
I wasn’t in a good place mentally. My mental health issues stretching back as far as I can remember in my 37 years, even back to childhood.
The shamans themselves Ricardo, Alfonso, Miguel and Felacio bringing these beautiful icaros to ceremony 4 times a week making these issues eventually melt away. It’s been a long hard road.
The staff Benoit, Meru, Gabriel and Sergio making me feel at home as soon as arrived. All giving advice and their time and knowledge on the process, plus also talks from Ben on master plants which I found invaluable.
The kitchen staff, security, cleaners, laundry staff……..all doing the best to their ability and always being lovely and polite.
And of course all the other pasajeros, who I hope, along with the staff I will see again someday.
I cannot thank every single person enough, you’ve all been more than incredible on this journey. I wish I could hug you all.
If you want a place that’s professional, safe, secure, knowledgeable, friendly, happy and full of integrity then Nihue Rao is the place for you. I honestly can not say enough good things.
Ricardo said some lovely things to me in our last meeting, and I will be eternally grateful for those words and the time he took to say them. He also shook my hand and hugged me just before I left.
The way I feel now can’t be put into words. Words don’t exist to describe this feeling. Incredible/happy/magnificent/confident/joyous…….all fall way off the mark.
Thank you Ricardo, Alfonso, Miguel, Felacio, Benoit, Meru, Gabriel and Sergio, I’ll miss you all and all the animals too.
And thank you mother ayahuasca and my master plant oje. You’ve saved my life.
I’ll see you all again one day, hopefully sooner rather than later.
I was one of the long term dieters at Nihue Rao. Nihue Rao is a place that feels like home to me. Everyone from cooks to cleaners to security guards to facilitators and shamans were so amazing, supportive, warm and welcoming. Security guards’ 24/7 presence made me feel safe, secure and protected. Don Ricardo and Alfonso are some of the most powerful healers out there. They saved my life. Their work is truly miraculous. One-on-one meetings with Benoit and Ricardo throughout the dieta helped me keep track of my progress and provided me with valuable insight, advice, and wisdom. The medicine is strong and pure. The pasajeros and dieters were some of the most incredible people I’ve met. I was thankful for all the love, compassion and healing I received here.
I cannot say enough good things about Nihue Rao.
Nihue Rao is a wonderful retreat! I had 10 days there in May 2018 and really enjoyed it. The shaman was powerful and the healing I received was life-changing. Ayahuasca is a tough lady not to be messed with but she really made some significant improvements to my psyche. While the lodging and food are simple at best I really made some good friends in the group I was with. Set your intentions and blast off to the stars!
Nihue Rao was my first Spiritual Center in Peru. I went back in December and could not have asked for a better experience. The staff is very friendly, accomodating, and every one went the extra mile to help with anything that you needed. Going to a Spiritual Center is definitely not a time for wild adventures. Going deep within yourself with a lot of solitude and stillness will help the healing process.
I loved how the Dieta helped physically clean my system on top of the medicine to help spiritually and mentally heal me. I left Peru feeling whole and complete, pure blissful and grateful for the opportunity of life. Ricardo is definitely a very experienced healer and can help you with a variety of symptoms from physical to mental to spiritual.
I am whole again and forever thankful to Nihue Rao and their team!!!
I recently came back from a 10 day retreat there and had a wonderful experience. To my knowledge, everyone had a positive experience. There were people from all walks of life, and I felt at home and safe at NHCE. I believe the Maestro Ricardo is very experienced in his craft, but its best if you go, please adhere to the diet and instructions given. Sure there aren’t many activities to do other than rest, relax, reflect on yourself (go inwardly), so if your intention is go have a slew of exciting and wild amazonian activities and tours, this might not be for you. The tour I signed up was for a journey to go inwardly, and this is exactly what I got.
The support staff will go beyond and above what is required to help make things formidable at the center. The day of my departure, I lost my phone on the bumpy ride back to town, and a local found it. Two of the staff members, Serjio and David, helped me retrieve my phone back from the local founder. For this I will always be grateful. Shouting out to the beautiful staff, the Maestro and other Shamans, and the fine friends I made during this time. Salutations to the Spirit of the Amazon and the beautiful plants at NRCE. Gracias for todo!
A few years ago I was singing ayahuasca’s praises. It seemed like a miracle that something so powerful and life-changing could exist. I did my first ayahuasca ceremonies at Nihue Rao, got some powerful icaros and went back home feeling completely transformed, energized and like life was a clean slate. Then I came back to Nihue Rao a second time because I knew I needed more work on myself. This time it was very different, and one ceremony in particular went bad. Ricardo said they had trouble dealing with some of the heavier energies that night. He said I would feel better the next day. However, I felt sad the entire rest of the week there and couldn’t shake it off. One of the staff suggested I contact a coach who charged over $200 per session. I went home feeling disconnected from life and feeling extremely suicidal for the next three months due to whatever had infected my energy field. There was no support, nobody I could get help from for this.
Sure, ayahuasca is some powerful stuff. I get why people are so enchanted by it. The visions are powerful and the icaros can lead to some powerful healing. However, ayahuasca is a double edged sword. And it’s the spiritual equivalent of playing with knives. It’s also one of the most spiritually dirty healing modalities that exists. You are in a space with up to 20 or more people, all of whom are completely opened up energetically, so any negative juju is free to come in or out.
It’s not just me who’s been affected. I know others who have also had bad and even traumatizing results, or at the very least whose healing was just temporary.
There are much more effective and safer spiritual modalities out there if you are looking for healing or spiritual growth. Fortunately I found powerful healing that helped me more in 6 months than 18 ayahuasca ceremonies did in one year. It didn’t cost nearly as much and didn’t involved terrifying, confusing and senseless visions and purges. So, this isn’t just a review for Nihue Rao but for ayahuasca in general. Just know that if you do ayahuasca there are some real risks.
For my 52nd birthday this year, I wanted to experience Ayahuasca, “the vine of the soul.” I felt intrigued and encouraged by the stories of so many people who have found healing through this renowned plant medicine. Making the commitment to take this journey was a process that entailed a lot of reading and reflection. I remember the moment, several months ago, when I transitioned from having mere curiosity about Ayahuasca to a deep feeling of excitement. I knew that I was finally ready to travel to the Amazon basin in Peru to experience it for myself.
I researched several healing centers and decided to book a 10-day stay at Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual. Ricardo Amaringo is the leader of Nihue Rao. As a shaman and ayahuasquero with several decades of experience, Ricardo is very well regarded. The center is located on a beautiful property surrounded by lush forest that is an hour’s drive away from Iquitos in the Peruvian Amazon. Upon my arrival, I was pleased to find that my accommodations consisted of a bungalow with three open sides – only screens separated me from the tropical forest. In the coming days, I would enjoy long naps, falling asleep at bedtime, and waking up in the morning surrounded by fresh air and the sounds of birds, insects and the occasional rainstorm.
The staff at Nihue Rao was very kind and attentive during my stay. Benoit is supervisor, and he conducted an in-depth, introductory interview with me regarding my purpose in traveling so far from home to experience Ayahuasca. Throughout my stay, Benoit monitored each visitor’s progress with the plant medicine, and he was always available to answer any questions that I might have. I also had an individual meeting with Ricardo prior to my first ceremony. This meeting was critical since it gave me the opportunity to communicate my specific intentions for healing to the shaman.
As I met the other visitors at Nihue Rao who had already been to ceremonies, I was struck by how excited they were about their experiences with Ayahuasca. Some of them spoke about elaborate visions that they had seen during ceremonies. And several described gaining newfound awareness that had a “transformative” effect upon their lives – an amazing claim given the short amount of time that they had spent at the center.
Soon, it was time for me to participate in the first of six ceremonies. I had thought long and hard about my intentions. My intentions were focused upon healing childhood trauma, finding forgiveness with family and relationship issues, overcoming addictive behavior, and gaining inspiration toward greater skill and confidence in my profession. During each ceremony, participants received an individual icaro, or medicine song, from Ricardo or one of a few other shamans that often induced a profound state of release, healing and awareness. I was truly amazed to realize new insights and make steady progress across all of my concerns as each ceremony unfolded.
Ayahuasca is truly a wondrous medicine. I felt so grateful for the expert guidance that I received at Nihue Rao from Ricardo and the other shamans and from Benoit and the other staff, which helped me to navigate this extraordinary experience. On mornings following ceremonies, participants supported each other in the process during sharing sessions with guidance from Ricardo and Benoit. And Nihue Rao provided a beautiful, serene environment for rest and reflection between ceremonies that was quite conducive to healing.
Nihue Rao is a beautiful place where I always felt safe and where my heart was truly opened. It provided me with the opportunity to not only reflect upon my deepest concerns, but to actually make substantial progress working through each of them. I returned home from Nihue Rao full of gratitude and very excited about the positive impact that staying there will surely have on my life going forward!
I just wrapped up one of the most transformational experiences of my life. 10 days at Nihue and I feel lighter than I ever have – finally I’ve shed baggage and pain that I was carrying for decades.
Shamans of the Shipibo tradition at Nihue Rao are focused on in-depth healing and introspection. They ensure that everything from intake to exit facilitate an experience of the heart and soul.
The staff at Nihue is unparalleled – they are accessible, compassionate, and incredibly wise. Benoit is truly exceptional. I could talk to him at any point about intentions, doubts, fears, or questions which allowed me to walk into each ceremony feeling comfortable. Then, during ceremonies themselves, there are plenty of people dedicated to ensuring that everyone has the support they need.
Moreover, the location is beautiful – waking up every morning to see beautiful trees and walking around every afternoon to enjoy the adorable animals running around further centered the experience.
When my friend and I were searching for a retreat, we ran into a few centers that effectively tried to promise everything. For example, one center stated we could do 6 ceremonies and a Master Plant in 6 days – be wary of these places. Ayahuasca can be a profitable business and some locations seem willing to compromise the safety of passengers and sanctity of the process to make a dollar. Nihue Rao has developed clear guidelines after years of experience that worked very well for us and all others in the community.
I would wholeheartedly recommend Nihue Rao to anyone looking for an ayahuasca experience.
A Healing Journey at Nihue Rao
Nihue Rao is a “centro espiritual”: a spiritual center. My wife and I were there for 11 days in January, 2018. We are both over 70. It has been 8 weeks since we returned. I waited this long to write our review because I wanted to be able to be sure I could separate the “magical” thrill of being on retreat in the Amazon from the ways the Healing Journey continues to be manifest in our lives.
I will begin by writing about the physical and psychological environment of Nihue Rao, because they are the same. In every way, Nihue Rao is a safe environment. This extends from the armed guards to the cleanliness of the grounds to the food to the villagers who share the space to the guiding escorts (interpreters) to the shamans themselves. There are no “head trips”, here. The power structure here is entirely natural and based on perceptual and communication skills and not on personal manipulation or charisma.
The armed guards who are always on patrol are the kindest I have ever met anywhere in the world. They are friendly and supportive. They truly are part of the healing environment, as gentle protectors: neither suspicious nor bored nor antagonistic.
The kitchen staff feeds everyone, and they, too, extend the feeling of caring to all: kittens, workers and guests. We are all treated with equal generosity.
The guides who interview us and translate for us and look after us both within the moloka (the ceremony hall) and in the whole village environment, are exceptional in knowing when to give people space, when to create individual focus, and when to intervene with extra, intensely personal support. They assume the roles of attentive, protective and nurturing psychological and spiritual escorts, or trusted nurses, in the very best sense of that word!
The pediatrician and psychoanalyst D W Winnicott developed the term “facilitating environment” to describe the combination of safety, nourishment and encouragement which a mother provides for her infant child. This trust was certainly our experience of the Healing Journey at Nihue Rao. To quote from Wikipedia: Winnicott came to consider that “Playing takes place in the potential space between the baby and the mother-figure….[T]he initiation of playing is associated with the life experience of the baby who has come to trust the mother figure”. “Potential space” was Winnicott’s term for a sense of an inviting and safe interpersonal field in which one can be spontaneously playful while at the same time connected to others.”
At Nihue Rao villagers, guards, cooks, grounds-keepers, interpreter-guides and shamans all combine their skills to create a mentally and physically safe environment in which to play. Nihue Rao does not emphasize any religious view or spiritual “path”. There is no “belonging” to a specific set of beliefs or any push to accept any defined “meaning”. Nihue Rao is only concerned with the safety, clarity and healthy energy of each individual seeker.
For an example of the trust engendered in this environment, during one of my ayahuasca experiences I relived having the “croup”, an early-childhood illness that had made me unable to breathe and caused me to be hospitalized in an oxygen tent. I have always remembered the glorious feeling of being physically “born-again” when the illness broke and I “returned to life” in the middle of the night in that old hospital ward, but my memory never went back further to the terror of being unable to breathe and being so helplessly close to death.
During this part of my relationship with ayahuasca, in which I had unfortunately tried to take a breath while vomiting, I truly could not breathe, and yet I was not afraid. I trusted that the guides who came to help me knew CPR, and I experienced 3 of the shamans “astral-project” to watch over me, in case greater intervention was necessary. Knowing I was so protected both physically and psycho-spiritually allowed me to eventually regain control of my breathing on my own. This short-circuit in my breathing repeated a second night, but a quickly administered Heimlich maneuver made this a very short and completely uneventful experience. What became emphasized for me was not the base fact of my own physical survival, but my feelings of gratitude and the actual physical experience of a nurturing, supportive community.
I want to emphasize it is my perspective that ayahuasca, in combination with the extremely bland diet, the Master Plants drink, the rituals, chanting and Amazon environment, all worked together. To focus greedily on the “mystical” hallucinogenic qualities of ayahuasca is to miss the point. It was the experience of all of these in community that made this a Healing Journey.
The Nihue Rao website emphasizes “The success of the healing process depends on the length of your stay and also on the effort that you put in to your healing process: focus, intention, trust and time. Ayahuasca, the master plants and the shamans will also do their best work for your wellbeing. It is a combination of shaman work, Ayahuasca and you.”
My wife and I certainly agree with this! Now, 8 weeks after returning to our “normal” lives, we find that many of the “magical” feelings from living in the Amazon have faded, but those issues we focused on with well-defined intention have remained transformed. When we come upon an energy-block or provocative situation, we are able to simply reconnect to our healing-intention and put aside the old negative thinking. I do not mean that we meditate in any special way or repeat a chant or mantra. I mean this as a simple, straightforward act of remembering, of returning to the greater sense of possibility which the experience at Nihue Rao provides.
When I try to explain this in conversation, I always fall back on Rilke’s short poem about The Unicorn, in which he writes:
“The people fed it, not on corn, but on the Possibility of being.”
The Nihue Rao perspective is grounded in this sense of Possibility: of psychological-spiritual Play. I took ayahuasca. My wife did not. We participated in everything else equally. And we discovered that ayahuasca itself was not necessary for the intentional transformations we desired. To quote again from the Nihue Rao website:
“During our life experiences we collect a lot of energies that can block us. By cleaning these energies we can feel more connected to ourselves and our truest path. We work with the wisdom and medicine of the master plants for the purpose of your healing, learning and wellbeing. The plants [and chants, and caring, supportive presence of the guides] are our allies and helpers in your healing process.”
In my personal analogy, I describe the “self” as a tall building that has become covered in the grime of pollution. The Master Plants, shaman’s chants and the caring attention of the guides wash the windows, repair the wiring, and haul out a lifetime of accumulated trash for recycling or to turn it into life-giving compost.
Ayahuasca, however, will definitely give you “a kick in the ass”, and many of us felt we were certainly “going to die” during our 5th ceremonies. For the person next to me he felt as if his “mind is melting”. For me, it was a physical fear of “my body going into shock” from “loss of electrolytes” after days in the jungle heat. This fear of loss of control can take many forms.
Ayahuasca is a “hard reboot”. It just throws you off the roof, and like an action-hero in your own movie, you miraculously survive unharmed and stronger than before. Ayahuasca can be a powerful experience, but it is not necessary as long as you spend enough time in the village with the Master Plants, diet and ceremonies.
As for my other personal experiences with ayahuasca, I will quote from the website again: “More important than the visions is that the Ayahuasca works in the body to clean the blocks and the energies. As well, there are many types of visions: they may be old memories that come to mind or thoughts that feel different from our regular everyday ones. Whether or not you have visions trust that ayahuasca is working on helping you with what you need!”
This is certainly true. I am a musician, dancer and storyteller. I do not process experiences visually. I also worked for 11 years as a “Play Therapist” and a “Music Therapist” in a mental health center. I don’t have “visions”. I sing songs. As they came to know me, the guides were able to help me find my own ways to process ayahuasca and they learned how to translate to the shamans my physical and story-image responses. The guides definitely responded to each participant as an individual!
The best description I can come up with for the Healing Journey at Nihue Rao is to quote, again, from the Wikipedia entry on Winnicott: “He thought that people were born without a clearly developed self and had to “search” for an authentic sense of self as they grew. “For Winnicott, the sense of feeling real, feeling in touch with others and with one’s own body and its processes was essential for living a life.” … This experience of aliveness is what allows people to be genuinely close to others, and to be creative.”
Looking at my life within the experience of the Healing Journey at Nihue Rao, I can accept that bad things happened to me in infancy and as I lived my life, but I can also see that I continued to carry those negative experiences with me to perpetuate and re-enact the wounding on myself. (For this insight, I am grateful for the poem “I Give You Back” by Joy Harjo)
I have discovered that forgiveness comes only after letting go of self-abusing guilt and accepting one’s own responsibility for holding onto the pain with life habits of intense, self-justifying aggression or drug /alcohol abuse or self-inflicted confusion or narcissistic feelings of helplessness or isolation.
Moving along the Healing Journey at Nihue Rao, I found my perspective shift from criticism to kindness and from visions of self-abuse to visions of self-respect. I was able to see myself through clean eyes, in the way Derrick Walcott wrote in his poem “Love After Love”:
“You will love again the stranger who was yourself.”
You are free to imagine the Healing Journey as “play therapy” or as a “spiritual awakening”. The framework you apply to the experience doesn’t matter: only your honesty, self-forgiveness and compassion. You are welcomed to enjoy the ayahuasca “light show”, but the focus of intention here at Nihue Rao is self-integration, not merely intense experiences.
I urge you to take this long, uncomfortable and exciting journey into the Amazon to support your “search for an authentic sense of self”. Yes, the “Master Plants”, the extremely bland diet and the shamans’ songs, stimulated by the ayahuasca, are powerful enough push you along the road; but if you take responsibility to prepare your intentions and come ready to work, then you have the potential to become real in ways you cannot imagine, even in your best dreams.
Recommended poetry to enhance understanding of this Healing Journey:
“I Give You Back” by Joy Harjo
“Love After Love” by Derrick Walcott
“Shedding Skin” by Harryette Mullen
“I thank you God for most this amazing” by e.e.cummings
“Crying Poem” by Jimmy Santiago Baca
“Call Me By My True Names” by Thich Nhat Hahn
Just as there are many types of churches that can bring you to a spiritual and physical healing there are many types of shamans that can bring you to a spiritual and physical place of healing. There are also churches and shamans that can lead you astray either consciously or unconsciously.
Several months ago when I made a decision to step into my 10 year vision of answering my call to the Amazon River in Peru to participate in an ayahuasca ceremony I began to do my research. I read two books and watched 4 documentaries. I also read many reviews.
I was looking for a safe place that I could heal. I had heard the horror stories of the jungle. I had never been out of the U.S. and I wanted a place that catered to my native English language since I couldn’t speak Spanish. Due to my age and health, I wanted to know this was going to be safe. I don’t do drugs or drink and wanted to treat this experience as a spiritual journey as well as a healing journey with safety harnesses all around this journey so I could surrender to the experience.
Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual honored my space.
From the time I made contact with them via email to the time I left the place they gave me a safe and guided experience.
I addressed my fears from the start and they patiently guided me. I was monitored for my health from the get go. They put the responsibility on me to provide very real raw data and nudged me to be accountable for my actions.
When I arrived they were very direct and wasn’t there to take my money and put me through a ceremony. They were direct about my responsibilities and it was very apparent that they had respect for the Spirit of Ayahuasca. I even began to have hesitation about what I was getting into and they didn’t push me at all to participate. They know that it is our responsibility to partake as well as respect Ayahuasca. There was no peer pressure to do anything I didn’t want to do. They wanted to make sure that I was informed of all consequences and they even limited me on how much I could take on the first journey.
There were several people there that had experience Ayahuasca before as well as other drugs and they commented that they wish they would have done it here at this place. They said that they would never go to another place again.
I am planning on coming back within the next 6 months. It was a transformational experience and there is always more work that needs to be done.
Although this place resonated with me and I will be returning to this place. I am not here to convince you that this place is for you… I am open to answer your questions about this place from my experience. If you want to reach out to me if free to contact me at: Hfisher62@gmail.com
Amazing, life changing, beautiful. The English language doesn’t contain enough words to properly explain the beauty of this center. Sometimes in life you get a chance to experience moments so pure that you can’t help but be happy. That is Nihue Rao.
My husband and I were not new to sitting with the medicine. But we were new to the jungle. I am so happy that my first experience was at Nihue Rao, as recommended by a close friend. Everyone from the shamans, facilitators, staff, grounds people, and guards are examples of love and happiness. You know you are on protected sacred land when you are there.
I came to the center troubled and I left loving life. This center made me feel safe which is very necessary in order to properly focus and process everything on a healing journey, and as a woman I highly recommend this center. If you read the book “The Fellowship of the River”, you know that Ricardo founded this center with Women’s safety in mind. The amenities are balanced with nature so you have the facilities you need while maintaining the necessary elements to connect with yourself and the healing energies of the plants.
Ricardo’s and the shamans icaros are powerful. They touch the essence of your soul and reconnect you with what you thought you lost, or maybe with what you didn’t realize was missing. In all honesty it goes beyond healing when you leave a center feeling complete and whole as a person.
I would recommend this center to anyone, including my family and close friend. I will definitely be returning to experience the light and love of this center.
Nihue Rao is a very special place. I had drank several times before coming and came at the recommendation of a close friend who had been a number of times in the past few years. I was very impressed with the guidance I received over a three week stay. Calling the icaros amazing would be a large understatement.
The entire experience is an exercise in minimalism. Forcing yourself to be more committed about the food you consume and being more aware of the energies you both give and take was a valuable lesson for me that was nurtured in the protocol of this center.
This center was founded on the basis of providing protection for women which made my wife feel safe during our stay. There are many charlatans in this practice looking to prey on individuals who seek spiritual guidance and this center is the absolute real deal.
The combined experience of this family of shamans, and the tight knit group of facilitators and staff is nothing short of breathtaking. I can not express the level of gratitude that I have for every person who was part of my experience from the security guards, to the children playing, the villagers, the merchants, the workers, and the women from the kitchen. The sense of community and connection that exists at this center is truly a gem that our modern day society has lost sight of.
I will definitely be going back and I have no intention of exploring other centers.
Most beautiful, powerful icaros I have experienced. Witnessing four shamans attuned to one another, each singing a different song is one of the highlights of my life. There is healing here.
Very pleased after the 10-day Piñon Blanco dieta. It was not easy to maintain dietary restrictions for the equivalent period following the retreat, but I am glad I did.
Early on, the sounds of the city could distract, (jets, distant music) and roosters don’t necessarily crow at dawn. After a few days, though, it wasn’t a problem for me.
Solid staff and support network. Safe. Thank you Benoit, Phil, Gabriel, Sergio, Felicita, Rafael, JuanNe, and Marco Antonio. Hats off to what Ricardo and his team have accomplished.
Healing, rejuvenating, life giving. I have my life back for the first time in decades. If you are even curious, this is the place to come to. The best shamans, strong medicine and a safe container. The staff are excellent and management is impeccable. I step forward into life with a new vision. The patience, wisdom and love that i was given here has helped me to heal deeply and fully. My time here has been life changing on all levels and all areas of my life, all for the better. If you’re waiting for a sign to make change for the better than this is it.
I have been together with my wife several times at Nihue Rao. Maestro Ricarrdo Amaringo and his great medicine changed our lifes in a very positive way, we are very happy that we may follow this traditional medicine path with these deep effects on body, soul and spirit. the madre became our guidance in our lifes and professions as MD with holistic approach and kinesiologist. Words are inable to describe what happens if you decide to dive into this miracle of medicine, we will come again to be part of our new family…..muchissimo Gracias
Christian und Annelies
My wife and I spent 10 days at Nihue Rao in Feb 2018. The experience that we had was certainly one of the most valuable of either of our lives. From the moment I arrived, I felt deeply welcomed by the staff and workers at Nihue Rao, who attended to our every need and question without ever crowding us or pushing us beyond our comfort zones (leave that to the medicine!) The team at Nihue Rao is truly an all-star squad of dedicated and disciplined individuals of the highest degree of integrity and ability. The place feels like something from another time – a village teeming with love, smiling faces, children playing, animals being awesome and hilarious, everything and everybody just constantly generating positive karma and a most peaceful atmosphere. The depth of healing that happens here with regularity is nothing short of astonishing. I could, and may someday, write a book about the sort of transformation that I experienced personally, with the amazing support and individual attention given to me by Ricardo and the other maestro shamans and assistants. Let me reiterate – these are the hardest working people I’ve ever met, each with a profound dedication to medicine work and each with the highest degree of integrity, intelligence, sensitivity, and soul. I can recommend Nihue Rao to you 110%. Max respect for these people, the medicine, and the space held for healing. Go forth! Save up if you need to. You will not regret it.
So my journey started here in late December, on a two week Master Plant learning retreat. This retreat was held by Markus and Cvita, two enchanting people who care to share the medicine with all.
Blessed to be learning and having classes with them, an oppourtunity came up for me to volunteer my time at the centre as a Facilitator. My time at Nihue Rao went from 2 weeks to 2 months. It has changed my life entirely.
I have let go of so many things that were holding me back in my life such as ego and obsession. I also learned valuable lessons in discernment and the ability to ask for help without feeling I have to do it all myself.
Intergration back into society has been difficult. However I wholly accept it’s challenge to test the things I have learned from Nihue Rao.
I highly recommend this center for anyone looking to journey deep within themselves. To genuinely heal and spiritually progress. It is not easy work. It is uncomfortable, but when it is uncomfortable that’s when you know your making progress!
Thank you so much,
Hi everyone! I’ve passed ten days in Nihue Rao few weeks ago and i’m so satisfied of what i passed threw and happy of how i feel since this experience.
it has been a deep cleaning, awareness and transformation process wich, at the end, brings me keys to reajust my life. Now i feel much more joy and calm, and even back in Paris it lasts and leads me every days.
In those last seven years i knew some other centers and i warmly recommand you Nihue Rao because of these basic parameters:
-An excellent knowledge and experience of the plants use and of the spiritual world of the shamans,
-Reliability, goodwill and kindness of all the team,
-A beautifull place to stay.
Bye and take care,
I stayed at Nihue Rao for 1 month and I did a very intense diet there! This was meanwhile my 3rd stay there! Nihue Rao is really really a wonder- wonderful place and I felt me very blessed that I could stay there some time! So much love & light around! The work of the shamans is very very powerful, it`s really amazing, especially from the master Ricardo Amaringo (the owner)! But for sure also from the other shamans! We had 4 shamans every ceremony! Very high level of masterplant shamanism! The guidance and support during the strong healingprocess is very professional, so that you can really trust. Also the support from the Nihue Rao manager Benoit its amazing. A very lovely and experienced person!!! You can come to him with every question and you will get very clear answers! Great soul, I love him very much 🙂 The translation to spanish is also very very good! In my case from Martina and Svita. These two women are so so sweet, full of love and strong experienced in Masterplant shamanism! Also they helped me a lot during my healing processes! So, my healing journey was very successful and therefore I can/want recommend warmly this Ayahuasca healingcenter! Go there and you will find deep healing. kindly regards, Klaus Friedl (Austria)
I went to Nihue Rao in Januari and had the fortune to have the four Richardo, Miguel, Alfonso and Felacio as shamans on my first ayahuasca retreat. I stayed for 7 days total and wish that I had stayed for at least 10 days.
It was an amazing experience! The shamans Icaros was beautiful and they was truly masters in the art of shamanism.
The Centre was clean and felt really safe, the personel was really kind and helpful and I am truly greatful to everyone working at Nihue Rao to make the experience as complete and safe as possible.
The diet and medicine really helped me a lot, and I am looking forward on going back soon again.
Nihue Rao has revolutionized my life. Very helpful and experienced team. the shamans are incredible and hold such a precious technology of healing. i felt very safe and taken care of. they have helped me unlock the path that I had walked and understand what was causing my emotional pain. in doing so, i now see more clearly the path i wish to walk and am motivated to do so. would love to return in the future. if peru calls to you, and if lady aya calls to you, this is a refined place to unlock your heart and have conversation with your soul.
My healing journey to Nihue Rao was life changing. My two week stay and experience with both ayahausca and a Master Plant Dieta were cathartic, profound, and incredibly special. Going was a leap of sheer faith and I couldn’t have been cared for by a more dedicated, kind, compassionate, and wise staff.
I came away with the transformation I was looking for, deep respect for the bond between plant medicine and the Shipibo traditions, tremendous gratitude for sharing in such a magical gift, International friendships I’ll have for life, and a sincere desire to go back sooner than later.
I can’t recommend the experience more to anyone on a Spiritual path who is looking for true connection and healing.
Age 39 from San Diego, California, USA
I am very much grateful to God for sending my way to Nihue Rao. My retreat here has been amazing.
The shamans, Ricardo, Alfonso, Miguel and Felacio they are just so amazing, they all do their best to help me as much as they could. And their Icaros are really amazing and powerful. Also Benoit, Martina, Cvita and Markus, they help me a lot too. They always shared their knowledge and give some tips that help me on every ceremonies. Every after ceremonies, we will do a meeting to share our ceremony experience and always they will ask us if we are doing ok, how was our ceremonies, is there anything we saw in our vision that they can help of. And also they will share talks that is of great help during the ceremonies and post integration.
Every ceremonies Gage, Phil and Sergio are always there to assist us in our needs.
Also I witness two beautiful spiritual weddings during my retreat as they also do spiritual wedding here in the center.
Yes, it’s not always beautiful ceremonies but all ceremonies was a healing and learning for me and I couldn’t asked for more.
Everything in Nihue Rao is just great, and also the workers are very sympathic and very nice. Always smiling.
And one thing I can be proud of in Nihue Rao is its not only they help the people in the retreat but also the villagers. They helped them build their homes and give them work in the center. They don’t need that much worker but still they give them work so they will be able to raise their families.
So much love and compassion I received in the center. I recommended this place with all my heart and soul. Thank you Nihue Rao!
Probably the warmest and most welcoming place I have been to. It has been such a great experience there. Everyone cared for you and gave you the reassertion that there would always be someone for you available. I can’t describe how good it was so you will just have to go there and find out for yourself. Thanks guys!
I am so grateful that I had my first experience with Ayahuasca at Nihue Rao. I felt safe under the guidance of the shamans and the staff were so welcoming and attentive. I made lifetime friends during my stay. My experience was magical and it will remain in my cherished memories forever.
I had my first ayahuasca ceremony at Nihue Rao, and it was a profoundly moving experience. The grounds are quiet, clean, and well maintained. With more amenitiesn then one would expect that far into the jungle. Plenty of support staff are around and are interested in answering any questions or concerns you might have.
The center is a serious place for the application of plant medicine, and the staff there do their jobs with a professionalism that surprised me.
I may not agree with all the points of view of Nihue Rao (I lean towards a synthesis of western thought with spirituality), and the shamans themselves seem distant. However, there is no doubt they are great teachers of their craft and care deeply about the personal growth of their charges.
Powerful, authentic experience. I came and was supported in the work I’ve wanted to do. I hope to return soon.
I LOVED Nihue Rao. I was there for 2 weeks and logistically it felt very well organised and professional. I felt that my every need was taken care of and anytime I needed something, it was there for me. Yes, you sleep in very basic accommodations, but for what they are, they are clean. If you want a 5 star hotel, then don’t go stay in the friggin jungle. If you want to sleep surrounded by the booming sounds of the jungle but be safe from animals and bugs – then the accommodations are perfect. I came armed with the strongest insect repellent in the world – but never needed it – I got bitten just a couple of times, and I am usually attacked by bugs.
The professionalism and organisation of Nihue Rao do give it a slightly sterile feeling, but I think this this is a good thing – its a jungle aya hospital in a sense. They have helpers who feel like the go-to between us and Ricardo/The Shamans. This is nice as they are friendly and approachable. Not that Ricardo isn’t, I just don’t speak Spanish and can be weirdly shy sometimes.
I had some MAJOR things come up and the MENTALIST aya experiences I have ever had, but I always felt safe with everyone that was helping/leading. So much so, I no longer do aya with certain shamans, as I have seen and felt what true ayahuasca professionalism is.
Everyone that works there will always be in my heart. I have never forgotten anyone who helped me in some way at NR. I would go back every year – but I cannot return to the same experience until I have ticked many more countries off my list.
Ill be back at some point though.
I HIGHLY recommend NR.
I highly recommend Nihue Rao to anyone that is looking for some healing, guidance, and faith in their life! This is not the place to come if you are looking to get high or for the wrong reasons. This is a spiritual healing center.
I have had an amazing and transformational journey and I can’t imagine doing it anywhere else except Niue Rao, I will absolutely return here again someday.
The ayawaska medicine is brewed on site using two primary ingredients, so you don’t need to worry about any nasty additives. I felt very safe my whole time here, as a woman traveling alone it’s been fantastic, there is 24-hour security and all the grounds are protected, aside from that there is a energetic protection around the center created by Riccardo the head Sharman. The staff here are fantastic and very open and empathetic so you will be supported all the time you are here.
I went to nihue Rao March’17 and to sum it up it was an amazing, deep, eye opening experience. Ayahuasca is a beautiful plant that I feel blessed to have had the experience of. The workers and shamans of Nihue Rao are absolutely beautiful people, you really feel the love and care they have for everyone that comes.
It’s an intense experience and I wouldn’t say it’s for everyone but if you feel like it’s calling you, it most likely is. With good and bad trips the workers help you through it all, whether you’re still in ceremony or after. I definitely recommend Nihue Rao because it’s calling me back already.
Nihue Rao is a beautiful place, full of love and compassion, surrounded by awesome human beings, like Ricardo Amaringo, the main shaman, Miguel and the rest of the shamans; Dr Joe Tafur and Cvita Mamic, Benoit, Alexandra, Camila, Patrick, Martina, Markus, Glenis, Jan, Philippe, Joel and all the rest of the beautiful care takers (from now and before…;-)); the people working there, everyone.
For me the Nihue Rao experience was amazing.
I stayed for 4 weeks in 2015. I suffer from Progressive MS and I use a wheelchair so I said let’s listen to what “La Abuelita” Ayahuasca has to say about my life. It was a difficult experience, but because of the people of Nihue Rao and the beautiful people I’ve met on this experience my life improved dramatically, not physically, but psychologically. I’ve met people who became my brothers and sisters for all this life. Especially 3 of them which whom we decide for another Nihue Rao experience.
So in 2016 we had another 2 weeks in the jungle listening to “La Abuelita.” Another amazing experience thanks to my brothers and the people of Nihue Rao.
In 2017 my brothers and I had our last experience in the jungle, Nihue Rao, of course. Another 2 amazing weeks.
Thank you everyone from Nihue Rao for making possible for me to live 2 months in the Amazonian jungle, using a wheelchar. Thank you my brothers. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you <3 <3 <3
Special thanks to a beautiful soul, OLIVERIO.
As a novice to shipibo medicine I was not sure what to expect on my 10-day journey at Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual. What I found was an amazing experience I would recommend wholeheartedly to those seeking self-discovery, healing and/or recovery.
Deciding to partake in Mother Ayahuasca should not be made in haste. My criteria was based on the need to find an experienced shaman who could provide sufficient support to make me feel safe and comfortable while I was at my most vulnerable.
I contacted/compared many centers and talked with friends. What makes Nihue Rao stand out and be so special is the shamanic professionalism of everyone (Ricardo, his staff and the patients), the real attention to safety, the tender compassion given while one copes with extremely difficult emotions/thoughts, the strength of the medicines, the caliber of Ricardo’s, Miguel’s and other shaman’s experience.
I’m not much for words so I will sign off with this: I had a profound experience at Nihue Rao. One that is calling me back to Peru to visit Ricardo, his family and Mother Ayahuasca again.
Not long after my first western experience with Madre in 2016 I was introduced to Nihue Rao, and feel incredibly fortunate that my introduction to plant medicines in their native Amazon setting was at this center, with Maestro Ricardo and his very capable helpers. Their center is well set up to help people of all ages and walks of life to experience deep healing in physical, mental, and emotional ways. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly for short-term visitors, and if you are called to go deeper on this path and stay longer, their commitment to learning from the plants is unquestionable. Nihue Rao is a safe space for women, and for anyone unearthing vulnerable places inside. I cannot recommend this center highly enough for all who wish to gain the benefit of these powerful and beautiful Amazonian plant medicines, from the depth of tradition of the Shipibo culture!
I’ve only sat once at Nihue Rao however I have sat with Ricardo many times prior to his opening his own center. I can vouch for the stellar quality of his medicine. When I knew him, he was a clean shaman, and I have heard that this quality is stronger now than ever. I do know that his understanding and capacity to lead people to their own inner guru has grown and is growing constantly. You will be safe at Nihue Rao … however, as always, do claim your own power to reach God and talk to him directly via the medicine. Blessings!
Hi to everybody
My first visit at NihueRao was in 2016. This visit was so profound and helpful that i even have no words for this. The staff is so helpful and nice. They are really Carrie me through that that process with mother Ayahuasca and the master plants. My total life life changed in a completely good and lovely way. I didn’t now how I was, before I came to the center. I had a rough process and the staff and the shaman help me to go through. I learned soooo many things here. If you want to be the light , you have to go first through the shadows. Sometimes is not easy but this is the work for peaceful lightful warrior. I am sure that the people here are from a different world. To be in trust that everything work for the best. They heal me from drug addiction and bring me to a place inside myself where I start to LOVE myself again. They are remind you that you are your own healer. That you are the light. And this is what they are doing here. I am also sure that this is just possible with a clean Shaman. Ricardo Amaringo is the one how is Carrie the light inside himself. If you are looking for a place to find a real healing than you have to go to NihueRao. They keep care of everyone and do the best that you have a awesome time. And I am so happy to be here again for another game changer.
It’s our Light not our darkness was frighten us.
Thank you NihueRao for your help.
A lots of LOVE
My experiences at Nihue Rao were my first and so far only Ayahuasca experiences. I stayed for 10 days/6ceremonies.
It was a new and strange world for me and at first I wasn’t quite sure, if it was a good idea to be there. But the staff and Nihue Rao is very friendly and gives you the feeling that you are very welcome and they all want you to feel better about yourself. And after I processed all the profound impressions I got during my stay at this center I started to feel better and better about myself, thank you very much! 🙂
One thing that might be improvable is the accomodation and the contact with the shamans themselves. During my stay some of us had bedbugs in their rooms, which isn’t quite helping when you are in such a sensible situation and want to concentrate on yourself. Additionally the shamans seemd quite distant from us visitors, even though I felt very safe and well guarded during the ceremonies, at the rest of the time the shamans didn’t seem to show sympathy for our progress.
My first dialogue with Mother Aya took place at Nihue Rao in 2015. Well, perhaps dialogue is a bit of a misnomer as at times I felt myself in the epicenter of a nuclear shock wave, pinned down and unable to do anything but surrender. “She gives you what you need, not what you want”: wisdom you will come to understand.
In the midst of all this epic turmoil I couldn’t have been in a safer place and under the care of gentler forces than at Nihue Rao. I choose Nihue Rao following my intuition and after eight encounters with La Medicina and her wondrous ways I will not hesitate to fully recommend Nihue Rao to all fellow passageiros aboard this great ride called life.
My time at Nihue Rao was the most profound and impactful experience of my life. I can’t speak highly enough about the staff and the way the place is run. With so many options for centers it can be hard to choose. All the centers and shamans are definitely not equal. The staff at Nihue Rao genuinely cares about you and helping you in your healing and growth. I had high expectations for my time and they were blown out of the water. It was a life changing experience. I am trying to plan and figure out when I can get back down there to do a longer term diet.
One aspect of the place that I really appreciated was the fact that it’s owned by a Native Peruvian, Ricardo, the head shaman. That is a very difficult thing to find now. With the countless Ayahuasca centers opening up there has been a huge amount of foreigners (mostly North American and European) coming in and buying land to open up centers. This is problematic with the boom in popularity of ayahuasca tourism because it’s opening up the region to exploitation of of the land, resources, and people.
I highly suggest this center to anyone looking. Ayahuasca is not something to be taken lightly. It is an extremely powerful medicine and you want to be in the hands of someone who is highly experienced and who cares about you. It is the same way you would want to approach trusting a Western doctor who is going to treat you. I hope anyone reading this will make it down to this amazing place and have the opportunity to experience the deep healing that Nihue Rao can provide!
Nihue Rao was my first experience with Madre Ayahuasca and it was the perfect place for me. I stayed there for two weeks and did a master plant dieta. I got all the support I needed from the facilitators during the day and amazing strong ceremony experiences at night. Despite what I was thinking initially that being deep in the jungle would be a pretty uncomfortable without all the amenities, I was definitely pleasantly surprised. Everything is taken care of for you from your food to clean accommodation to laundry and movie nights are my fav. They also offer great jungle tour program, beach time, flower baths, massage, bone setting and more. The shamans and staff are highly experienced and dedicated working with love, integrity and truth. It’s an incredible place and I very much recommend it. It is safe, supportive, healing, equipped with everything you may need!
Thank you to everyone involved at Nihue Rão. I completed the 10 day program with 6 Ayahuasca ceremonies and I can say without a doubt it was the greatest experience of my life.
It was my first time drinking Ayahuasca though I had full trust in the staff right from the introduction. The entire staff are very professional and highly trained in plant medicine healing practices.
I look forward to my return to Nihue Rão. Thank you all once again. 🙂
I want to thank the team at Nigue Rao, Ricardo, Benoit, Joe, Cvita and all the shamans. An absolute glorious experience for me; expanding my levels of awareness and consciousness. Their compassion and wisdom made my stay a delight. It felt like home. I can’t wait to go back and deepen my life some more.
all I can say is this place changed my life for the better. I came depressed after two years of being lost and on the first night I was found.
The staff are so caring they become your family instantly.
The bonds you’ll make with others at the retreat will last a life time.
Be sure to go clean. And stay clean while you’re there. Pay attention to what the staff and Shamens teach.
Treat Ayahuasca with respect and love. Always treat it with love. Love is what this whole experience was about for me. The most powerful and complicated emotion. It will test you. But you’ll be better for it.
Can’t wait to return to the centre. Maybe even have a wedding there.
Really wanting to dive in, I spent 2 months at Nihue Rao in 2014, then went back in 2015, and again in 2016 for more diets, going deeper each time. I love this center. It feels like a second home. The staff is friendly, and I’ve been practicing and improving my Spanish. The flow of each day while being on retreat, deep interpersonal connection and authentic sharing, seeing new guests come each week to be “softened” as the harder edge of life are cleaned off, then friends leaving each week; the waxing and waning of the moon, and the cycles of plants in the jungle where time is going slowly, being around all the plant communication molecules and insect, bird, animal sounds around, healing is deep. I haven’t been to another center, and after my experiences at Nihue Rao don’t have much of an interest; I’m appreciative of Ricardo’s dedication to his medicine practice, guidance and dedication to his own principles. If rough spots come up with my own diet, I’ve always been able to find someone to talk to; diets have a way of putting a magnifying glass on edges in social interactions so that something can be shown to us encouraging us to look down towards the root of whatever is holding a pattern in place which we wish to heal.
Many times I’ve had the thought that the medicine experience reveals the truth of the existence of actual magic, where willpower and intention is able to directly affect reality as desired. Love is a force field and we are able to perceive its flow within consciousness. The sounds of the birds and other night animals can become synchronistic within a ceremony, blending with thought and the icaros of the curanderos. I appreciate the strict dieting; eating just the bony fish (a meditation itself, in removing all the bones), and plantains, I’ve come to love the subtle flavors (if one can call it that). Nihue Rao feels to be a safe and what I’ve been calling an “a la carte” approach to work with ayahuasca and master plant dieting. You pay for the specific number of nights you desire (unless you come with a group), then reach out and find community and camaraderie with others who are there. I wouldn’t trade the art maloka for anything: the plant medicines love creativity, too.
To be sure, no place is a utopian paradise, but the staff and healers at Nihue Rao work hard to facilitate a healing experience for everyone, where the pasajeros (passengers a.k.a. guests) have the space to do the work of healing, within and without of ceremony.
My only advice is to seek out community and guidance for integration after your time with ayahuasca in the rainforest. I’ve experienced myself the rough aspects of life as new sensitivities come online as healing is taking place, and I don’t think this is talked about enough in the medicine community. Seek out integration circles and ways of being in contact with friends for support, in anchoring the life changes you wish, as well: I can’t emphasize these aspects enough.
I spent 10 days in Nihue Rao, and I had an amazing time. As i arrived, I was surprised by the beauty of the place and the nature all around. Everyone has their own rooms, everything is very clean and the stafff is so firendly. Besides that, the help you are given during and after the ceremonies is unreal. The shamans and the staff really care about yoiu, they want you to have a good and safe experience, and will do what they can to help and heal you.
There’s good variety of food, and as I said a very peaceful environment. They also have a maloka in which you can practivce yoga or do some paintings, it’s the perfect place for artists. There also is a common area in which you can chill and read and have talks. And the best part: The hammacs ! honestly, I’ve been to many spiritual centres, but none gives you the personalised supportyou get in this one. A big thank oyu to Marcus, Svaeta,Martina and benoit, and of course to all the Shamans. You’ve helped more than you think. I’ll definitely be back 🙂
I stayed at Nihue Rao for 12 days from December 3rd to December 15, 2017. During this time I participated in 8 ceremonies while also doing a “Plant Dieta”.
Everything about my experience was absolutely amazing! The center is safe, comfortable, and peaceful. The staff is friendly and welcoming and the Shamans are on another level.
Looking for a place to do ayahuasca in Peru can be scary, there are lots of horror stories. Well take my word for it, Nihue Rao is a great center. The whole time I was there I felt completely safe and I was impressed how during the ceremonies the shaman controlled the energy in the room never letting anyone get out of control.There were even staff members outside of the Maloka during ceremony nights to keep an eye on you should you need to go to the restroom or just get some fresh air. Like I said, the staff was amazing!!!
It is also worth noting that they make the ayahuasca on site using only Chacruna and Ayahuasca vine. This is important because other centers can often spike their brew to enhance the intensity (which is not necessarily a good thing). It was nice to know that I was drinking pure ayahuasca made fresh daily.
Nihue Rao is a magical place! I can’t recommend this place enough. I will definitely be back.
I went for a 10 day retreat. It was incredible. The shamans are great. The staff is great.
I had a lot of things I had to go through and I felt contained in my journey. I came out feeling cleansed and full of gratitude.
Highly recommend it.
Everyone at Nihue Rao Spiritual Center was so amazing. You feel very welcome and safe from the moment you arrive. I can’t believe that there are people in the world that are so incredibly giving, so incredibly loving and selfless. They give so completely to people they don’t even know.
This week was one of the most transformational experiences I have ever had. It was definitely one of the most difficult and intense weeks I have ever had. Ayahuasca doesn’t let you off the hook easy. She takes you to the heart of your “crap” and if you are ready for it you can experience profound healing. I can’t say I would recommend it for everyone. I would say you have to be ready to be confronted with your deepest darkest issues. There were times I felt completely broken down to my core. If you are not in a place in your life that you are ready to do that then don’t go. If you do go, I can’t say enough good things about Nihue Rao. I’m sure there must be other great places to do Ayahuasca but after seeing how this group works together to support every person that walks through their doors I would not trust anyone else.
The Ricardo was amazing. He was a true healer. He is completely committed to helping everyone.
The Shamans assistants and helpers gave and gave. I don’t think I have ever been in an environment where people were being supported with so much love as I felt from them. This 10 day trip felt like you got the equivalent amount of deep insight and healing of going to see a therapist every week for 20 years.
Thank you so much! I will be back!
I wanted to thank everyone at Nihue Rao for helping me with my addiction to cigarettes, alcohol and a very popular treacherous over-the-counter nose decongestant (OXYMETAZOLINE CHIDROCHLORIDE).
OXIMETAZOLINE CHIDROCHLORIDE is a highly addictive substance accessible in every convenience store or drug store across the USA. There are more than 7.5 million people who are suffering from addiction to it in the continental US alone. I got hooked up soon after I noticed a minor congestion that I wanted to eliminate. Afrin is one of the most popular brands. It helped me a lot but I was never able to stop using it.
I sought the help of various doctors but no one was able to help me, or to prescribe a treatment. Most of them said that I needed to quit “cold turkey” or stop using it in one nostril until it heals and then stop using it in the other.
I was addicted to Afrin for more than 5 years spraying it in my nose 4-6 times a day. I had Afrin bottles in my car, in my house and in my office. I was suffering.
I have been truly fascinated by Ayahuasca since the first time I came across information about it. This was around 2007 when I read an article about the Upper Amazon and the Peruvian Jungle and its people.
I have researched it and I always felt drawn to it. When my friend George mentioned that he would be going down to the Amazon to a retreat I became really intrigued, although I didn’t share much with him.
George came back quite transformed. He was off of drugs and seemed somewhat focused, centered and easy to communicate with. He shared his experience with some close friends and I instantly knew that I’d soon follow his steps.
In the late Summer of 2017 me, George, and another close friend (Kosta) booked a 10 days retreat in Nihue Rao, starting around the end of Oct.
The minute I entered Nihue rao I felt safe and calm. The Ayahuasca diet seemed to be a challenge to some people coming from the Western World, but it was quite natural and easy to handle for me and my friends.
I was scared. I had heard stories of people who had seen demons and have had terrible trips on Ayahuasca. I think that along whit those stories I had disregarded the ones telling how intelligent, rich and beautiful the world of Ayahuasca was. I had also done some “Youtube research” on my own.
Now I realize that all of these videos in night vision showing people twitching, crying or purging are in fact, rather detrimental to the true aspect of the healing power of Ayahuasca.
And so, I had 6 ceremonies while dieting on Pinon Blanco (it does indeed sound like a bottle of white wine).
Ayahuasca was very gentle with me. I purged a lot but I was not shown any demons or any terrible things whatsoever. She showed me the beauty of her world with its amazing colors and flow of energies.
After the 4th ceremony I felt no need to use Afrin and I did not feel the urge to light a cigarette.
It’s been almost 3 weeks now, and I have not smoked or used that spray or drank any alcohol.
I felt that I wanted to share this with you since you are rather intimate with the world of Ayahuasca and you are also a Medical Doctor.
I believe that more than 7.5 million people can find a solution to their addiction through this medical plant.
I realize that this acquaintance with the Spirit of La Madre has had a profound effect on my mind and my soul.
Nihue Rao accepted me and became home for me and my friends.
Maestro Ricardo Amaringo, Jan, Benoit, Alexandra, Martina and everyone there is family now. I am grateful and thankful for their support and understanding.
I will be back to Nihue Rao very soon.
Thank you again for your book and for showing me a path to healing my addictions.
In 2014 I was in deep trouble and figured I needed to spend a longer time at some centre to focus on healing myself. I had heard about centres in Peru, so I went online to do some research. Thats when I found a presentation from Dr. Joe [last name removed by request]. He was at that time part owner of the centre together with Canadian artist Cvita Mamic and Ricardo Amaringo a Shipibo Shaman. The centre is now fully owned by Ricardo. The two weeks did me really good. The centre runs like a charm and the energies are so amazing. You can see everyday that people arrive and just within hours feel totally at home and ready to share their stories. Thats the real strength of this centre. There are 4 ceremonies per week 52 weeks of the year, with Ricardo the head shaman being there every single night. He is absolutely the hardest working man I have ever seen. He sings all night long, since he is so dedicated, diligent and committed to healing his passajeros. He does not miss a beat. This centre recommends you to stay for 10 days, as this has proven to be the most effective in getting your work done. On top of this, your will receive a plant dieta, which means the shaman will connect you with a master plant that will help you with your healing. The plant diets are so effective and beautiful in the sense you can really connect to them and commune with them. Ask them, and you will receive. After a year at home I got burned out at work, I quit and went back to Nihue Rao for two months. This really got the job done and did me so good, I added another month. Then, I got so excited that I wanted to learn the path of the medicine and learn the singing of Icaros to help others, that I decided to complete the 3 months with 9 more to make it a year. These were to most tough but rewarding months of my life. Ricardo really cleaned me out and so did the diet. My verdict is, that if you want to do serious healing or learning work I can highly recommend to come to Nihue Rao since this is really the focus here.
My stay at Nihue Rao was one of the best things that I’ve ever done for myself. I would HIGHLY recommend this center to anyone, and am hoping to come back soon with friends and stay for 10 or 14 days. The ceremonies are incredibly powerful, as three or four shamans are often singing at once. The brew is stong, and the grounds are tranquil and beautiful. This center draws a wonderful group of people who are kind, mature and deeply focused on healing. Great conversations had be had in the common areas, or you can simply lounge in a hammock and read a book or write in your journal. You will have a lot think think about, so its nice to not have too many things to do.
Before coming here, I was a bit apprehensive. It seemed that Nihue Rao was focused on people with medical issues (which I don’t really have), and the fact that they only accept cash payment seemed difficult. I found that it is true that Nihue Rao accepts “tough cases”, people with serious illnesses that Western medicine has given up on, but that does not mean that people who are simply looking to grow spiritually will not get just as much out of the experience. I learned so much about myself, and saw many incredible things in my visions. I have come back to the US feeling light, refreshed, and motivated to do my “homework” on myself.
On thing that sets Nihue Rao apart from other retreat centers is that it’s owned and operated by the Shipibo people. I saw very clearly in my visions how much colonialism has damaged the Amazon and its people, and how structures of colonialism continue to be perpetuated, even at Ayahuasca retreat centers. It is so incredibly important to start dismantling colonialism, and Nihua Rao provides a model. The Shipibo are sharing their culture and healing traditions with the Western world, and we desperately need to heal ourselves if we are going to save the earth. The least we, as westerners, can do is to support indigenous owned centers, where the money stays local instead of being sent back to America or Europe. This is why they only accept cash, because things don’t run on credit cards in the Amazon.
If mama Ayahuasca is calling you, this center would be a perfect place to answer that call. Ricardo, the head Shaman, is great in ceremony and is able to focus his songs on those who need them. There is a general atmosphere of love and kindness that pervades the space. I was lucky enough to be there while Joe, one of the original founders, was there. As a doctor, he bring a deep knowledge of medicine and ability to translate some of the indigenous knowledge into more western concepts. I’d highly recommend reading his book “The Fellowship of the River”, especially for those who are more rational minded. The book talks about his experience co-founding the center, and some of their more difficult cases over the years. He is no longer a part owner, but continues to be involved and help with the center.
Overall, I’m so happy that I came here, and so happy to have been able to learn from the Shipibo people and mother Ayahuasca. If you get the chance, go!
I flew to Iquitos with the intention to find a center to experience Ayahuasca and heal my mind, body, and spirit. I was referred to Nihue by another center. I knew little about Ayahuasca ceremonies, and the rituals behind it. Nihue’s staff is phenomenal. Such kind loving individuals with big hearts who are there to help guide you and give information when needed. The medicine has so much knowledge and healing power but it takes good Shamans and assistance throughout the process to really dig deep and do the work. I highly recommend Nihue. Especially speaking about other centeres with visitors at Nihue I realized I was brought there for a reason. Not only do you have the opportunity to do ceremonies but the dieta with master plants is very beneficial. A lot of other centers do not offer this. I learned so much during my month at Nihue Rao and it changed my life in so many positive ways. I have a great amount of grattitude and love for the entire center. I hope to go back sometime in the future and know that the work that is being done there will continue to grow and help other people. If you’re looking for a spiritual journey and connection with Ayahuasca in a safe loving environment Nihue Rao is the center for you.
A few years ago I went on my first Aya journey with authentic, good-souled individuals in Ecuador. They were not infected with the disease of greed. Greed is insidious and every shaman needs to guard against the temptation to make it about themselves. Good shamans don’t ask for much money. Joe [last name removed by request] (former co-owner) and Ricardo are two of the many who have made the spiritual journey into a business. It is not that they don’t also have pure motivations. I think they do. However, when one is without absolute humility and integrity when approaching the spiritual world, the door is opened to problematic energy coming in. I believe that is what has happened at Nihue Rao. Joe and the shamans are helping themselves to money and adulation from those who have good journeys. Not everyone is so lucky all the time. Myself and at least two others I know walked away from Nihue Rao being harmed, not helped. Those two people called Joe to voice their concerns, but he was and is too self-absorbed to take any responsibility. Instead he tried to promote his book. I was attracted to Nihue Rao because of the fact that a Western medical doctor was affiliated and I am somewhat partial to a middle way between medicine and mysticism. I didn’t feel any strong draw towards it, just cerebrally I computed it was safe. About 2 weeks before I was to go I saw Ricardo’s face in dream with a message that woke me up. It was that he was a scheister. I dismissed it as being out of fear or self-sabotage. After a couple weeks at Nihue Rao, I mostly trusted Ricardo and his staff. However, that turned out to be my undoing, as I later had premonitions that I shouldn’t drink anymore. A staff member talked me into continuing, to be macho. He said the premonitions were because of my “sins” and that the dark energies were trying to stop me from cleansing everything. I continued and had darker and darker and darker visions and occurrences, culminating in a trip to hell and what appeared to be an invitation into dark shamanism. I told Ricardo, but he did not show an overwhelming amount of compassion or concern or any direction on what to do next. The night of the very bad trip, I wasn’t the only one who suffered. Ricardo admitted the next day that he had forgotten to cleanse the Maloka and that some dark energy had gotten in. I called a Ecuadorian shaman who I know to be very psychically connected the next day. He knew things about the Maloka that night, such as the fact there were no women. He said the shamans weren’t doing their jobs, and that I had been attacked by Black Magic. He urged me to leave. I did, and found I could barely function psychologically, and for a time I slept only 1.5 hours per night. I had PTSD and was terrified of life. I was only a shell of who I had been before, having literally lost pieces of myself. I lost compassion and the connection to my heart. I had no more faith in God and I felt like I wanted to die. Things fell apart in my life very rapidly. I have gotten a lot back, but it has been the most painful year of my life. Therefore, please… before you go here or anywhere else, know that this is very strong stuff and that you will be encountering the spriritual world for better or worse. It used to be that only Shamans took Aya, not the patient. The shaman had years of training. You don’t. Places like Nihue Rao are akin to some place that gives the keys to a jet airplane to an untrained teenager. With luck some learn to fly, and others are seriously harmed. If you must get a shamanic experience fine, but don’t go to any of the Aya factories in Iquitos. Follow your heart and best instincts and find a shaman who has less ego.
I started my journey with Ayahuasca at Nihue Rao in 2015 and have been back three times. I have been other places as well but will always return here. The medicine is powerful and the shamans act with the utmost integrity. Ricardo Amaringo is a powerful maestro and his songs will move you to heal.
The accommodations are somewhere between the over-priced “luxury” centers and the primitive centers deep in the jungle. It is comfortable enough to support you while you are there, but also simple enough to keep you focused on the real work you are there to do. It is also far enough away from the madness of Iquitos to keep you safe and in tuned with the plants.
I highly recommend Nihue Rao and will keep returning as long as I follow this path.
I was there twice this year. Both times I had amazing experiences. The shamans are great. Icaros are beautiful. The energy is positive. Mama ayahuasca made it home there. I have got fully connected. Learn so much. The helpars are awesome helping you with your intentions and through the night. Definitely will visit again.
I participated in a 10-day Ayahuasca Ceremony Retreat at Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual in Peru in September, 2017. I had experienced amazing healing at physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. My intention to heal my persistent insomnia, lower back pain, eczema, allergies has reached the best result beyond words. I feel much healthier, purer and lighter in my body than ever before. Mentally, my chattering mind becomes much quieter now. Emotionally, I have gained much insights about the relationship with myself and with my significant family members, friends, relatives… I am much calmer, more grateful, more confident, more loving … I have gone through great transformation beyond words from this physical plane. Here, I would like to send my heart-felt thanks to all the Shamans, all of the support staff at the Nihue Rao for their pure love and kindness they offered to me throughout my stay at this sacred healing centre. Thank you all, Nihue Rao!
I recently got home from a 10 day retreat at Nihue Rao and could not have asked for a better experience. I really don’t know how Nihue Rao could be improved upon. This is a serious place of healing, a place to work strictly on your spirit. It felt futuristic, but archaic at the same time. The staff are knowledgeable, always available to help, and very friendly. As for the ceremonies themselves, there were four shamans present, all singing icaros at the same time. I experienced some wonderful healing that I can’t possibly put into words. The layout of the retreat was far beyond expectations, the structures being very clean and impressively built and designed. I always felt very safe.
One thing to keep in mind: this is not New Age Summer Camp, but very much an experience in the tradition of the Shibipo culture. If you’re looking for information about Astrology and yoga, you will not find it here. The Shibipo people and the shamans are people of the plant medicines, and rest assured you will just be beginning to scratch the surface of the depth of those traditions upon your first few visits to Nihue Rao. As I said before, I really don’t know how my experience could be improved upon and I’m already planning my trip back. Nihue Rao will undoubtedly be my ayahuasca center for the rest of my life.
Nihue Rao is a truly amazing place. I have been to another center near Iquitos before, but this one is clearly more focused on healing, in a very serious and structured process. Ricardo is an amazing and world-renowned shaman, and so are the other three shamans that operate with him during the ceremonies. The staff in general is extremely helpful and reliable, especially during ceremonies. I felt in a very safe place, which helped me work a lot on my intentions. And I can already see now the improvement and positive impact it had on my life. I will definitely go back to Nihue Rao to continue the journey and I will definitely recommend it to my friends and anyone willing to find healing. In fact I already did.
Nihue Rao, the shamans Ricardo and Miguel, and the helpers and the rest of the workers there saved my life!
A friend of mine recommended this place.
I was going trough a divorce and at the time I had a girlfriend and the relationship was not doing good. That as well was bringing a lot of anger, depression and anxiety out of me. My life was a mess. 17 years ago I was as well for one year in a drug rehab. I do have an addictive personality. I started drinking and still training martial arts every day in the morning. It was very hard on my body. My mind was racing with negative thoughts. I have two kids and knew that I need to do something. Work was bad as well (I am self employed) and I owed money to all my friends, to the IRS and had no more credit cards and the banks where calling me all the time.
The first time I went to Nihue Rao was in July 2016 for 10 days. Those 10 days changed my life. I came back a different person. Actually the same guy but without all the dark, negative baggage and all the problems did not look unsolvable. My approach to life changed. Not only work is better and I stopped drinking, but I stared rebuilding my relationships with all the people around me. The healing went much deeper than I expected. I saw and understood where all my problems started, where all my traumas came from.
Now I have a much better relationship with my kids, parents, friends, even with my ex wife we put the arguments aside and living separate we still take good care of our kids. I forgave myself and all the people in my life. I feel free! Don’t need anymore anything like alcohol or any other drugs. Still going to the gym. My energy levels are much higher then they used to be ever before. My smile is real. I feel in peace.
I was blessed that from the first time I went right to Nihue Rao. I have seen there many people that have been to other places and then they actually needed even more help to get out of the mess other “centers” got them into. It is not a joke. You have to be very careful where you go and with who you do Ayauasca. Make sure it is light shamans, shamans that are willing to help and do good. That have good intentions. Shamans that have dieted the right way the master plants and that have done many diets without any shortcuts.
I was blessed that I went to Nihue Rao because Ricardo and the rest of the shamans there have good souls and are experts in working with Ayauasca. As well as Joe [last name removed by request] was saying once – Ricardo understands the type of problems that we have in the “developed” world.
After I came back in 2016 all my friends saw the changes and I went within 1 year 4 more times bringing back people and witnessing miracles. I can not describe the joy I get from seeing the change in my friends and in me. We all are brothers and sisters and there is nothing better than to reach out and help the people that want to change for good.
Thank you so much Nihuea Rao. Thank you Ricardo. Thank you Miguel, Thank you Benoit. Thank you Glennis. Thank you Joe. Thank you Cvita, Thank you Martina, Thank you Markus. Thank you to all the wonderful loving staff at the center.
Thank you Mama Ayauasca and thank you Master Plants!
Love you all!
Nihue Rao is the real deal. If you want an authentic Ayahuasca retreat with no funny business then go to this sacred Shipibo run center. Ricardo is a master shaman who will guide you expertly in your healing process along with his team of professional shamans and truly caring and nurturing staff. I am forever grateful to all those at Nihue Rao for making me feel like part of the family in both of my stays here. I just recently returned from a 10 day retreat which was absolutely life changing. I was here previously 2 years ago with my wife- who will be returning on her own this spring. Niue Rao is absolutely safe for women to attend on their own, many of the pasajeros are solo women. Ricardo and his staff have a great respect for female pasajeros and take extra care to make them feel comfortable and safe. I really can’t recommend this center enough- the accommodations are very comfortable, the food is humble and nutritious in respect to the variety of master plant diets available, the staff is always very helpful and will make you feel at home. This is a center of total healing, incorporating various Shipibo methods in addition to Ayahuasca. I had several massages which were incredible and well priced. There are always various artists and artisans stopping by sharing their work, and an art center where you can express yourself in any medium. The land itself is very well maintained with numerous flowering trees and plants of all kinds. Parrots, monkeys, rabbits and a great number of other animals are around to help you in your journey. If you need to get to town or need anything from town it is easy to get there or have someone get something for you. All in all, you are in the best hands at Nihue Rao, everyone is looking out for your well-being. I’ve never felt so taken care of, there is the utmost focus on your healing- and quite successfully I would add. Benoit runs the center and he is really a Saint. If you have any reservations about visiting Nihue Rao throw them out the window. It is a sanctuary of health. I am forever grateful for their services and hope to return in the near future. My heart is in the maloka. Gracias and irake!
On my quest for healing I felt as though I was stepping into the unknown. Very glad that I chose Nihue Rao, because during the ceremonies, it is obvious that the Shamans and helpers know exactly what they are doing, and so I felt safe. Initially intended to be there for 10 days, but stayed a full five weeks instead.
The accommodation was spacious, and I had my own room, with a hammock inside. Definetely felt at home.
Have every intention of returning to Nihue Rao in the near future.
Coming to Nihue Rao has been amazing, I could tell how well planned the whole place is, from the beginning you can tell these people are here to accommodate you and to care for you and to guide you through the whole healing process.
The actual retreat is located in a beautiful and quiet area outside Iquitos, the premises are well looked after, clean, with 24 hour electricity, running water and internet, also food is great and it is buffet, there is always fruit, tea and water available.
Ceremonies are well planned and they always have helpers looking after the patients.
I had beautiful experiences, some more intense that other ones, but I never felt left alone, it was great visiting this retreat, I would recommend this place to anyone looking for deep healing, Ricardo Amaringo is a very powerful shaman and healer, he has an vast understanding of the healing plant world and the spirit world, ceremonies are beautiful and so powerful, they have 4 shamans singing Icaros at the same time which intensifies the energy of the temple, cleaning and doing its healing work, in a very powerful way. I am already planing my next trip to Nihue Rao. I could not be happier, with my experience here. Great place. lovely people.
Incredible experience! Surpassed any and all expectations. Possibly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Incredible shamans and staff. Do it, you will not regret your decision!
I’ve just completed a four week stay at Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual an hour outside of Iqiotos, Peru, and cannot speak highly enough about this genuine place of healing. Words cannot express the transformation I’ve seen not only in myself, but in so many who have made the journey here with me. Much is said about aya tourism these days, and while you could come simply for curiousity’s sake, Nihue is focused on true spiritual growth.
Maestro Ricardo is the real Peruvian deal, and in addition to over thirty years of experience, he has the most uncanny ability to incorporate the desires of his clients with his own sense of their needs to obtain the results sought. So many of us are hurting and desperate for healing, without anything more than a high-level overview of what’s really causing our problems. Ricardo read my energy field to determine precisely the blockages that prevented me from achieving the peace I so desired. And when I heard them, it all made sense. Like I knew those were the issues all along but simply couldn’t uncover them without his supernatural help.
Ricardo and the other shamans, Marcial, Filacio and Miguel are so filled with love and concern for all who come. There is no question once you experience them that their sole purpose is to spread the light to all who come in pursuit of their own higher selves. It is clear to me that in the wrong set and setting, ayahuasca could really mess a person up. No worries whatsoever about anything spiritually untoward happening here.
I came somewhat of a skeptic, but had tried every “cure” for depression and anxiety known to western medicine and felt I had nowhere else to turn. I was suicidal when I came. I was not when I left. In fact, I felt a deep sense off peace and joy which is felt not only by myself but by the loved ones in my life who also so desperately wanted me to enjoy life once again.
This is no five star resort. It’s a jungle out there, as they say, but the shamans and staff – Phillipe, Benoit, Glennis and Alex – are top-notch in their experience and dedication, and it is so clear that they care deeply about each and every client. This is a place you come to work on yourself. Work. It’s not a place to play. Heavy lifting is done by both the shamans and the clients, and I’ve seen that work richly rewarded in this magical, mystical place.
I visited Nihue Rao in March 2017. I travelled from Australia to visit this healing center which ended up being a great experience. From the moment i arrived, i felt safe and was welcomed by their staff. My stay was for 10 days which included 6 ceremonies. I highly recommend Nihue Rao to anyone looking to go to a healing center as i had great experiences there. I met new people and became great friends with them and all the staff in the center. The staff were always there to answer any questions i had during my stay, if i needed support or someone to talk to regarding my healing.
The shamans were also supportive during my stay and it was great we were able to discuss our experiences after every ceremony to get a better understanding of what the visions meant.
It was great they had nice facilities for showering, sleeping and areas you can relax while there. They also had WIFI which was a bonus to keep in contact with my family back home.
I’d like to say thank you again to the shamans and the supporting staff for their efforts to helping people and myself. Hope to see you soon!
This was a lifechanging retreat for me. First time with aya, and don’t regret it one bit. I did tons of research before coming and this was my place, hands down. I have nothing bad to say at all. I did 4 ceremonies in 6 nights and each one lead me to a different place. The support, the initiation, the meetings the mornings after retreats, and all aspects of the guidance provided by Ricardo, the other shamans and the international volunteers was amazing. I wholeheartedly recommend this place and I will be definitely going back. If you’re skeptical or nervous (as I was), don’t worry. It will change your life.
Amazing healing, helping, knowlegible shaman and his helpers!
After spending 13 days there I feel energized, healthy, with much willpower!
A good man become better one!
Alexandar Hristov / Bulgaria
The most important things to me when looking for a place to sit in ceremony with Ayahuasca were; the integrity of the Shaman, the integrity of the medicine, and the integrity the mission of the center.
Nihue Rao exceeds far and above the the integrity I was looking and hoping to find. The medicine is so important to everyone who runs and works at this center. They believe in it and understand it deeply which makes the medicine even stronger in my eyes.
The medicine, Ayahuasca and the master plants, are good and honest. It is all made right there in plain sight. You can sit and watch if you want to. It is made every day of ceremony.
If I had any concerns while I was there, someone was always available for me to talk to. There is constant support if you need it or you can stay completely quiet and lay in a hammock all day long. Whatever the process, it is accepted and honored conscientiously and compassionately.
I feel very fortunate to have found this place and even more so to have been able to spend two weeks there. I never truly believed that I would be able heal the things I needed to heal, but I have. With the guidance of an honest Shaman, Maestro Ricardo, and the impeccable, impressive care of his team, Phillip, Benoit, Camila, and Patrick, I navigated through things I could only imagine before coming here.
It is all about the plant medicine to attain the truth of things at Nihue Rao. I would definitely go back and recommend anyone to go there.
An excellent first time experience with Ayahausca. I would recommend Nihue Rao wholehartedly to anyone. Unlike reviews left on other retreats on this website, I was not cooerced or forced to leave a positive review.
I’m a doctor from Australia with no experience of Ayahausca, who spent a great deal of time researching different centres online – important aspects for me were safety, a comfortable atmosphere, and getting a traditional Ayahausca experience.
All these factors were met:
-Nihue Rao is fully transparent with the preparation of their Ayahausca – only Ayahausca & Chacruna are mixed in the brew; it is possible to watch it being prepared
-No dangerous procedures are required such as a nicotine cleanse or consumption of Toe that have been associated with fatalities at other Ayahausca centres
-All the staff are excellent – particularly the 4 support members (Benoit, Camilla, Phillip & Patrick); who are available 24/7 & offer so much support during ceremonies to ensure safety & comfort
-The facilities are great – immersed in the Amazon, on a massive property, surrounded by nature with gorgeous ambient sounds, access to wifi that is usually very reliable, living in a hut that has electricity, food is what you would expect when no red meat/ salt/ sugar is permitted
-While I almost considered attending the highest rated Ayahausca centre on this website for its reviews & promotion of physical wellbeing – there is no way that during the downtime between Ayahausca ceremonies I would have had the energy or motivation to participate in high intensity exercise/ ‘adrenaline’ activities; a good book is all you want & Nihue Rao has an excellent library
-Very traditional experience – Riccardo & the other shamans generate an otherworldly atmosphere in the Maluka during Ayahausca ceremonies; it is profound & unforgettable; really I can’t describe how overwhelming it is – to be sat in front of a shaman while deep into a DMT trip, while they sing beautiful music at you amongst a symphony of vomiting
-Although I have a strong scientific mind & high degree of skepticism with alternative medicine – Nihue Rao really can be the catalyst many people need to make positive change in their lives & reframe past traumas – I was able to draw life changing conclusions from my experiences, the debrief meetings after ceremonies are honest & very productive
My recommendation to anyone considering Ayahausca is to formulate a clear intention before attending a retreat. Come with the knowledge that you will need to put in hard work. Nihue Rao offers the perfect setting to experience Ayahausca for first time users & those with prior experience (based on conversations I had with other attendees). You won’t regret coming here
I stayed for 6 nights and 4 ceremonies in February 2017 and I am hoping to go back there again for a longer stay one day! I have so much good to say about Nihue Rao. Firstly the shaman Ricardo is very good (very important as there are many frauds now as ayahuasca is getting increasingly popular, especially in Iquitos) and the rest of the staff amazing, during the ceremonies I felt very safe and secure and had a lot of help and support through difficult periods. Being my first experience with ayahuasca I was very glad to come to such a good place! Also traveling alone as a young women I was happy to find a safe place to go to to. The facilities are good and everything is kept very clean and the food is good. Last but not least the ikaros were absolutely beautiful and powerful, get ready for some deep healing in the ceremonies!
Nihue Rao is a collection of all the things you need / require if you’re beginning to work with the medicine or if you’re a seasoned veteran. There is a large & varied knowledge base to assist your every need. You’re living amongst an actual Shipibo community, there are no watered down, americanized, dial-a-shaman here. There is however the amazing energetic presence, Ricardo Amaringo, a master healer, a sonic force with the Icaro and of course a seasoned Ayahuasquero, google him if you require further proof. The 10 days I spent at Nihue Rao were the most profound 10 days I’ve experienced on earth. Words don’t do it justice, but if you’re uncertain on where to invest your money, soul & energy, I would heartily push you in the direction of Nihue Rao. Tener confianza en la medicina!!! ONWARD INWARD
I been there recently for a ten days retreat.
The staff was very caring and the shamans was amazing. There were always someone arround in case of necessity.
The group conversations with the shamans during the mornings was really interesting.
The rooms are simples but the facilities as showers and toilets are perfects. The Maloca where the ceremonies are held is really beautifull.
It was such an interesting time that I am coming back there soon. Would definitely recommend that place.
I came to Nihue Rao for one week.
I was experienced with Aya and other plant medicine.
I got a very dusty bunk, with holes in the bed sheet, and dozens of dead bugs. That didn’t feel very welcoming. It took over 24 hours to get the room cleaned up.
One of the shamans touched my buttocks during a ceremony.
I informed Ricardo (the head shaman) in the morning. He didn’t bother to respond.
I heard that shaman was sexually violating more women, and was fired at some point. Too bad it took them so long to acknowledge the harmful behavior.
To me, they kept on saying it didn’t happen, that it’s all in my imagination.
On the whole, the energy there felt terrible, very dark, full of ego.
I recommend to go elsewhere, to a place with strong ethics and integrity.
When you are in a ceremony, you are extremely vulnerable. Make sure you go to a safe place – physically, emotionally, sexually, spiritually.
Nihue Rao was none of those.
Nihue Rao is a beautiful, safe place, with welcoming, supportive staff. As this was my first time experiencing Ayuasca ceremonies, travelling alone, I was immediately made to feel welcome upon my arrival. The centre is filled with like-minded people which made my stay all the more enjoyable. My only regret was that i was unable to stay for very long and feel i only just scratch the surface in terms of my personal healing and interaction with the sacred brew.
I highly recommend Nihue Rao to anyone interested in the Ayuasca experience.
In the past 8 years, I’ve sat in more than 120 ayahuasca ceremonies with at least a dozen different shamans. I recently returned from a 10 day retreat at Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual, and I have to say: they’re the real deal. I will be returning, soon.
Ricardo Amaringo, the owner, is a tremendously skilled and dedicated curandero. It shows in his medicine, and in the support and attention to detail that his apprentices and helpers offer the people under their care. I’ve never experienced such careful and on-going attention to my process during a retreat before. They check in with you regularly, either in sharing circles the morning after ceremony, or individually (or both!), to see what you’re working on and what challenges you’re having. That translates into tremendous growth and healing, because they’re always right there, working with you and the plants to get you where you’re going.
Nihue Rao practices in a Shipibo tradition, which means every pasajero gets individual work every night. All six ceremonies I sat during my stay, I was sung to at least twice, and more often three times, by different shamans. The result of that kind of attention to you and your journey is unlike anything I’ve seen before, in all the time I’ve worked with the medicine.
I would also like to return some day for some long-term dieting. This is absolutely a place I’d be comfortable taking that step on my journey with the medicine. I know I’d be supported as much as I needed, and yet allowed the space to forge my own relationship with my plants. Because ultimately, that’s what so much of this work is about: your relationship with the plants, which mirrors your relationship with yourself.
Suffice it to say, I cannot recommend this center highly enough.
Take away all the hype about swinging dumbells in the middle of the jungle and traveling to Machu Picchu, and Ricardo Amarigno is the shaman you want to work with. He’s the shaman recommended by Dennis McKenna, so what else can you possibly want? Also if fight-or-flight is what you’re trying to treat, I don’t know if engaging in exercises that put your sympathetic system in the state of overdrive and take a shot at your adrenal glands is really what you want to be doing.
There’s a reason why most reputable Ayahuasca retreat centers have traditionally chosen the Shipibo path of grounding. Ayahuasca ceremonies wipe you out. So if you’re really committed to the process and to the plant-based diet, you’re not going to have any energy within you to do American swings in the middle of the rainforest (to those of you who are still caught up in the battle of egos and want to test the validity of this statement, I’ll leave you with this bit of information: I’m a crossfit girl, I’ve competed in crossfit competitions, and this comes from a place of genuine concern for others’ wellbeing as opposed to being a marketing strategy). If you actually commit to emotional healing the 1-2 weeks you spend in Peru, your physical fitness and performance at the gym will soar when you’re back. Part of the healing experience involves showing love, patience, and kindness to your physical body. During my days off from Ayahuasca, I just wanted to curl up somewhere with a good book or good people. And all of the people I was surrounded by were such beautiful, caring, kind, and supportive souls! I owe a lot of my healing progress to the love and compassion they’ve shown me.
Nihue Rao is a great center! The diet was perfect and went really well with the plant medicine – the results that followed my Ayahuasca ceremonies were mind-blowing!! I kept having one breakthrough after another. What I loved the most though was the fact that there was so much more to my retreat at Nihue Rao than the Ayahuasca ceremonies!! We were taught by beautiful Cvita and Markus how to paint, heal ourselves, and how to integrate our Aya-wisdom into our lives back home. Plus, Ricardo Amaringo comes up with a specific master-plant diet for every single one of the passangers :)! So in addition to having Aya in my system, I was on Pinon Blanco :). I brought back a leaf with me and keep it on my night stand.
This final message is specifically for Dan Cleland. While I thoroughly enjoyed reading Pulse Tours, I did not appreciate that as someone who’s worked with “Ricardo Amaringo, the Canadian artist, and a U.S. MD” before, in your book you didn’t even once bother to specify the last name of the shaman you had beef with and had to “throw out of your property.” You can’t just slam someone publicly without even specifying their last name! Mentioning your shaman’s last name would have been the right thing to do instead of making many gringos who have little clue about what they’re getting themselves into, question the integrity of a very famous, professional, talented, honest, and hard-working shaman like Ricardo Amaringo.
To everyone else who’s read Pulse Tours and is concerned, please know that Dan’s Ricardo isn’t Ricardo Amaringo. In fact, Ricardo Amaringo owns Nihue Rao and Dan Cleland actually used to work for him in the past (not the other way around). Nihue Rao IS one of the safest healing centers!! In fact, when I was having a really rough time during the ceremonies & struggling from a lot of physical pain, Ricardo chose to work with me one on one out of the goodness of his heart: he cleared all the darkness I’ve been carrying around and he healed me!! And I’ve never felt the safest in my life!
Thank you so much to everyone at Nihue Rao!!
I’ll be going back, and I’ll go back only to Nihue Rao :).
This place, these people, and Ayahuasca completely changed my life. The 10-day trip and plant “dieta” I completed at Nihue Rao was one of the most significant events of my life and truly changed everything for me. I feel like a new person. Everything in my life works better.
This was my first experience with Ayahuasca. Though I’d been interested in la medicina for a long time, I knew it could be dangerous in the wrong context or with the wrong shaman. I didn’t take the leap until I got multiple rave reviews from dear friends and friends of friends who all went to one particular center in Peru: Nihue Rao.
I’ve continued to spread the word through my network, to whom I recommend Ayahuasca… but only under the condition that its consumed at Nihue Rao, with the dieta, ceremony, guidance and safety offered here.
The shaman I worked with at Nihue Rao were the epitome of non-judgmental, loving, and warm. They were there to help me heal, and they did that in collaboration with the medicine in a way that I didn’t know was possible. I’m struggling with words here, but suffice it to say, this was truly the best thing I’ve ever done.
If you’re looking for a place to consume Ayahuasca, and if you were my mom or my sister or my husband or my best friend, I would only let you go here. This is the place. Nihue Rao is full of heart, warmth, and the power to really, truly heal.
I just returned from a week long retreat at Nihue Rao and all I can say is take me back, I’m already dreaming about my next opportunity to visit. After researching several centers before my trip, and as a woman traveling to the Amazon, I really wanted to feel safe at whichever center I chose. It was my first time taking Ayahuasca and I can’t imagine picking a better place to do it. I received a warm welcome from two staff members and some soon-to-be friends upon arrival, some of whom return to Nihue Rao time after time, like parts of a big extended family. Everyone was so nice and this was consistent throughout my stay. In just a week I made some life-long friends.
Dr. Joe [last name removed by request], part-owner of Nihue Rao, is such a genuinely nice person. He plays a key role in helping people understand the processes they are going through, and his thoughtfulness truly shows. He and the lead shaman, Ricardo Amaringo, fully engage with us all in sharing each morning after ceremonies. I found this extremely important in better understanding the previous night’s ceremony, along with getting some advice on techniques that may help in navigating future ceremonies. The staff are all there to help in any way they can, and it’s easy to see that your healing is very important to them.
It was also great to have healthy food prepared for us each day, all you need to do is relax and focus on what you’re there for. So let’s get to that: The ayahuasca is made fresh at the center and it’s a powerful brew, the way it needs to be in order to get the work done. The maloca is such a sacred, safe place, and I knew that my needs would be taken care of should anything come up. It’s so safe and comfortable that you’re able to focus on the medicine and just letting go. In the ceremonies we were blessed with the most amazing icaros from 3 different shamans. The icaros of the shamans are so beautiful and moving, and you can’t help feeling so grateful to be having this experience in the Peruvian Amazon, surrounded by nature and caring, loving people. This experience I hold dear in my heart and I don’t feel any hesitation telling others that may be wanting to explore the possibilities of ayahuasca that Nihue Rao is a safe, nurturing, and fun place to do this.
This center is excellent and Ricardo is a fantastic shaman. His icaros are among the most amazing you are ever likely to hear – very powerful too.
This center is also very comfortable with great accommodations that are basic and dont detract from the setting, but help you stay comfortable. Really excellent food as well.
Only possible critique I can make is that sometimes Ricardo seems a little busy or distant, but this doesnt detract from the effectiveness of his healing. Maybe he is just a quiet guy. When he does laugh and open up a bit, the whole room lights up though – he has a very infectious laugh!
I had some of my deepest ever ceremonies here and Ricardo healed my wifes chronic back pain – really good medicine.
I recently completed a 28 day stay at the Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual ayahuasca retreat. It was my first time at such a place and I rate it an outstanding experience. The staff at Nihue Rao is excellent: Dr. Joe [last name removed by request] is a California based MD and part owner of the retreat. He and Cvita Mamic, another co-owner and counselor along with Martina and Emilie, made me feel welcome and provided all the guests with daily interaction and expertly facilitated the ayahuasca ceremonies. Ricardo Amaringo is the head shaman at Nihue Rao and sings Icaros that range from the powerfully profound to the energetic and enlightening. This is the real deal, folks. The retreat is safe, secure and waiting to welcome you.
I should have written this review some time ago for Nihue Rao, but my silly American life got in the way. Anyhow, I just returned from my second trip to Nihue Rao, this time I brought my girlfriend with me. This is by far the safest, most cost effective, clean, and caring center in Iquitos. It?s clear some of the others have a profit motive (Blue Morpho) and just don?t care about the people that pass through. Nihue Rao is way different. First and foremost, you have an actual American Dr., Dr. Joe there to help. He helps comfort your fears from a medical perspective and also spiritually. It is clear that if you are reading this review you are searching for the proper center to experience ayahuasca. It is a very powerful medicine that requires due diligence because there are many centers in Iquitos springing up all the time. I highly recommend Nihue Rao because they actually care! Life affirming and altering, this experience will change your life and each day you let pass by pre-ayahuasca is something you?ll regret later. Sack up, book the trip! Thank you for everything Nihue Rao!
Tom Stephens aka Charlie
Los Angeles, CA
I am still in transit home from my time at Nihue Rao but feel I need to give my love for this amazing retreat.
I arrived on a Sunday with my older sister and was greated straight away with a lot of warmth from the people running retreat and the people who were there for healing. The retreat is very well organised, from retreat tours, talks, food preparation and one on one assisitance from leaders such as Joe [last name removed by request], who made me feel very protected.
The Shamens have a great power and this is felt during ceremonys and one on one Iceros. This combined with how the retreat is run has given me an experience that I will never forget. I have learnt many lessons, made life long friends and feel I now have a lot of clarity to confront blockages in my life.
Myself and my sister Maria will love to return and feel again what we felt those 6 days. To anyone who wants to feel a deep connection and learn life lesson, Nihue Rao is the place to experience it.
To everyone at Nihue Rao thank you with all my heart.
Chris & Maria
My husband and I just recently came back from a trip to Peru through Pulse Adventure Tours and had the opportunity to stay at Nihue Rao for 6 days for healing. The centre is the perfect place to experience a sincere and deep healing. The area is so quiet, calm, and relaxing. After an intense ayahuasca session one of my favourite things to do was lay around in one of their many hammocks and just rest.
Joe, Cvita, and Ricardo truly do care about each person that comes to the center and treat them more like family than anything else. They are so personable, kind, and attentive. While there we were able to spend time and get help from Joe’s cousin, Francisco as well – another truly amazing person.
There really is nothing to worry about when staying there – meals are prepared for you, there is laundry service available, showers, and wi-fi for a few hours a day. We were so at ease and comfortable there that we didn’t want to leave.
The healing was remarkable. I wasn’t sure what to anticipate for my first ayahuasca experience and now I can hardly put it into words. If you’re looking for some answers and intense healing, Nihue Rao is the place to go. I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else and I will return sometime next year for sure.
You will not be disappointed! If you feel the medicine calling you, call Nihue Rao.
I stayed at Nihue Rao for a 7 day retreat….The people there were very attentive, helpful, and serious when it comes to healing. The medicine is strong and does not take much to feel its effects. I went in with severe depression and anxiety and left healed! The administrators who run the facility are not in it for the money (Civita, Joe and Ricardo the shaman) I have yet to see a single promotion for this center, and that’s because they are not your typical Ayahuasca tourist center…The center is kept very clean…Armed guards are on constant watch every night. I felt safe. The meals consisted of the Ayahuasca diet which is great for optimal healing. They have a laundry service that is all inclusive with your stay along with WIFI for 3 hours a day, morning, noon, and night. I have nothing but respect for this center..everyone is ready to listen and offer advice, I hope I can visit again in the near future. A special thanks to Civita and Ana.
We (Pulse Tours) have organized a number of group adventures wherein we’ve worked with Nihue Rao to provide our guests with a legitimate, comfortable and authentic ayahuasca experience. 90%+ of the clients we’ve brought to Nihue Rao have experienced life changing cleansing, personal insights and visions. As one of our most recent clients said to me – “They’re certainly not pretending to be an ayahuasca center.”
If you’d like to see some video testimonials from some of the people who have traveled there with us, you may encounter several videos on our YouTube channel (see: Pulse Adventure Tours).
We highly recommend this center.
Founder, Pulse Adventure Tours
As an organizer and leader of adventure group tours down to South America, I’ve worked with a few different spiritual centres that offer medicinal plants including Ayahuasca. Nihue Rao is our favourite one. We love it and trust it fully to take the best care of our passengers.
The medicine is brewed on site, using only 2 primary ingredients – Chacruna and Ayahuasca vine. It is very potent.
The site itself is spacious, very clean, with lots of friendly and helpful workers as well as security guards to assure peace and full safety. Food is Ayahuasca friendly and there is a good variety of things to choose from.
During the ceremonies, there are usually at least 2 and sometimes even 3 shamans working on keeping the energies of the maloka clean and help with the healing process of guests. They are doing an incredible work, and I personally had a tremendous transformation, thanks to them, their icaros and the medicine. I felt taken care of. All of our passengers also had amazing experiences and some, have returned back to the centre for further work with the plant(s).
– Tatyana (Leader from Pulse Adventure Tours)