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Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual

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  • Iquitos Peru

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!

Reviews

  • Member Since: November 20, 2017

November 20, 2017

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.

November 15, 2017

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!

  • Member Since: November 11, 2017

November 11, 2017

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.

Ayahuaska,

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.

My experience.

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.

Warm Regards,

  • Member Since: October 24, 2017

October 24, 2017

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.

October 14, 2017

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!

  • Member Since: October 12, 2017

October 12, 2017

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.

  • Member Since: October 10, 2017

October 10, 2017

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.

  • Member Since: October 6, 2017

October 7, 2017

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.

  • Member Since: October 1, 2017

October 1, 2017

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.

  • Member Since: September 26, 2017

September 26, 2017

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!
Jing

  • Member Since: September 19, 2017

September 19, 2017

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.

  • Member Since: September 17, 2017

September 17, 2017

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.

September 8, 2017

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!
Thank God!
Love you all!

  • Member Since: August 24, 2017

August 23, 2017

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!

July 30, 2017

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.

July 26, 2017

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.

July 16, 2017

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!

July 9, 2017

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.

  • Member Since: June 6, 2017

June 6, 2017

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!
Peter.B
Australia

June 5, 2017

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.

  • Member Since: June 3, 2017

June 5, 2017

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

May 23, 2017

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.

May 15, 2017

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

May 2, 2017

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!

  • Member Since: April 29, 2017

April 30, 2017

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

  • Member Since: April 26, 2017

April 30, 2017

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.

  • Member Since: April 18, 2017

April 18, 2017

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.

April 8, 2017

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.

March 31, 2017

My experience at Nihue Rao was very positive and even though it was a short stay, I felt – and still feel a lot of ongoing- shifts.
I’m deeply grateful to the Shamans Ricardo and Miguel, their singing affected me deeply and pulled so much negativity out of me, it was like energetic surgery. They truly know their craft plus they have humor. 😉 The facilitators are very attentive to your needs, you can approach them about anything and they will be open and non-judgmental. I felt very safe and well taken care of at this center and the Shipibo massage I’ve gotten as additional treatment was fantastic! Nihue Rao definitely had a good and very calm vibe, perfect for introspection and healing.
I will be back!

  • Member Since: March 18, 2017

March 21, 2017

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.

  • Member Since: March 17, 2017

March 17, 2017

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 :).

March 17, 2017

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.

  • Member Since: May 17, 2015

May 17, 2015

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.

February 6, 2015

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.

January 15, 2015

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.

September 16, 2014

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

September 14, 2014

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

August 2, 2014

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.

  • Member Since: March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014

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.

February 18, 2014

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.

Buen viaje!

Daniel Cleland
Founder, Pulse Adventure Tours

February 13, 2014

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)

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