Listed in Ayahuasca
- Beni, Bolivia
Pisatahua is a plant-medicine ayahuasca-retreat, located in a remote area of the Bolivian Amazon. Found in the heart of the Aquicuana Lake Reserve, the 80 hectare center is situated in one of the most biodiverse areas of the world. This idyllic setting provides a comfortable environment for those seeking a responsible way to explore the Amazon, while safely working with traditional plant medicines.
Pisatahua’s healers are responsible and respected community members, dedicated to the shamanic path, with decades of experience. Our staff and facilitators are support specialists, providing guidance and personalized assistance throughout your journey. We organize small-group retreats to ensure that each individual receives the personal attention they require on their unique path of awakening and healing.
I am currently working as a volunteer in Sustainable Bolivia, a NGO founded by Erik. Thanks to this volunteering, I had the opportunity to spend one night and to experience Ayahuasca ceremony.
First, Pisatahua is a wonderful place that is made in order to respect and to reduce the impact on the environment. There, we could watch beautiful sunsets near the lake, explore the jungle… It was a dream!
Wara was our shaman for this Ayahuasca ceremony. She guided us with wisedom and kindness. I could feel her presence as I was listening to her traditional songs and watching her dancing. Wara explained us the generosity of the earth, of the Ayahuasca and the healing process that we were about to live.
When I woke up, I felt extremely appeased and serene. I lived this experience as mindfulness and generosity, even if it has also been very difficult – it was just part of the healing process. This experience was unforgettable and I am very thankful to have had this opportunity in my life.
A big thank you to Erik, Sacha for what you are doing in Pisatahua !
Hi I’m josh
Me and my girlfriend attended the 10 day retreat at pisatahua in July 2019. From the moment we got to final day we looked after by erik and Sasha who run the retreat. The location is magical it’s out the way of any distractions of everyday life. In the beauty of the Bolivian amazon. The retreat leads onto a lake that has some amazing wild life and at night the sounds of jungle come alive. The accomodation is first class with en suite and the place clean and tidy . The beds you want to get out of especially when the energy levels are at rock bottom from the diet. The cabanas have a a hammock in which is a nice touch over looking the lake out way of any angry mosquitos. We had wara as the Sharman on the retreat and she is truly special at what she does and was born to do it. On top of the extra special ceremonies we had plenty of other ceremonies in the day tabacco ceremonies , coca reading and lots more which really get the head thinking and add to the whole experience. We also got taken hiking twice and a boat ride. All in all this place is hard to beat
I highly recommend this retreat for multiple reasons.
1. The owners/operators are all genuine caring people that want you to get the best experience and outcome possible.
2. The location and premises is stunning, the cabins are very comfortable and have wondeful lakefront views. The place is well kept and clean. The mosquitos arent nearly as bad as I would have thought being in the jungle.
3. The carefully selected healer, Wara was incredible. Everything she did had purpose and meaning, while at times it felt difficult and hard work – well it is… but thats what you come for, to work on yourself and healing. I felt so light and refreshed at the end. Extremely grateful to Wara and the Pisatahua crew.
4. This retreat is the complete package – I felt like 4years of counceling smashed into 10 days 🙂
Pisatahua is located in a beautiful section of land with a dock that leads to a lake and cabins that offer comfort and tranquility. What really made my experience special was the shaman that lead the ceremonies, Wara. Her words, songs, and guidance gave me the abilities to feel healing from mother ayahuasca. Even at a time when the ceremony became intense and difficult to stay, she acted in a way to insure everyone’s process was thought about. Its isolated location only adds to the experience, with all of the sounds of animals and leaves rustling. We were given the opportunity and encouraged to go on hikes, introduce our selves to the land, just to take in our surroundings. If you are looking for a very reflective experience and beautiful scenery I highly recommend participating in a retreat at Pisatahua.
My experience at Pisatahua was very insightful and life giving. I had the blessing of participating in a 10 day retreat with Wara and was inspired by the incredible work that she does. I feel really greatful to have had her as a beautiful, guiding force throughout the retreat. I also feel really greatful for both Erik and Sasha for creating such a beautiful space for people to learn and grow. It was a truly unique opportunity to be apart of the magic that is Pisatahua!
I did the retreat in july 2019 with Wara as the healer.
First of all, the site in itself is incredible : you are in the jungle and next to a lake, you are surrounded by the noises of the animals and the insects… you can access the lake by its dock and watch amazing sunsets every day…
This is therefore the perfect place to relax, meditate, journal and adopt the right mood for the ceremonies.
I stayed in one of the 2 person cabins. The cabin was very confortable and clean, with a hamac and a beautifull view on the lake.
All the facilities are confy and cosy in general, including the temple. Everything is made to be ecofriendly.
Also, Eric and Sacha are available if you need anything during the retreat (laundry, supplies…)
As for the program, the 9 days on site were actually quite busy (in a good way) between all the ceremonies planned by wara (there are not only the ceremonies of ayahuasca but other ceremonies during the day), the daily yoga and meditation classes given by Sarah (the assistant during the retreat), the short hikes that you can do, the naps, the moments with yourself for thinking and journaling, the meals and convivial moments with the group, the boat ride on the lake, the tree planting…
Day after day, you built a strong feeling of gratitude and go deeper in the healing process. In the end of the retreat, you can really feel that have achieved something important for yourself and that you have learned a lot from this experience.
This retreat was for sure one of the strongest experience of my life.
Wara was a great shaman. She guided us though this healing journey with a lot of wisdom and generosity.
I can only strongly recommand to do this retreat. I would do it again.
It is much more that only doing ayahuasca ceremonies.
Finally, the Pisatahua NGO is doing a great job by offering this retreat with respect for the local community, the nature, the indigenous knowledge of the plants medecine and the indigenous traditions.
By choosing Pisatahua for doing the retreat, you also choose an organization that aims in having a positive social impact and works for the protection of the environment.
From the middle of Paris to the middle of the jungle…
I felt blessed to stayed in Pisatahua for 6 weeks as a volonteer in february 2019.
The center is amazing, part of a reserved in a small community where you can enjoy boat ride and guided walk in the jungle to observe wild life and identify plants.
All the rooms are situated by the lake where you can enjoy a swim, they are built in a traditionnal and confortable way, every night beautiful music of the jungle take me to deep sleep.
Its situated only 45mn from the aeroport of Riberalta, where you can enjoy açaï juices at the market and nice restaurants or hotels if you want to stay before of after your retreat.
The relation with Erik the manager and is wife Sasha was amazing from day one. They make this place magic, and magic is real!
I felt at home and in a familly…
The Shaman Wayra and is assistant Guido where perfect guides throught the Ayahuasca ceremony nights, beautiful musicians and singers. They teach us about cosmology, gave us tabaco ceremony and other medecine plants every day on top of a strict diet. I love the morning yoga and meditation with Sara too.
My expérience was rich of insite, beauty and heart opening, today I can see the great change it did in my life.
I am full of gratitude for everything I received during my stay, and I am planing to come back…Yes I recommande 200% this retreat center.
After traveling for six months in South America and reaching a perfect point in our lives, my partner and I decided to attend an Ayahuasca Retreat in the Bolivian Amazon. After thorough research, we signed up for a 10-day retreat at Pisatahua which included 4 Ayahuasca ceremonies and 1 tobacco ceremony. Erik and Sasha were very helpful and happy to answer any queries we had before arrival.
This retreat could not have been more perfect. It’s idyllic setting in the Aquicuana Reserve, next to a beautiful lagoon was a bonus to all the benefits of this retreat. The cost includes everything you need during your stay: Airport transfers, food, water, accommodation, guided jungle walks, and a boat trip. Our hut was private, peaceful and overlooked the lagoon. We enjoyed waking up to the birds every morning and falling asleep to a variety of jungle sounds.
My intention during the retreat was to receive insight into my direction in life but I learned so much more. Each person on the retreat had a unique experience and every ceremony was completely different. The healers (Niño and Josefine) from Casa de Pawua did an excellent job of holding the space for everyone during their 10-day journey and were professional and knowledgeable in their work. Niño has a deep connection with the jungle and the plant medicine which was an integral component to the ceremonies. It really is an experience you will never forget.
I am forever grateful for my time spent a Pisatahua, with the healers and the strangers who became family. I thoroughly recommend this retreat and hope I have the opportunity to return later in life.
My partner and I came to the Bolivian Amazon for healing and to receive insight about our direction in life. We wanted a retreat that honored both the land and the plant medicine in a sacred way and thanks to Pisatahua, we got just that and more. We attended a 10 day retreat which included 4 Ayahuasca ceremonies and a tobacco ceremony. A second tobacco ceremony was offered to me as I was in need of additional cleansing.
The healer (Nino) is native to the Bolivian jungle and had that deep connection with the plant medicine and the natural world. He knew just how much medicine to serve, he channeled the medicine through powerful sacred song (icaros) and had a genuine care for people.
The venue employs local people in the community and directly supports the preservation of local natural resources. Our cabin had a nice view of the lake and was very private. The accommodations and food quality were well worth the cost and the staff tended to our needs with care. They held a wonderful space for our group to come together and we are very happy with our decision to choose Pisatahua.
Erik, Sasha and Chaca made sure we had transportation from the airport, to our hotel in town and to the retreat center. They even surprised us at the end of the retreat with a trip to go swimming at a beautiful local lake. If you want an authentic experience with staff and healers who are committed to supporting your journey with the plant medicine, you’ve found it.
My experience with Pisatahua was profound and healing in so many ways. I am so inspired by this project as it provides a loving and supportive community to honor your own healing journey as well as healing for the earth. A percentage of the funds earned for the ayahuasca retreats held go to preserving the Amazon Jungle. The cabin accommodations were the perfect balance of feeling comfortable in the jungle but immersed at the same time. The staff and healers went above and beyond to create a memorable experience for all the participants. For me, the ceremonies brought forth deep childhood trauma to heal and I felt safe accessing these very vulnerable parts and sharing with my community of new friends. I am honored to have the experience to learn more about the jungle plant life and animals as well as having the opportunity to cook the “medicine”. A big heartfelt thank you for the work you are doing in this world!
I had the blessing of attending a ten day retreat at Pisatahua on March 2019 and I don’t have enough words to describe the love I feel now for this place and the people I met here. It is located in the Amazonian jungle, not so easy to get there but the host, Erick, picked us up at Riberalta’s airport and took us to the retreat center. He always looked that we had everything we needed to be comfortable (i.e. water, laundry, flashlights, candles, food, etc.) The location is stunning; there are wooden huts hidden amongst the trees and overlooking the river. We loved the hammock in the rooms where you could lay down and relax. The food was delicious, although keep in mind that there will be some days with very restricted diet due to the ceremonies. Remember to take insect repellent as well, do not underestimate the Bolivian jungle!
Our healers, Wayra and Guido, where for sure cut-out for their jobs. Although they look young, you can definitely tell they have the knowledge and wisdom of all their ancestors. The way they conducted the ceremonies was beautiful, the music was perfect and they really knew how to read the room. They were also readily available for any questions or for just talking during the day. Needless to say that my experience with the ceremonies was always beautiful and it completely changed who I am, I felt so much love for everything and everyone there (new brothers and sisters), and I felt forever closer to my Inner Light.
All in all, I would say that if you’re looking for the real deal of a life-changing ayahuasca retreat then look no more. Pisatahua is the best place you will find, I cannot recommend it enough.
My experience at Pisatahua for the Ayahuasca retreat was great. I went two times to the Peruvian jungle for Ayahuasca ceremonies and this was my first time in Bolivia.
In every retreat I had different experiences. At Pisatahua the diet is very strict which I liked because it’s a kind of total commitment to Mama Ayahuasca. The medicine was less concentrated as it was in Peru, some like this more because the taste is not that bad but you have to drink more. I personally like it more if the medicine is more concentrated but that’s only because of the taste, not because the medicine would be less powerful, no very strong as well. Wayra the healer is a very nice, modest person, quite young, mid thirties I believe and who learned about the plants of his grandfather. He’s very committed and want to help people, spent a lot of time with us. Gave good and extensive explanation of the ceremonies, what to expect of the medicine. He also gave us a tobacco ceremony and personal coca leave reading which was quite interesting as well. Pisatahua is located in the Aquicuana Lake Reserve. The area is fabulous, each tambo is at the lakeside, when you’re relaxing in your hammock you overlook the lake, a perfect setting to get your mindset in the right modus and to work on your personal issues. Erik and his wife are the founders and doing a great job with their sustainable Bolivia projects. They are both very, very nice people and dedicate their lives on helping others. Whether it is people from overseas coming for the medicine, the indigenous people living in the reserve by helping them to make a living, helping their kids going to school or doing volunteer work at the orphan house in Riberalta. Chapeau for what they are doing, great respect. Pisatahua is a place you can go safely, they sincerely want to help people, they’re not in the game for money and take their responsibilities very serious. Riberalta is not that busy and noisy place like Iquitos, Peru. So if you’re looking for a quiet place to stay some days before and/or after the retreat, try Riberalta. And Erick can help / recommend you where the stay and where to eat. I wish Erik and his wife all the best and hope Pisatahua will welcome many more guests.
My experience at Pisatahua for the Ayahuasca retreat was wonderful. The location is an isolated parcel of land in the Aquicuana Reserve in the Bolivian Amazon of the north Beni department. During the entire retreat, the area of Pisatahua felt like a safe little bubble where we could be in peace with nature and ourselves.
The curandera who led the retreat, Wara, was the best!! She was very nice, her singing guided throughout the ceremonies, and she treated us all with love and respect. She really made the whole experience very special, and I am so happy that we all got to meet her.
Erik and Sacha were great. They came to check in on us every day. The accomodations at Pisatahua were very comfortable and clean, especially for being the the wilds of the jungle. The cabins along the lake are so peaceful and nice.
The medicine was quite powerfull and I learned much about ilfe and death, spirituality, and the Earth.
All in all, very ncie experience. 🙂
Wow, I don’t know where to begin to talk about the amazing nuturing healing safe haven that is Pisatahua.
Sasha and Eric together with their beautiful support group these beautiful souls of Pisatahua have saved so much of the jungle around riberalta and aim to protect as much as they can to save it from deforestation.
They are working with local communities to help them see how much more valuable the jungle is while it is alive and not cut down for future generations to enjoy and see how special it is.
Why am I explaining this, well it really shows the pure beautiful heart intentions of this beautiful couple but more than that you feel this protection in the energy of the jungle surrounding the retreat – it has the most beautiful calm energy of a truely honoured, unharmed protected and cared for paradise – you feel like you are in the most surreal and safe place in the world – and while you are there this is what your money is going to, caring for and protecting this beautiful haven, to keeping this most amazing beautiful retreat going so fellow souls that follow can come to be nutted taken care of and healed.
The whole retreat from beginning to end was way beyond anything I could have even imagined or anticipated, the space, the malorka, our beautiful cabin which overlooked the lagoon going to sleep and waking up to the sounds of the jungle it was the most comfortable place to return to after your ayahuasca ceremony (which I am so grateful for having something so beautiful and comfortable to retire to)
Outside of the Ayahuasca ceremonies I was (the whole group was) so thankful and grateful for the many different ceremonies that complimented this amazing plant medicine, the la dieta although very restrictive left you full and content, the tabacco ceremony one of the challenging but most cleansing opening things I have ever done in my life.
Other ceremonies were held at different times, and it was during this times you’re not just healing with Ayahuasca but with so much more, you are healing yourself, you’re helping your family heal, you’re new retreat family and they are helping you heal also.
There was so many complimentary elements to this beautiful retreat, they really give 200% to this experience to make sure they leave no stone unturned that you maximise your healing potential in every single possible way.
Now this, a big toast to our amazing Curandera Wara… what a blessing to the world this beautiful woman is, Pisatahua combined with her is the ultimate set and setting.
She holds such powerful space, she is kind, gentle, extremely funny, very very patient but she knows you (her children for the retreat) she knows what each of you need and how to help guide you there even at times when it gets hard she makes you feel so safe, you know you are okay and that the best is yet to come.
She works so hard, her songs guide you on your journey, her healing power guided through grandmother Ayahuasca is out of this world, together they make you really lose all distractions, to sit and have the most honest deepest at times scary and darkest chat you’ve ever had with yourself – and after that 4th ceremony you have never felt more alive, more clean, unburdene, so happy, free or more grateful for yourself, this big beautiful mother earth and every living breathing part of it.
I really can not recommend Pisatahua enough, Eric, Sasha thank you for providing such a beautiful intimate space for those with pure intentions can come and leave the most amazing versions of themselves they never imagined.
Thank you to the beautiful families who took care of us all while we were there, to Sarah for the beautiful yoga and meditation, to Don Marcial for providing his beautiful medicine in our last ceremony, to my beautiful retreat family you are all such gorgeous people – and last but defiantly not least: Wara, beautiful Wara, thank you for guiding me, for making me work hard, through what was the best experience of my life.
The whole experience will be in my heart forever and I will be back again
Peace, love and light
My partner and I participated in a 10-day retreat in January 2019. It was one of the best, most meaningful, most challenging, most beautiful experiences of my life.
The people involved are people of good humility, kindness, and integrity. The location is beautiful and the connection to the surrounding communities authentic and growing. The curandero and his assistant were wonderful humans, skilled, accessible, and caring, with beautiful hearts and souls.
Pisatahua is relatively new, learning, and growing into itself. We chose it because it was one of just a couple of centers in Bolivia welcoming guests, because of the relationships it has with the local community, and because of our conversation with Erik when we initially reached out.
We highly recommend participating in a retreat here.
Il y a un an, je n’avais encore jamais entendu parler des retraites spirituelles d’Ayahuasca. Lors d’un volontariat en Bolivie, j’ai eu écho d’un centre de retraite implanté au coeur de l’Amazonie. J’ai commencé mes recherches et l’envie de faire me premiere expérience est devenue rapidement une certitude: je voulais faire cette retraite.
Cette année, j’ai finalement franchi le pas et que je me suis retrouvée (avec une certaine appréhension) à Pisatahua.
Pour commencer, j’ai d’abord été subjuguée par la localisation du centre. Le voyage commence dès la sortie de l’aéroport. La ville de Riberalta est authentique, véritable porte d’entrée de l’Amazonie, j’ai réellement apprécié la bonne humeur et l’énergie qui se dégageait de la ville. Erik, est vraiment chaleureux et intéressant. Le centre est située à 45 minutes de Riberalta et la communauté la plus proche du centre est à 15 minutes en voiture sur une route étroite formant un veritable tunnel de végétation tropicale, rendant l’immersion totale. Arrivée sur les lieux, j’ai été bluffée par la beauté du lieu. Le centre est un mélange de confort chic rudimentaire au coeur de l’Amazonie. Je ne pouvais pas espérer un meilleur endroit pour faire ma premiere expérience.
Les éco-lodges sont toutes orientés et ouvertes sur la rivière. Nous avions notre salle de bain privative avec les facilités nécessaires.
Notre shaman était une femme d’une trentaine d’année. J’ai réellement apprécié son professionnalisme et son réconfort. Elle a joué de la musique et chanté la majorité de la nuit, tout en laissant des temps de calmes pour se laisser guider par les bruits nocturnes de la jungle. Je me suis vraiment sentie entourée et protégée tout le long de la nuit.
Note également pour le planning conciliant parfaitement quelques activités (tour en bateau, trail dans la jungle, observation d’oiseaux) et des temps de repos et de méditation pour se recentrer sur soit-même.
Je recommande fortement ce centre pour un voyage autant interne que dépaysant ! Merci !
A year ago, I had never heard of Ayahuasca spiritual retreats before. During a volunteer in Bolivia, I heard about a retreat center located in the heart of the Amazon. I started my research and the desire to do my first experience quickly became a certainty: I wanted to do this retreat.
This year, I finally took the plunge and found myself (with some trepidation) in Pisatahua.
For starters, I was first captivated by the location of the center. The trip starts right out of the airport. The town of Riberalta is authentic, a gateway to the Amazon, I really enjoyed the good mood and energy that emanated from the city. Erik, is really warm and interesting. The center is located 45 minutes from Riberalta and the community closest to the center is 15 minutes drive on a narrow road forming a veritable tunnel of tropical vegetation, making total immersion. Arrival at the scene, I was amazed by the beauty of the place. The center is a mix of rudimentary chic comfort in the heart of the Amazon. I could not hope for a better place to do my first experience.
The eco-lodges are all oriented and open on the river. We had our private bathroom with the necessary facilities.
Our shaman was a woman in her thirties. I really appreciated his professionalism and his comfort. She played music and sang the majority of the night, while allowing quiet times to be guided by the nocturnal sounds of the jungle. I really felt surrounded and protected all night long.
Note also for the planning conciliating perfectly some activities (boat ride, trail in the jungle, bird watching) and rest and meditation time to refocus on itself.
I highly recommend this center for a trip both internal and exotic! Thank you !
I spent 10 days in Pisatahua during a retreat, it was an incredible experience; trips through the jungle, learning plants with local shaman, boat trips, soaking in the river, eating new fruit off trees, butterflies, birds, colours, sounds; Its the perfect combination of inspiration, nature and peace allowing for reflexion, healing, far from the noise of our modern lives. The staff were wonderful, allways present and ready to listen and react to our needs; Facilities are simple, comfortable and clean, and the location is perfect; in the middle of a nature reserve and only about 45 minutes from the nearest town, Riberalta. Food is fresh, varied, with spectactular juices made from fruit I had never heard of. it was 10 days of self discovery and rest, even now I miss the sounds of the jungle lulling me to sleep. Magical, I highly recomend it.
I was lucky enough to participate in a 10 day retreat at Pisatahua. The location was spectacular and was 40 minutes outside of Riberalta which is an interesting little city.
Every aspect was well thought out including all natural materials and adherence to a traditional medicinal diet.
The shaman and his apprentice were continuing the work of their grandfathers. So much knowledge.
The ceremonies had a profound and lasting effect on me physically, emotionally and mentally.
Having participated in ceremonies in Bolivia and California before, I can’t recommend Pisatahua highly enough.
We attended our first Ayahuasca retreat at Pisatahua in January 2019 and it was an incredible experience.
It is a truly amazing place in the heart of a protected reserve 1,5 hours by car out of Riberalta on the shores of a beautiful Amazonian lake.
The huts are clean, comfortable and spacious with spectacular views of the lake and the forest.
The maloka is impressive especially during the ceremonies and the sounds of the jungle are the perfect background for this kind of experience.
We got to do jungle walks and boat rides on the lake which were beatiful.
Something one needs to consider is that this is a plant medicine retreat and not a jungle lodge so you will probably not be going to encounter heaps of wildlife as you will need to focus on the medicine.
Erik, the founder, is very present even tho he’s not living on site and he came to our hut many times to speak and make sure everything was going well, we really appreciated this!
As everyone we had many expectations for the retreat starting from the medicine to the shaman, from the group to the food.
When we arrived we met the other participants and only with a few of them we could find an immediate feeling but then we realized we were there for ourselves and not for the other people and we had to concentrate only on ourselves.
Being a solid couple at the beginning we were afraid of doing this experience as we thought it could put somehow into discussion our relationship.
The goal is to think about yourself and don’t have to worry about your partner because he or she’ll be fine.
The energy that surrounds you will be so strong that it will connect you on a higher level.
We gathered many information on the website and the first thing that surprised us was that the shaman was not one of those we expected but fortunately he was perfect and highly knowledgeable despite his young age.
The second thing that surprised us (and made us a bit disappointed) was the diet as it was absolutely not varied as advertised but this is something that our shaman decided for the best of the whole experience.
Let’s come to the ceremonies which were absolutely amazing, well explained both Spanish and English and we always felt the strong presence of the shaman and his helper.
Everyone experiences the medicine in their own mind and body and the strength doesn’t only come by the potency of the medicine but by your spirit, energy and commitment you dedicate to it.
For us after 2 ceremonies we realized we reached what we were looking for and we didn’t need the other 2 ceremonies but we needed to stay with the group until the end of the retreat because the medicine will keep on working on you day after day.
This experience taught us a lot and from being a couple that didn’t believe in marriage we decided to get engaged during the retreat, this is only one of the things that this kind of experiences can move in you.
We definitely recommend this retreat center that is growing and in the future will be even better also we chose this centre because it funds volunteering and conservation projects.
Bolivia is a place where shamanism is still something conserved by the communities and Riberalta is simply not touristic at all.
We took part in a retreat at the Pisatahua retreat in the jungle and fell in love with the place. The Center is made out of wooden cabins in the lush jungle in front of the most beautiful lake. Every night you get the most stunning sunset on this peaceful lake.
They offer retreat programs in which you can do some yoga, meditation, help in the permaculture projects and learn about local medicines from the jungle. It is a great opportunity to both work on yourself and visit the natural surroundings. They offer walks in the jungle, boat trips on the lake and visits to local communities. The general schedules are flexible and respectful of the time you need for yourself.
The staff is so kind and loving that you feel as part of the family as soon as you meet them. This place is everything you can dream of if you want to take a break from society and city life. You will enjoy being in the nature with amazing and inspiring people and work on yourself.
I would highly recommend going to Pisatahua if you are looking for a little heaven in the Bolivian jungle. It is a special experience that you won’t regret!
In january 2019 I did my first ayahuasca retreat at Pisatahua. During the four ceremonies I was able to get a really deep healing. The facilities at Pisatahua are so optimate to do a retreat, having no cellphone connection, hardly any electricity, but a good, clean and lovely (!!!) center in the middle of the jungle. The accomodations, the rooms, everything, was very beautiful. The only thing, during the rain time, it is difficult to get things dry, due to its very humid climate. But even so Eric and Sasha offered us to have our clothes washed in the middle of our retreat time (they took them to Riberalta to wash them in a washing machine and have them dried in a dryer) and also we received clean bed sheets, it felt as a great luxury having clean clothes and bed sheets..! 🙂 Any inconvenient Eric or Sasha would inmediately help us. They were amazing. The food we received, was a special diet to the ceremonies we had, in our case our “Shamana” Karina Luna had us on a lot of quinoa and vegetables as well as fruit, brazil nuts (we learned that they mainly come from Riberalta, Bolivia and not from Brazil!), so as Acai juices. Eric organized a beautiful tour through the jungle with Chaca, a real jungle expert. They also organized a boat ride on the lake, where anacondas as well as crocodiles live 🙂 We also had the opportunity to visit a local Shaman, all in all very beautiful experiences.
Climate in january is very humid, it rained every day, but not constantly, the weather would change easily, from sun to cloudy to rain. The temperature though was always warm, even the rain was warm. Recommended to bring a head lamp, you definitely need one to walk from the main area to your “cabañas”, it gets dark early (around 7pm). Bring good shoes that dry easily, for the every day use at the center “crocs” or “flipflops” are a very good option.
Time really passed by so fast, suddenly the retreat was over! Our group fell in love with each other… And the love and care Eric and Sasha are putting in daily to this project, will make me for sure come back in the future!!!
Dear future volunteers and guests,
I would like to share my experience with Pisatahua retreat what was not most pleasant.
I supposed to come to Pisatahua resort as general volunteer for two months period. We agreed timing and general conditions with Erik via e-mail and phone call. All main conditions are also written in the description about general volunteer. Was agreed that another volunteer will stay together with me in the jungle and that in the period of two months (the minimum required stay by Erik) suppose to be two retreats for 9 days each.
What was in reality?
– The resort in jungle (empty);
– No retreat for all period (they didn’t sold any, didn’t collect clients);
– No plant medicine/no shaman;
– No people (one local family was living in 500 meters distance from resort);
– No another volunteer;
– After two weeks no jungle, as Erik announced me that actually not safe to live alone in jungle.
Finally I end up in Sustainable Bolivia house in Riberalta town with no idea what to do. As the agreement and main target was to come and help during retreats, I was a little lost trying to understand what is going on and how to solve the situation:
– I had no plans to travel in South America (my plan was just to stay in retreat for two months volunteering and learning by myself more about plant medicine and how it influence the people.)
– I had no money planned for the traveling (volunteering position telling that costs are 0, only what you should buy – ticket from Europe to the jungle, what cost me about 1400 Euro both ways);
– I had no place to return – I rent out my apartment in my hometown for the period I suppose to be in jungle.
We started to talk to Erik openly and trying to find a solution. I asked Erik did he want to compensate me a ticket, as this is totally different what was agreed. He said – no and explained me that this is my problem, I took the risk, this is not his risk. Also he mentioned that we didn’t signed contract, so no legal document to proof that he has any obligations. He let me to understand and told me that he is very nice that he let me stay in Sustainable Bolivia house in Riberalta and letting me to figure out what to do, as everybody around telling him just to kick me off the house as this is not working out. He also cut the food (he suppose to supply food according the agreement and written application in website). Finally he announce that I should share the room with another guy, so I made a decision to move to go to travel. He bought me ticket from Riberalta to santa Cruz (about 100 USD).
What I did as a volunteer? Not much – cleaning the territory mainly in the resort and in Riberalta I helped with fundraising, also spent one day in orphanage with kids.
What surprised me most? I said that I planned to spend almost no money during 2 months, just like few hundreds USD for some additional food or mini trips. Erik said: how you could expect it? don’t you think that it is too good to be true to live in jungle with all included and not to spend money? … (bellow you will find what they tell in the website)
Kitchen help: cooking, serving food, and keeping the area clean
Setting up, organizing and planning guest arrivals
Community garden work: planting, weeding, composting, harvesting, etc.
Healing services such as: massage, meditation, yoga, art therapy, etc.
Ceremony sitter: provide basic assistance to guests during ceremony
Content writing/ blogging
Videography and video editing
We provide dedicated individuals the rare opportunity to live in one of the most biodiverse areas of the Amazon, while learning about plant medicines from traditional healers. All volunteers receive accommodation (at Pisatahua and Riberalta), food and drink, travel to lodge, and access to on-site activities and ceremonies.
$0. This position is available (with all the benefits mentioned above) at no cost to volunteer.””
Erik’s words and attitude surprised me. I do not feel that this is right for any volunteering position, especially plant medicine retreat where each word should be weighted.
What they write in the website – half of it not true.
The premises are new and nice – that’s true. The place is in jungle – that’s also true and you can not swim in this beautiful lake as it is full of snakes, alligators and piranhas.
I ended my trip volunteering in similar retreat near Rurrenabaque where I felt total harmony with people and place.
I got very good lessons out of this situation and happy that it went like it went.
With all my love,
j’ai déja fait des retraites d’Ayahuasca au Perou et en Equateur et je peux confirmer que Pisatahua est l’un des meilleurs centres de retraites en Amerique latine. Le lieu est magnifique avec une énergie énorme. Les cabanes sont propres et bien équipées ce qui vous permet vraiment de se sentir à l’aise pour vivre une belle experience. Le personnel est toujours à votre service en essayant de répondre au maximum à vos demandes. Le travail avec la plante est très constructif et le shaman est là pour répondre aux questions et assurer le bon déroulement des céremonies… Il ne s’agit pas seulement de l’ayahuasca mais des céremonies de tabac, coca sont aussi propsés aux participants. Une formation aussi sur les plantes, la faune, les animaux est proposée. Je vous conseille vraiment d’y aller, débutants ou experts avec l’ayahuasca vous allez faire un travail exceptionnel avec les plantes. Eric et Sacha vous accueille en tant que membre de leur famille et sont toujours là à vous aider et guider pendant ce voyage, De plus une grande partie de l’argent va pour aider le projet de la réserve naturelle Acuiquana et une ONG locale pour la protection de l’amazonie. y’a rien à améliorer , vous etes les meilleurs.. bonne continuation à vous et je reviendrai surement visiter ce lieu magique qui est Pisatahua .
I already done a lot of ayahuasca ceremonies in south America and I can confirm that Pisatahua is one of the best retreat center I ever been. The place is beautiful with a lot of energy ( in the middle of the Acquicuna reserve), the conditions of accommodations are the best with Eric ( the co-founder ) trying always his best to do more. The work with the plant is perfect, we were not a big group so it’s easy to talk with the shaman and work in peace with the madre Ayahuasca. You really fell like you’re in a family and people are really here to help you. The jungle walk, the boat tour and the lessons of Senior Chaca about the plants and animals in the jungle were great, you can really feel how it’s important for these people to share their love and knowledge about the jungle. For beginners or experts, Pisatahua is one of the best retreat center and knowing that big part of the money is going to help the maintain of the reserve and the local ONG is a good point. Hope you the best guys and for sure I will come back when the madre call me for another retreat. Whish you the best .
I joined the 9 day retreat in September 2018 in Pisatahua. I am very happy with my experience! It was a very clear communication from Erik, the owner, he was very helpful in trying to organise my arrival and departure. Pisatahua is located in a very nice spot in the jungle. The beautiful sounds I heard there from the birds and animals I will never forget. We made a few hikings and boat trips for spotting crocodiles, which were included in the retreat. We were walking in the Amazon jungle with the shaman who told us about many medicinal plants, and at some point I was thinking that I’m walking in a living pharmacy. The ceremonies were great, Erik and his wife made everyone feel comfortable and were very genuine in their intentions. The ceremonies were very intense, but Erik gave amazing support. They had an intention for the diet which means no salt and strong herbs. Therefore the food was basic, so it was sometimes hard to get used to that, but this is part of the retreat, for cleaning and healing purposes. All in all I am very grateful for the beautiful experiences and insights that I got from everything. I think you won’t be dissapointed when you’ll choose to visit Pisatahua!
Altamente recomendable!!! 🙂
Highly recommended!!! 🙂
I have had a wonderful time at Pisatahua. The location is dreamy and remote, a natural paradise. The owners are really nice, genuin good people, they love what they do and they have a lot of experience themselves with the medicine. They will help you before, during and after your stay.
Food is great, very healthy, you will eat a lot of fresh vegetables, fruits, quinua… The cabins are beautiful and comfortable. All those things alone make the experience worth it, but there’s also the ayahuasca ceremonies of course.
This is the perfect place to do ayahuasca. You feel always safe in this environment, inside the impressive Maloca where the ceremonies take place. I never have tried ayahuasca before and in the fourth and last ceremony of the retreat I’ve had a very intense experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life. Don’t fear nothing, there’s no side effects and is perfectly safe.
Thanks Erik, Sasha and all the staff for this magnificent experience. I hope I will return some day to Pisatahua.
I recently attended the 9-day retreat at Pisatahua.
The first day when I arrived at Riberalta airport, Erik and Sasha greeted me and brought me to their non-profit house where I could relax for one day and visit the lovely town of Riberalta. We all had dinner together that day with the non profit staff. Erik and Sasha answered to all our questions and concerns that night and we were able to discover the town.
The next day we headed towards the retreat center and the Ecolodge, Pisatahua. It is located in a magnificent place in the middle of the Aquicuana Reserve, a protected area of the Amazon jungle! It was a bit hidden, but right in front of the San José Lake, and from your cabin, you have the view on the Lake. It’s also nice because you have a small breeze and it’s quite needed in this tropical (and hot) place!
We had a retreat every other day, and in between activities planned to relax, think about yourself, your experience, but of course, discover this amazing nature! As such, we did yoga, meditation, art therapy activities, talks about our experience (and ayahuasca experience included of course!), boat tours and hikes. It was really amazing to combine the healing process with the breath taking nature, discover the Amazon and its rituals.
During the ceremonies, we had the shaman who prepared and gave us the ayahuasca brew (which was way better than I was told, actually almost tasting nice!). The shaman made sure it’s the right dose for us, and supported us during the process, singing for a few hours. Of course, everyone has very different experiences with the ayahuasca but, if I was scared before doing this, I understood after the first night I had nothing to be scared of, after feeling so much peace and love inside and outside me. The idea is that you get helped, even though you have to be open for it, and even sometimes looking and concentrating to find your answers.
Finally, even though we had to do a diet, the food was excellent and fresh with local products! I really appreciated that part, knowing it’s hard to cook with the diet restrictions!
All in all, it was an amazing experience, very well organized, and it allowed me to discover the Amazon, its giant trees and funny animals. I also felt part of a family with the rest of the group and Erik and Sasha who take good care of us. You really have a personnal touch and it also helps that there are only small groups. I would definitely recommend it and do it again!
To get my opinion out of the way, I could not recommend this retreat centre enough to anyone. I can guarantee you that it will be a powerful and positive experience which you will take for the rest of your life.
Pisatahua is located in the Aquicuana reserve near the town Riberalta in the Amazonian region of Bolivia. One of the things i liked the most of this is that there was near none signs of tourism. Definitely worth the trip here and I recommend taking some time exploring this region as well. If your spanish isn’t the best, well dont worry! The wonderful team at Pisatahua will take you in and give you all the help you can possibly get.
The retreat it self is located in the jungle right next to a beautiful lake. You will find yourself laying on a hammock in your comfortable cabin looking out to the amazing view quite a lot!
Everyone involved in Pisatahua is very genuine and always looking after your needs. Enjoy your surroundings and participate in all the hikes, cannoe rides, yoga/tai chi as this will help connect you to the land in turn heightening the effects of the medicine.
As for the shamans (they don’t actually like being called by this term, instead call them maestro or doctor) Don Rene and Don Marcial, they are very intelligent, wise and professional in the work they will do for you. They are both well respected members of their communities and have knowledge us common folk cannot even comprehend. With decades of experience working in their communities with knowledge being past down through generations, they now will take care of you in Pisatahua – the first retreat centre in Riberalta. I feel like I received genuine and traditional treatment and I would only want to do it this way. I’ve heard horror stories of “shamans” and it saddens me that others have not had an experience like i’ve had.
I could honestly talk forever about all the good things about Pisatahua but I must cut my self short and just say, if you’re looking for a life changing experience which will clean your mind, body and spirit? then stop wasting your time thinking about it, get your self down to Pisatahua!!
While in ceremony, I came to the conclusion that ALL I want to say in my review is: “One shouldn’t go anywhere else but here”, meaning – this place is ideal for the purpose… but my review is going to be a little longer than that.
For the seekers and the awakening – if it’s your first time to answer the calling of Mother Ayahuasca, I would not go anywhere else but Pisatahua!..
The comfortable accommodations in prestine nature, with my hammock sunrises and sunsets accompanimented by choirs of insects and birds were the perfect context to my experience.
The genuine care of everyone I encountered along my journey was beyond my expectations – I wouldn’t want it any other way.
The authenticity of intention to bring about change to each individual life of the participants was shining through each caretaker.
That was one of my revelations – their intention! – changing One. Life. At a time… while positively affecting the local community along the way…
I wanted to find a place that is off the beaten path with an authentic shaman. I found THAT and more! I am so, so grateful!
I am especially thankful to you, Erik, for holding my hand through it all and being there for me.
I think I will be back sooner, rather than later.
after all… there’s more work to do :))
Pisatahua Ecolodge is probably the most peaceful place I have ever had the enjoyment of visiting. Erik and his wife Sasha were incredibly helpful even before I got to the retreat. They helped me arrange flights and advised me (very wisely) not to get the bus to Riberalta. I was greeted at the airport and from that moment on was made to feel incredibly welcome, safe and cared for. They truly have built this from the ground up and their care and passion for what they do is moving. The facilities are fantastic with comfortable two person huts that have bathrooms and running water. They also have a fantastic view out onto the lake and at night you feel completely immersed in the jungle itself. While I was there we were lucky enough to find a wild Jaguar footprint on the path not 10 metres from our hut. Amazing to think that while we were sleeping an animal like that was walking around outside. The ceremonies themselves were very authentic using local shamans who had been taught the skill by their fathers. The Maloca (giant hut where the ceremonies take place) is a sight to behold in itself. It has similar presence as that of a church or cathedral. With its 360 degree windows and it’s giant roof it is perfect space to take the plant medicine. The volunteers and staff were particularly kind, considerate and helpful and were on hand throughout the entire undertaking of the medicine. The special menu that was created was simple but delicious. This retreat is not to be missed. I walked away with a life changing experience in a part of the world that still feels it has been untouched by man. You will not regret choosing to go with Pisatahua.
Went here for the 9 day retreat and I do not have enough positive things to say about the experience. The setting is absolutely beautiful, located within a wilderness sanctuary and right on the bank of a beautiful lake.
The food was incredible, and sticking to the Aya ‘dieta’ was never a problem or chore here.
The ceremonies were amazing, and Sasha and Erik have made an amazing atmosphere where everyone felt really comfortable and safe. I can safely say that my time at Pisatahua was completely transformative and my only regret is that now that I have left all I do is yearn to be back in my cozy little bungalow listening to the sounds of the birds.
I was initially pretty nervous for my Aya experience having heard some horror stories about conditions at other centers where profit is less important than spirituality. I am so glad I found this place. I cannot recommend Pisatahua enough, if you are reading this review and are on the fence do yourself a favor and make Pisatahua the place you try Ayahuasca. You will not regret it.
I recently attended Pisatahua for a nine day retreat. I offer you my review of the elements that I believe are worth considering in your important choice.
Setting – Pisatahua’s remote location on a beautiful, wild lake in the Amazon jungle greatly helped me relax and further connect with nature. There are trails to hike and places to sit still, enveloped in true nature to reflect or meditate. Each night, the jungle came alive with rich sounds of wildlife. This played a big part for me in the ceremonies.
Facilities and activities – The center has been created with clear vision. The grand moloka overlooking the lake has a positive energy. It just felt right. Very comfortable and beautiful individual cabins allowed solitude as desired. The quality meals, hikes, boat tours, yoga, guided meditation, group discussions, and plenty of personal time all contributed very positively.
People – Organizers Erik and Sasha are a gift. They truely understand the beauty of Mother Ayahuasca and how to appropriately share that beauty with others. The staff and volunteers were exceptional in gently guiding and supporting guests. Absolutely wonderful people.
Ceremony – Words are not enough to describe this. My experience with the four ceremonies far beyond any of my expectations. The power, pure love, and beauty of Mother Ayahuasca is beyond imagination. The shaman’s presence and song took me to other worlds. I received crystal clear visions with profound, personal lessons.
Overall Experience – Exceptional. Life changing. Highly recommended.
I’m a wildlife biologist and personal growth aficionado, and so I was drawn to Pisatahua for several reasons – to deepen my spiritual connection, to see Amazonian wildlife, and to rest and rejuvenate my soul and body. I can say that Pisatahua is an absolute paradise!!
I stayed at Pisatahua for 3 weeks with my husband in April 2018. During this time we participated in 2 powerfully spiritual ayahuasca ceremonies, searched for jaguar tracks as we hiked through their jungle trail system, watched macaws fly overhead as we canoed the lake at sunrise, and practiced daily yoga and meditation in their shaded, spacious and mosquito-free maloca (a communal thatch-roofed building).
The lodge has an incredible location for wildlife – in just 2 weeks I saw 55 species of Amazonian birds, and dozens of jaguar, capybara, and caiman tracks. Pisatahua sits within 20,000 hectares of the Aquicuana Reserve, which was founded thanks to collaboration between Pisatahua and the municipality of Riberalta, and protects an area of Amazonian forest 3x bigger than Manhattan. At Pisatahua you can access their miles-long trail system, leading you through lake-side wetlands and dense tropical forest, offering ample opportunity to spot a toucan, black caracara, or another of the 250 or so bird species that live within the Reserve.
The facilities were the best I’ve seen at a tropical lodge – the cabins offer you a private view over the lake, where you can listen to the hum of frogs and birds at night from your comfortable bed or hammock. The maloca is a beautiful space for ceremony, community, and meditative practice. I always felt comfortable, safe, and surrounded by intense beauty while at Pisatahua, and I miss it already.
The ceremonies were powerful – the curanderos are wise, attentive, and truly concerned for your healing. We felt safe, comfortable, and well guided, thanks to them and to Pisatahua’s founders Erik, Sasha, and Chaca. The medicine itself was potent – a thick, dense brew – and for me, life changing, offering visions for a better world, as well as the personal growth required to help me create that better world. Erik and Sasha have created a space that fosters integration, to empower you to translate these visions into lasting personal change. This was my first time with the medicine, and I am immensely grateful to have experienced this at Pisatahua, surrounded by inspiring people, local curanderos, and gorgeous tropical nature.
I am eternally grateful to Erik, Sascha, and Chaca, for founding this beautiful healing center that gives so much to the local community and visitors. I hope to return soon!
Immediately from the start of my 9 day retreat I knew I had made the right choice of choosing Pisatahua.
Firstly the amazing location on a lake reserve surrounded by a magical jungle to the healthy and filling meals provided along with guided mediation, yoga and breathing exercises, this was one of the best things I have participated in my life. The accomodation was outstanding with privacy and a breathtaking view of the Amazon.
Eric and Sasha along with the volunteers made me feel very comfortable and the environment setting contributed to this. Their passion for the retreat and commitment was clearly noticeable. They provided all the information prior to starting the ceremonies. Each day was well structed to suit the needs of each individual.
During the ceremonies, someone was always around to help if you needed support. The ceremonies provided beautiful insights and feelings from my past of family and friends.
I cannot wait to recommend Pisatahua to my family and friends. I will definitely be back in the near future and look forward to seeing Eric and Sasha.
I attended the 9 day retreat at Pisatahua and it was by far one of the best experiences of my life.
We arrived in Riberalta airport and were welcomed by Erik and taken to a nearby hotel that had been pre organised by Pisatahua. The following day we were picked up by Erik, Sasha and the volunteers and taken to lunch then had an hour and a half drive out to the retreat.
The grounds of the retreat were absolutely amazing. The retreat is located right on a lake in the Amazon jungle. The cabins are extremely comfortable with each having comfortable bedding, private bathroom, a hammock and a water dispenser. The schedule for the following 9 days was given to us along with a group meeting with the staff and other participants to introduce and get to know everyone there.
The days include amazing healthy food cooked by their staff and volunteers, yoga, guided medication and optional group activities such as boat rides on the lake and jungle treks through the reserve.
The ceremonies were held every second night starting at 8pm. The ceremonies were held in a large maloka with a perfect group size of around 6 participants and 2-4 caretakers along with the Shaman.
We were called up individually to have our plant medicine Ayahuasca and returned to our own individual mattress spread out nicely in the maloka. Not too long after I felt the medicine working, I was able to have amazing journeys focussing on past and current relationships finding answers I had been looking for about these relationships and of course myself. The ceremonies included powerful and beautiful chanting by the shaman. I felt very comfortable and looked after by the shaman and the facilitators through each ceremony.
We also had an amazing group of like minded participants which made the retreat very unique and fun.
The staff are very approachable, knowledgeable and passionate about their work and the plant medicine. They were always there to talk to for information, advice or just a chat in general.
Overall I had a great experience at Pisatahua and would highly recommend this retreat to anyone looking to participate in plant medicine ceremonies and spend time in the Amazon jungle. I will definitely be heading back to Pisatahua to continue my healing journey.
The Pisatahua plant medicine retreat that i attended to, was simply amazing.
I guess you always have expectations, but this time they were all surpassed.
The retreat happens deep in the jungle, where there is only you and nature. There you have everything you need, a big wooden cabin with a very comfortable bed and a private bathroom, good and healthy food and the company of people that are there with same intentions as you. The ceremonies with the plant medicine happen in a very comfortable and supportive setting, which makes you feel at home and helps you to surrender your self to the plant and do the therapeutic work you came to do. Cant forget to mention the facilitators and voluntaries, a group of wonderful and trustworthy people that take this very seriously and that are there to help you and give you support in anyway possible. The jungle is in of itself a place that inspires healing and a healthy lifestyle, that combined with the things i mentioned above is the perfect recipe for one of the most amazing experiences you can possibly have.
I absolutely recommend this Retreat!! 🙂
Pisatahua is one of a kind ayahuasca retreat. I´m really glad I waited until I was in the remote corners of the Amazon jungle to try ayahuasca for the first time. The entire experience was beautiful, sacred, and while at times challenging very safe.
The minute you step foot on the grounds you know you are in a very sacred and healing space. I highly recommend it to anyone seeking healing, personal growth, connection and a deeper understanding of themselves. It is definitely worth it to make the trek up to Riberalta, especially if trying ayahuasca for the first time. You will get nothing short of an authentic Amazonian experience with a family−owned feel far off the tourist trail. The grounds are magical and alive. There´s not too many places that place you right in heart of the jungle action while simultaneously swaddling you in a cozy hammock and letting you shower under an indoor Niagra falls with a sunset view of river crocodiles. It´s like a vacation from your brain. The Amazon jungle will sing you to sleep at night with its chorus of indistinguishable noises. (You´ll get a very thorough briefing on which snakes and wild cats to avoid over a nice fresh glass of acai juice.) The guided tai chi, meditation and hiking are a nice touch too. Sasha, Erik and Don Chaca are one of a kind, high caliber humans. They remained very present and in touch with everyone´s needs throughout the retreat. It´s nice to know that the proceeds from Pisatahua go to support their partner nonprofit with social and environmental impact projects in the local community. Too bad I only have 5 stars to give!
I’ve experienced two ayahuasca retreats now. The first was a 7-day retreat in Iquitos, Peru and most recently the 9-day retreat at Pisatahua. Both were powerful experiences, but I recommend Pisatahua for sure. First of all, the location on Lake Aquicuana is pristine and teaming with life and it will blow your mind just by itself. But when you combine a setting like Pisatahua with a high-quality vegan diet, meditation practices, and truly authentic ayahuasca ceremonies over 9 days, the possibility to go deep within and discover new insights becomes very real. In fact, if you have the extra time, you might even consider talking to Erik and Sasha (awesome people) about options for a longer stay. One other bit of advice…Take seriously the pre-retreat recommendations on the Pisatahua website (i.e., La Dieta). It can make a big difference. Cheers.
Pistatahua is the sixth Ayahuasca retreat center I’ve been fortunate to spend time at, so I believe I’ve had enough experience to write a fair review.
To summarize, the 9-day plant medicine retreat I participated in was excellent in every regard. The location is breathtakingly beautiful, located deep in the Bolivian Amazon and on the shore of a large natural lake surrounded by virgin rainforest. The accommodation I stayed in was exceedingly comfortable and luxurious, with an incredible view, comfortable bed, and private bathroom including a high-pressure shower and flushable toilet. The gourmet food was delicious and among the best I’ve had at any plant medicine or naturopathic retreat center. They also supplemented our meals with delicious and nutritious fresh juices that included carrot, beet, apple, ginger, lemon, celery, cucumber, etc—a very nice addition!
Also, the staff were friendly, approachable, and very supportive of the individual and group healing processes; they really care about you and your experience, and will go the ‘extra mile’ to ensure all your needs are met. Daily we had group sessions of tai chi, pranayama (deep breathing exercises), and meditation, in addition to some discussions regarding the work with plant medicines and integration. The Ayahuasca ceremonies themselves were profound and transformative; the medicine was very strong and effective; and the shamans were professional, attentive, and wise.
I left the center feeling a renewed and deepened awareness and connection to myself, others, and the world. I highly recommend Pisatahua to anyone looking to experience or work with Ayahuasca in a beautiful, comfortable, loving, and supportive environment.
Highly recommendable Ayahuasca-retreat-center
From the very beginning, when I was picked up at the airport in Riberalta by Erik and Sasha, I knew that I was in good hands. And my first impression turned out to be absolutely true.
The four ceremonies I partook felt very authentic and deep. There was enough quietness and darkness to give me all the space I needed, but without ever feeling alone or lost. There was always someone if needed, during and after the ceremonies. Shamans Don Rene and Don Marcial are both very warm and kindhearted men, and the crew became quickly a group of friends. The knowledge that I was in a safe space – which is probably the most important thing for every retreat-center – allowed me to immerse deep in the experience and have rewarding experiences.
The retreat center itself is beautifully located in the amazon of nothern Bolivia near a jungle lake. The cabins are new, comfortable and spaciuos, and the food is delicious and plenty. Because of the small number of retreat guests activities (ranging from jungle hikes and boat rides to Tai-chi and yoga) could be arranged or changed very easy – which was necessary in my case because there was a lot of rain. Being at Pisatahua is not only about ayahuasca, but at least as much about experiencing the jungle, which for me was worth the travel on its own.
What impressed me especially was the beautiful, respectful way Pisatahua works with the local community and how they care for the environnement. You could see that everyone involved enjoys being involved: the local family nearby that was assisting in various ways, the shamans from the neighbouring villages, their friends in the town of Riberalta.
It’s a retreat center that is not at all secluded from its surrounding, but part of it, and something you become part of as well: part of the ayahuasca, part of the crew and their vision, part of the local family, part of the deep jungle, that is surrounding you.
Big thanks to Pisatahua
Thank you so much Pisatahua! Ayahuasca can and should be one of the most incredible experiences of your life – as it was for me. If you are considering working with Ayahuasca, I would highly recommend choosing Pisatahua for your retreat. They make you feel comfortable, safe and well-informed throughout the whole experience. Well in advance we were told about the physical and spiritual preparations we should undertake in order to make the most of the retreat and avoid intense sickness. We met with the shaman and staff before each session and learned a lot about the sacred plant including the science behind its work. This information session was extremely valuable and demonstrated that the shaman who would lead the session is knowledgeable. All medical contraindications were checked for and everybody signed an informed consent form. The space designated for the retreat was well-prepared with ample space, comfortable mattresses, and an enchanting ambience with the full moon glowing above in the sky and the fire glittering in the background.
Ayahuasca is not a hallucinogenic drug. Ayahuasca is a teacher. It helps you confront your fears and weaknesses and reconnect with nature. As I lie down on the mattress the wind on my cheek felt like a caress. My senses remained amplified even weeks after the retreat, allowing me to hear, see and feel everything in an intensified manner. The retreat experience allowed me to enter the shoes of other animals and surrounded me with herds of insects accompanied by a feeling that they are not going to hurt me. After this experience you may come to think twice before killing a spider or a fly. The experience, however, is not always a relaxing Mary Go Round. There were some minutes (or hours!) in which Mother Ayahuasca made me feel terrible, weirdly nauseous and most importantly guilty. If there are things on your conscience you do not want to confront Ayuahuasca will make sure to show you just that. But afterwards it is all calm. It is a very positive experience. After a period of intense “teaching” all I could think of was ‘Thank you Mother Ayahuasca’.
One thing to keep in mind is that no matter what Pisatahua’s staff and healers are always there to help you. Whether you need to stand up to use the bathroom, have your water bottle filled or feeling nauseous. Their and Piña’s (their lovely dog) constant vigilance will make you feel safe. Safe and ready to embrace the spirit…
My experience at Pisatahua was nothing short of incredible! I was so glad that I waited to try Ayahuasca for the the first time in the Amazon, and all my expectations were blown away by everything that Pisatahua had to offer. It truly was a transcendental experience…and when you are ready to dive into this super powerful plant medicine I highly recommend making the pilgrimage down to Bolivia and putting yourself in the care of the staff at Pisatahua.
Know going in that it will not be an easy journey. It is difficult to get to the area of the Bolivian jungle that they are in but once you’re there you will fully immerse yourself in the cleansing practice that they will help you with. The layout of the retreat is on a lake with rustic little cabins lining the shore, a main maloca or lodge where the ceremonies take place, and that’s about it. There is no wifi or electricity which is a great element…no need to update instagram when you are reflecting on your experience of becoming one with the universe. There are plenty of trails to hike and boat rides to take on the river…and I have to say that they have some of the dopest hammocks I’ve ever laid in.
As for the ceremonies, Erik and Sasha do an incredible job of making you feel at home and comfortable prior to diving in. The plant based diet they feed you will truly make you feel amazing, and the effects will be felt during the ceremony. The shamans they bring in for the ceremonies are amazingly kind and friendly human beings, and they will really help you through the journey. The volunteers they have there will help you out as well if your purging process is too intense to handle. A lot of love coming from everyone involved.
As for the ayahuasca…Pisatahua has incredible medicine. Diving into alternate dimensions, having deep introspection on your life, and gaining a better understanding of life, death, and the universe in general are the highlights of my Pisatahua experience. If you’re looking to change your life or improve it I can’t recommend these guys enough. They really have a special thing going on down there in jungle. 🙂
If you are curious about experiencing Ayahuasca, then your journey has already begun. I highly recommend that you book a retreat with the incredible staff at Pisatahua.
The Ayahuasca ceremonies that I have taken part in have had an overwhelmingly positive and transformative impact on my life. I am witness to it’s incredibly ability to heal, give peace and help the drinker find their best path to fuller and happier life. My time at Pisatahua connected me to my most powerful experiences and emotions, and allowed me to access new ideas and connections and make peace with my past. The ceremonies also gave me beautiful visions and intense feelings of love and joy. It did, however, take three ceremonies for me to experience the full effects of the medicine. This is why a longer retreat is the perfect way for people to try Ayahuasca for the first time.
The retreat setting in the Bolivian amazon was breathtaking. The accommodations were incredible. The staff were passionate about their work and wanted to ensure that everybody had the best possible experience. From the very beginning, they were friendly, helpful and were happy to answer all of my questions. The Shaman was experienced, intuitive and knowledgeable and we were able to meet him before hand at a very detailed information session. The retreat was particularly helpful for me because some of other information I had read about Ayahuasca was very “wishy-washy.” That was not the case here, and we looked at the science of the plants and their historical and cultural uses.
The retreat took place in a remote setting in the Amazon where we could drink the Ayahuasca under the full moon. It started with a traditional Bolivian ceremony to honour Pachamama (mother earth). We had a small group of 8 people which was the perfect size. After we drank, everybody had a comfortable place to lie and there was always somebody there to help if you needed it. The Ayahuasca itself gave me hours of beautiful and powerful visions, that will stay with me for a long time. The next morning we always shared a delicious breakfast where the group discussed their experiences.
If you are in Bolivia and thinking about trying Ayahuasca, you can definitely trust Pisatahua to give you a safe and supportive experience.
As a religious person, I wasn’t really sure, at first, whether my faith in God and an Ayahuasca ceremony would contradict each other or would finely come into synergy. However, I decided to follow my intuition and all doubts were soon gone as the shaman introduced us to the ritual and its signification. Whether you are religious or atheist does not matter at that point. Aspiring at being a better person, through healing and deep, guided meditation, is universal. Anxiety at the thought of approaching a key point in my life also left looking at Pisatahua kindly making sure that we had all we needed and reassuring those, as myself, that were a little nervous. This left place to a profound feeling of security, and I knew that Mama Ayahuasca would work “tranquila” on our entangled emotions. As the substance made it to my brain, it felt like I was immersed into a warm bath and that flowery scents were taking me through a colourful and self-discovering voyage. Entering the most profound part of my journey, thoughts became to naturally flow through my mind bringing up, in an ordered manner, all interrogations and pains that had been troubling my minds in the past years. And to every single one of these, a beautifully formulated answer came. Whether it was showing me things from the past or bizarre visions, the signification of the images was perfectly clear. The messy network of my thoughts was suddenly ordered in a rainbow highway toward a brighter future. When I left Pisatahua, it felt as if I was reborn. Every single negative feeling that had been accumulating over the years was gone and I felt, flowing through my veins, a great energy fuelling all new ambitions I had discovered over the 9-day experience!
If you are searching for a nurturing retreat, in a magical location and considering drinking Ayahuasca for your first or one-hundredth time, I highly recommend Pisatahua Retreat. Erik and Sasha´s (two of the founders) attention to detail, commitment to their work and passion to support each individual through their own personal journey is evident from their pre-ceremony support and guidance; all the way through to your post ceremony reflections, revelations and integration work. This is an important detail as the effects of Ayahuasca, including deep introspection and personal growth that result are not solely experienced during the hours of ceremony in the presence of the shaman. The shifts in consciousness and patterns in your life can be noticed long after you have gone home. Knowing that you can reach out to a dear friend and support via email (if you are no longer on site) is reassuring.
Before I felt called to drink Ayahuasca for the first time, I had heard countless stories from different friends of their experiences, researched articles on the internet and had been invited to attend ceremonies. In my experience Ayahuasca calls you to her in exactly the right moment and she begins to work with you before you have even arrived and taken the first sip. Each Ayahuasca ceremony I have taken part in has been with a different shaman, support people and locations; all unique, transformative and profound in their own way. The ceremonies and the retreat at Pisatahua were deeply spiritual, nurturing and cleansing. The ideal location surrounded by nature, a harmonizing smoke ceremony and traditional k’oa prior to drinking, a small intimate circle, comfortable mattress to lay on, beautiful music, constant attention and support enabling me to feel safe enough to go deep within myself. Soon after drinking I felt the familiar presence of Ayahuasca in my body, the sensations, visuals, overwhelming sense of calm, unconditional love and presence of universal wisdom. During the ceremonies I often asked Ayahuasca questions and she answered in a myriad of ways, including the prayer to heal my womb and ovaries purging a dark old substance from deep within. The week following, I gave myself time and space to integrate the multiple reflections and insights Ayahuasca presented to me. I am ever grateful for the amazing ceremonies and whole retreat experience with Pisatahua.