Selva Madre Ayahuasca Retreat

59 reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars

Listed in Ayahuasca

  • Maynas Province, Peru
Min. Cost: 1350
Max. Cost: 1350

Selva Madre is a family owned and operated center. Our goal is to offer you a unique Ayahuasca experience with the utmost professionalism and loving care. The family atmosphere provided at Selva Madre is unparalleled offering you the opportunity to benefit from a long standing generational lineage of healers in the Rimachi Family. With a loving heart and warm embrace we welcome our guests from all walks of life with varying spiritual and cultural backgrounds. We make every effort to make you feel at home as another member of our every growing family in a safe and peaceful environment.

Selva Madre welcomes guests from all over the world and is considered one of the best places in the world for healing therapy and an authentic Ayahuasca spiritual retreat. Don Luis Rimachi has been a practicing Shaman for over 30 years in local native communities. He is dedicated to healing and guides guests from all corners of the world to achieve positive transformation and begin a new path on their spiritual journey. The Ayahuasca is brewed on site and is made with no additives. We have a strict policy that ONLY experienced Curanderos following a strict Dieta brew our Ayahuasca in order to incorporate the purest and highest energies into the medicine.

Selva Madre 10 Day Ayahuasca Retreat

Our Retreat Includes:

  • 4 Ayahuasca ceremonies
  • Shamanic Dieta
  • Shamanic consultations
  • Integration discussions in the mornings after ceremonies
  • Yoga/Meditation Classes
  • Fresh dietetic meals
  • Lodging in private rooms with double bed and shower/bathroom
  • Laundry service
  • Botanical tour
  • Jungle excursion
  • Spanish / English  Interpreter
  • Plant and floral baths
  • Transportation from Iquitos to Selva Madre

The Ayahuasca Ceremonies

The Ayahuasca experience is a permanently transformative process on all levels to include the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual parts of our being.  It helps reveal our higher self and facilitates deep healing.  Our safety protocols are important in order to offer the best experience possible. Unlike other centers that propose five ceremonies or more per week, we feel four ceremonies is the perfect amount per ten day retreat.  Ceremonies are held every other day with a day of rest, processing, and consultation in between. Ayahuasca demands 48 hours to be entirely processed by the body and for its teachings to be assimilated. Doing more ceremonies in a short time is definitely not recommended. Our 10 day retreats include 4 ceremonies.

Detoxing & Purging

Purging is a central element in Amazonian traditional medicine, the purge is provoked by Ayahuasca in order to release physical, emotional and non physical energies that you may have carried since the beginning of your life which have caused health issues, karmic blockages, and emotional disorders. By the end of your stay you will be cleansed from all toxins and energetic charges and have a final consultation with the Shaman.


You will be staying in a private traditional amazonian jungle bungalow.  They are comfortable and spacious protected by mosquito netting. Each room contains a double bed and private toilet and shower.


The food is very important to us here at Selva Madre.  In order to have the best experience during your retreat we serve fresh and natural local food. The meals are healthy and balanced.  We accommodate individuals with specific dietary needs.


The transport is provided between Selva Madre and Iquitos Airport or Iquitos city center. Selva Madre is located at the other side of the river Nanay from Iquitos so the journey takes approximately 1 hour from Iquitos city center including taxi and boat.


59 reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars

July 22, 2019

I spent an unforgettable moment of my life at Selva Madre. The medicine was potent and led me to states of bliss and awareness. The Shaman Don Luis is someone I thank for the healing and care plus this feeling of trust he inspires.

The center is located in a beautiful spot and the people I met were just beautiful. The care and attention I received made me feel at home,

The Ayahuasca ceremonies were powerful and led me to that special place I always wanted to be, a place were you feel connected. I appreciated especially the care given by the Shaman the days after ceremonies to listen and give priceless advises.

Do I recommend this place? 200% YES, that is the best Ayahuasca retreat I could have imagined to heal myself and be such an improved version of me after just a week spent there.

  • Member Since: December 22, 2017

December 23, 2017

We just returned from our trip to Selva Madre and I hope that I will find the right words to give an impression about this life changing and magical place. When I have been there two years ago I returned as a so much better version of myself. I found inner peace, acceptance for myself and the energy to embrace and to love my life, including all the painful and negative experiences I made before. In 2015 I went with my boyfriend who already had an ayahuasca healing experience a few years before. His story convinced me to give it a try when I felt that I got more and more depressed and was about to lose myself in dark thoughts and an unease feeling which dominated my every day life more and more. I made this experience before in my life and I wanted to do anything before I end up with some serious mental issues and the need to get psychiatric treatment. So I found the Selva Madre retreat center after a long research and the fact that it is a family run business and not run by some north american or european owner convinced us to try it there. My partner and I were both convinced that we don’t want to make things more complicated in our lives and even if we were living together and felt in ease with our commitment as a couple, we didn’t want to built up walls for each other and especially the topic kids was clearly discussed, we didn’t want to be a family and we didn’t want to have children. We felt love for each other, but we needed to know that there are no obligations and that everyone can go on his own path whenever he wants. I didn’t feel strong enough for ever having the responsibility for a child and I couldn’t imagine that it can be the right decision to have children in this sick world. It was after the first ceremony that I told my partner that I understood that I need to have children in my life, with him or with sb else, and that it really doesn’t need to be soon, as I was shocked myself how ones attitude can change that dramatically in such a short time, but some day I knew that I need to have my own children. Three months after our return from Selva Madre I have been pregnant, without planning. And my daughter is the best thing that could ever happen. She is the baby of Selva Madre, and that’s why I decided really soon after I gave birth to her, that I need to go back with her. I felt exhausted by my thoughts and fears. I think that it is normal that certain fears are coming up as soon as one becomes a parent, but depending on former experiences in our lives those fears might take up too much space in our lives and convert into some kind of sickness and profound bad energy which starts to manifest in different, of course unpleasant ways in our day to day life. I knew that I want to be there for my daughter, I want to be a good example and teach her how to be happy, how to love and laugh and how to appreciate life, and not how to be full of fears, and sorrows and concerns and spreading a heavy vibe. It was so clear for me that we will go back to Selva Madre for the following reasons:

The Retreat Center:

The Center is located in a 30 minutes travel from Iquitos. It takes about 15 minutes with the boat to cross the Nanay river and about 15 minutes with the motorbike from Padre Cocha to the Retreat Center. So in the case that one needs to get into the city urgently, it is not much of a hassle to get to there. Everybody has his own private hut (traditional tambos) with a shower and a toilet inside and a big bed. The huts are protected against mosquitos and really comfortable even if they are really basic. Three out of four walls have a huge window, that guarantees that a fresh breeze is blowing through the tambos in the night and it is a pure pleasure to enjoy the fresh air and a good sleep after the hot days in the rainforest climate. There is a wonderful terrace with hammocks and some space to do some yoga or workout right in front of the maloka (the temple where the ceremonies take place). The kitchen is located in a spacious extra building which is opened day and night and even has electric light provided by solar panels. It is totally okay to hang around there outside the eating hours and to have a chat with the staff or the other participants. They have a corner with a number of books which are left over from former participants and will be probably growing with the time. If you are crossing the road which leads to the retreat center you will arrive to the other part of the land which belongs to Don Lucho. There Don Lucho was living before and the installations of the Retreat Center have been located before everything has been restructured and rebuilt about one year ago. So all installations are new and really smart organized. The whole area which is dedicated to the guests is kept clean and the gras is cut really short so that the chance to have uninvited visitors is minimized to the maximum. Only referring to the installations I can totally confirm that a big part of the money payed for the retreat is used in order to maintain the center and to improve the conditions for the participants.

The Staff:

You will be attended by Carmen and Nacho who are preparing the meals and taking care of everything else around the retreat center. They are cleaning the rooms nearly every day and on demand. There is no wish from a guest which stays ignored. Carmen and Nacho are the most nice and loving people that you can imagine. They are always smiling and doing their best in order to make all guests feeling comfortable and happy. Ronald is the translator and guide for the activities which take place during your stay. You will for example visit the Kukama tribe in padre cocha. There you will have the opportunity to buy beautiful handcraft for a very good price. Ronald is speaking excellent english and knows the whole region like his own pocket. He has a wide knowledge about the plants of the rainforest and nature, ancient traditions and about so much more. He is a very wise man and he will always give you good advise to all kind of questions. He has a lot of interesting stories to share and he is a really funny dude with a very big heart. Ronald is also attending the ceremonies without drinking ayahuasca and helping if somebody needs to leave the maloka or needs any help during and after the ceremony. All these people are really dedicated to their work and make the jungle literally convert into your comfort zone. I don’t think that there is a place on earth where I ever felt that safe and peaceful.

The food:

The people of Selva Madre want their guests to have a good experience and to return with new energy into their life. Therefore they take care of a good diet for all participants. You will receive a variety of fruits and sweet breakfast on the ceremony days, as well as a tasty meal with a little salt. On the ceremony days you will skip the dinner as it is not recommended to go into the ceremony with a full belly due to the purging which is to expect. On non ceremony days you will get salt free meals which contain fresh vegetables, most likely steam cocked and still very tasty for the fact that they don’t contain any spices. Carmen and Nacho are very happy if they see you eating with good appetite and asking for more food.

The Ceremonies:

I had four ayahuasca ceremonies during my 10 days stay and not more than three ceremonies in one week. The ayahuasca is very strong, even if exclusively brewed from chacruna leaves and the ayahuasca vine. Depending on the program you might be invited to participate in the ayahuasca preparation. Don Lucho is personally preparing the brew on the other side of the property. There you will find a little creek with fresh water which comes from the virgin jungle. You will get a flower bath from one of the shamans and if the weather allows it a mud bath. These activities take place in the creek. The ayahuasca ceremonies take place in the maloka which is located on the retreat site, really close to the personal huts. The maloka is beautiful, in the middle they have a round space with medicinal plants growing. Everybody has his personal space, far enough from each other to feel comfortable and in ease in his own experience. You will get your own mattress with a bucket, a toilet paper roll, a pillow and a blanket. The ceremonies are always led by three shamans who are singing the most beautiful icaros that you can imagine. It is impossible to describe their work. I can just reassure that they totally know what they are doing, that they are doing it with love and for the only purpose to heal and to help and that they are succeeding. Ronald is present during the whole time and helps in case that somebody needs any assistance. After the ceremony you will be accompanied to your hut if you can’t walk yourself and Don Lucho himself is staying in one of the huts on the retreat site in order to help in case that somebody has a tough night. There is a security guard walking patrol the whole night to assure that everybody is safe.

The Shamans:

You will take advantage of the attention of three shamans during your stay. Don Lucho is working since more than 40 years with Ayahuasca. He is such a powerful man and his wisdom is terrific. Just to listen to his words when he is talking, is opening doors to a peaceful way of life. It’s hard to believe that there exist people with so much love for humankind in their heart, who just spread love and who dedicate their life to make the world a better place. Don Luis (Don Luchos son) and Anderson ( Don Luchos son in law) are the other two Shamans who are completing Don Luchos work with their support. They are all three great healers and making the biggest effort in order to heal and help the people who are searching for it. They are really genuine people and highly respectful towards their guests and towards the healing with the medicine. This retreat center has serious intentions and everybody is welcome and taken seriously for whichever reason one decided to get to Selva Madre.

The Orphanage:

40% of the money you pay for the retreat goes into the construction of an orphanage. You can see the project growing and becoming reality as it will be built up on the other side of Don Luchos land, where the creek is located. It is incredible that this family is always sharing with the people who need help without expecting anything in return. It is a huge project which is to honor and really deserves to be supported. I was highly impressed when I saw the constructions and when Don Lucho explained what he is doing.

My experience with my Baby in the Jungle:

I think that anybody who decides that Ayahuasca might help to combat serious issues deserves to get the chance to do it. Children are never a reason to disclaim beneficial and helpful things in our lives. In contrary, the more responsibility one has towards his children, the more one should consider to be a sane person and to do whatever it costs in order to create a healthy balance inside oneself, which also manifests in the outer appearance and in the end in the children’s surrounding. Everybody in the western world will tell you that it is wrong to take your child into the jungle and that it is a selfish decision. Follow your heart, you as a parent are the one in charge to create a safe home for your children. The jungles danger is the nature that we don’t know to handle. But you are not alone out there. The people know the jungle exactly and they won’t let you come to their home if they would put you in any bigger risk than everybody’s day to day life is taking anyway. My baby felt comfortable at any time at Selva Madre. She got a few mosquito bites, that’s all. She handled the heat, the darkness, the jungle sounds at night without any problems, and she got that much love from the people at Selva Madre, words can’t describe.

I am forever grateful for this unique experience. I feel strong and healed, even if I am still kind of overwhelmed by the past events at Selva Madre, I am blessed and grateful for the chance to change my life and for the help that I received from Don Lucho and the Selva Madre Family. I can highly recommend to put the doubts aside, to trust your inner voice and to start your journey at Selva Madre


October 4, 2017

Selva Madre

It is not the easiest task to write a review for a 10 day retreat that did so much for and that is still working in me.
I think the main reason why it is difficult relies in the fact that I am not finished yet with all that I was going through.
For me it would be too less to simply say: „Great, beautiful place! Amazing staff! Very funny guide and translator! Delicious food! Awesome ceremonies!“

Where to start?

At the beginning.
I was coming to the front of the beautiful situated „Dawn on the Amazon Cafe“ and immediately I was recognised with my backpack as an Ayahusca-traveller from Europe.
Be prepared, if you are not looking like a local, there will be several people asking you if you are about to take Ayahuasca, the liane of the soul. The taxi driver, the hotel receptionist, the cafe owner, the pedestrian on the street who want to sell necklaces to you – everyone knows why you are in Iquitos.

Ayahuasca! It was pumping in my veins, it was surrounding my head. In every thought was that word. I watched a store window, a museum, a plant, I took pictures, I ate, I drank, I lay down to sleep – and there was all the time the fact with me that I am about to go to a place where foreign unknown people will give me a drink, which will do something really heavy things with me. People who are living in the jungle. People whom I never met before.
But to those people I am about to give my life. I have to trust them. I have to fully rely on them.
I was very nervous before my first ceremony.
I was concerned about my heart.
I did read a lot about it before the trip. But never ever think that you know all about it.
Do it with NO EXPECTATIONS. Let go.

I did go. With a motocar and with the funny, absolutely sympathic jungle guide Ronald, with the junior shaman Luis Jr. and with the other souls who wanted to experience something new.

Dont you dare to be afraid and never ever think on what could happen on such an old, stinky motorcar. No safety at all with such vehicles.
But yeah … going by them through the traffic of Iquitos was my smallest fear.
We survived and reached the harbour where we took a boat to Padre Cocha. A small village on the river Nanay.
And again a ride with a motorcar … But the landscape was getting more interesting. More jungle like.

And finally. There was my home for 10 days. Selva Madre.

We got our huts, the new huts. I was expecting to have a hut in the middle of the forest. But unfortunately I got a new one.
BUT: That was no problem at all. It fits. It is okay. They are spacious. A good bed. Own toilet (VERRRRY important) and own shower (cold water – amazing good to shower in the jungle heat).
Outside of the hut I had a hammock. Also really nice to relax there.

And then a huge shock.
„First ayahuasca cermony will take place … tonight!“
It was for nothing to answer „But I read and thought it will be tomorrow.“
It is going to be tonight. In some hours.
O hhhhh K aaaaaaaayyyyyyy!
There was no chance to escape.
But afterwards I have to say, that there is no need to be scared, afraid, nervous.
Three shamans (curanderos) are in the ceremonies. Ronald, the jungle guide and translator, is taking care of the participants. He helps if someones has needs. He will guide you out to the rest rooms if you need to do so.

It is dark. Really dark. You need flashlights to find the way to the temple.
Of course nervousness rises when you are sitting in the temple on your mattress in front of your bucket.
But as soon as the master shaman Don Lucho comes in with his white ceremony clothes on, followed by his son Luis Jr. and his son in law Anderson, there is a special feeling coming up in the temple.
Always when Don Lucho strolled in, he reminded me on a cozy, peaceful panda bear. He toddles to all the participants and touches their heads or shakes their hands. Always with a friendly, kind-hearted smile for everyone. Just like Po from Kung-Fu Panda.
Don Lucho radiates a special aura. You can feel it immediately. And then the nervousness goes down. – At least that was my way of feeling.
An Ayahusca ceremony is different for every single human. There is no written script how people react on the liane of the death.
In fact one can feel the strongest effects, flying in the universe, having amazing visions – and the other dont feel anything at all. Despite vomiting and diarrhea. That seems to hit everyone sooner or later.
Also in our group it was like that.
So … it is important not to have any expectations. And dont be nervous.
In Selva Madre you are save. You can trust the experienced staff.

The days (and nights) after the ceremonies were really hard for me. Amazing tiredness hitted me. I was vomiting. I had diarrhea. After the first ceremony I was simply feeling rubbish. Couldnt eat anything for hours.

An ayahuasca retreat is not for everyone.

But the staff is always taking care for their guests. Coming to look after you and trying to help as much as they can. You get natural drugs from the jungle as help for you bad feeling.

After every ceremony you should rest. And avoid any electronic devices or contact to other people outside of the camp.

After the resting day there is time to recapitulate and discuss your experiences with the shamans. Very important. Then you also decide the dose of the next ceremony.

I will not write too detailed about the ceremony itself. Because this is personal. And everyone reacts differently.
The ayahuasca brew itself … It tastes … well awful is not the right word. It is … in fact hard to describe. Imagine a wasp trap filled with beer and vinegar. Standing outside for days. And into that trap some smokers have thrown their cigarettes. The trap was standing in the sun. Heated up very day that it can ferment. It has a dark brown colour. Maybe add some oily taste and consistence.
Maybe that describes somehow the flavor of the brew.
They use only the vine and chakruna leaves. Nothing else.
But eventough … the taste is really something you will never forget but really want to forget. You can drink some water after you hopefully managed to get it down.
I have big respect in that case with one of the guys who were with me. Because he took so amazingly much of the brew. I still can hear his swallow noises … In fact those noises of this special fellow were hunting me during days and nights afterwards.
No one without that experience of drinking ayahuasca ever can understand it, what the taste in the mouth, after it is down, means. The taste stays on your lips. No matter how often you try to clean them. I tried not to swallow after taking it down. But it is impossible not to swallow, because you want the taste go down. Go away.
Luckily soon after the terrifying drinking there comes a wonderful noise. I never ever before have heard a human whistling so beautifully than Don Lucho.
I loved it to slide away slowly with the first whistling. And so did also my bad feeling of the drink slide away. When the shamans then start their beautiful icaros, you are ready to travel whereever la medicina wants you to travel to.
After the ceremony I felt always very dizzy. Especially the first one. It was hard to stand or walk. I saw lighting effects for a long time. Light rays moving from left and right into my sight. Making it difficult to see anything.
I did more vomit after the ceremonies than during. And diahrrhea was a daily companion.
All of that is part of the purging. Part of the healing. It is totally okay if you accept it. I tried not to think about it.
One more experience and lesson I took with me from Peru: You can sit with total strangers from all over the planet and talk with them about your past visits to the toilet. You can totally share all the details of such a personal action. You can sit for breakfast or better call it lunch (I was not able to eat in the morning after a ceremony) and tell the people that you had looong sessions on the toilet last night and the people will tell you that they heard it. They will tell you that all the noises went out to the other huts. Noises of sitting and let it go backwards changed rapidly to the noises of standing up, putting the toilet seat up for vomitting,. You can try to be silent. But everybody hears your pain.
But you know what? That doesnt mind! It is totally okay. It is ok to talk about those late night toilet activities. It is even ok that those noises go out to all the others who maybe try to sleep.
And if you have a person in your group who is not having so many effects and then suddenly this person tells the group that he finally had to vomit so heavily the last night, that he had so bad diarrhea – you wanna know what then happens? This person gets answers like: „I am soooo happy for you!“ „Sooooo glad to hear that you also had to make such terrible experiences.“

I also think, at least in my occasion it was like that, that in between a group which is making such a time together, is raising a special feeling of solidarity. We had a lot of fun together. We shared a lot of thoughts. And for me it was very helpful to talk about the different experiences we had during the ceremonies. I enjoyed to sit together with those so different souls from all over the world.

I also enjoyed every time I met Don Lucho or Luis Jr. or Anderson. All of them are very friendly peaceful people who give away a lot of power and strength to their guests.

Also to mention is the outstanding food. Ruby and Nacho are such a great team and are making delicous healthy food. Taking also care of all the wishes of the people.
Yucca frita … And this delicious paiche … Mhmmm ….

Ronald, the guide and translator always enjoys a chat. He always have his special funny stories to tell. „Baaaauuuuhhhh – and I had the anaconda.“
He is laughing all the time. And he picks up the electronic devices to charge them up.

Yeah there is no electricity to do so itself. But they help you with everything.
And to be honest – you are not coming to an Aya retreat to use 24/7 your Laptop, TV, smartphone, etc.
The time there is to find yourself. To work with spiritualism. To feel the power of madre ayahuasca.

But not only Ayahuasca is given to the guests. I also received different other plant medicine. Like the dead ant drink for my leg veins. An ant goes up a tree to die. It sits then on a branch and after it dies there grows some kind of fungus. And from that fungus grows a liane. With that liane they brew a tea.
Also very delicious lemon grass tea we got.
And so much more you can get if you have some other diseases. Just ask.

The activities – thanks again to Ronald – were great. We even went to fish for piranha.
He tells as much stories of the creatures of the amazonian rain forest as a fairy tale book can have. In fact he is a wandering fairy tale book. When there are stories told of huge water monsters that are waiting in the river nanay to come out – then from his mouth they sound believable. You really can see the goblins and monsters (like for example an underwater puma …).
He knows also a lot about the life in the forests. Walking with him in the jungle and getting informations about every thing that grows or crawls is really a fascinating thing to do.
Great to have such a guide.

For me, Selva madre was a magical place. Even time is running slower there. I live in Europe. Time is different in Europe. In Selva Madre it is amazing how much more you can do in half an hour of time. There is no rush.
We were meeting for dinner. Eating a long time. The staff was leaving the place already. We stayed in the hammocks and kept on talking for hours. But … in fact. That havent been so many hours. It was always fascinating to see how less time has passed. True magic.
And in a lot of other situations I felt the power and the aura of the jungle.
There is a great place next to a small creek. Every single day I went there to sit and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, the plants, the nature, butterflies, kolibris – trying to relax, practise some meditation and find some refreshment from the water.

Ayahuasca is not about taking drugs. Its not about getting high.
Madre Aya does what she wants to do. She is healing if you need healing. She guides if you need guidance. She shows you your path if you need to find that path. If she wants you to have visions – you will have that visions.
As said before – dont expect anything. Just let her and the curanderos do the job.
Enjoy the beautiful setting there.
Immerse into the life of the peruvian amazon with communicating to the workers of the retreat.
Respect their culture.
Try to understand their way of beeing.
And go home with a lot of new experiences. With more joy. With more happiness.

Selva madre is a spiritual place for people who want to be spiritual.

Selva madre is an oasis of silence and peace in the so hectic, aggressive world in which we live in.

I can simply recommend everything there. Your money is perfectly invested and you get a lot for what you pay.

Muchas gracias to the whole team of Selva Madre!

I hope to return in some day!

It was truly sooooooouuuuu opossum!!!!

(this running gag had to be … the ones who have been there with me will understand)

  • Member Since: August 18, 2017

August 18, 2017

It’s about 3 weeks since I left Selva Madre.
I spent 6 weeks in Peru, the first 10 days with Selva Madre, and I have returned again to do another 10 days before I left the country.
I won’t describe my personal experience but I can tell you it was amazing and beautiful.
I have searched a while before choosing Selva Madre. I wanted to be in the hands of a well experienced, native shaman. First of all, for me, an authentic shaman has to be a native as I believe natives have a better knowledge, connection and understanding with the Medicina. Don Lucho has been practicing with Ayahuasca for over 40 years, so this already gave me the confidence to join his retreat. As well as being one of the most respected Shamans in Iquitos, he’s also a healer.
Don Lucho’s son, Luis Jr, and Anderson(a family relative) hold the ceremonies together, Don Lucho being the Master Shaman. I still miss their Icaros, their voices.
If your Spanish is not up to scratch or even inexistant, Ronald will translate everything. In fact Ronald is much more than a translator: he organises activities like visiting the local tribes, he takes care of the guests during the ceremonies(yes, you will probably need his help to walk back to your hut!) and he’s a fantastic story teller! I have learnt so much about the Amazonie, its people, the traditions etc.
Selva Madre has been renovated lately: new individual huts have been built, each of them with their own private shower and toilet which is a luxury in the jungle! You will have your own privacy.
Tthe food was amazing: Ruby, the cook, prepared every meal with local fresh ingredients, and I could not thank her enough for providing vegan food specially for me!
Selva Madre is a sanctuary of peace and quietness, isolated from the busy noise of western life. As a woman who travels alone, I felt very comfortable and safe. Don Lucho and his family members made me feel at home from the first day I arrived and I was very sad & emotional the day I left. Their kindness and genuine caring will always stay in my heart!

I will certainly return again when the time is right!



April 16, 2017

Selva Madré is very beautiful and special place. The location in the forest provides a heaven to safely explore the inner being.
The staff are so gentle and helpful, catering to every client in a gracious and polite manner.
The Ceremonies were just perfect, with a blend of reality and spirituality that suited everyone. We all felt that our individual journeys were supported all the way.
I can’t wait to return and rekindle the relationships formed there.

  • Member Since: March 25, 2017

March 25, 2017

Selva Madre is without a doubt one of the best ayahuasca centers in Iquitos. The people involved in running the place are good at what they do. But more importantly, they are genuinely decent people. They look after the guests well within a safe environment.

The scenery is beautiful and the facilities are good. I also very much enjoyed the food on offer. The shaman is very knowledgeable, which is hugely important. Having been there once, I will be going again at some point. I highly recommend the place.

  • Member Since: February 1, 2017

February 1, 2017

Selva Madre is truly a remarkable place. From the moment you arrive, you are welcomed straight into the family. It is the most loving, caring, and protected place I have had the fortune of visiting. There is an abundance of beautiful food, the facilities are clean, and the staff and family members are full of love.

The Ayahuasca experience itself is sensational. Don Luis truly guides and mentors you through the entire process. The ceremonies are beautiful, and help you awaken your inner being.

There are also jungle tours, that are conducted by Ronald. These offer you an insight into the power of the jungle, and are highly educational.

This is the best thing I have ever done in my life, and would highly recommend this centre to anyone interested in exploring the true essence of Ayahuasca. I will definitely be coming back.

  • Member Since: January 23, 2017

January 23, 2017

Couldn’t wish for more! The retreat was amazing thanks to the care of the family and staff. It was an unforgettable experience, everything was very well organised. Ceremonies were fantastic (great music and atmosphere). Nice activities in between the ceremonies and happy that we got the chance to see what the family is doing with part of the income from these retreats, they’re investing it in an orphanage and school. Looking forward seeing it being build in the next year(s). I could go on and on about the amazing time I had, but I think this review has been clear enough ;). I just want to recommend this retreat to everyone. Thanks again family and staff for a great time and hope to see you again in the future!

  • Member Since: December 10, 2016

December 10, 2016

This was my second time with the sacred medicine.
The whole experience has had such a beautiful impact on my life path, some parts were challenging where I had to face myself. I cannot say enough kind words about the center or the persons who runs it. I am forever grateful for this experience.

  • Member Since: September 17, 2016

September 17, 2016

Very good organization, powerful and really helpful Shaman, amazing place, the food was delicious and healthy, Ronald the guide translator was perfect! I can advise with all of my heart! Great spiritual experience!

  • Member Since: September 15, 2016

September 15, 2016

Selva Madre,
Aug. 3 through Aug. 12
Last month I was lucky enough to share with ten others an incredible ten-day retreat to Selva Madre. All four Ayahuasca ceremonies were followed by a full day devoted to resting and a chance to speak regarding our experience to the loving and capable Lucho Junior. On other days we explored the surrounding jungle, as well as boated up the great Amazon River to further explore the area. These expeditions were cheerfully lead by our most wonderful translator, Ronald.
While we weren’t off exploring Peru, there was always ample time for leisure and reading. A growing and diverse library along with many hammocks and benches were well used by our group. But most importantly, Selva Madre gave us a true connection to the Jungle and to Mother Ayahuasca, making our healing deeper than any Western Medicine could. I recommend you bring with you a meditative practice of some sort. If you haven’t yet, check out the author Eckhart Tolle; I found that his spiritual teachings in “A New Earth” and “Power of Now” were very much aligned with the spirituality and Shamanic healing at Selva Madre. Also, Ayahuasca connects you with your body, so Yoga would be a huge benefit!
Lucky for us, we had a yoga instructor in our group! All eleven of us met with a common goal, sharing in our quest for the glory of Mother Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca is powerful; not one of us had it easy. Much of the post-ceremony breakfast talk consisted of our briefing each other regarding how well we purged last night, up or down. If this is your first time trying Ayahusaca, be warned, the experience can be…difficult. That being said, I still believe a most essential part of Ayahuasca Healing is the purge. If you are ready for this extraordinary and powerful medicine, you are ready for Selva Madre!

  • Member Since: September 14, 2016

September 14, 2016

I was searching what is the best retreat and I can just say how perfect Selva Madre is. The group that I was so blessed to go through this journey with has since become my tribe and my family. Don Lucho and his son are full of so much love its literally palpable. The ceremonies were really intense but most healing. By the 3rd Ayahuasca ceremony I had my breakthrough but I stress every one’s experience is different and Mother Aya will heal you as she sees fit. Trust her guidance. All in all my experience at Selva Madre was life changing and I cant put in words how perfect the experience was. Some tips, bring a buttload of mosquito repellent(organic), flashlight, portable charger, and candles. They do have a generator which they put on every so often. If you feel the call then go!!

  • Member Since: September 12, 2016

September 12, 2016

This magical place is exactly what I needed. I passed trough many phases of self discovery and it also healed myself on many levels. After coming back I feel like a new being. The Ayahuasca helped me going deep in my self understanding and my vision of the world has changed. After this experience I will go back to that magical jungle to receive the teachings of the mother.

Let’s speak about the center, the place is located in the middle of the rainforest surrounded by mother nature. It was such a pleasure sleeping with the sounds of the jungle. The bungalows are simple and organic and the comfort is good.

The staff is very friendly and makes you feel part of the family which was an important aspect for me. The Shamans are always here to help if there is any question and their care made me feel safe for such an experience.

I highly recommend Selva Madre if you need a safe and serious place.

  • Member Since: August 29, 2016

August 29, 2016

It is difficult to write a review for Selva Madre that does not sound remarkably similar to all of the other five star reviews (this in itself tells you all you need to know!) I spent MONTHS researching the perfect place for an Ayahuasca retreat and can honestly say I am so happy and grateful I followed my instincts and placed my health, wellbeing and spiritual happiness in the very capable and loving hands of Shaman Don Lucho and his wonderful family. As with most novices to this sort of thing I was apprehensive about what to expect when travelling to the other side of the world to take part in a spiritual, mind-altering journey in the Amazon jungle (always a fun conversation to have with your loved ones), however the moment I met Don Lucho’s son, Luis, I felt safe and well cared for. Upon arrival at the beautifully simple retreat everything was explained in detail and we were shown to our individual rustic yet comfortable Tambo that was to be our temporary home. Whilst the facilities are basic, you very quickly get used to life out of the fast lane, not forgetting the real reason why you are there of course. The ceremonies are a beautiful experience and you are cared for before, during and after by the eternally happy, always smiling Don Lucho and his Apprentice Shaman sons Anderson and Luis. A huge part of the experience is facilitated by Ronaldo, translator extraordinaire and jungle guide – what this guy doesn’t know about the Amazon rainforest is not worth knowing! He too was patient, kind and, along with the rest of Don Lucho’s family, almost fanatical about our health, wellbeing and spiritual happiness. The food was outstanding and plentiful, even on ceremony days which meant a simpler meal without flavourings. There was even the occasional treat such as popcorn, Dulce latte and the perhaps somewhat inappropriately coined ‘Fanny’ strawberry jam (que much childish sniggering around the breakfast table although it is a large brand in that part of the world – apparently). Our triumphant reactions to the food always made the family smile and after every single meal we were always asked “More?” by the wonderfully caring Antonio. Which, despite the plentiful helpings, we often said yes to as the food was just so delicious and there was always more available than any of us could eat. Finally, it is always luck of the draw with this sort of thing but our little group of ten was brilliant and we have all kept in touch – soul friends for life! The title of my review really sums up my experience at Selva Madre retreat, I felt loved. Honestly and truly loved. At my best, at my worst and at every other point in between. Keep researching other retreats if you want (I did, even after booking) but GO to Selva Madre – you will not regret it. If I ever get called to do Ayahuasca again, I may just see you there!

  • Member Since: August 22, 2016

August 22, 2016

I went to Selva Madre for a ten days stay and I just found pure love. The ceremonies are incredible, when the shaman sings it feels like it comes from an other dimension and it really does.

The brew was hard to to swallow because of the taste and 20 minutes later I was totally in an other realm, I can not give words to what I have experienced, I was just following the chants of Shamans guiding me trough my inner self to explore my deepest secrets. It made me purge everything I had not met such as an heavy bag I had to bear for all these years. after purging I suddenly felt light like a feather.

The three shamans came to heal each of us and when they came to me I felt the healing power these men have, that was serious!

I definitely have no words for this experience, the ceremony lasted something like three hours and we were in an other world, out there, a feeling I never experienced before. I received visions so bright that I could almost touch them.

If I have one recommendation to give you guys, go to speak directly with the Shaman in private if you need clarifications, he will be happy to teach you and he likes to speak so much that it can last an hour 🙂

I just want to say thanks to the Ayahuasca, thanks to Don Luis and his Shamans, I can’t wait to go back in this magical place.

  • Member Since: August 20, 2016

August 20, 2016

This was my fourth visit to Peru to work with Ayahuasca and my first to Selva Madre. I love this place and echo all the other positive comments you will read about it and the beautiful people there. This is Ayahuasca Shamanism of the highest order and the entire thrust of the program there is for you to experience deep healing and spiritual breakthrough, and it works. I really appreciate that Selva Madre price their retreats very fairly, this is a reflection, I believe, of the generous spirit that pervades all they do there. Don Lucho is an incredible spirit, pure love, and crystal clear in his advice and teachings. Go there, you won’t regret it.

  • Member Since: August 15, 2016

August 15, 2016

I found this place online and felt a strong pull to come here. I am so glad I listened to my intuition, Selva madre was more than I could’ve dreamed of for my Ayahusca retreat. The shamans are incredible souls, so genuine caring and loving. They truly want to give every person that comes here the deepest healing they can and it really shows. I felt so safe and comfortable during every ceremony, and just every minute I was here. They hold a such a safe and loving space during the ceremonies, you can feel the love in their Icaros strong. When I feel the calling to do Ayahuasca in the future, not for a while as I feel healed, I will be coming back here. Just a wonderful, authentic place, wow! I will cherish this experience for the rest of my life!!!!
Tips: I would recommend candles for your room at night, there is no electricity. Also a backup charger thing to charge your devices. They have a generator that is turned on a few times over the retreat. And insect (natural) repellant, rain jacket, flashlight.

  • Member Since: August 15, 2016

August 15, 2016

This place is amazing. Don Lucio is an true healer. His very presence is captivating: when he walked into the room I could feel the love surrounding him. And it emanates throughout his family and the staff. Don Luis is very knowledgeable and lots of fun too! Ronald was perfect and is an amazing storyteller. Luciano is an incredibly sweet man. Pablo is just awesome. Antonio is a great cook!
And I love my retreat-mates too! We formed lifelong friendships thanks to this beautiful place.
The property is safe and the atmosphere peaceful, the food is fresh and tasty, the experience was indescribable. I loved every minute of it.
Thank you so much, Selva Madre!

  • Member Since: June 13, 2016

June 13, 2016

I spent ten days retreat and I wanted to give my feedback,

I have seen the previous comments and I don’t understand the brew sent me out of space, it is true anyway that the Ayahuasca there is not the strongest apparently and I asked the shaman, he told me that it is intended to be like that because the focus is not about hallucinating but healing and spiritual discovery. I am glad I purged so much thanks to that I feel freed from so many blockages.

I would like to give a special thanks to the staff there and especially the kitchen staff for their friendliness!

The accommodations are basic but comfortable and there is no electricity but for me it was an advantage so I could literally disconnect. What I liked was to wake up in the morning and feel totally immersed into the jungle and seeing monkeys almost at my door.

To finish I would say that I am happy and would probably go back to the jungle for a deeper experience.

  • Member Since: May 25, 2016

May 25, 2016

Reviews are important, but the gushing reviews here don’t reflect the reality of the place. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t cosmic as most of these other reviews seem to indicate. Firstly .. Don Lucio is totally unavailable other than when he’s doing the ceremony at night. This means you actually never really see or interact with him. A few people complained they wanted interactions with him, but were frankly told, only under ‘extreme’ emergencies would he talk with you. That was really my biggest issue. For the 10 days, you were forced to have reviews of your ceremonial experiences with his apprentice son, who for the most part seemed to be going though the motions with a few canned explanations. Selva Madre is clearly a business, and you are a customer. As a customer, you will be fed and treated kindly. But quotes of ‘sacred experiences’ are a bit misleading.

Anderson, Ronald and all the kitchen staff are great, and make you feel very welcome, but the establishment could do with making a few adjustments. Running the generator once per day so you can charge you ebook readers etc would really help. At 7pm its dark and there is little to do other than go to bed with your flashlight. Its a small thing i know, but after a while …its an issue. In the ceremonial room, it would be really nice to have mattress covers changed and cleaned ones issued after each purge-filled evening. Its not overly cool to smell the last purge session odours. I understand the Ayahuasca brew is like water, not thick as other people previously experienced elsewhere, but im not sure what that means since it was my first time. I know the brew is made for 8 to 12hrs and not the 24hrs that others expected.

I hope my review is viewed as real and honest. Would i recommend selva madre to someone, the answer is yes, so long as you know exactly when to expect from the retreat setup.

Visited May 2016


May 23, 2016

i’m an apprentice ninja from Japan. I flew to iquitos in search of enlightenment. I took my very first cup of Mother Ayahuasca at a maloca of Selva Madre.
I’ll be very honest. Their “brew” was watery as opposed to thick ones they serve in other retreat centres. They brew the tea in the morning of the ceremony days, (8hours of brewing) where it normally sgould take 48hours to make it. The effects were of course weak. There were 10 of us, but throughout the 4 ceremonies , none of us seemed to have any visions nor effects: just pure vomitting & diarrhea. On the last day, people were complaining, and requested that the shaman make the brew more concentrated and stronger, to which he insisted that it shouldn’t be treated as a drug, and should be kept natural.
One guy even went to another retreat centre after leaving selva madre.
But dont get me wrong, the staff, the shaman, the chef were very nice & caring. They would take us on a jungle excursion, and give us a natural medicine to ease the pain after ceremonies.
However, the facilities were in general dirty with no electricity or tap water (theres a water tank), i just wished they would at least have lights at night. There was absolutely nothing to do at night. I just wonder why other people are saying it was clean: it’s not. But again it’s in themiddle of the amazon rainforest.
Overall, i would say 3stars. The effect of “their” ayahuasca was too weak and dissapointing. But i miss the jungle, and definitely coming back, but will try a different centre next time. Sorry, but i just wanted to be honest unlike other reviewers.

  • Member Since: August 25, 2015

August 25, 2015

If you like to step away from the perpetual circle of sameness and look deeply inside of your Soul, take an Ayahuasca trip to Selva Madre: Magical Land, Magical Place and Magical People!
Incredible Journey!
In Love forever with Selva Madre!
Marina V. from Chicago
August 2015

  • Member Since: August 25, 2015

August 25, 2015

Selva Madre is a very special place.

Don Luis and his family truly care about the preservation of this sacred healing. Ceremonies were fantastic and were conducted in a beautiful temple with the help of his son and his assistant. I felt very safe under his watchful eye throughout all of the experience. The day after each ceremony we all took part in sharing our experiences with Don Luis and one another. Between ceremony days there’s time for introspection, ample opportunity to connect with fellow attendees, and also various excursions that are both planned and spontaneous.

The facilities are simple and clean and linens were changed for us midweek. There’s also purified water provided at each hut. Special care was given in cooking fresh foods for us that strictly adhered to the ayahuasca dieta. They’re generous in the meals and the food is excellent.

We had an amazing guide and translator who was present to take us on excursions and also to help in the discussion of the experiences during the ayahuasca ceremonies. Most everyone at Selva Madre speaks some English. However, I’d tell anyone traveling to Peru to learn some Spanish. It will help you in all aspects of your adventures!

It’s really hard to put into words what this family has created in their retreat center. They are lovely people. I can’t recommend the experience enough and I hope to go back! Truly transformative. Go to Selva Madre!


July 30, 2015

This has been the best experience of my life. I would highly recommend Selva Madre to anyone seeking to experience the true essence of Ayahuasca.

The facilities are clean, there is an abundance of beautiful food, and the ceremonies are mesmerising. You are truly looked after by the entire team at Selva Madre on your journey.

Don Luis, the shaman, is sensational, and truly guides you on your journey to spiritual awakening. He is assisted by Luis Jr. and Anderson who are both caring, kind, and gentle. It is an incredibly safe and protected environment, and they encourage you to deeply explore your spirituality. The entire family, and staff members of Selva Madre are sensational, and are always guiding and assisting you.

On non-ceremony days, various tours are conducted by Ronald. There are opportunities to learn more about traditional medicine, and explore the power of the jungle. These tours are highly stimulating, and informative.

The food is freshly cooked every day from local produce. The meals were fantastic, and there was plenty for everyone. Thank you Monica!

The facilities are very clean. You are provided with everything that you need.

I couldn’t possibly say higher things about Selva Madre, the family, and the staff members. It is a life changing experience. Thank you. I highly recommend Selva Madre.


July 15, 2015

This is my first experience with Ayahuasca. This is own by a wonderful family. They made sure you are safe at your stay at all times. The staff was friendly and made sure you got your meal everyday. I had a good insight and will never be negative about myself. I will continue to heal each day thanks to everybody from Selva Madre. After doing your Ayahuasca you will have a one on one talk with the shaman to go in depth of the meaning of your visions. The very last day you get to go on a Field Trip. Thank you to all my friends at Selva Madre.

  • Member Since: June 2, 2015

June 2, 2015

My husband and I chose to go to Selva Madre for our jungle experience in May 2015. We carefully searched centers and we were both drawn to the intimate and authentic setting that Selma Madre would provide for our spiritual retreat. Our questions that we asked via e-mail were answered right away and we felt like we made the right decision. I had no expectations of the experience and was pretty open-minded going in.
Firstly, we love Iquitos. While it is a large city, it has a small town feel as the people as so friendly. We were picked up and taken by motor-taxi, boat and then another motor-taxi to Selva Madre. Everything was well organized. It was exciting to have no idea where we were headed.

When we arrived, everyone was very nice and we were taken to our room. The rooms were primitive but have privacy and everything we needed. They were clean and we had water to drink and to shower. The property is extremely well maintained and very quiet.

The ceremonies were extraordinary. Don Lucho was a kind man, a gifted and insightful Shaman who treated everyone with care and compassion. He saw the issues we were dealing with without needing to speak them. I felt safe. The ceremonies were emotional at times, peaceful at others and funny at still others. The purge was real..I left Selva Madre with a lightness I haven’t felt in years.

We left Selva Madre a few days early due to my husband getting sick to his stomach. Don Lucho escorted us back to Iquitos and would not leave our side until he know my husband had been seen by a doctor and had received proper medical care. He said this was his responsibility. That spoke volumes to us about his character and motivations. Don Lucho and his family truly care about healing people and they take this mission seriously and with the care one would hope for.

If you are looking for an authentic experience, a highly skilled Shaman and a gentle, emotional and spiritual purge, I highly recommend Selva Madre.

Thank you Don Lucho and family for taking such good care of us. K & C

  • Member Since: May 22, 2015

May 22, 2015

It is difficult to put into words something so amazing and spiritual. My partner and myself had planned to visit the jungle for sometime. We both had experienced praying with mother ayahuasca medicine in a previous ceremony. So for us it was important to have a spiritual setting and a maestro/teacher (shaman) that would lead from his heart. Don Lucho and his beautiful family did just that! They not opened their home (the jungle) but also opened their heart and guided us through such a transformational journey spiritually and mentally!
The amazing icaros were so piercing to my soul that I can still feel and hear them. I will forever carry them with me. I found so much healing from the ceremonies that in turn I have also found myself! Our Maestro took time to interpret our visions and give us guidance that we continue to practice and incorporate in our lives today. Someday we hope to return…


May 19, 2015

7 of us went on a 10 day retreat at Selva Madre.
We had 4 ceremonies and we were sad to leave.
It was incredible… one of the most unique experiences
I’ve ever had.

I’ve been back ‘home’ for 11 days now and still
feel like I’ve left a piece of myself in the jungle…

Looking back in hindsight, I really liked how
there was no electricity, hot water, wifi, etc.
It added to the whole experience… very special and sacred.

Think they are installing some creature comforts for the next couple of months… for the 10 day retreat. (They have 20 day retreats too).

It’s a family run business – a beautiful family at that.
I highly recommend Selva Madre for so many reasons…

If you would like to read more, I wrote a short story about my

Many blessings, Selva Madre.

We miss you guys… thank you so much for holding the space for us, guiding us, assisting us in shifting, expanding, and letting go…

  • Member Since: May 18, 2015

May 18, 2015

I went down for my first ever ayahuasca retreat early April 2015. I couldn’t be more pleased with the time i spent there. I highly recommend going for the twenty days and eight ceremonies. It seemed almost everyone who only stayed for only 10 days wished they had more time. Phil the translator and apprentice shaman, and Anderson apprentice shaman, were great and I couldn’t speak more highly of Don Lucho. He is absolutely one of the kindest, if not the kindest, person i have ever meet. Even though i cannot speak comparatively to other retreats and other brews I can say with confidence that it is the most profound experience i have ever had. The ayahuasca addressed every single thing i went down there to work on and gave me visions and insights I could have never foreseen happening. If you are looking for an organic experience to learn and work on yourself then you will not be disappointed in your decision to go down to Selva Madre. I will never forget the experience and lessons i learned at Selva Madre and I wish you all the very best on your own personal journeys.


March 13, 2015

The journey for recuperating is a general human phenomenon. We every single have propensity, addictions, and burdens that we might want to change. An Ayahuasca retreat is the right approach to work with this strong healer in a lovely, sustaining common place.


March 10, 2015

Highly recommended.
I recently returned from spending 10 days in February. My first time in Peru. The insight I gained will stay with me for a long time.
I felt very safe and looked after the whole time I was there. Like part of the family. Don Luis [the shaman] held a very positive energy during the ceremonies. I could feel some of the connection with him take place on an intuitive level. He is active in the local community and helps protect the local rain forests. The medicine and Icaros were very powerful and the ceremonies felt traditional. Accommodation was very comfortable for jungle standards. A very positive experience and would recommend Selva Madre to anyone genuinely seeking to work with plant medicine.

  • Member Since: February 27, 2015

February 27, 2015

There are no words in our human language which could properly convey my personal experience with Ayahuasca medicine. I didn’t want to live just before arriving, I will be brutally honest – suffering severe PTSD, depression, panic/anxiety disorder and subsequent ADD. Nearing 40, and having knowledge of Ayahuasca for 15 years, I knew it was time. Research and trust led me to Selva Madre and it’s Shaman Don Louis, and apprentices Anderson and Jake. Not even a day on the grounds and I knew deep within I’d found the right place/people for myself and my very important and very personal mission. So much trust is involved with such a journey. They did not fail me which led to me not failing myself.
The Shamans led and cradled my medicinal experience with such knowledge and care. Amazing men, amazing humans. I’m eternally grateful they walk this path for others. And that I found my way to them, or was led…and listened.
At Selva Madre, I was immersed into the home life of Don Louis and his family, living on the beautiful grounds surrounded by jungle. I bathed in the streams and cleansed in red clay. All food was deliciously prepared and strict to the Ayahuasca dieta, ensuring body and mind ready for each ceremonial healing. I was never afraid, only of my own self, always knowing during the difficult but absolutely necessary purging moments, both mental and physical, that I was being looked after with the best of care. Powerful, beautiful, profound, loving, understanding, insightful to say the least. Almost a week has gone by since my time ended. I miss each of the Shamans, their family and the other attendees in my circle who I’ve formed such a bond and shared experience with…life long connections and support.
My depression, anxiety and PTSD symptoms have been alleviated greatly by the work the shamans and myself have done together during ceremony and I still feel the changes each day, in waking life and dreams. Im on my home to integrate and watch these changes unfold with a hope I never thought I’d experience again. I can BREATHE again.
If Selva Madre resonates with you while you research retreats, trust that you will be in the most wonderful, caring, knowledgable hands and spirits. With those who truly care about your soul, experience and development. Be ready for intense, deep insights and a spiritual hug like no other. They reminded me I am not alone, as did Aya….in an extremely mighty way.
Enjoy your journey. It’s the most important thing you will ever decide to do for yourself – body, mind and soul. Good job on starting that…embrace it and be well…

  • Member Since: February 1, 2015

February 1, 2015

If Mother Ayahuasca is calling you to go to Peru and partake in ceremonies (as she did so strongly with me), then this retreat is a great choice for someone looking for a safe and authentic experience. However, if you’re looking for a thrill ride or using this as an excuse to go down and “trip out” or whatever, please go elsewhere and don’t bother these truly incredible people. This retreat is all about respecting nature and true healing. Shaman Don Lucho and his extended family are some of the kindest, warmest and most genuine human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet during my 50 year stay on this planet. The persistent smiles, hearty laughter, and love pouring from this place is something I will never forget.

Upon my arrival on 11/1/14 for my 10 day stay, I was a bit intimidated by the simplicity of the amenities in the tambos…..mainly the bathrooms. I thought……”how the hell am I going to shower in this heat and humidity, by dipping a small plastic cereal bowl into a barrel of water and pouring it over my head?” After a few days I realized that my background as an American gringo surrounded by a ton of unnecessary and wasteful material things, was actually the problem. Once I got the hang of it, I was able to shower just fine. The food was very basic but fresh and pure….and that’s how it should be. The Ayahuasca is brewed on site using only Ayahuasca vines and Chakruna leaves. I purged my guts up during the first ceremony and had very tranquil experiences there after. It did not blow my head off or send me into other dimensions. In hindsight, I understand that this is a good thing, especially for a first timer. Again, It’s not necessarily about visions and tripping balls, but more about healing at this retreat.

I don’t speak Spanish and this was a bit of a problem as the interpreter that is normally there was on vacation. Luckily, there were a few Spanish speakers attending the retreat and I was able to get by. I did feel that I shouldn’t have had to rely on them so much, and an interpreter should have been present as stated on the website. It’s very important to understand the Shaman so as to get clear feedback about your personal experiences within each ceremony. If you book (and you should) make sure an interpreter is on site for you if you don’t speak Spanish.

And finally, the Shaman….Don Lucho. This man is an amazing human being and I still feel a brotherly connection to him. He’s the real deal and very powerful in a positive and loving way. If you have any concerns (as I did before I went) about falling into the wrong hands with a dishonest Shaman, let me assure you that Don Lucho is a fantastically genuine man with a heart of gold. You will be in the best hands possible. I look forward to seeing him and his family again in the future. I will definitely return to Selva Madre someday.

  • Member Since: January 24, 2015

January 24, 2015

I visited SelvaMadre end of last year. The resort is situated in an isolated, beautiful and quiet area in the Jungle. Perfect for an authentic Jungle stay experience. The atmosphere is already breathing peace, welcoming you pleasantly when you arrive there. Traditional and basic Tambos have what you need, a private room, a clean bed, a toilet (a normal one, not a sawdust bucket) and a place for showering. There was no running water or electricity when I stayed there, but I quickly realized that it isn?t needed. I could manage well using little buckets with water for showering and flushing the toilet. It didn?t bother me at all, it adds to your ?Back to Basics? experience.

Tambos are virtually bug free. No mosquitos inside. In general there were some mosquitos outside, but not an amount to be worried about. Just stay inside when the sun goes up or under, that?s snack time for those buggies. You are in the Jungle, so you have to live with the animal creatures around you. But I felt very safe here, both from animals as from people. No stress.

The care of the visitors by the people who run this resort, Shaman Don Lucho and his family, is most probably the strongest point they have. You have the feeling that you are part of his family from the first day on. You spent the day with them, talk with them, eat with them, have ceremonies with them. And they are very open and willing to listen to you. This absolutely contributes to the trust and comfort you need while taking part in Ayahuasca ceremonies. Specifically when you are doing this for the first time.
This is also a safe place for women, as the Shaman, Don Lucho, is a Shaman who recognizes his position with respect when dealing with women in general. I saw that many times during my stay.
Lucky for me I could speak Spanish, so I did not need a translator. Because of that I could express myself very well, and the time Don Lucho spent with me was super beneficial for my personal development. He really is interested in you and does everything within his capacity to make your stay an unforgettable one. But also an experience to take with you when returning home. That?s up to you!

The food is OK, everyday it is freshly prepared on site. Specific ?ayahuasca dieting? is not so strict here. I struggled a bit with this in the beginning but quickly accepted the Shamans opinion about it as it did not affect my experience with ayahuasca. The ayahuasca is also prepared on site. Only ayahuasca and chakruna, nothing else. It is not the strongest ayahuasca I have taken in my life, so if you are looking for a ?tripping in the jungle? experience where you don?t know where you are anymore, this place is not for you. But when you are looking for a spiritual experience, going easy in ceremonies and are open to learn and face yourself, this is a place for you. Especially when you have no experience and you are doing this for the first time. It is very safe, as the Shaman is not a fan of loading you up with ayahuasca to a point where people lose themselves. He prefers to slowly walk towards deeper experiences instead of running to the top and being out of breath. The day after the ceremony is just as important as the ceremony itself, to reflect on your experience and integrate the insights gained. It was absolutely beneficial for me. The ceremonies are what you would expect, and the Shaman sings and whistles very beautiful, adding positively to the experience of taking part in an ayahuasca ceremony.

The price of the retreat packages are very reasonable for what you get. And you can see with your own eyes where your money is going. There were a lot of building and expanding activities in the retreat area when I was there. I can imagine this place becoming bigger and bigger through time, as it has an unique formula.

Unfortunately for me I had to leave the retreat due to a medical condition coming to the surface caused by the combination of heat and humidity in the Jungle. I got advised to go to dryer areas to improve my medical condition, which I did. There was no problem coming back later and continue with my retreat. But when I came back a couple of weeks later, the same medical condition flared up again making it impossible for me to continue. Since this was very personal and unexpected, after some talking with the Shaman, Don Lucho, he agreed to give me a fair refund of the part of the retreat I could not attend anymore. And I did receive this refund a couple of weeks later with no problems. It is not about the money refunded, but the act of understanding the situation and responding accordingly. This absolutely contributed to the trust I already had in this Shaman, Don Lucho. As money is not his primary goal but the wellbeing of his visitors is.

I have no doubts about his true intentions. This Shaman is for real. Most probably one of the few Shamans left in this growing ayahuasca tourism business who still has his both feet on the ground and wants to help and cure you and is not chasing your money for personal profit.

I absolutely recommend this retreat center. When my medical situation is cured, after my surgery, I will return when I am in the area. Thank you Don Lucho and all your family members for your care and understanding !

  • Member Since: January 20, 2015

January 20, 2015

One of the most important experience of my life. Meeting a Sciaman, his entire family, living with them in the same place sharing food, talks, and life experience was just one side of the nice experience I had there. Meeting the Jungle, drinking ayahuasca and get closer to nature than ever before was the other part. I would really recommend the experience to everybody. During my 10 days retreat I met some others Europens and Americans with which I bound my soul so much that we will never forget. A hearth touching experience that will change your life forever. Don Lucho rocks!!!

  • Member Since: January 8, 2015

January 8, 2015

If you are looking for a place for the best ayahuasca retreat, then look no further. The place and experience was amazing!! The grounds are absolutely stunning and the accommodations were more than satisfactory. The Shaman and his family run the entire retreat and they welcome you as if you were one of their own. The Shaman is a true master of his craft and makes sure each person has the best experience possible. The ayahuasca is pure and always prepared onsite. This was a life changing experience and I hope everyone has the chance to go to Selva Madre.

  • Member Since: December 2, 2014

December 2, 2014

I have been in Selva Madre with my wife in November. I had a great experience there, Don Lucho and all the staff are wonderful, they have always a smile for everyone and they are extremely nice. The ayahuasca is pure and safe. The objective of the retreat is to help you and keep you safe. They are still improving the retreat; at the moment the rooms are basic without electricity and running water, but we’ve got used to it very easily, and I kind of liked it, it makes me remember that we’ve got to many unnecessary things in our modern lives. The only thing that could improve a bit was food, but maybe the reason was that the main cook was on holidays…
I think that Don Lucho is a great shaman and his icaros are just wonderful! If you are looking for a safe place and a caring shanman, go to Selva Madre, you won’t regret it! They will make you feel like at home.

  • Member Since: November 26, 2014

November 27, 2014


My girlfriend and I just returned from a 10 day retreat at Selva Madre. Words cannot describe how amazing and influential this magical place is. I will admit I was doubtful of the reviews I read on this site, as anyone can create them with an email account. But once we arrived I knew I was in the right place. The atmospher is warm and comforting, almost feels like home. I miss that place already and its only been a week. Don Lucho is an amazing shaman and has had a lifetime of experience with ayahuasca. His brew is pure, just chacruna leaves and ayahuasca vine. I myself had very distinct and powerful visions (of space travel and more) 3 out of the 4 ceremonies. The first ceremony I had a negitive energy blocking mother ayahuasca from flowing through my body and mind. Before the 2nd ceremony Don Lucho prepared an ayahuasca shower which did its magic and helped me heal.

The retreat is only a few years old, but they are constantly building to make it bigger and better. It back to the basic way of life which is amazing when accompanied with the ayahuasca ceremonies. Real makes you think how many unnecessary things we have in our modern world. The dieta the served was pretty good from my perspective. Bland food the day after the ceremony, salt and sugar the day of ceremony, no supper on ceremony days. Lots of eggs and rice for ten days though.

Selva Madre is truely an amazing authentic ayahuasca healing center. I would recommend it to everyone. Especially first timers. I look forward to returning there in the future. One note, make sure there is an interpreter there. Philippe was away for 6 months so we had to help eachother out with spanish. As Don Lucho speaks minimal english. There does seem to be many bilingual people attending this retreat. Which does help for communication.

  • Member Since: October 31, 2014

October 31, 2014

I just returned from a 10 day 4 session Ayahuasca retreat at Selva Madre. If you are looking for an authentic Ayahuasca experience at a fraction of the cost of other retreats I looked into then I would highly suggest Selva Madre. You actually live on the same premises as the shaman and his adult children and wife who all cook, clean and care for the facility and the guests. I can not speak highly enough of these people. They are all so kind and caring. Shaman Don Luis is a second generation shaman & is perhaps the kindest, humblest and most good natured person I have ever met. It is so refreshing to meet someone who is so dedicated to their craft and financial compensation is not the primary concern. Don Luis eats his family’s incredibly healthy meals with us & is always available and excited to share his insight and wisdom. You are in the jungle with limited electricity, not internet, and basin rain water showers are always filled in your neatly kept huts. Don Luis works with in the 4 ceremonies (Earth, Fire, Water, Air) and doesn’t necessarily blast you out of the water so to speak like I have heard and seen some of the other retreats do. He has great respect and the sanctity and brew of pure Ayahuasca Vine and chacruna that is grown and brewed on the property with no other additives. I have no other retreats to compare it to other than what I researched online before I went and I couldn’t have asked for a better more enriching experience. He will accept you at anytime with no set dates. Ceremonies are Monday Wednesday and Friday so you can plan your 4 ceremonies accordingly. I hope you have as positive experience as I had

  • Member Since: October 17, 2014

October 17, 2014

Thanks to Don Lucho for his great work, thanks Ayahuasca! Before coming to that place I didn’t know what to expect. I come back from another world where I discovered a lot about myself. Don Lucho guided me with care through all my visions. I feel like a new man refreshed from the old energies.

Thanks to Monica for the delicious food and everything. There was a friendly and peaceful ambiance with other guest. I just recommend that place for a safe travel into yourself

  • Member Since: September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014

The first day I came to Selvamadre the Shaman told me things about my life I never told him, I was really surprised about his power. There was a connection of trust like if I was his child. My life totally changed, I see clear into myself now and I just can say thanks!
I like the way we are treated as part of the family with a lot of care and there was a so nice ambience with everybody there.
If recommend to anybody to take Ayahuasca, it is a sacred plant that will heal you very deep like it did for me.

  • Member Since: September 17, 2014

September 17, 2014

Review of Selvamadre Spiritual & Healing Center
Written by: Anonymous

Level and experiences: ,

Visited in: February, 2014

Overall rating
(*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
(*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
(*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
Accommodation and food
(*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
(*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
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Purpose of visit:
Healing Learning

Plant healings:
Ayahuasca Master Plan Diet

Would you recommend this place to a friend?

Overall experience and/or stay
The first time I have been to Selvamadre I knew that it will be the place for me to heal completely and to learn with Mother Ayahuasca. I stayed at that place quite a long time and it changed my life for ever. When you arrive in the center you feel that you enters Eden, everything is so pure and beautiful, there is a side of that place in celestine prophecy. The Shaman and the amazing people at that place are welcoming you and giving the best of all your needs. The Ayahuasca ceremonies are amazing, the brew is pure and cooked with a lot of care. The Shaman is leading you to this world beyond and guiding you with his love. I definitely recommend that Ayahuasca retreat center that is for me one of the most professional.

  • Member Since: August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014

If you are looking to take ayahuasca, this center offers a very authentic experience. The Shaman, Don Lucho, is a friendly and knowledgeable leader. The accommodations are great; safe and homely. Selva Madre offers the unique spiritual journey in a respectful and serious setting. A great first place for someone to fully experience the majesty of the plant teacher Ayahuasca.


August 10, 2014

Hi all, you who is visiting this site, I can recommend this center, the people is so friendly and there is a good vibration all around. When I took the brew it took me in an other realm, it also cleaned the my charges I had since I was born. Thanks to all the people of Selvamadre!

  • Member Since: August 10, 2014

August 10, 2014

The center looks like the Eden, it is so peaceful and beautiful in the middle of the jungle. My experience with Ayahuasca have been incredible and Thanks To Don Lucho for that. I will come back for sure!

  • Member Since: August 10, 2014

August 10, 2014

I have been to this place and it transformed me so much, I can just say thank you!


July 31, 2014

To all my family, friends, teachers in this sacred space thank you for this time of learning. I am hunbled before each of you and I am grateful for the teachings and experiences you have shared with me. Each is but a seed that I now have the privilege of nurturing.
Words can not express my gratitude, nor the depth of invalauble knowledge I have been blessed with here. The truth lies behind the words in the eternal realm of love which we each of us, the golden essence of life is the most valuable gift one can receive.
May we all live within the beauty of love. May love be the source of all our thoughts, words and actions. May our sows never cease striving fearlessly towards this infinite realm of love and may we all return to this place of peace. Our eternal home

  • Member Since: July 31, 2014

July 31, 2014

I came to Padre cocha searching for a spiritual outlet and found it in the Ayahuasca ceremonies directed by Don Lucho. I participated in 3 ceremonies and found them profoundly meaningful and paradigm in the way that I perceive the SELF the major constituents of spiritual health and the framework within which to view then. The wester world has much to learn from the generations starve of spiritual wealth contained into the indigenous healers and their rites + practices. I am certain that my journey into the self will bring me back to this culture once more.

  • Member Since: July 30, 2014

July 30, 2014

Don Lucho filled my cup to the brim with Ayahuasca for the first ceremony! Drank it down in four big gulps. What happened then was truely an experience, I won’t forget.
However at the end of this vision, I was shown a piece of wisdom in which everything made sense and there was order and balance. This balance continued to grow in my thoughts and in my soul throughout the next five days and two ceremonies I felt pure joy in the form of eternal peace. I am leaving your holy piece of land with a better understanding of myself and of the universe and for that I am extremely grateful.


July 30, 2014

I really can’t find the words now.
It has been the most amazing 3 weeks of my life. I became a different, much better person and totally new. Never felt that much love and peace ever.
Lucho, Monica and everyone here gave me so much positive energy. I also got a purpose for my life, I won’t ever feel lost or lonely again I really can’t express my emotions I feel right now. I am so pleased can’t say thanks enough times.
This place is a heaven and paradise together and much more. Can’t wait to be back for good and to know Ayahuasca and this culture and my new family as well.


July 22, 2014

Wow, my experience here has been incredible I think this has been one of the best week of my life. Taking Ayahuasca here has been a very eye opening experience and I think I have found out a lot about myself and about life in general. I definitely plan on coming back and doing Ayahuasca here again after I have spent some time with meditation so I can have more mental discipline and so I can have a more spiritual experience. I have had a lot of fun here the entire week I have stayed, Don Lucho and Monica have been absolutely the best, they are one of the nicest person I have ever met, they made me feel at home here and the food was absolutely excellent, Monica is a wonder cook! I will forever remember and cherish my experience here and I will miss everyone. I have met here very much, I will recommend Selvamadre to everyone that ask me about doing Ayahuasca. This is such abeautifull place! I love you all!

  • Member Since: July 22, 2014

July 22, 2014

Thank you for allowing me to spend time at your home. The path tha lead me here has been a long time in the making. I?m blessed to be fortunate enough to find myself here this time around. It has been truely amazing. I will find you all again soon in the dream world so we can continue to smile and lough together. Thank you Don Lucho for your teachings and guidance, thank you Monica for the food and positive energy Thank you Phillip for the everyday contribution you give to make this the most comfortable evironment possible. Also to my good friend Poochie, the cat who never sleeps. I love you all and will always think of this place fondly.

  • Member Since: July 16, 2014

July 16, 2014

You have made a sweet paraiso, thanks for welcoming us into it so nicely, tamquilo, seguro, I felt throughout the stay. I think after this short visit and iniciation ceremony it would be best to return to explore further andexperience more fully what these jungle medicine have to teach me. Hasta la vista, Lucho is a great singer. Thanks again for a significant experience


July 16, 2014

Thank you to Don Lucho and family + Philippe for this experience, you have been very gentle amd kind. I felt comfortable and safe experiencing Ayahuasca for the first time in the temple. I wont forget my time here, soon I hope to come back over in the year to finish the 8 ceremonies, muchas gracias,

  • Member Since: July 13, 2014

July 13, 2014

We had an incredible stay with Lucho, Monica and all the other people at Selvamadre. We had our first Ayahuasca ceremony ever monday night with Lucho and it was an amazing experience. The energy was strong and so our personal experiences which included plenty of visions and hallucinations. Lucho helped us and the others, Philippe made the experience secure, joyful and amazing. We walk away as changed men.

Besides the ceremony the stay has been nice, very good atmosphere, good food and plenty of it in tranquil and calm environment.

We would definitely recommend a stay at this place.

  • Member Since: July 10, 2014

July 10, 2014

I did a 7 days retreat there, everything was nice, The shaman is ver nice and the place beautifull

  • Member Since: July 9, 2014

July 9, 2014

This center is amazing after being in others I recommend 100%, I was bluffed by the Shaman that is very powerfull and can heal! After the center is beautifull and relax, the food is good and people are full of love. What I highlight is the Shamanic science of Master Don Luis that is very high.

Come, see and delight 🙂


May 15, 2014

This place is nice, after being to different centers, I use to feel there the care of the people that do not look for the money.
The ceremony is traditional and the shaman is singing like an angel, everybody have his healing and the shaman explains the vision we had and what he saw.

The place I like a lot, it is peacefull and meditating, perfect for spiritual awakiening.

Also the good stuff is that the Shaman accepts people to learn as apprentices.

For me this is the perfect place to go for an inner journey!


May 11, 2014

This center is one of the most professional and ethical I know, the shaman is very experimented with 30 years of practice. The Ayahuasca ceremony begins with beautiful Icaros than you are called to be healed by the shaman and the apprentices all very strong in healing energies, Don Lucho is able to cure a lot of things, spiritual, mental and physical.

The center is a paradise, everything is so beautiful and most important peacefull, the rooms are individual with very good quality furnitures and private bathrooms and sherry on the top all the buildings are totally mosquitoproof.

The staff is like a family and smiles are raining, the food is natural and high quality as well as persomalized if you are vegetarian containing high vegan proteins, there are a lot of vegetables and fruits available.

I highly recommend this center for itsprofesionalism and integrity as well as for its accomodations and ambiant.

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