Listed in Ayahuasca
- San Isidro del General, Baru Province, Costa Rica
Affordable, beautiful if rustic, retreat center in Costa Rica. Features open ceremony space in the forest next to a river, immersed in the sounds of nature and jungle. Includes vegan meals and shared or private accommodations.
This is a very good aya center and I had a very positive experience here. They follow the guidelines in the “ayahuasca manifesto” (google it), they grow the ingredients right there at the center, they take safety seriously and interview everyone for medical conditions and contraindicated medications, etc. and make sure you have the right motivations. The location is wonderful with the rushing stream in the background, and the rainforest sounds all around you. Costa Rica also has phenomenal tourist attractions, rain forests, volcanoes, some of the best white water rafting in the world, wonderful beaches, snorkeling, national parks, wildlife, etc. The Diamante falls is right near Sound of Light, makes a great day hike. All that said, psychedelics should not be a group activity in my opinion, so the whole concept is kind of ridiculous when you really think about it (people will be crying, making noises, puking, all around you which can be distracting, and while I enjoyed most of the music, it was certainly better than those annoying icaros they do in South America, some of the selections detracted from my experience – did they really need to blast pink floyd, seriously?). Ayahuasca makes you feel sick, which some people say is an important part of the ceremony (purging is cathartic and all that) but I don’t buy into that, and if you had a version made from purified extracts, you don’t get sick like that – of course no aya center will serve purified extracts as it wouldn’t be “authentic” (or legal in most countries). The preparation you do before the ceremony is essential to success, intent is extremely important, and you should have a positive attitude and be eagerly desiring the experience or you probably won’t like what happens. Its certainly not for everyone, but if you want to do it, do your research and prepare your mind well in advance. I don’t personally recommend extended “retreats” either, just go for one night, for the ceremony. Most people need months to integrate their experience, doing it 2, 3, or more times in one week or combined with other drugs, is a bad idea, let it settle in, the integration takes time, don’t combine other drugs with aya even on different nights. Pura vida.