- Huaraz, Peru
The Way Inn staff includes a multi-generation Peruvian shaman, multiple shamanic apprentices and facilitators, a full-time Ayurvedic practitioner, rotating licensed massage, Reiki, reflexology, and yoga therapists and facilitators, mantra workshop teachers, medicinal extract teacher, and a full kitchen staff.
Here at The Way Inn we specialize in highly personalized ayahuasca experiences with skilled and experienced facilitators. Our licensed Ayurvedic practitioner will conduct individual Ayurvedic consultations and teach you Ayurvedic lifestyle techniques you can take home with you providing critical health information to help you empower yourself in your own well-being, as well as lead you through pranayama and guided meditations before your ceremonies. We offer five ayahuasca ceremonies during your stay led by Arnaldo, our native Peruvian shaman with many years of experience and from a long lineage of ayahuasqueros from Iquitos. Each retreat guest will have access to private one-on-one consultations with the shaman with the assistance of a translator for additional guidance through this experience, during which the shaman can prescribe additional healing processes. During your ceremony, you will be accompanied by several experienced facilitators/shamanic apprentices including a bilingual translator to assist with communication between you and the shaman. Unique to your experience at The Way Inn, you will also be provided an opportunity to participate in an optional San Pedro Cactus Ceremony after completion of your five ayahuasca ceremonies to offer an additional plant healing modality.
I had a beautiful and deep experience at The Way Inn. There was no ‘Peruvian shaman’ on the retreat I attended and it was completely run by westerners but eventually I figured out this really worked for me! Ryan and Adrian had a very deep understanding of what is going on energetically and they bring a lot of love and protection to the ceremony space. I see them as very wise teachers and could connect with them much more than the Peruvian sharman I went to later at a different place. At first I didn’t appreciate the Hindi influence / fusion but gradually I found it really deepened my experience. The location and accommodation is simply stunning and the food was wonderful (some folks complained it wasn’t what they normally eat but I was blown away by what a dieta could include – even if there were some mixed food messages ‘ie we were served things that were on the don’t eat list). The program was very well designed and we were given a lot of guidance. The only thing that felt a bit uncomfortable about the place was the focus with money making. We were paying top prices for a retreat in Peru but it did feel that The Way Inn was becoming so upmarket (and focused on marketing) that some people would be priced out. I was on a budget and I was asked to pay for accommodation on the last night (which turned out to be the last night of the retreat I had already paid for) so you may not get much flexibility about staying a night either side if you are on a budget. So my only suggestion to the people who run the place would be ‘keep it real and earthy and not just focused on increasing luxury and prices’ but then again maybe it is the point of difference!
A Deep and Transformative Experience to Last A Life Time.
I recently attended a 10 day retreat at the Way Inn from 4/26/15-5/5/15. In preparation, I studied their recommended diet and found a 12-day detox diet and herbal supplement program that nearly matched their recommendations. It was called Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox (“Easy 12-Day Program and Recommended Diet”). I also increased my meditation practice to twice daily to heighten my meditative state while there. I finished the detox a day prior to flying to Peru from the West Coast, and found the transition to their “Dieta” quite easy to adapt to, and found this pre-detox served me well during the ceremonies to follow. When my good friend and I first arrived, the staff were all out to give us a personal greeting. It was nice to meet everyone that way, exchanging handshakes and eye-contact. I immediately felt an energetic connection, and knew I was in good and safe hands. The Shaman (Ryan), and Energetic Worker (Adrian) radiated such great energy, and each of the staff were attentive and seemed to go out of their way to make us feel welcome and genuinely accepted throughout our stay. The accommodations are five star; rooms are clean, bedding comfortable, fully equipped bathrooms right by the ceremonial hut (and even help to get there if you need it), food made with care (even when on the Dieta, food is presented with beauty), and the views of the surrounding high plateau and snowy peaks of the Andes are stunning. For me, each ceremony was deep and transformative. I especially loved the individualized blessings the Shaman gave each of us during each ceremony, and the private healing session with the Energy Healer. There were no extra costs for these individualized services, and I cannot say enough about the unconditional acceptance, compassion, and caring that the staff provided (in ceremony and out). My friend and I were originally set up for a retreat in Iquitos, but this fell through two weeks before we were to leave. We felt, and still do, so very fortunate to have found the Way Inn. The Altar (or Mesa) even has a picture of Sri Ramana Maharshi and there are tapestries of Shiva in the Ceremonial Yurt. The Shamans sing both traditional Shamanic Chants in addition to a variety of Sacred Mantras, giving the Way Inn a heightened feeling of being deeply spiritually connected to the highest spiritual traditions. I cannot recommend The Way Inn high enough. Of the many meditation and spiritual retreats in my life that I have attended, The Way Inn ranks #1. I was taken deeper in many regards than ever before, and was left with a heightened sense of my life purpose and a feeling of interconnectedness that I will be forever thankful for.
I have been to The Way Inn, twice and I highly recommend it. The setting is awe inspiring, the lodgings comfy, the staff is wonderful and the food is excellent and the ceremonies magical. I can’t fault the place.
I attended the 9 day ayahuasca retreat at The Way Inn in September 2014 and can’t say enough good things about their facilities, but more importantly the people there. When I first started researching where to go for my first ayahuasca experience I thought (mistakenly) that in order to have an authentic experience, I would have to go to a retreat near Iquitos. I am so happy the retreat I initially contacted was full because I ended up at The Way Inn, a happy place with happy people, where I experienced more unconditional love in 9 days than during any other time in my 53 years. Arnaldo and Robert are the real deal, true spiritual warriors, who have only your best interests at heart. The rest of the staff was incredible as well. And what a spectacular setting for spiritual growth and transformation! I am so pleased that I chose The Way Inn and can not recommend them enough.
I feel as though most reviews and testimonies available about The Way Inn are from quite a while ago. They have gone through many changes in the past but now they have settled into their own space.
And oh my, what a space it is.
I attended in July 2014 with no expectations, especially because most of what I could find on the web was outdated. When I got there, I found it was a good thing that I didn’t have any expectations because they all would have been blown out of the water anyway.
The instant you lay eyes on the lodge, you can see the serenity and peace. In a lovely area of the Andes, surrounded by natural beauty and the feeling of calm. The staff are staff secondarily; primarily, they are your family awaiting your arrival. These lovely people are all looking out for your best interest with the medicine in the name of healing and Love. The Love you will get there at every step of your journey is so special. All the way from the food, which even during the strict dieta is somehow delicious, fresh and healthy – to the facilitating staff, who will show you the meaning of unconditional Love and acceptance. And most importantly, the Shaman. Maestro Arnaldo… I’m always at a loss trying to describe this man because of the size of his heart, his playful nature, his loving and welcoming personality, and his unfathomable knowledge and power in the spirit-based space while working with the mother medicine. The only way I can truly attempt to describe Maestro Arnaldo is by saying that the Light needed a physical body through which to heal and to shine and it chose Maestro Arnaldo.
Arnaldo himself would be enough reason for me to recommend The Way Inn and hold it in the highest regard, but it just so happens that every aspect of the experience that complements the medicine is so perfect and so Lovingly thought out that The Way Inn grants you the ability to make positive changes and a loving transformation in your life. You will be shown a form of Love that before visiting only a few of us have been lucky enough to experience – and it’s yours to keep!
I attended the 9 day Ayahuasca retreat and found the experience to be out of this world..Literally..I went deep inside my psyche. This was my first adventure with any type of Psychedelic and I believe that I chose well. The staff was incredibly understanding and caring about my needs. I was taken through 5 ceremonies with a Peruvian Shaman. The visions that I received were nothing less than personally profound. The process with anything worth doing is challenging to face your inner darkness, however I came out the other end feeling physically and spiritually healed. I highly recommend The Way Inn for this adventure if your ready for it 🙂
My experience at the Way Inn was truly incredible. It was far more for me than just a way of experiencing ayahuasca; the setting, staff, food, accommodation and other relaxation and growth activities ensured that every aspect of the experience was truly fulfilling.
Upon my arrival I was immediately struck by the beauty and serenity of the mountainous surroundings; each morning I woke up to the view of snow-capped mountains outside my bedroom window, wow! I nearly fell over when I was shown to my room- a big beautiful comfortable bed, a bath, candles and even a fire place. So easy to relax and recharge.
I was particularly impressed by the quality of the food provided at the retreat; I could not believe that such healthy meals could taste so good. They put a lot of time and effort into the planning and preparation of the meals, and my group was blown away by what we were served meal after meal.
I think the thing that really makes this place special though is the staff. The level of care and support that I received at every stage of the process was amazing and I am really grateful. As well as providing guidance and advice in relation to the ayahuasca process itself, they also provided me with a lot of assistance on how to improve other aspects of my life, such as diet and how to make other positive changes in my life through mediation and yoga and various awareness practices.
In relation to the ayahuasca experience itself, it is hard to put into words how much I have grown and learnt from the experience.
When I decided to go to The Way Inn I did so with the hope of obtaining personal growth and a healthier and happier life; I did not believe that something could have such a profound influence on me in such a short time-the experience has truly changed my life.
How do you write a review for an experience that changes your whole life? I?ll start by saying I?ve never felt more like me, more comfortable in my own skin, more sure I am on a path that leads to an ever brightening future. The Way Inn went out of their way to make us comfortable with some of the most luxurious accommodations and food we experienced while we were in Peru. These things made it possible for me to do great work on myself without distractions. The holistic approach with yoga, meditation, group sharing made the space perfect for each of us to have our own profound experience. And in the end, I was reborn as a better version of myself. I can?t thank you enough especially Arnoldo, Robert, Silvia and Russell as well as my fellow retreat mates. Gracias.
I was at the Way in last May (2013) and can’t say enough about my incredible experience there. Everything about the retreat is top notch. The setting, the staff, the accommodations and, mainly, the ayahuasca experience. These guys are serious about serving the individual participants. That being said, to me ayahuasca is a means to an end, and not an end in itself. And that’s what I remember most about my experience – at the end of the retreat I felt so incredibly connected to myself, to others, to the planet I can hardly explain it. It was like I my entire being was supercharged. I’m going back there again this coming May for another retreat.
As a summary, I am 67 yo, retired from N. California white male. I?ve taken around 200-300 hits of strong Owsley LSD in the ?60/70?s, and been meditating for over 40 years using a modified Zen technique. I still smoke MJ every day. I recently went to Peru specifically to take Ayahuasca with a Shaman, via La Familia Medicina at the ?Way Inn Lodge? in the mountains of Huaraz in central Peru around 11,000 ft. As promised, here?s my Ayahuasca experience.
I talked the wife into coming to Peru with me, so we left two weeks earlier ? Cusco, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca ? all going beyond our ?wow? expectations. She returned to California and I took the night-bus north to Huaraz. This is the second time I?ve been to Huaraz, the first time in 2001 with my older son where we did the Santa Cruz trek crossing a pass at 15,600 ft. I didn?t really want to return to Huaraz but instead wanted to take Ayahuasca in the Amazon jungle. But since the Amazon had especially high flood waters this year, the Ayahuasca jungle retreats originally scheduled were cancelled ? so I switched my itinerary. For mountain exploring Huaraz can?t be beat. Unfortunately, more people don?t consider Peru for vacations and trekking ? I?ve been there three times and it?s been magical every time. I went up to ?The Way Inn Lodge? a few days early and stay as a guest. The staff is always positive, helpful and eager to answer questions. I immediately felt completely at ease, confident that I was in good hands. The physical location itself is profound and inspiring with the wide-open valley and the rising snow-covered mountains above. The facilities are excellent, and they are constantly adding new projects and expanding. They have water diversion, compost, bee hives, they are reforesting, have ponds, organic gardening, are hugely involved with the local community ? everything effective and practical one could expect from a group of visionaries.
Saturday arrived, and by mid-day all 12 participants were gathered for meetings. The rules and regulations of La Familia Medicina are many ? no sex, no street drugs, no pork, piranha, or crocodile meat, no using soap or toothpaste during the retreat, and a special ?dieta? would be imposed and limited to a small variety of ingredients with no salt, we would drink tree-bark tea each afternoon, head over to the Ayahuasca Lodge and drink Ayahuasca after dark, trip for 3-4 hours and crash on the comfortable mats in the Lodge, or wander back to our rooms in the dark. Meditation, Yoga and other new-age techniques were also used effectively. The strangest to me is their constant insistence that Ayahuasca is a medicine, not ever referred to as a psychedelic or drug. After experiencing the awesome powers of Ayahuasca I?m slowly coming around; it should be considered a medicine. This was an 8-day retreat, with 5 Ayahuasca trips (ceremonies) scheduled. Ayahuasca is different from other psychedelics ? there?s a kind of telepathy with the drug, Ayahuasca is probably twice as strong LSD, and, Ayahuasca is very feminine. My first night I drank five solid gulps of the vile-tasting liquid. The Shaman singing, breathing, whistling, and blowing tobacco smoke on the ceremonial cup before the person walked up and drank it down, moving around the circle of people. By the time it got to me people were already throwing up into the provided buckets, some projecting violently. After I drank a half hour later I was on my back unable to move even the slightest finger- still no vomiting, but I could feel the ?poisons? moving through my body horribly assaulting my organs and into my intestines, then my anus complaining that things just weren?t right down there. I?ve done lots of Peyote so I?ve had experience with anus communication. The visions are very cartoon-like, non-stop, filling all space with eyes closed or open – it doesn?t matter. It?s psychedelic Disneyland, every space filled with dancing cartoons and especially dancing snakes. It was great and reminded me of the one time I did Opium and had similar cartoon dreams. These visions were unlike powerful LSD trips that seem to have more mandala-type visions instead, with multi-dimensions and cascading insights. But after two hours of cartoons I started asking, ?Is this all it is? This isn?t what I was expecting?? My expectation was to receive intense insights to the three questions (or intentions) I was bringing to Ayahuasca medicine. So I kept asking my questions over and over, but never got any answers. What I did get was to be transported to all the people that I love and felt them in a gently loving embrace. Even my dead parents were available for a hug and communication. I was instantly transported to anyone that I wanted to hug. At three hours into the trip my anus said it was time to drag my body to one of the three toilets. My body felt awkward, heavy disconnected and barely able to get off the cushion ? but somehow I found myself in the bathroom with my flashlight. It was a diarrhea party and I suppose the entire group heard my explosions ? but honestly there is no embarrassment, and everyone is very non-judgmental. Afterwards my body felt horrible, as if I just ate arsenic or something, and survived by the slightest margin. I lay in physical agony for the rest of the night, sleeping fitfully and waking to go back to the toilet several more times. At sunrise I somehow stumbled back to my room. It was an excellent first Ayahuasca trip, but the next day I felt horrible, couldn?t eat, and spent the entire day sleeping. The staff calls this purging the body of poisons, but my old body was barely hanging on.
We were to take Ayahuasca again the second night, but I was feeling very weak and considered skipping the second night ceremony. By evening I felt moderately well enough and drank only two good gulps this time. One-half hour into it and I was heavily tripping again ? cartoons and horrible body feelings that just wouldn?t go away. The pain was relentless, the annoying cartoon visions wouldn?t go away, and my physical body discomfort ? yet, still no throwing-up, only serious intestinal distress, my breathing became labored and shallow. I tried taking deep breaths and it helped immensely. I finally went to the bathroom and saw blood in the diarrhea ? but learned later it was from the beet juice drink I had earlier – pretty freaky thing to experience when stoned on Ayahuasca, however. I lay back down on my mat and listened to the Shaman singing his songs letting myself be carried away by the medicine again. But no matter how hard I tried to ignore the signals, my body was telling me that I was physically dying ? not something to take lightly at the age of 67. This was not the psychedelic ego-death, this was my actual physical death. I wasn?t willing to accept death and fought against it. Suddenly and unexpectedly my heart chakra exploded with loving energy, I felt like I had reached a plateau where I was one of the focal points of the universe to channel loving energy. My body/mind/ego was gone, it was amazing. Exhausted, returning from the toilet I lay back down, thinking this is really not working out for me physically. My kidney couldn?t seem to process this foreign ?poison? like the younger participants were able to? I remembered them recommending us to ?ask Ayahuasca? so I said, ?should I stay or should I go?? and suddenly an image of a stern, regal, beautiful woman appeared on a balcony. She wore all black with some white clothing peaking out underneath, and lots of ornate silver jewelry. She looked down at the large crowd of people gathered below, then looked right over at me, pointed her index finger at me and said ?Gooooooooo!? Immediately I relaxed and realized that I?ve tripped on enough psychedelics and I?ll just stick with smoking Marijuana from now on. One of my questions was answered: To die as a warrior, one must live each day as a warrior.
I had absolutely no problems with the staff or the programs, or the rules. Great bunch of people and I would absolutely recommend La Familia Medicina to anyone and everyone. You will get your moneys-worth and more. But if you are old like me, understand that your organs will not process the chemicals as well and take that into consideration. Their Shaman is especially cool, continually singing and directing the energy. A very compassionate and aware dude that I have tons of respect for ? at some points he walked around blowing tobacco smoke my way, a few times closely directed at my forehead and the crown of my head where I immediately went to new dimensions. He is secure as the person he is, one of the most open people I have encountered? I?m regret that I was unable to remain there, but I felt I had to get out of Dodge and left on the third day. I?m not blaming anyone and the staff tried to get me to stay – just chalk it up to an old hippies adventure that didn?t work out the way I originally planned. As the Rolling Stones said: ?You can?t always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need.?
TL;DR ? 67 yo hippie goes to Peru to take Ayahuasca with Shaman at La Familia Medicina. Doesn?t work out as planned and leaves after only two ceremonies.