Ayahuasca is a composite of two Quechua words: aya meaning “spirit” or “ancestor” and huasca meaning “vine” or “rope” – hence it is known as the “vine of the soul.”
This indigenous plant medicine plays a central role in the spiritual, healing and cultural traditions of the Amazon region to such an extent that in 2008 Ayahuasca was recognized by the Peruvian government as a National Treasure.
Its ceremonial use is ancient. One of the earliest objects related to it is a specially-engraved cup, now a museum piece, which was found in the Amazon around 500 BC and shows that ayahuasca has been used as a sacrament for at least 2,500 years.
The brew is made from ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and the leaves of the chacruna plant (Psychotria viridis). It is said that a shaman can find many sources by listening for the “heartbeat” that emanates from them.
The mixture is prepared by cleaning the specially-chosen vines and adding them and the leaves to water. This is then boiled and reduced for several hours, attended by our shamans who blow their intentions and good wishes (soplada) into it, make prayers to their spirits for good healings to come and sing icaros (sacred healing songs) into the brew during its preparation and in ceremony.
When ayahuasca is drunk it can open up a new world for us that is extraordinary, amazing and healing. The experience normally begins soon after drinking with a feeling of warmth in the stomach which spreads throughout the body. Most people describe this as very pleasant.
Approximately 40 minutes later visions begin, which may be of “other worlds” or new perspectives on “this world” and/or recollections in words, sights, sounds or feelings of episodes and events from your life which need to be healed and which can now be approached from a position of knowledge and strength, aided by the spirit of ayahuasca. Healing comes through a shift in awareness, a deepened understanding of your place in the world and an increase in personal power.
Q. How do we get from Lima to Iquitos?
A. There are 3 airlines: Peruvian air (cheapest), Star Peru (still cheap, but with half hour stopover in Tarapoto), LAN Peru (expensive).
Copa Air now offers a fight direct from Miami to Panama, then to Iquitos, avoiding Lima.
Q. Is there electricity?
Q. Are there showers?
A. Yes. We have 3 private showers.
Q. Is there hot water?
A. No, but the weather is very hot.
Q. Do you provide towels?
Q. Are there Mosquitos?
A. Yes, not many and your room is netted as is your bed.
Q. Should I be vaccinated?
A. This is a personal choice. Check with your doctor. You also need to check the quarantine regulations of the country you visit after Peru.
Q. How much spending money should I bring?
A. That depends on you. You will need to buy a meal in town on the last day & there is a Shipibo market during your stay. $200 would be plenty.
Please email us with any other questions.