Frequently Asked Questions – El Camino Sagrado Ayahuasca Retreats

What do I bring? How do I prepare?
Please be sure to visit our preparation page, here:

What do you recommend me to eat before the retreat?
Please be sure to visit our dietary guidelines page, here:

Can I attend the retreat while I’m on medications?
Drinking Ayahuasca while certain pharmaceutical chemicals from medications are present in the system can be dangerous. We therefore ask all participants to be free from pharmaceutical medications at least a month prior to attending a retreat. Certain diagnoses such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or heart problems can also be a warning sign. Please be sure to read our Medical Guidelines here and to always disclose past and present conditions or health issues while filling out an application:

How many people will be attending the retreat?
For each retreat there is a maximum of 16 guests with an average of 4 to 5 facilitators.
Most importantly, we aim to ensure there is a low guest:facilitator ratio, and aim to keep our ratio to no more than 4 guests per facilitator, so you can get all the personal support that you need from us. After leading retreats of all sizes, we find that this group size is most effective for your healing experience.

Where will I be picked up?
We recommend all guests to arrive a day early and stay at a hostel in Cusco. After registration, we will send you a list with recommended hotels and hostels. On the first day of the retreat you will be picked up at 10am near the central fountain at Plaza de Armas, the main square in Cusco.

Can I get a private room?
Unfortunately we don’t have private rooms available at the retreat center.

Which plants will the Ayahuasca brew contain?
The Ayahuasca brew that we use contains only the Ayahuasca vine (banisteriopsis caapi) and the leaves of the chacruna tree.

How many shamans will be leading the ceremonies?
Depending on the size of the group, the ceremonies are led by one or two shamans who is/are supported by at least two very experienced facilitators.

How long will the Ayahuasca ceremony last?
The Ayahuasca ceremonies will last four to five hours on acerage.

Can I ask for help in the ceremonies or must I be totally silent?
While it is good and empowering to try and work through a difficult inner process by yourself, of course you can ask for help or assistance out loud whenever necessary. The shaman can sing to you and guide you through a difficult journey and the facilitators are there to assist you in getting to the bathroom for example. 

With that being said, please refrain from talking or making too much noise during the ceremony, there is plenty of time after the ceremony to discuss the experience with your fellow retreat participants. We understand that sometimes things just come out, and during any cathartic (releasing) process, we welcome any sound that you need to make. Aside from this, please respect the noble silence of this sacred space so everyone can embark on their inner journey with minimum distractions.

Can I drink Ayahuasca while being on my period?
Yes. Sometimes for cultural reasons shamans don’t allow women to drink during this time because menstruating women can be in a physically and energetically sensitive space. It will be possible for you to drink Ayahuasca during your period at our retreat center, but please let the shaman or of the facilitators know at the retreats we can monitor your dosage and care for you accordingly.

Can I drink Ayahuasca while pregnant or breastfeeding?
For safety reasons, we cannot allow you to participate in our retreats while being pregnant. If you have worked with this medicine before and are in the early stages of your pregnancy (pre third trimester), it is possible for you to drink a small dose, but please let us know in advance.

If you are it is safe to drink Ayahuasca but again please let us know in advance.

Do I have to wear white in Ayahuasca ceremonies? Are there any clothing requirements?
White holds a cleansing, positive, healing and protective vibration.

We do not require you to wear any specific type of clothing or color during the Ayahuasca ceremonies. We do however recommend that you come to ceremony in loose, comfortable, clean clothing and be sure to have something warm as it can get cold. Having a headscarf or beanie handy can also be useful for managing your energy and warmth during the night.

If you have long hair we recommend you tie it back to avoid things getting messy when you are purging (throwing up).

What else do I need for Ayahuasca ceremonies?
We recommend the following: a water bottle, possibly Mapacho (sacred tabacco) cigarettes which you can buy at the retreat center, perhaps agua florida (flower essences) if you are called, and we will give you some tissue for wiping your face as it is often necessary. A head torch or small LED flashlight would come in handy. Please see our How to Prepare page for more details.

Where will the San Pedro ceremony take place?
The San Pedro ceremony will take place outside during the day at the retreat center.

What are the effects of San Pedro?
San Pedro has the power to heal deep wounds from the past so that you can live your life in freedom, instead of being fettered by past injuries. The cactus is used for healing inner afflictions: physical, mental but especially emotional. Participants who ingest this sacred cactus, boiled down to a drinkable brew, often feel a strong connection to nature, the universe and all living things. 

How long do the effects of San Pedro last?
After ingesting the brew, it usually takes at least an hour before effects come up. The strongest part of the ceremony usually lasts 4-6 hours, while the effects in total can last up to 14 hours.

What is the relationship between Ayahuasca Healings and El Camino Sagrado?
Ayahuasca Healings acts as a booking agent for El Camino Sagrado, Holistic Healing Center.

El Camino Sagrado is a healing center, located in The Sacred Valley of Peru. It specializes in healing retreats and courses focused on expanding consciousness and self-awareness, through the Master Teacher Plants of Peru, and healing modalities from around the world.

If I don’t like the Ayahuasca and San Pedro Retreat can I leave?
Every human has free will which ultimately prevails. However, this is often very emotionally confronting work and at times people do feel they want to quit mid-way and leave the center.

By coming here you are agreeing to the guest guidelines and commitments and we will support you in any way we can if you feel the need to leave if things get too challenging.

However, it must be said, during this type of healing work, that there are many Egoic and energetic structures within that are coming up to the surface to be released. Because this isn’t always easy, it may leave you wanting to leave if you are not fully willing to face that which is within you that needs to be released. If you leave at this point, these Egoic and energetic structures that were triggered will often have a greater hold on you, and if you leave, it’s common that things will actually be worse than before you came.

So it is important that before applying to one of our retreats, you really check in with yourself. To ask whether you’re fully willing to look within and to heal and release all that no longer serves you. Only if you are able to completely and commit to this and to staying, not for us but for yourself, would we recommend that you apply to any of our retreats.

No refunds are available if you decide to leave at any point before the end of your retreat. If you feel you are not receiving something that we have said would be offered at the retreat, please let us know so we can try and resolve this situation.

If you have any other questions that were not listed here, please contact us and we will be happy to answer them for you.

And if you have not yet reviewed the page that fully explains our Ayahuasca and Master Plant retreats, then you can do so on this page here.

To fill out an application for the 8 day retreats in the Sacred Valley of Peru, click here.

To serving you in every way we can,
Frequently Asked Questions - El Camino Sagrado Ayahuasca Retreats

Frequently Asked Questions - El Camino Sagrado Ayahuasca Retreats

Frequently Asked Questions - El Camino Sagrado Ayahuasca Retreats