Ayahuasca Retreat FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


Where is the retreat held?

Our retreat is in the Sacred Valley near Cusco amidst the beautiful Andes Mountain Range. It is just over 1 hr drive from Cusco to the retreat venue, located near a village named Calca in the Sacred Valley. 

How do I get to Cusco, Peru?

To get to Cusco, all international flights first stop in Lima where you’ll collect your bags and re-check yourself in for a short 1-hour domestic flight onward to Cusco.

What is the Altitude in Cusco and at the retreat center?

Cusco city is at 11,000 ft / 3,400 m altitude. Occasionally visitors feel some altitude sickness on arrival. Our retreat venue is at a lower altitude of 9,600 ft / 2,900 m

Should I stay in Lima on the way to Cusco?

We recommend that our retreat guests skip Lima and come straight to Cusco. The latest flights from Lima to Cusco depart at about 7pm usually so make sure that you arrive to Lima early enough in the day to make a connecting flight and avoid having to stay a night in Lima. 


When should I arrive/leave Cusco?

We highly recommend arriving in Cusco at least 1-2 days before the retreat begins to rest, ground, and prepare for an energetic week. Cusco is full of beautiful spas, markets, culture, and great restaurants!

Some people feel sensitive after retreat so we recommend that you stay in Cusco for at least one night after before embarking on your travel home. Those of you who must travel onwards on the same day that the retreat ends should book a flight out of Cusco no earlier than 2 pm to factor in travel time to Cusco from the retreat venue. 


Is Cusco safe?

Cusco is a very safe place to visit. It is heavily dependent on tourism and thousands travelers arrive every week to visit this historic city on the way to Machu Picchu. 

How do I get to the retreat venue?

 Transportation from Cusco to the retreat venue is included in the retreat package. The group pickup point is at our collaborator hotel Casona Antigua San Blas in Cusco at 1 pm on the first day of the retreat. Once all participants are gathered together the group travels down to the retreat venue in a van. 


Should I stay in Cusco before/after the retreat?

The ancient Inca Capital of Cusco is a UNESCO World Heritage site because of its rich cultural history and incredible architecture. The tourism industry in Cusco is well developed and as such there are many safe cultural tours as well as nature/mountain tours. 

Machu Picchu the ancient ‘lost” Inca city is by far the most popular site to visit in the Cusco area. Named one of the 7 wonders of the world it is a bucket list experience for many people. 

How do I get to Machu Picchu?

The best way to go to Machu Picchu is to book a tour with a company that handles all of the bookings and logistics. You can go to Machu Picchu before or after your retreat and we can help connect you with a reliable tour company and guide. If you decide to go before the retreat you can arrange to be picked up and dropped off at your hotel in Cusco. If you decide to go after the retreat you can also be picked up at our venue on in the early morning of the last day.


Do I need to be Vaccinated to enter Peru?


Do I need a Covid test to enter Peru?

Vaccinated travelers DO NOT need a negative Covid test to enter Peru.

Non-vaccinated travelers can enter Peru with a Negative PCR Covid-19 test taken within 48 hours before boarding the flight. 

Do I need to be vaccinated or have a negative Covid test to participate in the retreat??

No, we do not require that our clients are vaccinated nor do you need to provide a Covid-19 test. 

Do I need to wear a mask on retreat?


Ayahuasca and Ceremony

Is ayahuasca safe?

Ayahuasca is safe when drunk with experienced healers and with proper preparation.

There are many health conditions and medications/drugs that are not safe in combination with Ayahuasca. This is why it is important to work with an experienced guide or organization that works with you during your preparation to make sure that you are safe and ready to participate in Ceremony.

At Anam Cara Retreats the safety of our clients is our primary focus. We ask all of our clients to fill in a comprehensive health history questionnaire to ensure that each participant is a safe candidate. We also have a mandatory 1:1 preparation and inquiry session with every participant before the retreat.  This is to get to know each person and their individual process to develop safety and connection. 

What ingredients are used in the Ayahuasca brew?

We work only with Cielo Ayahuasca brewed by the Shipibo healers that we work with. There are two ingredients only: Ayahuasca Vine and Chacruna leaf.

What is the maximum group size on retreat?

We provide intimate small group experiences with a maximum group size of 15. We tend to have between 8-12 people on most of our retreats.

Who are the healers?

We work only with experienced indigenous healers of the Shipibo nation. We work with multiple healers in every retreat. We are very blessed to have loving friendships with some of the most experienced Shipibo Ayahuasqueros and we are honored to be a bridge for their ancient ancestral medicine and healing technology.  

How long do the effects of Ayahuasca last?

The effects of the medicine can last anywhere between a couple of hours and all night. The effects of the medicine vary enormously from person to person. 

What is the Ayahuasca Diet?

In order to receive more healing from your retreat experience, it is important to follow the Ayahuasca diet. This includes a 2 week period of preparation diet before the retreat and a period of post-retreat diet also. The diet mostly consists of eating whole foods, minimizing processed foods, eliminating pork, red meat, sex, medications, drugs, and other plant medicines.

We provide our guests with more details about the preparation diet upon registering for one of our retreats.  

On Retreat

Is there laundry service on retreat?

Yes there is the option for laundry during the retreat at a small added cost. 

Should I come alone or is it okay to come with a partner?

We receive many couples as well as many guests who come to retreat alone. This is a personal decision and there is no right or wrong when it comes to coming with your partner/spouse. Both options can be beautiful although it is important that your relationship is safe and healthy enough to each be able to enter into your individual process with the medicine while maintaining respect for one another. 

Is there WIFI at the retreat venue?

Yes there is WIFI and phone service at the retreat venue. We do recommend that you try to minimize communication and especially on social media during your retreat. Ideally, you are able to give yourself the wonderful gift of disconnecting completely from clock time and outside communication to more fully immerse yourself in the retreat experience.

We strongly recommend to schedule time off work for the duration of your retreat. 

Can I come for just one ceremony?

To protect each group container we only accept guests who are participating in the entire retreat program. 

At Anam Cara, we put a lot of focus on developing trust and safety in our retreat container well before the retreat starts, during the entire retreat, and even afterward in the integration period. We find this to be extremely important as it helps the group dynamic and the individual experience during the retreat. The safer our clients feel the more deeply they are able to connect with the medicine and surrender to trust in the healing process.  

How many people are in a "shared room"?

Our shared room option is shared with one other person of the same sex. 

Can I bring an instrument?