The grounds at Ascension Psilocybin Mushroom Retreat in Oaxaca, Mexico

All You Need To Know About Mushroom Retreats!

If you’ve been thinking about attending a mushroom, or psilocybin, retreat, you have probably started to realize that it’s a complicated decision! How to evaluate the retreat to work with can be very opaque and challenging. Fortunately we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to make sure you’re armed with the right information. What follows is all you need to know about mushroom retreats…

A Brief History of Magic Mushrooms πŸ„

The use of magic mushrooms, also known as psilocybin mushrooms, can be traced back to ancient civilizations. For example, the Aztecs, the Mayans, the Zapotecs, and other indigenous people of Mesoamerica all used these mushrooms in religious ceremonies and for medicinal purposes.

Archaeological evidence suggests that these cultures revered and consumed psychedelic mushrooms to connect with the divine and access higher states of consciousness β€” essentially, making them the ancient keys to altered perception.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Western researchers, such as the ethnobotanist R. Gordon Wasson, became increasingly interested in exploring the use of these magical fungi in indigenous cultures. And it didn’t take long before they popularized them in the United States and Europe.

A massive boom in interest followed, but as the 1970s rolled in, magic mushrooms, as well as many other psychedelic substances, were, unfortunately, made illegal in the U.S.

A major downer for enthusiasts and researchers alike…

Fast forward to today, and recent studies show promise in using psilocybin as a treatment for mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. This has caused yet another boom, with mushroom retreats popping up across the globe, legally or otherwise. With their popularity burgeoning, Frshminds sought to bring you all you need to know about mushroom retreats!

What Are Mushroom Retreats? πŸ„

Mushroom retreats are centered around the ceremonial use of psilocybin mushrooms. They can range from small, informal gatherings to large, professionally-run centers.

Psychedelic retreat activity at Venwoude Retreat Center at Katharsis Journeys Psilocybin Retreat Lage Vuursche Netherlands
The psychedelic retreat activity at Venwoude Retreat Center at Katharsis Journeys Psilocybin Retreat Lage Vuursche Netherlands

These retreats are sought after for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Therapeutic benefits
  • Spiritual insights
  • Self-discovery
  • Personal transformation
  • A deeper understanding of consciousness
  • Expanded awareness

Recognizing that the psychedelic experience can have long-lasting effects, facilitators often emphasize intention-setting, mindfulness, and integration.

This, in combination with a supportive, safe space, opens the door to life-changing self-exploration, personal growth, and insights.

What Can I Expect at a Mushroom Retreat?

During a mushroom retreat, you can expect to consume carefully measured doses of psilocybin mushrooms under the guidance of experienced facilitators.

The mushroom experience can be intense and emotional, so ceremonial facilitators play a vital role. They provide emotional support by lending a listening ear and a comforting presence. They also help you make sense of your experiences and offer a framework to process and integrate the insights into your daily life.

Tip! Not all magic mushroom retreats have the same level of supervision and support. Research the retreat and the facilitators beforehand to ensure you feel comfortable and safe.

Many retreats offer a range of activities designed to enhance an introspective journey and foster a connection with oneself, others, and the natural world. These may include:  

  • Guided meditation
  • Yoga
  • Group discussions
  • Chanting
  • Journaling
  • Artistic expressions, such as dancing, painting, or drawing
  • Nature walks
Laying in ceremony at True Nature psilocybin retreat Amsterdam Netherlands
Preparing for ceremony at a psilocybin retreat

Mushroom retreats can last from one day to a week or more, depending on the program.

Most retreat centers offer healthy meal options because what you eat before and during the psychedelic experience can impact the overall journey. Some may even cater to specific dietary restrictions or preferences, such as vegan, gluten-free, and raw food. Generally, a light, easy-to-digest meal is best to avoid severe stomach discomfort or nausea.

What Type of Mushroom Will I Consume and How Much?

How much psilocybin will be consumed varies depending on the retreat, what you’re comfortable with, and the type of mushroom. Generally, the dose used in a therapeutic setting ranges from around 1 to 5 grams of dried mushrooms.

Good to know! Psilocybin is the psychoactive compound found in certain mushrooms called magic mushrooms. In total, there are about 200 species of psilocybin mushrooms!

Commonly used species of psilocybin mushrooms at retreats include Psilocybe cubensis (Cubes) and Psilocybe semilanceata (Liberty Caps). β€˜Cubes’ are known as the easiest magic mushroom to cultivate indoors, whereas Liberty Caps are considered the most widespread naturally growing psilocybin mushroom in the world.

Don't Eat Psilocybe Semilanceata aka the Liberty Cap Before Reading This

Both are known for their ability to produce profound mystical experiences, making them sought after for therapeutic and spiritual purposes. Other types of psilocybin mushrooms often used at retreats include Psilocybe cyanescens, Psilocybe azurescens, and Psilocybe baeocystis.

Each type can have different concentrations of psilocybin and slightly different effects.  

What Are the Benefits of Attending a Mushroom Retreat?

Participating in a mushroom retreat offers many potential benefits: Β 

  • Psychological rewards: Psilocybin mushrooms have demonstrated therapeutic potential for various mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction. Attending a mushroom retreat may lead to a reduction in symptoms and an increased sense of well-being. Of course, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with a mental health condition, going on a retreat might improve your life.
  • Spiritual benefits: The magic of a mushroom retreat goes beyond the psychological realm, as many participants report profound spiritual experiences, such as a heightened sense of interconnectedness with the world and a deeper understanding of themselves and their purpose within it.
  • Personal growth: Mushroom retreats can provide valuable insights into oneself, fostering new perspectives on one’s life. This newfound understanding often leads to personal growth and positive changes in behavior and attitudes.
  • Enhanced creativity: Many find that the psychedelic experience of a mushroom retreat can unlock and amplify their creative potential. It can inspire artistic expression, innovative thinking, and a fresh perspective on creative projects.
  • Improved relationships: The insights gained during a mushroom retreat can extend to interpersonal dynamics, fostering empathy, compassion, and improved communication with others. Participants may experience enhanced relationships and greater connection with loved ones.

What Are the Risks of Attending a Mushroom Retreat?

However, it’s important to be aware of potential risks and challenges associated with mushroom retreats: Β 

  • Psychological challenges: The intense and introspective nature of the psychedelic experience may bring forth challenging emotions or memories. This may cause temporary distress or anxiety during the journey.
  • Physical discomfort: Psilocybin mushrooms can cause unpleasant physical symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate, and changes in blood pressure. These effects generally subside as the psychedelic journey progresses.
  • Pre-existing conditions: People with certain pre-existing mental health conditions or a history of psychosis should approach psilocybin retreats cautiously (or not at all), as psychedelics may exacerbate these conditions.
  • Legal risks: Unfortunately, we (still) can’t simply ignore the legal stuff. Psilocybin mushrooms are illegal in many countries and states, and possession or use can result in criminal charges.
  • Lack of regulation: There is no regulatory oversight of these retreats, so it is important to research and ensure you are attending a reputable retreat with experienced facilitators.

How to Select a Mushroom Retreat πŸ„

Picking a mushroom retreat (pun intended) can be like selecting an ayahuasca retreat. There are a few things to consider when making your decision:  

  1. Research the retreat center and facilitators.
  2. Check the retreat’s philosophy and approach.
  3. Consider the location and setting.
  4. Look at the schedule and activities.
  5. Review the costs and what is included.
  6. Consult with a healthcare professional.

  Tip! Make sure to leverage Frshminds’ wealth of retreat information, reviews, sessions, and exclusive images and videos before you book with a provider! Also, if you have already completed your visit, please let us know and send us your pictures – we may post them to help future Frshminds users make their decision!  

Are There Mushroom Retreats in the USA? πŸ„

Yes, there are magic mushroom retreats in the USA!

But their legal status varies across different states and jurisdictions. This legal landscape has led to a growing informal network of psilocybin retreats.

These underground retreats may be hosted discreetly in private homes, remote locations, and unconventional venues.

As with more formally organized retreat centers, underground retreats offer the opportunity to explore the therapeutic and transformative potential of psilocybin mushrooms in a supportive and guided setting.

The Trauma healing at Medicinal Mindfulness Psilocybin Retreat in Boulder Colorado
The scene at the main building at Medicinal Mindfulness Psilocybin Retreat in Boulder, Colorado

Their informal nature warrants extra caution, however, so, always do thorough research by verifying the credentials and reputation of the facilitators, ensuring safety protocols are in place, and understanding the legal implications associated with participating in these retreats.


With a rich history dating back to ancient civilizations, the popularity of mushroom retreats has surged in recent years.

The benefits of psilocybin retreats are wide-ranging, including potential psychological healing, spiritual awakening, enhanced creativity, and improved relationships. But keep in mind the potential risks too.

Magic mushroom retreats can provide a profound and transformative experience. With careful preparation, intention-setting, and the guidance of experienced facilitators, participants can embark on a journey that may drastically enhance their overall well-being and outlook on life. For more information about mushroom retreats, consult Frshminds’ Psilocybin Retreat Center Guide.

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About the Author

Eline is a freelance writer with a natural curiosity and love of learning. After obtaining her bachelor's in Tourism, she later discovered her true passion and started studying Psychology. She now writes about all things psychology and therapy. She has both extensive personal and professional experience with psychedelics as well as other "alternative" healing modalities such as sound healing and hypnagogic light therapy.

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