Use frshminds Ayahuasca retreat guide to help you select your next retreat

The Ultimate Ayahuasca Retreat Guide

Welcome to Frshminds’ Ayahuasca Retreat Guide.

Ayahuasca retreats have been popping up worldwide as psychedelics are increasingly seen as an accepted course of treatment for various mental health issues. Frshminds aims to educate the public by bringing forward research-backed, unbiased information on all things psychedelics and psychedelic retreats.

Picking the Ayahuasca retreat that works for you is not easy, as lots of prerequisite knowledge comes into play. Making an educated retreat decision involves asking retreat operators the right questions, which means you need knowledge and understanding of the following:

  • The benefits of an Ayahuasca retreat.
  • Why Ayahuasca may be right for you.
  • Ayahuasca potency and consumption methods.
  • What is reasonable to expect when you attend an Ayahuasca retreat?

This is where the Frshminds’ Ayahuasca Retreat Guide comes in, helping transform you into an educated consumer.

Our Ayahuasca retreat center guide is divided into four parts, gradually progressing from a basic understanding of why you might want to consider using Ayahuasca on through to the basic science, the fundamentals of Ayahuasca, and then on to the specifics of selecting an Ayahuasca retreat.

Alternatively, if you know about Ayahuasca and want to select a retreat, click here for Frshminds’ Ayahuasca retreat directory.

How to Use The Ayahuasca Retreat Guide

Ayahuasca Retreat Guide - An ayahuasca vine growing in the jungle
An ayahuasca vine growing in the jungle

You can read the Ayahuasca Retreat Guide in its entirety or use the links below to navigate to the individual sections.

Part 1: What Is an Ayahuasca Retreat? Let’s start off with learning a bit about Ayahuasca retreats, so we can move on to learn why you may want to attend one.

Ayahuasca retreats might seem intimidating for beginners. There’s so much to consider: What activities should I go for? What are the best retreats? What about their legality and cost?

Part 2Ayahusca. Is it the right choice? Before rushing into the details of Ayahuasca itself, let’s hear from some psychedelic therapists and users on their experiences with Ayahuasca and psychedelics, including the perceived benefits and how they approach therapy.

Part 3The Science of Ayahuasca. Get deep into the science of Ayahuasca. When you finish this section, you’ll understand the following:

  • The basic chemistry of Ayahuasca
  • Why Ayahuasca might help certain conditions
  • What happens to your body when you consume Ayahuasca?
  • Consumption

Part 4: Selecting an Ayahuasca Retreat. As we have now gotten you up to speed on the basics of Ayahuasca, you are now ready to learn about selecting a retreat that meets your need by providing you with:

  • Advice for attending a retreat, including an understanding of where they are located in the world.
  • An understanding of what goes on at a retreat.
  • Interviews with retreat operators so you can understand the different retreat approaches.
  • Access to Frshminds’ ever-growing directory of Ayahuasca retreat centers.

More Frshminds Psychedelic Guides

Be sure to check out all of our guides

Part 1: What Is an Ayahuasca Retreat?

Questions About Psychedelic Retreats
Questions About Psychedelic Retreats

Answering this question really involves understanding the following:

  • What is a psychedelic retreat?
  • What is Ayahuasca?

First, it is important to know that Ayahuasca is one of about 10 or so commonly used plant medicines at retreats. Some retreats focus on one type of plant; others offer their guests a range of substances, so before saying, “Ayahuasca is the one for me,” be sure to get a grasp on the psychedelic retreat concept by:

Ayahuasca FAQs - have a question about Ayahuasca? Frshminds has answers.
Have a question about Ayahuasca? Frshminds has answers.

So if you are still of the mind that a psychedelic retreat is for you and you have a particular interest in Ayahuasca, dive into our Ayahuasca FAQs so you can get a quick overview of

  • What in the world is Ayahuasca?
  • How does Ayahuasca work?
  • How much might it cost me?
  • Are there any contraindications or special requirements associated with Ayahuasca?

Another element about Ayahuasca retreats relevant to your retreat decision is familiarizing yourself with how it is tightly bound to many indigenous cultures, particularly in the Amazon basin. This infographic below gives you a good understanding of the role that the Shipibo-Conibo tribe plays in the use of Ayahuasca as a plant medicine.

Ayahuasca and The Shipibo-Conibo Tribe
Can I share this graphic? Yes. Visualizations and graphics are free to share and post in their original form across the web—even for publishers. Please link back to this page and attribute

One important thing to flag about an Ayahuasca retreat is that it does involve some preparation, as outlined in our article, “Learn how to prepare for an Ayahuasca retreat,” and preplanning in terms of dietary modifications, so it is important to learn everything you need to know about the Ayahuasca preparation diet to understand what it is that you are committing yourself to.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are an essential part of the Ayahuasca Diet
Fresh fruits and vegetables are an essential part of the Ayahuasca Diet

If you want to get a bit deeper into the world of Ayahuasca before making your decision, please take a look at the list of the 10 Best Ayahuasca Documentaries in 2022 we compiled.

Part 2: Ayahuasca. Is it the right choice?

Having wrapped your head around the basics of psychedelic retreats and Ayahuasca, it is important to dive a bit deeper into Ayahuasca as a substance and compare it with other plant medicines in a bit more detail.

Learn the key differences between Ayahuasca and DMT – In this article, you’ll learn the key differences between Ayahuasca and DMT, including their chemical composition, effects, and potential therapeutic applications.

Learn the Difference Between Ayahuasca and DMT
Learn the Difference Between Ayahuasca and DMT

Find out what the differences between Ayahuasca and Bufo alvarius are. While Ayahuasca and Bufo alvarius are potent psychedelics, they provide different experiences, serve distinct purposes, and have varying legal statuses. Here, you can learn about its differences, uses, and effects.

A bufo alvarius toad.
It isn’t Kermit

Learn what makes Ayahuasca and Yagé different: The effects of Yagé and Ayahuasca are very similar. So much so that it’s likely that only experienced shamans and plant medicine enthusiasts can differentiate between the two. In this article, we’ll cover each of them, the difference between them, and how to choose which is best for you.

Yagé vine growing in the sunlight
Yagé vine growing in the sunlight.

Learn the differences and similarities between Ayahuasca and ibogaine. Although they can sometimes be used for the same purpose, ibogaine and Ayahuasca differ greatly. Here, you’ll learn about each of them and their similarities and differences.

Ayahuasca vs. Ibogaine
Ayahuasca vs. Ibogaine

Part 3: The Science of Ayahuasca.

In Ceremony and Neuroscience Go Hand-In-Hand at a Psychedelic Retreat, Dr. Jesse Hanson talks about how the public’s view of psychedelics has shifted in recent years and the importance of ceremony and plant medicine to reprogram the nervous system.

person attending a psychedelic retreat ceremony

Ayahuasca retreats are a popular destination for those who suffer from depression. However, mixing it with antidepressants is not safe. In Ayahuasca and Antidepressants – Is it Safe?, we go over why you should never mix Ayahuasca with SSRIs and MAOIs and how long you must wait to quit antidepressants to use Ayahuasca safely. Please note that this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

Two pieces of ayahuasca vine
never mix Ayahuasca with SSRIs and MAOIs

Part 4: Selecting an Ayahuasca Retreat.

Below, you’ll find all the information you need to make informed decisions when choosing the best Ayahuasca retreat for you.

Psychedelic Retreat Maloca
The ceremonial space at a retreat

What To Look For in an Ayahuasca Retreat

Start by setting out some criteria for your decision. Based on interviews with retreat attendees and operators, there are about seven items you should look at:

  1. Location: Retreats offer a range of settings across many countries in Europe, South and Central America and can be found deep in the rainforest, on the beach or in urban centers.
  2. The Program: Check what the center offers besides the Ayahuasca experience itself. You should consult our article, ‘What Really Happens at an Ayahuasca Retreat?” for more information.
  3. Check out the Facilitators: Choose a retreat led by experienced, qualified and properly trained professionals.
  4. Safety Protocols: Ask questions about their safety protocols. Make sure they’re clear and include medical supervision and emergency procedures.
  5. Legal Status of Ayahuasca: Remember that Ayahuasca is illegal in many countries. However, there are countries (e.g., Canada, the Netherlands, Portugal, etc.) where it has been decriminalized or allowed for medical use. Additionally, a lot of countries have a very relaxed stance on the enforcement of drug laws. Choose an Ayahuasca-friendly destination to ensure you have a relaxing and problem-free experience.
  6. Read Reviews: Browsing for reviews and testimonials from previous participants is the best way to know what to expect from a retreat.
  7. Budget: Retreats come in various budgets, from luxury resorts to sleeping in a hammock under the stars. Find one that matches your budget.

Learn more about the selection process in our article, How to Select a Psychedelic Retreat.

Some excellent ayahuasca retreat centers from around the world
There are excellent ayahuasca retreat centers located around the world

Ayahuasca Retreat Guide: Costa Rica

Journey Within: A Guide to Ayahuasca Retreats in Costa Rica provides you with a list of the top-rated Ayahuasca retreats in Costa Rica and lots of details about each, including detailed pictures of the retreats, conversations with retreat operators as well as the average cost.

Ayahuasca Retreat Guide - The sunset over Kambo Casita, one of many ayahuasca retreats in costa rica.
The sunset over Kambo Casita, one of many ayahuasca retreats in Costa Rica.

Ayahuasca Retreat Guide: Mexico

Considering Ayahuasca Retreat in Mexico can offer up some great insight into the areas of the country in which Ayahuasca is flourishing, and a few leading centers and providers for your consideration.

Some part of Ayahuasca ceremony at Xanga Guru Ayahuasca Retreat in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
The Ayahuasca ceremony at Xanga Guru Ayahuasca Retreat in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Ayahuasca Retreat Guide: Peru

Our article “Must Read Info About Ayahuasca Retreats in Peru” provides you with in-depth research on another popular Ayahuasca retreat destination, Peru, including photos of the retreat options and what to expect cost-wise.

Soltara Healing Center Ayahuasca Retreat in Peru
Soltara Healing Center Ayahuasca Retreat in Peru

Ayahuasca Retreat Guide: Colombia

In “6 Top-Rated Ayahuasca Retreats in Colombia,” we talk with several retreat operators in the country and provide an understanding of the legal status of Ayahuasca in Colombia. Additionally, we have detailed pictures of multiple retreats as well as information on pricing and Ayahuasca ceremonies.

Frshminds Ayahuasca retreats Guide = Colombia
There are many Ayahuasca retreat options in Colombia.

Ayahuasca Retreat Guide: Spain

Join Your Peers on Ayahuasca Retreats in Spain” explains the legality of Ayahuasca in Spain and how much it’ll cost to attend a Spanish Ayahuasca retreat.

Do your research before selecting an Ayahuasca retreat in spain
Do your research before selecting an Ayahuasca retreat in Spain.

Ayahuasca Retreat Guide: Conclusion

As you have seen, a lot goes into selecting the right Ayahuasca retreat, but after reading this guide, you should have a good understanding of:

  • The benefits of an Ayahuasca retreat.
  • Why Ayahuasca may be right for you
  • What is reasonable to expect when you attend an Ayahuasca retreat?

So now is the time to put this knowledge to good use and check out the Frshminds’ Ayahuasca retreat directory.

More Frshminds Psychedelic Guides

Be sure to check out all of our guides

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About the Author

Having experienced the healing powers of nature first-hand, through cannabis and psychedelics, I now aim to educate and, hopefully, improve the lives of as many people as possible.

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