Ayahuasca Retreat

Join us for a highly transformational, small-group retreat in the high jungle of Peru.

7th – 14th July 2019

Tarapoto, Peru


With a maximum capacity of 8 participants, this retreat allows for individual guidance and support throughout. A powerful 8 day (7 nights) personal development experience, it specifically caters to leaders and change-makers who want to gain new perspectives and learn tools to exponentially improve their ability to create positive impact.


“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself”

Joseph Campbell



What is Ayahuasca?

How does it work?

What are the benefits?

What are the risks?

Ayahuasca is a medicinal tea prepared from a mixture of at least two botanical species originating from the Amazon region. For centuries, indigenous tribes have used Ayahusaca for medicinal and visionary purposes.

The tea is usually prepared by boiling Ayahuasca vines (Banisteriopsis) with Chacruna (Psychotria Viridis) leaves into a brew that contains the hallucinogenic Dimethyltryptamine (DMT). Various other plants can be added, such as tree barks, different roots and soon, each mixture having a different quality and effect when taken. There are various types of ayahuasca vine including Cielo, Cascabel, Black, Red, White, Thunder, Boa and Jergon. Each type of ayahuasca has its own effects and medicine, withCielo (heaven or sky) being the most commonly used.

Applied by well-trained medicine men in a secure environment, Ayahuasca can be a powerful catalyst for personal growth and increased self-awareness.

Ayahuasca is taken in a ceremonial context, a ritual that helps create a sacred and safe space for participants to experience this potentially life changing medicine.

An altered state of consciousness usually starts ten minutes to one hour after drinking Ayahuasca. The experience changes the texture of reality in which visions can appear and recollections or repressed memories may surface. With the help of the shaman, one can work with this material by restructuring related thoughts and emotions into a more integrated sense of self. The principal effects of Ayahuasca wear off after approximately 2-4 hours after ingestion.

Ayahuasca can help us heal and learn on all levels, from the physical, emotional, mental and first and foremost the spiritual as, more than anything, it is a medicine of spirit. However, Ayahuasca is not a panacea – it can cut through limited ways of perceiving the world and of being in the world, but effort has to be made to integrate and ground the internal shifts experienced during a retreat. A process is started, how far this goes, and where this goes, depends on each individual's commitment. With the help of the shaman, one can work with this material by restructuring related thoughts and emotions into a more integrated sense of self. The principal effects of Ayahuasca wear off after approximately 2-4 hours after ingestion.

Frequently described as more effective than 10 years of psychotherapy, an Ayahuasca experience can be a mirror of the inner self, causing an increased awareness about one’s unresolved issues as well as one’s potential as a human being.

Given thorough integration, Ayahuasca can resolve deeply held patterns of dysfunctional behavior and unravel trauma or family dynamics. It often evokes a greater sense of purpose in life, leading to more meaningful relationships and an enriched personal life.

Clinical tests have shown only few contraindications in taking Ayahuasca. As it usually causes a slight increase in blood pressure, those with serious cardiovascular disorders are generally advised against taking it.

While endogenous Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) enzymes would normally break down the hallucinogenic Dimetiltryptamine (DMT) contained in the Chacruna (Psychotria viridis) leaves, the Beta-carboline alkaloids of the Ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis Caspi) vine inhibit the break down of DMT through MAOI (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor) action.

This interaction with the serotonergic system can potentially cause adverse effects when taking Ayahuasca in combination with other serotonergic pharmaceuticals such as antidepressants. Hence the use of antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs may be contraindicated for the use of Ayahuasca.



Release old trauma


Remove unconscious blocks


Transcend limiting beliefs


Deepen your sense of purpose


Step into your true source of power


Learn tools to navigate uncertainty and upheavals


Connect with like-minded change makers


Catalyze systemic positive change


“A miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love”

Marianne Williamson




You arrive on Sunday the 7th of July and leave on Sunday the 14th of July. We start Sunday evening with a Fire ceremony to set our intentions for the week. The first ceremony takes place on Monday, the second on Wednesday, the third on Friday. In between those days are rest days. Throughout the week, light yoga and meditation classes are offered to complement and deepen the inner journey. There will be regular group and individual coaching sessions to help you work through the material that comes up. On the last day we will visit a nearby waterfall park.



Ceremonies are held in a gathering space called Maloca. Everyone gathers around 6pm with ceremonies starting at 6:30pm and running until around 11pm. On ceremony days the final meal of the day is lunch. Herbal tea is allowed until 2pm, and water until 6pm. After a ceremony guests can go back to the Guesthouse/Tambo or rest in the Maloca. No food should be taken after the ceremony. The medicine makes your body hot and it is best to have a cold shower to cool it.

Help is always available during and after ceremonies and, with small groups, there is always plenty of time and space in each ceremony for individual attention.




Chris Odle

Chris is a Western Shaman with multiple years of training in the traditional Peruvian Mestizo Style. He combines multi-decade experience in shamanic and spiritual practice with a deep understanding of how these inner technologies can inform and enrich our modern day life.

Sebastian Nienaber Shift Retreats

Sebastian Nienaber

Sebastian is a leadership coach and consciousness entrepreneur. He is the founder of Shift Retreats and Shift Foundation which both facilitate transformation and change in individuals and organizations.



The maximum group size of 8 guests allows for individual guidance and support throughout the retreat. Experience has shown that some people need lots of support to go through their process, while others need less. The limited group size allows us to provide whatever level of attention and care that you may need.

Our inner work with Ayahuasca can express itself in dreams, visions, thoughts, emotions and physical body sensations. This can at times be a confusing and overwhelming process. As you release patterns and energies that no longer serve you, you can experience discomfort.

We hold a safe, attentive space for you to safely go through this process of transformation. There are daily 1-to-1s providing spiritual guidance and support when required. However, solitude and space are often necessary to face yourself and to go within. Yet you can do so, secure in the knowledge that we are there if needed. The intimacy of a small group also allows for in-depth sharing between guests, this mutually supportive environment can often be an important part of the healing process.


Preparation & Post Integration

We will provide you with helpful resources of how to mentally and physically prepare for the retreat and will have at least one preparation video call ahead of your travel.

After the retreat we offer up to two complimentary video calls that will help you to ground and integrate the experience into your daily life.

After the retreat you are also invited to be part of our alumni network which hold regular online meet-ups and offers inspiring content to continue your growth and accelerate your impact within your professional sphere and community.


“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself”

Joseph Campbell



La Medicina

La Medicina has been built in the pristine high jungle of Cordilliera Escalera National Park near Tarapoto in Peru. The center is brimming with natural beauty and has an abundance in beautiful plants, trees and flowers. As part of the jungle, La Medicina is also full with butterflies, hummingbirds and Monkeys.

The center was conceived as a home for deep training and practice, as well as a place to share the medicine with small groups of people who feel called to visit. It is a labour of love and dedication, not a commercial venture. La Medicina has 4 full time workers who are employed in planilla, a formal employment structure that provides full social benefits. There is also 24/7 private security.

La Medicina is also a technology-free environment. In this age of hyper-connectivity, many of us have become addicted to technology and relating to the world through it. By ‘switching off’, in both a literal and metaphorical sense, we give ourselves the chance to reconnect to what is important, to listen to the voice of intuition, to be still, centered and calm, to leave distractions behind.




$3200 - $3600 based on your ability to contribute. Accommodation in en-suite modern bathroom with hot shower, terrace with hammock and comfortable chair. Beautiful, pristine jungle all around.



  • 6-night / 7-day: transformative journey in the high jungle of Peru
  • Preparation: personality and intention assessment + 2 video calls + personalized reading material
  • Go Deep: three transformative Ayahuasca ceremonies
  • Relax: Jungle walks and regular yoga and meditation sessions
  • Integrate: post ceremony sharing talks and individual one to one sessions
  • Experience: a profound shift and inner transformation


  • 6 nights/7 days accommodation at La Medicina, a beautiful small retreat centre in the High Jungle
  • Pick up from your hotel around 10-10:30am on the first day, 20 minutes’ drive to La Medicina.
  • Orientation walk & talk around the center.
  • Breakfast and lunch served in Dining house. Simple dinner for 3 non-ceremony days.
  • Fire ceremony on Arrival night
  • Medicinal Herbal bath
  • Access to Library with over 500 spiritual books.
  • Guided walk up into the virgin forest of La Medicina grounds (optional)
  • Visit to Ahuashiyacu waterfall on the last morning
  • One laundry service


  • Airfare to Peru and Tarapoto
  • Gratuities to the La Medicina Staff

Please apply to participate in this retreat. You will receive feedback on your application within 24 hours.


Fly to Tarapoto airport (TPP) which is about 1 hour from Lima. Please arriving on Saturday and stay one night in town before coming up to La Medicina on Sunday morning. We are happy to recommend hotels in Tarapoto.