The Aya Madre
Aya Madre offers an inclusive package of retreat services for a reasonable fee of $100/day, and guests are invited to stay for a minimum of a week or for as long as they would like (discounts available for extended stays). We aim to be as flexible as possible, but ask guests to commit to a minimum of 5-6 days (preferably through Monday-Friday).
Please note this list below is a basic overview of weekly services and is liable to change.
3 ayahuasca ceremonies
Ceremonies with this sacred plant medicine take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week. Ceremonies are led by Maestra Estela, and include individual icaros (healing songs) throughout the night. In exceptional cases, at the discretion of Maestra Estela, ayahuasca ceremonies may be replaced or supplemented with ceremonies involving other master plants (huachuma, toe, tobacco, pinon, etc)
"dieta" with master plants
Each individual with have a short consultation with Maestra Estela, as well as her diagnostic work during the 1st ayahuasca ceremony, to determine which plant you will “diet.” This involves a restricted food diet and regularly ingesting a master plant to help guide you on your healing path. In some cases the Maestra will determine that this is not necessary for certain individuals, or that the entire group of guests should diet the same plant.
flower baths, vomitivo & other plant remedies
At the beginning of your stay, you will be given a purgative plant remedy as part of a “vomitivo” (Spanish for a vomiting ceremony). The vomitivo is a short process of ingesting this plant remedy and large amounts of water to beginning the cleaning of your body and energetic fields. Each guest will also receive a handful of flower or plant baths, as another way of connecting with the plants and cleaning your system. Other plant remedies may be given as well (teas, massages, steam-baths, etc).
jungle walk & plant tour
Every week, Maestra Estela will lead a jungle walk through the enormous property of Rao Shobo. Guests will “meet” and learn about a variety of healing plants used in Shipibo plant medicine, and if they are lucky spot some interesting creatures and biodiversity! The terrain of the property varies immensely within a short walk, from vast openings of white sand to dense, humid rain forest.
introduction & integration discussions
Upon arrival to the center, Maestra Estela will give an introductory welcome talk on Shipibo plant medicine, ayahuasca, and an overview of Aya Madre. At the completion of each week there will be another short talk on integration, and a sharing of experiences throughout the week.
The Aya Madre
Experience - Retreat Services
Aya Madre offers an inclusive package of retreat services for the reasonable cost of $120/day. Guests are invited to stay for a minimum of one week and may stay for as long as they would like, with discounts available for group bookings, volunteers, apprentices, and extended stays.
Please note this list below is a basic overview of weekly services over a seven day period and is subject to change.
Two ayahuasca ceremonies
one san pedro ceremony
Ceremonies with Ayahuasca take place twice a week (Monday and Wednesday mornings) and once with San Pedro (Friday morning).
Depending on patients preferences, Monday ceremony may be a night or morning ceremony, please do let your preference be known at the time of booking. For the Friday ceremony each patient has the choice between Ayahuasca and San Pedro.
All ceremonies include individual Icaros (healing songs), along with individual energetic healing based on each guests' needs. Maestra Estela has been given the title of Master of the Light after her isolated dieta of light over the course of six months. Subsequently, she has learned that to maximize the power of Ayahuasca, she must deliver her medicine via daytime ceremonies.
The first ceremony you partake in you will take a low dose of Ayahuasca if inexperienced with the medicine. Maestra uses the first ceremony to assess and diagnose a patient and decide what the best treatment for them is.
At the discretion of Maestra Estela, Friday ceremonies may replaced with ceremonies involving other master plants and medicines (Toé, Tobacco, Piñon Colorado, Mushrooms, Kambo, etc) to allow guests a broader education of the plant and natural medicine world. Guests are then free to discuss with Maestra Estela and staff any questions or concerns they might have.
**Disclaimer - Ayahuasca and other master plants are only given under the discretion of the healer, Maestra Estela. There are no guarantees that new patients will be able to drink these master medicines, as the Maestra must access if it is safe and necessary for each person to drink Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca is a sacred plant medicine that is used traditionally by the healer for diagnosis and for curing purposes. It is not always best for the patient to drink Ayahuasca. Healing will happen regardless of whether or not the patient drinks Ayahuasca, as healing comes from the holistic use of plant medicines here at Aya Madre. Please do let the center know of any and all illness.**
master plant DIETAS
Each individual has a consultation with Maestra Estela, as well as her diagnostic work during the first Ayahuasca ceremony, to determine which plants you will diet. This involves a restricted food diet and regularly ingesting a master plant to help guide you on your healing path. In some cases, the Maestra determines that this is not necessary for certain individuals, or that the entire group of guests should diet the same plant. In the Shipibo culture, the ingestion of, often non-psychoactive, plants during the restricted food diet can be even more important for healing and learning than the ingestion of Ayahuasca.
Upon arriving, guests may be given a purgative plant remedy as part of a vomitivo (Spanish for a vomiting ceremony). The vomitivo is a short ceremony of ingesting one of the many master plants on the Aya Madre grounds and large amounts of water to begin the cleaning of your body and energetic fields through the sacred process of vomiting. This prepares you for your Ayahuasca ceremonies. Please consult the Maestra upon arrival if you find this could be beneficial to your process.
jungle walk, plant tour, and Swimming
Maestra Estela's family members may lead a jungle walk through the enormous property of Aya Madre on upon guest request. Guests meet and learn about a variety of healing plants used in Shipibo plant medicine, and if they are lucky spot some interesting creatures and biodiversity! The terrain of the property varies within the walk, from vast openings of white sand to dense, humid rain forest. A creek runs near the center entrance and is a refreshing spot to take a swim at any time during the day.
introduction & integration discussions
Upon arrival to the center, Maestra Estela and staff gives an introductory welcome talk on Shipibo plant medicine, Ayahuasca, and an overview of Aya Madre. Guests may also share their experiences with others and with Maestra Estela at any time during the week. Maestra Estela is at the center most days of the week but will sometimes go to the city to see her family, buy food or medicine so it is recommended to let her know after ceremony if you wish to talk with her.
lodging in private tambos
All guests stay in private “tambos” (basic wood huts) on the Aya Madre property. Each tambo includes a mattress with sheets and pillow, a mosquito net, mosquito netting around the tambo, and a table or two to store your things. Three shared bathrooms and showers are located outside of the maloka (the ceremony house).
Three meals per day
Meals are provided and guests eat together in the common kitchen. The meals are in accordance with the Shipibo plant dieta. The meals do not include red meat, pork, sugar, salt or processed foods. Most meals are very simple and include some combination of: quinoa, rice, potatoes, yucca, tomatoes, carrots, lentils, boiled eggs and fruit. The meals are self-serve and food is available throughout the day.
Note: on days of Ayahuasca, San Pedro, or other plant medicine ceremonies, meals may be omitted to assist in your healing process.
As Maestra Estela and most Shipibo shamans do not speak English, an English-Spanish speaking assistant is on-hand for the entirety of the retreat to provide basic translation. This includes all ceremonies, lessons, discussions. and activities led by Maestra Estela. Guests are encouraged to explore basic Spanish (and Shipibo!) to connect more intimately with Maestra Estela and her family outside of retreat activities.
Services not included in package
transport between Iquitos airport & aya Madre
Aya Madre recommends guests to begin their stays on Saturdays or Sundays. A staff member of Aya Madre will meet each guest at the airport (or in the city of Iquitos if preferred) and take them by mototaxi to the Ayamadre center. We ask patients to preferably book their flights to arrive and depart before 6pm. We ask pasajeros to pay 150 soles to the driver per each roadtrip.
The road between the highway and the center is a combination of highway and off-road through the jungle. Depending on the weather and the amount of rain there may be times when guests need to walk (maximum of 15-20 minutes). For those with conditions limiting their capacity to walk, we do everything in our power to minimize the amount of walking.
Note: any additional trips to and from Iquitos guests may wish to make once at the center may be requested by guests staying longer than two weeks, but is not included (nor is it at all recommended as the city of Iquitos is loud, sensually overwhelming and confusing for those on dieta), but is not included. A one way trip from Iquitos and Aya Madre are $40USD (S/150) per roadtrip and each additional hour after your dropoff is 20 soles (can be divided among up to three passengers). Please be aware that our drivers stay in town to return you to the center and often are without funds themselves. Kindly give them advance pay so they can move freely.
Depending on your needs Maestra Estela may determine that an energetic massage would be beneficial. The massage would likely be given by Hermanita Maria, a Mission Isrealita nun with decades of experience. Hermanita Maria provided massages throughout Peru but resides in the city of Iquitos and is well known in the region for her gift. One session is 50 soles, but three sessions are recommended for best results.
Kambo ceremonies are provided by Maestro Roldan, Maestra Estela's brother, at the price of 200 soles per ceremony. These may be held on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. Kambo needs to be requested three days in advance.
Plant Vapor Bath
Each morning before ceremonies on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, patients are provided with a vapor bath with several medicinal plants. This is recommended but is optional. Vapor baths may allow patients to connect with Ayahuasca better and faster. Price: 100 soles
If you are staying for a longer retreat, clothes-washing services may be convenient and come at a cost depending on how many clothes it is, usually around 50 soles. All is washed by hand and air-dried. You are always welcome to bring/buy your own detergent and hand wash your clothes.
Maestra Estela's family members at the center sell traditional Shipibo hand-made crafts. These range from jewelry to clothing and decor. The prices range from 50 to 350 soles.