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.
1 Shamburi &
two ayahuasca ceremonies (one san pedro ceremony Optional)
Ceremonies with these sacred plant medicines take place twice for Ayahuasca and Shamburi (Monday and Wednesday mornings) and once with San Pedro (usually Friday morning - (where Ayahuasca and Shamburi are also still commonly available as an option). Ayahuasca and Shamburi 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. For guests desiring night ceremonies, we kindly ask that you experience her transformative daytime ceremonies first. Guests are then free to discuss with Maestra Estela and staff any questions or concerns they might have.
The first ceremony you partake in on the Monday morning upon arriving, you will take Shamburi. Maestra starts each guest with Shamburi to better assess and diagnose the patient. Shamburi is a softer medicine but still extremely strong. On Wednesday you will take Ayahuasca and Friday allows for the option of Ayahuasca, Shamburi, San Pedro or Mushrooms if they are in season. After the first week, you then have your choice of what medicine you'd like to take, whether it be Ayahuasca or Shamburi for Monday or Wednesday or Friday. (San Pedro is only served on Friday)
At the discretion of Maestra Estela, Friday ceremonies are 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.
**Disclaimer - Ayahuasca and other master plants are only given under the discretion of the shaman, Maestra Estela. There are no guarantees that new patients will be able to drink these master medicines, as the shaman 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 shaman 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. **
master plant DIETAS
Each individual has a short consultation with Maestra Estela, as well as her diagnostic work during the first 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 determines that this is not necessary for certain individuals, or that the entire group of guests should diet the same plant.
transport between Iquitos airport & aya Madre
Aya Madre kindly asks all guests to begin their stays on Saturdays and Sundays. A staff member of Aya Madre will meet each guest at the airport (or in the city of Iquitos if preferred) between 10:00am-2:00pm on Saturday or Sunday and take them by mototaxi to the center. 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 15-45 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. Roundtrips between Iquitos and Aya Madre generally cost $31USD (S/100) for single passengers, and may be divided among up to three passengers. Also, a $15USD (S/50) mototaxi trip at the completion of guests' stays back to Iquitos will be arranged by Aya Madre but is not included in our retreat cost.
vomitivo, flower baths, & other plant remedies
Upon arriving, guests are given a one-time 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 first Ayahuasca ceremony and is seen as an outward act of commiting to your dieta. *Vomitivos are scheduled on the Sunday of your arrival. If you arrive on a Saturday, you will have a day to rest before your Vomitivo*
Throughout the retreat, each guest also receives a handful of flower or plant baths, as another way of connecting with the plants and cleaning your system. Other plant remedies are given as well (teas, massages, steam-baths, etc).
jungle walk & plant tour
Maestra Estela leads a jungle walk through the enormous property of Aya Madre on Tuesday mornings. 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 immensely within a short walk, from vast openings of white sand to dense, humid rain forest. We end the tour with a swim in the river to cool down and to connect with the land.
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. At the completion of each week there is another short talk on integration. Guests may also share their experiences with others and with Maestra Estela at any time during the week.
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.