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10 Best Ayahuasca Retreat Centers near USA (Updated 2024)

Begin Your Journey

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Introduction

Embarking on a transformative Ayahuasca journey is a profound way to connect with your inner self and experience deep personal growth and healing. Near the USA, several retreat centers offer the opportunity to experience the powerful effects of the psychedelic brew called Ayahuasca, which is made from two Amazonian plants: the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the Psychotria viridis leaf. Used for centuries by indigenous people of the Amazon basin, Ayahuasca ceremonies are guided by experienced shamans and Shipibo healers who ensure you feel safe throughout the night.

If you're seeking Ayahuasca for the first time, understanding the origins of Ayahuasca and the role of indigenous healers is essential. The wisdom of the Shipibo and other Amazonian cultures is integral to the ceremonial practices, where medicine men and women sing songs and provide guidance. In locations such as Costa Rica and Colombia, you can find centers like Soul Quest and Rythmia that offer a safe environment to experience this powerful medicine journey.

Before drinking Ayahuasca, following traditional dietas can purify your body and mind, enhancing the Ayahuasca experience. These dietas, along with the supportive retreat environment, create the optimal setting for transformative growth and healing. Whether you're in the Peruvian Amazon, a center in Costa Rica, or a retreat in Colombia, the opportunity to experience Ayahuasca's healing power is unparalleled. Join other Westerners seeking psychological healing and spiritual purposes in these retreats, and discover how Ayahuasca can profoundly impact your day-to-day life.

Embark on this journey to uncover the depths of your soul and connect with the ancient wisdom of the Amazon rainforest, guided by the experienced facilitators at the best Ayahuasca retreat centers near the USA.

If you would like to understand more about the nature of psychedelic healing work, human potential, and who and what you really are - watch the video below.

We think you'll enjoy it. After all, it's about you.

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Overview of the significance of Ayahuasca retreats and what to expect from the article.

Understanding Ayahuasca and Its Origins

  • The Origins of Ayahuasca and its use by Shipibo healers and other indigenous groups.
    • Historical background and traditional use of Ayahuasca.
  • The Role of Shamans in Ayahuasca Ceremonies
    • Importance of shamans in preparing and guiding Ayahuasca ceremonies.

Key Considerations for Choosing an Ayahuasca Retreat

  • Safety First
  • Legality
  • Size of the Group
  • Length of the Retreat
  • Comfort
  • Alignment
  • Holistic Approach
  • Service
  • Booking Process
  • Expertise
  • Reputation
  • Volunteers

Discover the Top Ayahuasca Retreat Centers

  • Explore a curated selection of the best Ayahuasca retreat centers near the USA, known for their serene environments, experienced facilitators, and transformative healing experiences. Each center offers unique features, from luxurious settings to deep connections with nature, ensuring a variety of options to suit your personal journey. Discover where you can find profound spiritual growth and healing in the most supportive and safe environments.

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  1. Safety First: Unfortunately, many small retreat centers are not in a position to make meaningful investments into important screening and safety measures. Even if you're fine, someone else on retreat might not be, which powerfully (and potentially negatively) affects your experience. Our strong recommendation is to choose a retreat provider that does in-depth conversational, medical, and psychological screening to protect your safety and well-being.
  2. Legality: Experienced practitioners who dedicated their lives to plant medicine typically live in locations where the work is legal, they do this so that they don't have to live in a state of uncertainty about their work. Makes sense, right? Our recommendation is therefore to travel to legal locations where you can benefit from legitimate healers who operate clear and above the radar. This will ensure you also feel at ease on the retreat and able to think only about your self-realizations that lie ahead.
  3. Size of the group: It's common for retreats to have 20, 50, even 100 people in ceremony, which can be chaotic and intense, heavy energy. In such large groups you are less likely to receive a sufficient level of attention from the facilitators. Our recommendation is to choose a retreat with an intimate group, in the range of 8-15 people. This will ensure personal attention from both your facilitator and from yourself.
  4. Length of the retreat: Shorter Ayahuasca Retreats feel rushed and often do not support the cultivation of meaningful relationships and breakthroughs. We recommend you spend at least a week for an Ayahuasca Retreat to give your mind, body, heart, and soul the full attention it deserves (and needs).
  5. ‍‍Comfort: We recommend you choose a retreat where you are confident that you will be physically comfortable and have your own private bedroom to decompress and integrate, especially during your first Ayahuasca experience. Shoot for the full jungle mosquito immersion another time, your future self will thank you later.
  6. Alignment: Select a retreat that feels aligned with your values and allows your own subjective experience to unfold naturally. There are many different worldviews out there and having a different worldview pushed on you through the retreat may not be in your highest healing interests. This is also particularly relevant for first-timers.
  7. Holistic approach: Work with an organization that takes a holistic approach to working with plant medicine, and has options to support and guide your mental and emotional evolution alongside a Retreat. If a provider implies that "medicine will solve all your problems", proceed with caution. There is never a quick fix, it takes work before, during, and after. That works is worth it.
  8. Service: Select an Ayahuasca experience that you believe can meet your individual needs. Are you being treated as a human or as participant #122 in their fourth retreat this month? Consider whether or not they've taken the time to get to know you and understand you, or it's more of a take it or leave it retreat center.
  9. Booking process: Speak with the provider before finalizing your booking. If it’s 100% online, we believe this to be a strong indicator that the provider is not screening or carefully on-boarding their retreat guests. This entire experience needs to be handled with care from start to finish to post-finish.
  10. Expertise: Find an organization that emphasizes healing or expansion, and one you believe has the breadth and depth of expertise to guide this transformation. Look for facilitators and healers who have a lightness of being and a sparkle in their eye. Healing work is all about the transmutation of energy, you are looking for people who have the energy you aspire to. If the energy of the facilitator doesn't feel right to your gut, find one who's energy aligns to your manifestations of your future self.
  11. Reputation: At minimum, Google Search the provider, you may be surprised by what you find. If there's not much information, that is also information. A reputable retreat center will have a professional online presence with ayahuasca experience testimonials from previous retreat attendees. This is essential for you to see that they are a legitimate organization who you can trust to lead this powerful journey.
  12. Volunteers: Please support ethical plant medicine work by selecting an organization that pay their team. Unfortunately, it is common practice for retreat centers to cycle through young, eager, and worn out volunteers and/or not pay healers fairly. If the people supporting your retreat aren't living their best lives and whole heartedly dedicated to their facility, they're not going to be able to lead you to yours. Don't be shy to ask this question directly when you speak to prospective centers.

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1. (Near USA) Small Group Ayahuasca Retreat Costa Rica - Behold Retreats

For those of you looking for a highly professionally-run retreat with a small group size (no more than 11) and a high level of attention to safety, service, and real sustained growth, Behold Retreats is a great choice. While Behold does not facilitate Ayahuasca in the USA (due to legality reasons which we discussed above), they do offer divine and sacred close-by legal options in breathtaking Costa Rica!

We strongly urge you to consider embarking on your journey in a safe and legal country. This process is your own self-healing journey, nothing else should interfere such as legality issues.

Other popular retreat options include Ayahuasca or Psilocybin Retreats in Mexico with options of the God Molecule 5-MeO-DMT (Bufo) also available in all of their locations. All of Behold's centers are only held in legal and safe locations, you may access to full list of retreats and plant medicine modalities here as well as dive deeper into their Safety Survey 2024 here.

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2. (Near USA) Small Group Ayahuasca Retreat Mexico - Behold Retreats

You don't need to travel all the way to South America to legally experience the profound healing of this sacred plant medicine. This soul-awakening Ayahuasca Retreat will take place on the serene mountaintop estate in Valle de Bravo (Valley of the Brave) region of central Mexico. Just a few hours from Mexico City, you will never forget the energy of this location.

Valle de Bravo is one of the safest and most pristine areas of Mexico and is a favorite for nature lovers for its abundant fresh air, clean water, endless forests, and the beautiful Lake Avandaro.

During your stay, you will receive unwavering support on all levels - physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual. In addition to our Ayahuasca Ceremony Facilitators, a professional Psychedelic Integration Counselor, massage therapist, yoga teacher, and personal chef will be on site with you at all times.

Aside from our evening Ayahuasca Ceremonies, there will be many beautiful offerings made available to you during the week, including daily breathwork, guided movement and meditation, a traditional sweat lodge ceremony, sharing circles, and tools for integration. Most importantly, we respect your right to take time for yourself, and all our offerings are completely voluntary - including the Ayahuasca experience. If you need a night off to rest and integrate, we respect your sovereignty. We're here to listen, adjust, and help you get exactly what you need from day to day.

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3. Private Ayahuasca Retreat (Costa Rica, Mexico, or Portugal) - Behold Retreats

Looking for a tailored and fully personalized, intimate experience? Behold Retreats can provide a customized, immersive one-on-one healing journey with master healers in the breath-taking natural surroundings of Latin America or Europe. With private retreats, you receive 100% of our attention without the distractions and social dynamics of group retreats. For those who are serious and are in the financial place to have the full immersive experience, we recommend this route 10/10 times. The break-throughs you may experience here will be that of no other.

Due to the highly customizable nature of these private retreats, we are able to host you as an individual, you with your close group, or for your entire organization. We may also curate weekend retreats if this is something you are interested in however we recommend you take the full time out of your life for this journey, it will be sacred, it will be life-changing, it will be cathartic. Allow it.

With Behold Retreats, you're supported down to the last detail from travel arrangements, to high-end accommodations, and will have the opportunity to receive 7 weeks of personal coaching for optimized preparation and integration. We have a team of therapists and coaches that can help you go deep and get the most from your ayahuasca experience from pre to post retreat.

Retreat dates are by client request, click here to apply.


4. Ayahuasca Retreat Costa Rica - Resonance

Locations:
Esterillos, Costa Rica
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Discover the upmost serenity and transformation on Esterillo Beach in the pristine beachfront in Costa Rica. Mindfulness practices, luxurious accommodations, and nourishing cuisine await you at one of our personal favorite retreat centers. Lush rainforests meet the tranquil shores for a rejuvenating ayahuasca experience.

Ayahuasca Retreat Includes: 7-Day Retreat options, luxury rooms, beautiful ocean views, infinity pool, yoga deck, or various healing and expansion activities, 3-Nights of Ceremony, Delicious Dieta Meals, experienced facilitators, pre retreat dietary protocol.

We recommend this retreat due to the high safety, sacred, and legal practices the Resonance facilitators uphold.

5. Ayahuasca Retreat Colorado

- Origen Sagrada

Origen Sagrada's location in the USA is facilitated by their very own spiritual leaders and healers, Abuelo Claudion and Abuelita Bernadita from the Muruy tribe of the Amazonas of Colombia.

Their retreat is two nights and includes two Ayahuasca Ceremonies and is a great way for first-timers to get acquainted with the spirit of Mother Ayahuasca with experienced shamans. The work with the Elders and the plant medicine is intensive and remote, located in a private, tranquil, rustic camp near Castle Rock. Ayahuasca Ceremony participants can expect their sessions to be held in a private lodge, with shared accommodation.

The retreat will begin with a herbal plant blessing and practical orientation to answer any questions you might have. In between ceremonies, there will be traditional therapies, personal spiritual cleansing and healing ceremonies, and time for reflection and meditation. They will play beautiful live music during the psychedelic ceremony to help you go deeper on your journey.

6. Ayahuasca Retreat Florida

- Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church

Ayahuasca Retreat Center

Located in Orlando, Florida, the Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church of Mother Earth offers a sanctuary for those seeking spiritual growth and healing through ayahuasca. The retreat center provides a safe and supportive environment with experienced facilitators and shamans guiding the ceremonies. Soul Quest is known for its compassionate human beings and the sense of family it fosters among church members.

Ayahuasca Ceremonies

The retreat includes several ayahuasca ceremonies, where participants drink the brew made from the ayahuasca vine and chacruna. The ceremonies are designed to be transformative, providing deep insights and personal growth. The center emphasizes safety and responsibility, ensuring that every participant feels safe throughout the night.

7. Ayahuasca Retreat Washington

- Sacred Therapy

Sacred Therapy retreats host their ceremonies in their own modern way, rather than recreating South American or Native American style ceremonies. To join their ceremonies you must be a member of Cosmic Valley Native Americas church, which you can apply to join on their website.

Their North American medicine people are trained with US ayahuasca churches and offer a holistic and yogic approach to their ayahuasca ceremonies. They provide full integration before and after your ceremony and care deeply about each retreat participant's experience and growth.

Retreats are two nights, hosted in Washington and California, and they provide accommodation with comfortable bedding and vegan meals. The founder has been leading ceremonies for five years and has trained with multiple shamans and yogic teachers in the USA, Mexico, Thailand, and Lebanon, as well as two years learning from the Lakota Tradition.

8. Ayahuasca Retreat New York

- The Sanctuary Shamanic Healing Center

The Sanctuary is a shamanic healing center and branch of Oklevueha Native American Church, an Ayahuasca Church, located on the land of the Sacred White Dee, a Bee Sanctuary and certified wildlife habitat and holistic sanctuary with 6 acres of wild forest containing over 100+ fruit trees, edible bushes, and medicinal plants such as the coca leaf. You really will get a chance to connect with Mother Nature here.

Come here for a fully immersive shamanic experience, with shamanic healing practices, shamanic breathwork, and even a shamanic school with facilitator programs. They have a variety of retreats at their healing center as well as Ayahuasca Retreats in Peru (near Cusco).

If you're looking for intensive Ayahuasca healing retreats to dive deeper into medicinal plants, healing modalities, and shamanic wisdom this is the place for you. In addition to ayahuasca, they offer a week long tobacco and master plant diet retreat, a shamanic camp, yoga teacher, vision quests, shamanic wisdom circles, rebirthing breathwork ceremonies, and much more.

To help you integrate your experiences, they also host a regular community connection and healer/integration calls for Ayahuasca guests to share from the heart and continue to learn and grow together.

9. Ayahuasca Retreat Kentucky

- Aya Quest

Aya Quest, also commonly spoken about as Kentucky Ayahuasca, is a Retreat Guru favorite. They approach their ceremonies with a holistic attitude, and do not attempt to recreate Native American traditional ceremonies or maintain any dogmatic style. They are modern shamans and medicine people who are well trained.

Their founder Steve Hupp, has worked with Ayahuasca for 15 years, and was trained by a shaman from South America, leading over 1000 healing ceremonies

Aya Quest offers small group, private and at home ayahuasca ceremonies, as well as the option to join their membership club for participants. Their ayahuasca brew is made from scratch and the ingredients, such as the ayahuasca vine, are all individually ordered so you can be assured of what exactly is in the tea, and they are confident that their brew is safe and effective

10. Ayahuasca Retreat New Mexico

- The União do Vegetal

This ayahuasca retreat center is under The União do Vegetal (UDV) is a Christian Spiritist religion that originated in Brazil and is recognized for their community and environmental service, and have hosted countless ayahuasca religious ceremonies. União do Vegetal literally means "the union of the plants," and their followers drink Hoasca, which is the sacred sacrament of plants indigenous to the Brazilian Amazon.

Also considered an ayahuasca church, you can join their spiritual fellowship legally in the USA.

Like Ayahuasca tea, Hoasca contains the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the Chacruna plant leaves (psychotria viridis), which is their sacrament and sacred practice serving to heighten spiritual understanding and perceptions.

The powerful spiritual ceremony emphasizes mental concentration and solemn reflections of their guide Mestre Gabriel and Jesus. They last around four hours and include periods of silent contemplation, rituals, hymns, and religious teachings.

11. (Bonus!) Ayahuasca Churches

- Santo Daime & Peaceful Mountain Way

An Ayahuasca church, the Santo Daime Church, founded by Raimundo Irineu Serrawhich, involves ayahuasca consumption (Daime tea) as part of their religious rituals. Sometimes difficult to find, you can try to find locations around the country by searching for Santo Daime USA. Another Ayahuasca church known as the Peaceful Mountain Way is a Native American Church that specializes in an Ayahuasca ritual as a spiritual sacrament.

Another Ayahuasca church known as the Peaceful Mountain Way is a Native American Church that specializes in an ayahuasca ritual as a spiritual sacrament.

Understanding Ayahuasca and Its Origins

The Origins of Ayahuasca

Ayahuasca, a psychoactive brew made from the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the Psychotria viridis leaf, has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin for spiritual and healing purposes. The traditional preparation involves boiling these two plants to extract their active compounds, primarily DMT from the leaves and MAO inhibitors from the vine. This combination allows for the profound psychoactive effects that ayahuasca is known for.

The Role of Shamans in Ayahuasca Ceremonies

Shamans, or traditional healers, play a crucial role in ayahuasca ceremonies. They are responsible for preparing the brew, leading the ceremony, and providing guidance and support to participants. The shaman's knowledge of the plant medicine and their ability to navigate the spiritual realms are essential for the safety and efficacy of the ceremony. Their icaros, or sacred songs, are believed to activate the healing properties of the ayahuasca and guide participants through their journey.

FAQ's: Ayahuasca Ceremonies & Origins of Ayahuasca

Q: What is Ayahuasca?

A: Ayahuasca is a traditional plant medicine used primarily in the Amazon rainforest. The brew is made from the Ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and typically combined with other plants like the Psychotria viridis shrub. The active ingredient in the psychedelic brew called ayahuasca. DMT, leads to profound psychedelic experiences.

Q: What is an Ayahuasca Ceremony?

A: An Ayahuasca ceremony is a shamanic ritual where participants consume the Ayahuasca brew, often referred to as a psychedelic brew called ayahuasca. under the guidance of a shaman or experienced facilitator. The aim is often for spiritual growth, personal growth, and healing. These ceremonies are deeply rooted in indigenous traditions and can include singing icaros (chants) and other ceremonial practices.

Q: Where can I find the best Ayahuasca Retreats?

A: The best ayahuasca retreats can be found in locations like Peru, Costa Rica, and Colombia. Many people travel to the Amazon rainforest or the Andes mountains to participate in authentic ayahuasca retreats. It is essential to thoroughly research and choose a reputable retreat center for a safe experience.

Q: What should I expect during Ayahuasca Ceremonies?

A: During Ayahuasca ceremonies, participants may experience a wide range of effects including visual and auditory hallucinations, emotional purging, and profound spiritual insights. Many report a sense of connection to Mother Earth and other participants. It's common to go through challenging moments, which many describe as an important part of the Ayahuasca healing process. ‍

Q: What is the importance of the Dieta before Ceremony?

A: The practice of dieta, which involves dietary and lifestyle restrictions before the ceremony, is crucial for purifying the body and mind. This preparation enhances the effectiveness of the Ayahuasca experience, ensuring a deeper and safer journey.

Q: Where can I find the best Ayahuasca retreats in the USA?

A: You can find the 10 best Ayahuasca retreats near or in the USA in our updated list for 2024.

Q: What is the significance of the Yawanawa tribe in Ayahuasca ceremonies?

A: The Yawanawa tribe is known for their deep connection to the Ayahuasca plant and often lead ceremonies that involve drinking Ayahuasca.

Q: Are Ayahuasca retreats safe and responsible?

A: Yes, reputable Ayahuasca retreats ensure that ceremonies are conducted safely and responsibly, prioritizing the well-being of participants by having experienced shipibo healers oversee the process.

Q: How can Ayahuasca help in spiritual growth and healing?

A: Ayahuasca is believed to help individuals connect with themselves on a deeper level, facilitating spiritual growth and emotional healing.

Q: What are some key considerations before attending an Ayahuasca retreat?

A: Before attending an Ayahuasca retreat, it is important to research the retreat center, understand the potential effects of the psychedelic brew, and prepare both mentally and physically for the experience.

Q: Can anyone participate in an Ayahuasca ceremony?

A: Ayahuasca ceremonies are not for everyone and some retreats may have specific criteria or guidelines for participants, such as being in good physical and mental health.

Q: Is Ayahuasca legal in the USA?

A: The legal status of Ayahuasca in the USA varies, and it is important to research and understand the regulations around the use of Ayahuasca in different states.

Q: How can I find more information about Ayahuasca retreats and ceremonies?

A: You can sign up for newsletters from reputable Ayahuasca retreat centers or organizations, attend informational sessions, or reach out directly to retreat facilitators for more information here.


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