10 Best Ayahuasca Retreats In California (Updated 2021)

April 22, 2021
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10 Best Ayahuasca Retreats In California (Updated 2021)

Ayahuasca tourism has become a huge topic of discussion in recent years, as more and more influential institutions and thought leaders have been releasing research and information of its healing potential.

If you’re not ready to take a special pilgrimage to Iquitos, Peru or somewhere in the Amazon rainforest in Costa Rica for your ayahuasca retreat, you might be able to find some viable options closer by.

There are California retreats that offer ayahuasca healing, some under the traditional ayahuasca shamanism tradition and others under a more modern context. You might have a harder time finding traditional shipibo ayahuasca shamans in California, but there are plenty of medicine people with diverse backgrounds for you to choose from.

The risks in California involve legality and lack of regulation, so it is extremely important to know who you are working with, to research their history and background, as well as past participants' experiences. What kind of support is provided before and after the retreat? What types of medical screening and protocols are in place? What about ethical guidelines?

You can check out our Ayahuasca guide for more information HERE,  as well as specific information on what to look out for in a retreat center and questions to ask HERE.

Read on for a list of ayahuasca retreats in California or nearby states and countries.

1. Behold Retreats Ayahuasca Retreat California

Behold Retreats is a unique retreat company that will tailor your plant medicine retreat to your personal needs and preferences to help you find inner peace; including location, duration, size, medicine, accommodation, healers, coaches, therapists, and additional healing modalities.

Once through their intake process, each retreat participant is supported by their expert staff who gets to know their history and goals for their plant medicine journey, and curates their ayahuasca experience based on these conversations.

Whether you would like to have your ayahuasca ceremony in a small private luxury retreat near the beach, or in a small eco-lodge in the mountains, Behold Retreats will find you the perfect match.

You will also be guided by expert coaches and therapists for 3 weeks before your retreat and 3 weeks after, to ensure that you actually realize the long-term benefits of ayahuasca. Their program is one-of-a-kind, and has been developed over many years and over 1500 clients to help people prepare and integrate their medicine journeys.

2.  Behold Retreats Ayahuasca Retreat Private

One of the best options for attending an ayahuasca retreat in California is through a private facilitator. But finding the right person can be tricky considering legality and their previous experience. Private healers can be difficult to source and more expensive than a group retreat, especially if they are high-quality practitioners.

That being said, by working privately with an ayahuasca healer, you can get incredible breakthroughs and better results on your spiritual healing journey. Not only that, you can have more flexibility in who you work with, whether you want a traditional Shipibo shaman or a modern healer. You can also find powerful healers who are experienced in the master plant diet if you want to take your experience even further.

It is wise to use a company such as Behold Retreats, who have an extensive network of expert healers, therapists, coaches, and facilitators in various places around the world to arrange your private ayahuasca retreat.

3. The Holistic Sanctuary  

Located in Baja California, this holistic healing sanctuary is the closest, most intensive and luxurious center near California that resembles more of a rehab center with individual healing treatments. Their programs are incredibly exclusive  and are focused on treating PTSD, depression, addiction, and alcoholism.

With 5-star accommodations and services such as daily colonics liver detoxes, herbal medicine, HBOT pure oxygen infusions, IV drips, stem cell therapy, and more, you can be assured that this 4-12 week program will be life changing and lead to deep healing.

Their trademark secret is their proprietary method, called the Pouyan Method, is combined with sacred plant medicine, which ensures over 30 hours of 1-1 time per week, complete detoxification, and access to neural healing and spiritual awakening. It is quite a different experience than the typical shamanic healing techniques.

4. Inner Circle Ayahuasca Retreat  

Just about a 3 hour flight from California, in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, you will find this traditional ayahuasca retreat center with gorgeous beachfront accommodation.

Their authentic ayahuasca ceremonies are paired with modern luxury, so you can really relax and enjoy the ocean-front luxurious accommodations and infinity pool, while also exploring the rich, natural beauty of the surrounding nature. Guests can watch orca or humpback whales swim by the ocean from their beautiful retreat house, baby sea turtles venturing into the ocean, and the famous sunset from their terrace.

Accommodation is for a maximum of 6 guests, so you may request a private small group retreat, private individual retreat, or to join another group of journeyers from around the world. The apartments include high-end furnishings and comforts as well as bicycles for getting around town.

A traditional indigenous shaman will guide your ayahuasca journey, and the ayahuasca brew will be prepared and ready for your arrival. The retreat is 6 days long and provides ample opportunity for reflection time in nature.

5. Sacred Valley Spiritual Retreats

At the Sacred Valley Spiritual Retreat at Mount Shasta you will find a holistic personalized journey from their team with over 30 years of experience combining healing and retreat facilitation experience. Their expertise lies in indigenous wisdom and sacred healing shamanic arts.

Their holistic center offers an array of healing methods based on ancient indigenous wisdoms, somatic and trauma release therapy, breathwork, yoga, Reiki, alchemical hypnotherapy and empowerment coaching. Each retreat and program is made to fit your needs, offering private and couple options.

Their sacred master plant medicine retreats where you will have your ayahuasca ceremony are in Peru, but they will provide you with the assessment, treatment, knowledge and resources to help you prepare and integrate your retreat experience at their retreat center in California.

Working with experienced facilitators who have undergone extensive training with world-renowned spiritual teachers, they offer a high level of integrity. In their 10 day retreat you will have 7 nights in a luxurious retreat center near Calca, 2 nights in a beautiful monastery hotel near Cusco, and an opportunity to understand the shamanic wisdom of the Inca tradition.

6. Origen Sagrada  

During this 2 night retreat you will experience two ayahuasca ceremonies in a remote, private, and peaceful camp near Castle Rock. The ceremonies themselves will take place in a private lodge with shared accommodation.

Each ayahuasca ceremony will be facilitated by the spiritual leaders and healers Claudio and Bernadita from the Muruy tribe, found in the Amazonas of Colombia. The work with these elders will be intensive, and they will play beautiful live music to help activate the plant medicine and help you dive deeper into your journey within.

The retreat begins with a herbal plant blessing and a logistical orientation to answer any burning questions before the ceremony begins. In between the ceremonies with mother ayahuasca, there will be the option to join traditional therapies, personal spiritual cleansings, healing sessions, and time for reflection.

7. Medicine Wheel

Medicine Wheel offers their healing ayahuasca retreats nearby California, in Texas, and are facilitated by Shaba Amaro, who has experience working with multiple shamans from different Indigenous cultures in the Americas. He currently teaches at The School of Shamanic Teachings, has apprenticed alongside a Peruvian shaman, and continued this initiation with the Q’eros priests in the High Andes mountains of Peru.

Your ceremonies will also include other medicinal plants such as a cacao, rapé and sananga, with the opportunity to attend a san pedro ceremony.  Their eco-environment accommodation has been made to enhance your connection with Mother Nature and to provide a safe container for your spiritual awakening.

8. Sacred Therapy

Sacred Therapy hosts retreats in California and Washington for two nights, with private, comfortable accommodation and vegan meals. In order to attend a retreat you must apply on their website to be a member of the Cosmic Valley Native Americas Church.

Rather than following the traditional South American or Native American route, their ayahuasca ceremonies are hosted in a modern way. Their North American medicine team are trained with ayahuasca churches in the USA and offer a holistic approach with yogic traditions.

The founder has been facilitating ayahuasca ceremonies for five years and has trained with shamans and yogis from all over the world. He also has trained for two years with the Lakota tribe. Full preparation and integration is offered before and after the ceremony, with individualized attention for each retreat participant.

9. The União do Vegetal (UDV)  

The União do Vegetal (UDV) is one of the only legal ayahuasca retreat centers in the USA along with Santo Daime, who have received exemption from the government for religious sacrament as an ayahuasca church. Differing from a Native American Church, they originate from Brazil and are a Christian Spiritist religion that is recognized for their service to communities and the environment.

Their sacred sacrament Hoasca, which serves to bring spiritual awareness, contains the same ingredients as Ayahuasca; the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the Chacruna plant leaves. They do not have a traditional ayahuasca shaman.

Their ayahuasca healing retreat is in New Mexico, but you might be able to find churches or events across the country, including California. The ayahuasca (Hoasca) ceremonies are religious in nature, with influence from their guide Mestre Gabriel and Jesus. Ceremonies are typically 4 hours and include periods of silent concentration.

10.  APL Journeys Ayahuasca Retreat  

Located not too far from California in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, you will find this international ayahuasca retreat center, facilitating traditional ayahuasca ceremonies with Peruvian shamans from Peru and Ecuador, such as a shipibo healer. In addition, their facilitators are all certified by the Red Cross to ensure the safest and most fulfilling experiences.

As they work under traditional shamanism, they give you the opportunity to attend Amazonian Curanderismo seminars where you will be educated on ayahuasca healing traditions and shamanic rituals.

They also offer more than your typical retreat center during the 6 days, with a temazcal herbal sauna (similar to a sweat lodge), 3 ayahuasca ceremonies, 1 purga ayahuasca, 1 kambo session, flower baths, breaktwork, sananga sessions, daily shamanic rituals, and liquid mapacho . You will also have preparation and integration support.

Feel comfortable in their luxurious suites, outdoor jungle pool and stunning outdoor showers. Take a yoga class, go for a relaxing swim, or sit in nature in between ceremonies. With 15% of profits going to Peru to support the local communities, you can also feel good that you are contributing to the populations that are sharing ayahuasca with the world.

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