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10 Best Ayahuasca Retreats in Canada (Updated 2021)

September 17, 2021
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As Canadians learn to adapt to the ever-changing climate in which we find ourselves, more people are turning to alternative medicines to heal their ailing.

One area that is historically controversial, is the application of psychedelic therapies. But, with more information than ever available, and high-profile medical trials recording the benefits of such methods, people are beginning to come around to the ancient healing practices.

The list of hallucinogens offering medicinal capabilities is long, with psilocybin mushrooms, Peyote, San Pedro, ketamine, cannabis, bufo alvarius, and the ancient ayahuasca brew all making the grade. Each of which has their own proponents and are backed by modern science.

As such, they have proven successful in treating illnesses like depression, anxiety, mental troubles, and addiction.

One of these plant medicines, ayahuasca is a thick brown tea made up of the banisteriopsis caapi vine and the psychotria viridis bush and is said to induce an enlightening trance that allows the subject to elevate to a higher plane of consciousness. The drink itself traces its long history to the ancient jungles of the Peruvian Amazon, where it has been practiced for over 2500 years.

With this in mind, the ayahuasca ceremony has developed over the centuries by indigenous tribes in places like the ancient city of Iquitos, deep within Peru’s Amazon. These days, people involved in ayahuasca tourism regularly make the long journey to shamanic retreats like Phoenix Ayahuasca, or Soltara in Costa Rica to partake in the ayahuasca assisted therapy.

Unfortunately, however, there is some difficulty in gauging the safety when attending an ayahuasca vine session with the indigenous community in Peru, as discovered by a Canadian man and a British man in a tragic jungle retreat in 2015. Thankfully, these days there are solutions closer to home.

The tea is a controversial drink, as it contains DMT, which is banned in most countries. Now, however, a number of churches have been granted an exemption to the laws and are allowable within licensed establishments on religious grounds.

The two churches, which represent 6 venues across Canada that can legally administer ayahuasca therapy are the Santo Daime church, and União do Vegetal. Anywhere else should be treated with caution, and it is advised to do your research prior to consuming any hallucinogenic product.

We have put together a list of the most reputable and professional ayahuasca retreats in Canada and the surrounding area. In every instance, it is advised to make contact with the retreat to discuss the ayahuasca experience beforehand. Showing up unannounced will, in most cases, see you turned away at the gates.

In addition, we have prepared a useful guide that should aid with choosing the perfect retreat. Furthermore, we have an extensive guide to preparing for your spiritual journey. Make sure you familiarize yourself with both of these documents before you commence your ayahuasca sessions.

 

1. Behold Retreats

Behold Ayahuasca Retreats

Behold is one of the most professional ayahuasca retreats on the circuit today. Leading a team of the most committed facilitators and healers, they will ensure all of your psychedelic requirements are well catered for. With a huge variety of locations and partners throughout the world, Behold can assure you are never too far away from the healing experience best for you.

Furthermore, choices aren’t limited to only drinking the ayahuasca tea, as further therapies are available on-demand, such as psilocybin mushrooms, 5-Meo-DMT, and San Pedro

With a complement of dedicated and knowledgeable plant medicine experts on hand, Behold will help you to prepare for the spiritual retreat, guide you through the experience in real-time, and bring you safely back down to earth afterward. A truly rewarding experience.

Behold Retreats offers a 7-week life accelerator program to help you, maximize your plant medicine journey, elevate your consciousness, and sustain long-term benefits.

  

2. Behold Private Retreats

Behold Ayahuasca Private Retreats

As well as offering a high-quality standard experience, Behold has the option to take the psychedelic retreat to another level. Catering for the consummate connoisseur, the private retreat allows the client to tailor the experience to their every need. Offering everything the standard spiritual retreat provides, and much more. The bespoke option is truly the ultimate psychedelic experience.

As well as the psychedelic side of things, various non-hallucinatory additions to the retreat are available, such as yoga, breathwork, and meditation. 

Altogether, the private retreat allows you to choose the duration of your healing experience, as well as the psychedelics involved, the composition of the group, and even choose the healer or indigenous shaman conducting it. By far the most flexible psychedelic experience, the limit is only your own imagination. 

  

3. Ceu de Toronto

Ayahuasca Retreat Canada - Toronto

One of four Santo Daime churches in Canada that are legally permitted to practice the sacrosanct ayahuasca ceremony, Cue De Toronto is a deeply religious affair. Steeped in history, the Daime (ayahuasca) sacrament is a combination of ancient spiritual practices stemming from South America, Africa, and Europe.

As is the way of the Daime, only members of the church are permitted to partake in the Daime ceremony. The organization is welcoming to new members, even though they must first undergo a strict vetting process prior to joining.  

Ceu de Toronto has been operating on this spiritual level for over 18 years, and conducts their ceremonies with the kind of professionalism that only experience can bring.

4. Céu do Montréal

Ayahuasca Retreat Canada - Montreal

Céu do Montréal is a non-profit, volunteer-managed organization that receives all of its funding via a donation-based system. Like all of the government-sanctioned ayahuasca retreat centers on this list, all ceremonies are conducted on a strict members-only basis. Anyone wishing to partake in an ayahuasca tea ceremony must first be accepted into the organization and must also adhere to the core religious values.

Céu do Montréal holds regular information evenings every three months, which every potential new recruit must first attend. Due to concerns over Covid, the recruitment process is temporary on hold. However, they do expect to start taking on new applications in the near future. Contact them via their website for further details.

As a single sacrament church, every retreat participant is required to abstain from all other mood-altering substances prior to and during the ceremony. Additionally, a strict ayahuasca diet is also provided.

 

5. Beneficient Spiritist Center União do Vegetal

Ayahuasca Retreat Canada - Montreal

Another church with a license to legally practice the psychedelic ceremony is União do Vegetal, which fought side by side with Santo Daime for their right to conduct ayahuasca ceremonies on religious grounds. Here, the sacrament is better known as “Vegetal Tea,” but is essentially the same brew as ayahuasca.

With the law exerting greater control than their US counterparts, any prospective retreat participants must first join the ranks of the organization prior to partaking in a spiritual ceremony. The church conducts itself in a low-key fashion, with no real online presence to speak of. Therefore, anyone interested in joining must make the journey to Montreal and inquire in person.

  

6. Ceu da Divina Luz do Montreal

Ayahuasca retreat Canada - Montreal

One of three ayahuasca retreats based in Montreal, Ceu da Divina Luz is the most elusive of the bunch. They have a full license to practice ayahuasca therapy-based ceremonies within the Canadian border.

Having practiced the shamanic arts legally for the last four years and likely for some time before that, they are well experienced in the ancient rituals. However, a lot of footwork is required to locate and contact these evasive masters of the psychedelic realm.

 

7. Céu do Vale da Vida

Ayahuasca Retreat Canada - Quebec

Based in Val-David, Quebec, Céu do Vale da Vida practices the sacred arts of the Santo Daime religion. As such, the ceremony centers around what is referred to as “collective shamanism,” where no single individual is the focal point of the spiritual experience. In effect, everyone present contributes to the overall spiritual awakening with a deep feeling of community between active participants.

As Céu do Vale da Vida is a registered church of the Santo Daime religion, only members can participate in the ayahuasca ceremony. They are open to new applications to join, however, they must first follow a strict vetting process.

 

8. Pachamama Sanctuary

Ayahuasca Retreat New Hampshire

Depending on your location within Canada, it could be worth a hop over the border to the USA for your ayahuasca experience. Those in the east should consider Pachamama Sanctuary in New Hampshire. A relatively recent addition to Amazonian vine circles, their 2 years in existence belies over 20 years of experience from their practitioners and healers.

Conducting themselves with the utmost professionalism, the folks at Pachamama are ready to guide any willing psychedelic travelers through the complete journey. From the preparation, through the ayahuasca experience and calmly guide them back to reality afterward.

On hand to conduct the ceremonies are indigenous Shamans from the Colombian Cofan Amazonian tribe, and a genuine Ecuadorian mystic. The spiritual retreat lasts three days and includes food and lodging. Further experiences on hand are yoga retreats, meditation, and breathwork workshops.

 

9. Cosmic Valley Native American Church

Ayahuasca Retreat Washington

Alternatively, anyone living out west can take a look at the Cosmic Valley Native American Church in Washington state. Operating out of Seattle, Cosmic Valley offers a high-quality, professional retreat center for embarking on a hallucinatory voyage.

Cosmic Valley holds regular retreats involving small, intimate groups. The ceremony generally lasts for three days and is conducted in a safe environment. Accommodation and food are all provided, with all meals adhering to the ayahuasca dietary requirements of the sacrament.

Despite engaging in an experience direct from Peru’s Amazon, Cosmic Valley is a decidedly modern affair, using the latest methods to provide the perfect spiritual experience.

In order to attend, you must be a member of the Native American Church and be in possession of a CNAC approved application. In order to apply, applicants can find the relative documentation on their website.

Be warned, demand is high, so make all arrangements beforehand to avoid disappointment. Additionally, Cosmic Valley offers further ayahuasca retreats in California and Oregon.

 

10. Crystal Roots

Ayahuasca Retreat Canada - Ontario

Based in Ontario, Canada, Crystal Roots is something of a mystery. Despite no indication of an ayahuasca ceremony on any of their official documentation, it is rumored that they are available to those involved with the retreat. With that in mind, it’s worth heading down there and getting to know the team.

Crystal roots are well versed in a number of shamanic plant medicine techniques, and transformative modalities. Furthermore, they have a wizened group of spiritual healers to put it all into action. In addition to any sacred tea ceremonies, the shamanic retreat offers tobacco, curanga, aromatherapy, Bach Flower, yoga, and Iboga healing therapies.

The retreat itself is located in serene surroundings, nestled amongst cedar forests and crystal-clear ponds. Accompanied by this tranquil beauty any healing experience is amplified by providing the perfect atmosphere for a spiritual awakening.

Crystal Roots endeavors to provide an authentic healing experience to anyone looking for help. Contact them via their website for further information. 


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