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10 Best Ayahuasca Retreats in Canada - Updated 2022

September 17, 2021
Begin Your Journey

An Ayahuasca retreat could be the best experience of your life, or it could leave you worse off, confused, or traumatized.

Your outcome depends upon 3 things: your readiness, preparation, and your ability to choose a high-quality retreat.

1) To help you assess your level of mental and spiritual readiness, take this short quiz.

2) To understand more about ayahuasca, and to prepare for a retreat, check out our guide.

3) If you're feeling ready for a retreat, then congratulations! This is a momentous occasion.

Like most things in life, there are a broad variety of Ayahuasca retreat options, and a number of factors that effect the quality and cost of an ayahuasca retreat.

Here are 12 recommendations to help you avoid sketchy options and choose a safe and transformational experience:

  1. Safety First: Unfortunately, many small retreat centers are not in a position to make meaningful investments into screening and safety. Even if you're fine, someone else on retreat might not be, which can effect the overall experience. Our 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 have dedicated their lives to plant medicine typically live in locations where the work is legal, so they don't have to live in a state of "what if". Our recommendation is to travel to legal locations where you can benefit from legitimate healers who operate above the radar, so you can truly relax on retreat. That's kind of the idea, right?
  3. Size of the group: It's common for retreats to have 20, 50, even 100 people in ceremony, which can be chaotic to say the least. In such large groups, there's a lot of collective bucket-time in the room, and you are less likely receive the level of attention from healers that you are probably looking for. Our recommendation is to choose a retreat with an intimate group of say, 8-15 people.
  4. Length of the retreat: Shorter retreats feel rushed, don't support the cultivation of meaningful relationships, and there are limits to what can be achieved in a few nights. We recommend you spend at least a week for an ayahuasca retreat to give your mind, body, heart, and soul the attention it deserves.
  5. Comfort: We recommend you choose a retreat where you are confident you will be physically comfortable and have your own private bedroom to decompress and integrate, especially if this is your first time. Go for the full jungle mosquito immersion another time, your future self will thank you later.
  6. Energetic Alignment: Select a retreat that feels energetically aligned and allows your own subjective experience to unfold naturally. There's no right or wrong here, but it's worth recognizing that there are many different cosmologies (ways of seeing the universe), and having the energy of a different cosmology pushed through the ceremonial space may or 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 (because it won't!).
  8. Service: Select a retreat that you believe can meet your individual needs. Are you being treated as a human, or as participant #22 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: Take the time to speak with the provider before finalizing your booking. If it's all 100% online, ANYONE could be sitting next to you in ceremony. Everyone deserves to heal, but it's unlikely you want to be sitting in ceremony with a recovering addict going through their process next to you
  10. Expertise: Find an organization that emphasizes healing, and you believe has the breadth and depth of expertise to guide your transformation. Look for facilitators and healers who have a lightness of being and a sparkle in their eyes. Healing work is all about the transmutation of energy, so you are looking for people who have the energy you aspire to. If they aren't able to keep their energy right, that tells you quite a bit about either where they are at and their capabilities.
  11. Reputation: At a minimum, Google the provider, you may be surprised by what you find. If there's not much information, that is also information :) You may also like to look up the Founders and see what their energy is all about (hint hint). A famous comedian recently went to one of the most popular Ayahuasca retreat centers (known for large groups) and mentioned there were people on the retreat who didn't even know what Ayahuasca was. Yes, seriously.
  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 life, they're not going to be able to lead you to yours. Not the right vibe. Don't be shy to ask this question directly when you speak to prospective centers.

Who you choose to attend an Ayahuasca retreat with is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions in your life, especially the first time.

We encourage you to take the time and energy to do your research, follow your intuition, and to know why you are choosing a specific retreat.

If our recommendations above resonate with you, and you'd like to explore a transformational journey with Behold, click on "Begin Your Journey" below to request a complimentary Discovery Call with one of our Medicine Guides.

{{btn-begin-your-journey="/utility/components"}}

Want to know what a well-run retreat is like? We asked some of our past guests to do the impossible and summarize their retreat experience with us in 1 word.

Watch the video to get a sense of the magic that's possible:

Looking for a little more guidance for one of the most important decisions of your life? Watch this video.

{{btn-begin-your-journey="/utility/components"}}

The world is changing. Are you?

After nearly 6 decades of prohibition, psychedelics are coming back in a big way, with institutions such as the Imperial College in London, Johns Hopkins University, and Harvard studying, for example, the anti-depressant effects of psychedelics and entheogenic plants such as psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and Ayahuasca. The results of these studies for treating mental health concerns such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, addiction, depression, trauma, and recurrent negative behaviors has been overwhelmingly positive - when administered in the right set and setting.

Ayahuasca is an ancestral medicine from the Amazon, and has been used for thousands of years for it's incredible healing benefits. The healing that Ayahuasca offers can be positively life-changing, and as the psychedelic movement grows in popularity, the options for choosing a retreat can get a bit overwhelming. The abundance of options can lead us to what we call "analysis paralysis", causing us to either give up, or choose a retreat impulsively. Choosing a place to have your experience may be one the most important decisions you'll ever make, and it's important to choose your retreat with diligence and care.  Published research based upon 2,267 ceremonies has shown that ayahuasca:

  • Helps us understand and heal the roots of our depression, addition, anxiety, trauma, and PTSD
  • Eases the fear of death.
  • Deepens our connection to spirituality
  • Helps us discover our life's purpose
  • Enjoy deeper, more intimate relationships.
  • Accelerate your growth and reach a higher level of consciousness.
  • Develop intuition for better decision making.
  • Quiet your mind and discover inner peace.
  • Live each day with more peace, love, joy, clarity.

Truly, the potential for healing and growth that ayahuasca offers humanity is as infinite as the human potential itself, but for those of us in the western world, finding a safe, ethical, therapeutic, and legal access point to this medicine can be challenging. There are literally thousands of A retreats and overnight shamans who are working underground and happy to profit of this sacred medicine, so how do you know you're choosing the right one?  This is a question we take very seriously here at Behold, and we are here to guide you!

How to choose a retreat that's right for you:

Choosing an Ayahuascsa retreat (or any psychedelic experience for that matter) is isn't like planning mindful meditation or yoga retreat. You are putting your consciousness in someone else's hands. You are entering a space with equal potentials for ecstatic empowerment and tender vulnerability. The competency and integrity of your ayahuasca retreat facilitators - all the way down to the person who cooks your meals - are not to be underestimated.

Furthermore, working with Ayahuasca (and it's naturally occurring DMT) means opening the door to a world of infinite possibilities.  One must be weary of seductive claims or facilitators who look the part, but lack the heart. The world of plant medicine is not without corruption. By taking the time to choose the right experience, we honour the sacredness and intensity of this work, and thus take accountability for our own well-being.  Take your time. Find a place with a solid reputation and listen to guest testimonials. Some other considerations you should make are:

  • Would you prefer to be with friends, or solo?
  • As part of a large group of 15+, something more intimate, or a private experience?
  • As part of a religious ceremony, something shamanic, clinical, or neo-shamanic?
  • Do you need follow up support after your retreat?

As you can see, there are many factors to consider. What remains true across the board, getting those deeper breakthroughs and sustained benefits requires a lot more than just going on a retreat. Gaining the maximum benefits from the Ayahuasca experience requires proper preparation and integration.  

Looking for an Ayahuasca retreat in Canada?


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 of the ancestors.

The list of hallucinogens offering medicinal capabilities is long, with psilocybin mushrooms, Peyote, San Pedro, ketamine, cannabis, Bufo Alvarius, and the ancient ayahuasca brew gaining well earned recognition.. Each of which has their own proponents, and you could even say, personalities.

One of these plant medicines, ayahuasca may be one of the better known. Ayahuasca (or "the spirit vine", as it's known in it's native language) 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.

 Top 10 Ayahuasca Retreats near Canada

1. Behold Retreats

Behold Retreats sets the standard for safe, legal, and transformative plant medicine retreats in idyllic destinations. Retreats are kept to a small group size, and attendance is by invitation only.

Behold does not facilitate Ayahuasca in Canada do the legal grey areas, but does offer options in Costa Rica and Mexico. Other popular retreat options include Psilocybin in the Netherlands and with the powerful God Molecule 5-MeO-DMT in Mexico or Portugal.

Ready for deep healing and transformation?

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2. 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.

3. 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.

 

4. 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.

  

5. 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.

 

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6. 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.

 

7. 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.

 

8. 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.

 

9. 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. 


Still need some help choosing a retreat?

We would be honored to guide you in choosing the best retreat for your needs. Behold Retreats coordinates expertly guided retreats with Ayahuasca, Psilocybin, and 5-MeO-DMT (Bufo Alvarius) with highly experienced facilitators. Reach out to us to set up a complimentary discovery call and we can point you in the right direction.

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5-MeO-DMT in Tepoztlan, Mexico

Ayahuasca in Costa Rica

Psilocybin in the Netherlands

5-MeO-DMT in Portugal

Ready for Deep Healing and Transformation?

Behold Retreats sets the standard for safe, legal, and transformative plant medicine retreats.

Ready to heal, find peace, and live your purpose?
Begin Your Journey

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10 Best Ayahuasca Retreats in Canada - Updated 2022

September 17, 2021
Blog quotes
This is some text inside of a div block.
Blog quotes

The World is Changing. Are You?

Behold Retreats sets the standard for safe, legal,
and transformative plant medicine retreats.

Ready to heal, find peace, and live your purpose?

Let's Talk

An Ayahuasca retreat could be the best experience of your life, or it could leave you worse off, confused, or traumatized.

Your outcome depends upon 3 things: your readiness, preparation, and your ability to choose a high-quality retreat.

1) To help you assess your level of mental and spiritual readiness, take this short quiz.

2) To understand more about ayahuasca, and to prepare for a retreat, check out our guide.

3) If you're feeling ready for a retreat, then congratulations! This is a momentous occasion.

Like most things in life, there are a broad variety of Ayahuasca retreat options, and a number of factors that effect the quality and cost of an ayahuasca retreat.

Here are 12 recommendations to help you avoid sketchy options and choose a safe and transformational experience:

  1. Safety First: Unfortunately, many small retreat centers are not in a position to make meaningful investments into screening and safety. Even if you're fine, someone else on retreat might not be, which can effect the overall experience. Our 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 have dedicated their lives to plant medicine typically live in locations where the work is legal, so they don't have to live in a state of "what if". Our recommendation is to travel to legal locations where you can benefit from legitimate healers who operate above the radar, so you can truly relax on retreat. That's kind of the idea, right?
  3. Size of the group: It's common for retreats to have 20, 50, even 100 people in ceremony, which can be chaotic to say the least. In such large groups, there's a lot of collective bucket-time in the room, and you are less likely receive the level of attention from healers that you are probably looking for. Our recommendation is to choose a retreat with an intimate group of say, 8-15 people.
  4. Length of the retreat: Shorter retreats feel rushed, don't support the cultivation of meaningful relationships, and there are limits to what can be achieved in a few nights. We recommend you spend at least a week for an ayahuasca retreat to give your mind, body, heart, and soul the attention it deserves.
  5. Comfort: We recommend you choose a retreat where you are confident you will be physically comfortable and have your own private bedroom to decompress and integrate, especially if this is your first time. Go for the full jungle mosquito immersion another time, your future self will thank you later.
  6. Energetic Alignment: Select a retreat that feels energetically aligned and allows your own subjective experience to unfold naturally. There's no right or wrong here, but it's worth recognizing that there are many different cosmologies (ways of seeing the universe), and having the energy of a different cosmology pushed through the ceremonial space may or 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 (because it won't!).
  8. Service: Select a retreat that you believe can meet your individual needs. Are you being treated as a human, or as participant #22 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: Take the time to speak with the provider before finalizing your booking. If it's all 100% online, ANYONE could be sitting next to you in ceremony. Everyone deserves to heal, but it's unlikely you want to be sitting in ceremony with a recovering addict going through their process next to you
  10. Expertise: Find an organization that emphasizes healing, and you believe has the breadth and depth of expertise to guide your transformation. Look for facilitators and healers who have a lightness of being and a sparkle in their eyes. Healing work is all about the transmutation of energy, so you are looking for people who have the energy you aspire to. If they aren't able to keep their energy right, that tells you quite a bit about either where they are at and their capabilities.
  11. Reputation: At a minimum, Google the provider, you may be surprised by what you find. If there's not much information, that is also information :) You may also like to look up the Founders and see what their energy is all about (hint hint). A famous comedian recently went to one of the most popular Ayahuasca retreat centers (known for large groups) and mentioned there were people on the retreat who didn't even know what Ayahuasca was. Yes, seriously.
  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 life, they're not going to be able to lead you to yours. Not the right vibe. Don't be shy to ask this question directly when you speak to prospective centers.

Who you choose to attend an Ayahuasca retreat with is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions in your life, especially the first time.

We encourage you to take the time and energy to do your research, follow your intuition, and to know why you are choosing a specific retreat.

If our recommendations above resonate with you, and you'd like to explore a transformational journey with Behold, click on "Begin Your Journey" below to request a complimentary Discovery Call with one of our Medicine Guides.

{{btn-begin-your-journey="/utility/components"}}

Want to know what a well-run retreat is like? We asked some of our past guests to do the impossible and summarize their retreat experience with us in 1 word.

Watch the video to get a sense of the magic that's possible:

Looking for a little more guidance for one of the most important decisions of your life? Watch this video.

{{btn-begin-your-journey="/utility/components"}}

The world is changing. Are you?

After nearly 6 decades of prohibition, psychedelics are coming back in a big way, with institutions such as the Imperial College in London, Johns Hopkins University, and Harvard studying, for example, the anti-depressant effects of psychedelics and entheogenic plants such as psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and Ayahuasca. The results of these studies for treating mental health concerns such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, addiction, depression, trauma, and recurrent negative behaviors has been overwhelmingly positive - when administered in the right set and setting.

Ayahuasca is an ancestral medicine from the Amazon, and has been used for thousands of years for it's incredible healing benefits. The healing that Ayahuasca offers can be positively life-changing, and as the psychedelic movement grows in popularity, the options for choosing a retreat can get a bit overwhelming. The abundance of options can lead us to what we call "analysis paralysis", causing us to either give up, or choose a retreat impulsively. Choosing a place to have your experience may be one the most important decisions you'll ever make, and it's important to choose your retreat with diligence and care.  Published research based upon 2,267 ceremonies has shown that ayahuasca:

  • Helps us understand and heal the roots of our depression, addition, anxiety, trauma, and PTSD
  • Eases the fear of death.
  • Deepens our connection to spirituality
  • Helps us discover our life's purpose
  • Enjoy deeper, more intimate relationships.
  • Accelerate your growth and reach a higher level of consciousness.
  • Develop intuition for better decision making.
  • Quiet your mind and discover inner peace.
  • Live each day with more peace, love, joy, clarity.

Truly, the potential for healing and growth that ayahuasca offers humanity is as infinite as the human potential itself, but for those of us in the western world, finding a safe, ethical, therapeutic, and legal access point to this medicine can be challenging. There are literally thousands of A retreats and overnight shamans who are working underground and happy to profit of this sacred medicine, so how do you know you're choosing the right one?  This is a question we take very seriously here at Behold, and we are here to guide you!

How to choose a retreat that's right for you:

Choosing an Ayahuascsa retreat (or any psychedelic experience for that matter) is isn't like planning mindful meditation or yoga retreat. You are putting your consciousness in someone else's hands. You are entering a space with equal potentials for ecstatic empowerment and tender vulnerability. The competency and integrity of your ayahuasca retreat facilitators - all the way down to the person who cooks your meals - are not to be underestimated.

Furthermore, working with Ayahuasca (and it's naturally occurring DMT) means opening the door to a world of infinite possibilities.  One must be weary of seductive claims or facilitators who look the part, but lack the heart. The world of plant medicine is not without corruption. By taking the time to choose the right experience, we honour the sacredness and intensity of this work, and thus take accountability for our own well-being.  Take your time. Find a place with a solid reputation and listen to guest testimonials. Some other considerations you should make are:

  • Would you prefer to be with friends, or solo?
  • As part of a large group of 15+, something more intimate, or a private experience?
  • As part of a religious ceremony, something shamanic, clinical, or neo-shamanic?
  • Do you need follow up support after your retreat?

As you can see, there are many factors to consider. What remains true across the board, getting those deeper breakthroughs and sustained benefits requires a lot more than just going on a retreat. Gaining the maximum benefits from the Ayahuasca experience requires proper preparation and integration.  

Looking for an Ayahuasca retreat in Canada?


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 of the ancestors.

The list of hallucinogens offering medicinal capabilities is long, with psilocybin mushrooms, Peyote, San Pedro, ketamine, cannabis, Bufo Alvarius, and the ancient ayahuasca brew gaining well earned recognition.. Each of which has their own proponents, and you could even say, personalities.

One of these plant medicines, ayahuasca may be one of the better known. Ayahuasca (or "the spirit vine", as it's known in it's native language) 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.

 Top 10 Ayahuasca Retreats near Canada

1. Behold Retreats

Behold Retreats sets the standard for safe, legal, and transformative plant medicine retreats in idyllic destinations. Retreats are kept to a small group size, and attendance is by invitation only.

Behold does not facilitate Ayahuasca in Canada do the legal grey areas, but does offer options in Costa Rica and Mexico. Other popular retreat options include Psilocybin in the Netherlands and with the powerful God Molecule 5-MeO-DMT in Mexico or Portugal.

Ready for deep healing and transformation?

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2. 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.

3. 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.

 

4. 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.

  

5. 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.

 

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6. 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.

 

7. 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.

 

8. 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.

 

9. 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. 


Still need some help choosing a retreat?

We would be honored to guide you in choosing the best retreat for your needs. Behold Retreats coordinates expertly guided retreats with Ayahuasca, Psilocybin, and 5-MeO-DMT (Bufo Alvarius) with highly experienced facilitators. Reach out to us to set up a complimentary discovery call and we can point you in the right direction.

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