Top 5 Ayahuasca retreats in San Diego (Updated 2022)

August 4, 2022
Begin Your Journey

What to look for to find a safe, quality Ayahuasca Retreat?

Like most things in life, there a broad variety of Ayahuasca retreat options, and a number of factors that effect the quality and cost of an ayahuasca retreat that you may like to take into consideration:

  • Safety: Many smaller operators are not in a position to invest in safety, and unfortunately, there are too many sad stories out there. (recommendation: choose a retreat that does in-depth screening to ensure your physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being).
  • Legality:  Practitioners who have dedicated their lives to medicine work typically live in locations where it is legal, so they don't have to live in a state of "what if". (recommendation: consider whether travelling to a place with "new energy" might be in your best interests).
  • Size of the group: It's common for retreats to have 20, 50, even 100 people in ceremony, which can be chaotic. Additionally, you are less likely receive the level of attention from healers that you are probably looking for. (recommendation: choose a retreat with an intimate group of say, 8-15 people).
  • Length of the retreat: Shorter retreats feel rushed, and there are limits to what can be done in a few nights. (recommendation: go for at least a week).
  • Comfort: (recommendation: spend a little extra for something where you will be physically comfortable and have your own bedroom to decompress and integrate, especially if this is your first time). Your future self can thank us later.
  • Cosmology: (recommendation: choose a retreat that supports your own subjective experience, or one that you feel aligns with you energetically). The energy of the retreat and ceremony leaders will have a profound effect upon your experience.
  • Holistic approach: (recommendation: work with an organization that takes a holistic approach to working with medicine, and has options to support and guide your mental and emotional evolution). If a provider implies that "medicine will solve all your problems", proceed with caution (because it won't!).
  • Service: (recommendation: choose a place that you believe can serve your individual needs. 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).
  • Booking process: (recommendation: speak with the provider before finalizing your booking). If it's all online, ANYONE could be sitting next to you in ceremony.
  • Expertise: (recommendation: work with an organization that emphasizes healing, and you believe has a breadth of expertise to guide your transformation). Look for facilitators and healers who have a lightness of being and a sparkle in their eyes.
  • Reputation: (recommendation: Google the provider). You may be surprised by what you find. If there's not much information, that is also information :)
  • Volunteers: (recommendation: work with an organization that pays their staff). 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.

Given the potential, power, and sensitivity of working with Ayahuasca, who you choose to work with is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions of your life, so we encourage you to take the time and the energy to educate yourself to be able to make a good one. If you're in a position to do so, you may also like to consider a private retreat.

If our recommendations above feel energetically aligned for you, and you'd like to explore a journey with Behold, apply below.

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

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As public awareness of the sacred healing plant ayahuasca grows, more and more people are looking for somewhere to partake in the traditional healing ceremonies involving it. 

Ayahuasca, known as the plant teacher by the Amazonian shamans who harness its medicinal properties, can deliver a life changing experience. Traditional ceremonies are said to bring a spiritual awakening, and can be an incredible method of helping participants deal with past trauma.

Legalities within the United States of America mean it is not possible to perform ayahuasca ceremonies within San Diego itself, however, there are plenty of fantastic options just a few hours travel away if the ayahuasca experience is something that interests you.

How should you choose which retreat is right for you? Hopefully this list should be a start, but consider what it is you want from your ceremony, do you want the most authentic traditional ceremony? Or are modern facilities a must? It is also worth looking into who will be performing the ceremonies and their experience with the sacred healing plant.

Below are our top 5 Ayahuasca retreats to visit from San Diego:

1) Behold Retreats – Mexico, Costa Rica

Whilst local laws prohibit such activities in San Diego itself, across the border in Mexico sits Behold Retreats’ Valle de Bravo mountaintop estate, situated in one of the safest and most picturesque areas in the country. 

Behold Retreats pride themselves on providing a “safe, legal and luxurious environment” within which to enjoy their ayahuasca retreats. If you are looking for an intimate ayahuasca ceremony for up to 8 people in a breathtaking setting, where every room has panoramic views looking over the sacred Valle de Bravo, then this is the retreat for you.

During their visit, guests will experience their healing ceremonies with Amina, a Mexican native with more than 13 years experience delivering the sacred plant medicine. A practitioner of El Camino Rojo (a well respected lineage of historic Mexican healing methods), Amina is also trained in Taoist massage, and has a Masters of Psychotherapy from the University of Salamanca in Spain.

Behold also holds ceremonies in the same Mexico retreat using 5MEO-DMT (Bufo), and has a similar facility in Costa Rica.

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2) Bluestone Ayahuasca – Mexico

On the beachfront at Casa de la Tortuga, a private villa situated just north of Cancun, Bluestone offer week long ayahuasca retreats. Situated on a quiet stretch of coastline the facility allows easy access to the beach, and each room features a private balcony from which to take in the magnificent views.

The founders of Bluestone have years of experience performing healing ceremonies with the master plant, and at each retreat there will be two or more therapists present to educate participants in a variety of healing modalities. 

3) Aye De La Vid – Cancun Mexico

Hosting 2 retreats each year, in late September and November, ‘Aye De La Vid’ is located at La Riviera Maya, Cancun. Each retreat lasts 5 nights, and guests are provided all meals and accommodation, including a pool and wifi.

Over the 5 days guest will partake in 2 Ayahuasca ceremonies, and 2 Temezcal ceremonies, in addition to various other activities including Yoga, and numerous musical performances.

4) APL Retreats – Mexico

APL Journeys provide ayahuasca and kambo ceremonies from Peruvian master shamans. Retreats include multiple ceremonies over the 6 day period, and guests are granted daily private sessions with a shaman.

Located deep in the jungle in Yucatan Mexico, APL’s ayahuasca retreat center combines the spirit of jungle life with the latest in luxury facilities. The resort includes an outdoor jungle pool, rainforest sauna, and various tranquil places to meditate.

5) Inner Circle – Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

Accommodating up to 6 guests in a luxurious beachfront property, Inner Circle’s Nuevo Vallarta retreat aims to provide an authentic ayahuasca experience whilst providing guests all of the modern creature comforts. Situated in the middle of the exquisite Bay of Banderas, the nearest city, Puerto Vallarta, is rated as the safest in Mexico.

Participants will be guided on their journey by a traditional indigenous shaman, and during their stay are provided with various fresh local fruits and foods. Packages include 6 nights accomodation, and transport to the ceremony, which takes place late in the evening.

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Top 5 Ayahuasca retreats in San Diego (Updated 2022)

August 10, 2022
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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

What to look for to find a safe, quality Ayahuasca Retreat?

Like most things in life, there a broad variety of Ayahuasca retreat options, and a number of factors that effect the quality and cost of an ayahuasca retreat that you may like to take into consideration:

  • Safety: Many smaller operators are not in a position to invest in safety, and unfortunately, there are too many sad stories out there. (recommendation: choose a retreat that does in-depth screening to ensure your physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being).
  • Legality:  Practitioners who have dedicated their lives to medicine work typically live in locations where it is legal, so they don't have to live in a state of "what if". (recommendation: consider whether travelling to a place with "new energy" might be in your best interests).
  • Size of the group: It's common for retreats to have 20, 50, even 100 people in ceremony, which can be chaotic. Additionally, you are less likely receive the level of attention from healers that you are probably looking for. (recommendation: choose a retreat with an intimate group of say, 8-15 people).
  • Length of the retreat: Shorter retreats feel rushed, and there are limits to what can be done in a few nights. (recommendation: go for at least a week).
  • Comfort: (recommendation: spend a little extra for something where you will be physically comfortable and have your own bedroom to decompress and integrate, especially if this is your first time). Your future self can thank us later.
  • Cosmology: (recommendation: choose a retreat that supports your own subjective experience, or one that you feel aligns with you energetically). The energy of the retreat and ceremony leaders will have a profound effect upon your experience.
  • Holistic approach: (recommendation: work with an organization that takes a holistic approach to working with medicine, and has options to support and guide your mental and emotional evolution). If a provider implies that "medicine will solve all your problems", proceed with caution (because it won't!).
  • Service: (recommendation: choose a place that you believe can serve your individual needs. 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).
  • Booking process: (recommendation: speak with the provider before finalizing your booking). If it's all online, ANYONE could be sitting next to you in ceremony.
  • Expertise: (recommendation: work with an organization that emphasizes healing, and you believe has a breadth of expertise to guide your transformation). Look for facilitators and healers who have a lightness of being and a sparkle in their eyes.
  • Reputation: (recommendation: Google the provider). You may be surprised by what you find. If there's not much information, that is also information :)
  • Volunteers: (recommendation: work with an organization that pays their staff). 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.

Given the potential, power, and sensitivity of working with Ayahuasca, who you choose to work with is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions of your life, so we encourage you to take the time and the energy to educate yourself to be able to make a good one. If you're in a position to do so, you may also like to consider a private retreat.

If our recommendations above feel energetically aligned for you, and you'd like to explore a journey with Behold, apply below.

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

‍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"}}

As public awareness of the sacred healing plant ayahuasca grows, more and more people are looking for somewhere to partake in the traditional healing ceremonies involving it. 

Ayahuasca, known as the plant teacher by the Amazonian shamans who harness its medicinal properties, can deliver a life changing experience. Traditional ceremonies are said to bring a spiritual awakening, and can be an incredible method of helping participants deal with past trauma.

Legalities within the United States of America mean it is not possible to perform ayahuasca ceremonies within San Diego itself, however, there are plenty of fantastic options just a few hours travel away if the ayahuasca experience is something that interests you.

How should you choose which retreat is right for you? Hopefully this list should be a start, but consider what it is you want from your ceremony, do you want the most authentic traditional ceremony? Or are modern facilities a must? It is also worth looking into who will be performing the ceremonies and their experience with the sacred healing plant.

Below are our top 5 Ayahuasca retreats to visit from San Diego:

1) Behold Retreats – Mexico, Costa Rica

Whilst local laws prohibit such activities in San Diego itself, across the border in Mexico sits Behold Retreats’ Valle de Bravo mountaintop estate, situated in one of the safest and most picturesque areas in the country. 

Behold Retreats pride themselves on providing a “safe, legal and luxurious environment” within which to enjoy their ayahuasca retreats. If you are looking for an intimate ayahuasca ceremony for up to 8 people in a breathtaking setting, where every room has panoramic views looking over the sacred Valle de Bravo, then this is the retreat for you.

During their visit, guests will experience their healing ceremonies with Amina, a Mexican native with more than 13 years experience delivering the sacred plant medicine. A practitioner of El Camino Rojo (a well respected lineage of historic Mexican healing methods), Amina is also trained in Taoist massage, and has a Masters of Psychotherapy from the University of Salamanca in Spain.

Behold also holds ceremonies in the same Mexico retreat using 5MEO-DMT (Bufo), and has a similar facility in Costa Rica.

{{CTA-Retreat-Stats="/utility/components"}}

2) Bluestone Ayahuasca – Mexico

On the beachfront at Casa de la Tortuga, a private villa situated just north of Cancun, Bluestone offer week long ayahuasca retreats. Situated on a quiet stretch of coastline the facility allows easy access to the beach, and each room features a private balcony from which to take in the magnificent views.

The founders of Bluestone have years of experience performing healing ceremonies with the master plant, and at each retreat there will be two or more therapists present to educate participants in a variety of healing modalities. 

3) Aye De La Vid – Cancun Mexico

Hosting 2 retreats each year, in late September and November, ‘Aye De La Vid’ is located at La Riviera Maya, Cancun. Each retreat lasts 5 nights, and guests are provided all meals and accommodation, including a pool and wifi.

Over the 5 days guest will partake in 2 Ayahuasca ceremonies, and 2 Temezcal ceremonies, in addition to various other activities including Yoga, and numerous musical performances.

4) APL Retreats – Mexico

APL Journeys provide ayahuasca and kambo ceremonies from Peruvian master shamans. Retreats include multiple ceremonies over the 6 day period, and guests are granted daily private sessions with a shaman.

Located deep in the jungle in Yucatan Mexico, APL’s ayahuasca retreat center combines the spirit of jungle life with the latest in luxury facilities. The resort includes an outdoor jungle pool, rainforest sauna, and various tranquil places to meditate.

5) Inner Circle – Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

Accommodating up to 6 guests in a luxurious beachfront property, Inner Circle’s Nuevo Vallarta retreat aims to provide an authentic ayahuasca experience whilst providing guests all of the modern creature comforts. Situated in the middle of the exquisite Bay of Banderas, the nearest city, Puerto Vallarta, is rated as the safest in Mexico.

Participants will be guided on their journey by a traditional indigenous shaman, and during their stay are provided with various fresh local fruits and foods. Packages include 6 nights accomodation, and transport to the ceremony, which takes place late in the evening.

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

Let's Evolve Together


Keep up to date with the latest research and transformational experiences available through Behold. Sign up now.

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