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5 Best Ayahuasca Retreat South Africa (Updated 2023)

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For deeper insights into what makes up a safe and quality plant medicine retreat, check out the results from our recent plant medicine retreats survey.

1. If you’d like a holistic understanding of your opportunities to improve your quality of life, take this self-diagnostic.

2. If this is your first time with Ayahuasca, this short quiz will help you assess your level of mental, emotional, and spiritual readiness for this powerful and sensitive work.

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



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

  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 affect 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 uncertainty about their work 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.
  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 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.
  4. Length of the retreat: Shorter retreats feel rushed, do not support the cultivation of meaningful relationships, and can limit what can be achieved in time available. 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 that 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. 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.
  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 the provider does not have a screening process in place during the booking process anyone could be sitting next to you in ceremony. Some people are not in the right place to work with this powerful plant medicine, and it is the responsibility of the organizers to ensure that only people who can handle ayahuasca are accepted onto the retreat.
  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. A reputable retreat center will have a professional online presence with testimonials from previous retreat attendees. This is essential for you to see that they are a legitimate organization who you can trust to contain this powerful experience.
  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 , 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.


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


5 Best Ayahuasca Retreat South Africa and nearby

Ayahuasca Vine, often called the Mother Plant, is one of the most sought-after plant medicines, coming from the Amazon region of South America. It was used in a traditional shamanic ceremonies to induce profound healing and a spiritual awakening, and is now recognized as being one of the most powerful alternative therapies to Western medicine.

Ayahuasca is not currently legalized in South Africa, but retreats have been growing rapidly among countries where it is decriminalized, as well as those with  legal “gray areas”. Costa Rica, Portugal, and many South American countries have well-established retreat centers, and taking a trip to any of these locations would give you the most certain options for an ayahuasca retreat with a focus on catering to your needs.

Here is a list of ayahuasca retreat South Africa and plant medicine retreat centers closeby that will be sure to get you on the right path to booking your next spiritual retreat with ease and clarity.

1. Behold Retreats - Costa Rica, Portugal, Mexico, Netherlands

This is one of the best ayahuasca retreat center options for those seeking a professional setting with a mix of homeopathic and Western medicine healing modalities.  Behold Retreats has beautiful locations set aside for each group of participants, with beachfront villas and tropical rainforest centers.  Each ayahuasca ceremony is limited to small groups, allowing for more personalized and intimate ayahuasca journeys, with an emphasis on client security and care.

Each of the ceremonies to induce profound healing is led by experienced facilitators and offers consultation beforehand, to ensure you are getting the support you need for each retreat.  This is an opportunity for healing of all kinds, with everything from dealing with past trauma to enhancing your spiritual practice to augmenting lifestyle changes as the focus.


2. Soltara Healing Center - Costa Rica, Peru

With a beautiful retreat center located in the mountains of Costa Rica or Peru, Soltara Healing Center is committed to offering clients a luxurious and life-changing experience during each spiritual retreat.  Plant medicine is becoming more and more prominent as a powerful alternative to Western treatments, with a focus on the inner workings of your psyche, as opposed to simply addressing the symptoms.  Ayahuasca retreats are centered around the personal growth of all participants, and range from 5 to 12 days.

This treatment center combines the knowledge of indigenous shamans and Western psychologists, with a team of trained staff from the Shipibo healers of South America.  Ayahuasca is one of the most powerful healing modalities, and anyone interested in pursuing this ayahuasca journey should consider carefully the legitimacy and professionalism of the retreat center they choose.  Soltara Healing Center believes strongly with this and therefore a good choice, when taking these things into account.

3. Spirit Vine - Brazil

This ayahuasca retreat center is founded in Brazil, the homeland of the Amazon rainforest where the ayahuasca vine originates from.  Spirit Vine ceremonies to induce and assist participants in their journey to inner healing, with a team of dedicated facilitators from experienced backgrounds leading clients in preparation for each ayahuasca ceremony, with diet regulation and stays of a week or longer.

Spirit Vine believes strongly that ayahuasca, which has been used by shaman cultures for millenia, has healing properties that are much more than a hallucinatory drug to be used for fun in parties.  This retreat center gives participants the opportunity to experience a traditional shamanic ceremony, after dark in the midst of the Amazon, with all the atmosphere of the ancient Mother Ayahuasca journey.

4. Lighthouse Retreats - Portugal

This retreat center is situated in the Douro Valley, in a truly inspiring environment that focuses on the beauty of nature, with an orchard of 40 fruit trees, gardens and forests, and is designed to instill a calming scenario in all participants.  With nearby access to the Douro River and its leisure spots, and opportunities for clients to work with various plant medicines, such as the San Pedro cactus, cacao and psilocybin, upcoming retreat is a great place to get in touch with your inner self, and enjoy the journey.

5. Amoraleza - Spain

This is a non-profit organization created by a community of people who want to share the profound healing of ayahuasca.  With a close-knit group of facilitators with over 15 years of experience, Amoraleza has been guiding participants through spiritual journeys on private land they cultivated and developed for this purpose.

Retreats are from 1-5 days, with an emphasis on closeness to nature, providing yurts and cabins for clients, and vegan meals that are made with dietary restrictions, to enhance the ayahuasca plant medicine experience.  Combining the spiritual traditions of many shamanic cultures, with native music and plant medicine ceremonies, this retreat center believes strongly in what they do, and have glowing reviews from previous guests.

Ayahuasca retreats have already become a popular trend over the past decade, and with the growing popularity we anticipate that more and more people will choose to take on an upcoming retreat and ayahuasca experience. These ayahuasca retreats hold all sorts of experiences, from plant medicine ceremonies to workshops. 

Aside from ayahuasca retreat South Africa, there are well-established retreat centers in Costa Rica, Portugal, and many South American countries. If you go to any of the above places, you will have the best chance of finding an ayahuasca retreat that focuses on your needs. 

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