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What World Location Is the Best Choice for an Ayahuasca Retreat?

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Although many people still see ayahuasca as a fringe approach to psychological healing, it’s become a lot more mainstream in recent years than it used to be, and with good reason. Modern people aren’t just thinking further outside the box in their search for inner healing and wholeness. They’re openly discussing the solutions they find.

Celebrities like Sting, Jim Carrey, Megan Fox, Chelsea Handler, Tori Amos, Will Smith, and Aaron Rodgers have not only been to ayahuasca retreats in the past but also spoken extensively about the lessons Mother Ayahuasca taught them. Multiple bloggers, writers, and everyday people have published detailed personal accounts of their own experiences, as well.

However, where you decide to experience ayahuasca(especially for the first time) is as important as whether you decide to partake in the first place.

While a trip to South America for a Peru ayahuasca retreat or similar was once your only viable option if you wanted to participate in a quality ayahuasca ceremony, this is no longer the case. The rising popularity of plant medicine solutions like ayahuasca has found retreat options popping up all over the world across a multitude of different countries and regions.

Here we’ll go over what you need to know to choose the best ayahuasca retreat location for you, including the advantages of different geographic locations and some tips on choosing a good retreat center.


Why Is It Important to Experience Ayahuasca at a Retreat?

No two ayahuasca experiences are the same (even for a single person), but all have the potential to be profoundly life-changing. Many users who’ve taken “the medicine” describe the experience as “ego-dissolving” or compare it to looking into the world’s most honest mirror. As you can imagine, such an experience is euphoric and enlightening for some but difficult for others.

Ayahuasca has the potential to show you the true divide between who you think you are and who you actually are, and not everyone is as prepared as they think for that. Even those who are genuinely ready still need proper guidance, care, and aftercare to have the safe, soulful experience they deserve.

A good-quality retreat offers people that, thanks to the presence of experienced, fully qualified guides or healers. Retreat staff are also responsible for vetting and hand-selecting the people who will be present at each event, fully onboarding participants, supervising ceremonies while in progress, and helping people process their experiences before returning to their everyday lives.

In other words, choosing the right ayahuasca retreat is a key part of having the positive, mind-opening experience you’re after. A wise choice has the power to teach you incredible things about yourself, the world around you, and the larger universe, so it’s crucial to consider all your options.

What Is the History of Ayahuasca Use Around the World?

Indigenous peoples native to regions like contemporary Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, and Brazil have been turning to ayahuasca for millennia for psychological healing and various spiritual purposes. One reason ayahuasca retreat Peru experiences, ayahuasca Costa Rica retreats, and similar options remain so popular – many people seeking healing like the idea of following the call of the medicine all the way back to its roots.

Ayahuasca eventually collided with Western culture around 1908 when scientists like botanist Richard Spruce began studying it and publishing their observations. It received even more attention when Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and other members of the 1960scounterculture movement began exploring and writing about its possibilities.

Today, a renewed desire to seek healing and connection with the larger world, combined with the increasing accessibility of reputable ayahuasca experiences, is driving people from all over the world to seek the power of the medicine for themselves.


Which Countries in the Americas Offer the Best Ayahuasca Retreats?

Whether you’re located in the United States and looking for a trustworthy “ayahuasca retreat near me” option to consider or prefer the idea of traveling to an exotic location to experience your awakening, you have lots of options to choose from if one of the Americas is your destination. Here’s a closer look at today's best options.

Costa Rica

If you love the idea of exploring the lessons ayahuasca has to teach in a lush jungle or while enjoying the balmy caress of tropical breezes near seaside cliffs, an ayahuasca retreat Costa Rica experience is an incredible option to consider.

The weather is beautiful, the people are happy, and thrilling outdoor activities – like zip lining and river rafting, to namejust a couple of examples – are popular in Costa Rica. Ayahuasca is also a key part of the cultural history here, so top-tier retreat options are plentiful.

  • Legality: Ayahuasca is not a controlled substance in Costa Rica.
  • Retreat types: Quality experiences from both private and non-profit companies     are readily available here.
  • Other perks: Costa Rica is an incredible place to visit if you’re a lover     of exotic wildlife or sea life. It’s also well known for its national     parks, rainforests, delicious cuisine, and natural features like     geothermal pools. Ayahuasca retreat Costa Rica options give you a chance     to experience the best of what the region has to offer.


An ayahuasca retreat in Peru is another key choice to consider if you’re interested in tracing the art of the ayahuasca ceremony back to its ancient roots. Those roots run deep throughout many locations where ceremonies led by experienced plant medicine experts and long-term retreats are popular options.

A Peru ayahuasca retreat is an especially great choice for anyone who’s always longed to see ancient wonders like Machu Picchu or the Nazca Lines in person. Peru is also home to legendary natural features like Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon, and the Andes mountains.

  • Legality: Ayahuasca is fully legal in Peru.
  • Retreat types: An ayahuasca retreat in Peru that takes place     close to famous sites (like Machu Picchu) is a popular option,     occasionally even integrating visits into the program. However,     multiple private and non-profit companies offer retreats throughout the     country.
  • Other perks: At an ayahuasca retreat Peru, you’ll find ceremonies     managed by healers from lengthy lines of experienced ayahuasca shamans.     It’s also hard not to feel spiritual here, thanks to picturesque     mountains, jaw-dropping lakes, and other natural wonders.


Like many South American countries, Ecuador is well-known for its gorgeous natural beauty, friendly citizens, and rich cultural traditions. It is yet another country where ayahuasca use goes way back, guaranteeing retreat options led by healers with years of experience from families with a long-standing connection to the practice.

Ecuador is also home to multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so it’s a solid destination for ayahuasca-curious people who also want to deepen their sense of local culture while they’re in the country.

  • Legality: Ayahuasca is fully legal in Ecuador.
  • Retreat types: Many retreat locations in Ecuador offer a nice balance between     traditional charm and modern convenience. Think options that offer both     Wi-Fi access and stunning views of mountains or natural forests!
  • Other perks: As a country, Ecuador features a good tourist infrastructure     that includes solid public transportation – a plus if you’re planning on     exploring more of the country before or after your retreat. Outdoor     activities like hiking and biking are also popular here.


All you need to do is simply think of Brazil for vibrant visions of gorgeous landscapes, delectable food, and lively cultural traditions to appear in your head. Brazil is famous for its hundreds of stunning beaches, including famous options like the Copacabana in Rio.

Brazil is also home to multiple world-famous natural wonders, like the Amazon Rainforest – the world’s largest jungle and an ideal place near which to explore ayahuasca. The climate here is tropical, and many local attractions are affordable, safe, and accessible.

  • Legality: Ayahuasca has been fully legal in Brazil since 1992.
  • Types of retreats: Brazil is a huge hub for ayahuasca retreats and offers     numerous options – everything from old-school nature-based approaches to     ceremonies and workshops in sleek modern facilities.
  • Other perks: Brazil is known for being a safe, affordable travel     destination filled with friendly, helpful people. The local culture is     second to none, and the cuisine is famous around the world for its flavor     and vibrancy.


An ayahuasca Mexico retreat is a terrific option for those seeking an experience in an affordable, accessible country that isn’t too far off the beaten trail. Mexico offers visitors a little bit of everything– access to beautiful marine settings, ancient Mayan ruins, incredible food, and so much more.

Like many other locations in Central and South America, an ayahuasca retreat Mexico experience can offer ayahuasca-curious travelers access to a variety of different facilities and events, so whether you’re into rustic and low-key or polished and sophisticated, you’re covered.

  • Legality: Ayahuasca is not a controlled substance in Mexico.
  • Types of retreats: Full legality guarantees a good mixture of both privately run     and non-profit ayahuasca retreat experiences in Mexico.
  • Other perks: If you’re from the United States or Canada, an ayahuasca     retreat Mexico option offers you a chance to venture away from home for an     authentic experience without having to travel too far.

United States

Save for religious use, ayahuasca is illegal throughout the United States, so it’s important to evaluate any retreat options with care. Always opt for professionally run events led by qualified medicine men or women, coaches, healers, or doctors. They’ll be able to guarantee you the safe experience an underground operation can’t.

Choosing an ayahuasca retreat USA option is a solid way for Americans and Canadians to have their experience in familiar surroundings. This can make the post-ceremony integration process easier for some.

  • Legality: Ayahuasca is illegal in the US, except for religious use.
  • Types of retreats: Most reputable retreat options in the US are offered by     churches, shamanic centers, and other qualified religious centers.
  • Other perks: Ayahuasca retreat USA options may be more accessible     or feel more comfortable for candidates not used to traveling.


As in the United States, ayahuasca is not legal in Canada. However, official religious use is an exception, so always evaluate ayahuasca retreat Canada options with care. The safest options will be those led by fully qualified plant medicine professionals, shamans, healers, and other specialists.

Canada is famous for its expansive access to stunning natural locations like awe-inspiring waterfalls, robust forests, and postcard-perfect mountains. It may also be a more comfortable destination for locals who like the idea of exploring ayahuasca but don’t wish to travel far from home.

  • Legality: Ayahuasca is illegal in Canada, except for religious use.
  • Resort types: As in the US, the best Canadian retreat options tend to be at     churches, indigenous reserves, shamanic centers, and similar locations.
  • Other perks: Ayahuasca retreat Canada options offer an accessible, nearby     option for those who can’t travel far (or don’t wish to).

Where Else in the World Offers Ayahuasca Retreats?

In recent years, more ayahuasca retreats and centers have been popping up around Europe and additional locations. However, patchy legal status in many nations means interested retreat seekers should exercise caution when considering an ayahuasca retreat in the UK or anywhere else across Europe.


Ayahuasca is not legal in the United Kingdom, so those in the market for an ayahuasca retreat in the UK should exercise extreme caution when vetting their choices. Shamanic centers, churches, and other locations may offer viable choices. However, you should avoid underground ayahuasca retreat Europe operations where factors like staff expertise can’t be verified.

Instead, consider looking into ayahuasca retreat Europe options in nearby countries where the medicine is legally available for use under specific circumstances. (Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, and Portugal are good examples.) Always verify the validity of any retreats, as well as the credentials and qualifications of ceremony facilitators before investing your time and money.


Ayahuasca isn’t legal in Australia, either, so again – take care when looking into any local centers and facilities offering ayahuasca retreats. Workshops and retreats led by qualified shamans or healers will be your best bet.

A trip to another country where high-quality retreat options are plentiful may be in order. Think Costa Rica, Peru, Brazil, and other locations where ayahuasca has a long-standing history or safe, fruitful use!


How to Choose a Good Ayahuasca Retreat

Regardless of where you choose to travel (and how far) for your next experience with ayahuasca, it’s important to fully evaluate each resort, facility, or retreat offering before moving forward. Here’s a short checklist of key factors to look into.


The best ayahuasca healers and plant medicine practitioners are people who’ve spent their entire lives doing what they do. They’re most likely to live and practice in places where ayahuasca is legal, so it’s strongly advisable to seek out appropriate experiences.

Group size

Larger retreat groups certainly aren’t unheard of, especially at popular destinations. However, many ayahuasca takers –especially those taking it for the first time – have better, more intimateexperiences in smaller groups of twenty people or less. Facilitators can offereach individual more attention if needed, experiences tend to be more intimate,etc.

Retreat length

Once you start looking into your options, you’ll discover that ayahuasca retreats come in a variety of different lengths. In fact, they can be anything, from short one-night events to multi-week deep dives into serious spiritual healing. Retreats that last at least a week are recommended, as that will give you the time you need to get to know other seekers on your retreat, as well as absorb the lessons Mother Ayahuasca has instore for you.

Personal connection

It’s also important to choose a retreat location you vibe with on a personal level. If you love the idea of following the medicine back to its origins and experiencing it in its native setting, definitely consider Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, or a similar location. But if you truly prefer to stick closer to home, there’s no shame in exploring options in or near Europe, the USA, Canada, and so forth.

At Behold Retreats, we specialize in facilitating meaningful connections between Mother Ayahuasca and those seeking healing via our immersive retreats. Experienced guides, comprehensive workshops, in-depth integration practices, and stunning locations come together seamlessly for experiences with the potential to change your life. Start exploring your options today.



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