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10 Most Reputable Ayahuasca Retreats in the World (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.


Ready to experience Ayahuasca? You're right on time.

They say that Ayahuasca finds you when you're ready, so it's no coincidence that you're here reading this. Your relationship with Ayahuasca begins the moment you start following your curiousity, doing your research, and hearing those sweet butterflies in your chest that whisper, "yes!" You might even be ready to start reaching out to retreat centers. The question is, who will open the door for you when you finally make the commitment?

This is a question that deserves careful attention, one whose answer will depend greatly on your intention for joining an ayahuasca retreat in the first place.  What are you seeking?

Maybe you've been reading the positive effects of Ayahuasca and other forms of psychedelic therapy on trauma, grief, depression, or addiction.

Maybe you're tired of struggling with the inner blockages that keep you from reaching success in your relationships, personal life, and business.

Or maybe the financial success you've achieved hasn't actually brought you happiness, and you're looking for something more out of life.    

Whatever your reason, you’ve probably already figured out that the conventional methods of healing can only bring us so far.  Sometimes we need something a little (or a lot) more powerful; a catalyst to bring us to the next level of our evolution.

A safe, legal, and expertly facilitated Ayahuasca retreat might be closer than you think.

Gone are the days when a journey with the sacred shamanic plant medicine of Ayahuasca required a long excursion to the Amazon where a personal introduction to an experienced shaman or healer from an indigenous culture would be your only access point to a world of spiritual power, illumination, and infinite potentials for healing.

Only recently has this sacred Amazonian sacrament taken root in the consciousness of mainstream culture, with several clinical studies showing very promising results for a range of mental health issues.

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.


Too Good to be Legal?

All the benefits sound great, but is Ayahuasca even legal?  This is where it gets interesting.  

The truth?  It depends.  

DMT, the active psychoactive component in Ayahuasca, is technically a Schedule 1 drug and Federally illegal in most countries.  The irony of DMT being illegal is that the human body produces DMT naturally in the lungs, liver, and pineal gland, so technically we're all breaking the law, but I digress...

For those willing to travel, Ayahuasca is legal or decriminalized in many countries in South America and Latin America, like Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico. For those in Europe, finding a retreat in Portugal, and the Netherlands, and Ireland are your best options.

For those looking for something closer to home, a handful of Ayahuasca retreat centers in the USA operate under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a legal safeguard giving protection to ceremonies performed for religious purposes within the context and beliefs of that tradition. While the RFRA does give some protection to facilitators and guests, the majority of expert practitioners prefer to work underground outside of these limitations.

Choosing a Reputable Ayahuasca Retreat

If you've done any amount of research into finding Ayahuasca retreats around the world, you've probably already noticed that Ayahuasca tourism is in full swing.

This is both a blessing and a curse.

On one hand, the healing that Ayahuasca offers humanity is much closer to your doorstep than it used to be, and that's a very important thing in a world with so much suffering and trauma.   On the other hand, Ayahuasca has become a very lucrative business for many who don't have the proper training to safely facilitate a healing ceremony or Ayahuascaretreat.  A poorly facilitated Ayahuasca retreat can result in injury, death, or more trauma than you walked in with.  It's unfortunate, but it's a reality of the plant medicine world that should be taken into consideration when choosing a retreat.

Even for retreat centers that prioritize safety, most places still run large retreats with 30+ people, and neglect to provide you with the ever-so-important integration support.  

Proper integration is the difference between "an Ayahuasca experience", and "an Ayahuasca experience that changed my life forever."

The options can be overwhelming.  Let us help you choose the best ayahuasca retreat.

Behold Retreats is here to guide you to the right plant medicine ceremony, whether or not you decide to choose one of our retreats, we're here to help you choose the best ayahuasca retreat, provide info on preparation, integration, and educational resources.  

We believe that psychedelics have the power to change the world by elevating human consciousness.  We've also been in this space long enough to see where things can go wrong, so we're here to help you avoid some of the common mistakes.

Whatever you choose, make your decision with care, patience, and self respect.  What you might save on the upfront retret cost might come back around in the form of a less-than-optimal experience.  Remember, you're putting your consciousness in someone else's hands.


Now, onto the retreat options! Here are the 10 Most Reputable Ayahuasca Retreats in the World.

#1 - Behold Retreats in Costa Rica

Behold Retreats is a very unique company in that they are not a singular retreat center, but an international, decentralized network of highly-qualified, carefully-vetted healers, doctors, therapists, coaches and retreat facilitators. Behold Retreats sets the standard for safe, legal, and transformative retreats with Ayahuasca, 5-MeO-DMT, and Psilocybin in idyllic locations around the world such as Costa Rica, Mexico, Portugal, and the Netherlands.

Retreats with Behold are never more than 8 people maximum, ensuring that you have plenty of 1 on 1 time with your facilitators and on-site therapists who are skilled in a range of healing modalities.

Each guests of Behold Retreats goes through a full medical screening from a licensed Medical Doctor trained in psychedelic preparation.  You also receive multiple 1 on 1 conversations with our onboarding team, and an invitation into our 7-Week Coaching Program with one of our psychedelic integration coaches, someone who is fit to your personality and needs.

Get in touch with us for free consultation. We'll help you get clear on what you need, and which would be the best type of experience to fit your needs.

#2 - Temple Of the Way of Light - Peru

The Temple of the Way of Light is a pioneering plant medicine healing center in the Peruvian Amazon that has facilitated safe ayahuasca healing retreats for thousands of guests from more than 30 countries since our foundation in March 2007. Offering a synthesis of ancient Shipibo (the indigenous people Peru) of  healingtraditions and modern and Eastern integrative practices, the Temple is proud to be known as the safest and one of the most respected and long-established master plant shamanism centers in the Amazon Rainforest.

Through meticulous planning and experience with thousands of guests, the Temple has developed many tailored spiritual retreat programs in our beautiful jungle setting, about two hours by boat and track from the Peruvian city of Iquitos.

#3 - Behold Retreats Portugal

Join us for a retreat at our exquisite healing facilities in the picturesque landscape of southern Portugal. Immerse yourself in nature while enjoying the comforts of our facility, where our dedicated staff ensures a serene and supportive environment.

Experience the expertise of our experienced retreat facilitators and medicine guides in intimate group settings. We prioritize your well-being in all aspects – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

Each day of the retreat, you will have the opportunity to start your day with yoga and meditation, fostering presence and connection. Additionally, our on-site somatic therapists offer optional healing modalities such as massage and bodywork to enhance your journey.


#4 - Soltara Healing Center, Costa Rica

Soltara is one of the most reputable ayahuasca retreat centers in Latin America. Their mission is to bridge this gap between head and heart for those who seek it. The work with both indigenous shaman and most western-based practitioners. "We are honored to serve medicine in a traditional ayahuasca ceremony, empower our guests with knowledge and tools to continue their journey back home, raise cultural awareness, and continue our cherished duty as stewards and caretakers of our Earth. We feel that by engaging in this healing work, aligning our past experiences and future actions with deep meaning and purpose, we can become true beacons of light and affect positive change in our lives and our world." The have a great reputation for working with this sacred medicine.


#5 - Inner Journey, Netherlands

Inner-Journey is a great option for a healing retreat in Europe. They offer professional guidance with Ayahuascaceremonies for personal development, spiritual growth, emotional and physical healing. An inner journey can help you to make contact with your inner wisdom in order to get to the heart of a problem. For example, physical complaints, addiction problems, depression, anxiety, grief processing and post-traumatic stress disorder.

An inner journey can give you insight into spiritual development, awareness, personal growth, healing of traumas and life issues, through which you come into contact with yourself again.

#6 - Aya De La Vid, Mexico

Xochipilli Retreat Center located in a tranquil jungle oasis in Cancun, Quintana Roo. Surrounded by lush gardens, the center offers an on site kitchen where each meal is prepared from scratch with local fresh ingredients. The beautiful accommodations offer a working space with free wifi to journal your experiences at retreat. The grounds offer a private garden and refreshing pool available all day. After the onsite temazcal and kambo sessions, Enjoy spending time in the hammocks under the palms.


#7 -Behold Retreats Ayahuasca in Mexico

To help you get the most from your Ayahuasca retreat, Behold's team of diversely qualified therapists and coaches can guide you through a 1-on-1, 7-week Psychedelic Integration program to help you alchemize your Ayahuasca experience into life-long change. We also offer Integrative Health Coaching for those guests who want to reach their top physical shape before embarking on this journey of spiritual growth. 

We host our retreats with a few different partner retreat centers in the area depending on the season and availability. All of our venues are thoroughly vetted for safety, comfort, and conductivity for sacred medicine work.  Please request a discovery call to see where your preferred retreat dates will be facilitated.

#8 - Om-Mij, Portugal

Located 100km from both the Alicante and Valencia airport, in "Be Free" retreat centers, you will find this sunny and nature immersed ayahuasca retreat center. The ayahuasca ceremonies will be performed with a therapeutic yet traditional approach with accompanying live music.

For those who wish to deepen their healing experience, they offer Kambo ceremonies and rapé which help with the cleansing process. They offer vegan/vegetarian dishes during their three and five day retreats, with two or three ayahuascaceremonies respectively.

The center lies on a 10,000 m2 piece of land that offers a large relaxation area, yoga studio, art exhibitions, barbecue and stone oven, a large swimming pool, and a large house with three floors.

And nothing says fresh local food more than enjoying their vegetable garden and 5000m2 orange garden. Fresh OJ is to be expected.


#9 - 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 the experience of 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.

#10 - Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church, Florida

If you don't want to travel to Central America, Soul Quest retreat center is a great option. Soul Quest was founded by medicine man Chris Young, who left the medical industry after seeing the negative consequences of the pharmaceutical industry, and Verena Young, an integration coach who is finishing her PhD, certified in Spiritual Counseling and Addiction Recovery and Psycho-Spiritual Integration Coaching.

Their team consists of traditional medicine men and woman, integration coaches, and doctors.

Accommodation ranges from sleeping in the ceremonial space or camping if you want to stay connected with Mother Earth, to higher-end options in private cabins or lodges. They even have a family cabin for larger groups.

Church members can enjoy a sacred smoke cleanse ceremony around a fire pit,  join group integration circles, and participate in a sound meditation to get more out of their ayahuasca journey.

Soul Quest church also has been a leader in providing preparation and integration coaching for the last 10 years, helping you feel fully prepared for your journey into a deep healing experience with mother ayahuasca. Their approach is holistic and includes ways to prepare your body,  mind, and soul for the experience, tools to navigate and ground yourself during the journey, and methods to overcome challenges.

After the journey, you can feel supported by their coaches who will help make sense of your insights and lessons, and help you integrate this experience and spiritual awakening into your life in a lasting way.

In closing

Whether its your first time, or just looking for a change, who you choose to serve you medicine is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make.  Read reviews and testimonials. Talk to people about their experience with the retreat center you're thinking about visiting. Even among the best options out there, there is still so much variety in facilitation style, accommodation, and support, so it's really all about choosing the option that fits your needs and preferences.

Still need some help choosing the best ayahuasca 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 so we can point you in the right direction.



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