Ayahuasca Retreat Safety

Our Doctor, Yvan comes to the retreat on day 1 to consult each and every guest’s health. So you can dive in and relax without any worry on your mind.

Safety First, Always.

Your safety and well-being is our priority, both in and out of ceremony, as we guide you through deep personal healing and growth. All the healers and facilitators at the Spirit Plant Journeys  Ayahuasca Retreats have many years of experience holding ceremonies and overseeing the responsible use of Ayahuasca. Our medical screening process ensures you are compatible for the Ayahuasca healing experience. Due to this, we have an exemplary track record and no serious issues, either physical or psychological, have ever arisen.
Our facility ensures you have all the modern comforts in a pristine natural setting, as well as offering 24/7 access to the best medical care in the Sacred Valley should the need ever arise.  We provide the very best caring, self-contained and protected environment to work with Ayahuasca and ensure your safety and welfare at all times. View our Risk Management Program at the bottom of this page.


Talks and


On arrival to our beautiful retreat centre, surrounded by mountains in the Sacred Valley of Peru, we serve a welcome group lunch banquet with group orientation.  Following this we gather together and speak at length regarding logistical and safety aspects for the retreat in order to ensure a safe and comfortable stay for all. We answer all your questions and address any concerns you may have. We also discuss in detail our approach to plant medicine and how to work with it in the best possible way to get the most from your retreat experience.
We share in depth the origins of Ayahuascs ceremonies, the ancestral traditions, and in particular how our plant medicine shaman work in the ceremony, as well as some of the things to expect throughout the journey. Our highly experienced facilitators are very skilled in guiding the group dynamic towards greater support, compassion, cohesion and trust and they are here to assist you all the way from start to finish in your Ayahuasca healing journey.

Let Go In

Comfort & Care

Here at Spirit Plant Journeys you can truly relax and let go… and allow our experienced team take care of you. The luxury modern lodges are always equipped with bottled water, tea facilities, hot-showers, comfortable beds, fresh linen and fluffy towels. Additionally, fireplaces for heating are lit every evening.
Our facilitators are constantly on hand in all ceremonies to provide integrative care and support throughout your healing journey. Our experienced plant medicine shaman maintains a professional yet caring relationship with all our guests to help facilitate your Ayahuasca journey so you can rest assured your time here at Spirit Plant Journey’s will be a comfortable and safe experience.

Our Risk



  • Small intimate groups to a maximum in ceremony.
  • Provide a specialized dietary plan to assist the ceremony induction process.
  • Protocols for emergencies to minimize harm or incident.
  • Health induction briefing to prevent or reduce health issues
  • Fully equipped first-aid kit and first-aid certified facilitators.
  • Direct contract with local medical clinic in case of an emergency that requires outside assistance.
  • 24-hour emergency medical transport to advanced medical clinic (journey time is 15 minutes).
  • Permanent communication with all regional cell-phone networks.
  • Detailed medical screening via questionnaire during booking stage.
  • Medical doctor (available on call) to diagnose or coordinate any medical assistance if required, as well as offering medical advice for more complicated health cases.
  • In person briefing that provides comprehensive information about medical, environmental and other risks sometimes associated with participating in any Ayahuasca programs.
  • Full-time facilitator (+ helper) supervising and assisting in every ceremony.
  • After-ceremony care and healing integration
  • Highly experienced ancestral shamanic healers
  • All Ayahuasca provided at Spirit Plant Journeys Retreats is from the Ayahuasca vine and chacruna combined with the highest quality 100% traditional lineage sacred plant additives to ensure the safest experience for your body, mind and soul. There are no additives used in our Ayahuasca Brew.

Ready To Take The Step?


Please take the time to read below.

Please read:

  • Where is Spirit Plant Journeys? Our retreats take place at one of Sacred Valley’s most renown and luxurious Medicine centers in a town called Arin, near Calca in the Sacred Valley, about 60 km from Cusco. The best way to get to Cusco is to fly from Lima (the capital of Peru) to Cusco or alternatively there are buses departing daily from Lima to Cusco.
  • How do I get from Cuzco to the Spirit Plant Journeys Lodge? The group will meet at a designated spot in Cusco on the first day of the retreats and from there we will travel together Our lodge in Huaran. It should take about 90 min to get there.
  • When should I arrive in Cuzco? We strongly recommend that you arrive in Cusco at least 1 day before the retreat begins and spend 1 night in a city hotel. Preferably you arrive a couple of days before the start of the retreat. This will give you time to get over any jet-lag, but most importantly you will have some time to acclimatize to the altitude. Cusco’s altitude is 3400 meters. Altitude at the retreat venue near Urubamba is about 2600 meters. You will be given a PDF when you register that contains some hotel recommendations. However, if you must arrive in Cusco on the day the retreat begins please make sure that your flight arrives in Cusco no later than about 9am. 
  • Do you provide transport from the Airport to Cuzco? Please ask your hotel to arrange a pickup if you want one. However, it’s not important to have a pickup, there are aways multiple taxis waiting at the airport. If you arrive on the same day as the retreat we recommend you take a cab straight to the Plaza de Armas and head to the meeting point that we will send you by email.
  • Can I fly out of Cuzco the same day that the retreat ends?  Yes. On the final day of our retreat we will leave the retreat site at about 10.30am, and will arrive in Cusco around midday. So if necessary,  you could fly from Cusco that day, though we recommend you book your flight for after 2pm. Most retreat guests choose to spend at least one extra night in Cusco to relax after the retreat.
    If you are coming with the group to Machu Picchu at the end of the retreat, we will not arrive in Cusco until late afternoon/early evening the following day. We recommend that, just to be safe, you book your flight out of Cusco the next day. We cannot be held responsible if flights are missed because of roadblocks or train cancellations/delays. 
  • I am coming alone, is that safe? On average, about 90% of the people in our groups come alone, (most of which are solo female travelers) so don’t worry about coming alone, you’ll be in good company. Also, Peru is a stable and predominantly safe country to travel. Cuzco is a very relaxed and safe city. Much safer than the Jungle of Peru, on all levels.
  • Can you arrange a pickup from the Airport? No. We meet as a group on the morning of the retreat.
  • Do I need vaccinations? There are no compulsory vaccinations to visit Peru. Yellow Fever is not necessary for Cusco. The vaccinations that are the most recommended are Hepatitis A and Typhoid. However, we are not medical doctors and can not advise you on vaccinations. This is a very personal decision and we ask you to consult your MD before traveling to Peru. 
  • Is there electricity at the Lodge? Yes, we have electricity. Peru experiences power cuts sometimes, but we of course have electricity.
  • Do I need to bring a sleeping bag? No. All bedding and towels are provided. And we provide you with hot water bottles as the weather can be quite cold here in the Sacred Valley – especially for ceremony. We provide you with a list of things you should bring once you register, which is mostly just clothes and a few necessary items such as a flashlight.
  • What are the sizes of your groups? We like to keep our groups small and intimate in order to provide very close guidance to every single one of our participants along the journey. We have a maximum allowance of 12 people per retreat. We are a small organization and we like to treat our participants like family.
  • Is SPJ a safe retreat for women? Yes it is a safe place for women. There is almost always a lovely gender balance in our groups. We mostly work with Female and Male Shipibo healers. Our Ayahuasca retreats are very balanced in our approach. We balance the dual energies and bring the Feminine and the Masculine together.If you prefer to work with Female healers or facilitator only, you can email us and ask us when our Female Shipibo healer/facilitator is on retreats.
  • Where does the water come from at the lodge? We provide you with high quality Ozone Alkalized filtered water from the glacier, filtered through a highly sophisticated Ozone+Alkalizing!
  • Can I book a shared room? Yes! There are a variety of rooms available. If you would like to share a room with your friend or partner you can apply for a shared room during registration. Same room also applies to Machu Picchu trip, see below.
  • Machu Picchu room and refund policy! If you book a Machu Picchu trip, and you booked a shared room on your retreat with us, then your hotel room at Machu Picchu will also be shared. If you booked a private room for the retreat, your Machu Picchu hotel room will also be private. All shared rooms will be same-gender. If you qualify for any type of refund, a – 10% admin fee will be charged to cover our transfer fees and Admin fee. Machu Picchu Adds on 1 day to the retreat. The day the retreat ends, you will leave to Machu Picchu City and spend the night there. For further information about when to fly out when coming to Machu Picchu, please contact us.
  • Do I need a plug/converter? Peru uses the same type of plug as North America however it has a higher voltage so make sure your electrical devices work ok with up to 220 volts.
  • Can I text/email/call during the retreat?  Yes, of course you can, you’re not in jail. We strongly suggest you to truly come to this retreat in order to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect within!
  • Can I bring a musical instrument? Yes! In fact, we insist that you do!
  • How do I pay my remaining balance?
    Remaining Balance:
    We ask our guests to please bring the outstanding difference for the retreat cost in Cash (USD) in a sealed envelope with the amount and your name written on it. We will follow up this e-mail with your outstanding balance. Again, please bring your remaining amount in CASH, as transferring money between various online payment methods and international banking systems becomes quite tricky and costly. Unfortunately, if the money is not brought as described above, we will debit the outstanding balance to the card we have on file with an additional 28% fee to offset the exact amount we will be charged in order to complete the transfer. All that said, we hope to avoid this issue completely, as it is a sincere logistical headache and more money spent by all, so please be sure to read & follow the above instructions. If you can’t take out the money in Cash let us know in advance and we will look into a less costy way of transferring the money to us.
    – If you decide to cancel before the retreat, please read our cancellation policy: https://www.spiritplantjourneys.com/register/
  • Does the Shaman put any additives to the Ayahuasca? We respect the Shipibo Lineage, our Maestros only use Pure Medicine. Pure Ayahuasca brew which is a combination of the Ayahuasca vine and chacruna. We do not add any additives to the Ayahuasca brew.
  • Should I get travel insurance?
    YES. Remember, you are traveling to Peru. Travel Insurance is important.
    Transparency and Safety First. Our retreat, while itself having most modern amenities, is held in a rural village in the Sacred Valley, a much safer and more tranquil region than the Amazon Jungle. 
    In preparing for every retreat, we take all necessary steps to thoroughly screen the health profile and individual needs of our guests. We ensure that our ceremonies happen in a safe, controlled environment under the guidance of highly experienced maestros & facilitators .  
    In the unlikely event of an emergency, access to high-quality urgent medical care exists around the area, but is limited. We have a highly-qualified medical doctor on call in the area, and our nearest clinic is only a 30 minute drive away. However, due to the fact that you will be in a developing nation, there is an inevitable element of uncertainty in the availability of these services.
    This is part of the responsibility and risk that guests necessarily take on by traveling to Peru and participating in a traditional plant medicine ceremony.  Should something happen, we will do everything in our power to contact emergency services available in the area and acquire the necessary help. This is why travel insurance is important when traveling to Peru, not only because in case of emergency we have a direct contact to reliable help but also because it gives you the choice to have access to a much higher quality of service and care in case of an emergency.
  • Can I smoke Marihuana during/right before/ after the retreat? Marijuana and Ayahuasca don’t get along too well. Sometimes heavy marijuana smokers find it difficult to have a strong Ayahuasca experience. We highly recommend that you quit smoking marijuana 4-5 weeks prior to retreat. However there is no danger in smoking marijuana right before the retreat. It would be a shame to come all this way and not truly commit to the process.
  • Should I stop taking contraception before the retreat? Most (if not all) contraceptive pills are compatible with Ayahuasca. However, always inform us of what contraception you take.
  • Can I have sex right before/during the retreat? We respect the Shipibo tradition and their way of working with the medicine. During the retreat we have a no sex rule that we expect our participants to honor. We suggest strongly for our guests to abstain from Sexual release (including masturbation) for 2 weeks before retreat starts. Following a rigorous diet in preparation for Plant Medicine Ceremonies can make a huge difference in how well you are able to connect with the plants and how much you get out of the entire experience.
  • How long before the retreat should I start the Ayahuasca diet, and how important is it? 
    Very important. The Diet starts 21 days before the retreat. However, if you take any medication that is not compatible with Ayahuasca, we need to look deeper into this with your Medical Doctor. As most medication needs to be stopped 4 to 6 weeks prior to ingesting Ayahuasca. 
    The diet is a very important part of the preparation. Not only for Safety reasons because certain foods, drugs  are not compatible with Ayahuasca, but also because it is a big aspect of the cleaning and clearing process. It also affects your sensitivity to the medicine.  Particularly if you’re coming from stressful and polluted environment, or if you don’t maintain a healthy diet you will usually not have a high level of sensitivity to the Ayahuasca and as a result the first 1 or 2 ceremonies are more for purging and cleansing and are very physically. So we encourage you to strictly follow the diet.
    Upon registration every guest has to fill the registration form in correctly. We ask every single one of our guests to be very honest and correct about the physical/mental health conditions they have and about the drug (prescription or recreational) they take.
    Not communicating us a medical condition or the drug you take could be fatal. Ayahuasca is not compatible with all medications,, and mental/physical health conditions. So be real and be safe.
  • Should any guest have had recent substance use, recreational or otherwise, it is crucially and utterly important, for the safety of the guest and liability of the center, that the guest requests and provides a signed medical approval from their personal physician clearly stating that the guest is completely and utterly safe to participate in ceremony, and is at no risk of physical danger whatsoever. Should any guest have disclosed previous substance use of any kind to SPJ staff, recreational or otherwise, and SPJ staff requests a medical approval from the guest’s general physician, clearly stating that the guest will be safe to participate, it is the sole responsibility of the guest to provide this medical approval in the form of signed consent from their general physician. If this is not adequately provided, we cannot allow the guest to drink ayahuasca. Any guests that registers for a Spirit Plant Journeys retreat necessarily and automatically agrees to the above.
    Never be shy to ask us a question, this is about your life and mental sanity, PLEASE tell us if you have taken ANY drugs or medication or if you suffer ANY medical condition via email. Thank you!
  • What is the weather like? There can be some cold nights in the Sacred Valley especially between May and September. See http://www.andeantravelweb.com/peru/tips/weather.html for average monthly temperatures. It is necessary that you bring warm clothing! 
  • I don’t speak Spanish! Is that a problem? Of course not! Our fantastic facilitators are fluent in 6 Languages: English, Spanish, French, and Dutch. Our Shipibo Healers don’t speak English however our facilitators speak Spanish and will be translating!

Where is Spirit Plant Journeys? Our retreats take place at one of Sacred Valley’s most renown and luxurious Medicine centers in a town called Arin, near Calca in the Sacred Valley, about 60 km from Cusco. The best way to get to Cusco is to fly from Lima (the capital of Peru) to Cusco or alternatively there are buses departing daily from Lima to Cusco.

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