Up for an Adventure?
If you have forgotten how to play, feel creative burnout, and have always been intrigued by magic, shamanism, and mysticism, this is the retreat for you!
Join us and TRANSFORM from October 14-27th, 2016 in Peru!
Imagine… Your ears sing with the jungle’s night music as you close your eyes and remember the day’s unfolding. You have left the world you know so well to explore two kinds of jungle; one being the Amazonian Rainforest and the other? The deep, unexplored wisdom that wells up from the very core of your being… from your soul.
For tens of thousands of years, Shamans from around the world have helped their tribespeople flourish; feeding their vitality, nurturing clarity and confidence, and facilitating a deep, unconditional love for and connection with ALL beings.
It can seem far-fetched to retain a fraction of the connection, intuition, and MAGIC from these ancient, dying ways… especially for those of us who are fully enmeshed in a modern, often frenetic, Western life.
But, on this retreat, you’ll learn to LIVE a wilder life. A life that is in deep communion with not only your own soul’s council, but with all of nature (no matter where you live).
Unlock your creativity, feel at ease in your skin, and embrace the YES of your intuition.
This is not a retreat where you leave behind your learnings. This is a transformational experience; the impact of which will continue to play out in your everyday life for years to come.
No doubt! After all, it was my own metamorphic voyages to Peru in 2012 and 2013 that have helped launch my life into levels of love, abundance, and resonance that I couldn’t even imagine before.
My capacity to receive love, to stand powerfully in my gifts, to create wealth, and above all, to tune in to the unspeakable MAGIC right here in my normal life have all expanded hundred-fold. And I didn’t even have a true guide on my journey.
Imagine what can happen when you are skillfully and playfully guided into the some of the most powerful evolution vortexes in our world!
We begin in the rainforest.
For 5 days and 5 nights, we will reside at the beautiful Chakra Alegria de Amor (Home of the Happy Heart) in Iquitos, Peru. This is no touristic, hyped, or slapped together jungle facility. It is a place that has been built by artisans, specifically for the purpose of healing not only with verdant plant and animal medicine, but by the sheer power of beauty. This is raw, potent, wild beauty; and you will be immersed in it – from the tambo you sleep in, to the inlaid floor of the ceremonial maloca, and jaguar mosaic kitchen counters. Everywhere you look, your eyes will land on art.
If Grandmother Ayahuasca has been calling you, you’ll have the option to participate in up to 3 ceremonies during your jungle stay. All interested applicants will be pre-screened for the medicine to ensure a safe experience for everyone.
There will be ample time for integration, rest, journaling, group sharing, and playful transformation work.
Then… we continue on as a group to the Andes.
We will fly together from Iquitos to Cusco on October 20th and spend six full days and seven nights in the Sacred Valley region. Our Cusco-area adventures will satiate soul, belly, and heart and include:
- A group dinner at Cusco’s Fallen Angel Restaurant
- Adventuring to the sacred sites in and around Cusco according to our whim and whimsy; which could include Pisac, the nearly unheard of ruin at Tipon, the Moray terraces, Sacsayhuaman, and Chincheros
- A getaway by glass-roofed train to see Machu Picchu (and have the option to climb to the top of Huayna Picchu for some truly breaktaking views)
- Time in the Aguas Calientes mineral springs to rest and replenish
- *Optional Sacred San Pedro ceremony with an Andean elder
- All accommodations, including hotel stays in Iquitos, Cusco, Ollantaytambo, and Aguas Calientes and guest tambos at the Rainforest Healing Center (all double occupancy – with two beds per room). Hotels will be rated at 3.5 stars or above.
- Gourmet, organic, locally-harvested meals during our stay at Chakra Alegria de Amor in Iquitos
- All other meals, including a generous daily food allowance for your own exploration and delight
- All excursion tickets including the Boleto Turistico in the Cusco Area, Huayna Picchu / Machu Picchu entrance
- Transportation costs within Peru including flights from Iquitos to Cusco (via Lima), train tickets on Inca Rail to Aguas Calientes, pickup and dropoff to and from the airport, group transport to/from the Retreat Center in Iquitos, and group transport in the Cusco area
- Spanish! Tigre, our co-host, is fluent not just in Spanish, but in Peruvian Spanish! We will prepare a phrase book for each guest and provide suggested taxi rates for the times when you want to go explore on your own
- Fun, immersive, and expansive group playshops, walks, conversations, and sharing circles
- Medicine ceremony preparation and mentoring: For those partaking in ceremonial plant medicine work, you will receive dietary and other guidance prior to our retreat to help you maximize your experience
- Medicine ceremonies with Ayahuasca (up to 3) and San Pedro (1)
- Group bonding before departure: We will all meet as a group by video conference to set the intention for our journey, allay concerns, and bond with each other
- Integration support: Upon re-entry into your daily life, Lola will connect with you for a 15-minute conversation regarding common re-integration challenges and to help you continue to benefit from this experience long term
What’s NOT included?
- Roundtrip airfare from home. You will need to plan to arrive in Iquitos, Peru on Friday, October 14th, 2016. You will depart from Cusco, Peru on October 27th, 2016. NOTE: Because Roundtrip tickets are often more affordable, you can look for roundtrip to/from Lima, Peru (LIM) and then purchase connecting flights separately – double check your arrival times into Lima!
- Insurance. Personal, Medical, or Trip Cancellation insurance
- Personal souvenirs and any additional shopping you would like to do
LAN Airlines frequently offers flight specials from the U.S. to Lima (LIM). If you would like to arrange to stay longer, either before or after your Unleashing, let us know and we’ll help you plan your flights so that you arrive/depart on time.
What should I pack?
All retreat guests will be provided with specific packing recommendations, but some general guidelines are:
- Pack lightly and bring multi-purpose layers.
- We will be both in the rainforest, which can be quite hot and humid in October, as well as in Cusco – which can be more brisk (especially in the evenings). October is springtime in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Bring a journal, audio-recorder, go-pro, or other device for recording your thoughts. Analog sketchbook style books can be immensely valuable after medicine work.
- Your (current) passport and a photocopy of it in case the original gets misplaced.
- A backpack or duffle for your belongings, NOT a suitcase with wheels.
- Rubber boots
- Lightweight, breathable rain jacket
- A headlamp with a red-light setting
More information to follow for those who will be joining us!
What physical condition is required?
You do not have to be in perfect health or in fantastic physical shape to join us on this trip. However, you will want to consider the following:
- The Chakra Alegria de Amor retreat center is about a 3km walk in from the roadside drop-off point. We will be truly immersed in Pachamama.The hike itself is not strenuous in terms of terrain and the path is nice and wide. But if it has been raining or is raining – it will be muddy and the going slow. It will also likely be hot and humid. Light and efficient packing in easily carried bags is essential! We will guide you to bring what is needed without much extra.
- Cusco is at high elevation: about 9,000 feet above sea level. It may take a day or more to acclimate your body to the altitude. Most often this is felt as a shortness of breath and/or mild nausea. Ample hydration and rest generally reduce any symptoms. More rarely, people can experience altitude sickness. We will be taking it very easy upon our immediate arrival into the Cusco region to modulate any altitude effects.
- Machu Picchu is also at high elevation, though slightly lower than Cusco. We intend for our group to hike up to the ruins from the town of Aguas Calientes so that we can arrive at the gates when they open at Sunrise. It’s truly spectacular to see the sun rising through the mist! This hike IS more strenuous in nature; both because of the altitude and the steep ascent. If you are not physically able to join us on the hike – there are buses to the top and we’ll make arrangements for any non-hikers to ride the bus and rendez-vous with us at the entrance.
- Your ticket to Machu Picchu will include the option to hike up Huayna Picchu (the beautiful peak you see in photos behind the main ruins). This is a strenuous hike as well, though not as scary heights-wise as you may think (at least it wasn’t for me, and I am a heights fraidy-cat). You do not need to join us, and if you opt not to, you’ll be free to explore Machu Picchu at your leisure, meditate, and soak in the energy on your own. There is so much to see!
- If you intend on (or are considering) participating in the plant medicine ceremonies, there are some contra-indications for certain prescriptions and supplements. Please specify any medication and supplements you are taking on your application form so that we can be sure you are as safe as possible.
Why are the plant medicine ceremonies optional?
While incredibly strong allies on an evolutionary path, Plant medicines are not for everyone; especially Ayahuasca and San Pedro; both of which can (but don’t always) produce highly intense physical and mental experiences. Our ceremonies will be facilitated by experienced medicine workers; both local Shamans and personnel from the retreat center. Lola and Tigre will be participating right alongside you.
If at any time, you feel like you are complete with the medicine work, do not want to participate in a certain ceremony, or do not choose to work with the plant medicine at all, that is completely up to you. There is a difference between ego resistance to doing something transformative and something simply not resonating or being in alignment. We will help guide you to make the most empowered decision that supports your individual journey. No pressure or bullying is included with this package ;)
The trip in and of itself, with the playshops and excursions we have planned, will be mighty transformative.
For more of my experience and best practices for working with Ayahuasca and other plant medicines, please be sure to listen to my podcast episode on the topic.
A note on the "pre-purge"
It is extremely common to experience INTENSE resistance once you say YES (or even maybe) to an experience like this. When you submit your application, you may experience feelings of elation, anticipation, nervousness, or even deep seated fear, unworthiness, or other more shadowy reactions. You could even feel all of that at once!
This is normal and is no indication of your readiness or “fit” for this journey.
When we take active steps toward our own positive evolution, our egos create any number of stories, fears, anxieties, and concerns in order to keep us “safe”. This is our ancient reptilian brain in action, and it’s a lovely thing – really! How amazing that we each have this internal, protective voice that doesn’t want us to experience harm?!
You might hear things in your own mind like:
- I don’t have what it takes
- I am not cool enough or strong enough to take this journey
- The group isn’t going to like me
- I don’t deserve this kind of trip
- Who am I to do this kind of thing?
- I am not worthy of being treated with this level of love and respect
- It sounds too good to be true
- If I indicate interest and then don’t end up signing up, I will be judged negatively
- I am afraid that I’ll come back a totally different person
In medicine work, this is known as the “pre-purge” and is a sign that the transformation has already begun.
Your deepest resistances, fears, and shadows are coming to light for the purpose of healing; so that you can begin to live a new story. So rather than this being a sign that you are not meant to go, it may in fact be a sign that you are a strong candidate for the work… That the medicine (both from your own commitment and investment AND from Grandmother Aya/Grandfather San Pedro) has chosen you and is already helping create positive change. The path to evolution isn’t all rainbows and unicorns… but it IS an absolutely ecstatic journey. And I can assure you, that YOU ARE WORTH IT.
Just by being here and considering doing this with us, you are held in deep reverence, love, and respect.
Can you lean into trust that you are safe? That you are worthy of this kind of loving support? That you are worth investing in?
This retreat is a lived experience of ENOUGHNESS. Come as you are. Nothing of true value can be taken from you or be lost. You will return to your daily life as MORE of who you innately are.
We are also creating a strong group container for this trip: we will connect as a group by video prior to departure so that you have a chance to meet each other, get a feel for each other’s energies, and allay any concerns that you are going to somehow be the “uncool kid”. We are a merry band of misfits ;) If you resonate with everything you have read here and are brave enough to send in the application… You will fit right in, I promise.
As of right now (March 2016), the USD to Nuevo Sol exchange rate is about 3 soles per 1 USD.The exchange rate is generally between 2.5-3 Soles per USD. Lola and Tigre will be exchanging money and giving each guest their daily allowance, already exchanged into Peruvian Soles. It will not be necessary for you to exchange more than about $40 USD upon your arrival to Peru, which you can do at a bank or ATM at the airport.
Our friends at Chakra Alegria share the following: “We recommend exchanging money at banks (rather than casas de cambio) or using ATMs to acquire cash. If you bring cash, make sure that the bills you bring look crisp and brand new with no tears, marks, or wear. Otherwise, they will not be accepted. This is no joke. We have seen many people come down with US currency bills that they thought were good, only to get turned down at the banks and money exchanges.
ATMs in Peru dispense both Peruvian Soles and US dollars. Be aware that when using ATMs, fees are often higher for foreign cards, and your bank may also charge an international-use fee each time you use your card. Also, it should be noted that while some (usually high-end) businesses in cities will accept credit and debit cards, they may also add a 5-7% surcharge to your bill.
Travelers cheques are another option. However, the exchange rate is much better for US dollars. You may exchange them at banks.
Whatever choice you make, ask for small bills (“pequenas billetes”) as breaking large bills can be very difficult. Also, be sure to check for counterfeit bills. The easiest way to do this is to hold the bill up to the light and make sure you see the watermark.
Small tips (1-2 Soles) are always appreciated in Peru, and a great way to make a good friend.”
What kind of immunizations will I need?
Our retreat host in Iquitos, Chakra Alegria de Amor, shares the following:
“Prior to your travel, we recommend scheduling a visit with a health care provider specializing in Travel Medicine. You can find one in your area by searching online for “travel doctor [your city]”. Bring your immunization and vaccination records with you, your travel itinerary, and mention you’ll be traveling to Iquitos, Peru and staying in the Amazon rainforest. The physician will help determine which vaccinations and preventative medication you may need. Please schedule your visit at least 4-6 weeks in advance of your arrival to Iquitos to allow ample time for any vaccinations to take effect, and any potential booster shots you may need.
Travel to Peru does not require any vaccinations, but the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does recommend the following vaccinations and preventative medicines:
- Routine Vaccinations: Ensure your routine vaccines are updated before your trip. Vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.
- Preventative Tips: Get Vaccinated, Reduce Germ Exposure
- Hepatitis A: CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Peru, regardless of where you are eating or staying.
- Preventative Tips: Get Vaccinated, Eat & Drink Safely
- Typhoid: You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Peru. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.
- Preventative Tips: Get Vaccinated, Eat & Drink Safely
- Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is transmitted through sexual contact, contaminated needles or surgical equipment, and blood products. This vaccine is recommended if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures while in Peru.
- Preventative Tips: Get Vaccinated, Avoid Sharing Body Fluids, Avoiding Non-Sterile Surgical or Cosmetic Equipment
- Malaria: While traveling in the Amazon, you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. Long sleeves, long pants, hats, and bug repellent are advisable. Mosquitos are most active during the morning, night, and in the deep rainforest. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, depending on your travel plans, such as where you are going, when you are traveling, and if you are spending a lot of time outdoors or sleeping outside. Talk to your travel medicine specialist about how you can prevent malaria while traveling.
- Preventative Tips: Take B-complex vitamins during your diet before arriving, dress appropriately & avoid bug-bites, avoid known areas with malaria outbreak, and use preventative prescribed medication. We advise against using Lariam as a medication.
- It is NOT possible to take any antibiotics with Ayahausca.
- Rabies: Rabies does exist, but is not a major risk for most travelers. The rabies vaccination is recommended for long-term or adventure travelers who will potentially be exposed to wild animals like bats, and other forest mammals. Children are also recommended due to their greater potential for receiving bites on the head and neck and playing with animals.
- Preventative Tips: Get Vaccinated, Keep Away from Animals
- Yellow Fever: The Amazon rainforest of Peru has a higher risk of Yellow Fever. This vaccine is highly recommended for all travelers 9 months of age or older. You’ll need this vaccination at least 10 days prior to your arrival.
- Preventative Tips: Get Vaccinated, Dress Appropriately, Avoid Known Areas with Malaria Outbreak
Disclaimer: We do not offer, nor claim to offer, any medical advice. These resources are merely to help you make an informed decision. We do not accept any responsibility for your following, or rejecting the advice herein.”