Your Personal Commitment Directly Influences Your Ayahuasca Experience

The more you prepare yourself, the greater the experience will be. The attitude in which you enter the experience will have a direct effect on the experience itself. Your personal commitment to the diet restrictions, ceremonies and cleansing activities is not only important for the quality  of the experience, but is an essential part for your health and safety.


We required you to arrive at least a 2 days before your retreat so you have a chance to acclimatise to the altitude of Cusco. Many people feel the effects of the altitude. If you arrive the day of your retreat, we will not be able to give you Ayahuasca and you will have to change your retreat for the next available date. Unfortunately a refund will not be possible. We want to prevent people getting altitude sickness while under the effect of Ayahuasca as this is a serious health risk.

You must book your own hotel room for the night between the acclimatisation day and the day of the retreat. We can recommend several places that are able to take care of everything including transfer from the airport to the hotel.

The next day we will look to meet at Plaza Nazarenas at 11:00am and from there we will travel by shuttle bus to the retreat centre. Please eat breakfast based on juice and fruits (NO bread and dairy products).

As Ayahuasca is a potent form of medicine it can occasionally have interactions with other medications or drugs. We therefore recommend that you find a natural way to detoxify your system at least two weeks before the start of the retreat.

cusco city

Altitude sickness

Cusco is 3,500 meters above sea level and people sometimes get sick from spending time at this altitude. However, prior to your retreat we recommend that you do not take any kind of medication for altitude sickness as its interaction with ayahuasca can be dangerous. Instead, we suggest you look to relieve symptoms of altitude sickness by drinking MUÑA tea that is commonly available in guest houses and hotels. If altitude sickness symptoms become severe, please let us know.

Pre-Retreat Require Restrictions

Two Weeks prior, abstain from:

  • Pork
  • Sexual activities of any kind, including masturbation
  • Alcohol
  • Cannabis
  • ALL street drugs (cocaine, MDMA, amphetamines, etc.) – obligatory for your safety and for the possible energetic impact on other guests
  • Spicy food
  • Ice, ice cream, or ice cold drinks

One Week prior, abstain from:

  • Refined sugars
  • Red meat
  • Junk foods
  • Salt or pepper
  • Sweets or chocolate
  • Oils (if you must use oil, use olive or coconut oil very sparingly)
  • Animal fats (lard, etc.)
  • Carbonated drinks (including diet sodas, energy drinks, non-alcoholic beer)
  • Dairy products
  • Fermented foods
  • Caffeine & other stimulants

Additional Restrictions:

  • IMPORTANT: Please contact us if you are currently taking any medication or supplements.
  • If you will be menstruating during the retreat, please inform your facilitators when you arrive.
  • Ayahuasca is not compatible with pregnancy.
  • Avoidance of synthetic soaps, perfumes, toiletries, etc.

Following the recommended diet is essential to your safety. The cleaner your body is, from the list of items above, the less “purging” you will need to do in order to clean your body. Practicing dietary discipline is seen, from a shamanic perspective, as showing respect to the medicine and is believed to lead to more insight and less difficulty in the session.

Post-Retreat Require Restrictions:

For 2 Weeks after, abstain from:

  • Spicy foods
  • Alcohol
  • Sexual activity of any kind
  • Ice, ice cream, ice cold drinks

For 2-4 Weeks after, abstain from:

  • Pork
  • Cannabis and all plant medicines
  • Massage and energetic work
  • ALL street drugs (cocaine, LSD, MDMA, amphetamines, etc.)

To enhance the healing and cleansing of your body healers recommend a healthy diet for two weeks following your retreat.  This includes avoiding;

  • Refined sugar
  • Red meat
  • Junk food
  • Salt or pepper
  • Sweets or chocolate
  • oils
  • Animal fats (lard, etc.)
  • Carbonated drinks (including diet sodas, energy drinks, non-alcoholic beer)
  • Dairy products
  • Fermented foods
  • Caffeine & other stimulants

Recommendation for spiritual and mental preparation

For your spiritual and mental preparation before your retreat, we recommend you meditate, pray, do yoga or practice any disciplines familiar to you from your own religion, practice, or faith. If you do not have a religious practice, try an honesty prayer in the morning and at night, it can be very helpful!
As the founder of Etnikas says, you can have the best shamans in the Universe (Christ, Buddha, Krishna,) conducting ceremonies for you, but if you don’t want to change, nothing will happen.

No one but you can change your destiny, not even God. He is the father not boss. Only you have the power to change your destiny. You, in fact, are your own best shaman in the universe.

The best attitude to approach the retreat with is to be as positive as you can. The right attitude should include honesty, love, patience, humility, respect, courage and a strong mental / spiritual determination. Approaching the retreat with these values will result in a much more fruitful experience.

When you pray, do not ask for miracles to mysteriously occur. Instead, ask for opportunities to create miracles with your own hands.

Below is a list of items that you should bring to the retreat centre:

  • Extra clothes
  • Warm and comfortable clothes
  • Organic/ Natural/biodegradable sun block
  • Sunglass
  • Comfortable shoes or hiking boots for walking
  • Camera
  • Flash light if you have one
  • Organic/ Natural/biodegradable toiletries
  • Water bottle
  • Note book and pen
  • Do not bring waste, mean no plastic bottles or containers, bags, etc. Otherwise please take it back with you.

Also to get while in Cusco…

  • 1 x roll of toilet paper for each ayahuasca ceremony
  • 2 x 1lt oral electrolyte solution

Noble silence

All retreats are held in what is referred to as ‘Noble Silence’. We work in ‘Noble Silence’ to allow for a greater degree of concentration allowing internal work to be addressed without distraction.

You will only be able to speak during the times of group discussion, however, you are welcome to talk to the shaman on an individual level when you feel it necessary. You are also welcome to talk to the assistanct at any stage should you need help with any matter.

We ask that you respect the noble silence for the sake of others. Many people come to our retreat with a serious intention to work on their healing.

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