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.


Everyone must meet at Etnikas office at 10am one day before the start of the retreat. We required you to arrive a day before your retreat so you have a chance to acclimatise to the altitude of Cusco. Many people feel the effects of the altitude and if you arrive the day of your retreat and feel altitude sickness you may not be able to drink Ayahuasca. If you are unable to take Ayahuasca for this reason we will unfortunately not be able to provide a refund.

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 everything including transfer from the airport to the hotel.

The next day we will look to meet at the same place at 10:00am and from there we will travel by shuttle bus to the retreat centre. Please eat breakfast base 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 ways 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 Restrictions

  • Do not consume illicit drugs, alcohol, coffee or chocolate two weeks prior to your Ayahuasca ceremony.
  • Do not take any medical prescription drugs, antibiotics, injections, pills, or others.
  • Sex: It is recommended that you refrain from having sex or masturbating for two weeks before the retreat as this can reduce physical energy levels making it harder to cope with the effects of ayahuasca.
  • Food: In terms of food we suggest you eat well before the retreat. Good organic food with a moderate amount of salt and sugar is recommended. In terms of meat you may consume chicken or fish. To strengthen the brain we recommend eating ceviche (a widely available Peruvian dish). There is also a soup called ‘Tiger’s Milk’ (non-spicy or sin aji) which is effectively a ceviche concentrate. We recommend you avoid canned food, red meat, pork, cold cuts, and spicy food. We also suggest that you DO NOT MAKE EXTREME DIETS. The goal is to make sure you are strong. Not only strong mentally and spiritually, but also physically, in order to help cope with the effects of the Ayahuasca.

During Retreat Restrictions:

  • During your stay with Etnika’s we remind you that it is not permitted to smoke, drink alcohol or to take any type of prescription or non-prescription drugs without consulting us.
  • We indicate that the women who are menstruating or pregnant abstain from participating.
  • Sex is not permitted during the retreat.

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
  • Sun block, sunglasses and hat for days when you go for a walk
  • Comfortable shoes or hiking boots for walking
  • Camera
  • Flash light if you have one
  • Toiletries

Also to get while in Cusco…

  • 1 x 2 lt bottle of water for each Ayahuasca ceremony
  • 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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