The Healing Tree Center - Ayahuasca Retreats in Cusco Peru

The Healing Tree Center - Ayahuasca Retreats in Cusco Peru

The Healing Tree Center - Ayahuasca Retreats in Cusco Peru
4.5
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Ayahuasca ceremonies and San Pedro retreats in Cusco - Peru, for personal development, life-path insight and healing of mind, body and soul.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • Akendic
    Georgetown, Canada14 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    No better place
    My wife and I attended the retreat together to do the Ayahuasca Ceremony. We didn’t know what to expect:we were quite nervous. The staff were incredible. For what was such an INCREDIBLE life changing experience, we had so many nerves. Everyone at the retreat made us feel at home and walked us through the entire experience so we could maximize the outcome. This place has changed our lives forever.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 July 2023
  • adrienn
    32 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Intense experience
    Thank you, Italo, David, Gabi, Fernando, Lucinda , Ruth & the lady giving me the Vulcanic water for having me and supporting during this challenging experience. All my questions been address before the trip by Italo. The centre is beautiful also the surrindings. My aya experience was challenging but i feel it did worth it. I believe only do tis if you need to heal something... not just to try... Need to have clear intentions and good if you prepare however you will feel that no way to prepare :) ... again thank you guys to support me <3 ps food was amazing when we could eat anyway :D Recommended if you choose to have aya experience. i would go back if i need the calling again <3
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 11 December 2023
  • Deanna L
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Life changing experience at The Healing Tree Center
    My stay at the Healing Tree was a wonderful experience. Everyone there is very kind and made me feel comofrtable and care for throughout the week. I wasn't sure what to expect as a woman traveling alone to Peru for the first time, but it was very easy to navigate around Cusco and I felt like I was in great hands at the HTC. The Shamans I met were people that have a lifetime of experience working with plant medicine. Maestro Wilbur was the Shaman for my cemonies and I'll never forget his powerful singing. I appreciated how each morning after the ceremony, we made time for a discussion of my visions. To anyone trying to figure out how many ceremonies they should do, I would reccommend at least 2-3 so that you really have time to dive into the medicine. It was cool that the facility coordinated so many activities during my off days. The hike to the museum was my favorite because Angel made for an amazing tour guide, and I got to learn so much about the history of Peru. I also greatly appreciate the birthday cake that was brought, it was delicous. Thank you Jose and Italo. This trip was definitely life changing. I got more out of it than I could have ever hoped for. It was definitely a healing journey. The medicine showed me some beautiful things that I'll never forget. My advice would be to go into it with an open mind, open heart, and a lot of gratitude. The experience can feel a bit dissorienting and overwhelming, but just trust the processes. There is a lot waiting for you. Good luck!
    Visited December 2023
    Written 7 January 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles111 reviews
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LoveTravel787070
49 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
The most paramount thing to endorse before addressing the ceremonies, is the team: Angel, Ruth, Maestro, our Sharman and the sweetest cook with the most delicious food. All of us commented on how safe we felt and how cared for we were. I did a lot of research before selecting The Healing Tree Centre and know I nailed it. If you are wondering how you decide, you can trust the professionalism of this team.

The medicine: Yes, it doesn't taste wonderful and YES, participating in the ceremonies does (hopefully) make you purge and poopie... but that is the medicine. We did have a person in our 7 day retreat not purge all week, but purging is your gateway so don't be afraid - indulge. (she wasn't afraid, in fact she was super happy!)
Written 17 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Evan F
2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
I wasn't going to leave a 1-star review but the way I was treated I felt was very disrespectful when I brought up the issues I had. I also think its important to leave bad reviews when its a health concern that will effect many people. I went on a three day ayahuasca retreat. Overall the facility is good and the people are very kind but I was served ayahuasca that was at the bottom of a bottle that had completely fermented, was basically black, and let out a lot of pressure when the bottle was opened. I saw their fresher bottles in their cabinet the day I left and they were more of a reddish-brown color.

I completely understand that ayahuasca makes you purge and can give you a user diarrhea. However, you don't have to do much research to learn that fermented ayahuasca should be avoided. This brew made my violently ill all night for hours on end beyond simple purging that I had with previous ayahuasca experience. It also gave me diarrhea for many days after the ceremonies. I had delayed purging well into the night and extreme diarrhea many hours after the ceremony ended. HTC gets bottles brought in from Pucallpa, they don't make it fresh at the center. They told me it's fresh but that they keep it unrefrigerated for 1 to 2 weeks. I was unfortunate enough that my ceremonies was liquid at the bottom of a bottle before they were going to throw it away the day I left. So in my case I was literally the last person to drink from a 2 week old bottle that was fermenting very badly. After this experience I talked to other retreat owners online in ayahuasca forums and many of them reboil their brew before each ceremony. It's literally only 20 minutes of work to reboil a few cups from the bottle.

When I brought this up to the team they became extremely defensive. The shaman's official stance was that Ayahuasca cannot ever go bad. I have read ayahuasca can indeed last for a while but needs to reboiled. Obviously any liquid that you don't refrigerate can ferment, grow bacteria or mold, and become full of toxins. The Shaman is a Shipibo shaman, one of the most popular ayahuasca tribes for reference.

HTC also doesn't filter the ayahuasca as is also customary, so when you go to drink it, you're drinking a gritty awful mix filled with plant matter. It was like drinking wet sand at the bottom of my cup, which I'm sure is also very difficult for your body to digest.

Outside of Shipibo you have the Brazilian Santo Daime Church who go to great lengths to sanitize the bottles and prevent fermentation. Many shamans will even continuously boil ayahuasca to prevent fermentation. It's common sense.

HTC said I got violently ill because I mentioned that I smoked marijuana when I was a teenager and the vine needed to heal my body. Then they said I was just being influenced by social media, and the things I read made me confused, and that the sicker I get the more my body needs to get cleaned. They said I also got ill because I left the ceremony early. I did not think I left it early. We were sitting in the dark in quietness and my trip had calmed down after many hours so I asked if it was ok if I went back to my room, which they said was fine at the time.

These are just excuses and weren't even said by the shaman. How does a non-shaman know what the plant thinks about my body? Doesn't it seem wildly inappropriate for a staff member to tell me how the ayahuasca is speaking to me instead of the shaman? The only take away I can get from this is if they have a 2 week old moldy brew their excuse can always just be that it's the patients fault for getting sick. The shaman said it's normal and the even he got very sick as well. But that beg's the question, did he have a lot of trauma, or smoke marijuana as well? I'm not trying to be disrespectful but you can see how a purge and drinking something not meant for human consumption would both cause sickness and you can always just say it's the purge and you need to be healed.

Before the ceremony they have you do a volcano water cleanse. This has nothing to do with a traditional ayahuasca ceremony as well and is a modern adaptation for retreats. What they fail to mention about drinking this mineral water in the information they send is that it is going to give you extreme diarrhea. How do you leave that out of the information? They make you drink a very large amount of water over a 2 hour period, while simultaneously jumping up and down while your stomach is in pain. They also make insane claims that this mineral water can relieve you of Hepatitis, and a bunch of other diseases which if you research it, it's pseudoscience nonsense.

They also make you purchase and bring water, toilet paper, and hunt down a really specific electrolyte. For $600 they should provide these basic things and not make you go around to every pharmacy in Cusco. Talking to Italo he said he would give me a special deal if I combined the ayahuasca ceremony with the san pedro ceremony. The "special price" he gave me was the same price of just adding the two ceremonies together, so there was no discount and felt like a sales tactic. They also charge 6.5% additional paypal fee when you pay, even though the receipt they sent me shows its a 5.5% fee.

In general across Peru and other countries with touristy ayahuasca retreats you will also see they make you stick to a strict diet which they call the "dieta". This is also a massive confusion that has nothing to do with traditional Shipibo shamanism. The original dieta is for the Shaman's apprentice, not the patient drinking it. Since ayahuasca contains an MAOI to make it orally active Peruvian ayahuasca retreats have gotten completely confused since pharmaceutical MAOIs are dangerous with foods, but the MAOI in ayahuasca is actually a RIMA, which is reversible MAOI and is very different than a pharmaceutical MAOI. That's not to say you should ignore risks with RIMA, however many people have tried with and without the dieta and doesn't affect the experience at all. Retreats have just gotten scared about MAOIs dangers and have just copy and pasted this dieta and actually have no real understanding of traditional shamanism where its only used with the shaman's apprentice. Of course its good to eat a healthy diet but I've heard people say they have seen shamans in the Peruvian jungle drink coffee right before the ceremony and laugh at the idea of this modern fake dieta. Retreats like HTC just make up spiritual connection to dieta that doesn't have any historical basis.

Likewise they strongly recommended I eat ceviche before as part of my dieta. I absolutely refused to eat raw fish in the mountains far away from the ocean before taking a psychedelic known for purging. The funny thing is that after the retreat they said they exact opposite. They told me to stick to the diet which meant to stay away from ceviche. They can't even remember their own made up diet recommendations.

When I told the nurse about my concern about ayahuasca being fermented after I was sick and she was checking on me in bed at midnight, she pulled out bracelet and tried to sell it to me while I was still under the influence of ayahuasca. Do they really think I was going to get out of bed while having visions and go get my wallet to purchase a bracelet in the middle of the night? Ridiculous. At the end of the retreat the shaman's also tried to sell me bracelets as well, which is all the same mass produced stuff you'll get offered 40 times a day in Cusco as a foreigner.

In general I did not get good vibes from the Shaman. I would say things to him and he would completely ignore me. After the first ceremony the next day I thanked him and he just didn't respond at all. For the first ceremony feedback session he had no feedback about my experience, he just said not to contact people outside, which was rules we already agreed to before doing the ceremony. I found his chants for Icaros to be extremely difficult to listen to even while sober, as they are very loud, repetitive, and guttural. I also found it very odd there was no use of the Chacapa during the ceremony, which is usually a staple of the Shipibo ceremony.

I've come to realize many of these modern Shipibo shamans don't actually follow traditional Shipibo shamanism in many regards in modern days, as you can clearly see the mass confusion over the dieta that is widespread misinformation these days. Over the past 30 years due to popularity of ayahuasca becoming mainstream it's not practical to make fresh ayahuasca every day. Just because they serve fermented ayahuasca in jungle of Pucallpa for 20 years with this particular shaman doesn't mean that is the tradition that has been practiced for 1000+ years. After talking with other people in the ayahuasca community on ayahuasca forums and with other resort owners, it seems many resorts serve fermented and old ayahuasca to keep up with demand. However, I also talked to resort owners who understand basic science and health and will reboil the medicine before each ceremony to remove the bacteria. It's wildly ironic that the entire prep is about eating good food, doing a volcano water cleanse to remove toxins, and then they give you fermented brew filled with bacteria know to give you toxins. And if you get a brew with mold in it they will blame you, the patient, saying it's because you have trauma that you need to be cleansed of and there is no such thing as a bad batch. The thing is this is just the way they think it is. They can't distinguish a purge and a body processing toxic fermented liquid. People also used to drink river water until germ theory came along and now we drink filtered and bottled water in Peru for this exact same reason.

Likewise HTC makes sure to not let their San Pedro tea ferment because they are worried about it going bad, but don't extend this basic courtesy to their ayahuasca patrons.

On my second night an hour or so after drinking I was told to drink a cup of water to help me purge again. I highly recommend you do this so that your body doesn't have to process the ayahuasca or you may be violently ill all night like I was.

HTC and many resorts around Cusco are practicing what they think is Shipibo, but are also having people participate in pseudoscience rituals while creating a new fake history about the ayahuasca diet. HTC isn't the only one, many many retreats do this. They seem to all copy each other. This is in conjunction with ignoring basic health guidelines which are dismissed and replaced with pseudoscience and blaming the patient when they get sick beyond the normal level of purging. The crazy thing is that resorts like this don't even know what is a normal purge and sickness is because they are basically always serving fermented ayahuasca and that is their baseline reference for 10 years as a business.

Here is all the resort needs to do to fix the issue:

1) Filter the ayahuasca so that people aren't drinking the equivalent of wet sand
2) Refrigerate it when you receive it from the jungle.
3) However many cups you are going to use for the ceremony, spend 20 minutes to boil off the bacteria
4) Stop using made up history around diet and other practices
5) Provide water and toilet paper to people for their retreat without making them purchase it

The effort is very minimal, and I hope modern shamanism will use this very basic health practices. We are talking about 20 minutes of effort for people who fly from around the world to visit your center and spend thousands of dollars. These retreats are probably making quite a bit of money especially by Peruvian standards.

The thing is that you will see is that the vast majority of reviews are positive, because ayahuasca is in fact a powerful medicine regardless of if you get violently ill or not. It's an even better experience if you don't have multiple days of diarrhea and be in extreme pain all night because you drank a moldy bacteria-laden concoction.
Written 15 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David D
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Wonderful experience. Excellent staff, well-organized, affordable, and easy to schedule. Beautiful and peaceful location in the mountains.
Written 6 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

matt m
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
The shaman, main person/translator and nurse were amazing. The boss was the only one that wanted to meet and go over things in person. Others just said
Written 5 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Deanna L
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023
My stay at the Healing Tree was a wonderful experience. Everyone there is very kind and made me feel comofrtable and care for throughout the week. I wasn't sure what to expect as a woman traveling alone to Peru for the first time, but it was very easy to navigate around Cusco and I felt like I was in great hands at the HTC.

The Shamans I met were people that have a lifetime of experience working with plant medicine. Maestro Wilbur was the Shaman for my cemonies and I'll never forget his powerful singing. I appreciated how each morning after the ceremony, we made time for a discussion of my visions. To anyone trying to figure out how many ceremonies they should do, I would reccommend at least 2-3 so that you really have time to dive into the medicine.

It was cool that the facility coordinated so many activities during my off days. The hike to the museum was my favorite because Angel made for an amazing tour guide, and I got to learn so much about the history of Peru. I also greatly appreciate the birthday cake that was brought, it was delicous. Thank you Jose and Italo.

This trip was definitely life changing. I got more out of it than I could have ever hoped for. It was definitely a healing journey. The medicine showed me some beautiful things that I'll never forget. My advice would be to go into it with an open mind, open heart, and a lot of gratitude. The experience can feel a bit dissorienting and overwhelming, but just trust the processes. There is a lot waiting for you. Good luck!
Written 7 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

adrienn
32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
Thank you, Italo, David, Gabi, Fernando, Lucinda , Ruth & the lady giving me the Vulcanic water for having me and supporting during this challenging experience.
All my questions been address before the trip by Italo.
The centre is beautiful also the surrindings.
My aya experience was challenging but i feel it did worth it.
I believe only do tis if you need to heal something... not just to try...
Need to have clear intentions and good if you prepare however you will feel that no way to prepare :) ...
again thank you guys to support me <3
ps food was amazing when we could eat anyway :D

Recommended if you choose to have aya experience.
i would go back if i need the calling again <3
Written 11 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kewalin S
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
We had such an extraordinarily beautiful experience with Ayahuasca at the Healing Tree Center, Cusco. My partner and I chose to do a private retreat and we had been super well taken care of from the beginning since the inquiries process until the way back home.

We were very impressed by how attentive, helpful and professional the team at The Healing Tree is. The program is very well created with educative information about Ayahuasca and supportive preparation.

We had the team of four people supporting us at our ceremony including a nurse and a Shaman. This made us feel so safe and accommodated.

The Shaman is very special, he worked with the medicine very well and his singing had helped us to navigate through the experience in a very special way.

The whole experience was so amazing for us and we would recommend anyone who want to experience Ayahuasca to do the retreat here at The Healing Tree Center, Cusco.
Written 25 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HannahArmstrong
Edinburgh, UK10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
I had an incredible experience with the Healing Tree Centre for a 4 day ayahuasca retreat. From the beginning, Italo was amazing at answering in detail all of my questions before I made my booking and in the run up to my retreat. This put my mind at ease.

During the experience, I was met with similar kindness, knowledge and patience from all the staff, including the shamans, coordinators and on-site nurse. They create a very safe and comfortable environment which I appreciated very much as ayahuasca can be a very intense journey to go on and feeling that level of support helps a lot. For example, when during my final ceremony I felt that I needed to leave early and process the rest of the experience in my room, they respected this decision and made sure the nurse accompanied me so that I was safe and comfortable.

The centre itself is beautiful and a very relaxing space to recharge in during the day. The breakfast provided in the mornings was also delicious. Overall, highly recommend.
Written 5 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ricky Escla
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
Very positive experience and environment. David was great about creating a safe environment throughout
Written 15 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

desiree g
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Family
This was a life changing experience! The staff was amazing and very experienced. I felt safe and I will definitely be coming back. I liked that it was a small group and it felt very personal. It was everything I needed.
Written 2 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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