Our ayahuasca retreat reviews...
Nihue Rao is one of a kind. In a world where almost everything is upside down, things are very much the right way up up here.
Following the plant dietas and incorporating Ayahuasca under Maestro Ricardo's guidance, it feels as though miracles can happen and I have seen immense transformations in many people since I've been here - including myself of course.
The medicine is strong, pure and full of light. Ricardo's way is one of integrity, truth, forgiveness, humility and unconditional love. A true and enlightened master. Miguel is such a beautiful and powerful spirit as well. In ceremony, his uplifting, melodious icaros weave in and out of Ricardo's power-chants in perfect harmony, contributing to what I would describe as a symphony of healing energy. Occasionally during my stay, Miguel's son, Felacio, would also attend ceremonies and give us his soft, vibrating, winding icaros which again complemented the two seasoned curanderos perfectly. Together, they make a magnificent team and are a living testimony to what the human spirit is capable of.
All the local staff are wonderful people; from the cooks to the security to the cleaners and I was instantly made to feel at home. The facilitators and translators, most of whom are European, are equally dedicated, loving and patient. It feels safe and nurturing here, which was of paramount importance when my wife and I were considering a place to do a long diet. I really like that the (very lovely) security guards are on sight 24/7, including outside the maloka during ceremony. With them and the facilitators, I never felt that things could get out of hand, even during the most tumultuous ceremonies.
Another thing I love about this place is the group conversations the day after ceremonies. It's not just a one-off consultation, it's a continual monitoring of your progress - and adjustments are made accordingly. Along with the translators and assistants, Ricardo always attends the group sharing and gives precious insight and advice to each individual, listening carefully to what they experienced in order to better clean, heal and target specific issues. I cannot emphasise enough how beneficial these sharings are.
I wish I could put into words what has happened to me since I first came here in 2013... sometimes, I struggle to believe it myself. Work hard, pay attention, exercise discipline and you will see for yourself. My love, gratitude and appreciation for Ricardo, Miguel and everyone at Nihue Rao is infinite.
From the deepest place in my heart,
With all that I am,
I began my journey with the medicine in 2014 here in Nihue Rao. My first few weeks of ceremonies were the hardest but most rewarding work of my life. I dived deep into healing the wounds and traumas of my past. All the while, I was fully supported by the amazing team of healers here, and I literally left feeling reborn.
After working with many other shamans and healers since, I was finally lead back here last year to study under Ricardo. I cannot give his work enough justice with words, one really must see him in action to fully understand how skilled, precise and dedicated he is. He has tremendous integrity and always aims for permanent healing. It is humbling to get to sit in ceremony with a true Master Curandero and watch his powerful work bring forth joy, love and faith in people who came to the centre battling with crippling depression, addiction and illness. I am honoured to say that I have witnessed dozens and dozens of people arrive and leave as a completely new person. There are divine forces at play here.
At a time when Ayahuasca is becoming ever more commercial, and centres are becoming like adult play grounds or five star holiday retreats, Nihue Rao stands solidly in its own league. It is clear to me, that this place is built in deep reverence for the ancient tradition. The way in which Ricardo gives the learning diets to his students fully reflects that too. Here you experience something authentic. Ricardo and Miguel are real healers, who not only take in people for money but hold ceremonies for their friends and loved ones also. The maloka is kept very clean energetically, and when needed, the shamans will have an entire private ceremony just for clearing the space. Having personally experienced what are the consequences when you sit with unclean shamans in an unclean space, I can vouch for the safety of this place.
During the process everyone is given personal attention and the treatment is tailored uniquely to them. Apart from the one-to-one conversations with the amazing team of assistants and shamans, three times a week there is also a group conversation. This is a wonderful space for sharing experiences and learning about the shamanic arts. Each person is also given a master plant to support their process, and this helps one connect better with Ayahuasca as well. The diet is strict. The ceremonies are long. The medicine is strong. You are expected to do your part too and work hard in ceremonies as well as commit to a pre- and a post-Ayahuasca diet. But all of this is absolutely crucial. It creates a space where people can truly heal.
All in all, I feel very blessed to have discovered this place. It changed my life and I hope to pay it forward one day through my own practice. But one thing is for sure, I will keep coming back here and learning this magical medicine. I sincerely recommend Nihue Rao for anyone who truly wishes to heal or learn the ancient healing arts
To Nihue Rao (from a poem inspired by the tree): This is how I love you— From the pits of my toes, to the tickling sensation in the back of my knees, to the butterflies mating in the belly, to my heart unfolding like a lotus to the sun. I love you out of the crown of my head. I love you cosmic.
Nihue Rao is a precious gem deep in the Peruvian jungle. It's a beautiful and authentic environment to heal and change your life. The experience is profound and transformative. The medicine brewed on site is powerful and pure, a mix of only Ayahuasca and Chacruna. The food cooked on an open fire is prepared according to the strict dieta to facilitate maximum healing. Master shaman Ricardo Amaringo a powerful healer, artist and teacher. He and his team are experienced and care deeply about the work and the patients and students they work with. His icaros are mesmerizing and extremely powerful and together with his apprentices and curanderos the most remarkable healing icaros are delivered in ceremony four times a week. I've done two retreats at Nihue Rao and seen many people leave healed and transformed. If you want to change your life and are prepared to do the work, I can't imagine a better place in the world than Nihue Rao.
I spent two weeks at Nihue Rao in late December/early January 2016-17. Without doubt, it was one of the most challenging things that I have ever done. I found it very challenging and confronting on many levels—physically, emotionally and spiritually. But having said that, it was also one of the most powerful, healing, and transformative experiences of my life.
While I have done a significant amount of personal growth in the past, such as workshops, therapy, facilitation work, etc.; the use of drugs, especially psychedelics, was very new to me. So naturally I was a bit nervous and apprehensive before my first ceremony. I feel very supported by the staff there and also the good nature and generosity of the other "guests", and this went a long way to alleviating my nervousness. Throughout my two weeks there and the eight ceremonies that I was privileged to participate in I believe I made breakthroughs, had insights and was healed in ways that I never could have imagined. The power and wisdom of the medicine (Ayahuasca) as well as the healing songs that the shamans sang during the ceremony (Icaro) supported me to move through and clean myself out of things that I feel I have been carrying since my childhood.
Additionally, the staff there are wonderfully supportive, caring and I felt empowered to trust and follow my own deeper process while I was there.
While I would not recommend this experience to everyone, as I believe it is not everyone's "cup of tea," I would definitely recommend Nihue Rao and using Ayahuasca as a healing experience for anyone who feels deeply called to take the next steps in their own healing and development.
For the last 3 years Nihue Rao Centro has been my number 1 choice for an ayahuasca healing center, it feels like home.
I am an experienced dieter, having successfully completed long dietas with master plants. As a medically trained professional, I see how major elements of healing is over looked. The focus is on physical illnesses, instead of healing the "whole person" body, mind and spirit.
The center is well organized, and provide comfortable accommodations. I feel safe here and well cared for. The staff is lovely, helpful, and happy.
I have much love, respect and appreciation for ayahuasquero Maestro Ricardo and gifted healer Miguel. Maestro Ricardo dedicated his life to this healing work, it's clear thru his knowledge and powerful icaros. He and his team are happy being in service to the pasajeros and provide additional support if needed. I feel privileged to work with these plant teachers and will forever be in humble appreciation for Nihue Rao Centro. With so many choices and many mal intended shamans, Nihue Rao Center is setting the bar high.
Rosie, Registered Nurse, California
I did a 3-month plant diet, my second time at the centre. For me it was a life changing experience. Here is where miracles still happen and when you stay here for a long time you witness many of them. I have out most respect for the master shaman Ricardo. Healing is a creative process and Ricardo has a direct connection to creative power.
If this medicine calls you, or you are really ready to change, you should come here. You will face all your fears and understand why you are exactly who you are and only then you can change.