Aya Healing Retreats

Ayahuasca Apprenticeship

Overview

Are you ready to step into your truth? This 26-day initiation is a deep dive into the healing practices of the ancient Shipibo lineage through shamanic initiation.  Immerse yourself in the world of plant healing, while under direct guidance from a renowned Shaman of Peru.

You will undertake an intensive dieta, with one or more Master Plants (in isolation), and establish a life-long connection to the spirits dwelling in the plants. This plays a critical role in the shamanic practice of working with Ayahuasca.

Your 26-day journey will have very limited contact with other participants, only brief visits with teachers and facilitators. Learning the tradition has some facilitation through lectures, workshops, and sharing. However, periods of personal silence and self-reflection play a large role.

Which Master Plant will be for you?

Traditionally, a Master Plant dieta is prescribed to a student by the Maestro or Maestra. Though, it is possible an individual feels an innate connection to a particular Master Plant – perhaps in dreams or visions which manifest as an invitation. AYA Healing currently offers diets with Noya Rao, Bobinsana, Chiric Sanango, Ayahuma, Marusa, and Chullachaqui.

Your main purpose during Shamanic Initiation is to form a lifelong relationship with the plant spirit. Like any relationship, the quality of the relationship will be determined by the energy one gives to the connection with the Plant Spirit. Sincere, authentic attention given to the plant throughout their fast will enable the dietero(a) to unlock guidance, information, and energy stored within the plant and to seek important answers that will aid them in their healing journey.

Once the length of the dietero(a)’s dieta has been fulfilled, spiritual protections will be sealed by their curandero or teacher in order to preserve the healing realized through the dieta.

Who is this Shamanic Initiation Plant Dieta for?

The Shamanic Initiation program is designed for those who have previous experiences with Master Plants dietas or that have some knowledge in working with plants spirits with integrity and reverence. Undergoing a dieta retreat requires a commitment to dietary and behavioral regimes. Abstaining from certain foods and activities throughout the period of the dieta is a powerful expression of dedication and commitment to change, evolution and growth. The willingness of the student to sacrifice aesthetics and visceral pleasures for the period of the fast demonstrates to the plant spirit that they are determined to heal and are ready to receive guidance, strength, protection and the endowment of special abilities from the plant spirit.

Your Experience

What to expect on your retreat?

The Dieta

  • 10 fully supervised curated Ayahuasca Ceremonies
  • 1 or more Master Plant Dietas
  • Personalized consultations and individualized plant medicine treatment from Don Miguel
  • Full Training Program

Comfort

  • Breakfast Lunch Dinner (2-3 meals/day)
  • Private lakeside jungle Bungalow (a Tambo)
  • Washing and Laundering of clothing
  • Transportation from Iquitos (and back)

Grounding

  • Sacred Rape or Mapocho use
  • Purifying Flower and Vapour Baths by the Riverside
  • Icaros (chanting) chosen specifically for each ceremony by the curandero
  • Guided Meditations

Integration

  • Private follow-up integration sessions via Skype
  • Access to private Facebook group

Knowledge

  • Various Plant Treatments
  • Vomitivos (Purgative)
  • How to prepare a Vapor Bath and Plant Bath
  • Icaros, traditional chants and songs
  • Uses and applications of many Master Plants
  • Preparation of the Ayahuasca brew

Optional Activities

In addition to enjoying the company of your intimate group setting, you also have the choice to join us for a few extra activities. Embark on guided hikes into the epic Amazon rainforest, learning about local species of plants and animals not found anywhere else in the world. Participate in art workshops led by a local visionary artist and bring back a beautiful piece of art tied to your healing journey.

Transform

Receive the deep healing you deserve

Nestled along the Amazon river lies the El Encanto De Chullachaqui, where you will find a tranquil setting which inspires change, facilitates healing, and will help you realize your full potential

Legendary Shipibo Healers, Caring Facilitators

Meet the team

Don Miguel

Maestra Juanita

Elio Guesa

Photo of Woman from Ayahuasca Retreat

“This trip was a dream. It far exceeded my expectations. I felt so welcomed and comfortable, but it also challenged me in ways I didn’t even know could happen. 

 – Jessica Farrelli

Embark on your journey

Interested in flexible pricing options? Speak to our program coordinator today

26-Day Shamanic Initiation

FULL
$ 3800
  • 26 Nights Accomodation, 2-3 Meals Per Day
  • 10 Ayahuasca Ceremonies
  • Plant Baths, Icaros, Sacred Tobacco
  • World Class Safety Standards

Not hearing the call?

Check out your options

Join the Wait list

AYA HEALING RETERATS

Not Included

  • Your personal accommodation in Iquitos
  • Your airfares to and from Peru and to and from Iquitos
  • Your travel insurance
  • Your Peruvian visa (if necessary)
  • Personal expenses and meals whilst in Iquitos

Pre-Application

Don Miguel

also known as Senen Yoi- Speaking the Truth

Don Miguel was born into a Shipibo community called Roaboya on the River Ucayali. When Don Miguel was a child, Angel Sanchez Vargas, his grandfather was the community’s curandero. Vargas was an expert in sacred plant medicines and was frequently called upon to heal and share his spiritual wisdom with members of Roaboya. The school built some years later was named after Vargas and Roaboya went on to be recognised as the first indigenous community 114 years ago. Don Miguel grew up surrounded by the Shipibo wisdom and possess intimate knowledge of the sacred plant medicines. At a very young age he began his apprenticeship as a curandero through plant dietas under the supportive guidance of his grandfather. Miguel is also a trained literature professor and thoroughly enjoys teaching the Shipibo language and culture. Since 2012, Don Miguel has spent the bulk of his time at the Ayahuasca Foundation where he supports his brother, Don Enrique in leading lectures, workshops, initiation courses and retreats. Don Miguel will lead our Ayahuasca ceremonies, circle discussions and be available for personal consultations whilst on retreat.

Maestra Juanita

also known as Isa Yaka- Little Bird

Maestra Juanita

Maestra Juana was born into the Shipibo community of Pahoyan, one of the most powerful Shipibo healing lineages in the Peruvian Amazon. She is around 60 years old, however her exact age is unknown.She has been studying for more than 35 years under Maestra Manuela, Papa Gilberto and Papa Bejamin, who are all members of the highly-respected curandero family, the Mahua family. Juana began her dieta on the mythical Amazonian tree Noya Rao when she was just 20 years old and has dedicated her life to the path of healing ever since. Juana is also very learned in the workings of the human body, possessing an excellent knowledge of the bones and skeletal system. Juana specialises in bone massage and will be available on the Noya Rao retreat to provide our guests with this unique healing experience. We are delighted to have Juana’s expertise, depth of wisdom and fun loving spirit with us on the Noya Rao retreat.

Elio Guesa

Founder - Lead Facilitator

Elio Guesa

Originally from Italy, and now living in Melbourne Australia, Elio Geusa is the founder of AYA Healing Retreats. Elio is a qualified Social Worker and has over thirteen years experience working both on national and international humanitarian projects. He has worked with people living with intellectual disabilities and mental health conditions. He has also had the privilege of supporting refugee populations to overcome the trauma of displacement throughout Asia, Europe, and Australia. Elio believes that compassionate and inspired action can create meaningful change in the world.
Elio’s grandfather was a highly-respected healer in a small village in southern Italy. From a young age, Elio was drawn to healing as a profession after witnessing the profound differences his grandfather made in the lives of members of their community.

In 2009, Elio encountered the plant medicine, Ayahuasca for the first time. Convinced of its power to cure the incurable, Elio began an apprenticeship under the guidance of Maestro, Vegetalista Manaco Manain. Since 2009 he has continued to deepen his knowledge, experience, and understanding of the workings of the sacred plant medicines, studying the Shipibo traditions under the revered Mahua family and has undertaken numerous Master Plant Dietas with well-respected curanderos in the Peruvian Amazon.

This immersion in the sacred plant medicines of the indigenous peoples of Peru enabled Elio to experience deep and profound healing. He has overcome crippling anxiety and anger as a result of traumatic childhood experiences, healing that was not possible through the Western medical paradigm. His renewed sense of self-worth, love, compassion, and empathy for himself enables him to extend those same qualities to others.

Elio founded AYA Healing Retreats because he is convinced of the healing potentialities of sacred plant medicines. Not only does he hope to share the indigenous wisdom of the ancient traditions of the tribe’s peoples of the Amazon, but he also intends to invest part of AYA Healing Retreats profits into humanitarian projects that are creating a more compassionate world.

Elio is committed to creating a safe, enjoyable, transformative experience for every participant, whilst on retreat please don’t hesitate to approach Elio for help and support as you navigate the complexities of your healing journey.

Video Testimonials

Life Changing Journeys

Kate Ryan, Seattle

Vanessa, Portugal

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Application

Our comprehensive screening questionnaire has been developed in partnership with the International Centre for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service (ICEERS). Please take your time to answer it as honestly and with as much detail as possible. This information will remain strictly confidential and will only be used to assess your suitability for a place on retreat with AYA Healing Retreats and keep you safe

Please remember that the purpose of this screening questionnaire is to determine whether plant medicine healing is suitable for you…not whether you are suitable for plant medicine healing. Plant medicines are tools, like any other healing modality and like other tools for healing experiencing them entails certain risks. We need to make sure that our plant medicines will not compromise your wellbeing or harm you in any way before we allow you to begin your healing journey with us. In short, we care about your safety and we need to do what we can to ensure that during your time with us you are not at risk of harm. Plant medicines can be dangerous if the plants are not the right fit for the individual. Your answers to this questionnaire will help us to determine whether the plants we intend to use are going to help, rather than harm you