Do I need to bring my own bedding, mosquito net, food or water?
Our center will provide all of these amenities for you. The water provided is filtered and safe to drink.
Do you offer San Pedro/Huachuma and/or other medicinal ceremonies?
We work exclusively with Ayahuasca and Amazonian Master Plants regarding the Shipibo tradition. We ask that you investigate elsewhere to find out where you can participate in these ceremonies.
Where does the center get its ayahuasca?
Our ayahuasca is made fresh at the center exclusively from ayahuasca vine and chacruna leaves. We purchase ayahuasca vine from local growers in Llanchama and the surrounding area. We purchase chacruna leaves from Shipibo cultivators in Pucallpa, which are then sent by plane to Iquitos.
Do I need to start the diet before I arrive at the center? What kind of diet?
It is optional to diet beforehand following the guidelines of the traditional Shipibo Ayahuasca diet. The Ayahuasca diet has the following restrictions: no salt, no sugar, no oil, no red meat, no dairy, no alcohol or drugs. Dieting 10 days before your visit is good preparation. Additionally, upon your arrival, we will also have you drink a plant-based purgative to cleanse you and prepare you for your treatment.
I am vegetarian/vegan what can I eat?
Our buffet food is prepared in the respect of the traditional plant Shipibo diet and also suits a vegan/vegetarian diet consisting of rice, potatoes, lentils, pasta, beans, plantains, eggs, some vegetables, fish, oatmeal, apples, bananas and tea. If you are vegetarian or vegan our kitchen staff will gladly help to provide you with the food you need.
Can I use soap, repellent, tooth paste?
We recommend using natural body products.
When is the rainy season?
The campus of Nihue Rao is not a heavy mosquito area, however, if you want avoid mosquitos, we advise you to book a retreat in the hottest months of the year; late July through October. The rainy season usually begins in late December and goes through until the end of April. During this time the mosquito/bug population increases. We do our best to keep mosquito bites to a minimum by enclosing all of our structures with mosquito netting. Mosquitos are more prominent during dawn and dusk, during these times we recommend wearing long pants and socks, or using a natural mosquito repellent.
What is the weather like and what clothing should I bring?
The climate in the Amazon in general is hot and humid. Temperatures range from 18 to 28 Degrees Celsius/ 64 to 82 Degrees Fahrenheit with rain showers. It is advisable to pack:
- summer clothing
- a hat for the sun
- long pants and a light sweater
- sandals or flip flops
- a rain jacket or umbrella
What other things do you recommend I bring?
- a small flash light preferable with a red or blue light setting for the ceremony
- extra batteries for your flashlight
- a journal to write in
- sun screen
- a bathing suit
- a water bottle
It is advisable to pack an overnight bag in your carry-on luggage. In rare cases luggage may arrive late.
How much extra money do I need?
We often have artisans coming through our center selling pipes, necklaces and handmade/woven products. We also sell traditional tobacco (Mapacho) and a cleaning perfume (Agua de Florida) that is used in ceremony. There are also opportunities for traditional medicinal massages that vary in cost from 20 to 50 US Dollars. If you choose to go into town the cost is 50 Soles (18 Dollars) each way, as well as your departure fee to the airport 40 soles. We recommend bringing anywhere from 100 to 400 U.S. dollars. Please note we do not exchange money at the center. Change US Dollars into Soles when you arrive at the airport in Lima (Iquitos airport has no money exchange), before entering Peru or you can withdraw soles from ATM machines available at the airport and in Iquitos (although this quantity will be limited by your bank).
Are there ATM’s available and how much money am I able to take out?
There are ATM machines in Lima, in the Iquitos airport as well as in the town of Iquitos. There is often a limit of 200 to 400 US Dollars per day or week, depending on the bank and your bank card. If you choose to pay for your stay in cash it is advisable to bring your money with you. It is also advisable to notify your bank that you will be in Peru.
How can I pay?
In Peru only new bills will be accepted. Please, prepare new bills from your bank within your country. ATM´s in Peru have limited range of access. We do not accept paypal or credit cards, travellers cheques or personal cheques. We do however accept cash (US Dollars and Soles only) and bank-to-bank transfers. More information about this will be provided when your booking is being processed.
Do I have to wire a deposit and what is the cancellation policy?
Individuals do not need to prepay a deposit but we do ask for prepayment for groups of 5 people or more. Individual payment can be made upon your arrival, or it is possible to prepay the amount of your stay via bank transfer. Groups are expected to complete their payment upon arrival. If you cancel your reservation up to 10 days prior to pre-booked arrival date, we will refund 50% of received payment. After that time, received payment is non-refundable.
Do you offer a work-trade or volunteer programs?
We are a small center with limited space for work-trade program. We generally prefer to invite volunteers that have previously spent time at our center for their healing. During your first process we are able to see if we are a good fit for each other and from that point we will consider a possible work trade in the future. Please, check the section “Job offer” at the bottom of the page.
What is the best day to arrive at the center?
Our center is open 365 a year and all our retreat programs start on every Sunday at 2 p.m. Please, inquire the period you wish come and I will send you the availabilities. We do ask you to book a flight that will arrive in the morning at the Iquitos airport at least before noon, in order to be able to reach our center before nightfall. Also, the day of your departure we advise you to book a return flight which will leave Iquitos in the afternoon. If you are interested in booking a retreat at our center, please wait for confirmation of availability and clearance of your medical information before you proceed to book your flights.
How far is the center from the airport and will you provide pick-up?
Our center is an hour from the Iquitos airport and an hour and half from downtown Iquitos. Depending on the season we will transport you either by motorcar or motorcar and a short boat ride. We will make arrangements for your arrival and departure transportation. Transportation from the airport to the center is included in the cost of your stay. We ask you that you pay your way out which costs between 40 and 50 Soles.
What kind of activities does the center offer during the day?
We are located in the jungle near the small village of Llanchama beside the Nanay river where you can enjoy small walks and a swim. We also have an art space, supplies are provided for painting, drawing and creativity. If you use this facility we ask for a small donation so we can continue to offer art supplies and support this visionary experience. We also supply yoga mats for your own personal practice and often have yoga classes depending on teacher availability. There are hammocks for resting and a small book collection for reading. We have three to four group meetings per week with our shamans to share our ceremony experiences and to learn about Ayahuasca and plant medicines.
Do you offer daily excursions?
We do not offer this service but will be able to put you in touch with someone who offers daily excursions to local tourist sites. We do not provide information about various sightseeing options and ask that you research this on the internet or with the agencies in town.
What airport do I need to fly to and which airlines fly there?
We are located near the Iquitos airport in Peru (Cornel FAP Francisco Secada Vignetta International Airport) Copa Airlines flies directly to Iquitos, while other airlines fly into the International Airport in Lima, Peru. From Lima there are 3 airlines that fly directly to Iquitos. These airlines are Lan, Starperu, and Peruvian Airlines. You can buy your ticket from Lima to Iquitos online or at the Lima airport. Here are links to the different airline options:
Can I change my flight from the center?
We do have internet service available but in our experience we have found that changing tickets from our center has been difficult and/or unsuccessful. If you do need to change your ticket you will most probabliy need to go into Iquitos.
Do you have WiFi and how often is it available?
We do have WiFi available for 24h/7 but with limited broadband space. Due to this it is not possible to download large files, music or videos, we also advise that skype calls be kept to a minimum. Our WiFi is fairly consistent but because we are in a remote location it may be unavailable for short periods of time.
Do I need an adapter to plug in my electronical devices?
North American and European devices are compatible with our electrical outlets.
Are there any items that I can bring/donate to the center?
- candles for our lounge and community áreas
- art supplies, especially acrylic paint of all colors and brushes
- milk chocolate for our shamans and staff
- any used articles of clothing or shoes for give away
- pens, pencils and paper for the local children
The grounds of Nihue Rao are spacious, beautiful and home to several breeds of loving dogs, cats, birds and monkeys. These animals are graciously cared for by the staff, and we welcome you to make a donation to our animal fund. If you have any allergies or heath constraints, please bring the appropriate medications to suit your needs. (Benadryl, Claritin, Cortisone)
How can I contact you with any questions or concerns?