This work is so valuable and difficult at the same time. The depths of emotion that has been shared here with us and together is a gift of such great value. Lifetimes of difficulties have been worked on together. Below are a few reviews of some of our beautiful guests, that have become friends and we will always think of all of them and all of you as a family. We love you all!! Thank you for all being you! – William Menech
Kawsay Ayahuasca Retreats Testimonials
Sentiments from past Ayahuasca Retreats & San Pedro Journeys in Peru
London – England
This is seriously the best place ever, it has changed my life! I’ve done Aya and San Pedro before but honestly after experiencing it in Kawsay I will never work with other people again! This is on a totally different level. William is so helpful, so connected, he really helped me to understand very essential things that I didn’t get before. He is really dedicated, always available to talk to, cares about everyone so much, it is so rare to meet people like this. He has done so much to help all of us. Also Louis, Don Winister and Don Romulo are real angels, these people are really amazing and beyond expectations! I’ve never seen shamans doing so much work on people anywhere else. I really love them all. I am already planning to take all my friends there because I can’t imagine a better place. Not only the people are amazing but also the surroundings. It is a real paradise and the place is just so comfortable and beautiful, really great conditions. It is also safe and they know how to deal with every situation. I’m so happy I took part in it. Can’t describe the experience in detail because there is so much to say, I still find it difficult to speak about it to people. Words can’t describe it anyway, the only way to understand is to go there and experience it. Thank you and I will be back soon with all the people I can take with me!.– TripAdvisor
London – England
Honestly, words cannot express my praise, deep gratitude and appreciation for my experience at Kawsay!! But I’ll do my best 😉
I was at Kawsay for just over 5 weeks and it’s been the most profound time of my entire life! The deep healing, support, care, work and the lessons, teachings and guidance from William and the other shamans, will stay with me forever!
I was there as a female solo traveller coming from London. William organised everything really well for when I arrived, and I was met and looked after in Iquitos by his lovely wife. The boat ride was beautiful and took only about an hr. The centre is very near to the river so you will only have about a 5 min walk. The location is perfect and the energy of the place is so heavenly and peaceful! You’ll feel it no doubt as soon as you arrive, maybe even before! 😉 It is surrounded by wildlife, such gorgeous animals like butterflies, birds even hummingbirds surround the place.
I felt so warmly welcomed and safe as soon as I arrived. I was so relieved!The retreat is gorgeous and very well built! The ceremony, hang out and eating space is wonderful and big! And the bedrooms are all so spacious that so you can easily spend relaxing chill out time in them. They have a really good feel to them, regularly cleaned, and have the best jungle views around!-and the outdoor space is gorgeous!! Beds are comfy with cosy blankets, and they get made daily.
We had some great jungle tours, where we visited the local monkeys in their village as well as the local indian Yagua tribe! What a treat to see how they live! But the biggest value of the whole retreat is the healing, love, care, support, spiritual guidance and true story telling you you’ll receive! You will be filled up with joy, love, faith, trust, and knowledge!!
William is one of the nicest people I have ever met and whom I trust 100% (I made a great friend there!! 🙂 he has such a pure and big kind heart and you can count on him for sure! He is a man of his word and very reliable. I feel like I found my spiritual family at Kawsay! William works extremely hard and puts so much effort and attention to detail into making sure you get exactly what you need and that everything works in the most efficient and best way possible. His intuition is strong and spot on! Always! His gifts are beautiful and Powerful in the most positive ways. I saw him always be so generous with his time and energy and was never too busy to help and support myself and all the other guests there. (Which by the way is a maximum of 12 people so you’ll never feel like there’s too many people to be attended to)…
I’m actually getting emotional writing this as I really cannot express how much William and the other shamans have helped me!! There generosity and integrity is far and beyond what you would expect. They all work in the correct way with strong values and good ethics and no ego! All so kind, helpful and smiling from their hearts. Their strength, high abilities, gifts, consistency, dedication and will to work in service for the creator and to help others heal is rare to find! I wouldn’t go anywhere else again other than kawsay as I know this is the BEST place to heal, grow, learn and transform!
This centre is a gift, a HUGE blessing, and anyone that is fortunate enough to experience and find it is very very lucky! You will get the correct treatment, healing and care you need.
I personally had a lot to heal and clean, physically and spiritually. I can honestly and wholeheartedly say I was in the right place at Kawsay, and I’ve experienced bad shamans! So I know the difference. What all these guys did for me I will never forget and I intend to give back and show my appreciation in many ways, this review just being the start 🙂
I would like to add that the service was 100% spot on ! All my dietary needs and requirements were met (I am vegan) and I can be particular at times 😉 the food wasn’t just tasty but there was always more than enough of it! 🙂 and they do offer fish and meat.
There is also wifi (yes can you believe it, in the jungle! 🙂 if you need to contact family, friends or to work.
1. Follow the diet 100% (before and after!) this is sooo vitally important, and can affect your spirit if not done/followed correctly.
2. I’d suggest bringing a small torch, batteries, and plenty of lighters for smoking mapachos 😉
3. My last suggestion is to Come with an open mind, heart, positive attitude, and with respect for everyone and everything. (Maybe you do this anyway) And be 100% honest. We can all have shame, pain, and guilt. But really, you will get even more out of what you put in if you can be honest and true with yourself and others. This part was challenging for me but so worth it !
The jungle feels like my home. Kawsay is paradise and everyone there are such rare breeds ! I miss the place and I think about everyone there daily. My heart, spirit and whole life has been liberated! Which is exactly what kawsay means (liberation of one’s life)
I am excited to return soon!
Much love, and blessings to you all on your spiritual journey. I hope you choose Kawsay and maybe we will get to meet one day there soon! ❤️. – TripAdvisor
Alberta – Canada
My journey to this retreat was more than I could ever ask for. It was my first Ayahuasca experience so I was slightly nervous about what to expect. William and everyone else involved at this retreat did everything to answer any and all concerns. Everybody in my group had many questions and he made sure they all got answered.
This place is the real deal, the Shamans are truly amazing with great abilities. I felt safe every step of the way.
From start to finish these people are caring, patient and most importantly genuine. I didn’t want to leave…a piece of my heart stayed out there because I know I’ll be back again soon! A huge thank you to everyone that works at Kawsay for a memorable stay and all the wonderful food too!!! Until we meet again ❤️. – TripAdvisor
Texas – United States
I recently spent a week Kawsay Ayahuasca Retreat. This was probably the most profound week that I spent in my life. I have a very busy business life serving as CEO of a small software and consulting company. However, I neglected other important parts of my life such as my wife of 35 years. Our marriage was rapidly deteriorating; we had totally lost our physical passion and emotional intimacy for each other. In my view, my wife had become so self-centered and did not care about me anymore. I had also become insensitive and was also losing interest in our relationship. We had reached a point where neither one of us were happy. I let my wife go to Kawsay to discover where she wanted to go with her life and to heal from a broken marriage. After a week, she called me and said that I had to go there and be with her and that the time there would provide great insight to both of us.I hesitated at first, but then I decided we needed this opportunity together to decide our future. I booked my one week trip to Peru. William and my wife met me at the airport. My wife, seemed so different. She looked in my eyes and I felt such a love that I had not seen in the last 30 years. We did two Ayahuasca and two San Pedro ceremonies together where I discovered, she is my destiny. I felt such love and passion for her, and saw her as a beautiful being of light. It seemed that sensitivity had grown from zero to 100 overnight. At one of the San Pedro ceremonies, she was going through intense emotional processing. I stayed by her side and was truly there for her in her time of need. Our emotional intimacy grew to a level we had never known. This short week in Peru made so many changes in me that it is difficult to describe. Now that we have returned to our normal lives, our love has done nothing but grow. We are planning another trip to Kawsay in the near future. In fact, we plan on recommitting ourselves to each other through a ceremonial marriage, which we want to have in Peru. This experience could never have been possible without the care and support that we received from William and the Kawsay Shamans. This week in the Amazon Jungle, without phone, Internet or even electricity was truly life changing and allowed me to make changes and set priorities in my life that would have been impossible without this experience. I highly recommend Kawsay to anyone who wants to make profound changes in their life.– TripAdvisor
Texas – United States
Even writing a book could not give a glimpse of what I experienced at Kawsay. As an almost walking dead person, I had turned so many ways searching for help. Resources dwindling, I knew I did not have the energy nor finances to look much further. The deadness I felt inside had been with me since childhood and I just could not shake it off. With the help of Ayahuasca, Huachuma, the support of the curanderos and William’s amazing insightful counseling, the light began to push itself into the dark controlled spaces within my spirit and physical body. Repressed fear began to course through and beg for expression while exiting my body during my Ayahuasca and Huachuma ceremonies. Finally a wail ripped out of my chest as my body remembered the sexual molestation that I suffered and repressed as a young child. So long I suspected it, but thought it only a trick of my mind trying to create a reason for my never ending depression. In an instant, I understood my general mistrust of men and my unreasonable resentment of authority. Even though other grave traumas occurred in my life and were presently developing, this was a positive key factor in curing all. Soon I felt able to forgive my life. I had always despised myself and hoped some event would take me out of my life permanently. But crying tears of self forgiveness, I began to realize this as the point at which I could begin appreciating all of the many blessings in my life. After that session, I went into a ceremony where I experienced true self love – a feat I had never been able to master before. I announced to everyone there that the most important person in the world loved me and that person was me. At that moment, I knew that now, I could truly begin to love others as well. These profound self realizations and I would call them self actualization and even more occurred at my stay at Kawsay. A lifetime of psychotherapy could not closely approach what I experienced at Kawsay. I would highly recommend Kawsay Retreat to anyone. What sets it apart is the small group size and the amount of care and support you receive.Staying at Kawsay, you get to experience the true spirit of the Amazon Jungle versus being only miles away from the congested city of Iquitos like so many other retreats are.– TripAdvisor
Queensland – Australia
It’s hard to know where to start writing this. Ayahuasca is such an intense experience and anyone who is going to take the leap and try it all have the same questions and worries. Is it safe? If something goes wrong can the staff handle it? Should I be nervous?
I know this because I had the same thoughts coming into it. It’s no joke, ayahuasca should only be taken by people who have a genuine desire to explore their spirituality and the aspects of life most unknown to us yet most important.
After a week at Kawsay I can easily say that William and the shamans and all the staff who work there put you in the best possible hands. Sure there are the cheap and nasty options that will get offered to you but if you are seriously thinking about trying ayahuasca then I couldn’t recommend more the team at Kawsay. Forget the price and anything like that because it’s important you’re with people who know what they’re doing and love what they do also.
The amount of effort that William and the rest put into each individual person is incredible and I truly feel I was in the best care the entire time with everything from food to accommodation and support.
As for the treatments/sessions, they are done with the utmost care and love and at no point in time are they not there for you if you need.
I my self-had a really difficult session one night and even though it was one of the most powerful and tough things I’ve ever been through mentally, William and the shamans were there through everything and I knew I was completely and 100% safe and afterward I realised it was one of the best and most wonderful things that had ever happened to me.
Put your worries aside with these guys, take the leap if it’s something you really wish to do and I guarantee you’ll find yourself sitting at your computer afterward trying to find the right words to describe the incredible experience you had at Kawsay.
Thank you, William, I’ll never forget the experience and truly look forward to seeing you again one day.
Good luck with building the new spot also champ. – TripAdvisor
Jakarta – Java
This retreat has changed my life completely. Thanks to Will and the Shamans and everyone there. During the retreat Will was very helpful in giving guidance about the spiritual world. As this is my second retreat, I can see that all of the staff in this retreat sincerely have a lot of love to share with everyone, we were treated as family, even after the retreat.
I had a lot of visions that I don’t have to share here because everyone will have a different vision and you need to have faith and try it yourself. The most important thing that I got from Ayahuasca ceremonies is that I found what I was looking for, my deeper sense of purpose. My goals in life before the retreat was all about getting more money, but money didn’t make me feel complete. Love does. Ayahuasca made me realized that we are all one, we are part of the universe and love connect us all.
My purpose now is to share the unconditional love that I have to everyone and share kindness to everyone that I met, regardless of how people treat me. Also had a breakthrough during the Wachuma/ San Pedro where I went into a trance, felt the holy spirit get in my heart and feel a very strong and loving energy from my heart. I can feel and share a lot of love and positive energy to everyone that I touch. I’ve felt love and happiness ever since, and I’m currently on my way to apply this to everything I do.
Moreover, the food is super delicious, the work they did to us was excellent. I miss everyone in there and also the jungle, even the birds, and the bees. I will be back soon
So, if You want to find real happiness in life and feel complete, this is definitely the place. Sending love to all of you.
Busto Arsizio – Italy
Safest and best place to have your shamanic experience 🙂 I feel comfortable writing this, cause this wasn’t my first stay in Ayahuasca retreats, and here, you get all the cares and attention you need, to understand and enjoy fully, the spiritual process you going through..thanks, William and all the Kawsay team! see u soon 🙂 5 stars! excellent!– TripAdvisor
South Wales – UK
I’m not sure I can put into words how amazing this place is, but I will try my best. I did a lot of research before deciding on Qhispikay Kawsay Shamanic Ayahuasca Retreat, I found myself being drawn back to Kawsay every time. I was a female traveling alone and wanted to make sure I would be in safe hands (I had read a lot of horror stories so needed to be sure). William the owner of Kawsay put me at ease the moment I spoke to him before booking the retreat. I had a lot of questions, would I be safe? what would happen if I had a “bad” experience? all the usual questions you should ask before doing something like this. William was able to answer all my questions and immediately put me at ease. I knew I had found the right place. I had felt a “calling” to this medicine a long time ago and I finally felt ready, I knew there was a lot of healing needed and I was ready to begin my journey. I was so lucky to be part of an amazing group (there was only 5 of us and it worked beautifully). William, the Shamans and all the staff where amazing, I can’t praise or thank them enough. Everyone is so kind and helpful. They really are there to help and guide you. My first ceremony was incredibly intense and William and the Shamans did some incredible work to guide me through the night. I never felt unsafe or in any kind of danger at any time. The positive energy and light shine through in every aspect. William is one of the most beautiful people I have ever met (inside and out), he is also a Shaman specializing in San Pedro ceremonies. He truly cares about the people that come to his retreat. He is never too busy, even though this man works far too hard and never rests, he is there for you 100% of the time. William and the Shamans are so dedicated that no amount of praise could do them justice. I felt very connected to Don Winister, who is just an amazing Shaman and then there is Don Romelo who in his own right is a very respected Shaman and is a complete sweetheart. The work these guys did for me was truly amazing and unforgettable. I have no doubt in my mind that I will return to the Jungle, to Kawsay. I somehow feel I belong there, there is definitely a connection too strong to ignore.
1. Follow the before and after diet, it will benefit you greatly in the long run.
2. Be honest about your intentions, the more open you are, the more you can be helped/healed.
Being in the jungle at the retreat made me feel alive again, my soul was filled with positivity and happiness. I miss it every day and hear the Icaros in my head daily. This place is a little piece of paradise.
I highly recommend this retreat to anyone looking for an authentic experience carried out by respected and dedicated Shamans with unlimited support and kindness.
I don’t think my review has done Kawsay the justice it deserves, so I recommend that you find out for yourselves, you really won’t be disappointed.
Kawsay has stolen a piece of my heart…. I will return!!– TripAdvisor
Astana – Kazajistán
I just returned back from what has been the most profound and influential experience of my life so far (and I’m in my 40’s). If you’re considering this journey, you are probably with a lot of the same questions that I had. Is the place safe, are the Shamans authentic, will they be able to take care of me if things get too much, etc, etc. Well, I want to say yes to all these questions I had, and that you might have also. I can’t say that I didn’t a lot of fears, but I came to understand that these fears are the reason that I needed to do the work, which is Ayahuasca.
It’s not playing time, and it’s not something you should take lightly. This work is serious, and the Shamans and the staff at Qhispikay Kawsay, understand this very well, and lovingly and carefully guide you through the process of your own unfolding, as gently and with as much care and compassion as you can imagine. Often going above and beyond the call of duty, to make sure all participants get what they need.
I can honestly say that I am looking forward to returning again next year, and this really is a testament to the facility, the place, and most importantly the healers who you will come to rely on, during this sometimes tumultuous experience.
good luck on your journey to find the best place for you, but trust me that this place is well worth your time, and you will come away with a renewed lust for life, and a new passion to be the best person you can in the world today.
One last thing, take the diet very serious, you will get most out of the work the stricter you can be with yourself leading up to and even after the time in the Jungle…. peace, and love… – TripAdvisor
Florida – United States
Kawsay was amazing….the staff were loving and walking in a perfect space with jungle…the shamans icaros were the most beautiful music I have ever heard it was a true life best(icaros)in a psychedelic ocean. If yours looking for strong ayahuasca and not the big groups with what they call gringo juice this is the place for real healin…..saftey (love)that they provide with such potent medicine is powerful combination for healing….i was in a group of 9 and everyone was glowing after leaving the jungle and when they got they looked and felt like totally different .– TripAdvisor
Wan Chai – Hong Kong
I had an amazing experience at Kawsay Ayahuasca retreat this summer! I was nervous going into the retreat because I didn’t know what to expect or what was going to happen during each of the ceremonies, but from the second I met William (the retreat coordinator), I immediately felt safe and welcomed and in good hands. Feeling safe and cared about and looked after during this entire process, which can be a bit intense and difficult at times, is the most important thing, and Kawsay does a flawless job fostering a safe environment. The Shamans running the ceremonies are caring, and are truly amazing at what they do.
Oh! And the food was SUPER delicious too 😀 I highly recommend this retreat to anyone looking for a safe and incredible ayahuasca experience. I would definitely come back to this retreat in the future 🙂– TripAdvisor
Melk – Austria
I’ve been looking for some time into attending an Ayahuasca retreat but this one just seemed the right one especially after speaking with William who organizes them. He himself is one of the shamans during the retreats specializing in San Pedro ceremonies and speaking with him just put me right at ease that this was the right retreat for me to attend, as it offered not only Ayahuasca but also San Pedro ceremonies. In the run-up to the retreat, he was always happy to answer any questions, and the same during the retreat and after – feeling really well cared for.
Another big plus was that there are 4 shamans with a max group size of 10-12 people per retreat, so you get all the attention and healing you need. They are truly a beacon of light amongst the many retreats vying for tourists with lots of them just in it for the money – but not so at Kawsay, they are very caring and go over and beyond for the people staying with them. It’s all about healing, consciousness, love and spiritual development.
So if you’re looking to do some deep spiritual and/or healing work, don’t look any further! They are the real deal, and I can highly recommend them. I hope to go back soon to do some more work with these amazing shamans! THANK YOU! – TripAdvisor
Brisbane – Australia
My decision to travel halfway around the world and attend an Ayahuasca retreat in Peru was one of the toughest and nerve-racking decisions I’ve ever made, after many of hours of researching I decided Kawsay was the best option.
The fact that you are in the company of 4 shamans during the ceremonies and the group sizes are limited allows more one on one time and attention from the shamans, anyone that understands the nature of this sacred medicine will know how important that really is. With a combined 100 years of experience between them, these guys know what they are doing!
I loved everything about my stay and my experience, it really has given me a new perspective on life. After leaving the retreat and getting back to reality I still can’t help but think that attending Kawsay was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and that I had absolutely nothing to worry about as your health, safety, and wellbeing is their top priority!
I look forward to returning again one day
Thanks again!– TripAdvisor
Mambajao – Filipinas
Amazed and Grateful I am!!!! This is the first form of any “pre-booked trip” that I have ever taken part of…although I have traveled to over 45 countries including every state/providence/country in North and Central America.
I am extremely grateful I trusted my instincts and booked this experience with William and Kawsay. All Four Shamans and staff are incredible people with shining hearts of white light! At all times: Love, Consciousness and Healing were at the center of attention. Words are hard to describe the experience!
I have changed drastically; mentally, physically, and spiritually. If you’re looking for a hippy-dippy experience of dealing with surface level emotions such as dancing, singing, and freedom….this is not the place for you.
On the contrary, If you are looking to partake in some serious energetic and spiritual work on yourself, then look no further. Safe and comfortable environment. Wise caring souls. Amazing environment.
Take the leap, follow the diet (before and after), and open your heart and mind. Hope to see you there someday, as I will be back.
Blessings, Kind Regards, and THANK YOU!!! – TripAdvisor
Virginia – United Estates
Thank you, William, Thank you Don Romulo, Thank you Don Winister, and Thank you, Cesar, for all your hard work and genuine friendship. I can honestly say that I hold you guys close to my heart, you are truly my extended family. You guys are world class and perform amazing healing work. William was so attentive to everyone’s needs and made sure everyone was comfortable. The shamans are just incredible and are all very unique. The healing work was very personal and has absolutely changed my outlook on life, awakened my true purpose in life. Going to Qhispikay was the best decision I could have ever made and I can honestly say that what I thought I wanted in life was not what I really truly deeply wanted or needed. I’m lost for words to explain my experience but be transformed, live life in the now and find your inner self. Oh, and the food was amazingly delicious. Thank You– TripAdvisor
Pacific Coast – Australia
This was the most amazing journey I have taken ever!! Awaken your senses, and connect with your inner peace. This was a healing and awakening journey for me and others that attended the retreat in April.
I can not speak highly enough of the professionalism and genuine care and attention that is given to each and every individual. Your safety and well-being is paramount, which makes you focus on healing and leave the rest to the Qhispikay Kawsay retreat team.
I feel blessed and honoured to have experienced this journey with these amazing souls. I highly recommend this retreat to all those who are wanting a true Amazon Ayahuasca experience.
My journey was out of this world, and the quality of care and guidance I received was nothing short of amazing.
Much love and respect to William and his amazing team that made this journey possible. ❤️❤️❤️– TripAdvisor
Idaho – United States
My tagline says it all. As cliche as it sounds, this experience changed my life. This is my first review ever, on any website, but I felt highly motivated to let the world know this place is legit. William is an absolute perfectionist, and it showed everywhere. The group of Shamans he has assembled are 2nd to none. If you’re looking into doing Ayahuasca or San Pedro, 2 great healing medicines, this place is the real deal. They are completely dedicated to helping people heal. The experience they bring to the table is unbelievable.
As to all the extras Will brings, the visits to local tribes, wildlife sanctuaries, etc are all a bonus. Very few retreats offer these, yet they are priceless to those of us who enjoy traveling the world and seeing how people live.
Being in the middle of the jungle, where there is no power (although he has generators :-)!), William has gone above and beyond to provide good living conditions. Like I said, he is a perfectionist and works hard to make sure everyone’s needs are met. The food was amazing, everyone has their own bathroom with shower, you literally have 24-hour care should any needs arise.
In conclusion, I truly have never written a review, even though my travels have been extensive throughout my life. This experience changed me. I have more peace than I’ve ever felt. I highly recommend this to anyone who’s looking for answers. – TripAdvisor
Idaho – United States
Hi, my name is Karen and I recently traveled to Peru with my partner for this Ayahuasca Retreat. It was absolutely a wonderful experience and the Shamans were all very attentive and kind. They truly care about people and want this to be a world of peace, love, harmony, and forgiveness. William (one of the Shamans) works very hard to make this a pleasant experience and for being in the jungle away from everything I think he did an amazing job making us all feel welcome and comfortable. The food was very good, we had three meals a day (when we weren’t doing a ceremony) and they always served large portions and lots of different things. We all had our own little hut with a bathroom and shower. All of the staff are very kind and willing to do anything to make your stay more comfortable.
During the ceremonies if you have any addictions, illness, negative energies or anything, the Shamans physically and mentally work very hard to relieve you of these afflictions. They were able to peel back many layers from me and my partner has/had an addiction and also has/had ADD her entire life and they clearly removed both from her body. She has been so calm, mellow and at peace since we have been back and she feels like both issues are completely GONE!!! These Shamans are the REAL DEAL!!! One of them has been doing this for about 80 years and another for about 42 years, bottom line is they all have a tremendous amount of experience. They are all very unique in what they bring to the table and you won’t find any that are more caring and who work very hard at making sure you are satisfied with your experience. Also, William goes above and beyond by taking you on a few jungle experiences including visiting an indigenous tribe which was very fascinating.
If you are thinking of doing an Ayahuasca experience you owe it to yourself to check these guys out! You will NOT be disappointed. Believe me when I say also that you DO NOT want to have this experience with anyone other than experienced SHAMANS!!– TripAdvisor
Sidney – Australia
I’d like to thank William. Because of him and the work he has done building such an amazing space in the Amazon jungle with such caring Shamans, my family is drastically changed for the better.
If you have ever thought about doing Ayahuasca, do it. If you’re wondering where you should do Ayahuasca, do it with William at Qhispikay Kawsay Shamanic Ayahuasca Retreat. It’s an experience you will not regret or forget.
I will not go into details of my personal experience with Ayahuasca, as everyone’s will be different.
The Dons, William, and staff go to extraordinary lengths to ensure everyone in the group is safe, comfortable and is getting the care required.
The Amazon is an amazing place. The guys at Qhispikay Kawsay Shamanic Ayahuasca Retreat are amazing people.
If you do this trip, do not think of it as a holiday. You’ve done holidays before, this is will be something, unlike anything you have done.
William has helped my family and me more than I could have imagined. – TripAdvisor
Rome – Italia
I previously had a retreat in Iquitos, where the ayahuasca wasn’t that well – so the whole group decided to leave 2 days before.
We were then so lucky to run into William (the owner of the retreat), and we all came on a tour with him. It was amazing!
We had such an amazing time. The ayahuasca was much stronger and everybody in the group had some great experiences and the shamans were great and very good their job!
The location is also fantastic. It’s about 2 hours from Iquitos and deep in the Amazon jungle. Loved the trip out there and back.
And don’t forget the food. Even though it’s without the fun stuff (sugar and salt), then they managed to make it taste great. Which was quite important for me for my retreat.
And William he’s such a sweetheart. He knows so much and has so many experiences he is willing to share. Listen and you will learn a lot.
My best recommendations!– TripAdvisor
Texas – United States
I suffered with chronic migraine headaches for over 7 years on a daily basis. I had several doctors including neurologists and pain doctors to try find out what was triggering them and how I was going to be able to live through this. The best they could do is prescribed Botox injections on my head, neck and shoulders with Sumatriptan Succinate Injection, Treximet, and Oxycodone for pain. I also tried everything I could find on the internet. The Cefaly (electric shock) and the Genesen Acutouch Therapy just to name a couple. The meds made the pain tolerable most days, but my doctors were worried about my organs from way too much Excedrin and ibuprofen. As you can imagine I became religious first and then spiritual. Reading everything I could get my hands on. I was reading books on shamans so it wasn’t long before I decide to go Peru with my husband. I choose really carefully going through all the different healing retreat centers reading the entire web site. I know I needed help and I would like to go where I would have more one on one work with shamans. I found William’s center and I liked that fact that they can have only a max of 8 people with 4 shamans. After my conversation with William on Skype, my husband and I decide to go to Peru. William met us at the airport and we talked more about my health. When we start doing our ceremonies, we saw how hard the shamans work. One ceremony ended at 3 o’clock. They don’t stop there, after the ceremonies they stayed with us in the same lodging and continue to work through the day. We called them anytime when we were not feeling good, and they would come and help us! I have never seen so much compassion, loving, understanding and nurturing care from strangers and here I am surrounded with all of this. It was an amazing experience! The shamans explain to me that everything on earth has a spirit and sometimes we need help from spirits who can help us to heal. I have no more migraines! After 7 years the doctors couldn’t help me and I went to Peru for 2 weeks – and I was healed!Everybody who works there is really caring and loving! We learned a new way of living and we are still learning!Have a wonderful and peaceful journey to Peru! We love you all!– TripAdvisor
After remaining in touch and developing a deeper friendship in the timespan since my first visit in 2013, I returned with my fiancé recently and we were both extremely pleased with the honest professionalism and love that are fundamental to this retreat center. I now can see just how powerful and effective the work and healing done here is and the incredibly positive impact William, Winister and Romelo will have on whomever makes their way through this process in the future. I am proud to say I was here near the beginning and will continue to strengthen the friendships that have developed down there. As many know, Ayahuasca can be scary, dark and even painful physically at times while confronting different aspects of our reality and individual psyches. Because of this a safe environment with knowledgable Shaman and facilitators is absolutely crucial. There is no shortage here. Winister and Romelo, the father-son Master Shaman duo have more love in their hearts than most people experience in their lives and they literally pour their spirit into you doing absolutely everything in their power to bring you the most healing possible in the time allotted. My respect for them is immeasurable. They don’t cut any corners and afford everyone real, individually focused healing throughout the experience. They had me crying over and over again at the beauty of what they do. William operates in the same manner, and works extremely hard serving as facilitator, translator and organizer while performing his own work on everyone individually. There is much more than meets the eye at Qhiskpikay and long after you leave the center, the reverberations from their work will still be emanating outwards. This is a retreat center that is growing and establishing itself so it is not setup for every situation(yet) but a quick talk with William can determine exactly what is needed on an individual basis and all suggestions are in respect to your highest healing good. The location is absolutely beautiful on the Yanu Yacu river a few hrs outside of Iquitos where they own a large plot of land and are in the process of constructing a truly beautiful and unique complex. I highly recommended contacting Qhispikay Kawsay with any questions. If anyone has any further questions, I am more than happy to correspond and share testimony of my personal growth and experience with these souls.– TripAdvisor
You can reach me at:Itsluchs@yahoo.com
Minnesota – United States
This retreat is in a beautiful spot on a tributary of the Amazon river, and the ride there and back was gorgeous. We took a small boat into a little pathway through the trees until we arrived at a clearing where the maloka (ceremony room) stood on stilts.
I’ve been drinking Ayahuasca with different groups for ten years, but this trip was different because I was able to go to Kawsay “in between” groups, meaning that no one else was in the ceremony except me, don Winister and don Romulo (the Ayahuasqueros), and William (Huachumero/facilitator). The ceremonies were powerful and insightful, and the shamans at Kawsay were very respectful and helped me with everything (unfortunately, this is not always the case; I have met a couple who were not so respectful, especially toward women). I had a few accidents during the ceremony – for instance when I dropped my sweater into my vomit bucket, and other similar incidents – and everything was quickly cleaned and taken care of for me so that I could focus on the ceremony and my own healing. I felt very humbled and grateful for the amount of care I received, and I saw a lot of it – not just at the moloka, but even after we returned to the city, where I got to eavesdrop while William constantly took calls and thoroughly answered questions about the healing work. I had fun and felt that I was in such good hands during this journey. All three men deserve a very high recommendation for their work and have warm and funny personalities besides, and the setting was beautiful and peaceful.
I initially drank Ayahuasca as a treatment for PTSD, and though it was an uncomfortable and difficult process at first, it has affected my life in amazing ways – providing healing and helping me see how to create positive change. Every ceremony provides new breakthroughs, far too deep for me to explain in a review. – TripAdvisor
Like many people I felt stuck with my life, I had so many questions I needed answering and I made a decision to go to South America to try out mother ayahuasca in hopes she could enlighten me and help me find what I am looking for. Making the decision of going was not difficult, however as I was going alone I needed to make sure I was safe and that I was going with a good group of people and shamans I could trust. After googling countless of retreats and reading testimonials, I found William Menech’s Kawsay Retreat website. Something drew me in and I got in contact with him. We spoke for about a month or 2 through whats-app before I made my decision to go with his retreat. The moment I got to Peru I knew it was the best decision I have ever made! William and his group of shamans and helpers were all very genuine and welcoming. I could tell that they took this work very seriously and that their number 1 purpose was to help us in our healing and ensure they did the best they could in our with the medicine and the ceremonies. I’ve never met a group of people that are so caring and humble, there was no ego attached to them. Being in the amazon jungle and away from all the modern distraction and also working with the plant medicine was a crazy but yet beautiful experience. I will never ever forget it ! It has almost been a year now since my experience with Kawsay Retreat and until today I am still very blessed that I had the opportunity to work with William, Don Romulo, Don Winister and Caesar. They have helped me change my life in so many ways, words cannot express how grateful and thankful I am. If you get a chance to take time out of this busy life, go and spend some time in the jungle. Work with the shamans and this beautiful plant medicine, you will not only be able to find yourself but you will also open so many doors to an amazing life ahead. There are so many times in the ceremonies where I felt like a button has been reset or reprogrammed. It was like being born again. If you’re reading this testimonial and are seeking some answers, I would highly recommend Kawsay Retreat! With this group of divine souls you will feel safe, connected and right at home.– TripAdvisor
At Kawsay Ayahuasca Retreat I attended Ayahuasca ceremonies handled by two Ayahuasca shamans, Don Romulo and his son, Don Winister. They were assisted by William Menech, who himself also is a shaman specializing in a different medicine called Don Pedro (Huachuma), and who has become my very dear friend. Without his kindness, openness, fantastic sense of humor, hospitality, close attention to your needs throughout the whole stay and, especially, during ceremonies, as well as his strength, wisdom and guidance I doubt the ceremonies would have been the same for me. Anyone who knows William and, especially, those who get to spend time with him in the jungles would realize what a gift it is to meet this man.
I have researched very carefully on practically all retreats in Peru, and many web-sites looked quite attractive indeed. However, the description of the center and the shamans contained on Kawsay’s website sounded the most appealing to me. Not only was I able to see it myself that all information that’s on the website is true, but that the reality of living in the retreat and attending the ceremonies exceeded my expectations quite significantly.
The ceremonies is not an easy experience; one essentially undergoes a very intense purification process with all the consequences accompanying it. That is why the support and attention from the shamans is of huge importance, and in Kawsay you get all that, but also much more. Besides the work that shamans do for all the attendants at the same time, they also do individual work on each of them separately while others are waiting for their turn. That is why when some retreats claim they are accommodating big groups (12, 14 or even more) it is very hard to imagine how shamans are able to do the healing on each attendant individually at least the way the shamans at Kawsay do it. It was obvious that Don Romulo (who started shamanic work when he was 8 years old) and his son, Don Winister, are exceptionally able and strong shamans who are driven exclusively by the desire to heal people. They both are very humble in regular life, but when it comes to ceremonies you realize how compassionate, loving and strong personalities they are, and how much energy they put into healing people.
It is perhaps early to comprehend fully all that the ceremonies at Kawsay have given to me, partly because Ayahuasca has a lasting effect, and many positive consequences are yet to be seen. What I do know is that I have become much cleaner energetically and physically; I also have reconsidered a number of things that have prevented me for such a long time from opening my heart, from discovering what unconditional love is, and, in general, from living a happy and fulfilling life. Ayahuasca is an exceptional medicine, but when it is combined with such a great team of shamans as you get to meet in Kawsay retreat you can consider yourself to be very lucky!– TripAdvisor
I had an amazing week at the Qhispikay Kawsay Retreat. Willam is a great person who will be there for you in any way possible. Starting from day 1 I felt completely at home. They work with some amazing Shamans who will do their best to heal, teach and show you amazing things! You will not regret spending some time at this place!– TripAdvisor
Minnesota – United States
The things we were able to do, the places you took us, the adventures we had, the sites we saw and the memories created will remain with us for the rest of our lives. The good news is that Deborah and I were able to come to clarity on the direction of our relationship and learn a lot about ourselves individually as well as about our lives together as a couple. Although the time spent in the jungle, especially during the wet season was challenging, Deborah and I both emerged as better, stronger and much more spiritual people as a result. When we arrived, our relationship and feelings regarding our future were not on a solid foundation. That changed dramatically since our time with you and we are now so much in love and planning how we are going to happily spend the rest of our lives together. With the dynamics in our personal lives and well as our relationship, without the personal attention provided by you and your staff, this outcome would not have been possible. The high ratio of healers and your model for assuring that each client receives the help needed, made all the difference for us.Additionally, at no time during our stay did I not feel you, Winister, Ceser and Romulo had nothing but the best of intentions for us to help us through the healing process and would go to no length to assure we received whatever was needed at the time. Thank you for all the positive energy you brought to our lives. I left a lot of emotional baggage, guilt, doubt, fears and un-dealt with resentment regarding my family in the jungle and emerged as a much stronger spiritual person as a result. This I will carry with me the rest of my life. It has allowed me to find forgiveness for childhood traumas and become both closer to living and passed members of my family as well as the ability to develop stronger interpersonal bonds with the ones I love. Additionally, my back, which had been becoming chronic prior to my visit has not bothered me since I received treatment. I was supposed to see a neurologist upon my return but the doctor who recommended the neurologist after being told of the treatment I received in Peru (which I found amazing that he was familiar with) suggested I cancel….which I did. I have had no further pain since. Perhaps we make a return visit sometime, maybe we don’t. In any regard our time together has left us stronger more spiritual people and has done wonders for our relationship. I highly recommend you, your model of high healers to client ratio, your process and wish you nothing but success fulfilling your mission to help people in need.– TripAdvisor
Chris Paddy Bonnar
The name translates to the liberation of the soul and it could not be more apt. This was exactly my experience at this amazing retreat. My safety and comfort were a top priority from the outset. The food and facilities were top class and the staff was incredibly attentive and friendly. My group and I all felt a strong connection with William, the owner of the retreat and the two shamans performing the ceremonies. The experience they offer is second to none. They keep groups small to maximize one to one time with the shaman throughout ceremonies. The retreat is deep in the jungle so even the journey there proves to be an eye-opening, unforgettable experience. The atmosphere was friendly and safe. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone interested in spiritual healing. The experience has left me a happier stronger man. I will never forget my time there. If you want a safe, authentic and enlightening experience with spirit medicines Qhispikay Kawsay Shamanic retreat is right for you.– TripAdvisor
I loved everything about Qhipsikay. The shamans were really experienced, and William is with you all day so I Could ask as many questions as I liked which was really helpful as I am pretty new to all this. He also took us on many different excursions to learn about different tribes in the Amazon, I especially liked monkey forest, so there’s always something to do. I’m really glad I chose this center, they’re really there for you to learn and experience!– TripAdvisor
Texas – United States
My wife and I went to Qhispikay for treatment of my wife’s chronic migraines. She suffered for 7 years every day with no real help from our western doctors here in the US. Our doctors gave my wife everything from Botox injections from her forehead down her back to prescribing her Sumatriptan Succinate injections, Treximet, and OxyContin. After 2 weeks working with the Shamans, she was 75% healed and continued to heal the other 25% at home following the Shamans orders to keep her diet. The Shamans worked around the clock taking care of my wife whenever she was in pain. We are forever grateful for the love and healing we received. Thank you, Love the Wilkerson Family.
Florida – United States
Ayahuasca has taught me about awareness of the extras life affords us and for us to be positive. For one thing, it makes you more grateful than we are. When troubles come our way, what is our most familiar complaint? “WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS? This plant medicine enables you with the answer that we all so long for.It’s simple, nothing is meant to stay the way it is, and you can change it. What is important is the direction you choose to do so. Ayahuasca for me changed the way I think, it has prepared me to face all the storms knowing they are all a part of normal human experience and all serve some purpose. It makes you realize that nothing can destroy us, nothing at all, temptation, responsibility, failure, pain, bereavement or death. You will come to realize nature may serve as clues to what we are, the attitudes we should take towards life and its universe and how we can understand and look at things differently. The ceremonies have changed me in a meaningful ways and I believe it has put me on a path to continue my spiritual journey. The truth is I was amazed at my first Huachuma ceremony with William and how it was possible for all of this to have taken place in such a short amount of time. I would like to take a minute to thank him. For William to share his unique gift and his delivery was so effortless and personal that it never felt like a chore. He has a great energy and bright spirit and has a great knowledge of how the body works and where the limit is for each individual. The experience with William, the Ayahuasqueros, and the Amazon gave me a greater understanding of this universe and I am thankful to have been given the opportunity to explore something above and beyond.
I had a wonderful experience working with William, Romulo, and Winister. Our whole group was awesome. Everyone at the retreat was very attentive. We were able to visit monkey island and there was even an impromptu wedding ceremony during our retreat week. The Maloka is beautiful and so is the property. This is definitely an experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I can’t thank you enough, William! If you find yourself in Iquitos, Peru definitely check out Qhispikay Kawsay Shamanic Ayahuasca Retreats!– TripAdvisor
Will Diefenderfer – United States
Life changing. Eye opening. Heart expanding. Back for my long-awaited second visit in April. My first visit here was by chance or maybe destiny but it dramatically altered my life for the better. Anxiously waiting to get back down there to share stories and learn more about this amazing reality. I highly recommend Don Romelo, Winister, Cesar and William as well as their family to provide a caring and compassionate shamanic healing environment whether your first or one-hundredth time around. ❤️– TripAdvisor
The United States
I have seen a lot of people come in and out of Iquitos looking for the best place to try ayahuasca. Most of them seem like a cattle call, 15 or 20 people headed out into the jungle to do large group ceremonies. Kawsay offers that personal touch that William provides. You get a ton of one on one time with his excellent shamans, Romolo and Winister. These guys are true professionals.– TripAdvisor
Florida – United States
Always looking to connect, grow, and discover more, to see and experience the gifts given to us by Nature, and just an excuse to travel with friends, I set out on a journey, really not knowing what to expect. I had never been to the Amazon, and let alone in the hands of people I did not personally know. I was immediately put at ease. From landing to departing back home, our host Shaman was with us all the way. We were able to venture the waterways of the Amazon, hike through the jungle, get lost in its grace, and experience the culture and markets of Iquitos. All of the Shamans were extremely mindful, attentive and caring. It was an experience that was personal and different for each of us. Yet a treasured time for all that decided to embark on this journey.– TripAdvisor
I don’t know what to say, it’s beyond words.
I had the best time of my life in this place, everything was just perfect I felt like I’m at home with family and friends that I wished to have for my whole life.
I’m from Egypt 27 years old who had some difficulties in my life, depression, illness and more but let me tell you this, now I’m cured, clear and happy I can’t remember since when I had that smile like the one I had now everything in my life is much better now.
I’m so grateful to the shamans, especially William for all his hard work and devotion, he didn’t leave us for a minute always there for help and support I learned a lot from him and now he’s a friend and a brother.
Up till now we speak regularly and if I feel anything wrong I just speak with him and he helps me out! So it’s not only during the retreat you will have continues support for your whole life if you want to!
These guys are not doing it for the money it’s just their nature to help people and change their lives for better.
The place was perfect, food was awesome I can’t recall any bad thing or comment that I had during the whole week.
If you feel that you are called to do the ayahuasca definitely this is the best and the safest place ever, I want also to warn you that there are lots of bad shamans out there and they can do bad things to you and I witnessed this with one of my friends during ceremonies. I’m also very grateful to Don Romelo and Winster for all their hard work and care. they are angels and if I can help this place by any means I will just do it blindly.
Thank you very much for making my life much better I owe you my life and I wish you the best cause you deserve it.
Till we meet again – TripAdvisor
My Dear Kawsay Friends,
I am thankful beyond words for the incredible healing and unforgettable Amazon experience that you gave me. Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the positive results that I’ve gained from being in your care. Everything about Kawsay is perfect!
William, while the difficult sacrifices that you and your beautiful family have made by moving to Peru – giving up many of the comforts and relationships you cherished in the U.S. in order to accept the calling (and the gift) that God has given to you – let me assure you that the work that you all do and the healing you bring is so appreciated and you are saving lives and souls. You have brought me to a true awakening and guided me through the most profound and positive experience of my life. Your work has saved me from possibly destroying everything I hold precious. Your vision for Kawsay is spectacular, the setting of your retreat is surreal and everything from the food, your staff, our many Amazon excursions all exceeded my greatest hopes. I cannot wait to return.
To anyone reading this review, I am a 50 year old businessman, father and husband from the U.S. I would consider myself a very practical person, I am not religious but I am somewhat spiritual (or at least I thought so) and I’m certainly not naïve. I came to Kawsay hoping to deal with some life-long issues that often consumed my happiness and ability to function to my true capacity. My “stuff” has caused me and my family more stresses than I care to admit. Throughout my adult life, I’ve worked extensively with many of the typical therapies available to us in our developed countries. But I can honestly say that I never felt any real progress or peace to any great extent or any length of time.
It’s been two weeks since I’ve returned to the U.S. from my trip to Kawsay and I am still in complete awe over the benefits of my life-changing experience. I will NEVER view existence the same. The effects of the medicine and shamanic healing seem to have somehow re-wired my brain, purged the negative perceptions in my subconscious and healed my soul. It’s also shown me that God is so real and we absolutely live in a spiritual universe. I never expected this.
I won’t go into the details of these ceremonies because they are truly sacred and each person will have their own experience. It’s all very personal and just too unbelievable to explain unless you go through it for yourself. But I will tell you that the medicine and the spirit energies know what each of us need and it will fix you. At times it can be very intense but it’s all part of the healing. Just keep in mind that this is medicine and these shaman are healing you. Clearly, God created these plant medicines and gave us Shaman in order to heal us and to enable us to live a happy and enlightened existence. The results I’ve gained are just incredible and the changes are deep and indelible.
I am forever grateful beyond words to these three incredible Shaman, William, Romulo and Winister. I feel they are the most extraordinary (yet very ordinary) men and absolute masters of plant medicine and shamanic healing. These gifted souls possess the ability to channel energy and spirit in ways that are mind-blowing and I feel so humbled by the care and dedication that they graciously poured into these ceremonies. I couldn’t help but feel that I was in the presence of giants.
I will positively be returning to Kawsay to further my personal and spiritual evolution and I am happy to share more of my experience with anyone who is interested in taking this journey. – TripAdvisor
The United States
When I was I referred to Qhispikay from a friend, I had experience with drinking Ayahuasca at many places in Iquitos and Pucallpa Peru, I’ve had some good experiences at a few centers but more than not most centers have no integrity in my personal experiences. My experience with Qhispikay was by far the best, it started with a phone call from William calling me in states inquiring about the reason for wanting to drink ayahuasca and whether I was taking any medication or had any medical issues. It made me feel good that William reached out and was looking out for my best interest.
When I arrived William was there to meet me at the Dawn of the Amazon. We then took a beautiful one and half hour boat ride down the Amazon river to the center. The lodging is a half hour boat ride to the maloka for ceremonies, it’s such a beautiful piece of land, so quiet and peaceful.
The ceremonies are the best I’ve ever sat in, the healing you get here is amazing, I’ve never experienced anything like it, Romolo ,Winister and William are so full of love and compassion. I experienced my first San Pedro ceremony with William which was great to have someone knowledgeable to guide the ceremony, it was a unique experience and I’m looking forward to learning more about San Pedro in the future.
I was so impressed with the healing Romolo and Winister did on me that I can say there are not a lot of center in Peru doing what they do, and the experience they have. In this work, unfortunately, there are bad shamans out there, and I’ve experienced more than a few. I can only say that for now on I’ll just be going to Qhispikay I don’t need to explore any more centers, I found a place where it’s the healing that really matters through genuine good hearted people that care. If you want the true healing just this is the place! – TripAdvisor
Thank you for all you did for me William,Romolo and Winister!!
I could write an essay on my stay at Qhispikay Kawsay, but I feel like regardless of what I write it’s going to fall short of conveying just how amazing my time here really was. So because of that I’m going to try to keep this review as concise as possible – although there is A LOT to say about this place.
I’ll start by saying that William is one of the most amazing individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. He’s incredibly compassionate, affable, and welcoming. It’s plain as day to see how big his heart is after spending a few days with him, and it’s very obvious that he truly believes in the work that he and the other shamans are doing here. I feel like my stay would not have been complete without his company, and I also feel like I have made a friend for life in him.
My intention for coming to Kawsay was born out of pure curiosity. Although I knew that I have areas of my life in which I had the potential to grow prior to my attendance. My experiences were not all pleasant, overall I’d say it was a very challenging ordeal to put myself through, although with conquering that challenge I feel like I have grown as a person, both mentally and spiritually. If you are coming here expecting a nice relaxing holiday in the astoundingly beautiful Amazon then you might have to reassess your reasons. I’m not saying don’t come here, quite the contrary – DO come here, but realize that it WILL be challenging, that there will be times when you may feel beat up, when you may want to quit, when you may feel defeated. Ayahuasca is a tough medicine to work with, but after persevering through three ceremonies I was granted a beautiful gift in the fourth. During the ceremonies you really get a sense of appreciation for the work of the Ayahuasqueros, Don Romolo and Don Winister, as through their work it becomes so apparent how much they care about truly healing people – it’s almost as if it oozes from their pores as a pure, visceral, unconditional love.
I feel as though this is quickly turning out to be exactly the opposite of the concise review I was intending to write in the first place, so I’ll wrap it up. Coming to Kawsay was an ineffably amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone. Being immersed in the Amazon for over a week and falling in love with it (one of the most profoundly beautiful places I’ve had the pleasure of visiting), being surrounded by amazing people and being welcomed with arms wide open, and learning a lot – about myself, different cultures, shamanism, how amazingly fun monkeys are to play with!
This has been the experience of a lifetime, and I will definitely be returning in the future. I’m incredibly thankful to William and Co. for all of the hard work they do to make this possible, and I eagerly look forward to coming back in the future! – TripAdvisor
Okay, let’s put it this way: If you are searching a safe, authentic and reliable place where shamans and the director of the center REALLY know what they are doing, Qhispikay Kawsay is the place to be. Those eight days I spent in the jungle with William was just – with the lack of a better word – amazing. I learned so much about myself and so many locks I had in my mind were opened.
I’ve heard and read that in some places the medicine won’t work quite that good. Here you can be sure it will. I went to journeys cannot even know how to describe. I found places of joy and happiness inside me I knew I had lost long ago. Not all of the moments during the ceremonies were happy ones – there was also a lot of mess and some darkness I had to face – but with the hard ones, I learned a lot too.
My reasons to participate in the retreat was to get help for my depression and lack of self-esteem, but mostly for my porn addiction, I had suffered over a decade. It’s now been three months since I participated and I now know it was an essential part of my still ongoing healing process. Now back in Finland, I’ve managed to really face my problems in the way i couldn’t think I could have before.
So, if you’ve never tried ayahuasca before (and even if you have) I warmly recommend this place. They don’t fill their retreats with too many people (i think the maximum number of participants was eight – and I was there alone!!) and there’s always three very experienced, dedicated and warm-hearted shamans looking after you (William, the director of the place is one of them).
What else would I say… I guess i also have to mention that the food was great and that the place is not right next to city, or roads or a highway, so it also ads a bit to the feeling (You have to go there by boat). And here you don’t only get to experience ayahuasca, but also get a taste of wachuma, another sacred plant of Amazon. That is, the fifth ceremony is not ayahuasca ceremony, but a wachuma-ceremony, in which i personally really encountered my own demons and problems.
It feels that the more I write the more there is to say, and the more it feels I really cannot reach what I really would like to say. So maybe I’ll end here. Because there is so much stuff in my head that I think still needs to be worked, and because my heart was left in the jungle and especially to this place, I cannot wait to get there and meet shamans Don Romolo and Winister and my new friend William again.
I see that some have left their email too for more info. I think I’ll do that too. So here it is: toni.jyvala(at)gmail.com
New York – United States
The first retreat I went on was with Madre Selva. I went there solo and six others were also there from different parts of the world. We left after 3 ceremonies because their Ayahuasca wasn’t working. One of the guys we were with did Ayahuasca in another country and said that Madre’s Selva Ayahuasca was ineffective. So all 7 of us left before the 4th ceremony. When we got back into town, my friend Mette and I started looking around for another ceremony. We were at the Dawn of the Amazon, that’s a restaurant that serves the special diet for people taking part in the ceremony, by the way the food there is awesome. So the New Yorker I am, I start talking to everyone at the restaurant and I came across the owner of Qhispikay Kawsay Shamanic retreat. We said we had five people interested in going, we lost two on the way because of the bad experience at Selva Madre. William said he could take us for two ceremonies at his retreat and gave us a good price for those days, I can’t remember how much, but it didn’t deter us. The journey to the retreat was beautiful. We took a boat across the Amazon and then walked through a remote village to another boat that took us either up or down the Amazon, not sure which way we were going. The scenery was amazing, the sounds of the birds, the sunset were all incredible. I think the boat ride itself was worth the trip. It was the most beautiful place I ever visited. When we arrived to the Qhispikay Kawsay retreat, we each had our own bedroom that was elevated above the ground. He said in the rainy season, the water rises so all the homes are above ground. I suppose it would be difficult for any wild animals to enter too. Upon arrival, his chefs prepared us a very yummy meal, I would say that was another highlight of the trip. Once we all got settled, we took a tiny boat each night to the ceremony hall that was across the river from the retreat, 5 minutes. It’s a bit muddy so I highly recommend boots, a headlight and of course 99% DEET. I felt like I was in a movie, the ceremony hall was beyond my expectations, and they had these comfortable seats that you could swing back and forth with and beds for us to sleep on afterward. As for the ceremony, the shamans did things to me that I find hard to describe. When he was in back of me, I felt like he was able to enter my brain, it was a very comforting soothing feeling. I got insight from the experience and want to go back badly to experience it again. The music they sung enhanced the experience. They sang for hours. I would say the entire experience lasted five or six hours. During our day, he took us to the Land of the Monkeys. This place blew my mind away. The monkeys were all humping me and of course I loved the attention. You know as one of the golden rules of Ayahuasca, no sex, so anything was appreciated. The next ceremony was just as cool as the first and during the ceremony when I was dealing with all sorts of different dimensions, I heard myself saying, this makes sense. It makes sense, and throughout the year the “it makes sense” has resonated in my daily life back in NYC. The last day we went to see these very large trees, the biggest ones I ever seen in my life. I held the vines of the trees, and I could feel the energy of them. It’s a place where one becomes a shaman. When we returned back to the retreat, we were all bathed by the shamans in a flower bath, at least I think it was a flower bath. It was very refreshing before having to go back to civilization. William, I thank you and the shamans for bringing more enlightenment to my life. I highly recommend this retreat for the scenery, excursions, food, warmth of the shamans, hospitality of William, and the tranquility and many surprises this place offers. If you have any questions, my name is John, you can email me at Jvitkovich@yahoo.com. – TripAdvisor
I am so relieved and thankful for my decision to choose Qhispikay Kawsay for my first ayahuasca ceremony/retreat. Selecting among the many options near Iquitos was difficult for someone naive to ayahuasca, and discerning which of the criteria were important was challenging despite doing a fair bit of research. I have never written a review before, but am compelled to do so about my time at Kawsay.
I can categorically say that any other center would not have been able to match what Qhispikay Kawsay offered during my stay. Make no mistake, the Shamans are a huge part of the healing process, and having available 3-4 who are authentic, knowledgeable, and dedicated was INVALUABLE. I can’t express the gratitude I felt to Don Romulo, Dom Winister and William for the work they did for me, which no other could have been able (or willing) to do. The combined years of experience far exceeds others, and they were able to address with specific issues that arose during our stay (as part of the ceremonies and otherwise as needed). They are all gentle, sincere, hardworking, and inspiring souls.
The location where the ceremonies are conducted is indeed a magical place, the canoe rides at night helped prepare for the often difficult but rewarding journey that Mother Ayahuasca took us on. I was originally concerned that the medicine would not be strong enough but found that I did not even need a full dose for 3/4 ceremonies.
Other centers may dismiss or marginalize the impact of San Pedro (huachuma) ceremonies; however, under a Shaman specializing in Huachuma (William), this was FAR from the case. Some of the most powerful work at my retreat came with the San Pedro ceremony.
The food was as good as far as a no-salt, no-dairy, no-sugar (including fruit), no caffeine ayahuasca diet can be. This strict diet speaks to the commitment the center has to the healing process, and I did not find it overly burdensome. The few activities during the off-days were enough to keep us engaged while providing adequate time for the necessary reflection and integration of the experiences. William is always available and very willing to provide support, answer questions, share knowledge, and act as a much-needed anchor for the experience.
The ayahuasca experience itself words cannot describe. My reality has changed. I will be returning to Qhispikay Kawsay as soon as I am able. – TripAdvisor
The United States
This retreat was the best experience of my life. If you are interested in attending an Ayahuasca Retreat, this is the best place to go. Will is the host and he will guide you every step of the way. He spoke to me multiple times before we arrived. He helped me get a hotel in Iquitos the night before the retreat. He helped with finding a reliable money exchanger. He is also the most genuine and caring host you’ll ever meet. He really takes the time to be professional, helpful, and a great teacher. All the shamans have a real and beautiful gift. They are the real deal. They helped during the ceremonies and even after. They went out of their way to address every issue and really have a special gift. I felt safe and well taken care of the entire time and I was very nervous about everything before arriving. There are a lot of places in Peru that will take your money and give you a subpar or unsafe experience. I personally can tell you, that this is an authentic experience with real healers and you will be surrounded by knowledgeable, friendly, safe people. I can’t wait to return to learn more about myself, life, and everything ayahuasca wants to teach me. Thank you for everything. – TripAdvisor