John V.

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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 was all incredible. I think the boat ride itself was worth the trip. It was the most beautiful place I ever visited. When we arrived at 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 afterwards. As for the ceremony, the shamans did things to me that I find hard to describe. When he was in the 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 have 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, the hospitality of William, and the tranquillity and many surprises this place offers. If you have any questions, my name is John, you can email me at


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