El Sol Healing Retreat Center

Written Testimonials

El Sol Healing Retreat Center lives up to its name, providing a spectacular setting, loving and friendly staff, and ayahuasca ceremonies that light up your bones. This is a place not to miss. El Sol Healing Retreat Center deserves to be booked up far into the future. If you want the good stuff without the problems or poor quality associated with many other centers, go to El Sol Healing Retreat Center Nestled around a beautiful fresh water pond in the jungle, El Sol Healing Retreat Center is an ideal sanctuary for authentic Shipibo-style Ayahausca ceremonies. The facilities are very good, the malocca is exceptional. The food is actually great. The staff are super friendly and fun to be around, and the ceremonies are outright amazing. Estella and Raul gave us nights of beautiful medicine, and did very fine work. Stace, Drew and the others at El Sol Healing Retreat Center make this place special and safe. You will find the transformative experiences and healing you seek. Plus you’ll enjoy throwing yourself repeatedly into the refreshing pond. My hat is off to Stace and the shamans there, El Sol Healing Retreat Centeris fabulous !!
Chris Kilham – ‘Medicine Hunter’
Author of ‘The Ayahuasca Test Pilots Handbook’ http://www.medicinehunter.com/
Spent two weeks at this magical place after doing much research on which center to go with. This place exceeded my high expectations and I can’t say enough good things about it. Stace and Drew genuinely care about the people coming here and after only a few days it felt more like being around old friends rather than strangers I’ve met a few days before. The place is beautiful, the food healthy and plentiful and the whole staff friendly. The location is close to Iquitos yet it feels completely remote with no outside noises or influences. The curanderos take their work extremely seriously and lead some powerful ceremonies. Needless to say I won’t be drinking ayahuasca anywhere else.
Christian H – London, U.K.
Going into my stay at El Sol Healing Retreat Center, I was nervous and not sure what to expect. From the first day, to the last, the staff provided a welcoming, safe and comfortable environment. The night of my first ceremony, it was explained, in great detail, what might happen and was given tips for working with the plant. During ceremony the staff does an incredible job checking in with everyone and providing assistance and guidance when needed. Days between ceremonies were spent chatting with the other guests, drawing, reading (great selection of books), writing and swimming in the pond. Ceremony days include breathing work, yoga and sauna. I added the plant dieta for the duration of my stay and a kambo ceremony. I would recommend both, especially the plant dieta. I have absolutely no complaints. Everything was incredible. I’m grateful for my experience at El Sol Healing Retreat Center and hope to return in the future for a longer stay.
Gino P – U.S.A.
I researched retreats extensively as the setting is so important for ayahuasca. Every time I thought I had found a good one, there was something negative that put me off. When I found El Sol Healing Retreat Center I thought it was too good to be true, but upon arriving I realized it was even better. The team is so supportive in many ways, and I could of easily stayed there without participating in ceremonies and still had a glowing experience. A lot of work and passion has clearly contributed to the gorgeous architecture that beautifully compliments the landscape of the jungle. The low prices definitely don’t match the high quality of this experience. I can not recommend this safe place enough for perspective ayahuasca participants.
Josh G – Australia
I was unsure about doing anything like this, although I’ve always been open minded it never occurred to me to take the leap and go into such a remote place in Peru, and even when I got there – despite everyone being so welcoming and friendly – I was still undecided. This is natural, you listen to the videos before you go and you think “it seems a bit exaggerated that such a simple idea, being close to nature, attuning yourself in line with what humans were meant to do, could possibly do the things they say – heal illnesses, drown out grief, pride in an ocean of happiness and purpose” – that is, in no clearer terms what happened. It was by no means as I mentioned above an instantaneous thing, whilst I immediately enjoyed the secluded and peaceful nature of the place (made much better by the very well maintained and pleasant facilities provided) the rituals themselves were an entirely different matter. I found myself wondering how much I would change with every single one – and it was in every single one that I learnt something – not necessarily knowledge – I couldn’t describe it to you – but I can say for certain that I am more than I was before. I had my own problems with assertiveness and where I fitted in with regards to the grand scheme of things, I suppose its natural to think like this – but it doesn’t being a great deal of comfort in a troubled, busy modern life to not know where you’re going or when. But now I do. Whilst I want to tell you everything about my exact experience, I fear it would be wasted on you, as we all have our own path to walk, some may find they are already there – and in which case they will get to enjoy the wonderful experiences of the place and its people – others will see their own life flash before them – their faults, family, memories – everything, and if the healing songs are meant to work at that time – then you will be healed – a wound you may not know you had or recognized. As a last note, I’d like to thank everyone who helped me on this journey – specifically the staff Drew and Stace for making this entire experience possible. I wish you all well on your quest of self discovery.
Lola N – London, U.K.
Coming to El Sol Healing Retreat Center has been one of the most amazingly sacred journeys of my life and I have traveled all over the world. It’s a scary thing to travel alone, far from home to the middle of the Amazon jungle. The entire crew at El Sol Healing Retreat Center made me feel at home and they provided SO MUCH guidance. The prices are very reasonable and they have two Curanderos (most people use the word Shaman but they prefer Curanderos which means to cure/heal). The Curanderos are from the Shipibo Tribe who were taught by the Incas. These two are brother and sister so you get the best of both the male and feminine energies. They are extremely wise and have been working with Ayahuasca and MANY other plants & spirits for over 40 years. The place is pure magic! You will be in one of the most vulnerable positions of your life and you will feel completely safe and well taken care of. They always work with small groups, Max 9 people, so each person gets tons of attention for the work they have come to do. The main house has showers, full plumbing, electricity run by solar panels, delicious meals which are made with much love & care, a full library, and board games. We did yoga, breathing exercises, & the sauna is great for pulling out toxins. We always walked barefoot, I jumped into the lake daily and covered myself with the mud clay from the bottom, my skin was super soft!! I slept in my tambo which consisted of a single bed with a mosquito net, a table and chair for journaling, and a compost toilet. No AC and no electricity in my tambo but you don’t need either. The orchestra of the jungle fulfilled my yearning to connect with nature and I got some of the best sleep of my life there. I was never too hot or too cold. You are there to work on yourself and what better way than to be without distractions? I was able to dig deep within myself, surrounded by beauty in Mama Aya’s home. I walk away in a state of Grace, standing TALL in my liberation, and I have reclaimed my power! I now shine the light I hold in my heart. I highly recommend El Sol Healing Retreat Center.
Alina Y – U.S.A.
To begin, my review is long overdue. I want share that my experience at El Sol Healing Retreat Center was without a doubt one of the most transformational experiences of my adult life. I returned to my life renewed in many ways, from my perspective, overall compassion for others, my overall feeling of ‘well-being’…. all of these aspects of my life have improved for me. I want to personally thank Stacy, Drew, Raul & Lidia, whom I felt were some of the most compassionate people I’ve ever encountered in this life (real caretakers) as well as the staff supporting the maintenance/groundskeeping and the food preparation. In the near future I have plans to return with my family. I highly recommend the experience at El Sol Healing Retreat Center I’d hand out 10 stars if available!
Steve J – U.S.A.
El Sol Healing Retreat Center is a very special place. My two weeks stay brought me life-changing experiences in a very profound way that made me feel like experiencing a second birth. The place is just awesome, beautifully located in the middle of the jungle and just by itself very peaceful and relaxing, far away from modern life stress factors. The whole staff and the shamans are just wonderful people, very friendly and helpful and are taking care of their guests with a lot of love. Facilities and food are perfectly made and also the buildings, that are the main house, the malocca and the tambos are made with a lot of style and love to the detail. But the most fascinating were, for sure, the six ceremonies I was experiencing during my two weeks stay. With a gentle start it took me to some intense and amazing inner travelling and exploring of my own spirit and I could literally let go of many small things and habits that are not of use anymore in my life. It felt like freeing up some blocked space in my soul, enabling some new experiences and feelings that are really awesome. Fortunately, I have always been a very healthy man, but I have to say, after two weeks of Ayahuasca ceremonies at El Sol Healing Retreat Center I feel even more healthier, as many small little ailments just magically disappeared. In short, the El Sol Healing Retreat Center Ayahuasca experience combined with the extraordinary capabilities of the shamans is a very profound, deep and wonderful experience I wouldn’t like to miss in any way.
Martin G – Switzerland
The care given at this retreat runs deep. Arriving in a very hectic Iquitos, confronted with the sound of thousands of motos, was a noisy start to a jungle return. Stacey came to pick me up, and I squashed into the ute with my new friends to complete the drive to El Sol Healing Retreat Center. When Stacey cranked up the stereo with what I thought might be some Tibetan throat singing but was instead something from the summer of love in London circa 1990, I knew I was in for a different kind of experience. An experience that I came to associate with being essentially real. El Sol Healing Retreat Center is as aptly named, a place to dream. It is gorgeous. The water centers the experience; we became the fellowship of the pond. The physical presence of the buildings exist in harmony with the plants and allow for lovely spaces to rest, contemplate or talk throughout each day and evening. My Tambo was sweet. You are part of nature in a Tambo, and consequently, the outside does come in, but this seemed appropriate for such a journey, a journey into the heart of the plants. This was my second retreat; my first at El Sol Healing Retreat Center. The first retreat was a very positive, life-changing experience. I was well placed for a revisitation with Ayahuasca. After sitting post-retreat for several weeks waiting for a distillation of understanding, I arrived with this: Ayahuasca in a ceremonial setting with guardians and guides who are initiated enables a meeting with the sacred. It is this experience of the sacred that is reverberating through me. On arrival and before the first ceremony, Stacey was very careful to guide us through what the Ayahuasca experience is and provide guidance as to how to work with the medicine. This was absolutely invaluable. So too was the monitoring and checking in during a ceremony. Working with Ayahuasca is the most unexpected healing modality. It is ideal to leave all expectations at the door and accept whatever is gifted. This can manifest as a range of offerings. You might feel as if nothing has happened during the ceremony, the following night you drink the same amount, and you find yourself in another world, participating in a 4D experience. The journey is to engage with, to surrender to the teaching. This I was able to do actively, as a result of the guidance offered. What I did learn was the importance of engaging with a plant dieta. I worked with Ajo Sacha, Bobinsana and Clavohuasca. These three plants were my teachers, Ayahuasca the portal through which the teachings were explored. Lydia and Raul, the Curanderos, hold El Sol Healing Retreat Center offering protection and working with each person, both during a ceremony and outside of ceremony. After a Kambo treatment, I identified an issue in my uterus. I spoke with Drew, we went to talk with Raul who had already picked up the energy, and this was worked on and released over the next few days. Lydia and Raul’s icaros and the limpiezas were powerful. I felt completely safe, protected and free to experience the medicine, knowing that anything that came up, I could breathe through and that people were there to help me. This is essential to any retreat experience. Drew and Jess were the daily touchstones, there for conversation, guidance, fun, mischief and support. Drew and Stacey’s care in ceremony was exemplary. The staff who work at the centre were friendly despite my inability to converse in Spanish. Jann’s clear communication and articulation of El Sol Healing Retreat Center protocols, expectations and practicalities made it an easy choice. The accommodation is not high end, but it is very comfortable; lots of hammocks, great chairs to sit in, scores of intriguing books to read. As to my fellow travellers, the people who you end up with on retreat become part of the experience. I was grateful to be in a smaller group. Having nine people in the Maloka and around the dinner table is much quieter and calmer than 17 plus, the number you will find at most retreats. This was a critical factor in my choice to go to El Sol Healing Retreat Center. Will I return? Absolutely. I thank all beings; every person, every animal, including the chorus of frogs, and every plant at El Sol Healing Retreat Center. You have given me a gift, and it is one that I am caring for each day. I sleep each night with one of Lydia’s beautiful embroideries on my bed, knowing that I am sleeping under the songs of a Currenderos who helped to heal me.
Rachel R – New Zealand
The center is about 20 minutes outside of Iquitos, then another 20 minutes down a (bumpy) dirt road. It’s in a relatively remote area and is more or less free from noise pollution, which I very much enjoyed. The Big House was still being finished while I was there, but it served nicely as a communal space/dining room/library/movie theater. I stayed in a tambo but slept in the maloka on ceremony nights. The occasional privacy, undisturbed mornings, and personal pond-front hammock were nice, but staying in the maloka every night wouldn’t have made the experience significantly less enjoyable. Most of the walkways and hangout spots are covered, so you don’t need sunscreen. I was there during the rainy season, and the mosquitoes were biting… C’est la jungle. (I took no pills and didn’t get malaria, BTW.) Jumping in the pond is a good way to cool off, and I’m now in love with hammocks. Everyone was incredibly friendly and helpful. Jann was great with the emails — quick replies, walked me through my options, recommended hotels in Iquitos, etc. Stace made things run like clockwork and helped a number of people through some tough times. He only stays on ceremony nights, so Drew was the on-site supervisor/caretaker, and he was magnificent. He has a big heart and was always ready to help. I only speak a little bit of Spanish, so I didn’t get to know the local staff too well, but my brief interactions with them were always very pleasant. (Shoutout to Delia!) Obviously, I can only speak to my experience, but all of the other guests were lovely. Jann, Stace, and Drew create a comfortable/safe/nurturing/connected environment, and I think the guests feel that and promote it amongst themselves. The ayahuasca ceremonies are held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. These are also the only days on which people arrive. Having a ceremony almost immediately upon arrival was a good way to quickly feel connected with the group and break the ice. The days off in between are vital from reflection and recovery. During the ceremonies, Stace and/or Drew continually check-in to make sure everything is OK, and they’re always nearby if you need more water or an escort to the toilet or someone to help you get through a tough time mentally or emotionally. I never struggled in that way myself, but I was impressed with the way they helped the people who did. Don Raul took care of the spiritual side of things brilliantly, and his icaros were beautiful anchors/lights when things got rough/dark. The morning after, Stace leads a discussion in which everyone shares their experiences from the night before. It’s not compulsory, but everyone participates to some degree. (Sharing is good!) The food…..So fresh, so clean. Massive portions. Nobody will go hungry. If you do the dieta, you’ll learn to truly appreciate oil, salt, and bananas by the end of it. (I mean that in the best way possible.) RECOMMENDATIONS – Learn a little bit of Spanish beforehand. – One night in Iquitos before and after is probably enough/ideal. – Pack light — you don’t need sunscreen — maybe natural mosquito repellant, but I’m not sure how effective it was — nobody wore boots while I was there; mostly sandals and bare feet — if you plan to do laundry, bring fast-drying fabrics (not a lot of sun in clothes-hanging spots) — if you’re not bringing books to donate, you probably shouldn’t bring books at all… you’ll be able to find something interesting in the library. – Bring extra cash so you can tip the staff. (You will want to.) – Be prepared to do some deep emotional work — If you approach it as therapy, you’ll get more out of it.
Greg H – New York, U.S.A
I stayed at El Sol Healing Retreat Center for three weeks and it was one of the most inspiring, insightful, and impactful experiences i’ve ever had. I decided to stay for a longer stretch of time because I had a number of things I wanted to work on but many people just stayed for one week and still experienced great things. These included; accepting and making peace with grief, experiencing loss of the ego, understanding what it means to be connected with everything, physically healing injuries etc etc. The centre is set in a beautiful part of the jungle around a small lake and Stace has almost finished building what will be a perfect space for socializing, practicing yoga or just kicking back with a book. It’s a tranquil haven for anyone wanting to do work on themselves. The facilities are great – you won’t be ‘roughing it’ as El Sol Healing Retreat Center has proper showers and toilets, and a great chef feeding you lots of (admittedly plain) but still tasty food. Even on the dieta we never went hungry. You’ll go without dinner on ceremony nights which some people found a bit tough but that didn’t bother me. You don’t really want food in your stomach when you’re drinking ayahuasca…! I have to say I was bitten a lot by mosquitos while I was there (May 2016) but it is the jungle after all and compared with another trip I did to the jungle, there aren’t anywhere close to the number of mozzies you get elsewhere. In terms of the ceremonies, they were well organised and safe. There’s always a member of staff not drinking the ayahuasca and Stace delivers a lengthy briefing for all newcomers which will answer any questions and alleviate any doubts you may have. Everyone’s safety is a top priority for Stace and it shows. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming – it’s a cliche but it honestly felt like a home away from home for me and I made so many great friends here. Stace and Drew are incredible people (I think I’m supposed to mention here how good looking they both are too…you can pay me later Stace !!) They’re down to earth, like to have a laugh and I felt so well looked after. During one ceremony when I was having a bad time, Stace even stayed with me, coaching me through my difficulties, which I am eternally grateful for. It’s not a ‘hands off’ place – if you need help, you just need to ask. Estella is a powerful curandera: with her partner Ronnie (also a curandero), they kept the ceremonial space safe, calm and supportive. Not once did I feel unsafe in their hands, they work very hard throughout the night. In summary, I cannot recommend this place highly enough – this was my second time back at El Sol Healing Retreat Center and I know I’ll be back again soon. Thank you so much Stace, Drew and Estella!
Nikki T – London, U.K.
There is absolutely no better place to take ayahuasca than at El Sol Healing Retreat Center. The staff here are some of the most compassionate and loving people I have ever met. No one here will ever refuse to hold your hand and guide you in the right direction, even when you feel like you’ve hit your lowest point. I’ll be back, and I hope to see new faces when that time comes… Well, I don’t just hope, I know I will. Also, the food is great. Thanks again for everything, Sabrina
Sabrina W – Canada
How can you write a fair review for a experience that feels like 20 years of therapy, turns your beliefs upside-down and is totally beyond words? I won’t be able to, but I will give it a try. I booked in for 10 days, and finished up a month ago. Was scared as hell for what mother Aya could show me, and decided to take a decision whether to drink or not when I first arrived at the center. For me, feeling comfortable was everything, and still will be everything if I’m ever drinking again. Not something I would do for fun. The staff was really helpful here. I had a great talk with the owner, Stace, who made me comfortable to drink without ever pushing me. These guys made sure I never felt alone in my process, and even made sure I knew that I could always contact them in the future if I should have any problems (my concern before drinking). The effects were strong, though never as I expected. Even though everything I was going through was beautiful and spot-on what I needed. Won’t go into details, feels like enough info to write a couple of books. Really liked the talk we had the day after the ceremonia. The staff’s experience with the drink helped a lot to be able to make sense of my experience. What else? – Estella and Ronnie (the shamans) are superb ! (though have never tried anyone else). They contributed a lot to the safe atmosphere. Great staff ! Chill place ! 2 shamans, 2 of the staff on max 9 guests each ceremonia. Thank you Stace, Drew, Estella & Ronnie for a life changing experience ! I would recommend this place to anyone, in fact this is the first time I take time to write a review.
Nikolai T – Norway
Great place! Stace and Drew do a great job creating a safe environment so that you can work with the medicine. Estella (I hope I’m spelling that right) is an amazing shaman, you can just sense she has total control over the domain. This sense of safety and professionalism is crucial in order to go deep and get solid work done. During the day you can lounge in a hammock, go for a swim, read, or take a walk. Both Stace and Drew have a lot of experience and you can ask them anything. Highly recommended !
Keith T – Ireland
I spent five nights at El Sol Healing Retreat Center last month, and am already planning my return trip. The setting, aptly named El Sol Healing Retreat Center, is the definition of tranquility, with a large maloka and private tambos surrounding a lake. The constant hum of the jungle underlies it all. There is a fairy tale like ambience that leaves you feeling like you’ve stepped into the pages of a jungle storybook. You can see right away that a lot of heart and soul was poured into the making of El Sol Healing Retreat Center, and the owner, Stace, is continuing his vision by the current additions that are in place. To come- a yoga center and music/entertainment space for guests. Another thing I loved about El Sol Healing Retreat Center was the intimate, family-like atmosphere, with a small enough number of staff to get to know them, and not too large of a guest group. I happen to be a huge animal lover and was thrilled to meet the resident cats and dogs. The dogs, Ella and Mo, will happily be your hiking companions. The kids of the staff members interacted with our group a lot, which added to the family atmosphere. I unexpectedly had the first spiritual experience of my life at El Sol Healing Retreat Center, and got so much more than I had dared to hope for when planning the trip. I believe this was due to the comfort I felt immediately with the setting and with Stace, Drew-the Retreat Assistant, and Estella and Ronnie-the curandero and her partner. Stace and Drew are easy to relate to and both bring valuable gifts to their work. Stace is upfront and down to earth, with a way of setting you at ease by patiently explaining what will likely take place during ceremonies, giving you tools you might need if/when your experience gets really intense. He has a knack for picking out and reflecting on the most relevant aspects of people’s experiences during the group processing the next morning, asking you just the right questions to deepen your own understanding of your visions. Drew has an incredibly peaceful presence and is an ideal person to have around during an experience as intense and that leaves you as vulnerable as ayahuasca. Both are also fun to talk to outside of the ceremonies, and seem like interesting people who have chosen a road that is not well-traveled by coming to Peru and devoting themselves to the healing of strangers. Both are unmistakably in their element, and their authenticity shines through to El Sol Healing Retreat Center’s guests and creates the safety needed to go deeper and deeper during each ceremony. It is clear that they both genuinely care about the comfort and happiness of their guests. I appreciated their hands-off approaches towards the guests by not having structured activities during the days and enjoyed the down time between ceremonies to reflect and get insight on the visions and feelings brought up during the nights. Estella’s powerful and sometimes melancholy voice still haunts me at times. Her partner, Ronnie, sang during our ceremonies and I appreciated the contrast of having both of them. Estella radiates quiet strength and I am still in awe at the magnitude of what she does during each ceremony. I feel so lucky to have found El Sol Healing Retreat Center and can’t imagine ever going anywhere else to do ayahusaca ceremonies.
Elizabeth S – Denver, Colorado
Well this was my first trip to Peru and I’ll start off by saying the Amazon jungle is truly a piece of art. Upon arrival to Iquitos my flight was delayed and it caused me to be like ten hours late to El Sol Healing Retreat Center. Sadly I missed the first ceremony but I was able to get a hold of Jann and she went out of her way to pick me up from the airport when I arrived. This was the first sign that the El Sol Healing Retreat Center team truly cared for there guests. Even though she had to pick me up at a time that was inconvenient for her she was still in good spirits.I spent the night at a hotel in Iquitos and the following morning I meet with her and she took me to personally to the center, she was such a blessing. When I arrived I had a warm greeting from everyone there and I was truly impressed by the beauty of the rain forest. As far as the food goes I was quite shocked by how delicious the meals were. El Sol Healing Retreat Center was a dream come true in my life, everyone was so caring and would go out of there way to help in anyway they could. I won’t even consider going to a different healing center because El Sol Healing Retreat Center exceeded all of my expectations. I left at the end of the week feeling like a new person, the ceremonies healed me on many levels. I now truly enjoy life and have a new perspective on many things in my life. I highly recommend this place to any one interested in ayahuasca.
Justin B – Michigan, U.S.A.
It’s hard to put into words the experience that El Sol Healing Retreat Center has been for me. But I’m going to; because anyone seeking true healing needs to know how safe, supportive, and deeply transformational the experience can be for you at this Healing center. I’m going to start with the people because they truly are what make the experience what it is. Stace the owner cares deeply about the guests and their experience. From the time he picks you up personally in Iquitos until the time he brings you back, he is creating an atmosphere of safety, trust and healing. He has deep experience and knowledge with the medicine as well as spiritual and emotional healing. He is present facilitating each ceremony, helping with integration, and always putting the safety and well-being of guests first. He is an ethical business owner. His motivations appear to be strictly about healing, and helping the center and ShIpibos he works with, to be self-sustaining. Drew was a major part of my healing experience at El Sol Healing Retreat Center. The best way I can describe Drew is that he is clearly aligned with his Soul’s purpose and doing the work he is meant to do. Whether it’s joking around telling stories, doing much of the day to day operations that keep the experience wonderful for guests, having deep conversations about what came up in ceremony, discussing spiritual practices, or throwing the Frisbee, Drew helps you connect and feel safe. He is a gifted facilitator. Jess has a wonderful way of introducing Yoga that makes it easily accessible for a beginner. I really enjoyed her laid back personality as well as her singing in ceremony. Jess brings a great calming energy. Raul is a gifted Curandero. His Icaros are beautiful, powerful, and you can tell he has a strong connection with not only Ayahuasca but many different plant medicines and spirits. The one on one healing work with him was amazing and I left El Sol Healing Retreat Center feeling clear and strong mentally, physically and spiritually. The other staff keep the different spaces very clean and the food is great even when you are on Dieta. The Maloka is beautiful and having my own private space in the Tambo was great as well. I am a very light sleeper so it was great to have private space where I could rest in solitude. There are also plenty of quiet spaces on the center grounds where you can read, journal, meditate, nap, whatever you need to do. I thought the way the retreat is structured is perfect. The attitude is laid back. I never felt pressured to do anything. Drew leading breathwork was great and an awesome tool to take home. So was yoga with Jess. The sauna and plant baths are cleansing. It’s nice having clean modern toilets and showers. Also the library is tremendous- especially if you are a spiritual seeker. I chose El Sol Healing Retreat Center on the front end because of the flexible schedule, the vibe I got from Stace on the YouTube doc, and the price. My expectations were exceeded. If you are looking for a healing experience, plenty of time to reflect and look inward, and are looking for a safe clean environment to do this work, go to El Sol Healing Retreat Center. With love and gratitude, Steve
Steve T – U.S.A.
The overall experience at El Sol Healing Retreat Center was the safest and supportive environment to work with plant medicine that I could have ever imagined! El Sol Healing Retreat Center is more than just ayahuasca but in its true essence is a healing center. The staff upheld the highest level of integrity and compassion, it felt like being a part of a family and a lot of care and attention in helping me to get better. We received a rich amount of information, instruction, support, and guidance, before, during, and after the retreat from Stace and he is immaculate in ensuring your safety. The El Sol Healing Retreat Center location was therapeutic on its own and easy access from Iquitos. The food was fresh, delicious and generous. Above all there is a strong sense that my care was infused with genuine kindness, care, and compassion – Drew was my guiding star throughout my stay. Abundance of kindness from Jess and Dan. The healing and transformation that took place was life-changing. Heartfelt gratitude.
Narinder S – Thailand
Can’t recommend this place enough, the staff here genuinely cares about you and wants to help you through whatever your going through. I was having a really difficult ceremony my last night here and needed help and Stace and Jess were there for me. Stace must have sat outside with me for 2-3 hours just talking to me and not that, ‘oh I have to sit here with this guy kind of talking’, he was genuinely listening to me and giving thoughtful answers and truly engaged in the conversation. It really meant a lot to me it honestly makes me want to cry thinking about it. I can’t say enough good things about the place and I am eternally grateful to Stace for sitting out there with me that night and being there for me. It was exactly what the child inside me needed and never got growing up. I can’t wait to return and do some more work on myself and I will be recommending friends, family and anyone I know who is thinking about working with the medicine. Thanks again to Stace, Drew, Jess, Raul, Lydia and all the other staff members working hard.
Robbie P – U.S.A.
After doing a ton of research online I chose El Sol Healing Retreat Center and I couldn’t be happier with the decision. Everything about the place is magical from the staff, to the grounds, to the food, and ultimately the entire experience. I would trust Stace the owner with my life. Do yourself and favor and check this place out 🙂
Jared S – Canada
Best in the biz! This was my second time returning to El Sol Healing Retreat Center and will not be the last! I am very glad I found this place once I decided not to return to the center I had first gone to (rated #1 on trip advisor). The retreat itself is such a beautiful and peaceful space. They worked so hard to build such a wonderful center. The staff here are what make it though! Such genuine, caring and kind people. Although some people have food cravings during the saltless/sugarless diet – I quite enjoy the meals here! Big proportions so you won’t go hungry, even on ceremony days. Nice nutritious foods. They give the option to join a yoga class, flower steam baths and other cleansing rituals catered specifically to the individuals’ needs. Pick up and drop off service from your hotel. You will feel very safe the moment you get here. And what can I say about healers Raul & Lidia that will do them justice! I have so much respect for these two and the amount of care they put in to your healing process is truly amazing. Thank you Stacy, Drew, Jann, Jess and to the rest of the staff. El Sol Healing Retreat Center is truly one of a kind.
Chelsea S – Canada
El Sol Healing Retreat Center is a retreat center which operates with the highest integrity, honestly, and compassion imaginable. One’s first encounter with and introduction to shamanic medicine can present much trepidation and anxiety. What new seekers of this kind of experience will find upon arriving in the jungle at this facility are open arms, attentive and compassionate listeners, and the utmost attention to detail. The facilities are absolutely beautiful! I was impressed with the level of practice surrounding the way each guest is introduced to sitting in ceremony for the first time. All questions are answered with patience and genuine thoughtfulness. I imagine the inquiries of many first-time sitters are similar, but the facilitators showed concern, warmth, and kindness in providing answers, as though they were being asked these questions for the very first time. Stace is a gifted wizard with this medicine, possessing equal measures of great strength and great gentleness in guiding people on their journeys. He is honest during the following day’s debriefings, sharing personal anecdotes and humor as people process their emotions and takeaways. Direct but not forceful, he knows the correct words and just the right number of them to share in order to lead people to drawing their own insights and conclusions. The beauty and effectiveness of working with this kind of medicine seems to center around finding a place where one connects to ancient modes of healing and has a bridge to the modern world and methods of communication. El Sol Healing Retreat Center achieves this balance beautifully. The two native Shipibo Cuaranderos, Raúl and Lydia, possess supernatural abilities to sing and shape the experience of the sitters. Words cannot do justice to the beauty of their Icaros and Limpiezas; what can be said is that they are supremely gifted and they touch the spirits of everyone sitting in the room and they cultivate a safe and sacred space. Drew exemplifies compassion and kindness. He works in tandem with Stace to guide sitters, and their fluency in English and Spanish and experience with multiple forms of shamanic medicine allows them both to be very effective bridges between past and present methods of healing, different cultures, and communicators par excellence. Yoga classes taught by Jess are a lovely addition to the ceremonies. Clean and simple meals are prepared with love for the benefit of achieving maximum benefit from the medicine. You will not go hungry here, and your body will receive the fuel it needs to heal. The importance of set and setting are both modeled at El Sol Healing Retreat Center marvelously. It does seem that all angles have been covered. You will feel comfortable, safe, and in good hands coming to this place to learn, heal, and grow. A month after visiting, I can attest to the continuing positive benefits of this kind of healing. Bearing witness to the healing of others is an incredible humbling experience. I left feeling enormous compassion for the lives and journeys of others, and in the days that have followed, feeling the same love for myself. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to experience this kind of healing for the first time at El Sol Healing Retreat Center A great mix of old and new, levity and seriousness, quiet introspection and open revealing. You can rest assured that this is a place where the medicine is strong, the facilitators are operating with transparency and integrity, and where you’ll walk away with a deeper and developing understanding of yourself as a whole human being.
Matthew E – U.S.A.
How to begin a review….. Well, from the outset Stacy and his team have been very attentive to any and all concerns that I had, and from what I could see and was told, those from any other participant as well. It was clear early on that they had/have set very high standards for themselves in regards to attention to detail, care for the participants and they put a great deal of effort towards keeping a high standard of welfare. Emails were promptly answered along with clear language stating any outstanding issues or questions that they may have. Their suggestions on where to stay and what to look out for whilst in Iquitos, along with where to eat were spot on. As stated in other reviews but worth stating again, the healing centre that they have built, developed (developing..) is quite simply a beautiful space. Well thought-out and built with the participant in mind it offers plenty of space to either mingle with other journey participants or to go off on your own to journal or to just have time to yourself. They accommodate the need to charge any electronics (if required) but obviously encourage you to ‘disconnect’ from electronics as much as possible…for your benefit of course. Having attended a different retreat the year before, which was rewarding and a nice experience, I can confidently state that El Sol Healing Retreat Center is on a different level altogether. Access to bathroom facilities during ceremony is safe and close as are showers and drinking water. Staff are very pleasant and there is a strong sense of family among everyone there. Stacy, Drew and Jess, each healers in their own right, have an intuitive sense of when to step in and help guide and when to step back. During ceremony it is comforting to know that they check in often, but not too often. They are very respectful of your space and have a deep understanding of Ayahuasca and allow this understanding to guide them. I would suspect they would say there is no end to learning and that they get/learn from every ceremony that they are involved in. Lydia and Raul, resident Shamans on the El Sol Healing Retreat Center team, go above and beyond. They are on site 99.9% of the time, available for your questions or your care. If you are struggling to connect with Mother Ayahuasca they have multiple ways of working with you to help with that connection. They are there at every integration session, sharing what they experienced the evening before and answering any questions if requested. Every member of the El Sol Healing Retreat Center team had a loving spirit, showed genuine concern for you and they loved to laugh ! It didn’t take long to see that the end game here is true healing. Even though other retreats may offer day trips, extra curricular activities, etc…the focus here is you and your wellness/healing. Having done 7 days the previous year at a different healing centre, and 14 days this year at El Sol Healing Retreat Center, I would highly recommend 6 ceremonies if you can swing it. The work/healing Stacy’s team did was amazing to witness over the course of the two weeks. Could have some significant healing been done in 3 ceremonies? I suspect so, however, looking back it took 2 or 3 ceremonies for some people (along with myself) just to begin to understand some of the underlying issues that the medicine was showing us. Whether it’s your first time working with this amazing plant medicine or your 5th, if you’re looking for an environment that focuses on your wellness and healing, …El Sol Healing Retreat Center and the team lead by Stacy should be at the top of your list.
Robert B – U.S.A.
As soon as we arrived to the resort we knew that we have chosen the perfect place for our Ayahuasca experience. The Ayahuasca team and the whole group felt like very close family members and coming to Dream Glade truly felt like coming home. I am and will be forever grateful to Raul, Lidia, Stacy and Drew for putting so much effort into getting rid of the parasite that has attached itself to my fragmented soul. Since the parasite has been gone, on a physical level I have much more energy, and on a spiritual level I have healed lots of my childhood wounds and negative emotions. I’m choosing to listen to my heart and feelings and that made me become more kind and loving towards myself and others, also by increasing my compassion I feel more love, confidence and Self Esteem. Tony feels much less stress at work, and is much more chilled out about life itself, both of us are having lots of lucid dreams and our relationship has gotten even better. Additionally somehow by our Ayahausca experience and by healing ourselves the people that are closest to us were affected in a very positive way as well. Overall the whole experience was fantastic and we’ll be definitely coming back to El Sol Healing Retreat Center, moreover some of our friends and family members are looking forward to coming along!! Much love ❤
Anna & Tony – Australia
This review is long overdue but I wanted to take a month or so to collect my thoughts and integrate my experience a bit. I spent three amazing weeks at El Sol Healing Retreat Center for a total of 9 ceremonies. This place is really special. I knew this was the place I wanted to go from the very beginning when communicating by email with Jann. She was so thorough in answering all of my questions and providing all the information I needed. I was so surprised by how quickly she responded to all my emails too! The staff are just the nicest people you will ever meet and staying there felt like home. My talks with Drew were so incredibly helpful in integrating what I was learning in my ceremonies. At times I really felt uncertain and nervous about what was happening and after speaking with Drew, I always felt like I had a renewed sense of strength to take on the next ceremony. Stace runs this place beautifully, and I was continually impressed every day by the quality of care here. The shamans, Estella and Raul are the real deal. If you want serious healing, there is no other place. The brew is much more concentrated than most places, and an attendee who also had gone to another retreat said this one is significantly more powerful and visionary. Personally, I wouldn’t go anywhere else. There is something so calm and peaceful about the location, staff, Stace and Drew, and the Shamans that work here. I always felt safe and that they all had my best interest in mind. If you’re nervous about drinking, Stace gives an extremely thorough introduction before your first ceremony that you just couldn’t possibly feel unprepared. The ceremonies were never more than I think 9 people at a time which really is hard to find at most retreats in Peru. All and all, if you are looking for an authentic experience, this is it. Also, I should mention there were practically zero mosquitos there during the day. It is located right outside of Iquitos so not in the middle of the jungle by the river. Stace also has a CO2 machine that sucks up a lot of the mosquitos too. Really was an added bonus and made my stay much more enjoyable here.
Sarah M – U.S.A.
When Ayahuasca called me, I went to her with an open mind and a hopeful heart, and in return she gave me the time of my life in the jungles of time and space. Going to Peru has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Ayahuasca is not just another spiritual experience or a health retreat. Ayahuasca is the most precious and the most rewarding gift to anyone who is ready to embrace it. I’d definitely recommend Ayahuasca to anyone who is trying to understand who they are and why they are here, to anyone who is looking for answers. And if you do decide to try Ayahuasca, El Sol Healing Retreat Center would certainly be a safe and a genuine place to do it. No expectations, no disappointment. That’s my personal philosophy. I prefer to be a tabula rasa when I experience something new so that I can be sure what I feel and see is 100% mine and not in any way affected by what I’ve read or heard. I usually do the research afterwards. This is what I did with Ayahuasca too. The only thing I knew was that I’m going to the jungle to drink an Amazonian brew with a group of people who just like me hope to experience something they’ve never experienced before. Looking back I can say the El Sol Healing Retreat Center website provides a sufficient list of things you should consider to bring. I’d really stress few things from this list – notebook (diary), head torch, lighter and natural (DEET free) insect repellent. My diary was a lifesaver. After each ceremony I felt very confused and lost. Writing everything down really helped me to put my thoughts into order and understand what I’ve seen and why. There is no electricity in the jungle so a head torch is a very useful thing especially when you need to get to your tambo after the ceremony in the middle of the night. As for lighters, it’s hard to explain but even if you are not a heavy smoker, very soon you come to realise that lighters are one of the most valuable tools there. If I ever go to El Sol Healing Retreat Center again I’ll bring a big box of lighters for everyone. And finally about mosquitos. I didn’t get any vaccines before going to Peru. All I did was bringing a good natural insect repellent with me. I must say that the guys in El Sol Healing Retreat Center do their best to keep the mosquitoes away. I heard the buzzing outside moloca couple of times but I didn’t get bitten once in the jungle. Funnily enough, I got bitten once in Iquitos on the way home, when I stopped using my repellent. And don’t be scared of the jungle. If you treat it with respect it’ll treat you the same in return. I’ve been thinking for a while how to describe my Ayahuasca experience and I simply don’t see any reasonable way to do it without people thinking I’m absolutely mad. I wrote down everything has happened to me during the ceremonies in my diary but I wouldn’t read it myself again, let alone giving it to someone else. If I ever decide to share it with the world I’ll write a fairy tale or a magic story, as it seems to be the only way anyone can make any sense out of it, including myself. As for people who are just planning to do Ayahuasca, a description of my experience wouldn’t help you anyway. I’ve read and watched many testimonials since I came back from Peru. Apart from few similar patterns they are all very different. I can assure you, your ceremonies will be very different from mine or anyone else’s. Your experience will be yours and yours only. All I can say about my Ayahuasca journey is that I saw the past, present and future. She helped me to understand and let go the most traumatic childhood experience that affected all my life. Ayahuasca gave me the answers to nearly all the questions I’ve ever had – about life, love, death, universe and much more. She showed me the real world. She showed me the real me. She took me down the darkest hole and up to the most beautiful places. It was hard. It was easy. It was scary. It was amazing. It was everything you can and cannot imagine. One of the things I understood during the ceremonies is how important to feel safe and be safe when you drink Ayahuasca. It’s not so much about the type of Ayahuasca you drink or how much of it you drink, it’s all about you and about people who go on that journey with you. When Ayahuasca was taking me to the very edge, when I was lost, scared or confused, the El Sol Healing Retreat Center team were always there for me. And I’m very grateful to all of them for that. They do a really great job. Stace is a fatherly figure in the ceremonies. He is tough and strong. He is the core and the centre. He is that very much needed ground that doesn’t let you fly away for good. Drew, on the other hand, is a motherly (or brotherly:) figure. He provides everyone with love and care. He gives comfort to the frightened ones and gently calms down the disturbed ones. Antonio awakens the deepest energies with his beautiful voice and his vibrant energy. Estella carries a deep knowledge about life and plants, and things that’s hard to describe or explain, but most importantly she heals souls. Each one of them makes Ayahuasca journey very special. Mine was at the same time the most beautiful and the most terrifying experience ever. And I wouldn’t swap it for anything. In fact, it is worth all the trips I’ve ever done in my life. What has changed since then? Nothing major. The Earth is still turning around the Sun. My life hasn’t turned upside down. It is going as normally as ever – family, work, daily routine. All has changed is the way I look at the world, at people around me, at myself. First time in my life I don’t want to run away, either from others or myself. I’m happy where I am. I feel every moment I live deeply and intensely, and these are not just the words from a positive-thinking book. It’s simply happening and it’s absolutely amazing. I live, I breathe, I create, and that’s all that matters. My Ayahuasca journey was absolutely breathtaking. It was most certainly the time of my life.Would I do it again? Yes, if Ayahuasca calls me again, I’ll go there without doubt. Ayahuasca gave me a quiet mind and an absolute inner peace. I left Peru with my heart full of gratitude to Ayahuasca for her amazing gifts; to the jungles for sharing all that beauty with me; to El Sol Healing Retreat Centerfor being such a perfect place to recharge my batteries; to the staff for taking good care of us; to my two guardian angels for bringing me there and supporting me all the way through; to the rest of the group for being there for me; to Mo and Ella for guarding us days and nights; to Drew for all his love and gentle care (and his lighter:)); to Stace for being my lifebuoy; to Antonio for his beautiful music and to Estella for healing my soul. One day I’ll be back.
Anna – Latvia
It isn’t easy putting down in words how remarkable and life changing this experience was. It completely surpassed any preconceptions I had, and this is down to the setting and the people. From the moment you arrive at El Sol Healing Retreat Center to when you leave there is a very calm and comfortable vibe. The place is absolutely stunning and you feel instantly at peace; you are totally surrounded by nature and it’s an incredibly liberating feeling. The ceremonies felt very secure and something that I appreciated was that although everything is done in a responsible way, it was not taken too seriously, in the way that you felt comfortable enough to laugh at yourself if needed. The ceremonies were conducted with a lot of love and care. The days off are not always easy because you have all these new thoughts and feelings to think over and process, but it helps to have such a wonderful place to be at; the maloka was beautiful and it’s great fun to play with the staff’s children in the lake. The meetings with the team are very helpful as you can explain your experience and Stace and Drew give their advice and help you understand it. There are loads of hammocks to chill on where you can either read books from their interesting library selection, or write and go over thoughts from the previous night. The off days were just as enriching but in a totally different way. Stace is a really cool guy who really believes in what he does and it’s very humbling to be around someone so dedicated to ayahuasca. Stace is very grounded and his vast experience of ayahuasca allows him to provide you with so much useful advice, he really puts you at ease. I also really appreciated his honesty and being upfront about the whole experience – nothing was sugar coated and you knew exactly what to do in any given circumstance. Drew was another brilliant energy to have; he was great to have in the ceremonies and when he would come over to check up on you I always felt a very peaceful presence and he always seemed to know exactly what to say. I was so pleased that we had Estella as our Shaman, her and her partner had such a powerful yet reassuring presence, and I had full faith and trust in her during all the ceremonies. I was not initially able to let go at the start of the first ceremony, but her Icaro’s really feel like they enter you and help you to connect and embrace the experience. You can really tell that the passion and devotion that both Stace and Drew have for El Sol Healing Retreat Center is deep and very real, and this adds to the whole experience as you can feel that you are in good hands. They are both such interesting characters and great to talk to outside of ceremonies as well. Doing ayahuasca is an incredibly intimate experience where you are stripped bare of any walls and are left feeling vulnerable, and yet I never felt uncomfortable or awkward at any point, I had full trust and respect in the staff and the place and it helped to really let go and allow the experience to happen. I couldn’t be happier in my decision to come to El Sol Healing Retreat Center and I recommend it to anyone who is contemplating going. The only thing I would have changed is being able to stay there for another week!
Debora M – Dubai
My happy place. I spent 5 amazing nights here in the summer. Never have I walked into a place and felt so safe and at peace. I wasn’t actually planning to stay at El Sol Healing Retreat Center when I was organising the trip but circumstances (as they do) led me here as a last minute necessity. What I found gave me one of the defining moments of my life and set in motion a period of self discovery that has shone a light on everything that I needed to move forward and I am eternally grateful, hence I’m writing this ! Everything about this place was perfect for me and while I have been to other ceremonies, if it is ever time for me to go back to mother ayahuasca, I will come back home to El Sol Healing Retreat Center. x
Steve H – London, U.K.
I stayed at El Sol Healing Retreat Center for 8 nights from 12 – 21st January. My last ceremony was a tough one..all the staff at El Sol Healing Retreat Center were very kind to me and Drew, one of the facilitators was with me and talked me through the experience and helped sooo much. I was very ill on my last day possibly through swallowing some river water by accident and all at El Sol Healing Retreat Center were so helpful and attentive. I was in good hands all the way. Well done to all of you. I am very glad I chose this retreat. Estella also helped a lot with her knowledge of plant medicine. She is very powerful at what she does.
Linda W – England