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Rainforest Expeditions: Experience an Ancient Ayahuasca Ceremony in Peru
Guests at Rainforest Expeditions' Posada Amazonas Eco-Lodge can participate in an ancient Ayahuasca Ceremony, which is said to help repair the spirit. Posada Amazonas eco-lodge was the recent recipient of the coveted Rainforest Alliance 2012 Sustainable Standard-Setters Award.
Peru's leader in sustainable tourism, Rainforest Expeditions, invites guests seeking a visionary experience to partake in an ancient Ayahuasca ceremony during a four-day wellness program at Posada Amazonas, one of its three eco-lodges deep in Peru’s Amazonian rainforest.
Ayahuasca is a native rainforest plant historically used by shamans in the region. The per person rate for the four night / three day wellness program is $725 double ($165 single supplement). This includes meals, accommodations, services including the ceremony, all river transportation and transfers from and to the airport of Puerto Maldonado.
The Ayahuasca (Banisteropsis caapi), or 'rope of the spirits' in Quechua, is the master plant of the Amazonian rainforest that is combined with Chacruna (Psicotria viridis) into a brew said to have spiritual healing powers. For thousands of years shamans have used its properties to cure the body and the soul and to connect with gods and nature.
"Ayahuasca starts a spiritual relationship that lasts the rest of your life. The experience is visionary and for many it generates a new balance and order to life. This emerges deep from a participant’s roots and life history giving them renewed sense and purpose," explains Jeff Cremer, Marketing Director for Rainforest Expeditions.
Activities before and after the ceremony (that can last as long as eight hours) are focused on the well-being of guests partaking in the ceremony. They are requested to respect both the spiritual and physical rigors of taking Ayahuasca by fasting, resting and practicing sexual abstinence in advance of the ceremony.
Because of the secluded location of the lodge along the Tambopata River, wildlife viewing is also a part of the whole experience. Day One is travel day to the lodge followed by a climb up a 30-meter tower to view the canopy of prime standing forest. A boat ride and hike may reveal a resident family of nine giant river otters on Lake Tres Chimbadas and such wildlife as caiman, hoatzin and horned screamers.
Guests also will experience an ethno botanical tour, stopping at a communal organization that produces medicines out of forest plants and administers them to patients. A trail explains the different medicinal (and other) uses of selected plants. This is also the site of the Ayahuasca ceremony held in a maloka (ritual house) where a healer sings ikaros (healing songs). In the morning guests return to Posada Amazonas for a day of rest and relaxation.
The Ayahuasca ceremony can also be arranged with prior notice for guests staying at Rainforest Expedition’s Refugio Amazonas lodge for an additional $200 per person.
A variety of other wellness programs and spa services are available at Refugio Amazonas or Posada Amazonas.
Posada Amazonas is owned by and located within a communal reserve of the indigenous Ese’eja of Infierno who manage it in partnership with Rainforest Expeditions. Some 170 native and ribereño (second or third generation settlers) families work and profit from this 30-room lodge (each residence equipped with hot water and a private bath). The property also has a wellness and holistic center for massage and aromatherapy, bar and dining area. A common area includes a hammock lounge and meeting room. This lodge is one of three in a string of Rainforest Expeditions’ jungle lodges all accessed from Puerto Maldonado airport. Tambopata Research Center is the most distant and secluded.