Frequently Asked Questions/
Ayahuasca Retreat FAQ's
Is it safe to travel to Costa Rica?
With any travel you should always take caution, but generally coming to the Dominical region of Costa Rica is very safe. Over 1.7 million foreign travelers visit Costa Rica each year with an estimated 80% coming for Eco-Tourism. This magical and pristine part of the country boasts some the countries top destinations and has a low crime rate.
What does the retreat cost include?
The retreat cost includes transportation from the designated pick up hotel near San Jose airport to the retreat center in Platanillo, everything that takes place during the retreat, and transportation back to San Jose after the retreat. It does not include your airfare or transportation to and from the airport to the hotel pick up location, however these taxi rates usually want exceed $10 USD each way.
Will I need extra money?
Yes. Our healers will bring handcrafted artesania, artwork and music to sell at the retreat. They are stunning and it's really special to purchase sacred items from real medicine people. Also, we ask everyone to bring between $30-$50 USD as gratuity for the amazing people that care for us at the retreat center.
When should I arrive and where do we meet?
We recommend you arrive at least 1 day before the start of the retreat and stay the night at our designated pick up Hotel Brilla Sol in Alajuela. Please make your booking directly and ask for our special group rate for Tree of Light Retreats. Once you have your flights booked, please make your booking there or somewhere nearby, if preferred.
You will be met by our driver at the hotels reception at 9am on the start date of the retreat. The retreat center is approximately 3 hours by bus from the pick up location by the airport.
Are there health risk concerns in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is a very clean and safe place to visit. The people are friendly and there aren't major weather events (like earthquakes or hurricanes) that happen here regularly. Although there are a plethora of wold animals here (many of which are the main attraction for eco tourism) Costa Rica has a low incidence of problems with disease and most of the bugs and insects (which are uncommon in the area where we are based) are more of an annoyance than a danger. Currently the CDC does not recommend a malaria vaccine before you travel to Costa Rica. No immunizations, shots or vaccinations are required to enter Costa Rica from North America or Europe. Most tourist destinations do not come with a high risk of dengue or malaria.
Can we leave during the retreat to visit the beach and other nature sites?
No. We know there are many beautiful places to visit here in Costa Rica, but please make plans to do these extra activities before or after the retreat. Our focus is on the medicine work and we have seen how holding a strong container without interactions from outside energies allows you to drop in much deeper to your healing and connection to the medicine.
What are the ceremonies like?
Our ceremonies begin around 8pm and usually finish between 1am & 2am. They will take place in the dark in our ceremonial space overlooking the jungle hills. You will be offered mapacho, which is a sacred jungle tobacco used for cleaning and connecting to the plants. You can smoke this during ceremony if you choose to. Our healers open the ceremony singing Arkana ikaros to call on benevolent forces, to activate the medicine and to protect the space for our ceremony. During the ceremony our healers/facilitators, who have studied for many years in the ancient Shipibo tradition, will sing their healing songs (ikaros) to support the energy of the space and will come around and sing an ikaro directly to each person. This level of attention and care will greatly assist your ability to connect to the medicine directly and will help to clear any potential blockages that may otherwise prevent you from diving deep into your healing. In the latter part of the night, when the ikaros are finished, we open the space and share songs of many other languages and cultures with some gentle guitar and instrumentation, and welcome our participants to share their voices and songs within the space. Of course this is not mandatory, but singing really helps you to open your heart and also move energy and so we encourage you to explore that for yourself. When all has settled we will close the ceremony. Hot tea and fruit will be available in the kitchen. Participants can sleep in the ceremony space or go back to their rooms.
What are the accommodations like at the retreat center?
Our retreat location provides a very modern and comfortable experience, yet is set amongst beautiful jungle filled hills on an expansive, private nature reserve. There are 4 cabins, each with 2 private bedrooms, a shared bathroom with hot water showers and flush toilets, living room area, and kitchenette. There are also 3 private rooms within the main house, which also hosts our dining area. There is a swimming pool, plenty of hammocks to relax and integrate in, a ceremonial/yoga space, undercover fire pit area, and nature hikes just outside your door including a near by 300 year old Ceiba Tree.
Is there Wi-fi?
Yes. however we really encourage people to only use it as much as necessary, if at all. Part of stepping into retreat is really disconnecting from the outside world as much as possible.