So you've heard the call. Whether it's the pursuit of deep healing or transformative growth, Ayahuasca has piqued your interest. But one pressing question remains — what's the financial investment?
The cost of Ayahuasca retreats can vary widely, influenced by factors like location, duration, amenities, and the expertise of the facilitators. In this blog, we'll break down the different types of Ayahuasca retreats and the accompanying price ranges to help you make an informed decision. Because while spiritual healing is invaluable, understanding the financial aspect can ensure a smoother journey toward your inner self.
- The price of your Ayahuasca retreat is determined by the number of participants, level of accommodation, length of the retreat as well as number of ceremonies, additional activities offered at the retreat, how reputable the retreat center is, as well as what type of preparation and integration programs are offered apart from the retreat.
- You want ot make sure that you feel listened to, safe and understood by the facilitators of the retreat that you choose. You are going on a deep profound process where you most likely don’t want to save 100 $ on the experience.
- There are 3 categories of Retreat centers, the high end retreat center upwards of 5000 USD, the medium category between 1500 – 2200 USD for a one week retreat and budget friendly Ayahuasca retreats for 700 – 1200 USD for a week.
Table of Contents
Factors That Determine the Price of an Ayahuasca Retreat
Number of Participants:
Generally, retreats that accommodate fewer participants tend to be more expensive due to the personalized attention you receive.
The type of lodging provided—whether it's a basic shared room or a private (luxury) suite—will significantly impact the cost.
Length of the retreat and Number of Ceremonies:
More extended retreats with multiple ceremonies will usually be more expensive, offering a more comprehensive experience.
Some retreats offer extras like yoga sessions, guided meditation, breathwork, massages or nature hikes, which could add to the overall cost.
How Reputable is the Retreat Center:
Centers with a long-standing reputation for safety and effectiveness often charge more due to their expertise and credibility. Often times reputable Retreat Centers also spend more on Marketing.
We always recommend people do experience Ayahuasca in a country where Ayahuasca is legal. In many cases an Ayahuasca retreat will be more expensive in a country where Ayahuasca is prohibited.
Type of Preparation and Integration Included:
Retreats that offer robust preparatory and post-ceremony integration programs often come at a premium but can significantly enhance your experience.
Or course it is important to prepare for Ayahuasca and be clear on your intention when joining a retreat.
Must read Blog: Ayahuasca Preparation – how to prepare for Ayahuasca
Must read Blog: Ayahuasca Intention – how to find your intention
Something Important to Consider: The Value of Feeling Safe and a Strong Affinity with the Facilitator
Choosing the right Ayahuasca retreat is not the occasion to cut corners financially just to save a hundred dollars. You're about to undertake what could be described as “open-heart surgery” on your psyche—a deeply spiritual and emotional journey that requires an environment of safety and trust. Safety here is not just about the physical environment but extends to the emotional and spiritual support you'll receive. This makes it essential to feel a genuine connection and affinity with the retreat's facilitators, who will guide you through this transformative experience.
Remember, you're not just investing in a retreat; you're investing in yourself and your own healing and transformation. The quality of the facilitators and the comfort you feel with them can significantly impact the depth and quality of your Ayahuasca experience. So when considering various retreat options, it's worth prioritizing those where you feel heard, understood, and genuinely cared for. This comfort (not talking about the physical) and affinity are invaluable, especially when you are opening yourself up to deep inner exploration and change.
Find out if Ayahuasca is right for you
- Will you be safe physically and emotionally?
- How will you be supported in the ceremony?
- How do the facilitators handle difficult situations?
- How will you be able to process the experience?
- You want change, but will your life be unrecognizable after Ayahuasca?
+ 13 things to consider before drinking Ayahuasca?
High-End Ayahuasca Retreats: What You Can Expect
When it comes to high-end Ayahuasca retreats, you're looking at a different caliber of experience altogether. These luxurious settings often feature world-class accommodations, medical personnel on-site, and an array of additional activities designed to complement the Ayahuasca ceremonies. They almost always include a comprehensive preparation and integration program. Examples of these high-end retreats are places like Rhytmia, 1 Heart, and Behold. These centers tend to be the most well-known, largely because they have the marketing budgets to match their high-end services, and prices start at around $5,000 USD and go upwards from there.
These retreats are often geared towards successful entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals. For this demographic, $5,000+ is not necessarily a significant sum; it's within the realm of what they would typically spend on a vacation. Given the sensitive and transformative nature of an Ayahuasca journey, many individuals in this category opt for the most expensive options because they are unwilling to compromise on quality and safety. They're attracted to what is most well-known and resonates with their own expectations for an exceptional and secure experience.
Standard-Priced Ayahuasca Retreats: A Balanced Approach
In the middle of the spectrum are the standard-priced Ayahuasca retreats, which offer a balanced experience for the average seeker. These retreats generally feature standard but beautiful accommodations, and moderate group sizes to ensure a personalized yet communal experience. While they may not offer world-class luxury, the facilities are usually comfortable and functional, providing a conducive environment for spiritual work.
The additional activities offered are often fewer in comparison to high-end retreats but still thoughtfully chosen to enrich your journey. These could range from yoga sessions to guided nature walks. Additionally, these retreats usually have a good reputation and might have been around for some years, earning positive reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations.
These aspects make standard-priced Ayahuasca retreats a reliable and accessible option for many people, offering a blend of comfort, safety, and transformative potential without breaking the bank.
Arkana International: The Fourfold Journey
With prices starting at $2200, Arkana International offers a package that includes four Ayahuasca ceremonies. As a well-known center, Arkana offers a comprehensive spiritual journey within a moderate budget. More details can be found on their website
Hummingbird Healing Center
Hummingbird offers a 9-day retreat priced at $2200, which includes four Ayahuasca ceremonies and a possible San Pedro ceremony. Visit their website for further details.
Nimea Kaya: 9 Days, 4 Ceremonies
Priced at $2200 for a 9-day experience, Nimea Kaya offers four ceremonies and is geared towards individuals seeking a balanced and transformative retreat. More information can be found on their website.
Spirit Vine Retreats
Spirit Vine Retreats offers a powerful experience priced at $2250 for 9 days, including four ceremonies. More details are available on their website.
Gaia Sagrada: Budget-Friendly option
Located in Ecuador, Gaia Sagrada offers a more budget-friendly experience with prices starting at $1050 for a week, which includes three ceremonies.. Check out their website for more information.
Guacamayo Ayahuasca Retreat Guacamayo: Value and Versatility
At Ayahuasca Retreat Guacamayo we focus and commit to delivering a high-quality experience at a budget-friendly price. With an 8-day, 7-night retreat featuring four ceremonies at just $900, or a shorter 4-day, 3-night stay with two ceremonies at $400, Guacamayo offers flexible options to cater to various needs. Proud of its close to 100 five-star reviews, our retreat ensures that value is front and center.
The accommodation offers both shared and private rooms, catering to different preferences. In addition to Ayahuasca ceremonies, we enriches the experience with various activities such as ice baths, holotropic breathwork, integration seminars, and sharing circles.
The 7-night package even includes a hike to a waterfall, kambo sessions, yoga, and massages. With a max group size of 12 people, we maintain an intimate setting, making it easier for participants to connect with one another and the facilitators. Given its combination of price, reviews, and activities, we can confidently shar that we offer the best value for your money in the Ayahuasca retreat market.
Low-Budget Alternatives: Pros and Cons
For those on a tight budget, there are options like LaWayra, run by my friend Sam. Sam is highly committed, putting his heart and soul into the work. With both group lodging (usually 6+ people) and private accommodation available.
The difficulties of low – budget retreats
But let's clarify something: low-budget alternatives are generally discovered through word of mouth, rather than internet marketing. (the following paragraph is not about LaWayra, they do an amazing job)
I have personal experience with low-budget Ayahuasca retreats, having once operated at this end of the spectrum. When I was establishing myself, I offered 7-day retreats for $500 and even 3-day retreats with two ceremonies for $100. While participants during this phase received substantial value and powerful experiences, sustaining such low-cost operations comes with challenges.
Offering Ayahuasca retreats at a low cost can be physically and emotionally draining for facilitators. While you can manage it for a short period, it's not sustainable long-term. The energy exchange needs to be mutual, and if facilitators aren’t compensated adequately, it affects their well-being and, by extension, the quality of the retreat.
Operating on a low budget also means you won't be able to meet certain Western expectations for comfort and amenities. So, while low-budget options may powerful Ayahuasca ceremonies, be prepared for some level of compromise in other areas.
Cost of Ayahuasca in Colombia
The cost of Ayahuasca in Colombia range for a one night ceremony from 80 – 150 USD. For a 4 day retreat with 2 ceremonies around 400 – 650 USD, and for a 7 day retreat with 4 ceremonies from 800 – 1500 USD. There are also local options available for a one night ceremony for 25 USD.
Colombia's cost of living, including Ayahuasca experiences, is gradually aligning with international standards. While high-end Ayahuasca retreats do exist in Colombia, they are less common than in places like Costa Rica.
Local Alternatives in Colombia
For those interested in a more local, super budget friendly experience, you will find groups that are generally organized by local communities. The cost for a single-night ceremony in these circles is around 100,000 Colombian Pesos (approximately 25 USD). However, these local alternatives are distinctly different to a retreat: the groups are usually large, ranging from 30 to 50 people, and the ceremonies are primarily conducted in Spanish and in not the most comfortably places. Additionally, these options typically focus solely on the ceremony itself, with little to no assistance in preparation or integration. But in the end what is important is that people have access to Ayahuasca.
So, if you're looking for a different, more local experience and are comfortable with the trade-offs, these could be viable options. I can also help connect you to these local groups if that aligns better with what you're seeking.
Shouldn't Healing Be Free? A Balanced Perspective
The notion that healing should be freely accessible is a compelling argument. Indeed, the idea is that every individual has the inherent right to healing, and that those who facilitate this process—be it through traditional or alternative methods—have an obligation to make their services available to those who are in need. Historically, especially in tribal societies, the medicine man or shaman often offered their services on a donation basis. Those who had the means would contribute more, thereby subsidizing those who could not afford to pay. This model created a sort of community-funded approach to healthcare and spiritual well-being.
However, while this notion may sound ideal, it's often more aspirational than practical in today's world. The reality is that providing Ayahuasca ceremonies involves numerous expenses. In the absence of a broader societal or community support system that can subsidize these experiences, charging a fee becomes necessary for the sustainability of the practice. This doesn't mean that there isn't room for a sliding scale or some pro bono work for those who genuinely cannot afford it, but it does highlight the challenges of making something as resource-intensive as an Ayahuasca ceremony universally accessible for free.
Donation-based Ayahuasca retreats do exist, but they are somewhat of a rarity and can be difficult to locate. A quick Google search may not yield many results, and those that do appear often come with a “suggested donation” amount. Essentially, this means that while the retreat may be marketed as donation-based, there is still an expectation of a certain level of financial contribution. Thus, the term “donation” sometimes serves as a pretense for what is essentially a set price. It's always advisable to inquire directly about the financial expectations when considering such retreats.
Expenses of an Ayahuasca Retreat: Breaking Down the Costs
Running a consistent Ayahuasca retreat requires consistent marketing efforts. This involves not just time and energy but often a substantial financial investment as well, to ensure a steady influx of participants. The regular retreats are necessary for the retreat to keep on operating
Food and Employees:
Every retreat needs staff to prepare meals and maintain the space.
Ayahuasca Retreat Cost: Accommodation
Whether the retreat offers basic lodging or luxurious rooms, the costs of maintaining and possibly staffing these spaces are a factor. Some retreats include the price of accommodation in the overall package, while others offer it as an extra.
Various essentials like first aid kits, blankets, and yoga mats are part of the setup etc.. The cost of obtaining and maintaining this equipment also contributes to the overall expenses.
Shaman and Musicians:
The shaman (called Taita or Mamita in Colombia) and the musicians who contribute to the ceremony dedicate long hours and immense energy to the process. This is intense work, often stretching into the morning hours, and deserves adequate compensation. Plus the decades of learning that the shaman has invested.
Some retreats have medical personnel on-site or a partnership with medical experts for pre-retreat consultations. Their expertise adds another layer to the overall cost.
A facilitator familiar with Western perspectives can be invaluable. This person needs to have enough experience with Ayahuasca to avoid common pitfalls and help guide participants through the journey. For example I help facilitate between 5 – 8 ceremonies a month, in that sense I have a good understanding of Ayahuasca. I have also been an executive for a fortune 500 company and built a business before the retreat center. But these types of people are not easy to find.
The Ayahuasca Itself:
The Taitas often say that drinking Ayahuasca is the easy part. The preparation is laborious, involving years of cultivating the plant and days of cooking it. All of this effort necessitates financial support.
In addition to all these costs, there’s the consideration of sustainability. Plants like Ayahuasca or specific purgatives, like azuwactoto, require proper cultivation. Some retreats invest in land to ensure the sustainable growth of these sacred plants, protecting them from deforestation and other environmental threats.
The Business Person/Owner:
Last but not least, the person who orchestrates the entire operation needs to manage all these components while ensuring financial viability. This role is crucial and should not be overlooked when considering the costs of running an Ayahuasca retreat.
Understanding these numerous expenses helps shed light on why Ayahuasca retreats have varying price ranges. It's not simply about having people come and drink Ayahuasca, it's about creating and maintaining a safe, enriching, and sustainable environment for deep healing to occur.
Conclusion for Ayahuasca Retreat Cost: Finding a Fair Price for Your Ayahuasca Retreat
Understanding the value behind the price tag of an Ayahuasca retreat is crucial. The vast majority—about 95%—of people who run Ayahuasca centers aren't in it for the financial gain. Their primary aim is to provide a transformative and safe experience for participants. As we've outlined, numerous factors contribute to the overall expenses of running a retreat, and that's just scratching the surface.
Different retreats come at different price points, each catering to various preferences and comfort levels. Factors like group size, additional activities, and what's included in the package all influence the cost. Based on my experience and industry observation, a fair average price for a one-week retreat seems to be between $1,500 and $2,000. You'll find options that are more budget-friendly and others that are on the luxurious end. Keep in mind, however, that paying less often means compromising on certain aspects of quality.
In the end, the best retreat for you will balance both your budget and your needs for a profound, safe, and transformational Ayahuasca experience.
How much does it cost to go do Ayahuasca?
A one night ceremony ranges between 80 – 225 $. Many times people choose to participate in an Ayahuasca retreat when deciding to go on a journey. There are 3 different types of categories of retreats, high – end retreats upwards of 5000 $ for a week, standard priced for 1500 – 2200 $, or budget friendly options for 700 – 1200 $.
Why is Ayahuasca so expensive?
There are many expenses that go into creating an Ayahuasca Retreat, starting with the food and employees, the equipment, the accomondation, the shaman and musician, the western facilitator, medical support staff, the Ayahuasca itself coupled with the sustainability of cultivating the plant, as well as investments in Marketing.
What are the cheapest option to drink Ayahuasca?
The cheapest option to drink Ayahuasca is with a local group. In Colombia you will be able to find Ayahuasca ceremonies for 100 000 COP (about 25 USD). However, this ceremonies are often with 30 – 50 people, are not in the most comfortable physical places, are mostly spanish speaking and there is little to no assistance in the preparation or integration process. I can recommend a place like that if you are looking for one.