FAQ

I am coming to a retreat. When shall I arrive? And checkout?


You may arrive any time on the first day of your Ayahuasca Retreat, but it is better if you arrive in the morning, so you can rest. If needed, we will pick you up from the airport or your hotel if you are already in Cusco. We will arrange for you to be picked up from the airport at the time your flight arrives and drive you to Melissa Wasi in Pisaq. The ride is 45 minutes from Cusco to where the Ayahuasca retreat will take place. Likewise, you can leave any time on the last day published. We will provide transportation back to Cusco airport only on the day the retreat ends.
If you are already in Cusco city, we will pick you up from your hotel on the first day of the retreat, so please send us the hostel address and phone information when you arrive, for us to to be in contact.




Where can I book my local flights online?


To book your local tickets from Lima to Cusco (60 min flight,), you can check: LATAM Star Peru Peruvian Airlines All commercial airlines have online booking. The average cost of a round trip ticket from Lima-Cusco-Lima is @ $150 to $350 USD (depending on the season). Please Note: There are no evening flights to Cusco so you may have to spend the evening in the Lima airport, or get a hotel in Lima for the layover.




How is the weather and what to bring?


We are at 2,800 m. (9,500 ft high) so the air is usually cool and dry during the night and sunny during the day. You can check weather.com for an accurate 10-day forecast for your Ayahuasca retreat. The rainy season is typically from December through March. The dry season from end of March to November. However, the weather can be very unpredictable, so it is always useful to have a rain jacket. Bring warm clothes for the evenings, as it can get chilly, and bring a hat and/or sun block, and lip balm. And especially bring a rain poncho if you are coming in the rainy season (Dec – Mar). Having a notebook or Journal might be useful as well for recording your thoughts and helping with your integration. Please also bring a personal water container, if possible, to avoid plastic pollution. We will provide fresh filtered water. And finally, bring a small flashlight (optional) . Please bring a “warm light” flashlight, not the white led ones since it would be too bright for use it inside the temple.




I take medication, is this ok with the Ayahuasca ceremonies?


Some kinds of medication are not a problem, however others, like antidepressant medication, can be a problem. So just tell us about your medication and we will assist you.




I have a special diet, can I still come?


Yes, just let us know in advance of your dietary restrictions, and we will assist you.




Dietary preparation


In preparation for this profound experience, we have to prepare both physically and psychologically. We strongly recommend that the participants considerably reduce the eating of meat (especially pork), salt, sugar, and chili, in order to prepare to receive the Ayahuasca. And please remember to abstain from drinking alcohol and other substances which may cloud your consciousness. During the Ayahuasca retreat a complete sexual abstinence is mandatory, with the purpose of keeping available our vital energy for the experience. As a psychological preparation, we recommend doing some type of contemplative practices such as meditation or yoga, to bring us moments of reflection about our upcoming transcendental experience.




Want to bring a present. What could it be?


For local kids:

  • School items
  • Small toys
For us: Sometimes we receive emails of participants asking what would we like or need from other countries. So here are some things we love that we are unable to find here. It is always a pleasure to receive them:
  • From Canada: Ebesse Zozo hot sauce (www.awassi.net) or any good hot sauce from your country
  • Maple Syrup.
  • Teabags of your choice.
  • Something for our kids 8,10 and 15 (frizbee, crafts,board games...)




More Ayahuasca ceremonies before or after the retreat?


If you have chosen to stay longer before or after the retreat, you can join the regular Ayahuasca Ceremonies that are offered on a weekly basis, to the growing translucent community staying and living around the Sacred Valley. Check the dates of the Ayahuasca Ceremonies.




Visiting MachuPicchu?


The shortest way to Machu Picchu from Pisaq is to take a taxi (US$35 aprox.) from Pisaq to Ollantaytambo (1:30 min ride) the morning on the last day of the retreat, then buy the latest train to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) (3 hours train) so you can spend the day in Ollantaytambo and visit the Inca temples. In Aguas Calientes you can spend the night and visit Machu Picchu the next morning and return on the same day to Ollantaytambo or continue to Cusco directly. If you buy your train tickets on the internet, choose the option “Sacred Valley-MachuPicchu” and that will take you to from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu). Visit Best of Peru Travel for more information.




I have never been at that high altitude. How likely is to get altitude sickness?


Pisaq (2,850m) is a bit lower than Cusco (3,400m), and you are not likely to get altitude sickness. If it happens, it is usually mild and can be easily treated with some rest and coca tea, which will be offered upon arrival.




Do you have private accommodation options?


The Ayahuasca retreat is double occupancy but you may ask for availability on private rooming. This will depend on the number of participants and availability, and will include an extra cost for the week. If you are coming to our weekly ayahuasca ceremonies or other activities, we can recommend lodging in Pisaq or on site.




Payment, money exchange and ATM machines.


Please bring cash with you, either soles or dollars, as we will collect payment once you check in. If you're paying in USD please make sure there are no tiny rips in the bills because we have trouble changing them with the bank. We do not accept credit cards at this time, but there are ATMs in Pisac where you can withdrawal about $300 USD at a time, so please plan accordingly. Credit cards are normally accepted in hotels, restaurants, and stores in the city of Cusco and Lima, but not in Pisac. You can change traveler checks or go to the bank in Cusco or Lima, but again, not in Pisaq. We do not accept traveler checks either. You can exchange your dollars in every town and sometimes pay directly in dollars. The exchange rate is around 3.60 peruvian soles per US$ dollar. In Lima and Cusco please be mindful with your personal belongings, camera, video and personal stuff because pickpocket theft is common. If possible do not go out with valuable things. No worries once you arrived to Pisac however, it’s a safe-heaven.




Vaccines


It is not necessary to have any vaccines to travel to Cusco. Many countries recommend it as a precautionary measure but in the last 10 years there has been no report of malaria or yellow fever in these areas. Moreover the malaria pills have unpleasant side effects on the body. Look for specific information regarding COVID-19




Staying extra days?


We invite you to stay several days after your Ayahuasca experience, since you will feel drawn to stay and share with the translucent community in Pisaq after going through this transformational experience. In fact, it would be very beneficial for the continued process of understanding and integrating this new reality that emerge within you after the retreat. There are many not expensive accommodation options in Pisaq you can choose from to extend your stay and give you time to integrate your experience. It is VERY COMMON to see participants extending their return flight tickets so we encourange you in advance to buy an open return flight.




COVID situation


Here at SVT we are operating at 30% capacity to follow government regulations and to ensure individual safety. Ceremonies have been limited to once a week and retreats are also reoriented to current regulations, thus offering a more personalized experience. We are committed to offering our services in the best way possible, respecting an open vision, while at the same time ensuring the safety of our participants. The COVID situation in Pisaq appears to be pretty safe. The general regulation at this time is to wear masks in public places in order to prevent infections. Restaurants and markets are functioning with limited capacity, and since tourist sights are mostly outside, they are open at limited capacity as well. Public and private transportation is normal, with only Sunday transport being lightly controlled Travel inside and through the country is almost back to pre COVID status. Regulations order individuals to wear masks and protective shields during flights. This is basically the only restriction in force. For international flights, you will need a COVID test 72 hours before flight. There is no need for a vaccination to enter the country. In terms of health and safety, Pisaq is far enough from the largest city, Cusco where there are more restrictions, but almost back to normal as well. When coming in an International flight, you merely pass through Lima airport and arrive directly to Cusco airport. From there it is a short car ride directly to the Valley with one of our trustworthy drivers.




COVID situation. ESPAÑOL


Estamos operando en un 30% de nuestra capacidad siguiendo las regulaciones y la seguridad individual de quienes vienen a tener la experiencia de ayahuasca con nosotros. Las ceremonias se han reducido a una vez a la semana y los retiros tambien estan orientados a cumplir con las regulaciones vigentes asi como a ofrecer una experiencia mas personalizada. Estamos comprometidos a ofrecer nuestros servicios de la mejor manera posible respetando una vision abierta y al mismo tiempo la seguridad de los participantes en ceremonias y retiros. La situacion de Covid en Pisaq es bastante segura. La regulacion general es usar mascarilla en lugares publicos para prevenir contagios. Los restaurantes y mercados estan funcionan do tambien a una capacidad limitada asi como los atractivos turisticos. El transporte publico y privado es normal y solo los dias Domingos hay un control mayor. Transporte hacia y dentro del pais es casi normal. Hay una obligacion de usar mascarilla y protector facial en los vuelos asi como tener un test negativo de Covid dentro de las 72 horas de viaje. No es necesaria la vacuna del Covid para entrar al pais.