Where to Drink Ayahuasca

Mee Ok never advises drinking ayahuasca without thoroughly vetted, highly skilled indigenous maestras or maestros. While many tribes all over the Amazon serve ayahuasca and drink responsibly, the Shipibo tribe are the sole descendants of this medicine and its “original keepers” (though there are many great healers working in other traditions, Mee Ok cannot make any recommendations since she only does so based on her personal experience). With a population of only 30,000 Shipibo-Conibo left in the world, there is a reason they are the king of the jungle: they vaunt the most renowned and precise ayahuasca surgeons in the world. Among these, there are many Shipibo who pour the medicine, but few true maestras and maestros with the knowledge, competency, and integrity to serve medicine — and are willing to share it with Westerners. Should you decide to drink outside of this option, Mee Ok strongly suggests drinking solely with maestras, especially if you are a woman, and never on land where it is not legal or with non-indigenous practitioners. She also recommends drinking at reputable retreat centers fully staffed with Western professionals who can properly screen and offer support post ceremonies. Be very, very careful when choosing a place to go. The world of ayahuasca is a wild and dangerously unregulated one.

Soltara Healing Center (Costa Rica)

After opening in 2018, Soltara launched with a bang. And its sterling reputation is well-deserved: with gorgeous grounds, luxury accommodations, and an incredible team (many of which also worked at the Temple), it serves as an excellent option for those who are unable to travel to the jungle and/or desire a gentler environment in which to experience the medicine. It is also a wonderful opportunity for those with disabilities. Its ADA-accessible designed accommodations allow those in wheelchairs to participate in ceremony and retire to comfortable quarters with wheel-in showers and roll-up sinks.

A global online community and oceanfront retreat center in the mountainous tropical forest of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula, our mission is to create safe sanctuary for integration, personal empowerment, respecting tradition, education, professionalism, reciprocity, and pura vida.

Soltara is doing it right, promoting local, organic farming and permaculture, supporting the integration process during and after the retreat, serving veteran populations with specialized retreat programs and promotions, and offering scholarships to low-income individuals and people of color. Every month they invite those who would not otherwise be able to afford this powerful medicine to come drink for free. If you are able, please consider donating to this fund to help right the inequities within the plant community.

Pro Tip:

  • Because lower cost eco-friendly tambos are fewer (they’re building more!), if you plan to visit using this option please make your reservation well in advance.
  • Mee Ok suggests the 7-day as she prefers the structure and space given
  • Use the code MEEOK at check out to receive a $200 discount!

To hear from the Shipibo themselves, this is a great 1-hour interview conducted by Dan Cleland, co-founder of Soltara, with four of the maestras and maestros who serve medicine there.

Please note: many facilitators at Soltara work at other centers and are closely tied or apprenticing with other maestros and maestras outside of Soltara. Mee Ok does not endorse these outside healers.

More Information

To arrange a consultation with Mee Ok to learn more about opportunities for deeper healing (and places to avoid or have caveats), send her a note!

additional resources