Temple Facilities and Accommodation
The Temple of the Way of Light is located approximately two hours from Iquitos and one hour walk from the nearest river ensuring that we are sufficiently isolated from the noisy roads and river systems around Iquitos. The Temple sits on over 175 hectares of rainforest land which has been placed into the stewardship of our NGO, The Chaikuni Institute. We are surrounded by nothing else than rainforest ensuring peace, solitude and isolation for the deep healing work that is carried out at the Temple. Our buildings are spread out over approximately 10 hectares of our land.
The Temple is also a permaculture centre with numerous projects flourishing across our grounds supporting self-sufficiency and regeneration of the land around with projects focused on reforestation, sustainable ayahuasca production, reforestation, food forests, horticulture and aquaculture systems, solar energy (for operational use in kitchen, etc), pure spring fed drinking water systems, running water showers, integrated waste management (recycling, grey and black water systems, compost toilets, etc), medicinal gardens, successional poly-crop staple food production, biochar soil improvement, and much more!
The Temple consists of three centres;
- Main Centre – where our standard 12 day ayahuasca retreats are carried out.
- Deep Immersion Centre – where we hold our 1 month deep immersion ayahuasca retreats.
- Chaikuni Centre – where work exchange guests and interns stay who are focused on Permaculture and other associated Temple projects.
Each of the three centres are isolated from each other and operate individually, with no noise disturbance or mixing of guests on different workshops / programs. Therefore, whether attending either a 12 day ayahuasca retreat or the deep immersion ayahuasca retreat there is no crossing over of group energies or a ‘busy’ environment.
The three centres have been carefully located over approximately 20 hectares of land to ensure that they are able to operate as separate and secluded facilities.
Main Retreat Center
At the heart of our grounds is the maloka which is the central building and ceremonial centre of the Temple. It is a large circular building of traditional design constructed with local woods with a high domed ceiling covered with native leaf and screened in by mosquito netting. The maloka space is used for ceremonies, meetings, and yoga as well as a quiet space for guests to relax in hammocks. There are mattresses, pillows and floor chairs available in the maloka space for relaxing.
Tambos (Sleeping Huts)
Our accommodation is arranged over 23 tambos sufficiently spread out across the Temple grounds to ensure privacy and space. A tambo is a traditional jungle sleeping hut built from local wood with a native leaf roof and screened in with mosquito netting. Our tambos offer simple but comfortable accommodation for guests and a space where you are able to connect in peace and solitude to the surrounding nature.
Tambos are single or double occupancy subject to the group size and any specific requests. Each tambo has 1 or 2 beds with bedding, mosquito nets over the bed, wooden shelving, a clothes rack, a kerosene lamp, a chair or hammock, a sink, and a compost toilet.
We have no electricity throughout our buildings (except the kitchen for cooking) and we intend to keep it this way – natural, rustic and pure. All tambos have a grey water system from the sink that feeds banana and papaya trees. Please bring only bio-degradable soaps, shampoos and toothpastes. We change linen twice during the 12 day ayahausca retreat although will change again if needed.
The dining room is a traditional large building built from local woods with a native leaf roof and screened in with mosquito netting. We can seat up to 30 people where all guests and workshop staff all eat together. The dining room is also a communal space for guests and occasional meetings. In the corner of the dining room there is a growing library of interesting books donated by previous guests available for use during your stay at the Temple. There is also a balcony to the northern side of the room that looks out over one of the streams that feeds the reservoir next to the maloka.
The kitchen is attached to the dining room, and is used solely by four cooks to prepare meals for guests according to the ayahuasca dieta and food for the staff. Meals are served daily for breakfast, lunch & dinner (except ceremony nights).
The maestras’ casa (house) is where the maestras reside communally whilst they are living & working at the Temple. It comprises of a sleeping accommodation, a terrace, the maestras kitchen and an area for preparing medicinal plant remedies. There is a natural spring situated in front of the building. The terrace is where treatments, massages & medicines are administered by the maestras daily throughout the workshop. Vomitivos and steam baths also take place in front of the maestras’ casa at the beginning of the retreat.
The maestros’ Casa is the first building seen when entering the Temple grounds and faces the maloka. The maestros reside here communally whilst they are working at the Temple. It comprises of a living space, compost toilet and deck where the maestros are often found relaxing during the day lying on their hammocks, whittling pipes, smoking mapacho and discussing the events of the current workshop.
The ethno-hospital is a space where members of local communities close to the Temple can come for free healing provided by the maestras and maestros, as an alternative to Western medicine and save having to travel into Iquitos.
Almacén (storage building)
The almacén is the Temple’s equipment and supplies storage facility, used solely by the Temple staff. We have one adjacent to the kitchen and another next to the kitchen.
Toilet and Shower Block
The toilet and shower block is for guest and staff use and is located next to the maloka. It is built from brick with a leaf roof and contains three cubicles each with a compost toilet and shower area with running water. The toilets are always staffed during ceremonies and are cleaned throughout the day and every ceremony evening until the ceremony has ended.
There are also another two showers and cloth washing area located across a bridge next to the moloka. All grey waste from the showers runs through a natural two stage waste treatment system ending in a large banana and papaya circle.
We have built a reservoir next to the maloka that is fed by 3 springs with clean water. It is constantly flowing and safe to swim in.
Deep Immersion Centre
Smaller than the maloka in the main centre, this ceremonial space has been built to hold ceremonies for up to 14 guests. It is located behind a hill around 500 meters from the main maloka to ensure that we can hold ceremonies in parallel without any noise disturbance in either maloka.
There are two large buildings containing fifteen individual bedrooms in total (one building has five and the other ten), a kitchen, a living and dining area, toilets and showers. The bedrooms have single beds, a writing desk, chair, shelves, mosquito netting, bed linen and private terraces looking out to the back of the centre into the trees. Surrounding the two casas grandes there are vegetable gardens, flowers, native and non-native plants and many medicinal plants.
Separated building, near the two casa grandes, with two separate rooms for one maestra and one maestro and a Shipibo style kitchen. This building is specifically for healers on the Deep Immersion Ayahuasca Retreat and is located very close to all other buildings which enables much contact with the healers throughout the workshops.
The Chaikuni Centre
Our third centre has a separated maloka and then a pentagon shaped retreat centre comprised of three accommodation buildings, a kitchen, a dining room and the toilet and showers blocks.
The centre contains many permaculture features with rainwater harvesting, grey waste systems, and solar energy to come by the end of 2013. All buidlings are symetrically built facing inwards towards a mandala style vegetable, herb and medicinal plant garden and surrounded by the rainforest.
The Chaikuni maloka is situated 100 meters away from the pentagon shaped centre and serves as a space for ayahuasca ceremonies as well as alternative healing practices such as Yoga, Taiji and Qigong.