The safety of our guests is paramount. All the healers and facilitators who work at the Temple of the Way of Light have many years of experience holding ayahuasca ceremonies and overseeing the responsible use of ayahuasca in its traditional context.
Your well-being is our priority, both in and out of ceremony, as we guide you through deep personal healing and growth. We provide a caring, contained, and protected environment to work with ayahuasca and ensure your welfare at all times.
What is the best time of year to come to the Temple?
The weather in this area of the Amazon is pretty consistent year-round with a mix of sunshine, clouds, occasional rain and thunderstorms, and hot humid air in the day, cooling down quite a bit a night. January-June is considered the rainy season here so it tends to be a bit cooler, with more frequent rains (but sunny days nonetheless). There are generally more mosquitos during the rainy season. The mosquitoes and rain subside a bit in June-December with hotter temperatures, though thunderstorms are still a common occurrence. Regardless of when you come, we recommend coming prepared for all conditions as the temperatures/conditions can vary greatly from day to day and week to week and there is no way to predict this. Please ensure you have lightweight long sleeve shirts and pants and clothes appropriate for the heat during the day, a warm sweater or sweatshirt and warm socks for at night, and rain gear.
Where is the Temple located?
The Temple of the Way of Light is located in the Amazon basin, in the Loreto region of Peru, a few hours journey by bus, boat, and hike from the city of Iquitos.
How do I get to the Temple?
In order to come to the Temple you would need to fly into Iquitos International Airport. We recommend booking your flights for one day before and after the start and end date of your retreat to first allow yourself time to acclimatize to the environment and then allow yourself ample travel time and time to reintegrate into the “mainstream” world once the workshop has ended.
**Please do not book flights or make any travel arrangements until your registration and medical information has been reviewed and you have been approved to attend a retreat.**
Each retreat group will be picked up on the first morning of the retreat at a designated pickup location in central Iquitos by one of our staff members and then travel to the Temple together from there. The group will be brought back into Iquitos after breakfast on the last morning of the retreat and will arrive in town by early afternoon (usually 2pm at the latest).
The price of a Temple retreat includes transportation from the group pickup place in Iquitos to the Temple on the first morning of the retreat and transportation back to Iquitos on the last morning of the retreat. The price does not include any flights, hotel costs, or transportation to the group pickup on the first morning.
What is your refund policy?
As long as you notify us of your date change or cancellation at least 8 weeks prior to the start of your retreat, we will be able to transfer your registration and payment to a later retreat, offer you a full credit towards any of our retreats (valid for one year from the original start date of your retreat), or we can issue you a refund back to your original payment source (less $100 cancellation fee).
If we are provided less than 8 weeks notice prior to the start of your retreat, we will only be able to transfer your registration and payment to a later retreat, offer you a full credit towards any of our retreats (valid for one year from the original start date of your retreat), or issue you a refund back to your original payment source (less $100 cancellation fee) if we are able to fill your vacated space in the retreat.
You may read our full Terms & Conditions here.
Is it safe to drink ayahuasca at the Temple?
Safety is our primary concern and we have facilitated thousands of guests on our retreats without any deaths or significant medical emergencies since 2007.
Please see the following pages on our website regarding our safety protocols and ceremony environment:
My family has a history of psychological disorder. Is it safe for me to drink ayahuasca?
The right and appropriate use of ayahuasca in the tradition facilitated by the Temple has been specifically utilized with tremendous results for the support and improvement of psychological trauma and it’s resultant symptomatology. At the same time, those clients with a close or strong family history of Bipolar Mood Disorder, Schizophrenia, or Depersonalization should realize they themselves are at an increased risk for the expression of these symptoms, and it is conceivable that ayahuasca can unmask such symptoms in predisposed individuals. Consequently, persons who meet this criteria should undertake this type of work with due consideration and at their own risk.
Do I need to get any vaccinations before coming to the Temple?
The subject of vaccinations is a bit controversial. Click here for the suggested vaccines you would need from the Center for Disease Control.
Vaccines are not required for entry into Peru and there is no contraindication between vaccinations and ayahuasca. The Temple is not in a position to recommend or not recommend vaccinations, so we offer this for only your information and suggest that you discuss your concerns further with your travel clinic or with your doctor.
How prevalent is malaria at the Temple and should I take anti-malarial medication?
Although malaria is uncommon in our area, the active season is during the rainy season from December/January to May/June where the risk factor does increase. However, there have been some isolated cases at other times of year, so you do need to weigh the risks personally. Please note that the strain of malaria most common around Iquitos is vivax, which is a weaker form and usually easily treated for most healthy individuals.
For those who want to take pharmaceutical anti-malarial medication, Malarone (atovaquone/proguanil) shows no contraindications when taken in conjunction with ayahuasca.
Lariam is NOT recommended due to it’s inherent potential neuropsychiatric risks, which may be increased in combination with ayahuasca. Doxycycline is also NOT recommended as a malaria preventative in conjunction with ayahuasca due to potential negative physical interactions. Please note that some antimalarial medications, such as Lariam, have been associated with neuropsychiatric effects — including anxiety, hallucinations, depression, unusual behavior, and suicidal ideation — that might be particularly problematic if you are going to drink ayahuasca.
Is it better to come alone or with my partner/spouse?
We have had many couples come to our retreats together. This is generally fine for mature couples who are able and willing to give one another the space they may need during the retreat without needing to interfere in one another’s process. Doing a retreat together can be very healing for the relationship if it is approached wisely.
Some couples do choose to come to retreats separately, recognizing that their relationship dynamic may make it difficult to participate in a retreat together. This is ok too, and can be beneficial if the individuals in the couple recognize that they may be able to go deeper into their process if they participate in retreats separately.
Is there a laundry service at the Temple?
We provide a laundry service free of charge to all of our guests. Laundry is handwashed onsite and air-dried. It can take several days to get laundry dried when it is raining a lot. We provide linens and towels for each guest.
I have a medical condition, will the Temple be able to accommodate me and is ayahuasca safe for me?
Upon registration, you would complete two comprehensive medical questionnaires which gather information regarding your current health situation and allow us to assess whether the Temple will be able to support you during your medicine journey. Without this, we are unable to confirm whether we would be able to accommodate you at the Temple for a retreat. You may expect to hear back from us anywhere from a day or two or up to a week after your registration has been submitted.
We are not currently able to review medical information prior to registration for a retreat. Our intake process actually takes quite a bit of time for us amongst the team here, and medical intake forms must be linked to a specific program in our booking system. We also take great care to look at as full of a picture as possible with each person coming for a retreat to ensure their safety in drinking medicine in the context of the particular program they are applying for.
Is it possible to come for individual ceremonies or come for a shorter stay than what is available online? Can I come for part of a workshop?
Unfortunately we do not currently accommodate partial stays during our retreats, customized retreat dates, or individual ceremonies. Our retreats are structured as complete programs, so departing early or arriving late wouldn’t allow the healers to complete their work with you or for you to receive the full course of treatment or integration support. We also value the importance of the “container;” in other words, we find that the healing experience is most effective for the everyone in the group when they arrive together and leave together at the end of the retreat.
Do I need to get a visa prior to coming to Peru?
Please check the specific requirements for your country online with the Peruvian Embassy to find out if anything is required beforehand or if you may obtain a visa onsite once you have entered Peru.
Do you offer any discounts or scholarships?
At this time, the Temple is currently rapidly expanding with new retreats and updated buildings and facilities and most of the revenues are being directly reinvested in the Temple to support this growth. These revenues are also critically important in helping to fund our sister NGO, The Chaikuni Institute, and for this reason we are unable to offer any discounts or special payment exceptions at this time.
How can I find the Temple on Google Maps?
Is there electricity, WiFi, or cell phone service at the Temple?
We have recently installed a solar system to power very basic functions in our kitchens (such as lights), but our system only allows for this power to be used very sparingly. Because of this and in order to support the inward journey of our guests, there is no electricity or WiFi available to guests at this time. If you have a device that will need charging, we recommend bringing an extra battery pack or solar charger with you.
There is intermittent cell reception in some areas of the Temple, however this is unreliable in the jungle. While staff do use cell phones in order to communicate with each other, we advise all guests to “unplug” from the outside world during their time at the Temple. This is to offer maximum energy and focus inwards during the retreat as we sincerely feel this makes a huge difference in people’s processes. If you come to one of our retreats, you may give your family our [email protected] email address in the event of an emergency need to reach you during your retreat.
I can't decide which of your retreats is best for me. Do you have any suggestions?
We offer a variety of programs, which all differ in the number of days, number of ceremonies, and whether there are classes or a specific focus (such as on integration, yoga, etc.). Which retreat you choose to come for is really up to you and how you are looking to work with ayahuasca, and which format you feel would suit you the best.
Our 9 and 12 Day Retreats are designed to offer a maximum number of ceremonies within a given time period. Structurally, the 9 Day Retreats are very much the same as the 12 Day Retreats, but with 5 ceremonies instead of 7. These retreats are intense, as deep insights and healing take place in a short amount of time. The integration of all that you have seen and learned through your experience would mostly take place after you have left the Temple.
Our 3 Week Deep Immersion Retreats are for those who wish to combine ceremonies with integrative practices during a longer stay at the Temple. The aim of the Deep Immersion Retreat is to provide guests with a supportive container, conducive for deep healing and transformation, with the tools to sustain positive change.
Our Deep Immersion Retreat is 3 weeks long with 7 ceremonies, and is combined with a variety of classes that support heart and mind training, physical wellbeing and vitality, and cultivating joy and connection, spread throughout the duration of the retreat. These classes are intended to help each guest gain skillful means for improving their overall quality of wellbeing and to integrate their healing journey and insights. The Deep Immersion Retreat typically allows guests the opportunity to manifest their healing in a deep and sustainable way.
Visit this page for more information on the Deep Immersion Retreat
Our 14 Day Ayahuasca, Yoga, Meditation, and Self-Inquiry Retreats are a shorter version of our 3 Week Deep Immersion Retreat (you’ll stay for the first 14 days of a Deep Immersion Retreat and participate in classes and meetings offered during that time as well as the first 5 ceremonies of the Deep Immersion program).
Visit this page for more information on the 14-Day Retreat
We also offer a variety of specialized programs each year. Click here for an Overview of all of the retreats we are currently offering.
Can I volunteer and spend a longer time at your center?
At the moment, we are not offering any scholarships, opportunities for straight exchanges, or volunteer opportunities at the Temple. The Temple is currently expanding with new programs and updated buildings and facilities and most of the revenues are being directly reinvested in the Temple to support this growth. These revenues are also critically important in helping to fund our sister NGO, the Chaikuni Institute.
We do have a 3-month Residency Program, however, we only open the program to past guests of our retreats as it is best for folks to first come to the Temple to begin their journey with the medicine and get to know our space first before exploring the possibility of any future relationship in a service capacity.
If you would like to come to the Temple for a longer stay, you may be interested in our Deep Immersion Program. The Deep Immersion Program is a great opportunity to really deepen your relationship with the medicine as well as to get to know the Temple and the work that we do. You can read more about this program here.
Where does my retreat tuition money go?
The Temple of the Way of Light is a purpose-driven, socially responsible, conscious business that puts people and the planet before profit. The cornerstone of our work is ensuring we operate with authenticity, integrity, and impeccability with a central focus on reciprocating to the people and the land around us here in the Amazon. You can learn more about our conscious business model here.
What happens if my period comes during the retreat?
Regarding menstruation, in many shamanic traditions, including with the Shipibo healers we work with, the energy of menstruation is treated with great respect. Shamanic healers are very sensitive to all energies in ceremony. They sometimes find that the power of menstrual energy can interfere with their work. For this reason, they may ask a woman to sit out a ceremony if her flow is at it’s strongest the night of ceremony, or they may ask simply to reduce the dose of medicine on that particular night. This will depend on what the healers perceive is best for the healing path in the individual and in the group they are working with.
Sitting out of ceremony because of our menstrual cycle can actually be a beautiful experience, especially during a journey at the Temple. You are still able to hear the songs of the shamans from the maloka and have personal time and space to celebrate being a woman in any way that feels right to you. It can be a wonderful opportunity to practice honoring oneself deeply.
It is not necessary to worry about the timing of your cycle nor would we advise booking a retreat around it. If it comes up, it will be part of the journey.
What are the housing/accomodations like?
All of our accommodations are private. For our retreats hosted in Center 1 (9 and 12 Day Retreats), you will have the option of your own tambo (jungle hut) which has a private compost toilet inside. Most guests are in their own tambo unless they are coming with a partner with whom they would like to share.
If you participate in a retreat in the Deep Immersion Center (14 and 23 Day Retreats), you will have a private room in a shared building and will share a compost toilet with a few other guests. We currently cannot accommodate two people in one room in the Deep Immersion Center, however couples can be placed in rooms next to each other.
Both centers provide a central showering area with 3-4 showers.
We provide you with linens for your bed and a towel. These are changed for you several times during the course of a retreat.
If you click on the “Overview of Center” tab on the pages below, you will find some photos and more information about our accommodations:
What types of dietary needs can you accommodate?
While we are able to accommodate certain omissions for guests, it isn’t possible for us to accommodate very specific diet restrictions as we are in a remote location and cooking for large groups, with very limited access to food/markets. We are limited in this way due to our location and the resources available to us, and that because of this, we aren’t able to guarantee specific food requests as centers in other locations may be able to.
The food at the Temple is served according to the predominant Shipibo wisdom around food served with ayahuasca along with influences of local Peruvian cuisine. While we do serve a variety of fruits and vegetables, we are also limited by our location in the jungle (all foods are carried in by foot) and the lack of electricity and hence refrigeration to preserve foods. Our meals are served buffet style. For vegans, breakfast includes chopped fruit, and any combination of cooked oatmeal or quinoa porridge, rice, steamed yucca, and avocados. For lunch and dinners, there is generally rice or quinoa, some form of cooked veggie dish, legumes (lentils, beans, etc.), and a basic salad (sometimes lettuce or cabbage, cucumber, tomato, avocado).
While we can accommodate some special dietary requests, the logistics of running our retreats can make it difficult to honor all of them, particularly from those with acute allergies or sensitivities.
How many facilitators and healers are present in the retreat?
Our retreats are facilitated by 2-3 trained facilitators with a support staff of teachers and ceremony helpers.
The ceremonies in our Deep Immersion and 14-Day Retreats are led by 2 Shipibo healers, with one experienced facilitator, and two assistants present in ceremony, with a maximum of 12 guests sitting in each ceremony.
The ceremonies for our 9 and 12-Day Retreats are led by 5 Shipibo healers, with 2 facilitators, and 2 assistants present in ceremony with a maximum of 23 guests comfortably in our large maloka.
What language is spoken at the retreat?
Our retreats are led in English and we require all guests present in our retreats to speak at least a conversational level of English. Our facilitation team is able to translate between English and Spanish for any communications with the healers. The healers also speak in their indigenous tongue, Shipibo.
I've submitted my registration and medical forms but I haven't heard anything yet. Is there anything I need to do?
Once we receive your registration and medical forms, they are reviewed by our staff within 3-7 days (this is expedited as much as possible for registrations to retreats which are happening soon). You will be notified via email once your registration has been reviewed and whether it has been approved. If you are approved for the retreat, and if you are paying via PayPal, we will then issue you an invoice for your deposit. The only thing for you to do in the meantime is look out for our email!
What is the best type of mosquito repellent to bring? Is it OK to bring DEET?
If mosquitos are a major concern for you, we would suggest bringing one natural repellent without DEET and one with DEET as a backup in case the natural one isn’t working well for you. It is preferable to refrain from using mosquito repellent with DEET during your time with us to support our sustainability initiative and to minimize that amount of toxic chemicals on your body when working with plants, however, we have many guests that choose to use DEET during their time at the Temple, and if you feel more comfortable with this, then that is ok. Please also note that the best protection against mosquitoes is staying covered with light-colored long sleeve shirts, pants, and socks.
All of our buildings (guest housing, dining areas, and ceremony spaces) are screened. Every bed is also covered with a mosquito net for extra protection.
Do you have any recommendations for things to do in Iquitos or other areas of Peru?
Unfortunately we do not have any specific recommendations for things to do in Peru or Iquitos, but we recommend checking Lonely Planet for travel tips and guidance for things to do in this area. We also recommend checking different travel blogs and connecting with people who have visited the area you will be in for insights or suggestions.
How does your waiting list work?
When a space becomes available in a full program, all members of the wait list are notified simultaneously and the space is filled on a first-come first-serve basis. It is difficult for us to say whether a space will open or not – we do occasionally receive last minute cancellations, but it is unpredictable. Just keep an eye on your email for any notifications from us if you join a waitlist.