Why Are Ayahuasca Retreats in Costa Rica So Popular?

By now, we’d bet you know someone who’s been to an ayahuasca retreat in Costa Rica. And as an organization that’s been hosting these sacred plant medicine ceremonies in Costa Rica for years, we’ve seen just how popular this powerful, clean, and sacred land has become to host an ayahuasca retreat.

Costa Rica is one of the few places known as a blue zone worldwide. This association means the area’s people are the happiest, healthiest, and have the longest life spans of people across the globe.

As you pair the peace and energy of this place, plus the ease of arriving at a Costa Rica ayahuasca retreat, with the power of the medicine itself, it’s no wonder this destination is becoming so popular. 

Before we dive into ayahuasca and Costa Rica, we’ll bring you up to speed about what ayahuasca is, what an ayahuasca retreat can be, and why people would want to sit in this potentially life-changing environment.

What is Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca is a sacred plant medicine brew that has been used by indigenous people in South America for millennia. It’s also gaining popularity as a teacher and tool for personal development, therapeutic benefits, and an alternative healing experience in the modern world.

The effects of ayahuasca can be deeply transformative and give people clarity into their lives and situations, but they can also bring up difficult or painful memories. This means it’s important to choose an ayahuasca retreat center that offers quality care and will support you through any potentially challenging effects of your experience with this potent psychedelic tea.

What is an Ayahuasca Retreat?

An ayahuasca retreat gives a person the opportunity to participate in multiple ayahuasca ceremonies over several days or weeks. While we pair our plant medicine ceremonies with preparation and integration and a curated group of like-hearted, like-minded people to support your breakthroughs in your day-to-day, that isn’t always the case.

While we’ll be talking about the Costa Rica ayahuasca retreat space, these plant medicines retreats are happening worldwide, regardless of whether ayahuasca is legal in a particular place.

Why Do People Participate in Ayahuasca Retreats?

The best ayahuasca retreats are safe places to explore the nature of your existence and how you relate to the rest of the world. They can provide you with a sense of community and belonging. And at 1heart, the medicine of our community is as transformative and empowering as the plant medicines themselves.

Who you find yourself in an ayahuasca ceremony with can drastically influence your journey. We curate our container and extend invites to those we believe will show up fully for themselves, for the medicine, and for our community.

People come to this type of plant medicine ceremony because they’re seeking support or guidance through major life transitions, like selling or starting a new venture. They may have gone through something challenging and are coming out the other side and intend to receive clarity on their next steps. Others might be curious; having heard about an ayahuasca experience, they want to see for themselves what an experience with sacred psychedelic tea is all about.

We’ve seen people come to our transformational ayahuasca retreat for many different reasons. But the theme remains universal. People who attend 1heart are looking to level up their lives.

Whether personally, professionally, spiritually, or otherwise, a person comes to us looking to gain support and clarity on what’s next for them. And our 150 5-star reviews speak for themselves. People leave the 1heart experience getting the guidance and medicine they need to grow, which doesn’t always align with what they were hoping to receive.

Why Are Ayahuasca Retreats in Costa Rica So Popular?

Costa Rica is a beautiful, slower-moving, peaceful place to be. To visit Costa Rica is a gift you can give yourself. But to combine an adventure into this blue zone while pairing the transformation of an ayahuasca retreat is a gift that can forever alter your course in the best ways possible.

Here are some reasons why ayahuasca retreats in Costa Rica are gaining popularity:

  • Getting to Costa Rica offers easier access than sitting with plant medicine in Brazil or Peru. Given the normal nervous energy that can accompany sitting in an ayahuasca ceremony, not adding extra travel nerves to your journey can support you in coming to a ceremony with more ease and readiness rather than stress and angst.
  • The natural beauty of Costa Rica makes it easy to relax, enjoy yourself and get your mind off the busyness that accompanies an urban jungle. There’s a special, unspeakable quality of sitting in an ayahuasca retreat as you’re bordered by mountains, an ocean, lake, river, or jungle. Settling into the pace of nature at any point in an ayahuasca experience can be transformative.
  • Pura Vida. It’s the country’s ethos, and it means “simple life” or “pure life.” Being one of the happiest countries in the world without an army affects the density and heaviness, or lack thereof, permeating the entire country and its people. The place has a sense of safety, cleanliness, and high-vibrational energy that supports the ease at which a person can align with this empowering and ineffable frequency.
  • Getting away from local options can bring you a sense of peace before, during, and after your retreat. As you step away from the high-speed, high-paced urban setting into a natural environment, you become immersed in the energy of peace, connection, stillness, and a natural ease nature always have to offer.
  • Costa Rica is a more developed country which means it can offer more amenities to support an ayahuasca retreat. Things like eco-luxe homes, modern plant medicine campuses, new yoga shalas, well-kept malocas, expansive food halls, and more complement a retreat. These can show you that heading into the jungles to sit with ayahuasca is no longer needed as medicine brings itself to the modern world.

Different Costa Rica Ayahuasca Retreats

As we’ve shared, Costa Rica is a popular place to host a sacred medicine retreat to support a person’s healing journey for numerous reasons. Beautiful accommodations plus frequent flights attract not only a person like you but high-quality facilitators and healers. And ceremony leaders with strong morals, good ethics, and integrity only support you in your transformational healing process.

That said, you can find yourself in different types of ayahuasca ceremonies throughout Costa Rica.

Some, like 1heart, offer an all-inclusive ayahuasca retreat. Organizations such as ours offer healing and transformative experiences inside and outside of the ayahuasca journey. We cover lodging, meals, high-quality ceremony guides, and other necessary elements for your journey into self-discovery and spiritual healing.

Other retreat centers, like Lotus Vine Journeys, pair Buddhism with ayahuasca. This wellness retreat offers both ayahuasca and Kambo sessions and numerous meditation classes. These on-site events can support a person in their spiritual awakening due to the Buddhist nature they tie into their healing center. Nada Brahma Healing Center is another retreat that pairs mindfulness activities with multiple medicinal plants.

Other places like Soltara Healing Center and Ayahuasca Costa Rica also work with indigenous healers and hold a sacred space to create an intimate experience in a harmonic environment that can lead to profound self-exploration.

Best Practices for Choosing a Quality Ayahuasca Retreat Center

There are dozens of variables to consider when choosing a retreat center. Here are 11 tips, framed as questions, for you to consider as you look into a Costa Rica ayahuasca retreat (or any plant medicine retreat, for that matter):

  1. Do they have a preparation program?
  2. What does their integration process look like?
  3. How was the on-site programming designed? What will you do outside of an ayahuasca ceremony?
  4. What goes into the curation of their guests? Is there an interview process or can anyone attend who meets the basic medical checklist?
  5. How are they nurturing their community of participants before, during, and after the retreat?
  6. Are they upfront about the reviews they’ve received? If you have to search hard to find what people are saying, don’t pass a blind eye to that.
  7. Do their accommodations make me feel at ease and safe?
  8. How long have their facilitators been doing this work? And what’s their relationship to their own healing journey?
  9. Are things done or put together with love? Or is there a chaotic, random, indifferent air to the structure of the retreat?
  10. What roles do safety and integrity play in their retreat?
  11. How do they bring out the fun and playfulness in the group? Or are these expressions not allowed at this retreat?

Our Closing Ceremony on an Ayahuasca Retreat in Costa Rica

The blue zone of Costa Rica is infectious in empowering ways. The people of Costa Rica have a plan de vida, a reason to live. And they combine that with a focus on family and community, regular time in the sun, keeping hard at work, and embracing a common history.

And then you add modern, beautiful accommodations with a low-stress way to arrive at these lush lands, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for the emergence of ayahuasca retreats.

Costa Rica ayahuasca retreats are popping up left, right, and center. And this retreat space is only gaining in popularity. We’ve been around for over five years and have seen the space grow immensely. If you’re feeling the call to sit in an ayahuasca retreat in Costa Rica, look no further than 1heart. 

Apply for our next transformational ayahuasca retreat in Costa Rica


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