-- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS --
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:
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) and your yoga mat (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.
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:
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
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 Fridays and Mondays, to the growing translucent community staying and living around the Sacred Valley. Check the dates of the Ayahuasca Ceremonies.
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).
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.
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 $300 USD at a time, so please plan accordingly.
Credit cards are normally accepted in hotels, restaurants, and stores in the city of Cusco and Lima, but not in Pisac. You can change traveler checks or go to the bank in Cusco or Lima, but again, not in Pisaq. We do not accept traveler checks either.
You can exchange your dollars in every town and sometimes pay directly in dollars. The exchange rate is around 3.20 peruvian soles per US$ 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.
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.
Staying extra days?
We invite you to stay several days after your Ayahuasca retreat, 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.