Ayahyasca Medicine Retreat at Source Peru Retreat Guest Planning
Thank you for your recent booking with Tobias Lars’ Ayahuasca Medicine Retreat at Source Peru! We are looking forward to having you join us here in the majestic and magical Sacred Valley.
This information overview will give you everything you need in order to prepare for your journey with us in the Sacred Valley. If you have any questions after reading this document, please don’t hesitate to contact us before you commit to any travel arrangements. It’s best to be clear on details before booking than to incur great costs to change tickets and plans after the fact.
Here we go!
If you are joining us from outside Peru, you will fly into Lima’s Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM), which is the main international and domestic airport in Peru. You will then transfer through to the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco (CUZ).
It is possible to book with some airlines – such as LAN and Avianca – straight from your departure location to Cusco. Other airlines will only get you as far as Lima and then you will have to book a flight to Cusco with one of the local Peruvian airlines. Sometimes this works out cheaper, but you do run the risk of losing your flight to Cusco if you have travel delays getting into Lima. And the same would apply in reverse – if you have delays leaving Cusco you could lose your flight from Lima. Booking with the same airline, where possible, will assure that your subsequent flights are taken care of in the event of delays.
You may wish to make your travel arrangements through an online consolidator such as Kayak.com, Travelocity.com, or Expedia.com as they will handle all through bookings from your point of origin to Cusco. By checking with them you may also gain access to discounted travel that you wouldn’t otherwise find by booking directly with an airline.
This will allow room for any possible travel delays – which are fairly common coming into CUZ – and ensure that you will join us on time. Do not be tempted to catch an early morning flight from Lima to Cusco on the day of your retreat.
Note that it is common for Sacred Valley-bound travelers to arrive at the Lima airport late in the day and have an overnight layover before continuing on to Cusco. If this is the case for your itinerary, we can recommend a few hotels in the Lima area. There are very few hotels in the immediate airport vicinity that are appealing. The nicer areas are 30-60min from the airport; however, most reputable hotels will arrange for airport transfers to their location for you.
The group shuttle (included in your retreat) leaves Source Peru for CUZ at noon on the last day, which will have you at the airport between 1:30-2:00pm, barring any unforeseen delays.
If you would like to explore the Sacred Valley as part of your experience – and we highly recommend taking the time to do so – we suggest you add extra days to your trip at the end of the retreat. Source Peru is centrally located in the Sacred Valley very close to a number of wonderful historical sites, including magical Machu Picchu, which is an experience not to be missed. If you would like assistance planning some adventures or activities in the Sacred Valley, let us know. We have an extensive network of travel and tourism suppliers to choose from and are happy to help.
Cusco Travel, Hotels & Ground Transportation
Regardless of what the airlines tell you, when you arrive in Lima, ensure that you pick up your checked luggage, carry it to the check in counter for your next flight and re-check it onward to Cusco. If you do not claim your bags and recheck them in Lima, they will NOT make it to Cusco with you. There are no exceptions here.
On arrival at the airport in Cusco, claim your bags from the carousel and proceed outside the airport where you will see a number of taxis waiting. Choose whichever feels right for you and be sure to negotiate your fare from CUZ to your destination before getting into the cab. As a general rule, the ride from the airport to the city center will cost approximately S/.12. If the driver wants to charge you much more than this, choose another taxi and negotiate again.
Because you will be arriving before the first day of the retreat you can either stay in a hotel in Cusco or you can opt to stay somewhere in the Sacred Valley (for example if you wished to visit Machu Picchu before the retreat).
If you stay in Cusco, we have a range of hotel recommendations depending upon your budget and style preferences. For a few suggestions, please explore:
- Hostal MamaSara (directly across from the shuttle meet location)
- The Tierra Viva Hotels
- El Balcón (their sister hotel in Ollantaytambo will give you a discount as well)
We always recommend checking www.booking.com for possibly better pricing than directly from the hotels themselves.
If you choose to stay in the Valley, let us know where you’ll be staying and we’ll make arrangements for a taxi to pick you up and bring you here on the first day of the retreat at your cost of approximately $27-30.
If you’re spending the night in Cusco, the shared shuttle will transport you to Source Peru on the first day of your retreat. In order to optimize pickup from the dozens of different hotels being used by our guests in Cusco, we ask that everyone meet at a central location in the heart of Cusco. Taxis in Cusco are very inexpensive and you can expect to pay between S/.3 to S/.5 soles for a ride from your hotel to the meet location with your luggage. As always, we recommend that you agree upon the fare with the Taxi driver before getting in the vehicle and find a new Taxi if it’s anything more than the recommended rate.
The meet location is just 4 blocks up from the Plaza de Armas, which is the tourist center of Cusco, and many hotels are close by.
You can tell the taxi driver that you’re going to “la parada de buses enfrente del Hostal MamaSara arriba en Calle Saphy, donde esta el grifo.” There is a gas station there as a landmark as well.
Shuttle Pickup Date/Time: First day of your retreat @ 8:30am
Please be on time! The shuttle will leave once all expected guests are accounted for OR at 8:45am, whichever comes first. If you miss this shuttle, you are responsible to arrange and pay for your own taxi transportation to Source Peru.
Please note that a group shuttle from Source Peru back to Cusco (included in your retreat price) will depart at 12:00pm the day after the last ceremony in your retreat.
Accommodations at Source Peru
The majority of our rooms are shared accommodations. Each guest will be assigned their own incredibly comfy 90cmx200cm bed in a room that sleeps two guests. You will most likely have a roommate. If you haven’t already done so, please let us know if you are traveling with someone and would like to be roomed together. Beds are luxuriously outfitted with two pillows, high thread count sheets, a thick duvet, and extra warm alpaca wool blankets. It does get chilly at night so please feel free to request additional blankets. Though you are allocated space in one of our guest rooms, you are always welcome to stay and sleep in the temple when each ceremony ends.
- Purified drinking water is available 24/7 via water dispensers and sink-mounted filtration systems.
- A selection of hot teas, including Mate de Coca, are available 24/7
- Gourmet breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are provided for the duration of your retreat. Meals will be lovingly prepared with fresh vegetables, fruits, chicken, fish, and grains grown right here in the Sacred Valley. Some meals may not be served depending on the proximity to scheduled ceremonies. For example, on Ayahuasca ceremony days only breakfast and lunch are served, with fruit and tea available to supplement. Meals will adhere to the principles of recommended Ayahuasca food restrictions. Please ensure that you’ve advised us of any dietary restrictions you may have as soon as possible (gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, etc.)
- The main lodge accommodations share two large, beautifully appointed bathrooms equipped with flush toilets, sinks, and 24/7 hot water showers. The men’s bathroom is on one level and the women’s is on the other.
- You will receive a plush towel and washcloth that can be exchanged when ready for replacement. Please keep the environment in mind and only request replacements when you really need them.
- In the ceremony space you will be provided a mat, pillow, blankets, tissue and a bucket for your medicine ceremonies. Earplugs and eye masks are available upon request.
- Laundry Service is included in your retreat but keep in mind it can take 2 days for your laundry to be returned as we line-dry everything.
- The Main Lodge has an extensive library and games area with a broad range of books, tarot cards, board games and card games for use while onsite. Please feel free to borrow any books or games that call out to you while you’re staying with us, but kindly return them at the end of your visit for others to enjoy.
- Massage by individual arrangement (from $60/hr and up, paid in cash directly to the therapist)
Power in Peru is 220v 60hz. Plugs at our center have been installed to accept both US standard style plugs as well as Peruvian. Most electronics with AC/DC Power Supplies will have no problems as most supplies are already configured for 110-240v. Please read your electronic product’s description to be sure before you plug anything in! If you have any doubts just ask and the staff will be happy to help!
Important Note: 110V AC only electronics WILL short circuit without a converter. …hair dryers make an especially impressive flashcracklesmoke! We have a small supply of 220v-120v converters available if you didn’t bring one and would like to preserve your appliance.
High-speed Internet/Email access is available 24/7 via WiFi. However, we strongly recommend that overall Internet usage be kept to a minimum and contact with the outside world should be kept limited whenever possible. Allow yourself this time to focus on you!
We have full Cell Phone and Data Network coverage at the center. Please check with your carrier for International access if you plan to use your mobile phone in Peru. If you have an unlocked phone, there is a Claro office in the Lima airport directly across from the security entrance to pass through to the departure gates. They are open 24/7 and you can purchase a SIM card there.
The Sacred Valley has basically two seasons: Dry and Rainy. You can travel during any time of year here, provided that you are prepared with appropriate clothing and footwear. The busier months tend to be the drier months, which happen to coincide with traditional “summer holidays” in North America and Europe.
Dry Season (mid April – October)
This is our winter, characterized by sunny, dry days and clear, dry nights, with night time temperatures often hovering just above freezing, particularly in June and July.
The temperature will fluctuate between an average of 70F (17C) during the day and 32F (0C) at night. You can expect to be comfortable in a t-shirt and pants during the day and will need to add warmer layers – possibly even a down jacket – once the sun goes down. The skies will typically be clear at night and the stargazing here is phenomenal.
The sun is noticeably more powerful at altitude and direct sun exposure will feel quite intense. Skin can burn very quickly so donning protection is important. Although rain is possible during the dry season, it is uncommon. For these reasons, the dry season is one of the busiest times to travel to the Sacred Valley.
Wet Season (October – mid April)
The lush, green summer season sees the most rainfall in January and February. During this time of year it’s usually clear, dry and sunny most mornings with outbursts of heavy rain in the afternoons, though rainfall can come at any time. The daily temperatures are typically mild – averaging 64F (18C) during the day – and see a much lesser drop at night – in the range of 48F (9C). The rainfall can be a deterrent for some travelers, but the vegetation loves it and we reap the benefits of a beautiful lush, green region in contrast to the arid brown/grey feel of the dry season.
Regardless of when you come to stay with us, we recommend you bring a variety of clothes that you can layer in order to stay comfortable:
The bugs are not too bad here but there are tiny flying insects that often bite the arms and legs. You won’t feel them biting, but you will notice the itching a day later so you may want to bring a form of insect repellent and your preferred form of bite-relief.
Vaccinations, Medical, etc.
You will not need vaccinations or malaria pills to visit the Sacred Valley; however, check with your home country before you leave to ensure that you are aware of any vaccinations or requirements to return home from Peru (some countries require proof of Yellow Fever vaccination after visiting Peru…even though Yellow Fever is a concern in the Amazon and not in our area)
There is a fully equipped hospital 6 miles from the center. We have 24/7 access to transportation if a serious medical condition should arise.
If you are taking any medications or drugs whatsoever, you need to have disclosed them on your application form. If you didn’t tell us about everything, we need to know about them now.
We take medical and medicinal contraindications very seriously for your own safety and that of the others involved in the retreat.
We very strongly recommend that you eliminate the following foods from your diet for at least two weeks before, during, and two weeks after your retreat. Longer abstinence is better:
That should be enough information to help you plan for your time with us. If you have any questions or concerns that weren’t addressed here, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Tobias, Beth and the entire Source Peru team