THE AYAHUASCA AND THE ENERGY FROM THE ANDES
13 DAYS: LIMA, IQUITOS, HELICONIA LODGE, CUSCO, URUBAMBA & MACHUPICCHU
Day 01 LIMA
Arrival in Lima. Reception and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon visit to Colonial and Modern Lima. Guided tour through the historic center of the city. Admire the beauty of San Martin and Major squares, the Cathedral, the Government Palace and visit the Convent of San Francisco and its catacombs, religious building from the end of the XVI century. Drive through the residential districts of San Isidro and Miraflores.
Day 02 LIMA – IQUITOS – HELICONIA AMAZON RIVER LODGE
Transfer to airport for the flight to iquitos. Upon arrival, transfer to the Port of Bellavista Nanay, where we will board a speed boat to the Heliconia Amazon River Lodge via the Amazon River. During this ride, we will be able to observe the convergence of the brown turbid Amazon River with the dark waters of the Nanay River. We will enjoy the impressive jungle landscape and the small, rustic houses of the riverside towns. Arrival at the Lodge and a complimentary jungle drink. Lunch.
In the afternoon, we will start a jungle hike into the Yanamono Reserve, which is a primary rainforest reserve, for approximately two hours accompanied by expert guides, where they will identify various botanical species such as the Heliconia plant, medicinal plants and giant trees such as the White silk-cotton tree, whose dimensions are so large that 25 persons can circle it. During this time, we will also see various birds such as the Turkey Vulture and Black Fronted Nanbird, and with a little luck we will be able to see small monkeys such as marmosets, the Titi Monkey and the Frailes Monkey. Return to the lodge and rest. Free time.
After observing the Amazonia sunset, we will take a night boat ride to the Manco Gulch, if the river is high enough, or along the Amazon River where we will enjoy the magical sounds of the jungle and the light of the moon. Or, if it is a clear night, we can observe the constellations. Return to the Lodge. Meet with the Master Shaman who will explain the Ayahuasca ceremony. Dinner and overnight. (Lunch – Dinner)
* The ceremony of Ayahuasca is an ancestral traditional ceremony that was practiced in different parts of the country for many years mainly by the teachers or priests. For many years, Shamans have used the ¨Ayahuasca ritual¨ as a doorway into the soul. The rite that they preach can heal any spell or any illness from the patient.
Actually the Ayahuasca ceremonies are being developing in many places around Peru. Mostly of them frequently are given in the jungle of Peru; in cities like Pucallpa, Madre de Dios and Puerto Maldonado. The favorite place for Ayahuasca tourists is Iquitos. Another famous location (but one that does not have lodgings) is the jungle Shipibo town of San Francisco. It is famous because it has a huge banner at its entrance that says, “Ceremonial Center of Ayahuasca.” In this peculiar town it is common to see at least a couple of ayahuasqueros in each Shipibo family (settlers of the jungle). Many of these people are able to give housing services in their own houses for local people and for foreign visitors since Ayahuasca is very popular among the indigenous jungle people.
The ability that the shamans have to visualize the evil, illness or spell troubling the patient during the trance is called ¨Arcaneada.¨ Applying their ¨Arcaneada,¨ the shaman locates and identifies the damage and inhales it to cure the patient.
The shamans always try to take precautions to prevent problems with foreign people because they don’t have the same ability to communicate their emotions and feelings before, during and after the ceremonies.
This kind of natural medicine is very different than conventional western medicine. Therefore the shamans ignore warnings about some adverse interactions between the ¨Ayahuasca¨ concoction with some prescription medicines, mainly those which are used to treat AIDS, psychiatric disorders and depression. The Ayahuasca tourists have to be careful about this and always try to prevent negative consequences.
In conclusion, The Ayahuasca festival is an important part of Peruvian history, Peruvian culture, and Peruvian spiritual and economic life. The Ayahuasca tour is sponsored by government ¨Promperu¨ promoting Peruvian jungle tours.
The Ayahuasca ceremony is a ritual that consists of different steps. First, the shaman (healer or wizard) goes alone into the forest to prepare the Ayahuasca concoction. This concoction is a special drink made from four basic plants stirred together; “Chacruna,” “Toé,” “Tabacco” and “Chiric Sanango.” After that, the shaman keeps the concoction to macerate for twelve hours in a bowl. The drink is taken between 9pm and 10pm at night. Then the Shaman turns off the lights, and everyone whom is participating in the ceremony lies down on the jungle floor to wait for the initial effect.
After taking the Ayahuasca concoction, the shaman sings some strange songs in “Quechua” or “Aymara” dialects. These medicinal songs called ¨Icaros¨ allow him to communicate with the plant soul. These songs come directly from the plant spirits, according to the needs and personal problems of the people who are participating in the ceremony. The duration of the trance takes approximately two hours depending on the spiritual state, concentration and physical situation of the participant. The effect of the Ayahuasca concoction consists essentially of transporting the person on a trip outside this physical world. The only thing that maintains the person tied to his body is a small invisible power rope. This power is one that is not seen but felt, like hot air.
The effects of Ayahuasca vary between one ceremony to the next, but often cause emotional acts; vomiting, seeing weird visions of the plant spirits, or figuring out some understanding about your own life. After approximately 4-5 hours the effect decreases, and then it is possible to sleep deeply until the next morning.
The trance allows you to see your past, present, and future life. Although only the shaman can detect what is happening with his patient. The ritual is useful for self-knowledge and when you begin the trip outside your own body, you feel strange and surprised since you notice new things that you had never realized before about your life.
Day 03 HELICONIA LODGE
Early bird watching. We will start off very early and go by boat to Cáceres Gulch or a similar gulch (if it’s high water).
We will be looking out for birds such as the Tuki, Ringed Kingfisher and Black-Collared Hawk.
We will also be able to see the very impressive Victoria Regia (Giant Water Lily) located inside the lakes that are on Yanamono Island (again, if the water level permits). Return to the lodge where a tasty, delicious breakfast will be waiting.
After a brief rest, we will visit a Yagua village where we will have an opportunity to hear about the people’s way of life.
On the return trip to the lodge, we will stop by a sugar cane still where we will have a chance to taste the different drinks they make with the sugar cane rum. Return to the lodge and have lunch.
In the afternoon, we will take a fishing trip into small tributaries of the Amazon River. The most daring can try for Piranhas.During this time we can also look out for the Pink Amazon River Dolphin, which can be very shy. Return to the Lodge. Dinner (people making the ritual will have a special dinner).
10 pm, beginning of the Ayahuasca ritual in a special place selected for this event. The ritual may last until sunrise depending on the number of persons. Overnight at the Lodge. (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner)
Day 04 HELICONIA LODGE
Visit to a riverside town. Breakfast in the Lodge. Full day in a riverside town; where we’ll be able to see the unique way of life of the people who live in this community. Return to the Lodge and rest.
In the afternoon, we will take a trip to the Tahuampas (flooded jungle) by canoe for an hour where we will enjoy the marvelous landscape of the jungle. Dinner (those making the ritual will have a special dinner).
At 10 pm, beginning of the Ayahuasca ritual in a special place selected for this event. The ritual may last until sunrise depending on the number of persons. Overnight at the Lodge. (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner)
Day 05 HELICONIA LODGE – IQUITOS – LIMA
Breakfast. Relax, swimming and recovering in the hammock house. Transfer to the Iquitos airport to take the flight to Lima. Arrive Lima and transfer to your hotel. (Breakfast)
Day 06 LIMA – CUSCO
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Cuzco. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Afternoon city tour of Cuzco and Inca ruins. Evening presentation by the Master Shaman. He will introduce the principles of Andean cosmogony and its sacred elements.
We will start the ritual of purification and request the due permission from the Almighty and the Apus or Sacred Peaks (Mountains), to start the pilgrimage to the temples and sacred places that we will visit. (Breakfast)
Day 07 CUSCO
We will commence the pilgrimage in the morning. We will celebrate the “Tinkuy” or encounter with the Gods, and the contact with the three worlds of the Andean cosmogony: Hanan Paccha, Kaypaccha and Hucqu Paccha.
We will then begin the Inca spiritual route, starting with the Temple of Tambomachay. Here, we will do the ritual of purification of the seven “chakras” in the fountains of energy. The seven chakras represent everything around us.
The Inca flag has seven colors, the color red being oneself. The other colors represent what is on your right, left, in front, behind, above and beneath. This ritual is similar to a baptism. We will then proceed to the Fortress of Puca Pucara and the Temple of Laqo (Temple of the Moon), where we will focus our energy at the great altar. Then we will head toward the Altar of Kusilluchayo’q, where we will give an offering to the Pachamama or Mother Earth, and the funerary Temple of Q’e’qo, which has the important meaning of life after death.
Lastly, we will visit the gigantic observatory of Sacsayhuaman, where we will meditate and focus our energy at the Eye of the Puma.
Day 08 CUSCO – MACHU PICCHU
Morning transfer to the train station to head toward Aguas Calientes at the foot of the citadel. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. visit to the sacred citadel of Machu Picchu, considered the essence of wisdom. Here we will commence our ritual “situa” which is the cleansing of our body and soul, and the ordinance of the flow of energy. Prayer of thankfulness to the Andean Gods for the marvels of the citadel. Relaxation at the hot springs in Aguas Calientes. (Breakfast)
Day 09 MACHU PICCHU
Early morning, we return to Machu Picchu to make our offering at the Ritual of the Sun and give thanks to the Inti Father or Sun God. We will then trek to the sacred peak of Huayna Picchu (a moderately difficult trek) to conclude our offering to the elements of the Wind and the Fire. We will do the ancient ceremony of the offerings and intentions thanking the Apus or guardians of the citadel (the mountains) for all the mysteries that were revealed to us and the messages received during our visit. (Breakfast)
Day 10 MACHU PICCHU – URUBAMBA
Morning hike toward Mandor Pampa, a historic place near the citadel since this was where Hiram Bingham first arrived in 1911 in his search for the Lost City of the Incas. Afternoon, return to Aguas Calientes to take the train to Urubamba. Transfer to your hotel. (Breakfast)
Day 11 URUBAMBA – CUSCO
Morning visit to the Temple of Ollantaytambo or the Temple of Love, to thank the Andean Gods and give another offering to the Pachamama and the divine entities. Then we will go to the huge laboratory in Moray, used for agricultural purposes in Inca times. Afternoon, return to Cuzco. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. (Breakfast)
Day 12 CUSCO
Morning visit to the citadel of Pickillacta, to the canals of Tipon and, to finalize the sacred circuit, we will do the ceremony at the sacred lagoon of Huarpacay, where we will make a final offering to the mother Cocha. Afternoon free. (Breakfast)
Day 13 CUSCO – LIMA – HOME
Transfer to the airport to take the flight to Lima. Arrive Lima, connect with your international flight home or continue with the extension of your choice. (Breakfast)