There are so many questions that may come to mind as you’re pondering joining us for an upcoming Heart of the Mother Retreat.   We hope that you’ll find the information you’re looking for here ~ if you have an additional question, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page to send your inquiry to us directly.

If you are looking for specific information about the Sacred Valley Retreat, please click HERE!  If you are looking for specific information about the Costa Rica Retreat, please click HERE!


Q:  How often do you hold retreats?

A:  At this time, we offer retreats once per year, most years. We look forward to continuing to grow this work in an organic way, and are considering new locations as well.

Q:  I can’t make it to your upcoming retreat / I am currently in Peru / I am currently in Costa Rica ~ I am curious if you offer other ceremonies that I can attend instead?  

A:  We do not live in Peru or Costa Rica year round, and travel there only for the retreats we offer.  We do not usually arrange additional ceremonies beyond those we offer during our retreats.  We also do not open our retreat ceremonies to those not attending a retreat with us, as we wish to maintain the community connection during our time together.  In addition, we are not able to offer referrals to other ceremonies happening in Peru and Costa Rica.  

Q:  I am excited to work with plant medicines, but can’t come to Peru or Costa Rica at all.  Can you refer me to participate in this work in another location?

A:  We receive many inquiries about this, and we are not able to offer any referrals.  Plant medicine work is not honored and respected in every country, and while that is unfortunate and may change in the future, at this time we ONLY offer retreats in places where the work is held sacred and respected.

Q: There are lots of retreats, what makes Heart of the Mother Retreats different?

A:   There are many retreats available in the world today ~ yoga retreats, cleansing retreats, adventure retreats, and definitely Plant Medicine retreats! With so many options, it can be challenging to find the right option for your needs. After all, a retreat is more than just a vacation, it’s an opportunity to take the time just for YOU, and you should find the retreat that fits ALL that you are looking for!

There are six essential elements that make our retreats stand out:

You can read more about this HERE!

Q:  What if I need extra support?

A:  It is our priority to provide the support that our participants need. We hold group integration sessions following every ceremony, which allow plenty of space for participants to share about their experiences.  We also offer each participant the opportunity to have private integration sessions in addition to the group sessions, as that can often be a powerful way of working with the shifts that inevitably come during the retreat. In addition, we encourage you to consider working with an integration counselor from our team if you feel the need for extra support before and/or after the retreat. You can learn more about integration counseling HERE!

Q:  What about extra support in terms of healing modalities?  Is it possible to have a massage or other kind of healing work during the retreat?

A:  In both the Sacred Valley and Costa Rica, we are connected with a variety of body work providers and energy healers who are experienced in supporting people during retreats, and we can connect you with someone to set up a session during your retreat.  Most of the time, healing arts practitioners will come to our retreat center to offer their work for our groups, making it very easy!

Q:  What kinds of things will we be doing on the retreat besides ceremonies?

A:  Lots of wonderful things are offered as a part of the retreat!  We will offer daily meditation sessions and yoga classes.  We also offer a variety of excursions during our retreats ~ these are a wonderful way to explore the countryside, and to connect with nature and each other.  We sometimes also enjoy special guests as well as healing arts practitioners (massage, acupuncture, etc).  All these offerings are optional, and many are included with your registration fees.

Q:  Will I have time to rest, be alone, and explore the area?

A:  Yes, absolutely!  We have planned in ample rest time, especially on ceremony days.  In addition, all the events, excursions, and yoga classes are optional.  We want each participant to have the space and time to take care of themselves, and we support that completely!


Q:  Where will we be staying? 

A:  Accommodations can vary considerably when travelling in other cultures, and some of the differences are intriguing, while others are just plain challenging.  We know the value of a quiet room, a soft bed, a hot shower, and a good meal.  One of the essential elements of Heart of the Mother Retreats is attention to comfort.  We choose beautiful retreat centers and hotels that offer wonderful comforts to make you feel at home while also embracing the uniqueness of the cultures we are experiencing.

Q:  What should I bring?

A:  We will send a full list of suggested items to you upon finalizing your registration.  In general, we encourage participants to travel lightly, as there are many opportunities to purchase local artesania and handcrafts to take home.  If you’re joining us in Peru, you may need a variety of clothes due to the dramatic fluctuations of the temperature and weather on any given day.  In Costa Rica, however, it’s usually pretty hot, and you can come prepared for tropical weather.  It can be fun to bring art supplies, a journal, or a musical instrument.  You can also bring something sacred to you to place on the altar.  It is best if you bring along whatever toiletries, personal care items, and supplements that you use, as these things can be hard to find in the places we’ll be staying.

Q:  Can I have a single room?

A:  We are happy to offer both single and shared occupancy for most of our retreats.  The base cost of the retreat includes shared accommodations.  Many people inquire about having a private room, however, it can be really wonderful to share such a deep experience with a roommate and fellow journeyer.  Many people forge lasting bonds with their roommates on retreats like this, and we love to encourage this kind of connection.  With that said, there are usually a limited number of private rooms available, and if you want to secure yours, please register early.

Q:  I have a special diet ~ vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, etc ~ and wonder if you can accommodate my needs?

A:  All meals at our retreats are vegetarian.  Special diets are no problem.  We are happy to accommodate special diets as long as you notify us of your needs during registration.  Our Managing Director, Helene Garrovillo, who is also a master chef, works with our retreat centers and hotels to craft delicious menus using the best fresh and organic produce available.  This guarantees that we will enjoy wonderful meals that are also lovingly prepared to support the necessary diet that best supports our work.


Q:  What is Ayahuasca?

A:  Ayahuasca is visionary tea that has been used for thousands of years by a variety of tribes in the Amazon Basin to expand awareness and facilitate healing.  Considered a plant medicine and sacrament, Ayahuasca is also known as la purga – the purge – for the powerful cleansing purges it brings.  While the people of the Amazon work with thousands of healing plants and teaching plants, Ayahuasca is considered the master of them all, often called Mother Ayahuasca, or Abuelita, Grandmother.  A good place to start learning more about our approach to this work is HERE

Q. What is San Pedro?

A:  If Ayahuasca is the Grandmother, San Pedro is the Grandfather.  It has been embraced and honored as a healing plant in the Andes for thousands of years, and is a wonderful companion to healing work with Ayahuasca.  Opening a profound connection with nature and the present moment, this cactus medicine is both expansive and grounding, and deeply embodied.  Ceremonial work with San Pedro is done during the day in a quiet, natural setting, and provides a wonderful process of integration when accompanying a series of Ayahuasca ceremonies.

Q:  Who is leading the ceremonies?

A:  The ceremonies are led by facilitators and supporters with many years of training, experience, and devotion to working with these medicines.  Our facilitators are dedicated to providing a safe, sacred, and loving space for deep personal work to unfold, and their primary concern is the well being and support of each participant.  While one person leads the ceremony, there are usually several people present to assist with the ceremony and help participants if needed.  Several of our supporters are licensed therapists who have a longstanding personal relationship with plant medicine work, and who are prepared to skillfully and lovingly support anything that arises during ceremonies.  To learn more about our team, please click HERE!

Q:  Is plant medicine a drug?

A:  Just to be clear, Ayahuasca and San Pedro are NOT drugs, a DMT trip, a cure-all, a shortcut to enlightenment, or a recreational experience.  Plant medicines can support physical and psycho-emotional cleansing, offering guidance and expanded awareness, and as a result, can be used as a tool for healing and transformation. 

Q:  Are there medications or health conditions that could keep me from participating?

A:  Yes, there are.  There are a variety of medications that are directly contraindicated with medicinal plant work.  This includes medications for asthma and respiratory conditions, diabetes, medications to balance mind and emotions, and more.  Some medications may only need to be stopped for a short time.  Others would need to be discontinued for weeks to months.  If you have a particular health condition ~ including physical illness or injury, diabetes, pregnancy, or mental/emotional imbalance, we want to connect with you to determine if this retreat is appropriate.  We take the health and well being of our participants very seriously, and want to make sure that this work is a good fit.  If you have a health condition or medication question, please make a personal inquiry below.

Q:  I have a serious illness.  Can Ayahuasca and San Pedro cure me?

A:  It is possible to experience profound healing through working with Ayahuasca and San Pedro, however we are not able to guarantee any specific results through this work.  The body/mind works in mysterious ways, and the journey of healing is much more complex than merely aiming to cure an illness.  Everything is connected, and when one experiences healing in the mind, for example, it can definitely affect the body, and vice versa.  With this in mind, Ayahuasca and San Pedro are not a cure-all.  If you have a serious illness, it’s essential that you approach healing in a holistic manner, including the best care you can receive in whatever modalities and methods that you prefer.


Q:  What is included in my registration fees?

A:  Your registration fees cover almost everything you could need on the retreat.  Double occupancy accommodations, most meals during the retreat, all ceremonies, group and private integration work, yoga and meditation classes, local excursions, most special guest experiences, and transportation during the retreat (including airport pickup and return).

Q:  Do you offer payment plans?

A:  Yes, we do!  We know that a retreat like this is an investment in your well-being, and that it may be easier to break it up into installments.  We are happy to work with you in making payments.  There are no additional fees to use a payment plan.

Q:  Can I use a credit card?

A:  Yes, you can.  We accept credit cards via Paypal.  Paypal charges us some steep fees to take payments, however, and we are also happy to accept your payment by personal check.  If you choose to pay by personal check, we offer a discount of $75 off the cost of registration fees.

Q:  What if I register and change my mind?  Can I get a refund?

A:  Registration is a firm commitment.  Before you send us your first retreat payment, know that once you have registered, no refunds are available. After we receive your payment, we send those funds along to our retreat center to confirm your space.  Signing up for a retreat is a commitment you are making to yourself, and to your own healing, growth, and personal transformation.  It is also a commitment we are making to you, in preparing the retreat and accommodating all your needs for the journey.  We also do not offer transfers of participation to other people, as well as transferring registration funds to a future event or retreat.    

Q:  I’m ready to register!  What should I do now?

A:  Click HERE to complete and submit your online registration form. Once we review it, we will contact you to make payment arrangements!

Additional questions?  Please use the form below to contact us, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions!