Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about a stay at our center. If you have additional questions, feel free to Contact Us.
We recommend arriving the day before your retreat begins so you have a night to rest from your travels. We leave for the center at 10 am the first day of the retreat.
For our 7 - 12-day ayahuasca retreats you will be met at Fitzcaraldo restaurant at 10 am on the first day of your retreat. This map shows the location of the Fitzcaraldo Restaurant on the "Boulevard", a park fronting the river a block from the Plaza de Armas, near the hotels and very easy to find. Let us know in advance if you have any problems making this time and place, and we will try to accommodate your schedule. Those on our immersion ayahuasca retreats are encouraged to begin with the 12 day program, as it works best. If that is not possible, we will work out pick up on an individual basis.
We leave for Iquitos around 10 am on the last day of your retreat. For example, if you are on a 12 day retreat that begins on the 1st of the month, you leave morning of the 12th. If you begin on the 15th, you would leave on the 26th. If on a 9 day retreat those dates would be the 9th and 23rd, respectively.
For those flying out the day you leave, it is best to pick a flight that departs after 12 pm. If you need an antigen Covid test within 24hrs, take that into account when scheduling your departure flight.
While the Hummingbird Center does not offer wi-fi, most people are able to connect to the internet through their phone. We encourage people to set their phones aside and disconnect from the outside world, and focus on the work they have come to do, to connect more deeply with themselves. This is called a "retreat" after all! If you need to contact someone we can make our wi-fi hotspot available through our phone.
A maximum of 13 people are accepted for each retreat, and some retreats will have less when we are not fully booked..
Breakfast is served at 8 am. Lunch at 12 pm, and dinner at 6 pm. We do not serve dinner on ceremony nights.
This is usually no problem at all. We regularly have clients who are vegetarian or vegan, gluten intolerant , or have other specific food allergies. For those with allergies we cook a separate meal excluding those ingredients they are allergic to.
The weather in Iquitos, Peru does not change much, and highs are usually 30-33 C (89-94 F) with humidity 65-85%. August is the driest and sunniest time of the year. It is also the hottest. The rainy season usually begins in early December, and it tends to be cooler due to the cloud cover. Most of the rain comes in the night, and there are not many days with persistent rain so it is still easy getting around. The following website has charts of average weather conditions throughout the year and should help in your decision: Average Weather in Iquitos, Peru
Laundry service is included in the price of the retreat. Clothes are washed by hand and line dried. How long it takes to dry depends on the material and the weather. Thick clothes such as jeans may take 3-4 days to dry if it is rainy.
The mobile internet connection at our center is just okay and can vary considerably by the service used. Claro has the best connection and speed, Bitel is okay, and Moviestar pretty bad. There may be days with no service most of the day. Internet connection can come and go, be very fast for a while then disappear for an hour or more. We encourage people to limit their connection with the outside world during the retreat. Perhaps check in with family a couple of times, but aside from that keep your phone turned off and "retreat" from the distractions and stresses of the world.
We have lights in all of the rooms and throughout the grounds, but they are powered by a generator which only runs in the mornings and evenings. We have a charging station where you may charge batteries, phones, laptops etc. In the evenings without ceremony, the lights will available until 10 pm.
Mosquitoes are usually not a problem at the Hummingbird Center, but as we are in the jungle, they cannot be ruled out. The best natural defense is to begin taking lots of Vitamin B12 a few weeks before you travel. Natural repellants containing both citronella and eucalyptus works quite well. And, of course, consult your health advisor about precautions before you travel.
Malaria pills should not be taken when drinking ayahuasca, and are not needed at our retreat center. For more information about medicines and foods you'll want to avoid before and after your ayahuasca retreat, checkout how to prepare for healing with ayahuasca.
This is a matter of personal choice, but there is very little risk of acquiring tropical diseases if you are only traveling to our center. If you choose to vaccinate, do so at least two weeks before your first ayahuasca ceremony.
The Hummingbird ayahuasca retreat center has a no medication policy, with a few specific exceptions. For detailed information on this topic, please read our ayahuasca safety and advice page.
Yes you may. While we respect those traditions that do not allow it, we have never noticed any difference for the woman, or the ceremony as a whole that is outside of the normal variance of ayahuasca experience.
For hotel recommendations in Iquitos, please see ourAir Travel and Hotels page. We cannot make any specific recommendations for Lima.
We use purified, bottled water at our center, so it is perfectly safe to drink.
We keep our retreat groups limited to no more than 13 people, so everyone receives the personal attention they need. This also makes it easy to find a quiet, private space outside of scheduled activities. Our maloca is large, so this also allows almost 3 meters between people during ceremony.
Maybe, but only if you want to buy souvenirs from the Shipibos that come after San Pedro day. The large embroidered cloths (4'x4') cost 800 soles. Smaller ones begin at around 50. Prices for these cloths are based on the amount of work involved.
We do allow smoking, but not in any of the buildings or common areas where people congregate. We have a covered table outside specifically for smokers. We do not allow smoking in ceremony.
Yes, in fact we encourage it. Many people choose to not drink on ceremony night for a wide variety of reasons. Even without drinking, one still receives the healing benefits of ceremony, though not to the same degree.