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Hummingbird Healing Center

Iquitos, Peru

"The benefit of transformative work is it allows us to be more truly and naturally ourselves, whatever that is."

Traditional Ayahuasca Retreats

Jungle lodge eveningThe Hummingbird Center embraces the need to encompass the physical, emotional, energetic and spiritual aspects of healing, as well as understanding and changing negative patterns of conditioning in our thoughts and belief systems. In the shamanic view of illness, physical and psychological problems have their source in negative thought forms, a reflection of one's spiritual state of consciousness. Illness is an effect of these distorted thoughts. Unfavorable thoughts arise in the conscious mind and are then held in the subconscious, from which they can be transferred into the physical body. Because of this, true healing always has to begin at the spiritual level.

From one’s spiritual aspect into the subconscious level of the physical, this deep level of the mind can then erase the negative thought forms and emotions it holds, such as anger and fear, replacing them with light. This is how the cause of illness is dealt with and how all true healing is accomplished, and our ayahuasca retreats reflect these beliefs on healing.

Our mission is to empower each guest to reconnect with their mind, body, emotions and spirit, learning to live in self awareness so they may more freely and truly express their authentic selves. Under the guidance maestro Don Fernando Laiche, an traditional healer with over 38 years of experience, we combine plant medicine ceremonies and dietas with regular integration sessions and lessons on mindfulness and examining our thought patterns and belief systems. This process provides tools for each guest to apply on a daily basis so they can take charge of their own growth and healing over the long term.

The Hummingbird Healing Center provides a beautiful safe, and supportive environment for your personal journey with ayahuasca. Located near Iquitos, Peru, we offer ayahuasca retreats of different lengths to meet your personal needs. All of our retreats include at least one san pedro ceremony, the visionary cactus of the Andes that is very complementary with ayahuasca. Our longer stays include a master plant dieta with a plant selected by our shaman depending on what you are looking to heal, address or learn.

Our retreats are limited to no more than 13 people and there are multiple caretakers in each ayahuasca ceremony who are not partaking of the medicine. Help is always available if you need it, and we encourage people to open up and talk about the struggles or frustrations they may have so we can coach them on how to transcend it with the help of ayahuasca and san pedro. We help people get clear on their intentions for each ceremony and can give practical advice on how to work with specific issues they may have.

Empowering People

Group photo at hummingbird ayahuasca centerThe Hummingbird Center is dedicated to helping people find their own power, and to accept and like themselves. Self acceptance is a key for all personal growth, and with that one quickly learns to be themselves without concern of what other people think. It is surprising how similar all people are, how deep inside we are not so very different in our emotional responses to life, while at the same time being being so incredibly unique. When we accept ourselves, we naturally discover acceptance and compassion for others.

Self acceptance goes beyond tolerating the way you view yourself. It is accepting your behavior, attitude and lifestyle, acknowledging them and working towards making a desired change. Practicing self acceptance means embracing all flaws and accepting who you are today, not the idea of who you will be after you reach your goal. The Hummingbird creates a sacred and encouraging space for this humbling yet courageous journey of self discovery.

An integral part of all our retreats are talks on our beliefs, thought patterns and the interplay between our conscious and subconscious minds. We will learn about the conditioning we received as children, and why we often have many unproductive and often harmful “programs” stored in our subconscious mind which limit our ability to live successful happy and joyful lives.

During an ayahuasca ceremony, la madre will often clearly show us these limiting beliefs and teach us how to live in a better way. You will learn how to tap into our natural creative abilities and reprogram our subconscious minds so we naturally attract events into our lives more closely aligned with our hearts desire. You will learn techniques to become the master of our mind, our emotions and destiny and gain the tools to create a rich and fulfilling life.

Compassionate Supportive Healing

group enjoying their ayahuasca retreatOur methods combine proven shamanic techniques with the latest understanding of human consciousness and how our belief systems influence our lives. Unique to our retreats are two talks on how the conditioning we received as children shapes our perception of the world, how the programs stored in our subconscious mind predominantly determine our experience, and what we can do to change those programs.

This directly complements ayahuasca's ability to reveal the subconscious helping us let go of limiting beliefs.' Our ayahuasca retreats put an emphasis on safety , and we carefully monitor all participants during ceremony, being close at hand to offer guidance and assistance if needed or desired.

The Hummingbird Center's approach uses a combination of traditional amazonian healing, mindfulness, lifestyle coaching, changing our subconscious belief systems, and compassionate and loving support throughout the healing and transformation process. The center is an environment of openness, authenticity and emotional safety where one can relax and be themselves. Jim the owner is the primary facilitator and this has been his daily work for the past 10 years, guiding over 1500 people through their ayahuasca retreat. Having gone through his own 30 year struggle with depression and alcoholism, he deeply understands people's struggles and listens with compassion and empathy.

Master Plant Dietas

Ajo Sacha FlowersA master plant dieta is a traditional method of physical and mental detoxification, and of forming a connection with the spirit of a plant for the purpose of learning or healing. Dietas at the Hummingbird Center are primarily done for the purpose of healing. As such they are not as rigorous as those required to learn to work with the plant spirits. Individual guidelines may vary, but usually it is a process done in addition to the regular retreat program, and the person dieting may participate in all scheduled retreat activities.

The work of the medicine plant spirits is energetic, spiritual and subtle. Some fairly strict rules need to be followed to minimize the energy that impacts your body so the spirits may do their work. These rules are simply the necessary conditions for the dieta to be effective. It is a time of quiet, reflection and meditation, of allowing the medicine to permeate the body and mind, gently removing blocks and realigning our energetic systems so they function as nature intended. Done well, the dieta will slowly reorganize the dieter’s mind, body and spirit, bringing the system into greater harmony, health and well-being.

The Hummingbird Center offers dietas on our 12 day retreats, and our 3 and 4 week Immersion Retreats. Plant dietas are a fundamental part of Amazonian healing traditions. Ayahuasca by itself will bring a certain, and often profound, level of cleansing, insight and healing. Including a dieta with a master medicine plant can take this to a much deeper level resulting in growth and healing far beyond what working with ayahuasca alone can achieve. Depending on what is being addressed or sought, a dieta may be required to realize meaningful results.

With any process of growth, transformation and healing, the individual’s attitude and commitment makes a profound difference in the results received. Strict adherence to the dieta, without complaint and maintaining a positive attitude, is also a clear demonstration of their commitment to heal, to step into a new way of being. Deep commitment lends strength and energy, removing resistance and lethargy. And the Universe always responds to a true commitment!

Huachuma - San Pedro

San Pedro cactus The Hummingbird Center also works with huachuma, the visionary and heart opening cactus of the Andes also known as san pedro. We have found ayahuasca and huachuma to be very complementary. Some individuals have a special affinity for one or the other of the medicines.

Occasionally huachuma will clear blocks in an individual that ayahuasca does not seem to touch. We have seen a number of people have significant breakthroughs with san pedro, then move on to have wonderful and productive ceremonies with ayahuasca.

During the San Pedro ceremony many find their ayahuasca experiences come into focus understanding the lessons in much deeper and meaningful way. A wonderful, gentle healer, grandfather San Pedro tends to bring very clear lessons and most enjoy the experience.

After the first group San Pedro ceremony, if you prefer to work with it instead of ayahuasca you may do so. It is easy to arrange and we will work that out on a case by case basis. While the experience is very different than ayahuasca, it is a peer in its ability to heal and some get much more from working with this medicine that with ayahuasca.

Upcoming Retreats

Retreat Date Description Price Status
April 15 - 26 , 2023 9 or 12 Day Retreat $2200 or $2600 Open
May 1 - 12 , 2023 9 or 12 Day Retreat $2200 or $2600 Open
May 15 - 26 , 2023 9 or 12 Day Retreat $2200 or $2600 Open
June 1 - 12 , 2023 9 or 12 Day Retreat $2200 or $2600 Open
12 Day Ayahuasca Retreats
View across our pond

Experience the deep healing and teaching of Peru’s two visionary medicine plants on a 12-day retreat that includes 7 ceremonies. Allow these powerful medicine plants to get at to root of your problems, clearing energies, beliefs and thought patterns that keep you limited in your daily life. Let ayahuasca and san pedro clear the blocks that keep you repeating the same unproductive behavior, and find the freedom to express your authentic self!

9 Day Ayahuasca Retreats
ayahuasca retreat foto

Our 9 day retreat is an intensive introduction to the magic of ayahuasca and the san pedro visionary cactus, with 5 total ceremonies. This retreat is a great choice for those looking for clarity of purpose, relief from minor emotional struggles, a deeper understanding of themselves and freedom to live more authentically, or to deepen your spiritual understanding and connection with the divine. It also includes two talks on reprogramming your subconscious mind.

Immersion Retreats
ayahuasca retreat foto

Immersion retreats are for those looking for extended work with ayahuasca, who desire a master plant dieta, or whose condition needs a longer treatment plan. We offer extended stays of 3 or 4 weeks. Immersion retreats include at least one 8 day dieta with a master medicine plant chosen by the shaman to help with your healing and learning. These longer stays include more ceremonies and more direct and personalized coaching from the shaman and facilitators.


Your safety and well being are our highest priority. We have a thorough screening process, and start people out with conservative doses of ayahuasca to learn how people manage the experience, both physically and psychologically. We responsibly and quickly increase the dose in increments appropriate to the individual, till the intensity of experience is at a level you desire.

We are proud of our safety record. Since 2010, guiding over 1500 people through a healing process, we have never had a medical emergency related to the plant medicines.

When taken under the care of skilled curanderos, ayahuasca is usually a very safe substance to drink. There are conditions, both physical and psychological, that are risky or dangerous in combination with ayahuasca. There are also risks when combined with certain medications and street drugs. The Hummingbird Center wants everyone to have the safest, most productive experience possible, so be sure to read our Ayahuasca Safety page for more information.

What is an Ayahuasca Retreat?

An ayahuasca retreat at the Hummingbird Center is a journey of exploration of other dimensions and spiritual realities under the careful guidance of a skilled ayahuasquero (shaman). It is an opportunity for deep spiritual and energetic growth, healing and insight.

Our goal is to help people to understand and accept themselves, and realize their own innate ability and power to shape their lives with health and love and joy and contentment. The medicine spirits of the Amazon help us realize the truth and beauty of our true selves, allowing us to walk through life authentically.

With a skilled ayahuasquero, it is possible for some to have profound mystical experiences of unconditional love, bliss and joy, a feeling of direct connection with God, the Divine or universal consciousness, or a variety of other manifestations of the mystical.

Structure of an Ayahuasca Ceremony

Curandero giving an arkanaBefore the ceremony begins there is usually some form of energetic cleansing of the space. In the Amazon this is often done using tobacco or “smudging” the space with the aromatic wood Palo Santo. White Sage may also be used for smudging.

The ayahuasquero will sing to the ayahuasca medicine, asking the spirit of ayahuasca to come and heal and protect all participants. The medicine is then served and the lights turned off. Ceremonies are held in darkness to enhance the visionary aspect of the experience.

Most ayahuasqueros will wait in silence a period of time for the effect of the medicine to clearly begin. This quite period may range from 30-60 minutes. They then begin to sing icaros, the protection and healing songs of this tradition. These healing songs are calling to the medicine spirits, asking them to come and heal our brothers and sisters in ceremony. These icaros are given by the spirits themselves during the many years of training it takes to learn to be an effective healer.

The ayahuasquero leading the ceremony first calls in spirits of protection so participants are not troubled by outside negative energies. Singing their icaros, they then call in doctor spirits to begin the cleansing and healing process. For most people, the first two ceremonies of a retreat are mostly about purifying the body, preparing it to receive higher vibrational energies.

Towards the end of our ceremonies, the ayahuasquero will do individual healing work on each person in ceremony, addressing their specific needs. Ceremony is then closed with a song of thanks to God, ayahuasca and the medicine spirits for work they have done on our behalf.

Not Just Ayahuasca

The Hummingbird Center provides a beautiful safe, and supportive environment for your ayahuasca retreat and ceremony. Located near Iquitos, Peru, we offer retreats of different lengths to meet your personal needs. 9 & 12 Day retreats, and 3 & 4 week Immersion retreats are available. In addition to ceremony, there are a variety of cleansing processes including plant baths, medicinal vapor bath and a mud bath. Additional plant medicines may be prescribed as needed. Those at the center for 3 or 4 week stays will also do a strict dieta process working with medicine plants prescribed by the ayahuasquero.

Also included are guided meditations, a guided walk through the jungle to learn about the various medicine plants growing naturally on our property. There are two talks about how our belief systems influence our experience of life and how to change the negative beliefs to positive ones. There is also a short introduction to shamanic journeying using a drum, without the influence of consciousness altering substances.