Isabella H – Perth, Australia

I’m a 20 year old woman that visited Dreamglade on my own for 11 nights/5 ceremonies at the end of 2015. The experience was amazing, and I met so many great people.

Ayahuasca is hard work, and the intensity of it made me especially glad that I was somewhere like Dreamglade. Everyone at the retreat was sincere in doing their own personal work, but there wasn’t an overly serious or strict atmosphere.

The grounds are beautiful, especially sitting by the lake and watching the stars after ceremony. The food is also much better than I’d expected. Dreamglade’s owner Stacy isn’t at the centre all of the time, but he’s there for every ceremony and the following day for group sharing sessions. You can tell that he’s sacrificed a huge amount to help people at Dreamglade, and he’s really down to earth. I can’t think of anyone better to help people through a difficult Ayahuasca experience.

Drew, a facilitator who is at Dreamglade full time, is a massive asset to the centre. He’s always there for emotional support and he has a heart of gold. I could make a long list of times where he went out of his way to help me or others at the retreat.

Estella the Curandera is the real deal, a Shipibo woman with decades of experience. Her icaros are amazing, and she provides each person with a personal healing towards the end of each ceremony.

The retreat seemed to focus on getting you to have a direct experience with the medicine and to find your own answers, rather than being lectured at or having detailed explanations/advice given to you by Estella or Stace.

Although I don’t have anything to compare it to, we were told that the brew was particularly strong, using 20+ year old vines, 2 types of DMT containing leaves and brewed for 15 hours. Of the two groups that I saw leave the retreat, I can’t recall anyone who didn’t have a powerful experience. Several people who only stayed for 3 ceremonies seemed to wish they had more time at Dreamglade. During the ceremony you’re always supervised and afterwards most people slept in the maloca, including Drew and Stace. I ended up really appreciating this, especially after an intense night or if I was still feeling the effects of the brew after the formal ceremony ended.

Outside of ceremony, most of the time was free to spend relaxing and reflecting. If you’re the sort of person who wants a lot of organised activities/walks or lessons about Ayahuasca/shamanism, it might not be the best place for you. They are just finishing a new building though where they’ll have yoga and other activities. At the end of the retreat there wasn’t a formal integration program offered, instead Stace and Drew make themselves available over the internet and are able to provide any help that’s needed.

Mosquitos didn’t seem to be a huge problem compared to other parts of the jungle. I’m not aware of anyone at the retreat that took malaria tablets or any cases of people getting sick. I did get about 20 bites while I was there, so I’d encourage anyone going to bring good repellent and long clothes. If you’re doing a plant dieta you won’t be able to take malaria tablets.

The ratio of facilitators/healers to guests is good. It’s a small center, so they don’t have huge numbers of staff or security like the bigger places might have. On some nights everyone in the maloca was drinking Ayahuasca, which I imagine some people wouldn’t like. I ended up appreciating that element of the ceremonies though, as it created a nice atmosphere in the room where everyone was in a similar headspace.

Dreamglade is a quality centre and the people there genuinely care about helping. We were told that the staff are paid very fairly, and I never got the impression that the people there were in it for the money. If you’re thinking of heading to a retreat in Peru, I’d encourage you to email Dreamglade and see if they’re right for you.

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