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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions we are asked from time to time about our center and its healing programs. If you need more guidance email Jim at hummingbirdretreats@gmail.com and we’ll do our best to guide you.


Is there wi-fi or internet at the center?

We can grant access to wi-fi tethering to our cell phone under special circumstances, but it is not generally available. You should plan on being out of contact while at the center. Many like to let their family know they have arrived safely and you can send an email through our cell phone. We will also gladly respond to any emails asking for confirmation of your safe arrival. If at the center for 3 weeks or more there will be opportunity to go to town and use the internet.

What is the weather like in Iquitos?

The weather in Iquitos does not change much, but August is the driest and suniest time of the year. It is also the hotest. The following web site has charts of all average weather conditions throughout the year and should help in your decision: Average Weather in Iquitos

Is there a phone at the center?

No, and this policy is so you can concentrate on your journey without the lure of the outside world. Use of mobile phones is not prohibited, but we encourage you to take this time to disconnect from your normal life and be on 'retreat'. If you choose to make calls please do so where others are not disturbed by your phone conversation.

Is there electricity at the Center ?

We have lights in all rooms and throughout the grounds, but they are powered by a generator.  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

What about mosquitos?

Mosquitoes are usually not a problem at our center but as we are in the jungle they cannot be ruled out.  The best natural defense is to take lots of Vitamin B12 beginning a few weeks before you travel. The richest natural source is goji berries. And, of course, consult your health advisor about precautions before you travel.

What about malaria pills?

Malaria pills should not be taken when drinking ayahuasca, and are not needed at our center.

Should I vaccinate?

This is a matter of personal choice. Some people prefer homeopathy and go for a consultation before they travel and bring a homeopathic travel kit with them.

If you choose to vaccinate do so at least two weeks before your first ayahuasca ceremony.

Some countries (such as Australia) may require you to vaccinate for yellow fever and to be able to prove your vaccination as a condition of re-entry. In cases like these ask your physician for a vaccination certificate and bring it with you just in casee.

What do I do about the medication I’m taking?

Our center has a no medication policy.  Please see our Medical Advice web page for a detailed discussion of this question.

Can I take ayahuasca if I am menstruating?

Yes you may at the Hummingbird Center. While we respect those traditions that do not allow it, it seems excessive to exclude a woman for that reason when they have come so far for this work. We have never noticed any difference in a woman's experience with ayahuasca while menstruating, nor the experience of the ceremony as a whole that is outside of the normal variance of ayahuasca experience.

Where do we meet?

For the 12 Day retreat you will be met at Fiztcaraldo restaurant and 10 AM on the 1st day of your retreat. Fitzcaraldo restaurant is on the "Boulevard", a park fronting the river a block away 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’ll try to accommodate your schedule. Those on Personalized Retreats are encouraged to begin with the 12 day program as it works best. If they cannot, we will work out pick up on an individual basis.

Can you suggest a hotel in Lima or Iquitos?

 Our Air Travel and Hotels page has recommendations for hotels in Iquitos, along with links to the hotel's web site.

Is the water safe to drink?

Purified and bottled water is used at our center so the water provided for drinking can be safely consumed./p>

How do your programs compare to others?

We are a dedicated shamanic healing center with a proven track record of healing a variety of medical conditions for those who come on personal retreats. We also work with San Pedro which is also a powerful healer and teacher plant that complements ayahuasca.. Please see our Why Choose Us? web page for more information.

We keep our retreat groups limited to no more than 12 people so everyone receives the personal attention they need. There may also be people here on personal retreats.

It is also our policy to offer fair prices for our retreats and retreats so that as many people as possible have access to the healing they need. Most centers charge $180 per day or more. Our prices are $140 per day or less, depending on the length of stay.

What if I have special needs?

Let us know before you book and we’ll tell you if we can accommodate them. The jungle presents special challenges of course (for example, for wheelchair users) but the intention of our Center is to facilitate healing so we will do all that we can to assist if you have a special need.