Pisatahua Plant Medicine
Contact this organisation
This center is open since June 1st 2016
Sino (ayahuasca cielo) and Samiruka (Chacruna)
LocationAquicuana Reserve, Bolivia
How to get therePlane: Riberalta is easily accessible by airways. There are many daily connections between the big cities of Bolivia with the airlines Ecojet and Amaszonas. Flights from La Paz cost about 900 Bs (130$) with either airline. From Cochabamba and Santa Cruz flights cost about 630 Bs (90$). For international travelers, we recommend guests fly into Santa Cruz and take a connecting flight to Riberalta with Amaszonas. Bus: By bus the journey can be a bit unpredictable, especially during the rainy season. Nevertheless the trip is feasible and some guests choose to make the journey. The trip costs about 180 Bs ($ 25) from La Paz or Santa Cruz and should last about 30 hours in the dry season. The trip is arduous and not for the fainthearted but the landscapes are impressive. We do not recommend guests arrive by bus during the rainy season (December through March) as the road conditions can make travel impossible. We meet guests at the airport, or bus station, in Riberalta and transport them to Pisatahua. If you have any questions about planing your arrival, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Accommodation and facilities
8 single rooms
8 double rooms
1 dorm room
Transfer from airport is available.
Music that is played during session
Live traditional music as played and sung by our healers
Medical and safety
The center has medical facilities available nearby
The center has a psychological therapist available on-site
The center conducts an intake process
The center provides a follow up integration process
The center provides ceremonies for personal development
The center provides treatment for psychological disorders
The center provides treatment for physical illnesses
The center provides treatment for addictions
Sustainable projectsWe helped establish the 50,000 acre Aquicuana Reserve. We have two non-profit organizations. One registered in Bolivia (Fundacion Amazonia), one registered in USA (Sustainable Bolivia).
Maximum 10 persons per group
Maximum 5 participants per facilitator.
The facilitator stays during session.
From the moment I arrived at Riberalta airport to be greeted with warm hugs and the smiling faces of Erik and Sasha I knew I had made the right decision to join Pisatahua’s volunteer program. I had planned to spend the year volunteering at the centre, as a therapist with the retreat program, however, after just one retreat, Bolivia entered COVID quarantine, leaving a group of healers and volunteers quarantining onsite together at Pisatahua. What could have been a difficult and potentially distressing situation turned into a period of healing, learning and personal growth thanks to Erik, Sasha, Wara and the rest of the Pisatahua community. Challenging times like these can really shine a light on our strengths and limitations and I witnessed and experienced the extraordinary way that Erik and the rest of the Pisatahua team shone in the face of this challenge – showing positivity, flexibility, deep care, support and generosity throughout. Erik went out of his way on a daily basis to ensure that we were feeling supported and safe going above and beyond to offer any assistance needed with unwavering positivity, professionalism and good humour. While at Pisatahua I have had the chance to participate in a retreat program and received additional healing support from the onsite healers throughout my stay. In this work I was blown away by the skill and care offered by the healers and with their support was able to work through deep personal blocks, develop insights and clarity into long standing life patterns and receive deep healing which left me feeling a sense of clarity, joy and vitality. I’m beyond grateful for my time and experiences at Pisatahua. If you’re looking for somewhere in the region to either volunteer or participate in a retreat I whole heartedly recommend that you consider the beautiful, transformative healing programs offered at Pisatahua.
Pisatahua memories are not really memories - they are changes engraved in the Heart, they are a refreshed Body and an enriched Soul. This Place heals, just staying in this magical corner of the wild jungle heals. The Lake surroundings provides round-the-clock observations of wild animals, so many!! Even caimans! Erik is the most generous and caring man. Sasha is Bolivia's biggest firecracker. And Shamans, Wara and Franz are a mixture of what the Amazon Jungle and the Andes Mountains have the best to offer. Gracias para Todos! This place is so special! So wild and so luxurious at the same time. Everyone I met there, people from all over the world, emphasized that this is the only such place, I completely agree with that! Heaven, paradise, heaven, paradise, heaven, paradise - these words accompanied me there every morning and evening from huge, cozy hammock in Cabana no.3 with enormous windows and with lake view even from the shower and toiled! I invite you to a few minutes long video https://youtu.be/XOyaN5XzxnA
I attended Pisatahua for the first time in April 2022. We started with 12 participants and ended with 11; one person left after the first ceremony, as planned. I had a good overall experience. I felt taken care of. I felt I had the support I needed. Everything was more or less what I expected from the retreat and being in a remote area of Bolivia, in the jungle. Wara was a great shaman and facilitator. Kevin and Paula, the volunteers, they were there for support, which was beneficial. In general, I suggest having more patience with time management- What is told and asked of you is not the time that things will start. I really liked that a value of this retreat center was to host small groups for this type of work versus the very large groups in other places. It was something I specifically was looking for in my research. And I appreciated having a female Shaman who I can relate to. She has many years of experience and she communicates guidance very well. Her English is good, but it's definitely great when she has support from someone with more fluency. Erik, co-founder, did a good enough job answering inquiries and preparing me on what to expect. A recommendation: I suggest for people to come to Riberalta at least 2 days prior to the start date of the retreat if flying into Santa Cruz. In April 2022, Ecojet was the only airline flying to Riberalta from Santa Cruz. Amaszonas used to fly to Riberalta as well, but now Ecojet has a monopoly and you're at their mercy. And they kind of operate like an Uber Pool; there is unreliability. I felt there was some lack of transparency and communication prior to arrival. We lost 2 days of our retreat because of how Ecojet handled matters coming from Santa Cruz. Example, 6 of us arrived to the retreat a day late. 3 people were already stranded in Trinidad, flight cancelled prior day, and then cancelled again, so they arrived the day after us. All of us started the retreat together, 2 days later. And we had to do our 2nd and 3rd ceremony back-to-back, even with reduced medicine, physiologically, at least, many of us had anxiety and trepidation. We were meant to have at least 1 day of rest between ceremonies, but keeping to the schedule, there had to be a back-to-back day. My particular experience with Ecojet: I had been at the airport very early, 1:30 am, so I got a chance to watch the weather, flights, delays, etc. before our afternoon departure. It was raining hard intermittently, there were delays, but no airline cancelled their flight. We were delayed several times before they finally said, our flight was cancelled. I went to the counter, inquired in English and Spanish, they told me, flight was cancelled. I inquired about another flight the next day and next steps, they said, the only flight the next day was fully booked and that's it. They gave no other information. We were essentially stranded. No hotel, no information, not even when would be the next flight. It turned out that 6 of us from the retreat were at the airport. It wasn't until the local Bolivians got angry and started screaming at the Ecojet reps that they then told us, there was another flight the next day and they would give us food & hotel accommodations. And have a taxi take us to & from the airport. Apparently, the way Ecojet was operating had been a normal routine for at least the past 2 years, justified by the pandemic. This is what locals told us: Flight cancelled. No explanation. Show up the next day and maybe get your flight. Luckily, I bought a Bolivian sim card at the airport, so I was in contact with Erik on WhatsApp. It was reassuring to have that contact despite the nonsense at the airport. I highly recommend getting a Sim card, 1st floor, kiosk in the middle, I think "Entel." In general, April is the end of rainy season, but be prepared for the humidity. Every night, I went to sleep in moist sheets. Not something I'm used to, so definitely something that took time to acclimate to. Luckily, we got to do laundry 1x while there during our 12 days. And the mosquitos are vicious. A participant found relief when she wore rain gear, the mosquitos didn't penetrate then. I got my visa on arrival in Santa Cruz, that took about 2 hours. When you arrive, for me, it was not clearly explained, but luckily Erik relayed before, you need to enter your hotel information & a picture of it at a site within 2 hours of arrival. And keep updating the site while you move around Bolivia. If you do not or Customs decides to target you for inquiry & you don't have a good enough answer, you have to pay a $35 USD penalty or something like that. There is a tax for leaving Riberalta airport, I think 10 bolivianos. Pay at designated window. Fyi, when I wanted to book the Riberalta flight in Feb 2022, I wasn't able to do it online. There is an online glitch for that area on Ecojet's site. Erik had to buy physical tickets from the airport and send me the picture. I reimbursed him. Overall, I had a good experience at Pisatahua. I appreciate having the opportunity to do the work, when I did, with Wara and all. What matters most to me is feeling supported, taken care of, clear communication, & being in a small group. And I got that there. In the future, I would love to see the option of a retreat that had at least 2 days between ceremonies. I don't feel one day is enough of rest & processing, especially when each ceremony and the work you will do is different. Some ceremonies could be more taxing than others on the body/person.