Frequently Asked Questions about Kapitari Retreats
Where is Kapitari?
Kapitari is located near the village of Manacamiri , a few miles out of the city of Iquitos in Peru. Iquitos is deep within the Amazon jungle and the best way to get there is to fly from Lima the capital of Peru which takes about 90 minutes.
How do I get from Iquitos to Kapitari?
The group will meet in central Iquitos at La Posada del Cauchero Hotel. The address is Raimondi 449 at 9.30am on the first day of the retreat. From there we all travel to Kapitari together. It usually takes about 90 minutes to reach Kapitari from the city and involves a bus ride, a boat trip and a 45 minute walk.
When should I arrive in Iquitos? / Can I arrive the same day as the retreat?
We strongly recommend that you arrive in Iquitos at least 1 day before the retreat begins and spend 1 night in a city hotel. However, if you must arrive in Iquitos on the day the retreat begins please make sure that your flight arrives in Iquitos no later than about 9am.
Do you provide any transport from the Airport in Iquitos when we arrive?
If you arrive in Iquitos on the morning the retreat begins then we will usually arrange to pick you up. Otherwise please ask your hotel to arrange a pickup if you want one. However, it’s not important to have a pickup, there are aways multiple taxis and motortaxis waiting at the airport. Don’t pay more than 10 soles in a motortaxi or more than 25 soles in a car taxi and make sure you have some change in Peruvian Soles because most taxis won’t accept dollars.
Can I fly out of Iquitos the same day the retreat ends?
Yes. Our retreats end on a Sunday, and we leave Kapitari about 9am and arrive back in the city about 10.30am so you could fly from Iquitos that day if necessary but we recommend you book your flight for after 1pm. However, most people coming on our retreats choose to spend at least one extra night in Iquitos to relax after the retreat.
I’m coming alone, is that safe?
On average, about 90% of the people in our groups come alone, so don’t worry about coming alone, you’ll be in good company. Also, Peru is a stable and predominantly safe country to travel in.
Does Don Lucho put any additives in his ayahuasca?
Don Lucho makes only pure Cielo Ayahuasca which is a combination of the ayahuasca vine and chakruna. A very small amount of tobacco is also added to the brew. Don Lucho does not use Toe or other plant additives.
Can I do a single ceremony at Kapitari?
You can not come for a single ceremony during retreat times. On average we have 3 retreats per month and then there is one week where people can stay for between 1 and 6 nights. Check the retreat page for the retreat dates, and if you’re able to stay at a date when they is no retreat, please email Jazmin at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know the date or dates you wish to attend. Keep your English simple or use Spanish if possible because Jazmin does not understand much English
Do I need to bring bedding or a sleeping bag?
No, all bedding and also a towel is provided. We provide you with a list of things you should bring which is mostly just clothes and a few necessary items such as a flashlight.
What are the size of your groups?
There will be no more than 15 people in each group and there will always be 2 facilitators working with each group.
Can I stay at Kapitari after the retreat?
This depends. Originally we used to run 1 or 2 retreats per month that were always at least a week apart providing the opportunity for people to stay on an extra week if they wished. From April 2014 we will be organising 3 retreats per month that will usually run for 3 weeks in a row and then a week off. If you wish to stay a bit longer then please join a retreat that isn’t followed directly by another one. Alternatively you could sign-up for 2 retreats.
Can you arrange a pick-up from the airport?
Yes we can, however if you’re spending a night in a hotel in Iquitos before the retreat begins then we recommend that you ask the hotel to arrange a pickup. Most of them will do that, particularly La Casona which is one of the more popular hotel choices in Iquitos. Also, there’s always plenty of taxis waiting at the airport for the arrival of each flight.
Can I volunteer or do work exchange at Kapitari?
Unfortunately Kapitari does not offer any volunteer or work exchange programmes at this time.
Is Kapitari safe for women?
Kapitari is a safe place for women. Many of the staff at Kapitari are female. There will always be at least one female facilitator with the group the whole time and also Don Lucho’s wife is always in ceremony next to Don Lucho. We’ve never had a woman on our retreat express they didn’t feel safe.
Where does the water come from at Kapitari? Do we need to provide our own?
We provide filtered water but please bring a water bottle.
What kind of luggage should I take with me, and is there any place where I can leave my stuff in Iquitos city before going to kapitari?
You can bring any kind of luggage however we strongly recommend that you bring some kind of a backpack. In muddy conditions we don’t have access to transport to take luggage from the boat to Kapitari and luggage must be carried although we do have staff that can help with that. Kapitari does not provide luggage storage in the city, but many hotels and hostels allow you to leave luggage.
Can I smoke Marijhuana during/right before/after the retreat?
For some reason marijuana and ayahuasca don’t get along too well. Sometimes heavy marijuana smokers find it difficult to have a strong ayahuasca experience. We highly recommend that you quite smoking marijuana as long as possible before the retreat. However, there is no danger in smoking marijuana right before the retreat.
Should I stop taking the contraceptive pill during the retreat?
There is no danger in taking contraceptive pills while drinking ayahuasca.
Can I have sex right before/during the retreat?
During the retreat we have a no sex rule that we expect our participants to honor. How long you stop having sex before the retreat is up to you but we encourage you to stop having sexual relations at least a few days before the retreat begins.
Can you help me book my hotel?
Sorry, we have enough things to take care of without getting involved with hotel reservations. There are several Iquitos hotels and hostels that you can easily book online using www.booking.com or www.hostelsworld.com
Can I share accommodation with my friend/partner?
There are 15 tambos (jungle cabins) at Kapitari. 13 of them are single occupancy and 2 can accommodate 2 people in separate beds. These will be offered on a first come, first served basis to those that request them. However, we normally advise people against sharing. Working with ayahuasca is a deeply personal experience and for most people, having privacy and alone time is hugely beneficial and sometimes really necessary.
What is the weather like?
The weather in the rainforest around Iquitos is unpredictable all year around. There is no distinct dry season and wet season like you find in the mountains of Peru. Sometimes there are weeks where it hardly rains at all and other weeks can have a lot of heavy rainfall. However, an average week in Iquitos will be mostly dry and sunny with a few heavy rain showers scattered throughout the week. One thing is pretty much guaranteed is that whatever the amount of rain, the temperature will be hot and humid almost all the time.
I don’t speak Spanish, is that a problem?
The retreats are held in English so don’t worry if you don’t speak a word of Spanish. Don Lucho, his family and the workers of Kapitari do not speak English, but both facilitators will be English speakers. There will always be at least one facilitator who is fluent in Spanish to help translate if necessary.
Should I take anti-malaria medication?
Although it’s not usually considered dangerous, mixing ayahuasca with anti-malaria medication can often have adverse effects on your experience and is generally not recommended. Kapitari is located in an area of the jungle where malaria is considered low risk and the vast majority of people coming on our retreats don’t take this medication and neither do the staff or facilitators.
Do I need any vaccinations?
There are no compulsory vaccinations to visit Peru. Yellow Fever is not necessary for Iquitos. The vaccinations that are the most recommended are Hepatitis A and Typhoid.
How long before the retreat should I begin the ayahuasca diet, and how important is it?
There is no definite answer to this question and different people have their own ideas. Some people are naturally very sensitive to ayahuasca and they will have powerful experiences no matter what kind of food they eat and they don’t consider the diet to be important for themselves. However, many people, particularly if they’re coming from stressful and polluted environments, and if they don’t eat a really healthy diet normally will usually not have a high level of sensitivity to the ayahuasca and as a result the first 1 or ceremonies are more for purging and cleansing.
Is there electricity at Kapitari?
Kapitari is not connected to the grid but it does have an electricity generator that is usually turned on for a couple of hours each evening before ceremony begins. Therefore it is possible to charge things like phones and cameras throughout the week.
Can I bring my laptop and mobile phone with? Do I need a different plug/convertor?
We recommend that you don’t bring laptops to Kapitari because the humidity in the jungle has been known cause problems with electronics, however phones and cameras are usually fine. Peru uses the same type of plug as North America however it has a higher voltage so make sure your electrical devices work ok with up to 220 volts.
Do you have internet or wifi?
We not provide internet or wifi at Kapitari.
Can I check email or receive phonecalls or text messages at Kapitari?
There is an intermittent phone signal, so if you have an international roaming service with your cellphone then you can send and receive text messages or make calls and possibly also have internet access. However, please only do so to let loved ones know that you are safe. Distractions in whatever form will not help you while you work with the medicine.
Is it a good idea to come on your retreat as a couple?
This really depends on what kind of relationship you have. If you have been together for a long time, have a solid relationship, and have already worked through most of your issues together then coming on the retreat together could be a good thing and could even help deepen your relationship further. However, if your relationship is in anyway volatile then we don’t recommend coming together. One couple who came on one of our retreats last year were seemingly using the retreat as some kind of couples therapy and frequently had late night shouting matches which certainly didn’t have a positive effect on the energy of the group. This is not something we ever want to have repeated and in the future if couples start arguing heavily then you will be politely asked to shut up or leave.
Can I bring a musical instrument?