The simple answer is because we are completely and utterly passionate about supporting you to live your best life! We love working with people to deliver change from the inside out, and we’ve been pretty successful so far over the past six years by using an innovative approach; we’ve designed a special personal growth program including sacred plant medicine to spring board your mind, body and soul into a happy place.
Your physical, mental and emotional health, particularly before, during and after ceremonies, is our top priority and we remain super focused on this at all times on retreat. While we respect your space and privacy, we carefully monitor your well being without being intrusive. During your stay with us you are welcomed into our loving Modern Ancient family where we do our very best to ensure that you experience a holistic and safe healing journey that is right for you.
Our staff has been carefully selected, from the cooks, cleaners and security to the shamans and healing team. Get to know our key staff members by reading more HERE. We know that making the decision to come to Peru is an absolutely huge step, so we’ve worked hard to take care of the small details so you can focus on yourself.
Our modern yet rustic home is located in sunny Iquitos in the beautiful Amazon jungle in Peru and has been specially built so distracting bug issues are kept to a minimum. We’ve included modern comforts such as electricity, wifi, private rooms, modern shower and bathroom facilities, beautiful natural and landscaped areas to relax, an onsite laundry room, library room and delicious fresh food that is prepared daily. Learn more about about our facilities HERE.
Modern Ancient is your home away from home, and the choice for those seeking a true holistic personal growth experience in an educational, supportive, safe and compassionate environment.
We recommend reading all three individual retreat types (Metamorphosis, Divine Spark and Executive Summary) to fully understand what each retreat is focused on, including program details, medicine types, duration, suitability, schedule and pricing. A brief synopsis is provided below.
Metamorphosis is our shortest retreat at 8 days and 8 nights, and includes a tried and tested combination of sacred medicines including Iboga and Ayahuasca. It’s a great introduction to all our medicines and especially recommended for those looking for an Iboga retreat experience to cure specific conditions such as addictions.
Divine Spark is all about rediscovering yourself as an awakened consciousness steeped in the light and love of the universe. It’s our most intensive and challenging retreat; the plant dieta in combination with several ayahuasca ceremonies provides a longer experience, at 17 days and 17 nights, and takes the journey of profound insights to another dimension (yes, really).
If you’re looking for a coaching program, which includes an Ayahuasca retreat experience to almost fast track your growth, then the Executive Summary was made for you. You’ll have access to a guide for 9 months and experience new ways to think and live. Change doesn’t happen overnight so it’s the most supported route to creating and sustaining your desired life.
Ultimately, we recommend stepping inside your heart to see which program calls you. You can also drop us a line on info (at) modernancient (dot) com. We’ll support you to identify what works best for you.
In general, yes. There have been no deaths caused directly by the physical effects of the medicine but rather the failure to properly screen, supervise and care for participants. While in process some may experience an ‘ego death’ and sickness which may feel very much like they are dying, however these feelings soon come to pass.
It is usually safe to consume sacred plant medicine provided that there are no contraindications or previous mental health issues (e.g. psychosis and bipolar disorders). You can read about the list of contraindications, the importance of the intention you have for coming to a ceremony and whether sacred plant medicine is right for you HERE.
Key aspects of a successful ceremony include the mindset (‘set’ ), the environment (‘setting’), preparation undertaken including diet and safe preparation of the medicine with positive intent by an experienced and trained shaman. We do not mix different medicines in a single ceremony, as we focus on one medicine per ceremony, and we do not add ingredients to the brew to make it ‘stronger’ – heightening the risk and jeopardizing the safety for our students. Details of how the medicine is prepared at Modern Ancient can be found HERE.
We fully screen our participants for their own safety and the safety of others including medical history. Overall, our screening process is a risk assessment at its core; it focuses on ensuring that the benefits outweigh the risk for the participant, and the benefits are indeed life changing for a temporary amount of discomfort experienced.
Yes, if used with care and respect. Psychedelics has shaped the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. George Carlin isn’t the only philosopher who was ‘opened’ up by psychedelics. Plato set the stage for western philosophy following altered or non ordinary states of consciousness. Thousands of people, including business world elites, visit south America to experience this powerful brew. Apple founder, Steve Jobs revealed that using psychedelics “was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life”. Silicon Valley entrepreneur and best selling author, Tim Ferriss strongly advocated for use of psychedelics by saying that “the billionaires I know, almost without exception”, regularly take this journey.
The psychedelic experience is a deeply powerful experience which can provide exponential growth, healing and creative opportunities, particularly when undertaken within controlled environments, supported by the right team and alongside effective holistic integration methods.
Public sentiment is shifting following studies into using such substances to treat depression, PTSD, addiction and other ailments. We are entering new territory with a breakthrough for psychedelics, including the opening of the world’s first Center for Psychedelics Research at Imperial College London in April 2019, followed by Johns Hopkins’ Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research in New York a few months later. We’re also seeing the decriminalization of psychedelic substances by cities in the US.
As there is currently no widespread framework in place around the use of these substances, it is important to choose a provider that can conduct proper screening to determine the risk and benefits for your individual circumstances, as well as provide compassionate psychological support.
The differences between these two visionary healing plants include the ability to address specific conditions, and also the experience itself. Iboga is by far a more intense experience, and traditionally works to reset neurological pathways which result in the removal of unhealthy addictions. Ayahuasca provides a more exploratory journey, however both medicines reveal deep seated psychological items buried far within one’s subconscious. Energetically, Iboga is more grounding, taking one to the heart of their issues which contributes to its reputation as a very challenging medicine. Ayahuasca guides the participant on a journey to self discovery within the heart, often revealing the emotional trauma underlining one’s issues. With both medicines, much spiritual work is addressed in terms of areas such as ancestral energy and contributions to the serving the sustainability of planet Earth.
Once you have decided whether scared medicine is right for you, become clear on your intention for partaking in a ceremony and confirmed there are no contraindications, health or other issues preventing your safe participation, it is then a matter of finding a suitable environment and place for your experience.
There are many considerations including how to pick a shaman, the medicine brew itself, the environment, safety and quality of the preparation provided to you beforehand, the experience of your ceremony sitters, and the aftercare support and integration provided. While there are countless ceremonies available in western jurisdictions, the majority are not only illegal but vastly vary in quality. There are a growing number of ‘neo shamans’ who do not have experience working with the sacred plants, including Ayahuasca, and therefore are not fully equipped to work with the medicine on your behalf as needed, nor do they necessarily know how to properly or safely prepare the medicine. These are important considerations when choosing whether to partake in a ceremony with a non native shaman rather than a traditional curandero.
Covert western ceremonies very rarely provide structured environments, highly experienced or trained facilitators, education and compassionate psychological support. Lack of these key items significantly increases the risk of using psychedelics because a controlled framework, including the set and setting, are absolutely fundamental to achieving a positive and optimum journey.
The Amazon is not only the home of Ayahuasca, but it is also an energetic sanctuary where the healing environment of nature supports your internal transitions. Ancient plant medicine is safe and beneficial to take with the right team, and proper holistic integration methods, to create a sustainable personal growth opportunity.
Your security and safety, including ceremonial safety, is a top priority for us. Modern Ancient is co-founded by two sisters, where Ama-ra is physically present on retreat for oversight and delivery of all programs, and therefore we specifically understand the concerns of solo female travelers. Please refer to our Facilities page for more details including our use of security cameras, guards, and pick up and droff off inclusions. Our lead Shipibo Maestra, Isabel, curandera, has 40 years of experience working with sacred plants, and presides over ceremonies solo or with a with male shaman. Our retreat center staff are fully vetted, trained and present at all times. Amazon boat trips and jungle walk excursions are also accompanied by our staff. Our group sizes are personalized and very small so there is not an opportunity for you to be overlooked by our staff. You are in safe hands during your stay with Modern Ancient so you can peacefully focus on your retreat experience and inner journey.
Yes please see here. We offer private ceremonies and tailored programs for individuals, and smaller groups of no more than 8 people, including families. Please email us directly on info (at) modernancient (dot) com, using the subject ‘Private Ceremony Request”, with more details and our team will be in touch to discuss your request.
All ceremonies are conducted in our beautiful ceremonial space, known as a maloka. The maloka is a traditional rustic building made of wood and leaves, which includes modern restrooms, floorings and speakers. Everyone has their own comfy mattress and bedding to either sit on or lie down during the ceremony as well as individual buckets, tissues and water to hand.
Physical release and sickness, known as ‘purging’, is an integral part of your healing to remove energetic blocks on a cellular level – essentially it’s an accelerated healing curve to reach a higher level of health in a short space of time as one gets worse before becoming better. While it may be intense during those moments of purging, it is normally then followed by unrivaled feelings and experiences of pure love, inner peace, bliss and true wholeness. Depending on your personal circumstances, your sickness may be little to none or a lot. Also, each ceremony is never identical to the other and provides a different experience each time, although how well you are prepared for the ceremony can influence your experience. We send each student comprehensive details to prepare in different ways prior to their retreat program.
The ceremony is opened with shamanic prayers with students seated by candlelight in a circle format. There will be spiritual tools such as Mappaccho (pure tobacco) and Palo Santo (wood) used to cleanse and protect the ceremonial space as well as a smooth rapé (pronounced ‘ha-peh’ in English) for each student. This is then followed by receiving, one by one, a shot glass size of the medicine from the shaman before returning to your space to relax while the medicine takes effect. The shaman starts singing prayers (traditionally called icaros in Peru) to bring ceremony participants into the vibration of the medicine and protect the energy of the ceremony. Music and binaural beats follow for the reminder of the ceremony.
For some, the medicine takes effect within 30 minutes, for others it may take up to an hour or longer. During this period it is important to relax, surrender and focus on your intention, and we provide details on ways to do this in the preparation materials we sent out before you arrive and during your pre-ceremony introduction talk on arrival as well as ongoing coaching on retreat.
It is natural to feel nervous and excited when participating in a ceremony for the first time. Also, in our experience, everyone who has felt this before taking part in a ceremony for the first time has overcome their fear and gone on to do more ceremonies. You will know when you have energetically connected with the medicine because you will, in no uncertain terms, feel it.
Everyone’s experience is different, some will have a more intense connection with the medicine than others. Some may have the ‘nada’ experience, which is known as the ‘no experience experience’ which is still an experience and an opportunity to truly connect with the practice of letting go. Many people report visions, however not everyone will have this experience and it may also be the case that some will have visions on one medicine e.g. Ayahuasca and not others e.g. Iboga or San Pedro and vice versa.
Also, your concept of time will be different as you move into a non-linear dimension, often referred to as the quantum field. So a ceremony that is 8 hours long may only seem like an hour or so has passed. The peace and tranquility felt after the intense deep cleanse performed by sacred plant medicine is truly profound – and challenging to accurately express in words – undoubtedly an ineffable experience.
LOCATION: Modern Ancient is located in the city of Iquitos in Peru. Our retreat center address is: Modern Ancient, KM 17.3, Carretera Iquitos Nauta, Iquitos, Peru.
PERU AIRPORT INFO: The closest international airport is Lima international, which serves as your first point of entry into Peru if arriving from abroad. From here a domestic flight can be boarded to Iquitos. There is only one airport in Iquitos used by commercial international airlines, which is “Coronel FAP Francisco Secada Vignetta”. An interesting fact about Iquitos is that it is the world’s largest city that is accessible only by boat or plane; there are no roads into the city and the fastest and easiest way to travel to Iquitos is by airplane. Tip: Be sure to pick up your luggage in Lima and re-check it from Lima to Iquitos no matter what the person behind the flight desk says!
PICKUP INFO: We provide an airport pick up and Iquitos city center location drop off service. Once you’re booked onto a retreat our operations staff will reach out to you prior to your program dates. All guests should arrive at the retreat by noon latest on the first day of the specified retreat program. Note that airfare and any expenses incurred prior to arrival are not included in your retreat package price.
VISA INFO: It is advisable to check with your local embassy website for the latest visa requirements for Peru. A passport valid for at least six months with at least two free pages in the visa section is required to obtain a tourist visa directly at the border or the airport. The tourist visa takes the form of an entry stamp when entering Peru. You will be provided with an “Andean Immigration Card” (TAM) (a small white paper form that you need to fill out with important information). Be sure to retain this form as you will need to reproduce it upon departure (misplacing or losing the “TAM” requires a fee and an inconvenient wait for a new one to be issued). If you plan to stay more than 90 days, then you may request a maximum time of 6 months when you pass through immigration on arrival in Lima (if arriving from an international location).
VACCINATIONS & MALARIA: A vaccination is not necessary if you are visiting Peru for the sole purpose of attending a retreat program, and do not plan on taking any detours. As we will not be taking deep jungle walks or treks after sundown, the risk of a fatal insect or mosquito bite is significantly minimized. Note that the Modern Ancient foreign family members, including those from the US and UK, as well as other foreigners who have been settled in Iquitos for many years, have never been vaccinated. The water provided on our premises is pure and free from chemicals and pollutants and meals are prepared on a daily basis using fresh ingredients. Also, the natural remedies we offer everyone such as Kambo alongside the sacred plant medicines are a form of effective treatment and protection against malaria (so the Kambo option on retreat certainly does help to keep you safe if you are truly concerned). If you are visiting other parts of Peru after your retreat program and wish to take a vaccine then the following are most relevant: Yellow fever, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Rabies.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Taking any form of malaria treatment, homeopathic or otherwise does not align with sacred plant medicine and therefore we will not be able to offer you a place at Modern Ancient for your own safety.
SAFETY: Iquitos has a very high tourist population and tourist areas are well policed and generally have good security. Most of the staff at Modern Ancient have lived in Iquitos for years and have not experienced serious or violent crime. However petty crime and pickpocketing does exist when the opportunity arises therefore it is advisable to remain alert e.g. keep money and valuable items safely in your wallet/bag rather than carrying them in your back pocket.
AIRFARE: Airfare and any expenses incurred prior to arrival are not included in your retreat package price. Packages are all inclusive for the duration of your stay at the retreat including airport transfer to and Iquitos city center drop off after the retreat.
MONEY: If you want to buy items such as palo santo wood, carved wood pipes, spiritual jewelry, paintings or traditional ‘Shipibo’ clothing and embroidered cloths etc, then we advise you to bring some extra money. There are places that sell a number of items and we also have selected sellers that visit the retreat to sell their items. For large embroidered cloths you can expect to pay between $60 to $100 (180 to 300 soles). Real wood Ayahuasca varnished jewelry with quartz or other crystals costs between $30 to $50 (90 to 150 soles). A pack of palo santo wood with around 10 medium sized pieces cost around $10 or less (30 soles or less). Different sellers have different prices. The sellers that stop by our retreat accept dollars. There are sellers in the city center that accept dollars as well as currency exchange places in the tourist areas where dollars can be easily changed into the local currency (soles).
Iquitos has lovely sunny weather all year round. Temperatures range from 21 to 33 °C (70 to 91 °F). The annual average temperature is 26.7 °C (80.1 °F). It does rain, but not for long, and when it does it is usually in bursts during the day or the night and mostly during the months of March, April and May (which bring beautiful rainbows). Nights can feel a bit cool, but this is not a common experience.
Our center has wifi access and 24 hour electricity. If your cell phone cannot receive international calls in Peru or data plans make them expensive to receive, it is recommended to download an internet based application for voice calling such as ‘WHATTS APP’ or ‘VIBER’ on your smartphone before you arrive in Peru. In cases where you are unable to obtain access through these methods, our staff members are happy to assist you. If you wish to buy a phone chip in Iquitos with a Peruvian phone number, the recommended company is called ‘BITEL’ as they provide good phone coverage including the area in which our center is located.
Standard sockets in Peru fit a two-prong plug (flat or round). If your device is from the UK or from a country that uses anything other than a two-prong plug, then you will need to purchase an adaptor. Peru uses a voltage of 220 volts and a converter is recommend if you are using a product that does not hold this voltage.
We are interested in collaborating and working with talented individuals from the global healing arts community who support our mission and vision. We also provide an opportunity to live and work with us on retreat through a karma yoga offering. Please email us directly on info (at) modernancient (dot) com, to find out more.