~ Testimonials ~
Stephanie (AZ, USA) 2017
Ayahuasca is a very personal journey and so wherever you are guided be sure to do your research and find a retreat that works best for your needs.
There is a lot of love and support at Los Cielos. Everyone there feels it is important you have the best experience possible. Any concerns and questions are anything but a burden to the staff and volunteers. All are open to share and teach and guide you as best they can. I would recommend to at least attend the ten day retreat in order to get the most out of the experience, especially if you are new to ayahuasca.
Muchas gracias to my Los Cielos familia.
Heather Bellini, USA - 2017
"Sylvie is undoubtedly present and intuitive! Which is what is needed in this process. She is a safe, secure and reliable guide for your journey. I was able to do some very deep personal work. She helped me to understand and integrate my experience and allowed me to feel free and supported in my process. Without Sylvie, I am not sure I would have been able to process and integrate this phenomenonal and life changing experience. I have a new ability to shift and transform negative feelings and experiences as well as to shorten the duration. I don't get stuck anymore. I was really scared to meet myself and Sylvie allowed me to be strong. You're lucky if you get to work with this amazing woman and have an amazing transformational shift! Go for it! You're worth it. It's going to be awesome."
Daniella, USA 2016
"I visited Los Cielos for 4 days. It's unlike any other retreat center I visited. Other retreat centers have a one size fits all approach and an agenda that you need to follow. Most of these big name centers are like ayahuasca factories and just want your money. Los Cielos are very hands on, attentive, and offer lots of personal care. Other retreat centers I visited have large groups of people coming and going with few facilitators to check in on you. At Los Cielos I felt like family and they listened to my individual needs, constantly checking in to see that I was okay. The manager, Sylvie, specializes in Kambo, frog poison cleanse, so if you go you'll get a special treat of getting to work with this medicine. The ceremonies were exactly my style... everyone sang, played instuments, and if I was having a hard time Sylvie was there offering support. I felt so unbelievably safe and heard.
The most important factor is that they spend their money on the community and hire local workers. Many retreat centers set up shop and hurt the local economy because they bring a bunch of white people on board and exploit the local community. Los Cielos treats their employees like family, and offers them medicine. They also do a lot of work in the community to give back. This is one center that is doing the local economy good.
They brew their own medicine! Los Cielos is very particular about their brew, and Sylvie is a master herbalist, so she ensures it's good stuff. Sure enough, it wasn't watered down like most other medicine I've tried, and yet it also wasn't mindblowingly overwhelming. I felt the medicine even tasted smoother than most.
I can't recommend Los Cielos Peru enough!"
Dana Mockenhaupt, USA 2014
“I have spent a lot of time thinking about this, and this trip truly changed my life. I have seen so much growth in the positive direction, and I feel like I have become so much more in tune with my body, and so much more accepting of myself as I am. I tribute that a lot to one of the visions I had while in ceremony. I got to see myself from an outside perspective, and that changed my views of myself and the world around me. It did take some time to integrate in, but looking back over the last year, those central themes keep appearing in my thoughts and actions. It will forever be life changing for me and I will always be grateful. I also find you in my head (Nomecito), when the times get tough, just repeating "gracias, gracias, gracias". It really does help me get through things, so I am grateful for you too!
I think that overall it was a wonderful trip… I found the whole trip very enriching. I like that we did not do much in the city until then end, due to the trip being focused more on the self…I found so much meaning out of it, and I understand now why you meant it takes so long to integrate into life; but the changes will last a lifetime.”
Marla Celeste, Australia 2014
“Last year I visited Los Cielos with an open heart and an open mind, but I still could not believe what I found. I had never had experience with plant medicines before I visited, and travelling through Peru alone at 20 I had had some bad experiences on my trip. I was nervous about who I should be handing my safety over to, but I came out of the experience feeling like a family member.
The owner, Jorge came and met me at the bus depot. Soon, I was introduced to his beautiful wife who made me a lovely hot meal, and his adorable children, who were full of questions. Next we met the shaman Pedro, a man with a pure heart and eyes that see nothing but truth. We drove out of the somewhat industrialised Pucallpa to open roads and clean air, and set off for the jungle.
At the centre you will meet the watchman, Benito, a kind old soul who I have shared many stories with, played guitar with by firelight and learned very much from.
Jorge, Pedro and Benito went out of their way to give me a life changing experience. I think that they could tell how open I was to their teachings, so they didn't hold back. I was delighted to learn about many different types of plant medicine, about the local culture, to strengthen my Spanish and perhaps most importantly, to learn about myself. I participated in 2 ceremonies with Pedro and I can say without a shred of doubt that the first was the single most beautiful experience of my life.
I have read that as a shaman, Pedro specializes in complex psychological problems and now I am a testament to that fact. I felt as though I had been born again, taken my first steps again and seen the world through new eyes, all under the maternal gaze of mother Aya. My second ceremony was terrifying. I thought I knew what I was in for, but she wanted to take me somewhere else, and I was resisting. Pedro was beautiful throughout the whole experience. I was so worried I had been disrespectful but I remember crying and desperately taking steps towards him with my arms outstretched. Pedro gave me what I remember as "the best hug of my life" and in my head I saw a beautiful weathered old tree, taller than my eyes could make out. In my heart I saw that he was a true healer.
Benito is a gentle old soul, an angel of the selva. I think he was quite shy around me at first but once we had spent some time together, and my Spanish improved, I would spend my days on 4 or 5 hour long walks through the jungle with him. He taught me about plants and people - introducing me to just about everyone in the neighboring village. I am forever indebted to his kindness, and I miss talking to him into the night by the copal fire.
Jorge has shared stories with me that the logical, city-grounded side of me doesn't want to believe, but gets overridden by whatever part of me led me to his reserve in the same place. His property is beautiful, and I felt honored to help him with the gardening when I could. One of my favorite experiences was walking with him into the deep lush jungle that makes up the back of the property at night. He told me haunting stories of the jungle, and the animals and spirits that call it home. We turned off our torches and waited in the darkness. Every sense, and every sensation was heightened tenfold. I swear I could feel the monkeys in the distant trees, the amber eyes of Jaguars upon me from the distance. Every little glow-worm or fly made its presence known to me. It was beautiful.
We still keep in touch, and he has since sent me further medicines that could help me. Whilst I stayed with him, he drove me to the city when I needed, even lent me money when I found myself with absolutely none. Made me feel safe after months of travelling alone had worn me out. I am not a religious person, but a spiritual one. I think that some higher force brought us together as people.
I truly cherish the memories of waking up to Pedro's hot pineapple quinoa drink in the morning, helping Benito sweep out the kitchen, and sitting down for another of Jorge's wonderful stories.
I was so conscious of wanting to get the "real" experience when it came to ayahuasca - no fancy lounge chairs by the pool filled with foreigners doing trendy expensive retreats. (No judgement towards these centres, they're just not my cup of tea!) What I saw and felt was realer than anything I had before.
These are honest, beautiful people doing something truly special. Their eyes see more than most, and as they have said to me, “if you come to the jungle with good intentions, she will be kind to you.” If you want to truly experience the culture of the Peruvian Amazon, the selva, the Shipibo… If you truly want to open your heart, mind and eyes, then please get in touch with them.”
~ Marla Celeste, Australia