Frequently Asked Questions
At Soltara, we have had many guests come through who have had little to no experience with psychoactive medicines, who have found deep and profound healing working with ayahuasca. In fact, less experience can sometimes be more beneficial, as it can make it easier to enter into the experience without prior expectations, a key component that can play a major part in how much you get out of ceremony.
Working with ayahuasca can be a process, which is to say, if you are planning on working with the medicine – especially for the first time – we recommend allowing yourself the space and time to undergo multiple ceremonies in a safe and supportive container. This is because it can take some time to build up enough trust and a relationship with the medicine that will allow for the deeper work to unfold. Often times, just one ceremony can open up the work but be insufficient to get significant benefit from it and then have a chance to energetically close what has been opened. It is for this reason that our minimum retreat stay is five nights. We have found that at least three ceremonies, along with integration support during and after to help guests process what has come up, can allow for a deep level of healing to occur.
We have much more information about ayahuasca on our website – here are some good starting points that may help you get a better idea of this medicine and how it works:
Upon registration, you will receive an information packet which will include our dietary and preparation guidelines to prepare you for your experience. Beyond the specific foods we list to avoid, in general it’s best to approach the diet focusing less on deprivation, and more about creating an environment within your body which gives the medicine the best chance of permeating and illuminating areas that need healing. In general, a clean diet which focuses more on whole foods and less on excess salt, sugar, spiciness, and processed foods, is going to allow the medicine to work with you in the best way possible.
As part of our preparation and integration support system, we offer 1-on-1 preparation sessions with a psychotherapist from our team, for those who would like emotional/mental support as you consider and prepare for working with ayahuasca. These sessions can help clarify intentions, address anxieties, and set the foundation for the work you will do prior to your arrival. These sessions are offered at a discounted price of $50 for 50 minutes. Please visit this link to view availability and book a session with Sean Chiddy, a therapist from our team. Sean has several years of experience supporting people through their processes before, during, and after they work with ayahuasca medicine.
Below are a few other resources we recommend as you prepare to work with ayahuasca plant medicine:
Please use Google to find out what vaccinations your government recommends for travelers going to Costa Rica, and be sure you’re up to date on all of them. Traveling to Costa Rica primarily requires routine vaccinations, though it is also a good idea to be vaccinated against typhoid. If you happen to be arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever, the Costa Rican government requires proof of yellow fever vaccination; check this page to see if you may be required to get the yellow fever vaccine. Soltara has less mosquitoes than most jungle locations due to the breeze coming off of the Gulf of Nicoya, but nevertheless, please bring natural bug spray to avoid bites from mosquitoes that may in very rare cases be carrying malaria. If you anticipate participating in the ayahuasca ceremonies, please avoid taking antimalarial medication for the retreat. Here you can read the US government’s recommended vaccination information for travelers going to Costa Rica.
If possible, we recommend discontinuing all supplements 7 days before your retreat. The basic idea behind working with master plant teachers like ayahuasca is to bring a clean slate of a body. To learn the most one can from the experience of connecting with ayahuasca medicine, one is always recommended in the Shipibo tradition to temporarily stop the use of any other supplements, plant treatments (unless prescribed by the healers), and synthetic drug treatments. If you can put these things on hold (unless it’s necessary to continue treatments), then you will get a more direct connection with ayahuasca. =]
As CBD oil comes from the marijuana plant, we do recommend refraining from using this for at least two weeks before and after your retreat. This is not medically contraindicated, however in order to prepare your body for working with ayahuasca, it is recommended to stop using all other plant medicine for the specified time before and after.
If there are any that you are needing to continue throughout the retreat, please indicate this on your registration form and we will follow up with you.