Psychedelic Medicine:
Bridging the Gap between Ceremony and Therapy

An Educational Workshop for
Healthcare Professionals
with Dr. Joe Tafur, MD, & Bia Labate, Ph.D.

March 17 – 24, 2019

At this time we have sold out for this retreat. Please click the button below to read more & apply for our next retreat, August 4 - 11, with Bia Labate & clinical psychologist Dr. Clancy Cavnar:

August 4 - 11 Retreat

As psychedelic medicines make their way through clinical trials and into our modern healthcare system, there is a growing need for medical professionals to understand these medicines in order to best serve their patients. While most allopathic medicine does not require the doctor to have direct experience with the medicines they are prescribing, traditionally this has not been the case for psychedelic and plant medicines. From a cultural and traditional perspective, it is extremely valuable – if not imperative – that those who guide others through a psychedelic or plant medicine journey have an experiential understanding of the way in which these medicines work.

At Soltara, we believe it is important for medical professionals interested in the field of psychedelic psychotherapy to experience these medicines in a shamanic setting, one with deep ancestral roots that allows for each individual to undergo their own personal process. At the same time, we aim to create a space for informed discussion with like-minded professionals about the future of psychedelic psychotherapy, and the development of the practitioner to work within and around altered states of consciousness.

For this reason, Dr. Joe Tafur and Bia Labate, Ph.D., long-time luminaries in the field of plant medicines (read more below), are pleased to offer an opportunity for healthcare professionals to train, learn, and connect in an experiential, community-oriented, and ceremonial way with ayahuasca plant medicine. The goal of this workshop is to help inform and advance their practice, both now and in the future when these medicines become more widely available to their patients.

Some questions we will address include…

Does the psychedelic therapist have to drink/ingest or not the substance s/he is giving?

(Noting that this is a fundamental epistemological difference between ayahuasca shamanism and psychedelic therapy, as no shaman or guide would ever be considered legitimate without consuming the substance himself)

What is the role of set and setting?

(Noting that current practice defines set as things like “incense”, “flowers”, “nice music,” without necessarily addressing the general broader cultural context, which includes certain cosmology/views on what these substances are, etc.)

What is the difference between spiritual emergency and pathological mental health breaks?

As psychedelics are medicalized, how do we incorporate/dialogue with tradition and the sacred?

What can ayahuasca shamanism teach to psychedelic therapists?

Who is this workshop for?

We invite all healthcare professionals interested in the field of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy to apply for this unique opportunity. Come and experience what it’s like to undergo an immersive healing process in the context of the deeply rooted traditions of the Shipibo people on the jungle-laden shores of Costa Rica. Throughout the week, Bia and Joe will facilitate group discussions centered around topics of interest as the field develops, with the aim of promoting dialogue and advancing discourse around critical and relevant issues to current and/or future psychedelic therapists.


August 4 - 11 Retreat

A visit to Soltara includes:

  • 4 ayahuasca ceremonies with highly-experienced Peruvian female & male Shipibo healers
  • All meals in our conscious cuisine kitchen, prepared fresh daily from organic, pesticide-free, local sources in an ayahuasca-friendly manner
  • Multiple workshops and facilitated discussions throughout the week with Bia Labate, PhD, and Dr. Joe Tafur, surrounding topics as described above
  • Floral baths on ceremony days, with medicinal plants lovingly prepared by our healers
  • Yoga classes for all levels throughout your stay
  • Breathwork and meditation sessions
  • Multiple excursions throughout your stay in one of the most abundant & biodiverse regions on the planet
  • One-on-one consultations with our healers (and translator)
  • On-site integration workshops and sharing circles
  • Access to our creative space for music, art, writing, and dance
  • Access to our private on-site pool
  • Air-conditioning in all rooms
  • High-speed WiFi in all rooms (although we encourage all guests to disconnect as much as possible!)
  • Lifetime 10% discount for all return visits
  • Participation in our premiere integration program and community with a highly qualified integration support team
  • Access to a semi-private beach and equipment for kayaking and snorkeling in the pristine Gulf of Nicoya
Optional add-ons including:

  • Professional massages (included in single, and private couples lodging; additional cost for dorm-style  lodging)
  • Holistic life coaching sessions
  • Seasonal specialized nature excursions (based on climate and availability)

About Dr. Tafur and Bia Labate, Ph.D.

Dr. Joe Tafur, MD, is a Colombian-American family physician originally from Phoenix, Arizona. After completing his family medicine training at UCLA, Dr. Tafur spent two years in academic research at the UCSD Department of Psychiatry in a lab focused on mind-body medicine. After his research fellowship, over a period of six years, he lived and worked in the Peruvian Amazon at the traditional healing center Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual. There he worked closely with master Shipibo healer Ricardo Amaringo and trained in ayahuasca shamanism. In his new book “The Fellowship of the River: A Medical Doctor’s Exploration into Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicine,” through a series of stories, Dr. Tafur shares his unique experience and integrative medical theories. To learn more about his work, visit and

Bia Labate has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. Her main areas of interest are the study of plant medicines, drug policy, shamanism, ritual, and religion. She is Executive Director of Chacruna (, an organization dedicated to providing public education and cultural understanding about plant medicines. She is Adjunct Faculty at the East-West Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco, and Visiting Professor at the Center for Research and Post Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Guadalajara. She is also Public Education and Culture Specialist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). She is co-founder of the Drugs, Politics, and Culture Collective, in Mexico (, and co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP) in Brazil, as well as editor of NEIP’s website ( She is also Science and Culture Coordinator at Soltara Healing Center ( She is author, co-author, and co-editor of nineteen books, one special-edition journal, and several peer-reviewed articles (

Workshop Pricing


For those who prefer privacy and quiet, this luxurious and spacious suite features a king-size bed and accommodates a single guest of any gender. Also includes a free 1-hour massage with our licensed massage therapist.

$4570 USD


For couples who prefer privacy, our couples room features a king-size bed and accommodates two guests of any gender. Also includes a free 1-hour massage for each guest with our licensed massage therapist.

*Price for 2* | $6170 USD

Shared Suite:

For those seeking a more economical option, our shared dorm-style suite has 2 custom full-size bunk beds to accommodate up to 4 guests, along with a private bathroom, shower, and ocean-view balcony.

$2950 USD