1heart has visited numerous world-class healing centers across Central America. However, a Costa Rica Ayahuasca Retreat Center (and home) has been something we’ve quietly been preparing to receive. And that time has finally come.
We’re thrilled to share that Kinkara’s Luxury Retreat in the Chirripó Mountain Range of Costa Rica has become our new home. This Ayahuasca Costa Rica wonderland is perfect for the way we’re serving our communities and the planet. Sitting in Costa Rica’s biodiverse Southern Zone, Kinkara is truly a one-of-a-kind experiential eco-luxury resort offering diverse activities, world-class farm-to-table meals, waterfalls, rivers, and jungle excursions, and of course, a maloka built in alignment with sacred geometry to hold 1heart’s ayahuasca retreats.
1heart’s Ayahuasca Retreat
At 1heart, we believe we don’t have to directly work with one million people to influence millions. That’s because we typically work with leaders, conscious creators & change-makers, ex-founders, and other high-performing business professionals. And by bringing together these groups of people and supporting them to make the move from being head-led to heart-lead with the help of ayahuasca, our powerful container, and this community, we watch the ripple of their benevolent changes impact their friends, family, co-workers, and strangers alike.
While we want to see people do their work, release deeply limiting beliefs or fears, and even face the energy of their trauma young or old, we also make it a point to support our guests to expand, elevate, and evolve. We mix deep healing with a focus on personal transformation to create a community of leaders making decisions with an eco-logical frame of heart rather than the long-standing ego-centric frame of mind.
What Makes 1heart’s Ayahuasca Ceremony Different?
One of the short answers to this question is Kinkara. Kinkara is unique in its staff, amenities, maloka, and location – all of which play into 1heart’s world-renowned container. So we’ll break down this word container in objective ways so you can be more informed and in subjective ways to answer the question posed in the header: What Makes 1heart’s Ayahuasca Ceremony Different?
You Might Be Wondering… What’s a Container?
The container your ayahuasca retreat creates and follows, while being flexible to the changes and individual needs of guests, is something vital to be aligned with before saying yes to your ayahuasca ceremonies.
A container in an ayahuasca retreat context = the physical environment + the programming or content + the community + the medicine people + the medicine + the supporting staff. AND we recognize this formula can and likely will evolve. Because all we’re doing here is coming up with our best theories and then debunking them moments, days, years, decades, or millennia later.
That said, each one of these pillars, or ingredients, plays a big role in contributing to the depth of transformation, reignition of passion, or spiritual healing people can experience when working within a sacred plant medicine ceremony.
The Physical Environment
The environment is where you find yourself in the world, from Costa Rica to Colombia to Portugal. It also includes the amenities you’ll have access to, like plush beds and meals, outdoor showers, trails, waterfalls, horseback riding, tree planting, and the like. These factors and more, support people feeling and knowing they can do their work in a safe and loving environment. And feeling safe and held with Love are core principles the best ayahuasca retreats live by.
Because without safety, the ability to surrender into the depths of an ayahuasca journey is compromised. And feeling safe also allows a person to work through their experience, whether it was Light or Dark or anything in between. Without safety, it’s harder for someone to remain open when the going gets tough. Because it will. Once you’ve drunk plant medicine, especially ayahuasca, it gets intense and it will get hard. So when that time comes, being able to take a breath and say “It’s okay. I’m safe here.” will make all the difference in how the medicine supports someone’s personal growth.
Kinkara’s environment was literally made for 1heart. Well, at least that’s what we believe. In fact, 1heart’s Journey 2 was the first-ever retreat Kinkara hosted five years ago in March of 2018. The images and words depicting all the beauty these lands hold don’t do this paradise justice. So come experience Kinkara for yourself.
The Programming or Content
We’re all being programmed. It’s inevitable. We’re all consuming information that influences how we think, behave, communicate, and express ourselves. So it’s best to soak in brain food that nourishes the mind to move authentically, at the pace of your own heart, to the beat of your own song.
And at 1heart, that’s exactly what we’ve done… develop content and programming that shifts or breaks old ways of thinking, playing small or afraid, and has us looking our fears in the eyes and being empowered to believe something different. We combine plant medicine ceremony with practical and grounded workshops to help our guests land their learnings in real-time and continue supporting their transformations even after they’ve touched down at home.
We offer all guests a 25-page Elevation Guide full of powerful prompts, exercises, resources, questions, and more to support these reframes well before a person has sat in their ayahuasca ceremony. And to go with that, we’ve created POWERFUL workshops that play off this preparation material to support you through your breakdowns and breakthroughs. It’s no wonder +95% of our guests have shared they’ve received life-changing breakthroughs. Because these transformations begin well before someone touches down in Costa Rica.
Who you sit next to is no accident. And the community you find yourself in follows suit. As you look to anchor into your decision to work with Amazonian plant medicine tea, being in a community of like-minded/hearted humans will support your healing exponentially. We can’t underestimate just how powerful of influences the people in your ayahuasca retreat become before, during, and after the ceremonies close.
At 1heart, we say two things. The first is that everyone comes in as strangers and leaves as family. The second is that once the third ayahuasca ceremony closes our community becomes the medicine. Being able to process, share, and integrate with people who speak the same language and remove the weird feelings/judgments or continuous explanations into ayahuasca visions and the like let you get right into deep healing and heart-felt sharing without all the surface-level preamble.
We believe we have one of the best communities in the world. It’s a mix of serious, high-performing business professionals that are also curious about their place in our culture and want to continue putting their best foot forward in business, with their families, and as they express themselves creatively.
The Medicine People
What happens when you bring together decades worth of plant medicine experience with decades of musical training and performing? You get 1heart’s medicine team.
Not only has our medicine team gone deep into their practice and craft to hold space with potent precision, they’ve also paired their world-class space-holding abilities with out-of-this-world musical performances. As June Cohen, founder of TED Talks and a 1heart alumni says, the medicine man with 1heart is a generational talent and a genuine man. There is simply no one like him on the planet.
Plus, our medicine team shares the altar with one another, which is very rare. These people come from diverse lineages and teachers, yet they’ve come together time and time again within 1heart to provide an experience no other ayahuasca retreat can replicate.
Soltara Healing Center, for example, works with Master Healers all coming from a Shipibo lineage. While the main medicine woman of 1heart works with this lineage, the other medicine woman comes from a Brazilian lineage.
You might be thinking… what medicine? Ayahuasca. The medicine and ayahuasca become synonymous at some point in someone’s healing journey. Because this Amazonian tea gets to the root of our psychological, energetic, and creative dis-stress, shines a light on this shackle, and supports someone in breaking free from their own self-constrained box, label, ceiling, or prison. So rather than being a drug, something people turn to for quick fixes and bandaids, medicine is something that quickly addresses the root of the symptom, rather than the surface-level symptom.
Typically the ayahuasca vine, chacruna leaves, and water are used to create ayahuasca tea. The vine influences our gut to allow the DMT from the leaves to be processed, thus, leading to visionary effects and intense physical sensations.
At 1heart, we don’t add anything else to our brew. It’s pure. These three ingredients. Some others might add other plants to induce more visions or vomiting. So make sure you ask how the medicine is prepared and what’s included in the medicine you’ll be sitting with.
The medicine is crucial to a container because, in a sense, it’s what creates the container. Ayahuasca is like the undercurrent of a river, the invisible force propelling the natural order of things to move in harmony. And whether harmony looks like a calm glassy surface reflecting the clouds and diamonds of sunshine or a rushing river we wouldn’t dare step foot into is content for another blog post.
The Supporting Staff
As one of the 1heart medicine men once shared, a ceremony is only as good as the people supporting the flow. While the ones behind the altar get most of the credit, it’s the staff in ceremony that allows for these experiences to keep their senses of safety, non-judgment, and immense transformation.
Typically, we bring six to eight staff members on every Journey to support our first-timers. The staff is responsible for getting people places on time, leading workshops, playing songs in ceremonies, supporting with integration, helping the medicine people as requested, walking people to the bathroom, and so on.
It’s these quiet heroes that play vital roles in creating a container that allows people to go deep, release what no longer serves them, and embody the gifts waiting to be remembered.
Ayahuasca in Costa Rica: Why’s It So Popular?
“By now, we’d bet you know someone who’s been to an ayahuasca retreat in Costa Rica. And as an organization that’s been hosting these sacred plant medicine ceremonies in Costa Rica for years, we’ve seen just how popular this powerful, clean, and sacred land has become to host an ayahuasca retreat.
Costa Rica is one of the few places known as a blue zone worldwide. This association means the area’s people are the happiest, healthiest, and have the longest life spans of people across the globe.
As you pair the peace and energy of this place, plus the ease of arriving at a Costa Rica ayahuasca retreat, with the power of the medicine itself, it’s no wonder this destination is becoming so popular.”
But we can summarize the blog post for you below:
- Ayahuasca retreats in Costa Rica are gaining popularity due to the easier access compared to other countries, allowing participants to approach the ceremonies with ease and readiness.
- The natural beauty of the country, surrounded by mountains, oceans, lakes, rivers, and jungles, provides a transformative environment for relaxation and connection with nature.
- Costa Rica’s ethos of “Pura Vida,” promoting a simple and pure life, creates a sense of safety, cleanliness, and high-vibrational energy that supports the alignment with empowering frequencies.
- Additionally, Costa Rica’s developed infrastructure offers modern amenities such as eco-luxe accommodations, well-equipped retreat centers, and expansive food halls, eliminating the need to venture deep into the jungles for an ayahuasca experience
What You Should Consider While Researching Your Perfect Ayahuasca Retreat
Of course, no one should be telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. Because then we’d be shoulding all over the place and we don’t believe it’s our place to tell you what to do or how to think. We create exercises, prompts, and relationships that encourage independent thinks and creative doers. People willing to stand alone and think for themselves, rather than swallow prescribed information just because someone said so.
That said… we wrote a long article on our top 11 tips, framed as questions, worth considering as you vet ayahuasca retreats anywhere in the world, from Sacred Valley to Peru to the mountains or beaches of Costa Rica. And our list goes like this:
- Do they have a preparation program?
- What does their integration process look like?
- How was the on-site programming designed? What will you do outside of an ayahuasca ceremony?
- What goes into the curation of their guests? Is there an interview process or can anyone attend who meets the basic medical checklist?
- How are they nurturing their community of participants before, during, and after the retreat?
- Are they upfront about the reviews they’ve received? If you have to search hard to find what people are saying, don’t pass a blind eye to that.
- Do their accommodations make me feel at ease and safe?
- How long have their facilitators been doing this work? And what’s their relationship to their own healing journey?
- Are things done or put together with love and intentionality? Or is there a chaotic, random, indifferent air to the structure of the retreat?
- What roles do safety and integrity play in their retreat?
- How do they bring out the fun and playfulness in the group? Or are these expressions not allowed at this retreat?
Our Closing Ceremony on Costa Rica Ayahuasca
You could say we’re stoked to anchor into Kinkara. We have some powerful ideas coming to life as we say yes to this incredible opportunity. And we want you to be there with us as we continue to grow and evolve.
Because while there will be other ayahuasca retreats you could go to, we’ll leave you with a test, a piece of homework. Go look at their reviews and then remove anything tied to ayahuasca from the review. What’s left? We can’t tell you. That’s for you to discover.
What we can tell you about this exercise when done with 1heart reviews is that our alumni are singing their praises about a pristine location, top-notch musical performances, paradigm-shifting programming, a selfless staff of powerful people, incredible dieta-friendly meals, and a community to call family for the rest of your life.
Just like there’s no place like Kinkara, there’s no all-inclusive ayahuasca retreat like 1heart.