Frequently Asked Questions

What is Huachuma Wasi?


Huachuma Wasi is a quiet, comfortable and inspirational healing center located in Calca, in the heart of the Sacred Valley. It is place for you to relax, enjoy and think creatively. Our place is fully equipped with a kitchen, fireplace, laundry room, beautiful garden, hot showers, water filter, security cameras, Wi-Fi and comfortable beds. All of our rooms are private, and our suites feature their own kitchen, bathroom, fireplace and terrace as well. We are a family of four who are happily living together and sharing our home with spiritual seekers and people searching for healing. Our hope is to provide the best possible comfort, so you can feel at home while discovering a new country. Apart from the retreats, we are happy to help you to organize your travel and activities, including coordination with licensed tour guides. Our safe drivers can help you to reach any destination in Cusco, Sacred Valley and surrounding areas. Airport pickup from Cusco is also available. Sergey Baranov conducts the Huachuma retreats. He is the founder of Huachuma Wasi and author of three books: PATH: Seeking Truth in a World of Lies The Mescaline Confession: Breaking Through the Walls of Delusion Write Your Zen: In 30 Days




Where Huachuma Wasi is located?


We are located within a 50 minutes drive from Cusco and 50 minutes drive from Ollantaytambo, where the train leaves to Macchu Picchu and takes an hour and a half to reach. Lares hot springs is 1.5 hours away. The property is nicely removed from town, while still being only a 10 minute walk into the market and main square. You can take a mototaxi (tuk-tuk) for under $1 to get anywhere around town between 5am to 10pm. Our property is surrounded by magnificent mountain views. Our place provides a break from the pollution and noise of modern cities. Sitting in the garden at night, you can view the crystal clear sky and watch the moon rise over the mountains while listening to crickets. We invite you to stay with us and experience the best of Peru.




How long should I stay at Huachuma Wasi?


This would depend on what you are trying to achieve. Generally speaking, the more time you spend with either medicine, the more beneficial it becomes at the end. It takes time to gain trust and open up so the medicine can take you deeper into yourself. There is no limit to how long you can work with Huachuma. Our guests often extend their stays for months. A two-week retreat would be a minimum recommended stay. For people working with Ayahuasca for the first time, one week would be a good start, followed by at least one week of Huachuma before going home. This will help you to get grounded, process your experience and better understand it. There is no way to tell how long you should stay without getting to know you in person and seeing you on the medicine. Some people can do well spending just a week here, while others need months. It’s not better or worse, it’s just different for each person. The work gets deeper over time. We do not allow people who are diagnosed with schizophrenia or carrying suicidal tendencies to participate in the Ayahuasca retreat. Trying to put fire out using gasoline is a bad idea. There is NO guarantee that the medicine will alleviate your suffering, cure your depression, fix self-destructive behavior and tackle addictions. It takes two to tango. The medicine does not force itself on anyone. It only shows the path and leaves you with a choice. However, from our experience working with the medicine over many years, we have seen positive results and a lasting healing. The medicine work is an opportunity to heal and spiritually grow, not a certainty or an insurance policy. Although most people do connect and find what they were looking for and even more, there is a small percentage of people who do not. It would be safe to say that 99% of participants find their time spent here worthwhile and beneficial. For people who are seeking clarity and guidance on their Path, Huachuma can be a great ally. A few weeks spent with it here may feel like years spent in contemplation and self-reflection.




Can I extend my stay at Huachuma Wasi?


It often happens that our guests extend their stay. This is something you will have to talk to Sergey in person about.




Can I maintain communication with family back home?


Yes. Your family is your support. We have a good, reliable Wi-Fi connection accessible from every room. You are welcome to talk to whomever you want, maintain personal or professional contacts, before and after the ceremony.




Where are ceremonies conducted?


We have three places around Calca where we usually do our ceremonies: A beautiful river, where you get a chance to wash your fears away; a field of silence, a family-owned property surrounded by eucalyptus trees and beautiful mountains, where you experience silence while listening to birds; and a special ancient ceremonial place where you have a chance to connect and feel the energy of what we call a huaca in Peru, a place of power or an ancestral site. Usually we rotate between the three of them. For guests who stay for at least two weeks Huachuma retreat and are well-adjusted to the altitude, we can do a special ceremony at high altitude lakes and ancient ruins above Calca located at 4,200 meters above sea level and offer a stunning view and connection to the physical and energetic landscape.




How is a ceremony conducted?


A Huachuma ceremony starts at 10:00 am. We take the medicine in the maloca, the ceremonial space. After this we go out and spend all day in nature in silence, which allows for greater connection, contemplation and self-reflection. We return to our center around 5:30 pm and close the ceremony in the maloca. Around 6:00 pm we finish and everyone is free to rest, cook a meal and relax in the main house by the fireplace. An Ayahuasca ceremony starts at 6:00 pm as the day yields to the night. The ceremony is conducted inside the maloca. We end the ceremony between 10:00 and 11:00 pm.




Can I come for only one ceremony?


Yes, but only for Huachuma. There are people who find us while traveling in the area and whose time in Peru is either strictly scheduled or is coming to an end. Realistically speaking, one Huachuma ceremony is not enough to make a change in your life, but it is enough to see that the medicine is real and has the potential for healing and spiritual growth. We have also seen people who came for just one ceremony and found it to be an insightful and important experience. A single Ayahuasca ceremony is not available. A minimum of 3 ceremonies during one week is required.




How do I prepare myself for the medicine work at Huachuma Wasi?


Preparation for Huachuma is mental. There are no dietary requirements. We recommend spending time on our website and browsing through the Resources page to watch Sergey’s films, interviews, podcasts and read his books. For more details about the Ayahuasca retreat please Click Here.




How many people participate in a ceremony?


We allow up to fifteen people to participate in Huachuma retreats and up to ten people for Ayahuasca. We believe that smaller groups such as these are more beneficial for all participants. There is no minimum number of participants required for working with either medicine. We will serve it for one person in the same way and manner as we do to a group.




Do I have to take the same amount of medicine as everyone else?


No. The dose and the type of the medicine are intuitively measured and given for each person. There are sensitive people who need lighter medicine and a smaller dose, and there are those who need stronger medicine and a bigger dose. There are people who are new to the medicine and those who have had previous experiences. This is an important process that must be always respected. We take our time to gradually guide you into your experience. Usually this is something we discuss prior to the first ceremony.




What are the risks of drinking Huachuma (San Pedro) and Ayahuasca?


There are no known risks or drug interactions for working with Huachuma medicine. It is perhaps the safest and most tolerant plant healer and teacher you can find on our planet. This being said, we require a full and honest disclosure of all your physical and psychological health conditions. Working with Ayahuasca CAN carry health risks. It is crucial for your safety to disclose any known medical condition and currently used medications. You are required to inform us fully of all your mental health problems, past and present. Your disclosure MUST be absolutely honest and complete. Please visit the Ayahuasca page for more details.




I would like to do both Huachuma (San Pedro) and Ayahuasca. Which order would you suggest for doing this?


If you decide to work with both medicines, we would suggest to drink Ayahuasca first and end your medicinal journey with Huachuma, which would help you to get grounded, to process your experience and to better understand it.




How do I decide which medicine I should work with?


Both medicines are powerful plant teachers and are needed at different times in your life. The best advice is to follow your calling.




Can I drink alcohol during your retreats?


No. The spirit of the alcohol is not compatible with either Huachuma or Ayahuasca. As you would not like to invite drunk people to your house, why would you want to invite a drunk spirit to your body and mind?




Can I smoke marijuana during my retreats?


No. Marijuana is illegal in Peru and is not allowed at our center. Nor do we allow use of any other illicit substances during your stay. A violation of this rule will result in immediate termination of your participation without a refund.




Do I need to abstain from sexual activity during my stay at Huachuma Wasi?


Not if you come to work with Huachuma. It is recommended to abstain from sexual activity if you participate in Ayahuasca retreats.




Can I participate in ceremonies during my menstrual cycle?


Yes, if you come to work with Huachuma. We have had a number of women over the years who have taken Huachuma during their menstrual cycle and have reported that they have experienced less pain and found the medicine to be comforting. A smaller dose or lighter medicine is recommended during this time. NO, if you come to work with Ayahuasca.




Can I participate in Huachuma or Ayahuasca retreat during my pregnancy?


No. We will NOT accept your application to work with either Huachuma or Ayahuasca during your pregnancy due to a risk of miscarriage.




I am a feeding mother. Can I participate in your retreats?


We do NOT recommend partaking in our ceremonies during breast feeding.




How long ahead of time should I plan my retreat at Huachuma Wasi?


You can contact us at any time and check availability for the upcoming retreats. We are open all year round, less the time we take for family vacations, which is two weeks per year. All reservations must be completed and fully paid six weeks prior to your arrival.




What is the best time of the year to come?


For Huachuma - from March through the end of December. January and February are rainy months. We still work during the rainy season using rain ponchos. For Ayahuasca – all year round since the ceremonies are conducted indoors.




Should I be concerned about altitude sickness?


Generally speaking, no. During the 10 years of running our ceremonies, we had only one person who had to be taken to the local hospital for an oxygen therapy. After 20 minutes he was released. The next day he had his first ceremony and no longer had any problem. Since then we have had many people of different ages, none of whom have had any issues. One participant in his sixties who suffered from chronic asthma reported that his breathing was actually better than usual. If, as recommended, you don’t stay in Cusco upon your arrival, most likely you will not feel any significant changes unless you walk fast, uphill or upstairs. Usually we use coca tea to help our guests adjust to the altitude and tackle its symptoms, which may include headaches, nausea, tiredness and light dizziness. We have not observed anyone experiencing what is called a high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), with associated shortness of breath, or high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE), with associated confusion. Nor we have seen guests who have stayed with us for many months develop chronic mountain sickness. Usually our participants are ready to start with the ceremonies on the next day after their arrival. In case of an emergency, we will take you to a local hospital for an oxygen therapy. We also carry an oxygen bottle in our center for immediate help.




Do I need vaccines to enter Peru?


Vaccines are not required to enter Peru. It is a personal choice you have to make based on your own research. There have been no known cases of either malaria or yellow fever in the Cusco region. For more information please visit the CDC’s website here.




Do I need a visa to enter Peru?


Citizens of most American and Western European countries do not require a tourist visa. You will receive a visa for up to 183 days at the customs desk upon entry. You will need to have a valid passport.




I would like to come with a group of friends/colleagues. Can a retreat be arranged only for us?


Yes, but this has to be planned at least three months in advance to ensure availability.




What do I do on the free days between ceremonies?


These are your days of rest and integration. You are free to stay at the center, read books, rest, meditate, work on your personal projects, walk around town, explore the surroundings, hike or sightsee. Sergey is available for talks during the days off.




Are there ATMs in town?


Yes.




Where is the best place to exchange money?


We don’t recommend exchanging in the airports due to the lower rate you receive for your money. Our driver will assist you with that on the way out of Cusco.




Are Huachuma and Ayahuasca legal to use in Peru?


Yes. Both medicines are legal to use in Peru.




Do I have to sign a Waiver of Liability?


Yes. Although we do our best to inform you on all the potential risks and to ensure your safety, we require a Waiver of Liability to be signed and notarized. We can do it here upon your arrival to help to reduce the cost of the legal procedure.




How do I book Ayahuasca or Huachuma retreat?


Please fill out the form found on the retreat page to tell us more about yourself, your intentions and your needs. We will respond within 24 hours. We may ask for a Skype video call if we feel that a face to face conversation is needed.




Payment, Cancelation and Refund Policy


Payment in full is required 45 days prior to commencement of the retreat. Cancellation less than 30 days but prior to 14 days from the start of the retreat will receive a 50% refund. Cancellation emailed within 14 days of the retreat WILL NOT be considered. All payments must be made in U.S. dollars via PayPal or bank transfer.





Huachuma Wasi

Serving Medicine Since 2009.

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