COVID-19 TRAVEL PROTOCOL IN PERU
On November 1st, 2022, the Peruvian Government announced the withdrawal of all COVID measures and the abolition of the State of National Emergency through Supreme Decree No. 130-2022-PCM. It is no longer necessary to present a vaccination card or a negative molecular (PCR) test when entering or leaving the country. The use of masks is optional in open and/or closed spaces.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN IQUITOS?
The climate in Iquitos is tropical, mainly warm and humid throughout the year. Temperatures commonly range between 20ºC and 32ºC (64ºF–89ºF). The hot season falls between August and December, and the cool season between May and July. The summers tend to be warm and cloudy, while the winters are short, hot and partly cloudy.
In the Amazon jungle, it rains on average 200 days a year, hence the name “rainforest”! The wet season stretches between January and April, while the drier season with more sunny days falls between June and October. So make sure you check the weather conditions prior to your departure and bring the necessary equipment for your trip.
The duration of the day in Iquitos only varies by 20 minutes throughout the year, with June 21st being the shortest day, and December 21st the longest. The earliest sunrise is at 5:30 and the latest at 6:00. The earliest sunset is at 17:45 and the latest at 18:15.
WHAT CLOTHES SHOULD I BRING FOR THE RETREAT?
It is advisable to bring:
- Summer clothes, preferably made of cotton or linen, and light colors
- T-shirts and some sweatshirts with long sleeves for the evenings
- Short pants, dresses and/or skirts for the day and long pants for the evenings
- A sweatshirt or light jacket for the evening
- Sunglasses and a cap/hat
- Sandals and/or flip flops
- Hiking boots, or trekking shoes and socks for walks in the jungle
- Raincoat and/or umbrella
- A few bathing suits and a sarong
We recommend packing the basic items and some clothing in your carry-on luggage, to avoid inconveniences in case of delay or loss of your checked baggage.
WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TAKING?
- A flashlight for ceremonies, preferably with red or blue light adjustment
- A head torch, in case you feel like reading in the night
- A small battery-operated led lantern, in case you want to use it in your bungalow
- Additional batteries and/or a portable charger
- Books or other reading material
- A notebook and a pen to keep a diary
- Mosquito repellent, preferably for tropical areas
- Plastic bags with zip closure to protect objects that may be damaged by moisture (phone, camera, etc.)
CAN I USE SOAP, SHAMPOO, TOOTHPASTE, OR OTHER COSMETIC PRODUCTS DURING THE RETREAT?
It is advisable to bring natural products for personal hygiene, such as a PH-neutral soap, body wash and shampoo, fluoride-free toothpaste, coconut oil for the skin and hair care, etc. You can use coconut or olive oil as sunscreen, but the best is to avoid excessive sun exposure. We also recommend bringing a ‘traditional’ toothbrush instead of the electric one.
DO I HAVE TO BRING BEDDING, TOWELS AND A MOSQUITO NET?
Our center provides all these services. If you wish, you can bring a portable mosquito net for your meditations in the forest.
ARE THERE MANY MOSQUITOS IN YOSI OCHA?
Mosquitos are an inevitable part of the wildlife in the Amazon rainforest, and the same applies to Yosi Ocha. In our center, the common areas – the maloca, the kitchen, and the hammock house – are all protected with mosquito nets. The windows of the bungalows are covered with mosquito screens and each bed has its own mosquito net.
“Los zancudos” (mosquitos in Spanish) tend to get more ‘active’ in the afternoon/evening, so we recommend using anti-mosquito repellents to avoid getting bitten. We don’t advise putting the repellent directly on the skin, as they are usually quite toxic, it is better to wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers in the evening and spray the repellent on the clothes. You can also use natural anti-mosquito sprays with citronella or something similar, but just in case, we recommend you have at hand special repellents for tropical areas which can usually be found in pharmacies.
DO I NEED TO BE VACCINATED AND / OR TAKE ANTI-MALARIA PILLS?
Currently, no vaccines are required to enter Peru. From our side, we do not recommend vaccinations just before starting the retreat, as they may interfere with plant medicines that we administer in Yosi Ocha. If you decide to get a vaccine, it is recommended to consult with the local center of attention for international travelers to plan the trip well in advance, as some vaccines have an activation period of 10 to 15 days.
The risk of contracting malaria in the Loreto region is low. If you decide to take prophylaxis, we recommend Malarone (atovaquone/proguanil). Malaria prophylaxis with doxycycline or mefloquine does not interact well with Ayahuasca.
IS THERE ELECTRICITY AND INTERNET IN THE CENTER?
We have electricity produced by two solar panels in the kitchen, the dining room, and the hammock house, but there is no electricity in the bungalows.
We also have Internet in Yosi Ocha, but it is not reliable as the signal can be weakened by weather conditions. If you are staying for a longer period of time, we can arrange a short trip to Iquitos once a week so that you can call your loved ones or check your mail. However, as part of the retreat, we strongly recommend reducing the use of all technology to the minimum necessary.
I DO NOT SPEAK SPANISH… IS THERE A TRANSLATOR IN THE CENTRE?
Maestro Heberto does not speak English. Therefore, we provide Spanish-English translation services for guests that don’t speak Spanish.
HOW DO I GET TO IQUITOS? WHAT AIRLINES FLY TO IQUITOS?
If you are coming from abroad, first you will have to fly into Lima, and then take a domestic flight from Lima to Iquitos.
There are 3 airlines flying every day between Lima and Iquitos:
You can book Lima-Iquitos flights through the website of each company, or you can purchase the flights at the Lima airport. You can also check e-Destinos and Skyscanner for better-price deals.
Make sure you have enough time to comfortably change flights during your transit in Lima so that you don’t miss your flight to Iquitos if your first flight gets delayed.
HOW DO I GET FROM IQUITOS AIRPORT TO YOSI OCHA?
The transfer from and to the Iquitos airport, or your hotel in Iquitos, is included in the price of our retreats.
Yosi Ocha retreat is located 22 km from the Iquitos airport, which is a 45-minutes ride by car. Once you book your retreat, we will coordinate your pick-up at the airport, or we will pick you up at your hotel in Iquitos. If you land in Iquitos before 17:00, you will be able to enjoy the ride to our center during daylight. If you arrive later, we can still pick you up and take you to Yosi Ocha on the same day.
HOW CAN I PAY FOR MY RETREAT?
You can book your retreat by paying 30% of the total amount through a Bank Wire Transfer or on our website using the secure PayPal platform:
- by credit card WITHOUT having a PayPal account
- using your PayPal account
- Bank Wire Transfer
- Western Union
WHAT ARE THE PAYMENT CONDITIONS?
To book your retreat, you must make a reservation by paying 30% of the total amount and confirming the exact dates of your arrival and departure.
The remaining 70% balance must be paid the latest 30 days before the beginning of your retreat.
If you decide to book a retreat less than 30 days before the start of the retreat, you will have to pay the full price straight away.
WHERE CAN I CHANGE MONEY OR WITHDRAW SOME CASH?
At Yosi Ocha, you can only pay in cash, in Peruvian Soles, Euros, or US dollars. We do not exchange money in the center.
You can change your local currency to Soles, EUR, or USD at your city’s airport, Lima airport, or at Iquitos airport. You can also withdraw money from ATMs in Lima and Iquitos. Please note that at ATMs, there is often a limit of 200-400 USD per day/week, depending on your bank and your credit card. Therefore, if you plan to pay something in cash (massages or Shipibo art), the best would be to withdraw the money before boarding your flight to Peru.
IS IT ADVISABLE TO CARRY ADDITIONAL MONEY?
The price of the retreat includes accommodation and food, all the treatments, and the transfer from and to the Iquitos airport, or hotel.
However, if you feel like taking back home a souvenir from Yosi Ocha, you will be able to choose from a great variety of beautiful handmade Shipibo art produced by Maestro’s family: from necklaces, crowns, bracelets, to traditional Shipibo fabrics and tapestries, and ceremonial products like pipes, maracas, rapé, applicators for rapé, mapacho, palo santo, Agua de Florida, purifying colognes (Cananga, Ruda and rose), copal resin, etc.
During your stay, you may also want to try a traditional Shipibo hot stone massage, which is NOT included in the price of the retreat – it costs 50 EUR per session and should be paid in cash.
IS IT NECESSARY TO DO A SPECIAL DIET BEFORE ARRIVING AT THE CENTER?
We advise you to consult our instructions for the Preparation for an Ayahuasca retreat for more information. In principle, a preliminary diet is not mandatory, but it is highly advisable to abide by the following restrictions minimum 3 days prior to your arrival:
- No alcohol
- No drugs
- No antibiotics
- No pork, no red meat, no dairy
- Moderate use of salt, sugar, and fats
- No sex/masturbation
I AM A VEGETARIAN (VEGAN), WHAT CAN I EAT DURING MY STAY AT THE CENTRE?
Our menu consists of a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, cereals and legumes, as well as eggs, fish and chicken from the region. If you do not eat products of animal origin, or have any type of food restriction (gluten, allergies, etc.), let us know in advance and we will do our best to offer you a personalized menu.
HOW MANY CEREMONIES WILL I HAVE IN ONE WEEK?
At Yosi Ocha, each patient receives a personalized treatment determined by Maestro Heberto after the initial diagnostic, which is done during the first ceremony. But in general, there are 4 Ayahuasca ceremonies and 1 San Pedro per week. You can see more information in the preliminary program for each retreat in Retreat Options.
WHAT IS THE NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS IN AN AYAHUASCA CEREMONY/RETREAT?
Maestro Heberto puts great emphasis on personalized treatments and individual attention to each patient. Therefore, at Yosi Ocha, we work with smaller groups, usually up to 12–14 participants per ceremony/retreat.
WHAT IS THE IDEAL DURATION OF AN AYAHUASCA RETREAT?
There is no ideal number of days that would be recommended for everyone, since the length of the treatment will vary from person to person, depending on their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual condition. If your health is fairly good and your primary goal for the retreat is to explore the spiritual realm, improve your overall well-being, and return home with renewed energy after undergoing a general physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual cleanse, then a retreat of between 1 and 3 weeks would be very beneficial for you.
If you are struggling with higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression, and wish to resolve major traumas hidden in deeper layers of your energy body, we would recommend a retreat of 2 to 4 weeks or more. In the case of severe inflammatory disorders and autoimmune diseases, you should plan a minimum stay of 1 month at Yosi Ocha, because the physical body has to undergo very deep cleansing and reset the entire metabolism. A retreat of up to 3 months may be appropriate in the case of chronic physical disease that has proven resistant to Western medical techniques. Any such cases must be discussed individually with Maestro Heberto before booking a retreat.
CAN I CHOOSE MY ROOM/BUNGALOW?
The room configuration is established in order of arrival and not by reservation. When you make your booking, you can request to share the bungalow with your partner or friend, with one big bed or two separate beds. Just let us know at the time of making your booking and we will do our best to make you feel comfortable during your stay.
WHEN A WOMAN IS MENSTRUATING, CAN SHE PARTICIPATE IN THE CEREMONIES?
Yes, you are welcome to participate in the ceremonies, but you must inform the maestro in advance so that he can do the necessary preparatory work.
WHAT KIND OF MEDICATIONS ARE CONTRAINDICATED WITH AYAHUASCA?
There are different types of medications that can interact negatively with Ayahuasca. In our section Preparation for a retreat, you will find detailed information on this topic. If you have additional questions about specific medications that you are taking, please do not hesitate to write to us and we will study your case personally.
IS IT NECESSARY TO HAVE AN INTENTION WHEN WORKING WITH AYAHUASCA?
It is recommended to have a clear purpose when you come to work with Ayahuasca. However, it is not absolutely necessary, you can also do deep work by simply opening your mind and allowing the process to unfold on its own.
While it may be beneficial to have intentions, it is very important not to generate expectations. Sacred plant medicines will always give you what you need, it will teach you what you are prepared to learn, and it will rarely do so in a way that one might anticipate. Therefore, do not feel bad if you are trying to define an intention before travelling and this only generates more confusion. Relax and rest assured, as Maestro Heberto will be by your side throughout your journey, at all times.
You can find more information about how to define your intention in the section: Preparation for a retreat.
HOW CAN I CONTACT YOU FOR ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?
If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.