Ayahuasca Retreats in Costa Rica 215.310.1250



New Life Ayahuasca Overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 96 reviews
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Shamanic Value

5 5 1
Just before I traveled to New Life, I was given a book. It was a coincidence that the book was Stone Age Wisdom and that it was about shamanism. More important, it was something that I needed to read at just that moment – such are the synchronicities that pop up in your life if you’re ready to notice them. I knew a lot about Ayahuasca from reading and listening to Terrence McKenna. But I had given almost no thought to the other important factor in Ayahuasca ceremonies – the shaman. Author Tom Crockett wrote his book to demystify the function played by those who facilitate, host and present the ceremonies. His central premise is that shamanic work is about helping people to learn about and to heal themselves. You don’t have to be from a traditional culture and you don’t need a PhD in Shamanistic Studies. You just need to understand – intellectually and viscerally – the value of the rituals and pre-modern practices that can be so effective with or without the plant medicines. I feel very lucky that I ended up at a retreat with Matthew Mormello. The whole experience certainly engaged me in profound ways. Matt has obviously been trained well by traditional mentors but his background as an American helped make him and the ceremonies that much more amenable. He never refers to himself as a shaman but Matt’s efforts impressed me for their balance of wild energy and ceremonial dignity. I haven’t experienced so-called real shaman so I don’t know what I missed. But from what I know from reading is that Matt set the perfect tone and ambiance in which Mother Ayahuasca could do her magic. The experience can be a little intimidating so the other value provided by Matt and his partner Janae is safety. They really care about taking care of people. The feeling you get is love. They love what they’re doing. They love to help and serve. And they love enough to be really professional about the whole operation. The food is great. The rooms are great. The amenities are great. All in all: this is real value. The Ayahuasca experience is much more than merely drinking a plant medicine. It starts from the moment you are welcomed to the beautiful house high in the hills of San Ramon. This is something important to any shamanistic experience: the location. With a forever view of the surrounding hills, ocean and skies, this location is indeed liminal. The house is one with the sky and abounds with character and warmth. And all of that is buttressed by the warmth and care of Matt and Janae themselves. I’m still glowing and reverberating with little lessons from Aya weeks after the experience. If I didn’t get the genuine performance from a card-carrying native shaman in Peru, then I don’t care. I got what I needed. Thanks Matt and Janae, it was perfect.

Serene setting, beautiful experience

5 5 1
This was my first aya experience and I went into it with great expectations. Matt and Jeanae, who are both wonderful people, have created the perfect environment and did not disappoint. All attendees felt safe and comfortable which allows for a more profound experience with the medicine. The food, property, guests, and Shaman (and Jeanae!!!) were all A+. I couldn't recommend this place more and I will most certainly be going back.

Profound Experience

5 5 1
It's very difficult to describe what an amazing experience this was. Matt and Jeanae make you feel right at home upon arrival to their beautiful property. The rooms are amazing and very comfortable, and the view from the back porch every morning is breathtaking. Overall just a very positive energy surrounds this place and I instantly fell in love with it.. The ceremonies are unbelievably astonishing. Matt guides you through this intense experience with absolutely amazing Icaros, Gong, Drum, and Guitar. He becomes one with this medicine during ceremony, and it left me speechless. You can tell he puts 100% of his energy and passion into this, and I hold the upmost respect for him. Jeanae also plays the most beautiful sounding flute I've ever heard, and her presence during the ceremony is very soothing. Matt and Jeanae are very genuine and sincere people and I'm very grateful for what they have done for me. I cannot wait to go back!...Oh and Chopper is the coolest cat you will ever meet!
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Ayahuasca Diet

Ayahuasca Diet

Before drinking ayahuasca, it is important to follow the ayahuasca diet for a week prior to participation. The ayahuasca diet includes food restrictions, medication restrictions and abstinence from sex, drugs and alcohol. This is to reduce any negative interactions with the MAOI’s found in the ayahuasca brew. Certain prescription medications can have potentially dangerous interactions with MAOI’s, so it is very important that aspect of the diet is strictly adhered to. Food interactions with ayahuasca are not as serious as interactions with medications, but they can still cause discomfort. Foods high in tyramine are the most important foods to be avoided. New Life Ayahuasca requires all participants to adhere to the ayahuasca diet prior to arrival.

ayahuasca dietThe diet, however, does not have to be bland or monotonous. We try to provide a variety of meals that adhere to the diet but are still full of nutrition and flavor.


Ayahuasca Dieta

In the jungle they refer to this as the ayahuasca dieta. This dieta is not just about avoiding certain foods but is about discipline, sacrifice and commitment. Many of the foods that are restricted on the extensive ayahuasca diet list aren’t readily available to those living in the jungle and therefor not an issue of concern. The ayahuasca dieta restrictions are in place to help cleanse the body so the plant medicine can work most efficiently. The dieta restricts many spices, salt and pepper. It also includes abstinence from sex and sexual activity. The idea is that the blandness of food and the lack of sexual stimulation or excitement can help heighten sensitivity to the ayahuasca spirit.

Following the ayahuasca dieta is about respect. Respect for this sacred plant medicine, respect for the plant spirit, and respect for yourself.


Restricted for 7 days prior to arrival-


  • Drug Use – includes prescription drugs and recreational drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Sex or Sexual Activity


Restricted for 3 days prior to arrival-

  • Salt (fine in moderation)
  • Sugars or Artificial Sweeteners
  • Red Meat (Chicken okay)
  • Pork
  • Animal Fats
  • All Fermented foods
  • Dairy Products (Eggs okay)
  • Aged cheeses
  • Caffeine coffee/tea are okay in moderation no cream or sugar)
  • Hot spices/peppers
  • Processed Foods
  • Fried Foods
  • Soy sauce
  • Fava Beans
  • Sauerkraut

The diet is implemented for spiritual discipline. Please eat smart and healthy. All meals provided by New Life Ayahuasca will adhere to all ayahuasca diet restrictions.

Some information provided by AyaAdvisor.


For more information on ayahuasca interactions with medications, please visit our Safety page.