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

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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

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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 Shaman

Ayahuasca Shaman

Role of Shamans-

Ayahuasca shamans, or an ayahuasca guide, play an important role in ayahuasca ceremonies. For thousands of years, ayahuasca has been used by natives of the Amazonian area of South Peru in a ritualistic and ceremonial setting. The purpose of ayahuasca use is primarily healing and spiritual communication. Ayahuasca shamans have a great deal of experience with the medicine, both in their own experiences with the sacred medicine and in helping others through their experiences.

Our Ayahuasca Guide –

Matthew Mormello, our founder and director, got involved with plant medicine in 2010. He acts as our ayahuasca guide for all retreats and ceremonies.

Ever since Matt was introduced to ayahuasca through an episode on National Geographic, he was immediately drawn to the sacred medicine. He told himself, “This is it, this is what i have to do.” But first, his path led him to the world of ibogaine, which he was treated with in 2011 on HBO’s VICE TV. After his treatment, he stayed involved by learning the spiritual aspects of Bwiti, which uses iboga as a sacrament, and participated in ceremonies until 2013, when he came to Costa Rica and began working more intimately with iboga at a treatment center.

At the same time he arrived in Costa Rica, Matt started getting involved with ayahuasca. In the years since, he has participated in many ceremonies, traveled to Peru, eagerly consuming any information he could find or be taught about the sacred medicine ayahuasca. Now he has participated in hundreds of ceremonies and has evolved in his own rite as a ceremonial facilitator. He continues to travel to Iquitos every few months to continue learning. His presence during ceremony is strong and grounding, and his Icaros and help guide the participants’ experience.


Read more about Matt’s story – his history battling addiction, how he came to discover ibogaine and ayahuasca, his continued sobriety and how he was able to realize his dream by opening New Life Ayahuasca.Read More

Matt would never call himself a Shaman, as he feels he has much more to learn and his whole life to discover more about ayahuasca and the ceremonies surrounding its use; he would refer to himself as an ayahuasca guide . Matt’s intentions and passion in his work are unparalleled. When researching ayahuasca, there are many warnings about false ayahuasca shamans and scams. While Matt may not be a Shaman (yet) there is no question of his integrity and his sincerity in his mission to help others.

Matt performs rituals for protection and cleansing prior to ayahuasca consumption and sings Icaros, plays the guitar, drum, gong and Tibetan singing bowl. He is assisted in ceremony by his wife Jeanae, who plays the flute and acts as a sitter through out the night.  New Life Ayahuasca limits spacing for ayahuasca retreats so that Matt is able to give each person the individualized attention they deserve during such a profound experience. Reserve now.