Ayahuasca Retreats in Costa Rica 215.310.1250



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

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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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How Plant Medicine Saved My Life

Here is an article I wrote for the Mind Unleashed about my own journey with plant medicine and the incredible ways in which they transformed my life.

plant medicine

Before and After


I can say with complete conviction that ibogaine and ayahuasca saved my life. After 5 years of destruction and a living what could hardly be called a life, I found out about ibogaine. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it living; existing is a much more appropriate term because I wasn’t living, I was slowly killing myself. Heroin addiction felt like a prison, one I never thought I could be free from, so when I received a phone call from my sister telling my about a hallucinogen from Africa that could cure my addition, my whole world changed.


Me on the plane to Costa Rica for treatment

I set off to Costa Rica for ibogaine treatment. Getting off the plane I was nervous and hopeful but not entirely sure I was ready to leave drugs behind. I had tried everything up to this point; rehabs, Methadone, Suboxone, cold turkey detoxes, a Naltrexone implant in my stomach, halfway homes and none of it worked. It made me feel like I was destined to be an addict forever. My depression also made it difficult for me to believe I deserved a better life.

There was something inside of me that constantly reinforced the notion that I just wasn’t fit for life, that there was something inherently wrong with me.

Ibogaine changed all of that. It’s difficult to describe. I went into treatment not knowing much about the ceremonial or spiritual aspect of it. Being atheist, I was quite skeptical of anything ‘spiritual’. Just that word turned me off, yet I had always been fascinated by ancient religions and ceremonial practices. I didn’t necessarily believe in them, but there was always something that pulled me toward them. I desperately wanted to feel connected to something; I just couldn’t bring myself to buy into the idea of God presented by most organized religions.

Ibogaine changed something in me. It wasn’t an all at once; I had no epiphanies or revelations.  It was gradual, but I could feel it, and it gave me the insight that going home was a bad idea. I skipped out on my return flight and found a family to live with in Costa Rica while I did some more soul searching. I felt like ibogaine had opened this door of opportunity but it was up to me to do the work to get to where I wanted to be, and there was a lot of work to do.

Less than a week after completing my ibogaine treatment, I went to an ayahuasca ceremony. Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic brew used by people of the Amazonian region of South America for general healing of the mind, body and spirit. There are no words to describe the peace, empowerment, wholeness and connections I felt during my ayahuasca experience.

For the first time in my life, I understood gratitude. I understood love. I understood nature. I understood people. I understood life. I understood God.

From that night forward, my entire idea of spirituality had changed and I knew I could never go back to the life I used to know.


Me a few months after treatment

Ibogaine and ayahuasca gave me the opportunity to reclaim my freedom and find something I could really believe in. They changed the chemistry of my brain, the way I think, the way I process things, the way I respond to situations, the way I feel about life and, most importantly, the way I feel about myself.

I finally, for the first time I can ever remember, feel that life is worth living. I feel proud of whom I am, I feel happy and confident with myself inside and out.

My depression is gone. I see each new day as a beautiful opportunity, rather than a burden I have to suffer through.

Ibogaine allowed me to detox painlessly without suffering through withdrawal. It introduced me to the African spiritual tradition Bwiti, which uses iboga as a sacrament and focuses on becoming the best possible version of yourself. Ayahuasca opened my eyes to spirituality, the beauty of life and how to feel gratitude. Together, they allowed me to heal both physically and emotionally and start a new life I could be proud of.

Through a lot of determination and hard work, I’ve made it to where I am today; director of New Life Iboga and New Life Ayahuasca. Myself and my partner, Matt (who was treated for opiate addiction on HBO’s VICE episode on ibogaine), have spent the last few months developing a two week program with our sister programs through New Life Iboga that incorporate ibogaine and ayahuasca so that others can experience the incredible healing and benefits that both plant medicines offer. Ibogaine treatment and ayahuasca retreats are also both offered individually at our shared facility in Costa Rica. My story is a true testament to the power of both ibogaine and ayahuasca.