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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What is Iboga?

iboga shrubTabernanthe iboga is a small shrub that grows wild in Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon and Cameroon. It is related to the coffee plant and grows in well-drained soil, partially shaded by larger canopy trees. It has deep green narrow leaves, small clusters of tiny white-to-yellow flowers. The fruit are yellow to orange and about the size of a grape. Iboga root bark contains the active alkaloids which give it it’s unique properties. The first layer of root bark is removed and discarded. It is the second layer that is scraped and powdered for use.

Iboga is a strong entheogen. In sufficient quantity the user experiences a long lasting visionary state. It has psychedelic properties and commonly creates open eye hallucinations.

Iboga History

Iboga has been used for hundreds, possibly thousands of years. It is a powerful, activating plant teacher and spirit. Its origins lie with the forest Pygmie people of central West Africa. The Bwiti sects of Gabon and Cameroon use iboga as they key sacrament in their initiation process.


Bwiti is the reason Gabon has been called “The Tibet of Africa,” and iboga is at the center of Bwiti spirituality.  Taken in small doses, iboga(ine) stimulates the central nervous system and heightens the senses. In larger doses, it produces intense and long lasting (aroud 12-16 hours) visionary states, the process of which can lead to long-term psychological recovery as well as beneficial life changes.  It is in this manner that iboga(ine) excels in treating disorders such as depression, anxiety and PTSD.

Iboga was introduced to the West by Howard Lotsof in 1962. Lotsof discovered that iboga, or more specifically the derivative Ibogaine HCL (hydrochloride), could reduce or eliminate opiate withdrawal symptoms. While ibogaine therapy is a promising treatment for options for addictions, it is not a cure-all and there is a long process of recovery that requires a dedication of time. Most ibogaine facilities do these detox treatments over the course of a week, and in our opinion this is no where near sufficient time to address all the issues that cause and fuel addiction. For this reason, we do not offer detox services. 

Iboga Chemistry

Indole alkaloids typically make up 6% of the scrapings of the root bark. The more time the iboga plant grows the more alkaloids it contains. It takes an average of seven years to reach maturity and contain enough alkaloids for therapeutic use. Ibogaine, ibogamine, ibogaline and tabernanthine are four key alkaloids present, with most of the pharmacological knowledge about ibogaine. Also found in iboga are coronaridine, voacangine, isovoacangine, and conophararyngine, which have unknown qualities..

All forms of ibogaine are derived from iboga root bark. Therefore there are different types of ibogaine and varying degrees of purity. Ibogaine HCL is the purest form of ibogaine (up to 99%) and has been found to be safest and easiest on the body as well as reducing recovery time post-treatment.  Ibogaine TA (total alkaloids) is another type of ibogaine available and is 15% total alkaloids by weight, 8% of which is ibogaine.

New Life Ayahuasca uses only Ibogaine HCL for all ibogaine therapy ceremonies to provide the highest standards of safety.


The visions produced by ibogaine therapy can provide insights to past patterns and behaviors in an individual’s life and personality which helps people realize what changes they need and want for personal growth and success in their lives. These visions also usually come with feelings of gratitude, acceptance and peace from matters of the past, allowing a user to focus on their future and the potential it can hold. It is in this matter that ibogaine excels in treating depression, anxiety, PTSD and other conditions of the mind.


Patient safety ibogaine safetyis our biggest priority at New Life Ayahuasca. Ibogaine treatment can be tough on the body physically so we implement a rigorous medical screening process that requires certain medical tests including an EKG and certain blood work, which is determined by our medical director, prior to treatment. We do constant monitoring of vital signs during the treatment and have a medical doctor on site during treatment and the following day.  For more information please visit our sister program New Life Iboga on Ibogaine Safety.