Ayahuasca Retreats in Costa Rica 215.310.1250



New Life Ayahuasca Overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 96 reviews
5 1

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!
More Reviews




What is Kambo?

kambo frog

Giant Monkey Tree Frog

Kambo , also called Sapo or ‘frog poison’, is a natural non-psychedelic medicine made from the secretions of the Giant Monkey Tree Frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor) and is used to treat a variety of ailments. It is best known for its natural antibiotic, anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties but is also used to address infections, depression, blood circulation, to cure pain and to boost the immune system. It acts a strong detoxification process and helps clear the body of energy blockages. Its use originated in the Northwestern Amazon in Columbia, Brazil and Peru but Kambo use has been growing in popularity in the West alongside other ancient medicines such as Ayahuasca and Iboga.


There are many legends about the origins of Kambo use, but the most widely accepted story comes from Brazil. According to Kaxinawa legend, the village fell dangerously ill to an unknown disease. The village Shaman, Kampu, tried every known medicinal herb and remedy to cure them but none were effective in providing relief from their illness. In desperation Kampu sought guidance from the medicine ayahuasca. While in the forest and under the guidance of the sacred medicine, he was visited by the Great Spirit who presented him with the frog and gave him the knowledge to cure his village. The divine spirit then taught him how to extract a white secretion and apply it to his village. Kampu returned and did as he was instructed, curing his village of their ailment. After Kampu’s death, it is said his spirit entered the frog and remains there today to help aid and protect the people of the forest.

Use in the amazon

Kambo continues to be used through the Amazon to aid in overall health, strength and immunity. The hunters of the village often use Kambo before the hunt because of Kambo’s ability to heighten eyesight, hearing, and strength which all lead to a more keen ability to located prey. It is used to cleanse the body of many illnesses –especially those specific to the region such as malaria and certain insect bites.


Kambo is not a pleasurable experience, it can be very difficult physically and emotionally but the benefits of this medicine make the discomfort well worth the reward.

kambo stick

Kambo Stick

Before Kambo is applied, you most not eat for 8 hours prior, so the morning before breakfast is an excellent time for the process. Participants are required to drink 2 liters of water which can be in itself quite difficult but a necessary first part of the experience. While the participants are drinking the water in preparation for the experience, our practitioner will go over what to expect, explain how Kambo is applied, and what benefits from experience may be (keeping in mind every individual is different and unique and the medicine will work its its own way accordingly.)


Kambo is applied to superficial burns to the skin. The burns are made using a small stick to the top layer of the skin on the shoulder. Cold water is applied and the top layer of burnt skin is removed to expose the deeper layer underneath. The Kambo is then applied in ‘points’ to the burns. How many points you will receive is determined by the practitioner but generally 3-7 points are applied. At New Life Ayahuasca, we start off with 1 point to see how each individual reacts to the medicine and gauge the level of sensitivity to determine how many additional points will be added. Participants are asked to sit in a comfortable upright position through out the entire process which lasts around 20-30 minutes.


Once all the points have been added, the effects can be felt immediately, usually with-in 1-2 minutes of application. The heart beat will increase and a feeling a warmth with spread through the body. Often a tingly, electric or pins and needles sensation can be felt in the hands and toes. A pressure will be felt on the body, as if gravity has been turned up, but it is important not to collapse and to remain seated upright with the spine and neck aligned. A change in hearing and a feeling of pressure on the head can be felt, and all these symptoms together will lead to a feeling of nausea – this is where the purge begins.

The stomach will be full of water and ready for the purge. The vomiting usually begins within 5 minutes of the points being applied. If the participant does not begin vomiting, our practitioner will ask that more water be drank or more points will be applied. The vomiting can be quite difficult, often making breathing restricted and creating a sensation of drowning. This is all normal and will pass. After each time the participant vomits, a few moments rest will be allowed before being asked to drink more water. This is one of the most difficult but essential parts of the process. It is important you keep putting the water in your body so the Kambo can keep working in you system and keep the process of elimination going – it is all to serve you best in the end. The cycle of purging and drinking water will continue until the effects of the medicine subside and the body no longer has the desire to eliminate the water after it is consumed. The whole process will last about 20-30 minutes.

You will be done once you are able to drink a full glass of water and hold it down. From there, our practioner will ask you stay sitting upright for 5 additional minutes while the Kambo finishes working in your body. From there, you will be invited to lay down while soothing music is played for an additional 20-30 minutes. This time gives your body and mind the chance to recover and rest from the whole process. You will emerge feeling restored and invigorated. Breakfast will then be available.


chakrasKambo is a purging process – physically and emotionally. Most often it is in the form of vomiting, but can also come by diarrhea, sweating, crying, laughing, moaning and yelling. All of these things are encouraged. The purge is about release. Physical release -cleansing of the liver, stomach, intestines and stimulation of the endocrine glands. Emotional release – letting go of emotions, removal of energy blockages and realignment of the chakras and meridians of the body.


Most people report heightened senses – sight, smell, taste, touch – and an extreme clarity and calmness of mind. The effects on the body are total detoxification and cleansing, stimulation of the endocrine glands and boosted energy/endurance. Psychological benefits include a sense of peace, absence of depression and agitation, and energy re-alignment.


ayavineKambo is an excellent way to prepare the mind and body for the effects of ayahuasca. It is said the purging process experienced during Kambo can help reduce the amount of purging in the ayahuasca ceremonies. It also helps clear the energy and prepare the mind for the psychological effects of ayahuasca. The connection between Kambo and Ayahuasca is special – being that the spirit of ayahuasca is what, according to legend, brought about the knowledge of Kambo use and its incredible benefits.

Humane Collection of Secretion

The frogs are never injured during the collection of their secretions. To do so would be considered disrespectful to the spirit of the medicine and bad luck. The frog is collected and held down by each leg causing it stress, it then secretes its poison which is collected and put onto a wooden stick. The secretions dry on the stick so they can be used at a later time. The frog is then released back into its natural environment.