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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New Life Ayahuasca


Our small staff is devoted to helping and supporting each guest through their experience at New Life Ayahuasca. If there is anything we can help with, we are more than willing.

Matthew Mormello

Director – Ceremonial Guide


Matt Mormello

Matt is our other founder and director. He acts as the guide for all ceremonies at New Life Ayahuasca. He sings Icaros and plays the guitar, gong, and Tibetan singing bowl. Matt is involved in the booking process, talking on the phone and confirming reservations.

In 2011 Matt was the subject of HBO’s Vice documentary on Ibogaine where he was treated for opiate addiction. He continued seeking to grow and heal through ayahuasca where he felt an immediate connection to the medicine.

Matt continued to participate in hundreds of ayahuasca ceremonies and for the last 2 years he has been traveling to Peru every other month to continue to learn and train with a well known and reputable shaman.

Read Matt’s full story

Jeanae White


jeanae2Jeanae is one of our founders and directors. She handles our website and social media accounts. Jeanae replies to all inquiries/e-mails and is always available to answer questions. She is involved during retreats acting as our yoga instructor, Kambo practitioner and ceremonial assistant.

Jeanae grew up in the Chicago suburbs. She worked in the food/beverage industry until her 5 year long addiction to heroin led her to seek treatment with ibogaine in Costa Rica. Following her ibogaine treatment, she decided to stay and live in Costa Rica, and began participating regularly in ayahuasca ceremonies.  The truly profound changes she experienced after ayahuasca are what she credits for the changes she made in her life and her continued sobriety.


Read Jeanae’s story on The Mind Unleashed


Watch Matt’s naming ceremony from HBO’s VICE

Watch Full Epside Here