Frequently Asked Questions
Your final destination is Riberalta, Bolivia.
When flying from another country, you’ll have to fly to either the Santa Cruz (VVI)
or La Paz (LPB) airport
first, and then take a connecting flight to Riberalta. There are daily flights to Riberalta with the airlines Amaszonas and EcoJet.
For International Travelers, we generally recommend guests fly into Santa Cruz and take a connecting flight to Riberalta with Amaszonas.
We typically leave around 3:30 PM. Each retreat is different and we may head out earlier depending on arrival times. We will coordinate this information directly with each participant.
The earliest we recommend booking your return flight is at 12pm (noon) on the day the retreat is scheduled to end. Most guests take a flight in the afternoon with Amaszonas or Ecojet. We will transport guests from Pisatahua to the airport, hotel, or bus station. We’ll coordinate with each guest to ensure they make their connecting flights or bus.
If you arrive on the day the retreat begins, we will meet you at the airport and transport you to the retreat center. If you arrive days before the retreat starts, we will meet you at your hotel/hostal and transport you to the retreat center. A taxi from the airport to any hotel is maximum 20bs ($3usd). Transportation to and from Pisatahua is included in the retreat fees.
The journey by bus can be a bit unpredictable, especially during the rainy season. Nevertheless the trip is feasible and some guests choose to make the journey. The trip costs about 180 Bs ($25) from La Paz or Santa Cruz and should last about 26 hours in the dry season.
The trip is not for the fainthearted but the landscapes are impressive. We do not recommend guests arrive by bus during the rainy season (December through March) as the road conditions can make travel impossible.
There are many hotel and hostels in Riberalta. Prices vary from about $50 usd a night to $8 usd. It can be difficult to make a reservations when not in Riberalta, so Pistahua’s staff can make arrangements for you. Please let us know if you would like this service and your budget.
Traveling from most countries (North & South America, Europe, Australia) you do not need a visa; however, we suggest visiting the website of your local embassy for more information. Most countries that require visas are obtainable at the airport upon arrival.
Pisatahua designed a scholarship program to support individuals seriously committed to their healing process, who would otherwise be unable to attend a retreat. There is no discrimination in the selection process; however, special emphasis will be given to local Bolivian nationals. For more detailed information, please refer to our ayahuasca scholarship page.
Our retreats are all inclusive and no additional funds are required once on retreat; however, guests should bring additional money for expenses occurred before and after the retreat begins. There are a few different banks with ATMs is the main plaza of Riberalta.
Please review our webpage “What to Pack” in the FAQ section for a detailed list of items we recommend to bring with you on retreat.
We provide guests with a natural soap made from Brazil-nut oil. We also provide all guests with a clay called Qhollpa to use as a natural and non-toxic replacement for shampoos. Since no sugar or strong flavors are consumed, guests can efficiently clean their teeth using a toothbrush without toothpaste; or they can use another clay we provide called Phasa.
Guests may still want to bring their own toiletries and are welcome to do so as long as they are all natural. These products are not available in Riberalta, so guests must plan ahead.
Fortunately our center doesn’t have as many mosquitoes as many locations in the jungle. Nevertheless, mosquitoes exist and we provide guests with natural insect repellents made from essential oils. These repellents are not effective for everyone and we suggest guests to bring their own repellents as well.
It is preferable to refrain from using mosquito repellent with DEET during your time with us to minimize that amount of toxic chemicals on your body and negative environmental impact. Please note that the best protection against mosquitoes is staying covered with long-sleeve shirts, pants, and socks.
*All of our buildings are well screened and secure. Every bed is also covered with a mosquito net for extra protection.
There are many ways to help prepare the mind and body for a retreat. We created a separate page to help answer this question in more detailed titled, Preparation.
Health and Safety Questions:
Vaccines are not required for entry into Bolivia and there is no contraindication between vaccinations and ayahuasca. Pisatahua is not in a position to recommend or not recommend vaccinations, so we suggest that you discuss any concerns with your doctor.
Fortunately Riberalta and the Aquicuana Reserve are not high-risk areas for Malaria. We’ve never had a case at Pisatahua and do not suggests patients take anti-malarial medications; nevertheless the decision is still up to each individual.
For those who still prefer taking pharmaceutical anti-malarial medication, Malarone (atovaquone/proguanil) shows no contraindications when taken in conjunction with ayahuasca. Lariam is not recommended.
Our center is located about 45 minutes away from the nearest medical clinic. We have transportation available 24 hours a day, and doctors on-call in Riberalta. Fortunately, we have never had a medical emergency requiring hospitalization. Please review our 'Safety' page in the FAQ section for more detailed information about our safety protocols.
Ayahuasca is legal in Bolivia and protected by the new constitution as traditional medicine. Pisatahua operates legally and is fully licensed to work with traditional plant medicines in Bolivia.
Yes; our healers have no issues or special requirements for menstruating women in ceremony.
Pisatahua is currently off-grid and we must generate our own electricity. Electricity use is limited to power a few appliances such as common-area lighting, water pumps, and kitchen equipment.
Guests will have a limited opportunity to charge their electrical devices. If you have a device that will absolutely require charging, we recommend bringing an extra battery pack or solar charger with you.
We do not allow cell phones to communicate with the outside world as it is counterproductive to the healing process. All guests must keep their cell phone off or in airplane mode for the duration of the retreat.
Should your family/friends need to reach you in an emergency, they can email us and we will forward the information to you during the retreat. We ask that you inform your loved ones that you will be completely out of contact for the duration of the retreat.
There is currently no internet access available at Pisatahua
Our staff will wash your clothes free of charge during the retreat. On day 5 of our 10-day retreats, we visit all guests in their room and take any dirty clothes to our home in Riberalta to wash and dry. All clothes will be returned in 24 to 48 hours.
We also change all sheets and provide new towels on day 5 of the retreat. If guests require additional sheets/towels, we can provide them at no additional cost.
We do not currently accommodate partial stays during our retreats, customized retreat dates, or individual ceremonies. Our retreats are structured as complete programs -- departing early or arriving late wouldn’t allow the healers to complete their work with you, or for you to receive the full course of treatment. We can make exceptions for guests arriving a day late, or leaving a day early.
Please let us know if you would like to stay beyond the 10-day retreat. Depending on the specific dates, you should be able to extend your stay.
Our retreats are led in English and Spanish. Our healers and facilitation team are able to translate between English and Spanish for all communications.
Yes; we do receive groups on occasion. Please contact us for more information.