An incomparable Yagé retreat in the Colombian Amazon, with Ayahuasca rituals led by the senior indigenous master shamans of Putumayo, spiritual guides and medicine men (Taitas). A magical window to see through – and a door to enter – the world of the Taitas from an inner perspective, as an authentic explorer willing to share, learn, understand and accept the time-honoured ancestral traditions of the Yagé shamans of Colombia.
We offer Yagé pilgrims the rare opportunity to take part to an amazingly intensive Yagé retreat in the Colombian Piedmont, working with Taita Bonifacio Gabino Garreta who has currently matured over 43 years experience (the first 30 years of which, working with the Maestros) as a traditional Yagé master shaman. One of his main teachers – whom he still remembers with a profound affection and admiration – was the legendary Taita Querubin Queta Alvarado, maximum spiritual authority (Taita Mayor) of the Cofán people. Watch here on YouTube a magical Yagé journey of healing, learning, knowledge and discovery, with Taita Bonifacio, in the remote wilderness of southern Colombia.
“God bless them, true common heritage of mankind. Masters of humbleness, peace, joy, love and the art of exorcism. With a lifelong practical knowledge of hundreds of medicinal plants, they are a living encyclopaedia condensing millenary wisdom, plant medicine, knowledge of the illnesses and of the spiritual realms. Recognised by the Colombian government as traditional doctors, they are held in high regard as true wise Masters by their own indigenous community and their friends alike. Their Yagé sessions are incredible and it may only be witnessed first hand how powerful and touching they are.
Emile Mac, PORTUGAL“
The retreat will be hosted in our usual Finca in Putumayo (1 hour drive from Villagarzon airport). The Yagé retreat will be lead by Taita Bonifacio himself, with the assistance of a senior assistant (a “Sahumerista”, a senior disciple traditionally in charge of smudging with frankincense the space where the Yagé ceremonies take place) and an highly expert local coordinator-facilitator, who will also act as on-site interpreter Spanish-English-Italian on behalf of El Mundo Magico.
Enjoy the Taita’s storytelling sessions (before each ceremony with Yagé, the most sacred medicine), talking about the magical feats of the great shamans of old times, their deep knowledge of Yagé, their capacity to heal with it virtually all illnesses, and their ability to shape-shift into jaguars.
The Yagé ceremony with Taita Bonifacio: “Musica, cuentos y cantos” (Music, storytelling and singing). During every Yagé (Ayahuasca) ritual, the Taita plays his harmonica, producing haunting beautiful, mesmerising melodies, alternated by the playing of guitar and (loud) medicine songs (sang in either Spanish, or in his native Inga tongue, or in a mixture of the two), always in front of a nice bonfire. The Taita is very flexible and accommodating, and participants who are not used to loud singing during the Ayahuasca ceremonies and who prefer a more soft journey, may kindly ask him (well in advance of the start of the ceremony), or us (at the time of placing your reservation), to only play music (with his harmonica and/or guitar) during the Yagé ceremony, without the storytelling session and/or the singing.
The Yagé brew: “Miel de Yagé”. The powerful, very concentrated, cream-like, Yagé brew of Taita Gabino – his “Miel de Yagé” (Ayahuasca honey) – is prepared by boiling together, for well over 35 hours continuously, the scraped and pounded stem sections of Tigrihuasca (literally, “the vine of the tiger”, or “the vine of the jaguar”, in Quechua, also known as Yagé Tigre, a variety of ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis sp., Malphighiaceae), with the leaves of Chagropanga (Diplopterys cabrerana, Malphighiaceae), the most important admixture to the brew. The Chagropanga is like the magical bride, the female companion of Yagé and is sometimes known as Yagé hembra (female Yagé). The Tigrihuasca ayahuasca vine variety is given this name because of the resemblance of the pattern visible in its cross section, with the the paw of a tiger, or of a jaguar. Yagé Tigre and Tigrihuasca are just different names for the same ayahuasca variety.
Some shamans – like Taita Alfredo Juajibioy – maintain that a shaman dieting for a long time (around 20 years or more) with Yagé Tigre can shape-shift into a jaguar, during the Yagé ceremonies.
Contact us to book your Spirit of Yagé journey to Colombia
Spirit Of Yagé – Practical info
Yagé retreat with:
Taita Bonifacio Gabino Garreta (indigenous Yagé shaman from the Inga people of Colombia)
INDIVIDUAL/PRIVATE/SMALL GROUP RETREATS – Taita Bonifacio Gabino (1-5 participants, 1-4 weeks/8-29 days; ideal for individual participants, couples, or very small groups of friends):
Payment/booking deadline: MINIMUM 30 days ahead of your chosen retreat start date. Based in our Finca in Putumayo (about one hour drive from Villagarzon airport, in Southern Colombia).
Deposit of £ 400 GBP per participant must be paid immediately, to reserve your spot for your preferred dates (deposit goes towards the total cost of your retreat, remaining balance must be received by the deadline).
Please visit the Yagé retreat price page for 8 days to 4 weeks staying in our Finca in Putumayo, now included of interpreter/facilitator/coordinator English-Spanish and Italian-Spanish. If you wish to stay for any period between 2 and 3 weeks, you need to multiply 2 or 3 times the relevant price for 1 week, according to the number of participants (1, 2, 3 or more).
SMALL-MEDIUM GROUP RETREATS – Taita Bonifacio Gabino (6-11 participants):
Payment deadline: Strictly, MINIMUM 50 days ahead of your chosen retreat start date. Based in our Finca in Putumayo (about one hour drive from Villagarzon airport, in Southern Colombia). Please contact us for a quote, specifying intended dates, exact number of participants in your group, retreat length (minimum 8 days/7 nights) and number of Yagé ceremonies you would like to have included in your staying (minimum 3 Yagé).
Deposit of £ 400 GBP per participant is payable immediately, to reserve your spot for your preferred dates (deposit goes towards the total cost of your retreat, remaining balance must be received by the deadline).
Please contact us for a quote, specifying intended dates, exact number of participants in your group, retreat length (minimum 8 days/7 nights) and number of Yagé ceremonies you would like to have included in your staying (minimum 3 Yagé).
Interpreter/Facilitator English-Spanish, and Italian-Spanish:
Yagé retreats with Taita Bonifacio Gabino are now included of onsite interpreter English-Spanish and Italian-Spanish, and are open to all guests who speak English, Spanish or Italian. Participants must be well acquainted with either one of those languages and must be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually fit for the experience.
Women in fertile age and Yagé. Important health restrictions:
In line with the shamanic traditions of the Taitas of Colombia, pregnant or menstruating women may not be allowed to attend the Yagé retreat and participate to the Yagé ceremonies. If you have your period in coincidence with the Yagé retreat, you will either need to take period delay tablets/pills (hormone medication), or else, please choose alternative, period-free dates. Please carefully review all other health restrictions which may apply.
Reservation requests not accompanied by the immediate receipt of the correspondent deposit/full payment, whichever is applicable, will not be considered. We kindly reserve the right to permanently refuse admission to our retreats to perspective guests whom we repute unsuitable to the spirit of the programme and initiative offered.
International and domestic flight tickets, airport taxes, travel and medical insurance (and associated costs) are not included in the price of the retreat and must be purchased independently. Should you need help with booking your SATENA flight to/from Villagarzon, please contact us and we shall be happy to assist and guide you through. Their website occasionally experiences technical issues and the best way to book a ticket with them is via their (usually efficient) online Chat (lines open 7 AM- 7 PM, Mon-Fri, and 8 AM-5 PM, Sat-Sun; all times are local times. Colombia Time (COT, or Standard Time) is 5 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC – 5).