SUI SUI Center
THE PERUVIAN AMAZON
The Peruvian Amazon spans some 66 million hectares and accounts for 60% of Peru’s total land mass. It is the second largest forest in the world, second in size only to the Amazon of neighbouring Brazil. It is estimated that 30% of the world’s animal species live in the Peruvian Amazon. The jungle houses 950 different types of bat species including those that drink blood and eat fish; 1500 bird species including the Toucan; 370 species of reptiles and 1000 different types of amphibians.
The Peruvian Amazon has long been impenetrable to most of the Western world. It’s secrets and special breed of magic had for thousands of years remained the knowledge only of its earliest inhabitants, the indigenous tribes people of the basin. While this has changed in recent years, we remain committed to protecting, respecting and treating this remarkable land with genuine love, reverence and care.
The Sui Sui Center, your home for the duration of our sacred medicine journey is located deep within the Shipibo homeland of the Peruvian Amazon. We are committed to preserving the integrity of this land, which has for thousands of years provided the indigenous people with the wisdom and natural resources needed to effect profound healing and spiritual transformation.
Weather in the Jungle
The weather in the Peruvian Amazon is hot and humid year all year round. Frequent rainfall together with considerable humidity creates a unique bed for its diverse array of plant and animal life to thrive. August tends to experience the highest total volume of rainfall, with the nearest town Pucallpa receiving 2,623 mm of rain per year. The average temperature in the jungle is between 24 and 30 degrees Celsius.
The Town of Pucallpa
Pucallpa, also known as Calleria is the city from which we begin our journey. It is a small port city in Eastern Peru that was completely isolated until 1945 when the Lima-Pucallpa highway, some 850km of road was finished. It is the largest city situated on the Ucayali River in the Amazon Rainforest, with a population near to 330,000 people. Pucallpa is home to several important industries including a sawmill and stations for extracting pure rosewood oil. It is also a haven for sourcing local agricultural produce and has a bustling market culture.
Prior to the first visits from Spanish colonisers in 1534, the Shipibo people had lived along the Ucayali river and its tributaries for thousands of years. It is believed that in the sixteenth century, the population of Pucallpa and the surrounding banks of the Ucayali, Pisqui and Callería Aguaytia rivers, together with the shores of Lake Yarinacocha and Tamaya, was around 25,000. The indigenous people lived in over 108 communities and small villages, in communion with the land and in simple housing made of palm fronds. They buried their dead in simple, secret vessels in their houses and sacred plant medicine ceremonies were an important element in people’s everyday lives. Yarinacocha is the indigenous region of Pucallpa and is said to be the homeland of the Shipibo people alone. However, communities of both the Shipibo and Konibo people have and still do occupy this region and members of both tribes continue to live in harmony together.
Our Ayahuasca Retreat Center
Your home for the duration of your retreat is the Sui Sui Center. Sui Sui takes its name from the bird native to this region, the Sui Sui (Thraupis episcopus), which you can easily spot her and be enchanted by her sweet call in the early morning and evening. The centre is located on the banks of the picturesque Lake Cashibocacha, which is home to many species of birds, fish (including piranha) and monkeys. Many indigenous Shipibo communities also live around Lake Cashibocacha.
Sui Sui is fueled completely by solar power and is situated on fifty acres of thriving Amazonian forest land.
Within Sui Sui’s labyrinth like gardens you will find an astonishing selection of various medicinal plants including the mother Ayahuasca and native Amazonian plant life.
How we will get there
On the first morning of our 12-day long retreat, the AYA Healing Retreats team will collect you directly from your hotel or hostel accommodation in Pucallpa. If you are arriving in Pucallpa by plane the day the retreat is due to commence, please let us know well in advance and we can arrange to collect you from the local airport if arriving before 2pm. We will transport you and the other retreat participants by minibus and motorised canoe to the Sui Sui Centre. The journey to the Sui Sui Centre will take approximately 90 minutes.
What to expect at the Sui Sui Centre
The Sui Sui Centre houses a large ceremonial space called a Maloca (communal house); it is here that we will where we will participate in our Ayahuasca rituals on several of our evenings. The centre also hosts a main kitchen and dining area and several communal areas, which are excellent for enjoying great conversation with others and admiring the ever-changing lakeside. You will have your own private bungalow, which faces directly onto Lake Cashibocacha. Sui Sui is fully equipped with an emergency fire protocol as well as several fully stocked first aid kits. The camp also hosts several Western toilets and modern showers and hand washing sinks.
Sui Sui has reliable access to the Internet as well as phone reception, however we recommend that you take care of all matters that require your urgent attention prior to joining us on retreat, either while in Pucallpa or in your home country. This will enable you to be fully present and to receive the true healing benefits from not only the sacred plant medicines, but from the superior beauty of the surrounding forest and lakeside environment.
The lake surrounding Sui Sui is remarkably clean and free from the pollution we are accustomed to that characterises our urban waterways. To preserve the integrity of the river water, we only permit our guests to use biodegradable and chemical free soaps, shampoos and toothpastes. We will have chemical free soaps, insect repellents and shampoo available at the camp for a small fee, but we do encourage you to bring your own.
While at Sui Sui you will be enjoying a private jungle bungalow (or Tambo) with a spectacular view of Lake Cashibocacha. Your Tambo is fully protected from mosquitos by a special screen surrounding the doors and windows. You will have your own comfortable double bed to rest on each night and all privacy you need to recharge and contemplate the day’s events. The Tambo’s are rustic, yet spacious and are guaranteed to offer you an authentic Peruvian forest experience.
What do you need to bring?
Rain is frequent in the Peruvian Amazon, and while it is often hot and humid throughout the day, it does cool down overnight. Please keep the changing weather conditions in mind when packing your suitcase. The list below provides a comprehensive outline of what to bring with you on retreat. Some of the items can be purchased once you arrive in Peru.
- 2-3 changes of cotton shorts and t-shirts or 2-3 light cotton dresses
- 1-2 pairs of long cotton pants for walking in the jungle
- 1-2 long cotton shirts
- Rubber boots
- A battery powered torch or headlamp
- A spare set of batteries
- A light, breathable rain jacket
- Comfortable warm clothes to be worn throughout our night time ceremonies
- Biodegradable and chemical free soap, sunscreen and mosquito repellent
- Fluoride free toothpaste
- Good quality sandals or thongs
- Sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat
- Lip balm
- A camera
- A cigarette lighter
- 2-3 towels
- Zip lock or waterproof bags to protect your electronic devices from the humidity.
What we will supply?
We will have the following items available for your enjoyment whilst at the Sui Sui Centre:
- Notebooks and journals for you to record and make meaning of your experiences
- Musical Instruments
- Art supplies including pastels, paints, pencils, paper
- A comprehensive selection of books on spirituality, shamanism, sacred plant medicine and the Amazon
- Mapachos (Wild Tobacco)
- Agua de Florida (cleansing shamanic spirit water-available to purchase for a small fee)
- Chemical free and biodegradable shampoo, sunscreen, mosquito repellent and fluoride free toothpaste (available to purchase for a small fee)
Our retreat will begin and end in Pucallpa, either at your chosen accommodation or at the airport and it is your responsibility to organise flights to and from the city. We encourage all participants to wait until their place on retreat is confirmed in writing before booking their flights.
If you are travelling from a country outside of Peru, you will fly directly to Lima and from Lima, board a domestic flight to Pucallpa. We strongly advise you to arrive in Pucallpa at least one day prior to the commencement of retreat. We will return to Pucallpa by 11am on the final day of retreat, and you are welcome to book flights out of Pucallpa any time after 2pm on our final day.
Obtaining a Visa
You will need to have a current passport and visa to travel into Peru, however you do not need to obtain a visa prior to travelling. Peruvian Immigration will issue you with a free, 3-month tourist visa upon arrival. You will be given an Andean immigration card, which is a small piece of white paper that you will need to present to customs officials when you depart Peru. If you lose the Andean card, you will need to pay officials a small fine before you can clear immigration. When arriving in Peru officials will request proof from you that you do not intend to stay in Peru for more than 3 months. It’s advisable to have a copy of your onward ticket in hand or on your mobile device to present to customs staff.
If you are eager to stay in Peru for more than 3 months, a 6-month travel visa can be obtained, but you will need to ask officials specifically for this upon arrival.
We strongly advise all who participate in our retreats to take out comprehensive travel insurance in your home country before traveling to Peru. Please ask your airline, booking agent, friends and family about a suitable plan for your trip. Ensure that you select an insurance package that will cover you in the event of illness, should you need to visit hospital or a doctor and any unforeseen losses such as your passport, money, credit cards or electronic devices. While we do our utmost to guarantee your safety whilst on retreat, we are not responsible for any unforeseen events that may occur whilst in transit or in Pucallpa.
Ready to journey with us?
Ask us questions about what to expect on retreat, book a free Skype session, start your medical screening questionnaire and get set to be profoundly changed.