Safety precautions

Care should be taken with foods (e.g tyramine/protein containing foods) and drugs (e.g SSRI s) that have a contraindication for MAOI's.

The beta-carbolines present in Banisteriopsis caapi, primarily harmine and tetrahydroharmine, inhibit the enzyme Monoamine Oxidase and reduces the metabolism of serotonin. Due to the MAO-inhibiting action of the vine, otherwise non-orally-active tryptamines such as N-N DMT and 5-MEO DMT from the admixture plants (Psychotria viridis or Diplopterys cabrerana) can reach receptor sites in the brain, unlocking the entheogenic mareacion.

This MAOI action also makes certain foods and pharmaceuticals hazardous that otherwise would not be.

Lists of foods that should be avoided can be found here.

There are no records of fatalities from eating proscribed foods, but there are numerous reports of severe headaches.

Interaction with pharmaceuticals can be much more dangerous than food interactions. Even some OTC pharmaceuticals like antihistamines, decongrestants, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, diet pills, and allergy medication can have potentially serious interaction with Ayahuasca. If you are taking pharmaceuticals, please inform yourself about the potential for MAOI interaction before taking Ayahuasca. See this link for more information. If you don't find an existing thread about your medication on the Information forum, you are encouraged to start one.

Lastly, there is a very rare and idiosyncratic reaction to caffeine and Ayahuasca in a very few individuals. Until you know you are not in this category, be careful combining Ayahuasca with caffeine. A discussion of this may be found here and here.

The Ceremonies during the Conference are optional and you pay the Shaman or their representative directly. The Conference does not take responsibility for the Ceremonies.

Arriving in Lima

Unfortunately, most all international flights arriving into Lima, Peru get there too late to make a connection to any other city in Iquitos so many people wait it out in the airport all night for the first early morning flight to their destination. Very uncomfortable and you arrive at your next city very tired, basically wasting a day becaue you need to rest. Well, there's good news, just three blocks from the Lima, Peru airport is a new hotel that has recently opened. It's called Hotel of the Strawberries (hotel Las Frescas). A single room is just 8 or 9 dollars and they also have airport pick up for 25 Soles (about 9 dollars).

And for your internal Peruvian flights, we have DragonFly Tours, operating since 2004. We book lots of international travelers at the rates we can get for you here in Peru. Just email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you want a quote/need assistance.

Arriving in Iquitos

We have listings of various hotels and hostals in Iquitos. Often times they don't respond to your emails for your reservations. If that's the case, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll make the reservations for you. When you get to the Iquitos airport, a three wheeled motorcar rickshaw into the city to your hotel/hostal is just 8 Soles (3.0 Soles to 1 USD right now).

Extension Tours

DragonFly Tours, the company owned and operated by Alan Shoemaker, is offering a Post-Conference Tour to Cuzco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley for one week following the Conference. The Extension Tour to Cuzco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley begins on July 19th and ends on the late afternoon of July 25th evening. You’ll want to arrange your return international flight to depart on July 26th out of Lima, unless you want to stay in Cuzco of the Sacred Valley especially to watch their Independence Day festival, July 27th. Your connection to return home from Lima should be on July 26th departing Lima after 12 noon or later in the day. Flights depart Cuzco for Lima beginning around 7am. It's a 1 hour flight

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Free Days

These days are yours to explore in and around Iquitos. The “free days” have the same dates as the Ceremony nights. July 13th, 15th and 17th.

Communication while you are here

There are 110+ internet cafes in Iquitos and growing daily. Most all have SKYPE. You don’t need to bring your laptop. However, there are also various locations like hotels and restaurants that have wi-fi.

Cell phones: Yes, you can bring your cell with you and you can even purchase a new chip for yours while you are here for about 4 dollars. Or – you can buy a cell here in Iquitos for 60 Soles and you can buy cellphone cards on the street so you can make calls. Receiving calls is free.

Don’t rent a cell phone in the airport in Lima. They are way overpriced and you have to return them as well as pay for all the calls and those calls are more expensive than buying your own phone card. If you buy a cell here, gift it to a Peruvian you have befriended when you leave. They’ll be very happy with that gift.

The Less Unfortunate street people:

Will no doubt like a small handout from you. If it’s a person in a wheelchair, a blind old man, crippled child, etc. please give some change, a few Soles for them goes a long way. The others that are simply dirty and obviously hard on their luck? A simple “no” will suffice, up to you.

Dental work

It is possible to get 1st World dental care here in Iquitos at 3rd World prices. Those that want dental work done, please notify me, Alan and I will make appointments for them at the dentist. These appointments can be on the Conference "free days" or come early and/or stay late. The dental office here is more modern than my dentist had in Seattle, Wa. and their dental work is excellent!

Soga Del Alma Chapel-Free Lodging

“Soga Del Alma Chapel” (Vine of the Soul Chapel) is located very near Iquitos on the Rio Itaya. Instead of a hotel-hostal in Iquitos, the Conference fee covers that expense as well and includes a motorized canoe to transport you back and forth. So if there are some of you that would prefer to stay in the Vine of the Soul Chapel/Ceremonial maloca, there's no charge except for the canoe (3 Soles each way).

Connected to this large maloca is a tiled bathroom with sink, toilet and shower as well as a large kitchen with gas and traditional earthen stove and an activated charcoal filter in the sink. The living-sleeping-ceremonial maloca is completely screened in so mosquito nets are not necessary. It is located just across the Rio Itaya from Iquitos and we will have a boat w/motor and driver available to transport you back and forth from the maloca to Iquitos. Those that wish to bring their camping equipment may do so as the grounds are quite nice for this as well. Soga Del Alma maloca and the grounds has a guardian 24-7.

What to bring

Sandals, light weight hiking boots, shorts and t-shirts, light weight rain jacket, hat, sunglasses, one pair of long pants, towel, two single size sheets (Instead of two sheets, you may want to bring a light weight sleeping bag or even a sleeping bag liner works well) , those wanting hammocks should purchase one here (cheaper), insect repellant, flashlight, camera. For those coming early or staying late or taking a tour either before or after the Conference, you must adjust your gear accordingly. Those continuing on to Cuzco - Machu Picchu - Sacred Valley Tour with Alan Shoemaker, we suggest you purchase warm weather clothing in Cuzco rather than carrying it with you. The alpaca sweaters are beautiful, cheap and warm.

I don't speak Spanish!

That's not a problem. During the Conference days and evenings, we have several assistants walking around with Conference T-Shirts on that speak English and Spanish, just waiting for you to wave at them so they can come to your assistance when needed. For those “illustrious Presenters” that speak Spanish, we have professional translators on stage with them, translating “on the fly” to English. As well, all Presentations made by the Shamans will be translated "on the fly" into English.

When do the ceremonies take place?

The Ceremonial evenings are scheduled for July 13th, 15th and 17th. The various healers (curanderos, cuanderas, i.e. “Shamans”) will be at the Conference from the beginning and each will be making a Presentation, as well, you will have ample time to meet them personally in order for you to make your decisions as to whom you will be in Ceremony with.

As the Ceremonies are not a function of the Conference, you need to pay for any Ceremonies that you wish to participate in. The suggested cost is $50 USDs but some charge less and some charge more. You need to negotiate the best price that you can. Please understand that a “Shaman” that has invested 1000’s of dollars on a private jungle compound will ask for more than a Shaman that doesn’t have one. If you can't afford what they are asking, simply explain this to them. They're quite reasonable but negotiate a lower price with them in private please and take one of our Conference translators with you for assistance.

Don’t pre-register your three ceremonies on the first night when they take reservations. Register for only one ceremony at a time. We make time on the evening of the 12th of July for everyone to register for their first Ceremony. As well, you will again register for the 2nd Ceremony on July 14th, 3rd Ceremony registeration on July 16th. Each time you register, you should pay a 50% deposit to the Shaman in order to hold your space.

What is included in the Conference price?

This price includes entrance to all Conference events - Presentations and Panel Discussion. Each Conference evening we have a break for dinner for one and a half hours.

Paying the balance of the Conference fees:

The Conference balance should be paid before your arrival to Iquitos. Your initial Conference holds your reservation, then you need to cancel the balance before arrival. At Registration, you'll receive  your entry badge. Please don't lose it.

Registration is on July 11th, 12pm. Hotel Samiria.  Iquitos, Peru 

Handling money and exchanging

Exchanging Money: DO NOT CHANGE MONEY ON THE STREET. On block 2 of Prospero, on the corner is an Interbank MONEY EXCHANGE building. That's all they do, exchange money. You'll need your passport to do this. It's quick, safe, airconditioned. They will not accept bills that are worn or torn so make sure you bring fresh, clean and un-used bills with you.

Exchange Rate: As of today, Jan.3rd, 2015 – 3.0 Soles to 1 USD.

Hostal/Hotel Advice: Never hide your money in your belongings that will be left at your hotel. Carry it with you. Iquitos is one of the safest cities in South America. Physical crime is almost non-existent. If you leave valuables hidden away in your hotel, chances are they will be discovered. Best is to carry your money with you, passport as well. Better is not to have lots of cash anyway. There are ATM’s in many locations around Iquitos.

Using ATM’s: It is not necessary to bring large amounts of cash with you. There are many ATMachines in Iquitos. That said, please notify your bank that you will be using your ATM card in Peru. When you withdraw funds, if you don’t know what your bank is giving you on the exchange rate, take out dollars and not Soles. Best is to check with your bank before you leave to see what their exchange rate is. Could be better than what you’d get exchanging funds here in Iquitos. 


The Peruvians don’t tip. However, the servers in hotels and restaurants are used to “gringos” tipping them and very much look forward to it. A suggested rate is 10%.

Conference Recording

Those that wish to record the audio and/or video at the Conference are permitted to do so. However, if the recording is to be used for commercial purposes, we ask that you please get signed releases. Thank you.

Travel Insurance

Information about Travel Insurance can be found at this link.