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“Truly Life Changing” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Refugio Altiplano

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Refugio Altiplano
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Amazon Jungle - 30 miles from Iquitos | Iguitos Office: 323 Raimondi, Peru   |  
Hotel amenities
Ithaca, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Truly Life Changing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

I stayed at Refugio mid-February 2013. It has taken me a couple of months to even begin to wrap my head around all the gifts that came to me. The folks that work at this place are angels. Having Pamela pick me up at the airport was such a comfort and started my trip off on a high note. The boat ride down the Amazon to get to the lodge was like heading down the rabbit hole--moving through a world I had only seen in pictures...ancient, lush, pulsing with animal spirits. I just tried to be receptive to let it all in, as it was such a new reality.

I traveled with my partner. We felt safe and accepted at Refugio.The other travelers were fascinating and very kind souls. I made great friends on my stay and felt lucky to have such people to share my visions and dreams with.

Scott, the man who runs Refugio, has a strong spirit, a loving heart, and an indomitable commitment to sharing ayahuasca with others for healing.

I found tremendous healing there that I can tell has only just begun to unfold in my life. The medicine continues to work with me even two months later. I met people who had achieved true miracles through their work at Refugio--overcoming addictions, healing diabetes, dissolving tumors, and the list goes. I am not the sort of person who believed those kinds of things were possible with ayahuasca. I showed up expecting spiritual/emotional healing, and I found it, but also saw so much more.

Make no mistake about it--while Refugio is run by wonderful people and provides a unique and beautiful opportunity for healing, it is also an ordeal. It is muddy, buggy, and the medicine pushes one to his edge in order to grow. This is an experience for those strong in spirit, willing to commit to facing their discomfort and finding more strength than they knew they had. Some people had to leave because of the physical and emotional challenges of the setting and the medicine. But I came to see that that too is part of the medicine. There were moments on my trip where I just wanted to be in a hotel room watching movies and eating room service, but now that I am back home, I often find myself thinking about when I will be able to get back to Refugio for the next installment of my journey. And I know it will happen soon.

I have since participated in ceremonies closer to home and have been disappointed in the strength of the medicine and the rigidness with which the ceremony is conducted. The medicine at Refugio is prepared on site and is very strong, and the ceremony has just the right amount of structure without robbing you of the ability to inhabit your visions and collect data from deep within yourself and from the center of the everything.

I am struggling to express how beautiful my experience was...with all gratitude to Scott and his crew and to grandmother ayahuasca, Michael

Room Tip: I stayed in Casa de Patrick. I loved it because it was quite a distance from the main ceremonial lod...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, California, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

this would be a personal experience. if you don't know what I mean by "personal experience", research before booking a ticket to a tea pot filled with mud, rain, and mosquito.
Scott has successfully convinced me that he is serious about his practice in Shamanism and ensures the best for each guest.
Staff is a group of really nice people whether you speak Spanish or not, although knowing few common words and sentences make things a lot funner. They by means to keep guests safe, although I have not experience nor witness any hostility anywhere during my stay in Peru.
Look through their website, it is accurate. Meals were delicious and healthy, always accessible to clean drinking water. Fruits are available during the hours as well. If you do need to go to town for other stuff, just ask Pamala~
Plan your layover well or prepare some extra cash for Lima airport for their way overpriced and small portioned food and drinks. LAN is great for feeding their passengers. Lima airport is where I had by far the most expensive meal during the visit. In addition, they only seem to accept brand new bills, they tried to give mine back because mine was old.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Orleans, Louisiana
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

I most recently visited the Refugio in February 2013, although it was not my first visit. It has been one of my life's great priveleges to see how the Refugio has grown in that time. Without doubt, they are busy these days. Of course, I would love to be able to spend more time with Scott and the other shamans, but the upside is, that as more people are visit, more people benefit from their extreme competence. Scott was generous with his time, giving tours of the gardens, talks about preparation, and lectures about shamanism in general.

Like many here, I would describe my stay(s) as life-changing. Always challenging, and mostly fun, a visit to the Refugio is something you will never forget. The quality of the people staying there was - in my opinion - very high, and the natural order of things is that those who are more suited to the experience stay longer. If it's your first time at the Refugio, I would recommend that you book for at least 4 ceremonies, allowing yourself the option to stay longer if you wish.

I can't thank Scott and José enough; they are an fantastic team and inspiring people.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

It´s one of the best and most important experiences of my life!
I came down to Refugio in fear of the place not reflecting the all good reviews I had read, because all of them seemed to be too fantastic. But this place proved me wrong from the time I left the airport in Iquitos! I met the lovely guides Brenda and Pamela that helped me from the airport and all the way to Refugio. I have not traveled much before this trip, so it was quite nice to have someone helping me along the way to the retreat.

Getting to Refugio is a boat ride down the fantastic river. It takes about 90 mins getting to Refugio, a nice time to reflect on the new environment, culture and why you went to the jungle trying to find yourself in the first place.

When getting to the Refugio the place was so calm and the people I met seemed really so relaxed. The huts were simple, clean and perfect and just perfect for a man coming from High standards in Europe. It was very strange to be sleeping alone in the middle of the jungle, but just that part was an experience I really miss when coming back to the my hometown. No cd of jungle sounds can replace that incredible experience ;p

The group of people that was visiting when I was there almost felt like they were handpicked for mine and their experience. I did not only learn a lot from Scott, but I also learned so much from the people staying there, sharing stories, experiences and also solutions for our lifes when getting back to normal life. The people I met on this trip was so important to the experience at Refugio but also afterwards when going back to Norway without anyone understanding this life changing experience that I had gone through down here.

If you find yourself reading reviews of this place it´s time for you to go down there anyway ^^ don think to much, and follow your gut feeling.

I worried to much before going and It was really unnecessary. I´m hoping to go back this summer already and meeting new fantastic people that I can learn even more from, and meeting Scott and the people at the reatreat again!

I was visiting Refugio from 28th of January to the 9th of February and traveled Solo.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

I can't praise Refugio enough. It was an unbelievably good experience from the start.
Scott is a charismatic healer who speaks English and conducts ayahuasca ceremonies where you feel really comfortable.. The huts are surrounded by nature and the service is top notch..one gets to meet fantastic people and its is NOT ' commercial' in the usual sense. It's a very special experience. Super clean room, tasty healthy food, swimming in the river, sauna, botanical garden with medicinal plants and the ability to speak to indigenous Amazonian shamans make it all an unforgettable experience.
People who came with a specific problem to solve claimed their at Refugio was a real success! It was for me too, although I mainly went there out of curiosity.
It is worth the time and the money. Enjoy!!
If I could I would go again right now! :)

Room Tip: All rooms are excellent
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

GOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

So I just returned from 10 days at Refugio. The moment you step off that boat and arrive at the retreat, the learning begins.
Scott is awesome, and the entire staff really help make the stay extra special. They are there for you, for whatever you need.

The grounds are beautiful, the food is good. The ceremonies are out of this world.
Words really cannot describe the process....its just soooooo special!

We went swimming in the Amazon almost everyday, Kayaking, learned about the botanical gardens, helped cook the ayahuasca, Sauna on non-ceremony days, movie nights....and A LOT of relax time in the hammocks! Bring a journal!

The group of people that were there when I was, were so special. Each personality had something to teach me about myself.

If you have any hesitations, dont bother with them. JUST GO! you will learn so much about yourself and your purpose....you will get much more out of this experience then you could ever expect.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

I went with a buddy in December 2012. A very long trip from Toronto but the flights we chose seemed to be optimal choices. Flew through Miami then into Lima for a short layover. Timed arrival into Lima for around midnight. The connection to Iquitos was at 6am so we were able to get a couple hrs sleep at the Lima airport hotel which was relatively expensive compared to venturing into town. We did not want to rusk missing connection though. Once we got to Iquitos, Pamela from the Refugio showed up at the airport to drive us to the office where we did some business and then she escorted us to market for boots. After a couple of hours in Iquitos we then hopped on a boat to head 2hrs down amazon to the retreat.

Once there, we were shown our accommodations which were great. Comfy huts in the middle of the jungle. The staff were very friendly and Scott was able to provide a run through of the brewing of the medicine.

From there we spent 5 nights and 4 ceremonies working with the medicine the friendly guests, staff and of course our healer Scott.

I felt safe and comfortable most of the time. I say most of he time because it was only after experiencing he first ceremony I was truly comfortable. Before that anticipation had me a bit nervous but again, after experiencing the care given in ceremony I felt safe.

From there we spent the days relaxing, touring the beautiful property and reflecting on our experiences at the ceremonies.

I can tell you all that the visit while short, was amazing and I recommend every human who is ready to take his step immediately go see Scott in the amazon. He and the medicine have helped me a great deal in many ways. My life is better, my spirit is clean, I feel freer than ever and somewhat resolute to maintain this state. So much so that I will return to Refugio altiplano again soon.

Happy travels.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Refugio Altiplano

Address: Amazon Jungle - 30 miles from Iquitos | Iguitos Office: 323 Raimondi, Peru
Location: Peru > Loreto Region
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #44 of 120 Specialty Lodging in Loreto Region
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 24
Also Known As:
Refugio Altiplano Hotel Iquitos

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