We like to keep our groups small at Iboga Wellness Center so all of our guests get the proper attention. We may have anywhere from 4-6 guests at a time. We always have at least 2-3 staff during a session, many times much more. Our medical doctor checks your physical condition upon arrival avoid any complications. Our addiction detox programs are closed at this time so there won’t be any one there who is detoxing from drugs or alcohol.
We are a shamanic healing center but we do consult with a medical doctor about each of our guests before their first ceremony. We have our own EKG machine at our facility which our doctor uses to insure that there aren’t any existing heart conditions that would prevent someone from safely taking Iboga. There are also other health conditions that are checked to insure the highest safety. Our doctor is on call whenever we have ceremonies.
If traveling from the US or Canada, you do not need any vaccines in order to travel to Costa Rica. However, if you are traveling from certain countries in Africa or South America where yellow fever is prevalent, please check with your country’s government or the Costa Rican Consulate to find out if the yellow fever vaccine is required in order for you to travel. There is a mandatory 10 day waiting period after getting a yellow fever vaccine. Laws can change and every country may have different requirements, so it is your responsibility to find out before you travel. Our center does not handle travel arrangements or booking flights to and from Costa Rica.
You will need a passport that is valid and the expiration date should be more than 6 months away. You do not need a travel visa if you are coming from The United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most European Countries. However, there are a few countries in Africa and Asia that you may be required to have a travel visa. Please check with your embassy.
Our on-site chef prepares three meals a day, and can accommodate any dietary restriction or preference. If you have preferences, please let us know at least one week prior to your session. Please note that not all North American and European products and produce are available in Costa Rica. We will work with you to ensure that you are comfortable with all meals during your stay.
No. Our retreats are led in a traditional, shamanic Bwiti context. The Bwiti are a people native to Central-Western Africa, and their practice is a tradition — a study of Life itself — not a religion.
At Iboga Wellness, guests are never expected or encouraged to move away from their personal religious or spiritual path. Each person has his or her own beliefs, and we have hosted guests of nearly every religion and spiritual practice here.
Iboga is centered around discovering one’s own truth within — a powerful experience of self-discovery. Our fireside ceremonies, in which we discuss the Bwiti and their way of life, include many lessons and wisdom teachings that do not pertain to religion — such as controlling one’s thoughts, acceptance and forgiveness, self-love, purposeful living, and fearlessness. They are universal themes that can be applied by any person, in any walk of life.
Our staff is available to answer calls, emails and Facebook messages from 9 am until 9 pm EST, seven days a week. If no one is immediately available to respond, please leave your contact information and we will get back to you promptly. For inquiries after-hours or on weekends, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our 6,000 square-foot hacienda is a vast, 8-bedroom traditional Costa Rican home featuring exotic hardwoods, handmade furniture and river stonework throughout, as well as abundant local sculpture and art. Property grounds include an in-ground swimming pool, carefully-tended gardens, and are home to various types of fruit trees and monkeys. Situated on the picturesque Tempisque River, this location offers access to natural beauty that supports Iboga’s healing process.
To take a video tour of our retreat facility, click here.
There are conditions that would prevent a person from being able to work with Iboga. Our determinations are based on scientific findings in the Ibogaine Manual, which was crafted by experts in the field over many years of experience.
We also employ an on-site doctor, who conducts EKG’s and medical checkups on all guests prior to ceremony.
The following conditions would exclude an individual from Iboga:
- Heart Condition — transplant, bypass, enlarged heart, previous heart attack, artificial valves, pacemaker, prolonged Q-Wave Syndrome, Arrhythmia/Atrial Fibrillation/Ventricular Tachycardia, abnormal EKG, abnormal heart rate of 120 BPM and higher or 50 BPM and lower
- Severe Sleep Apnea
- Severe Asthma
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Severe Respiratory Condition
- History of stroke, seizure, epilepsy
- Severe Vertigo
- Meneire’s Syndrome
- Chronic/severe dizzy or fainting spells
- Abnormally high or low blood pressure — 70/105 and higher, or 80/60 and lower while not taking blood pressure medication
- Impaired Liver Function — abnormal liver panel test with enzymes over 200% from normal — a panel test may be required for those with Hepatitis or chronic alcohol use prior to clearance
- Impaired Kidney Function — currently on dialysis for kidney failure— a panel test may be required for those with Hepatitis or chronic alcohol use prior to clearance
- Severe Gastrointestinal Disorders — Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease GERD, Crohn’s Disease, ulcers, Colitis, IBS — slight disorders must be assessed by our doctor prior to clearance
- Any person requiring medications during treatment — certain hormone medications may be acceptable, please inquire
- No Thyroid function or removal of Thyroid — those with slightly low thyroid function must be assessed by our doctor prior to clearance
- Severe depression/current suicidal thoughts — individual screening determines eligibility
- Severe bipolar disorder — individual screening determines eligibility
- Extremely poor health — active Cancer, complications from HIV/AIDS, etc.
- History of blood clots/thrombosis/deep vein thrombosis
- Morbid Obesity
- Neurological Impairment — those with psychosis, autism, dementia who are unable to understand why they are taking Iboga
- Currently taking Benzodiazepines
- Currently-dependent alcohol users — those who experience shaking/Delerium Tremens/seizures from alcohol detox must be treated at a medical facility prior to Iboga, and must continue to refrain from alcohol for at least five days prior to arriving at our facility
Every person’s sensitivity to Iboga is incredibly different. Dosage is not determined by body weight — many times, a small person can have a much higher tolerance than a large person.
In each batch of Iboga we work with, potency of the alkaloid content varies. So we administer the medicine gradually, waiting 30 minutes to one hour before administering more. In this way, we can observe how a person is reacting to the medicine and adjust subsequent doses to meet their individual sensitivity.
Often, a person’s dosage in their first ceremony will differ from their second ceremony. It is all about observation. Our providers have treated over 1,000 individuals, and guests can feel safe in trusting that they’ll receive the amount of medicine that is perfect for them.
At Iboga Wellness, we only use Iboga — not Ibogaine, which is an extract of just one alkaloid in the Iboga root. Ibogaine is beneficial for drug detoxes, as a physical reset, but it lacks the full spirit of the Iboga root — because the whole root contains hundreds of additional alkaloids. These alkaloids support a deeply spiritual experience.
By eating the whole Iboga root, guests can experience the physical reset of Ibogaine, while also harnessing the healing capacity of the root’s other properties.
In our sessions, we begin by giving guests pure, organic, ground root bark. We then use the Total Alkaloid (TA) extraction of the full Iboga root. TA enables guests to dive deeper and more directly into their journey, and allows for a more easeful physical experience.
Costa Rica is a peaceful country — it has never been involved in any war — and is a very safe place to travel. Iboga Wellness is located in the Guanacaste region of the country, and staff and guests have never experienced any crime whatsoever at the facility, the airport, or in town.
Located just 10 degrees North of the equator, between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica is a tropical climate. A relatively small country, it has three microclimates.
We are located on Costa Rica’s Pacific Northwestern side, where it does not rain as much as in the Central Valley. Our dry season begins at the end of November/early December, and lasts through April/May.
It is commonly 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the days, and around 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
In the rainy season, the landscape is lush and green, temperatures cool slightly, and we experience short but powerful rain showers once a day/every other day.
Those traveling here in mid-October through the end of October may experience a rain shower each day, which normally does not last long.
We host sessions all year long, so be sure to pack proper rain gear if traveling during the rainy season.
Guests fly into the Juan Santamaría International Airport (airport code SJO), also called the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport. Our facility is located just 15 minutes away.
We offer complimentary pick-up and drop-off for all guests who arrive at via SJO.
It is possible to fly into LIR airport in Northern part of the country but guests would be responsible for making it to SJO to catch the shuttle or directly to the retreat center.
If you need help finding flight or organizing your trip feel free to get in touch.
All guests traveling to Costa Rica will need a valid passport whose expiration date is more than six months away.
Travel visas are not required for those coming from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most European countries. There are a few countries in Asia and Africa that require residents to obtain a visa prior to entering Costa Rica. Please check with your embassy.
If traveling from the United States or Canada, vaccinations are not required for entry into Costa Rica. If you are traveling from certain countries in Africa or South America (where Yellow Fever is prevalent), please check with your country’s government or with the Costa Rican Consulate to determine whether a Yellow Fever vaccination is required for your travel. You must wait 10 days after receiving a Yellow Fever vaccination before traveling. Laws change frequently and each country has its own requirements, so it is your responsibility to gather appropriate information before coming to Costa Rica.
Nearly all shops, restaurants and businesses in the area will accept U.S. dollars as well as Costa Rican Colones. However, there are some exceptions, so it is a good idea exchange your currency at the airport, or in advance at your bank, for Colones.
It is required to provide proof of onward travel before boarding your flight to Costa Rica, and you are not permitted in the country on a one-way ticket. Most airlines will not even allow you to leave your home country and begin travel without proof that you plan to leave Costa Rica. If you are unsure of when you’ll be leaving the country, and would like to travel here for awhile after your ceremony, we recommend using sites like onewayfly.com or bestonwardticket.com to ‘rent’ a return ticket. For less than $20 USD, these companies will ‘rent’ a return ticket for you — so that you can provide proof of onward travel at the airport — and then they will automatically cancel that ticket for you. Please check each service provider to determine how long your rented return ticket is valid for before being cancelled.
Our addiction and substance detox programs are closed at this time. All those who join our ceremonies are clean, clear and intending to work with Iboga in a psycho-spiritual sense.
There will be no guests here who are detoxing from drugs or alcohol during your journey.
Although we are a healing center that focuses on a non-Western, non-clinical and highly shamanic approach to ceremony, we also employ a medical doctor who meets with each guest prior to ceremony, and remains on-call for the duration of the session.
We have our own EKG machine at the Wellness facility, and our doctor uses it before ceremony to ensure there are no preexisting heart conditions in guests. A full medical checkup is also conducted. All guests will enter their ceremony knowing that they can feel safe in the experience.
Iboga is different than any other plant medicine or psychoactive substance that exists today. Since its energy is so powerful, people commonly recognize and feel this energy subconsciously, before ever taking the medicine.
It is normal for most people to enter ceremony with a healthy amount of fear or anxiety. However, obsessive fear can become a block for the experience, preventing you from focusing on the issues you came to heal.
Prior to the journey, our providers offer extensive guidance regarding fear — the illusion of fear, and how each of us holds the power to control our thoughts and not attach to fearful ones. Believing that we are powerless over fear will only feed fear.
Wellness staff has extensive experience coaching people out of fear or anxiousness prior to ceremony. We have never had guests experience a ‘bad trip’ that they felt stuck in. You are never, ever left alone while taking Iboga, and our providers have years of experience and have treated over 1,000 people.
Regarding the actual Iboga ceremony — the journey itself — it is wise not to form or hold expectations about what you will see, feel or experience. Iboga always knows what we need, and provides the perfect experience for each of us.
Because we have all been through different life experiences, the Iboga journey will never be the same for all. Everyone needs something unique, and needs to experience it in a different way. This can mean visions, no visions, insights, no insights, physical discomfort, blissful comfort, and everything in between.
We provide two Iboga ceremonies during an 8-day retreat. The first journey is commonly experienced as a physical detox — Iboga clearing out physical, mental and emotional blocks and toxicity. Once the mind, body and spirit are cleansed in this way, the second ceremony is often more of a deep dive into self; a psycho-spiritual journey to the soul.
Throughout the 8-day retreat, it is common to feel both ups and downs. It’s helpful to look at Iboga like this: the medicine has cleared out an entire lifetime of trauma, thought/behavioral patterning, and emotional/physical unease.
An entire lifetime.
Now try to imagine how it would feel to process all of that in eight days. It’s a lot. It’s intense. And it’s constantly changing. You may feel waves of joy, sadness, grief, self-doubt, self-love — but all of them are temporary. You move through many layers of healing. How you feel on day three of the retreat will be very different than how you feel on day eight. Slowly, as you process more healing each day, you will come into a peaceful, grounded, balanced place.
COMMON PHYSICAL EFFECTS OF IBOGA DURING CEREMONY
- Seeing ‘tracers’ or light trails
- Feeling euphoric or high
- Hearing buzzing sounds
- Tingling in hands and feet
- Changes in body temperature
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle twitching
- Dilated pupils
- Sensitivity to light
- Increase or decrease in heart rate
COMMON MENTAL/EMOTIONAL EFFECTS OF IBOGA DURING CEREMONY
- Powerful visions (generally closed-eye)
- Introspective thinking (can involve past, present and/or future)
- Cataloguing or defragmenting the brain’s neuropathways
- Insights about your life, others’ lives, or life in general
- Rapid thought processes
COMMON EFFECTS OF IBOGA FOLLOWING CEREMONY
- Temporary inability to sleep/feeling no need to sleep
- Temporary lack of appetite
- Temporary ups and downs in mood
- Temporary Dehydration
- Temporary Constipation
- Insights about life
- Stillness of mind
These effects are thoroughly discussed with guests upon arrival at the retreat, during a welcome/orientation ceremony. Any and all questions or concerns are welcomed and answered during this time.
At Iboga Wellness, we value the intimacy and provider-to-guest attention that a small group offers. Our retreats host anywhere from two to eight people at a time. Two-to-three providers and additional support staff are on-site throughout the duration of each session.
The experience of every individual is unique. Some people experience drastic life changes immediately, while for others, results and transformations appear subtly and slowly, during the integration process following a retreat. In full ethicality of disclosure, it is never guaranteed that a person will be ‘cured’ of depression, physical ailments, or other disorders.
Iboga is a profound tool that allows for the breakdown of subconscious limiting blocks, reconnection with the soul, and arrival at truth. But Iboga is simply that — a tool. Once a person leaves our retreat, it is up to them to put into place the tools and teachings they have received, and practice the art of living from that newly-rekindled place of truth. Whether or not a person decides to move forward this way after ceremony is always their choice.
A person must also be 100 percent ready for a change in their life, prior to a retreat, in order to experience lasting healing.
Follow these links to learn more about how to deepen and make the most of your Iboga experience before, during and after treatment. This information will empower you to experience the best results from a ceremony.
No. Iboga Wellness does not operate or collaborate with other Iboga centers. We place complete focus is on our own facility, staff and guests.