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Adventure Guide: Peru
Text by Andrea Minarcek

The use of ayahuasca is illegal in the United States, but for those interested in shamanistic ceremonies, a number of organizations lead trips to the Amazon Basin.

Read the Article  |  Adventure Guide: Peru 

VIDEO EXCLUSIVE:
The National Geographic Channel sent a film crew to Peru to shadow a pair of Americans on their quest to try ayahuasca. See                  for yourself how the ritual ceremony begins.

Watch the video >>

[To view this video, you need the latest version of Quicktime.]
OUTFITTERS AND TOURS
: Hamilton Souther's Blue Morpho Tours ($785 for six days; www.bluemorphotours.com) runs customized shamanistic workshops in the Peruvian Amazon. Three evening ayahuasca ceremonies cap off daytime jungle treks, Río Itaya excursions, and piranha fishing trips.
 
The most respected shamans and ayahuasca scientists in the field will give talks followed by jungle trips and ayahuasca ceremonies at the second annual Amazonian Shamanism Conference ($500 for one week; www.soga-del-alma.org), this summer in Iquitos, Peru.
 
An international panel of experts from Ayahuasca Healing, in Itacaré, Brazil, discusses ancient uses of the plant during an eight-day course ($2,300; www.ayahuasca-healing.net), which includes three ayahuasca ceremonies.
 
GETTING THERE: To follow in the footsteps of the author, LAN Airlines serves Iquitos via Lima ($800 from New York City; www.lan.com). From there, Blue Morpho provides transportation for the one-hour drive on the Iquitos Nauta road to the Shamanism Center and Jungle Lodge. The lodge moved to kilometer 53 of the Iquitos Nauta road last year, so it no longer requires the boat ride described by the author.
 
NEED TO KNOW: Mosquito repellent and lightweight long-sleeve shirts are a must for travel in the Amazon Basin, as is a course of antimalarial drugs. Bring along a pair of earplugs, too, for the long daytime naps that you'll need to recover from the ayahuasca ceremonies.

RESOURCES: The Way of the Shaman (Harper & Row, $16) by Michael Harner, Ph.D., founder of the California-based Foundation for Shamanic Studies, is an
excellent introduction to the tradition. To learn more about ayahuasca, the benchmark text is Ralph Metzner's Sacred Vine of Spirits (Park Street Press, $17). 

Read the Article  |  Adventure Guide: Peru

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Pick up the March 2006 issue for more secrets of the Southwest, nine Caribbean adventures, the best gear for runners, and our World Class outfitter trips.







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