Welcome to Kapitari, shamanic healing center in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest
The Kapitari Center was founded in 1980, by the shaman Luis Culquiton, widely known as Don Lucho.
Don Lucho comes from a long line of natural healers, but he discovered the healing qualities of plants himself, at a very early age; “It was like a calling. My body told me what food to choose. As a child, I ate very little meat, not much fat, but lots of vegetables and fruits. It just came naturally to me.”
Don Lucho drank ayahuasca for the first time at age 16. He soon discovered the power of the plants and felt a calling, which he describes as “the legacy of my ancestors.”
In 1980, at age 30, Don Lucho was an established, self-educated shaman. This is when the spirit of ayahuasca called on him to work with the plants, to help protect the incredible biodiversity of the Peruvian Amazon and indeed to save the world; “Up until that moment, I had not been very concerned about the forest. Then I said; ‘How can I save the world? I have no education, I don’t know anything.’ But I started to learn from the plants. I was told by the plant spirits what their qualities were, whether it was for food, as medicine, or even as fertilizer to add nutrients to the soil.”
Don Lucho developed a new way of agriculture, which is very similar to what has become known as ‘permaculture’ in the West. Traditionally, Amazon farmers would burn down a part of the forest and plant only one or two crops on their fields. But the soil quality is poor in the Amazon and they would soon have to abandon their fields, repeating the process of ‘slash and burn’, slowly destroying the rainforest.
By planting up to a hundred different plant species on the land, Don Lucho recreates the balance of the rainforest, which sustains its own existence. This way, the farmers’ fields remain fertile indefinitely, removing the need to ‘slash and burn’ and even returning wasteland to the rainforest, where it can be reintegrated.
One of the main sources of funding for the Kapitari projects is through our Ayahuasca retreats. Unlike many of the Ayahuasca retreat centers in Peru, Kapitari is not owned or controlled by westerners, but by Peruvians for the benefit of Peruvians.
Don Lucho’s main objective is to share his knowledge, expertise and experience with whomever can benefit from it. He promotes the exchange of seeds and saplings, which he grows at Kapitari and invites people from throughout the Amazon and the world to come learn and share through his ‘Field School’.
Group retreats at Kapitari
Since April 2013 we’ve been running affordable 7 day group retreats that have been phenomenally successful and well loved by almost all who have attended.
Our 7 day group retreats are a perfect introduction to Ayahuasca in a safe environment. Read More about group retreats
Here are a few of the many positive testimonials we’ve received.
“An eye opening experience with an amzaing group of people. We started the retreat as strangers from all walks of life that became a family very quickly. Don Lucho and his family are kind loving people. Kapitari is an amazing place. Lots of good food, plenty of meals, a place to swim, and plenty of privacy to relfect and relax. I enjoyed myself so much that I will be returning for the December retreat.” – Nick S, USA
“Kapitari is just a MAGNIFICENT place for an ayahuasca retreat! Don Lucho’s ceremonies were amazing in all regards. His kind and gentile nature combined with awe-inspiring icaros made every journey a timeless and wonderful experience. The supporting cast is made up of lovely Peruvians who go out of their way to make you feel safe and comfortable. The setting is serene, wild, and beautiful with pristine nature, fresh water lagoons, friendly farm animals, parrots, and a night time sky to die for. The individual tambas (huts) which you stay in are both comfortable and private. The days are filled with activities but not so much so that you don’t have sufficient time to meditate, read, or just have some alone time to reflect on all your amazing prior experiences. I HIGHLY recommend this retreat to anyone interested in experiencing ayahuasca in the jungles of Peru. Your authentic, safe, and out of this world journey is waiting for you at Kapitari!” – Todd, USA
“Absolutley LOVED my time spent at Kapitari. Don Lucho and his family were extremely hospitable I only wish i spoke more spanish so i could of expressed my gratitude fully. The place is amazing and was the perfect back drop for my first experiences with Ayahuasca and would definitely recommend this retreat to anyone. Kapitari and the souls that I met there will forever be etched in my heart! A BIG thanks to Lucho and Andy for allowing us to have these unique experiences but moreso for helping us along every step of the way. MUCH LOVE X” – Liam, UK
“When Aya calls, Kapitari is where I go to marinate in pure love. It’s where Nature finds my shoes as abhorrent as I do, and quickly, creatively, reclaims them—turning them into a termite mound overnight, or conspiring with mud puddles to gobble them off my feet. There is no need of shoes at Kapitari. There is no need of anything. There are no “trappings”…simply wee thatched huts for sleeping in, nurturing mud/fruit baths, giggles with the locals, reinvigorating swims, parrot greetings, cosmic night skies, global kindred spirits, simple nutritious meals, and the breathing, stirring aliveness of Mother Jungle. It will move you. Don Lucho and his family are open, kind and loving healers. For those who come seeking answers, healing, or to do the hard-hard-gritty-hard soul work, Don Lucho will safely and beautifully move you through each healing and journeying ceremony. His relationship with our many plant allies and teachers is exquisite. ” – Carole T, Canada
“Amazing experience. It gave me everything I wanted from an authentic retreat and more than I could have expected. This is an extremely affordable retreat with great hosts, beautiful atmosphere, good food, and two amazing shamans (Don Lucho and his son). These are authentically happy people that give off wonderful vibes. The people I met in the retreat really helped change who I am and how I think. The ceremonies opened up a new sense of happiness that I didn’t know was inside me.” – Eddie
“I attended Kapitari in June of this year; after doing research prior to the journey to Peru I decided to attend this retreat. Upon arriving into Iquitos it’s hard not to hear the word ayahuasca floating in the air everywhere you go. After talking to fellow medicine seekers I heard positive first hand accounts about Kapitari’s retreats and how magnificent and healing Don Lucho is. As a solo female traveller I had trepidation in choosing the right retreat but feel like Kapitari was the best choice. Monika and Jeremiah were our facilitators and I couldn’t have asked for more supportive, informative and encouraging individuals. I loved the location, immersed in the jungle with the sites and sounds brings you right to the source of it all. I felt comfortable and safe the entire time I was there and have no hesitation in recommending this retreat for all seekers of mother ayahuasca. My life has been changed and I will attend this retreat again when the time is right. Many many thanks Kapitari!” – Sari-Marie
“Kapitari is a wonderful retreat center. The facilitators are genuine, the location is beautiful, and the staff truly make you feel like family. Most importantly Don Lucho and his son Wagner, the shamans, where amazing! So in touch with the medicine and great at guiding you through the ayahuasca experience. I am forever grateful for my life changing time spent at Kapitari and can’t recommend this center enough, especially for first time aya drinkers. I really love Lucho’s dedication to saving the amazon through sustainable agriculture, and felt so good to contribute to his cause.” – Hailee