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Where is Ayahuasca Popular? Ceremonies & Benefits Explored

Explore where is Ayahuasca popular in South America, North America, Europe, and worldwide, while uncovering the benefits of its ceremonies.

You’ve come to the right place if you’re curious about where Ayahuasca is popular. This powerful psychedelic tea has gained significant attention in recent years for its potential therapeutic benefits and transformative experiences.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the popularity of Ayahuasca ceremonies across different regions such as South America, North America, Europe, and worldwide. We will also discuss some of the reasons behind its increasing demand among spiritual seekers and those looking to improve their overall well-being.

By examining the popularity of Ayahuasca ceremonies and why they are becoming increasingly sought after, we aim to gain a comprehensive insight into their worldwide prevalence.

Ayahuasca Popularity in South America

Ayahuasca, a traditional Amazonian plant medicine, has seen a significant rise in popularity across South America over the past few years. This powerful brew is made from the combination of two plants: Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis. Seekers of spiritual enlightenment and those hoping to enhance their health are increasingly turning to ayahuasca rituals, which boast curative powers and offer profound insights.

Peru: The Heart of Ayahuasca Culture

Peru is often considered the heart of ayahuasca culture due to its rich history with this sacred plant medicine. In Peru, ayahuasca has been a part of religious rituals and medicinal practices for centuries among its indigenous communities. Today, numerous retreat centers can be found throughout Peru, offering guided experiences led by experienced shamans.

Click here to view our comprehensive list of the best ayahuasca retreat centers in Peru.

Brazil: A Syncretic Approach to Plant Medicine

In Brazil, ayahuasca use has expanded beyond indigenous communities into syncretic religions such as Santo Daime and Uniao do Vegetal (UDV). These groups combine elements of Christianity with traditional shamanistic practices involving ayahuasca consumption during ceremonial gatherings known as “works”. Additionally, Brazil boasts several retreat centers where participants can experience an authentic ceremony under expert guidance.

Visit our list of the best ayahuasca retreat centers in Brazil.

Colombia: Yage Ceremonies Amidst Breathtaking Landscapes

In Colombia, another country steeped in tradition when it comes to plant medicine, ayahuasca is known as yage. The indigenous Taita shamans of the Colombian Amazon have been using yage for generations in their healing practices. Today, travelers can participate in yage ceremonies led by experienced Taitas amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Colombia’s lush rainforests and mountainous regions.

Ayahuasca Popularity in North America

Ayahuasca, a powerful plant medicine traditionally used by indigenous communities in the Amazon rainforest, has been gaining popularity across North America. The increasing curiosity surrounding ayahuasca is likely due to its purported capacity for therapeutic healing, spiritual development, and introspection. This section will explore the rise of ayahuasca ceremonies and retreats throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

United States

Recently, there has been an increase in the popularity of ayahuasca ceremonies within the United States. While it remains illegal under federal law due to its psychoactive ingredient DMT (dimethyltryptamine), some religious groups have obtained legal exemptions allowing them to use ayahuasca as part of their spiritual practices. For example, Santo Daime Church and Uniao do Vegetal (UDV), Brazilian-based religions incorporating ayahuasca into their rituals, have established branches across various states.


Ayahuasca’s popularity is also on the rise in Canada. Several retreat centers offer ceremonial experiences led by experienced facilitators or shamans from South American traditions, such as the Shipibo-Conibo lineage from Peru. Mapacho Spirit Retreat Center, a Canadian-based center, offers traditional plant medicine ceremonies, including those involving Ayahuasca, for personal growth and healing purposes.


In Mexico, ayahuasca has been used traditionally for many years. A growing number of retreat centers offer ceremonies in beautiful natural settings, such as the Xinalani Retreat on the Pacific coast or Holistika Tulum in the lush jungles of Quintana Roo.

Click here to view the best ayahuasca retreats in Mexico.

Finding a Safe and Authentic Ayahuasca Experience

As interest in ayahuasca continues to grow, it’s essential for spiritual seekers to prioritize safety when choosing a ceremony or retreat. Here are some tips for finding an authentic experience:

  • Research facilitators and shamans: Look for experienced practitioners with extensive knowledge about plant medicine traditions and positive testimonials from past participants.
  • Evaluate the setting: Choose a safe environment that prioritizes cleanliness, comfort, and proper integration support during your journey.
  • Avoid “ayahuasca tourism”: Be cautious of providers who commodify this sacred practice by offering quick-fix solutions without respecting its cultural roots or emphasizing personal growth over profit margins.
  • Prioritize legal considerations: Bear in mind that while there may be exemptions granted to certain religious groups, using Ayahuasca remains illegal under federal law within the United States; always ensure you’re aware of local regulations before participating in any ceremony outside South America.

The increasing popularity of ayahuasca across North America reflects our collective desire for deeper self-awareness, healing, and connection with nature. By approaching these powerful experiences with respect for their cultural origins and prioritizing safety, participants can embark on transformative journeys that enrich their lives and promote overall well-being.

Why North Americans Are Seeking Ayahuasca Experiences

There are several reasons why ayahuasca has become popular in North America, including:

  • Spiritual growth: Many people attend ayahuasca ceremonies for spiritual exploration and personal development. Plant medicine is known to induce profound insights that can lead to a deeper understanding of oneself and the world.
  • Mental health benefits: As mentioned earlier, studies have shown the potential therapeutic effects of ayahuasca on mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and eating disorders.
  • Cultural curiosity: With increasing globalization comes a growing interest in exploring other cultures’ traditions and practices. Participating in an authentic ayahuasca ceremony allows individuals to connect with indigenous wisdom while broadening their horizons.

Finding Safe Ayahuasca Ceremonies in North America

If you’re considering participating in an ayahuasca ceremony in North America, it’s essential to do thorough research beforehand. Ensure the retreat or organization hosting the event follows strict safety protocols under experienced facilitators’ guidance. Websites like AyaAdvisors and Retreat Guru provide reviews from previous participants that can help you make informed decisions when choosing where to partake safely during your journey into this powerful plant medicine experience.

Ayahuasca has experienced a surge of interest in North America, with various ceremonies and retreats appearing throughout the region.

Ayahuasca Popularity in Europe

As spiritual seekers and those seeking to enhance their well-being have been attracted by ayahuasca’s curative properties and transformative effects, its fame has risen across Europe. Countries such as Spain, Portugal, France, and the Netherlands have seen a surge in ayahuasca ceremonies being held within their borders.

The Rise of Ayahuasca Retreats in Europe

Numerous retreat centers offering ayahuasca ceremonies have emerged in recent years throughout Europe. These retreats often provide participants with a safe and supportive environment for experiencing this powerful plant medicine under the guidance of experienced facilitators or shamans. Many Europeans who may not be able to travel to South America can now access these life-changing experiences closer to home.

Spain: A Hub for Ayahuasca Ceremonies

Spain has become a hub for ayahuasca ceremonies due to its relaxed regulations around plant medicines, making it an attractive location for both facilitators and participants. The country’s relaxed regulations around plant medicines have made it an attractive location for facilitators and participants.

Retreat centers can be found throughout Spain’s picturesque countryside or nestled within beautiful coastal regions. Click here to see our list of the best ayahuasca retreat centers in Spain.

The Portuguese Connection: Santo Daime Church

Portugal is another popular destination for ayahuasca enthusiasts due to its progressive drug policies that decriminalize the personal use of all drugs. One notable organization operating within Portugal is the Santo Daime Church, which originated from Brazil and uses ayahuasca (known as ‘Daime’) during its religious ceremonies. This church has established several branches across Portugal where members gather regularly to partake in these sacred rituals.

Finding Sanctuary in France

France also hosts a variety of ayahuasca retreats and gatherings throughout the year. While not explicitly legal under French law, there is a certain tolerance towards psychedelic tea consumption when used responsibly within spiritual contexts like shamanic practices or traditional indigenous groups’ ceremonies. Some retreat centers, such as Taita Inti, offer ayahuasca ceremonies in France under the guidance of experienced facilitators and indigenous shamans.

The Netherlands: A Psychedelic Haven

Although ayahuasca itself is illegal in the Netherlands, there are still opportunities for those looking to explore its healing properties through alternative means. The country’s liberal drug policies have led to a thriving market for legal alternatives like psilocybin mushrooms and other plant-based substances that can induce similar effects. Additionally, some organizations offer “ayahuasca analogues,” which are combinations of plants that produce comparable experiences without using the banned ingredients.

Why Europe?

The proliferation of ayahuasca in Europe is thought to be due to a few causes, including the pursuit by Europeans of non-traditional paths towards personal development and healing from such matters as eating disorders or psychological distress not typically treated with Western medicine treatments, plus more lenient drug regulations which permit those curious about psychedelic therapies to do so within spiritual contexts.

Firstly, many Europeans are seeking alternative methods for personal growth and healing from issues such as eating disorders or emotional trauma outside conventional Western medicine approaches. Secondly, European countries’ progressive drug policies often provide a more accepting environment for individuals interested in exploring psychedelic therapies responsibly within spiritual contexts.

Ayahuasca ceremonies are becoming increasingly popular in Europe, with Spain, Portugal, France, and the Netherlands emerging as popular destinations. The relaxed regulations around plant medicines and progressive drug policies in these countries have made them attractive locations for those seeking the healing properties and spiritual insights associated with ayahuasca.

Ayahuasca has been growing in prominence throughout Europe, with a number of nations permitting its utilization for religious and therapeutic purposes. Moving on to the next heading of Ayahuasca Popularity Worldwide, we will explore how this traditional medicine is gaining traction around the world.

Ayahuasca’s Impact on European Culture & Spirituality

The growing popularity of ayahuasca in Europe has significantly impacted the continent’s culture and spirituality. Many Europeans who have participated in these ceremonies report profound experiences that lead to personal growth, healing, and increased self-awareness. As more people become aware of this ancient plant medicine’s benefits, interest continues to grow within various spiritual circles throughout Europe.

In addition to its therapeutic effects on individuals’ mental health and well-being, ayahuasca has also inspired artistic expression among European creatives such as painters like Pablo Amaringo and musicians like Simon Posford (Shpongle) (source). These artists often incorporate themes related to their own experiences with plant medicine into their work, spreading awareness about its transformative power.

In conclusion, ayahuasca ceremonies are becoming increasingly popular in Europe, with many retreat centers offering safe and supportive environments for participants. However, it’s important to research local laws and find reputable facilitators to ensure a safe and transformative experience. As interest in ayahuasca continues to grow, it’s likely that its impact on European culture and spirituality will only continue to expand.

Finding Reputable Ceremonies & Facilitators

Finding a reputable facilitator or retreat center is essential to ensure a safe experience when seeking out an ayahuasca ceremony in Europe. Here are some tips for finding the right place:

  • Research online reviews and testimonials from previous participants.
  • Ask for recommendations from trusted friends or spiritual communities.
  • Contact potential facilitators directly with any questions or concerns about their experience, training, and approach to conducting ceremonies.

Legal Status of Ayahuasca in Europe

It is essential for anyone considering participating in an ayahuasca ceremony within Europe to be aware of the varying legal status of this plant medicine from country to country. In some nations like Portugal, personal use of all drugs has been decriminalized; however, distribution remains illegal. In contrast, countries like France have banned both the possession and distribution of DMT-containing substances such as ayahuasca since 2005 (source). It’s crucial that potential participants research local laws before attending any ceremony.

Ayahuasca Popularity Worldwide

As interest in ayahuasca grows, so too does the number of retreats and ceremonies held across different continents. In addition to its strong presence in South America, ayahuasca ceremonies are now being held in countries such as Costa Rica, Australia, the United States (with varying legality), Canada (where it is legal for some indigenous communities), Mexico and various European countries including Spain, Portugal France & Netherlands.

In North America, there has been an increase in organized ayahuasca retreats taking place within the United States (although legality varies by state), Canada (where some indigenous communities hold legal rights to use it), and Mexico.

In Europe too, countries such as Spain, Portugal, France, and the Netherlands offer various centers that provide this unique experience under controlled environments.

Motivations for Seeking Ayahuasca’s Healing Properties

  • Spiritual Growth: Many participants report profound spiritual experiences during their ayahuasca trip that help them better understand themselves or develop a deeper connection with nature or higher powers.
  • Treating Mental Health Issues: Some studies suggest that ayahuasca may help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
  • Eating Disorders: Ayahuasca has been reported to aid in the treatment of eating disorders by helping individuals confront their emotional issues and develop healthier relationships with food.
  • Addiction Recovery: The plant medicine has shown promise as a tool for overcoming addiction by addressing underlying psychological factors contributing to substance abuse.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Setting

If you’re considering participating in an ayahuasca ceremony, it’s crucial to choose a reputable retreat or facilitator. This ensures your safety during the experience and increases the likelihood of receiving lasting benefits from this powerful plant medicine. Before partaking in an ayahuasca ceremony, it is important to ensure one’s mental and physical readiness for the journey.

To find trustworthy venues offering authentic experiences led by experienced practitioners who respect traditional practices while prioritizing participant wellbeing, visit websites like AyaAdvisors.

Ayahuasca’s growing popularity worldwide reflects its potential for healing and personal growth when used responsibly under proper guidance. As interest continues expanding across different cultures and regions around the globe, we can expect further exploration into this ancient Amazonian practice.

Ayahuasca is a powerful tool for spiritual exploration and healing, with its popularity spreading around the world. The next section will explore the benefits of participating in an Ayahuasca ceremony.

Safety Concerns and Legal Status

The global rise in ayahuasca’s popularity has also led to concerns about safety and legality. Some countries have strict regulations on the use of psychoactive substances like DMT (dimethyltryptamine), which is present in ayahuasca brew. For example, it remains an illegal or controlled substance in many places like the United States (Note: some religious groups are allowed under certain conditions), France, Sweden, etc. It’s essential for those interested in participating in an ayahuasca ceremony to research the legal status of the substance in their chosen destination and ensure they are working with reputable facilitators who prioritize safety.

Global Ayahuasca Community

The worldwide interest in ayahuasca has given rise to a global community of individuals sharing their experiences, knowledge, and support. Online forums such as Ayahuasca Forums, and Facebook groups like Ayahuasca World provide platforms for people to connect, ask questions, share stories, and offer guidance on navigating this powerful healing journey.

Ayahuasca’s Influence on Art & Culture

Ayahuasca’s popularity has also influenced art, music, and culture. Many artists have been inspired by their experiences with plant medicine, which can be seen through various forms of creative expression like paintings, sculptures, etc. Some musicians have incorporated sounds from traditional ceremonies into modern electronic beats, creating unique fusion genres like “Icaros Electronica” or “Psychedelic Cumbia.”

In conclusion, ayahuasca ceremonies are becoming increasingly popular worldwide, with retreat centers offering guided experiences in various countries. However, it’s important to research the legal status and safety concerns before participating in a ceremony. The global ayahuasca community provides a platform for individuals to connect and share their experiences, and ayahuasca’s influence can be seen in various forms of art and culture.

Regulations and Responsible Use

Though ayahuasca use has become more widespread, it is important to be aware that regulations governing its consumption differ across South America. In Peru and Brazil, it is legal within specific contexts such as religious or traditional settings; however, this may not be the case everywhere. As a result, it is crucial for anyone interested in participating in an ayahuasca ceremony to research local laws and choose reputable retreat centers committed to the responsible use of this powerful plant medicine.

Benefits of Participating in an Ayahuasca Ceremony

Ayahuasca has been consumed by indigenous South American cultures for centuries to access its healing and spiritual capabilities. As ayahuasca ceremonies become increasingly sought after, individuals are turning to this traditional Amazonian practice as a means of improving their overall well-being. Participating in an ayahuasca ceremony can provide numerous benefits such as physical healing, emotional healing, spiritual growth, and greater self-awareness.

Physical Healing

Ayahuasca is known to help with various physical ailments ranging from chronic pain to digestive issues. Some studies suggest that it may even be effective in treating eating disorders. The plant medicine works by purging toxins from the body through vomiting or diarrhea during the ceremony. This cleansing process is believed to remove negative energies and restore balance within the body.

Emotional Healing

The intense introspective journey experienced during an ayahuasca trip often leads participants to confront deep-seated emotions and past traumas that they may not have been aware of previously. By facing these emotions head-on under the guidance of experienced facilitators or shamans who lead the ceremonies, individuals can begin working through unresolved feelings and find closure on past events that may have hindered their personal growth.

Spiritual Growth

An important aspect of participating in an ayahuasca ceremony is exploring one’s spirituality – regardless of religious beliefs or affiliations – which often results in profound insights into oneself and one’s place within this world. Many individuals claim to experience a heightened bond with the natural world, a deeper feeling of oneness with others, and an amplified realization of their life’s mission. These revelations can lead to lasting positive changes in one’s mindset and overall outlook on life.

Greater Self-Awareness

Ayahuasca ceremonies often result in participants gaining a heightened awareness of themselves – both physically and mentally. This newfound understanding of oneself can assist individuals in discerning behaviors or inclinations that may be preventing them from reaching their highest potential. By recognizing these obstacles, they are better equipped to make conscious decisions about how to overcome them moving forward.

While the benefits of participating in an ayahuasca ceremony are numerous, it is essential for those interested in exploring this powerful plant medicine to do so responsibly and safely by researching reputable retreat centers or facilitators who prioritize participant wellbeing above all else. Additionally, it is crucial for prospective participants to consult with medical professionals before embarking on an ayahuasca trip, as certain medications or pre-existing health conditions may cause adverse reactions when combined with the potent brew.


Where is Ayahuasca Popular?

Ayahuasca is most popular in South America, particularly in countries like Peru, Brazil, and Colombia. It has also gained popularity in North America and Europe as people seek alternative healing methods for mental health issues and personal growth.

What is the Cultural Context of Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca has deep roots within the indigenous cultures of the Amazon Basin. Traditionally used by shamans for spiritual guidance and healing purposes, it holds significant importance to these communities. The practice has spread globally due to its potential therapeutic benefits.

What are the Potential Benefits of Ayahuasca?

Potential benefits of participating in an ayahuasca ceremony include emotional healing, increased self-awareness, overcoming trauma or addiction, alleviating symptoms of depression or anxiety, and fostering a deeper connection with oneself or others.

What is the Religion of Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca does not belong to any specific religion but rather plays a central role in various indigenous spiritual practices throughout South America. Some contemporary religious movements, such as Santo Daime, have also incorporated Ayahuasca into their rituals.


Overall, ayahuasca is most popular in South America, where it has been used for centuries by indigenous groups. Although traditionally rooted in South America, ayahuasca has seen a rise in popularity among North Americans and Europeans who seek its potential mental health benefits.

If you’re interested in experiencing an ayahuasca trip for yourself, there are many options available worldwide. Just be sure to do your research and find a reputable center or shaman who can guide you through the process safely. It’s also important to note that ayahuasca is not a cure-all and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical treatment, especially for serious conditions like eating disorders.

To study ayahuasca and its effects, there are ongoing research studies being conducted in various parts of the world. These studies aim to better understand the potential benefits and risks of ayahuasca use.

To participate in ayahuasca ceremonies, it’s important to be respectful of the indigenous cultures and traditions that have been using plant medicine for centuries. Many centers offer opportunities to learn about ayahuasca’s history and cultural significance before participating in a ceremony.

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About the Author

James Smith
Co-founder of Browse Wellness
James co-founded Browse Wellness by combining his love and passion for yoga and meditation with his entrepreneurial spirit and marketing expertise. James has spent the last decade exploring the wellness landscape of South-East and Central Asia, from Thailand and Bali to the Himalayan mountains of Nepal and Bhutan. James is a certified yoga instructor and holistic nutritionist, and his approach to wellness is grounded in a holistic, whole-body perspective.



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