So Many Choices and All of Them Good. To start with, you’re going to need to find your passport.
To start with, you’re going to need to find your passport. Because psilocybin mushrooms and truffles are illegal in all fifty states, you’ll have to say fairly well to the old US of A for a few days.
Ready? I know just the place — The Netherlands. Or Jamaica. How about Mexico? Wait — Costa Rica! You really can’t go wrong.
For the purposes of this article, I’m your captain, and we’re going to take a magic mushroom cruise to all of these locations.
To start off, let’s dock our psychedelic sailboat in Amsterdam’s magnificent network of canals. The famously permissive Dutch have outlawed psilocybin mushrooms — it’s a long story — but psilocybin truffles are allowed. Our first retreat host, Synthesis, offers 3 and 5-day retreats which are centered around ceremonial use of medium-to-high-dose psilocybin truffles. Retreats cost about $1,000 a day.
A private retreat costs three times as much, but you’ll get your own deluxe apartment, meals prepared by a chef “tailored to your personal dietary requirements” and two (2) dedicated facilitators. Peaceful Dutch countryside at no extra charge.
Synthesis boasts a team of facilitators and therapists, plus meditation and breathwork instructors, to provide, “an experience that blends the best of ancient wisdom, with cutting edge science.” More about Synthesis here.
Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, a little closer to home, we’ll find MycoMeditations in lovely Jamaica. MycoMeditations offers week-long psilocybin mushroom retreats directly adjacent to Caribbean beaches. Classic and Comfort retreats cost around $4,000 to $5,000 respectively and are located on the south shore at Treasure Beach.
Or you can step up to the Concierge retreat — butler, laundry service, 3-course meals curated by local chefs — located on the north shore at Montego Bay for around $8,500. All retreats include accommodations, transportation, beach access, massages and meals. All offer three psilocybin sessions, plus preparation and integration circles. And Wi-Fi.
If anyone is worried about losing their religion at their retreat, MycoMeditation addresses this in the FAQs on their website.
Continuing west, we’ll chart a course through the Gulf of Mexico to — you guessed it — Mexico, and the Buena Vida Psilocybin Retreats.
Mexico is a big country. Where exactly is Buena Vida located? Well, it depends. Over the last couple years Buena Vida has hosted retreats in the city of Tulum, Playa del Carmen, the jungle outside Puerto Vallarta, the mountains of Oaxaca and just south of Ensenada in Baja California.
They promise “secure, private, luxurious accommodations.” All retreats include meals, transportation, massages, session facilitation and integration services. For around $4,500 you’ll get 2-3 guided psilocybin mushroom ceremonies, yoga, day trips and other activities under the supervision of “5 loving leaders.” Also snacks.
Buena Vida works with local, indigenous shamans and healers, providing an experience in a ceremonial and sacramental setting. More about Buena Vida here.
For our final port of call, we can pilot our psychedelic sailboat along either the Caribbean or the Pacific coastline because we’re headed to the rugged, rainforested Central American country of Costa Rica.
Known for its volcanoes, beaches and biodiversity, Psychedelic Spotlight knows it as the current home of Chi Psilocybin, the founder of Truffles Therapy. (You can read our profile of Chi here.)
Chi started providing psilocybin retreats in Amsterdam, but Truffles Therapy is now hosting retreats for individuals, couples, and small groups. These all-inclusive private psilocybin retreats are organized by Chi and his partner Leti. Together they have hosted more than two dozen retreats and worked with more than 500 clients. Chi tells Psychedelic Spotlight, “The truffles team guarantees a transformational experience that includes high-quality medicine, homemade vegan food, beautiful accommodations in nature, and deep connection and support.” To learn more, visit them here.
I Hope You Had the Time of Your Life
Roland Griffiths is the director of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Griffiths has spent more than 40 years researching mood-altering drugs, and he’ll tell you that the effects of psilocybin are profound. Actually, the words he uses are “life-changing” and “substantial and enduring effects.”
In his TedTalk, Griffiths shares his optimism and reasons for psilocybin’s charms, saying the effects mimic those of religious and contemplative practices and something all humans are hardwired to experience.
The results of the studies he has led also explain his optimism. In one study, a staggering six months after a single psilocybin dose, 83 percent of participants still said they enjoyed increased wellbeing or life satisfaction, and 70 percent called their psilocybin experience a top-five spiritual lifetime event.
If that’s not simply mind-blowing, I’m not sure what is. Oh, and Gwyneth Paltrow’s doing it.
Editor’s Note: All of the retreat hosts mentioned in this article say they are taking special precautions in order to safely accommodate guests during the COVID-19 pandemic. Psychedelic Spotlight is not able to offer any guidance on the effectiveness of these measures. We strongly recommend readers do their own research to ensure their safety before taking any trip during the pandemic.