These three words describe how we heal with sacred mushrooms at The Buena Vida Retreats.
We are a legal, safe and most of all caring group of leaders trained to guide you through this epic journey. We are the only female-led and ceremony-focused Psilocybin retreat in the world.
We’ve safely helped over 600+ guests since 2018 release their old trauma and start to discover a heart-centered way of living.
Most of our guests come to us suffering. So many of us know the depth of pain caused from years of untreatable depression, anxiety, PTSD and other wellness challenges. Our safe and sacred mushroom medicine is served in a ceremonial and sacramental setting, reminding humanity of our deep love of ritual. We will hold your hand and protect your heart while you remember your true power and, with the help of the medicine, begin to live a life that’s truly a Buena Vida!
We use sacred psilocybin mushrooms to heal past traumas, unveil creativity and inspire gratitude. Live medicine music, sound bowl vibrations, calming meditations, and a judgement-free community surround our work. Take a safe, secure adventure into the most mystical area of the universe: your inner self.
Classic, luxurious, beautiful
Prices for Shared vs. Private Rooms vary
Small Group Retreats
Smaller Groups, More Integration
Led by Amanda Schendel
*Starting at this price. Room rates may vary
Hacienda Buena Vida is a massive, 1.5-acre Jeep Jungle and ocean-view paradise. It’s a true luxury, Mexican-style villa. It is truly A Tropical Oasis by the sea in Sayulita, Mexico. Take an easy flight into the safe international airport of Puerto Vallarta, MX and let us take care of the rest!
It’s hard to describe the power, magic and healing available at this retreat, but here it goes. Amanda and her tribe of facilitators have curated an incredibly rich week.
I arrived reserved and unsure and left in a space of love, joy, internal peace and fully energized. The week was so well curated with workshops/classes including breath work, yoga and movement and more. From the moment we arrived at the beautiful and well appointed retreat villa (with killer views and abundant space) we were taken care of. The food was clean, creative and made with love…every meal. And the fellow attendees, who are all there for different reasons, from different backgrounds become a tribe of supporters, cheerleaders and friends for each other. That alone felt magical. Nothing was forced, it just unfolded beautifully (because Amanda and her team really know their stuff on so many levels).
When it came to the actual ceremonies, well, it was a first for me. And I was blown away by how deep the journey can be. And with the “tribe” of fellow attendees supporting me and each other, and the careful care we got from the facilitators, I was able to truthfully heal old wounds that were in the way of deep joy and light.
The ceremonies were treated as sacred. They were serious yet playful. They were enhanced and guided with beautiful music and facilitation and provided such an opening to go deep inside, all the while being protected by our fully committed, loving facilitators. The space was SO safe on all levels.
We had an opportunity to share/process as a group, in small groups, and 1 on 1 with facilitators and each other. And being witness to nearly a dozen other people (now my tribe) working thru their “stuff” and supporting me thru mine was undoubtedly magical, and quite an honor.
This is not recreational….this is medicine. And it works!
Buena Vida Retreat: Amazing, transformative, life changing- If one is seeking a catalyst for healing, greater positivity and peaceful change in their life, this is the place and the team with whom to begin your journey. Feelings of being cradled in the heart of the earth with connection to the universal collective consciousness, is just a snippet of my experience.
Retreat facilitators bring a deep knowledge of ceremonial medicinal practices, combined with sound, movement and breath work teachings. All within an extremely well thought out, safe, loving and compassionate community environment. Additionally, I can’t end without saying that a lot of thought went into every meal. Each deliciously created to provide whole body supportive health. I wholeheartedly recommend this retreat and give it the highest possible rating.
- Pamela J.
I am five days past an incredible 7 day journey at The Buena Vida. I came with a heart and mind full of depression, confusion and skepticism. During my stay I experienced healing given to me through yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, psilocybin and the loving care of Amanda and her team. I left with hopefulness, contentment, love and a new view of this world and my life in it.
5 MEGA stars! So I believe the secret ingredient that makes Beuna Vida such a spectacular and transformative experience is simply L O V E. Amanda and her team pour every ounce of their heart and soul into each and every day and every guest. In turn, their care and compassion become contagious amongst the participants. We became a kindred family and it was beautiful to witness and be a part of. I arrived at the retreat tired, despairing, and desperate. Slowly as the days passed and the medicine did its thing – those words were replaced with joy, peace, and faith. Two weeks later and I still feel a deeply planted sense of serenity and faith that the cosmos is conspiring in my favor. Feeling just ok was something that was beyond my reach prior to the retreat – no matter how much journaling, meditation, yoga, blah blah blah I did. My heart is full-to-overflowing with gratitude for the many gifts that I received during this magical and numinous experience. I look forward to making it an ongoing part of my spiritual wellbeing practice. If you are in a position to do this for yourself – DO IT! Impossible to regret. Impossible to forget.
- M V.
A beautiful healing experience unlike any other. The power of the mushrooms and the gentle, loving guidance of Amanda and team was truly magical. They are an amazing group that truly loves helping people and making this world a more beautiful place. When can I go back!!!!
I’ve attended two Buena Vida retreats. I can say unequivocally that both experiences deserve more than five stars!
My experience with both retreats is nothing short of profound and transcendent. For me, these two retreats rank up there with the most meaningful experiences I’ve had in my life.
Like other people, I’ve had many past psychedelic experiences in my life, but none can compare to the experiences I’ve had The Buena Vida.
The preparation, the accommodations, the food, the staff, the ceremonies (e.g. ‘trips’) is nothing short of stellar! The attention to detail, the extremely caring and attentive staff, the delicious food, the beautiful accommodations, and the group work we did in between the ceremonies all add up to something much greater than the sum of the parts.
Amanda and her staff go to great lengths to create a very safe space, a space where I felt comfortable to be myself. I’m a fairly private person, and prior to attending I was a bit anxious and skeptical about the group aspect of the experience. but I felt so safe that I was able to access parts of myself that needed attending to. Amanda and her staff are supremely talented in creating the safest place possible, a space where I was able to explore aspects of myself that I often deny, or wish to ignore.
The best words I can use to describe The Buena Vida are these: Magical. Exquisite. Healing. Transcending. Profound.
I can’t say enough about the gentle, caring staff at The Buena Vida. Amanda and the staff are knowledgeable, honest, funny, and reverent in their approach to healing with psilocybin. They are the real thing. If you are on the fence, go for it. You will never regret your decision, and probably will want to return again and again. Thank you all so much for helping me regain my belief in me.
- D. L.
I originally set out to have this experience in support of my husband. I was unsure of the group environment but went with an open mind and heart. I found an amazing group of people and a loving , safe and non judgmental environment. The accommodations were beautiful. The food was really great , healthy and fresh. The house staff was am amazing and friendly. Words could never fully describe Amanda and her team of facilitators- warm, sensitive, loving, compassionate, intuitive above all freaking unbelievably amazing. The ceremonies for me were absolutely beautiful and though personally hard for me I found a journey of release and forgiveness of my pain and myself. I found strength in others in my group and kindness, sweetness and love . I would do this again without hesitation and will do with others I love in the near future.
6 out of 5 stars. I originally wanted mainly to drag my husband with a number of issues and simply understand myself better coming into retirement after a very successful public career. The experience was transformational. For the first time I understood my life, my behavior and decisions and what I could let go of. I am facing the death of several loved ones with peace now. Not at all what I thought I was coming for. I sleep and function better. Although he might never admit it, my husband’s depression appears gone. The integration and processing of the experience incorporated into the retreat and after is critical to sustaining the transformational changes. There was an incredible amount of planning and thought into the retreat. Amanda is truly a shaman and the facilitators were deeply involved in the experience. I learned about this retreat from a family member and will be bringing other family members in future.
- Carol J.
To say that Buena Vida appeared in my life when I needed it the most is an understatement. From the moment I arrived, I felt at peace. The energy of Amanda and her staff was out of this world. This retreat was so fulfilling, I can’t put it into words. The treatment is next level luxury, and the food and accommodations were magical. I would highly recommend coming here, I know I’ll be back.
“A miracle. This is a f’ing miracle.” was what I repeatedly thought as Amanda closed the 2nd tea ceremony. Ditto to all the 5 star reviews. As a clinical neuropsychologist with 30+ years experience treating complex patients with emotional trauma, chronic pain, multiple diseases (and so on), there’s nothing in Western medicine that even comes close to the deeply transformative and restorative healing that I experienced (and witnessed) with Amanda and the Buena Vida team. Life changing. I highly recommend Buena Vida without reservation. Buena Vida provided a luxurious, safe, educational, fun, and relaxing container within which we (the 10 guests) could embark on a life altering journey. Honestly, there aren’t enough “stars” to capture the magic. Thank you Amanda! I am forever changed and eternally grateful.
- Sutapa M.
There are just no words to adequately describe the wonderful time I had at a Buena Vida Retreat in November, 2021. Amanda is compassionate, loving, and filled with joy and a passion for what she does, which is to provide a healing experience for those of us lucky enough to attend one of her retreats. The accommodations are wonderful, the food beyond delicious, and the support staff warm and caring. I cannot say enough about how exceptional my time at Buena Vida was. Maria, Sarah, Alex and the rest of the Buena Vida staff were just the best. The 14 other guests have become life-long friends, and I cannot wait to go back again and share this miracle with my friends! I took a “leap of faith” to attend this retreat, and I am beyond thankful that I did!
I remember reading through some of these reviews prior to attending The Buena Vida retreat, thinking of my future self and how I would feel after it was all said and done. I was apprehensive, to say the least, and I didn’t want to put any expectations on the experience in case it disappointed. Yet, something inside of me, or outside of me, pushed me to take this chance. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression since I was young and have been on a multitude of medications. Those that have worked, which are few, have left me feeling hollow.
It’s been about three weeks since I returned and I’ve spent much of that time reflecting on my experience. It was so much bigger than I could have imagined.
The location was magical, the accommodations luxurious. I’m so grateful to have spent seven days in such a wild yet grounding paradise. The food was delicious and I was reminded that sharing a meal with others, without phones or tight schedules, can be really enjoyable and meaningful.
I struggle to find words to describe the ceremonies. Each one felt unique and intentional in sequence. I felt myself connecting with emotions that I normally struggle to feel, and thinking in ways that felt new. My time in ceremony felt of another world, a sacred multi-sensory experience that I will keep with me forever.
Lastly, I didn’t realize how much the group setting would impact my experience. I think it would have taken me much longer to open up if I had not been surrounded by such an honest and caring group of people. Sometimes I find it hard to connect, but I can easily say I deeply care about everyone I met there. I had forgotten how community can help remedy many of the common woes of modern life (loneliness, aimlessness, etc.) which have become even more prevalent in the past year or two.
Amanda, Maria, Sarah, Alex; thank you for making this such a positive impactful experience. Everything seemed seamless (I say this knowing that so much work went into this to make it seem so); I felt very taken care of throughout my stay. Your warmth, knowledge and vulnerability enabled me, and others, to feel open and trusting, which is something I struggle with in my everyday life. Thank you for guiding me into a new way of living; I’m forever grateful.
Rational words fail me for much of this serene, joyful healing experience. I spent about a year studying the psychedelic therapy renaissance, and it seemed too good to be true. My inner life was defined by decades of chronic, futile struggles – I could never seem to help myself or family, try as I might, or silence the unrelenting inner critic. This retreat experience has given me peace, and clarity on how to help others find their path, for the first time in my life.
Researchers emphasize set and setting as crucial to the process; nothing prepared me for the astonishingly beautiful setting (which is undersold), loving hands, and thoroughly professional caring hearts provided by Amanda and her practitioners. I was at first skeptical about group ceremony instead of individual session protocols, but remaining open proved the right choice, as the medical and scientific effortlessly reconciled with the magical and spiritual. The resulting depth of emotional release is difficult to describe. I’ll settle for a quote from Alan Ball’s American Beauty: “…it’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes, I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much – My heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it. And then it flows through me like rain.”
The group journey proved to be a wonderful part of the experience that reached through my usual social anxiety, creating healthy connections that last well beyond the retreat. Fresh, healthy cuisine sourced locally, celebrating with and opening up to new friends, meditation and exercise, a pervasive sense of safety and security, all lifted us out of our shells.
If you suffer as I have, know that this was all I had hoped it would be, and my healing began when I decided to go.
of guests reported a "strong" positive change in their mental health.
of guests reported the retreat "exceeded their initial expectations"
of guests reported saw "strong or very strong" changes to their lives
of our guests return for a 2nd retreat or recommend a friend or family member to come.
The Buena Vida and Sol Medicine does not supply, manufacture, distribute or condone the use of any illegal substances. The goal of The Buena Vida Retreats is to facilitate access to trained shamans who work with sacred plant medicines within an accepted, sacramental and ceremonial context. The shamans personally evaluate each guests’ needs and work strictly within the laws of their training and all local and national laws where the retreats will take place. We do not guarantee any results or outcomes, specific medicine usage, etc. We DO NOT INCLUDE any specific type of medicine in the cost of the retreat. Each participant is responsible for informing themselves about possible pharmaceutical drug contraindications, including but not limited to SSRI and other stabilizing medication. They assume all responsibility for due diligence required for their participation. For more information and additional resources, email [email protected]
Retreat prices include: accommodations, meals, transportation, massage, session facilitation and integrations services. For these services you will be billed electronically by Paypal. These prices DO NOT include the cost of mushroom medicine for your retreat. Psilocybin is legal in Mexico when done in a ceremonial and sacramental context. Due to current regulations outside of Mexico, The Buena Vida does not include the cost of the mushrooms in the retreat package price. Guests will be served medicine at the discretion of the medicine man/woman at the retreat under their guidance and our collective decision. Guests will be asked to pay a service fee to the shaman, whatever they decide is fair, for the medicine and their time. Shamans will always give medicine for free if someone cannot pay. In this challenging landscape we are committed to providing our guests with the safest, most legal option in psilocybin-assisted retreats.
Enter your email address below to get the FREE Healing with Psilocybin Guide delivered right to your inbox.