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A Ceremony for Your Healing - Other Activity Huancabamba - Peru

Shadows of flame and a man flash across the rustic walls of a home deep in the mountains. In this dim light, you watch the curandero entering that world opened by San Pedro cactus. He is speaking with the spirits to see, to know what healing you need. Then you sleep, to prepare for the next day’s journey to those mystical lakes: Lagunas de las Huaringas. Come the dawn, you both mount horses for the lagoons. On the banks, the curandero erects an altar with magical objects, each with its significance and purpose. The ceremony you have been called to have entails the singlar, a shower of tobacco and perfume the shaman sprays over you through his nose. This helps to shield you with positive vibes, keeping the negative at bay. He calls upon the forces of the Lagunas and mountains to help heal you. At the end, you dip into those crystalline, cold waters that are said to be charged with positive, life-giving energies.

People come from all over Peru and the world in search of healing—whether from a string of bad luck in love or business, or medical conditions like cancer. Some have had amazing recoveries.

Huancabamba, Peru

Other Activity Types:

Getting There

Legitimate transport for Salalá and San Antonio leave from inside the bus terminal (4 a.m., 5 p.m., $3.50).

Travel Tips:

Many conmen hang outside the bus terminal arranging trips to the Lagunas. The tourism office cautions that, for your own safety, to avoid them. Such offers will take you to quacks and possibly lead to robberies. Ask the tourism office for assistance in taking legitimate transportation and a list of registered healers. To which village you travel depends on which healer you choose.

When at the Lagunas, stay with your group. Do not throw plastic or glass bottles into the lakes. Wear swim or underwear when entering the lake. Do not pollute the waters.

Price Description:

Including all costs, about $75-100.

Relative price: High End

Travel Skills: None

You Need to Bring:

Above all, respect for the ceremony. It is not a side-show attraction. It is a serious ritual.

Bring a sleeping bag, for sleeping on the floor of the shaman’s home. Take along waterproof boots, heavy clothing, rain gear and a flashlight. As well, bring water, snack foods. Most importantly, have plenty of soles. The typical costs, apart from the transportation to curandero’s home village, includes price of the ceremonies (about $40), plus horse rental for you and the shaman (about $10 each, round trip). Sleeping at the healer’s home is included in his fee. Breakfast is an additional $1-2.

The many natural wonders in the Huancabamba region, as well as the archaeological sites.

Currencies accepted
Peruvian nuevo sol

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

23 Apr 2012

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