Ayahuasca is a drink used medicinally in spiritual activities in the northern Amazon. It’s extremely popular in Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia. In Costa Rica there are about 15 places to try it.
While the concoction is bitter and generally bad tasting, it is used to bring about visions similar to dreams but while awake. It is often used before making big decisions, once or twice in a lifetime.
It is not addictive and usually not used frequently or recreationally. It’s made from cooking ayahuasca vine with a plant called chacruna. These grow throughout the Amazon.
The guide of a shaman is needed for the ritual which is done at twilight. Music keeps participants in touch with reality while they experience hallucinations. The trance lasts a few hours.
Those who have used it have reported seeing the deceased. It’s known as “the plant of the dead.” They also report gaining psychological and spiritual clarity through the experience.