In My Element: Amazon Ayahuasca Adventure

Photographer Tracey Eller documents her experience with ayahuasca in the Amazon through a photo essay

Amazon Explorer's Club

The view from Captain Bill’s Amazon Explorer’s Club in Iquitos, Peru, a bustling river town where an estimated 25 percent of the tourists are ayahuasca journeyers on their way to or from retreats.

Photo by Tracey Eller

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Documentary photographer Tracey Eller was awarded a Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit Grant so she could experience the healing and consciousness-expanding journey of ayahuasca ceremony at Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual in the Peruvian Amazon. Ayahuasca, a traditional psychedelic brew, is not only legal in Peru but is designated as a “cultural patrimony” by the Peruvian government.

Eller was on assignment for Utne Reader, sponsored by the Cosmic Sister Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance educational initiative. A visual storyteller who describes her camera as “a gateway to understanding myself and the world,” Eller was completely in her element when she stepped out of a moto-taxi and into the jungle. This is a slideshow of her experience.

Read Laura Miller's account of the same ayahuasca adventure in "Me and Mama Ayahuasca," special to Utne Reader.