How I Would Market Ayahuasca

Alternate Title: Free Biz Idea – TFB Vacations

My last article on Sebastian Woodroffe’s murder of Olivia Arevalo and his subsequent lynching in a Shipibo village of the Amazon jungle drew its fair share of comments. This article is in response to this comment, from Vanessa:

[A]yahuasca has been turned into an industry when this was not an industry and there are still many people who preserve it as Part of their Culture and spiritual Legacy of their ancestors. So if [something] becomes an industry [it’s] because there is a market and customers, Most of these customers are just people like u, That are just looking to have more fun and new experiences without trying first To understand what is originally behind and being respectful with that …  [A]yahuasca is Part of the Culture of some tribes. I am sorry so many people just know it as a drug and in a Part is the fault of some who commercialized it just to get money.

I have to disagree that people know ayahuasca as a drug and people are marketing it that way. I’ve been telling people for years that there should be a service in Lima. But there isn’t, and everybody markets ayahuasca as a religious ceremony that has to be done in the jungle.

There was (no longer available) a service in Lima, but they still make it all about Indians and ceremonies.

Note the yoga mats, which imply that you’re expected to sit in a circle.

Can you spot the Indian? I guarantee he didn’t wear those clothes on the bus ride in from Loreto or wherever he’s from. I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t even from the jungle. He grew up in Comas and bought the get-up at the artesanal market in San Miguel, and he just puts it on for the show.

That picture looks exactly like what my experience was outside Bogota. Everybody was expected to sit around in a circle, and occasionally the regulars and the organizers would chant to music played on their primitive wind pipes, rattles and bongos.

Ever since I’ve been saying in public and private that they should drop the Indian spirit bullshit. The morning after tripping balls I was subjected to over a half hour of talk about the Mayan calendar before I could escape.

So here’s free concept and sales copy for an ayahuasca business for anybody looking to launch in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia or Brazil. Obviously my hypothetical biz is based in Lima, so adjust it to wherever you are. And needless to say, it needs to be near a major airport. You can use this copy word-for-word if you like. Just give me a shout that it was helpful (and maybe a free trip).

TFB Vacations

Are you looking to trip balls harder than you ever have before? Ayahuasca is the strongest shit out there, it contains DMT. And it’s natural, so you can feel good about that. The best part – it’s not even illegal in Peru!

You may have heard that ayahuasca is taken in a spiritual ceremony, or that it has therapeutic benefits for victims of PTSD and addiction. But what if there’s nothing wrong with you? You weren’t traumatized in war and you’re not a smack addict. Hell, you had good parents and have an OK job. You don’t smoke. You just want to trip on ayahuasca in Peru because it sounds fun.

You don’t want to be bothered with traveling out to the jungle to stay in some shithole cabin outside some shithole city like Tarapoto or Iquitos. Some of these places expect you to bathe in a river. Fuck that noise!

Photo credit: Icaros Ayahuasca

And you definitely aren’t in the market to hear any Indian religion proselytizing. You just want to Trip Fuckin Balls!

If that sounds like you, then TFB Vacations is for you. We’re located in Lurin, just outside Lima. We’ll pick you up at the airport and whisk you off to our country house. There is no set time, no “ceremony” for our ayahuasca. You can order it up like you’re at the bar. Right off the plane if you want. We also have San Pedro, which is also natural and legal but not so intense, in case you want to work your way up to the Aya.

Both San Pedro (a cactus) and Ayahuasca (a vine) taste awful, but we at least try to make it taste good. We blend it up with a gang of ice, syrup and pisco in three flavor options: guanabana, aguaje or raw chocolate. For a small upcharge you can add your weekly need of Vitamin C with a bit of Camu Camu powder, or some lead in the pipe with Maca. Or if you want a really wild night, add a scoop of NO-Xplode pre-workout mix. WHOO!

Want to burn one to take the edge off while you wait for the ayahuasca to kick in? No sweat. We don’t sell marijuana per se, but trust me when I’ll say you’ll find some here at TFB. You can smoke your joint outside in our big-ass yard and garden.

TFB Rumpus Room

Once you start tripping you’ll want to check out our rumpus room. It has big soft couches along with super-soft sheets, blankets and pillows to lounge around on while admiring our kick-ass art portfolio of knockoff paintings and Panamerican kitsch. There is a Super Nintendo and an old-school Nintendo for one of the big screens, and the other TV plays an Adult Swim loop.

We have a mix of chicha and Peruvian trip-hop playing at a moderate volume in the background, which is non-negotiable. But if you need to swing to your own soundtrack you can rent an iPod if you don’t have one of your own.

Borrow our paintbrushes and smocks when you buy paints and paper, or even canvas if you think you’re going to take your creation home. And there are colored pencils and markers for those more realistic about their artistic abilities.

The Rumpus Room has Legos, Rubiks Cubes, chess and checkers and other board games like Sorry and all kinds of toys. This trip will take you back to your childhood, you’ll feel like you’re seven years old again, before that dirty uncle started touching you up. Wasn’t everything so much simpler before that?

Got dry mouth? Hit up the bar for a water or fresh-blended smoothie made with Peruvian fruits. Try a lucuma-milk smoothie or a mango-maracuya. It’s not how I get down when I’m tripping, but we can make you a pisco sour too. Want a short one that’s not too strong? We have a lovely aguardiente from Colombia. Whatever you can handle. Hell, you can just re-up on NO Xplode if you want.

Wanna dance like a prick? We can rent you a lightweight iPod that clips to your shirt and load it with whatever house music tracks you desire. Go outside and get some. We’ll even sell you a couple glow-sticks to get a wicked light show for your imaginary audience.

Ladies, if you’re put off by all the test from the bros, go to the Girls-Only Den. It’s painted in soft, neutral colors to create an inviting environment of mutual respect and harmony among peers.

TFB private rooms

Guys, if you’re put off by the estrogen from the girls, sorry there isn’t a men-only room. This isn’t a gay bar. But you can go to your room, where you can rent a Super Nintendo and/or old-school Nintendo, or an iPod that clips to your shirt. Or you can just chill out on the big soft bed by yourself, which is in fact a highly underrated thing to do while tripping balls.

We have a big yard if you want to go outside for some fresh air. There are a few trees and some grass which, take it from me, ain’t cheap to maintain in this desert. It’s walled in so nothing dodgy lurks beyond, neither animals nor scary Peruvians jaded by an impoverished childhood and parental mistreatment. So take it easy, kick your shoes off and walk around barefoot. Be one with nature. Just ignore the dickhead dancing with the glow-sticks.

The beach is a 30-minute walk from the hotel, and we organize group trips every morning at 10 a.m. Better to go with us, we don’t recommend going to the beach at night while tripping balls. Not that it’s dangerous or you’ll drown, but you’ll probably get lost.

Malecon of Miraflores

Want to stay for more than one night? No problem. Every day we organize day trips around the city. No need to figure out where to go or how to get there, just jump in our shuttle van. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays we go to La Punta; Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays we watch the birds at Pantanos de Villa and Sundays we take it easy at the Malecon. All great spots to burn one according to Expat Chronicles.

Sound too good to be true? Book now for just $150 per night, which includes two ayahuasca servings at the bar per night. Private rooms only, each one comes with a TV and Wifi. And don’t email asking for a discount. You can save money by flying off to the jungle and sleeping in a hut. You’re paying extra for the comfort we provide, as well as the promise not to subject you to any quasi-religious or spiritual preaching at all. Zero, zip, nada! How much is that worth? You’re welcome.

Just get high, have a blast and get out. Go back to your non-addict, non-tramautized life, wherever it is.



  1. Thanks Colin, good read.

    I think they should make it illegal. Unfortunately we’re currently witnessing the “Thailand-ization” of South America. Class act, stand-up guy gringos are becoming few and far between and we’re getting an influx of the problematic, sex tourist, drug addict piece of shit types, and unfortunately they fit right in in most of this continent.

    There was a British backpacker hippie type who went missing the other day in Southern Colombia around Mocoa presumably after taking this stuff…


    1. I always keep an open mind when reading articles but I have to honestly say that you are the most uneducated person I have come across thus far. I would assume you have some type of mental retardation (which I think is most likely your case) . “Ever since I’ve been saying in public and private that they should drop the Indian spirit bullshit”, that is where it shows your typical neanderthal troglodyte european mentality. Why would you disrespect a culture like that? If you don’t want to learn about the sacredness, history and importance of ayahuasca, its not for you to take. It is very esoteric in meaning, it has everything to do with spirituality not just “yEaH mAn lEtS gEt hIgH bRoS!”. This is not something to be treated like “crack”. Its like me going into a genuine martial arts academy and saying, “ehh, i don’t give a fuck about none of this Japanese or chinese bullshit, just show me how to fight. I don’t care about the stupid history or philosophy, i just want to learn how to break someones face with a punch or kick”. It shows an extreme amount of ignorance. These lands have been sacred lands for thousands of years before europeans massacred over 100 million+ native and completely polluted it. One of those examples being oil and factory farming which has decimated the amazons. Big oil companies and food companies (nestle) have exploited these lands beyond belief for YEARS. Millions of natives were killed by europeans for practicing ayahuasca ceremonies because christians and catholics looked at it as “demonic”, “witchcraft” and pagan in nature. I don’t know if you are trying to be one of those “cool” and “quirky” old dudes or you are literally a complete idiot. Every time europeans see money in another culture, they water it down, “gentrify” it, rebrand it and completely ruin it. We have seen that thousands of times in history. Stop perverting cultures, spend the time to appreciate them. You sound like one of those “namaste” New Age dmt fried cult followers always preaching “lOvE pEaCe and LiGhT” . If you want to get high, go to those dirty hostels and clubs in europe.


      1. Johnathan, 100%.

        I hope very much that “Expat Chronicles” does not take the opportunity to challenge what is clearly a deeply-felt matter for yourself and for others of the blood.

        I’m not sure that his intention was just as it hit you, though. I know he writes for gringoes and in this case I see the piece as a challenge, laughing at the gringo drug tourist experience that is marketed by parasite gringo residents in this part of the world. In other words, I am not sure that he was actually attacking the people whose ancestors have been here for thousands of years: I think he was attacking his own kind.

        But never mind that, I am with you on this and as a foreigner who lives here, quietly and inoffensively, I am very grateful for the acceptance I feel. In return, I do try to make my respect and love for the people very clear.

        Unfortunately, there is a kind of dominance of the whitey folks in many countries and to me this dominance is a fake thing, only sitting on top of a deep inferiority complex and a narcissitic inner compulsion for attention and praise. The result we call racism ¿no? This is the grounds on which I try to challenge the unnecessary aggresiveness of my own race.

        I do think that the post was not intended as you see it but unfortunately the way it was written allowed a confusion of how to interpret its aim. But then it is up to us writers to make sure of all possible interpretations.

        Thanks for inviting me off the sidelines to actually say something.


      2. I am a citizen with a Peruvian parent also, so I am similar to yourself. Obviously, what Colin is getting at is that there are people willing to sell the ayahuasca experience fairly cheaply – as you said, when you consider it has been a sacred ritual that has been around for thousands of years – it seems to be freely available to any wanton, dipshit backpacker from the first world who wants to get high at a fairly cheap price. Proving that the ‘War on Drugs’ will never be won when there are many people with more money than common sense who are willing to travel thousands of miles to the edges of the Amazon jungle to where the highs are.

        He is having a go at those people, his language isn’t PC but it’s obvious that he is having a go at the people buying this crap and risking their health in the process. It’s all very well talking about the mysticism and respecting what is behind the ayahuasca tradition but the people in charge of it are the ones prostituting it and trying to make a quick buck out of it, if it is being whored out to drug starved dimwits from all around the first world, then it is obvious who is to blame for the present scenario.


      3. All religions are bullshit, but if it makes you happy I won’t complain. It’s only when people try to impose their superstition on me or they try to use it to abuse children that I complain.


  2. Great ad, I should take you up on it and straight copy and paste and start the TFB business.
    I was in Cusco last August at the Sacred Valley Tribe.
    It was a seriously good experience, painful at times, awesome at times, until some black dude got up at the end of the ceremony, spread his arms out, then dropped his pants for all to see. Some good hippie bro helped him get his pants back up and compose himself.
    An awesome ceremony ending with some bizarre behavior by a guest.


  3. a post too stupid and without any real information, and above all use and without knowing that just the chamàn that you have placed in the photo is someone recognized, a master of years, but you can know that is the Ayahuasca if you only promote it as what is not. detestable post.


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