The Night Swimmers. Hello, I am Xavi, a new Night Swimmer.


From looks alone, everything indicates that this is a sect. Alberto José Varela, a charismatic leader with a bit of a messiah, ex-convict, having been involved with three women (the most recent is much younger than him) and a crowd of six children, a lost chalet in the mountains, a dark basement with an altar and Masonic-looking symbology, a bunch of disciplined disciples, a common ideological body, unclear economic practices and ceremonies of purge and healing that turn the room into an authentic post-modern asylum.

Ayahuasca International is facing the jungle shamans for having usurped the holy medicine; also with the professionals of psychiatry and academic psychology that see in their therapeutic processes a dangerous amateurism. A young and novice organisation that is dealing with a growth that, at times, overwhelms them.

They organise punctual conferences and travels, but their star product is the weekend retreat. Their so-called magic formula has three major components: a group session of ayahuasca (the sacred plant of the Amazon) in successive nocturnal ceremonies (with their eyes closed and enlivened with Spanish guitars), a parallel therapeutic process during the day with inspiring talks and practices of systemic psychology (with a lot of mother-father work and a resemblance to Gestalt and its family constellations) and the main dish: the intake of Bufo Alvarius after lunch (the medicine of a toad from the Sonora desert).

Up to this point, the esoteric elements that do not escape the topics of any self-respected sect. Substances and words to soothe the soul.

Nothing special except a little big difference: it is a formula that works, that generates evident results, that moves entrails and miseries of oneself; Ayahuasca International truly transforms the psyche of people. A small detail that makes its cause one of the greatest discoveries of humanity and brings us closer to the comprehension of human consciousness.

Is it a drug or medicine? Is it a party or therapy? Varela says that ayahuasca connects with your consciousness and that Bufo Alvarius is consciousness itself. This experience is not aimed at solving three of the great questions of humanity: Where do we come from? Who are we? And Where are we going?, but it brings us closer to the answer. It is a transforming therapeutic experience of an unknown intensity, every person lives it differently, but what moves inside everyone is deep and soul-stirring. All those who go through their triple formula purge and heal, sometimes purging more than they heal, and sometimes they only purge. But what this so-called medicine cures is beyond the reach of experienced psychologists with years of therapy, or psychiatrists with medicine scientifically proven through centuries.

Bufo Alvarius heals addictions and deep trauma, it puts you in a coffin, its connects you with your miseries, it opens the truth to your consciousness, it liberates you in front of yourself and brings you closer to a kind of cosmic orgasm. Ayahuasca goes deeps into the roots of the unconscious; it literally vomits your grief, connects with your virtues and faces without fear the unbearable lightness of being.

Besides, the aesthetics of this modern asylum becomes unbearably and inexpressibly beautiful, with a group of bodies dancing and vomiting like authentic Night Swimmers, an asylum of crazy people having fun to the sound of a delicious music of the nymphs end echoes of the distant mountains. Are they the disturbed or the sanest? A delicacy to the senses and a comforting image for the absurdity of life.

I, for one, vomited a child’s sadness near death, memories that were branded with blood in my heart. By night I rekindled with my lost feelings towards my mother and my sister, and finally the embrace of my father, merging with this little child that had been sequestered by my defences and protections. It was a tremendously painful and at the same time comforting process, an itinerary of my psyche through the wounds of my unconscious.

I know that many will not be able to undertake this practice because of their prejudice and antagonism towards this kind of sects and substances, that some will think these are just some more drugs, that they do not need these sorts of experiments that may damage the body. It is respectable and there is nothing to object. One can simply affirm with calmness after being in one of these retreats, that life changes colours and takes on a new meaning.

Hello, I am Xavi, a new Night Swimmer. Thank you very much, Ayahuasca International.




Hello Xavi,

I am very thankful to you because you have made me laugh with your story, it cannot be more real and unreal at the same time. Never before had anyone understood so deeply who we are and what we do. You have captured the essence and that is what matters. You have some data wrong, I have lived with 7 women and I have children with four of them. And one little correction: we have not usurped ayahuasca from anyone; shamans provide us with it. Lastly: I affirm that with ayahuasca one “takes consciousness”, but with the Bufo Alvarius “one returns to consciousness”, the bufo is not consciousness.

Alberto José Varela



If you want to be a part of this healing madness in any of our Retreats around the world, write to: [email protected]

Ayahuasca International holds Inner Evolution retreats with therapeutic use of Ayahuasca in several countries in Europe. Click the links for specific information on each retreat.


 Vienna, June 14 to 18

Cologne, June 15 to 18

Marbella, June 15 to 18

Berlin, June 21 to 25

Eindhoven- Netherlands, June 21 to 25

Ibiza, June 21 to 24

Zurich, June 22 to 25

Marbella, June 28 to July 02

Madrid, June 28 to July 02

Cologne, June 29 to July 02

South Sweden, June 28 to July 02

Copenhagen, June 28 to July 02

Barcelona, July 05 to 09

Marbella, July 05 to 09

Munich, July 05 to 09

Sweden, July 10 to 16

Mallorca, July 13 to 16

Click here for a complete listing of  information of all the 2017 Ayahuasca International Retreats Calendar. It includes subsequent links to information, prices and booking procedure for each retreat.

For bookings or to request any further information call to +49 (0) 171 987 6655 (also available by whatsapp) or write to [email protected] 


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