San Juan de Iluman: Shamans and Andean Cleansing
The small Andean village of Iluman is found in the northern province of Imbabura, 7km northeast of Otavalo. Besides their handcraft abilities like their neighbors closeby, the people of San Juan de Iluman are also known for their local shaman’s association of approximately 120 plus members. They are easily found in town, you will find their names “advertised” on their home’s doors and most locals can give you instructions on how to meet one. For those looking to experience a traditional Andean cleansing and to learn from Ecuadorian indigenous rituals, the shamans of Iluman are happy to welcome you. Keep in mind that cleansings are ancient rituals that can get messy. For example, it may include raw eggs, the use of herbs, or even a guinea pig or “cuy”. Despite these little surprises, you will be surprised to know it’s an activity many visitors are willing to try.

Published in September, 2020

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