High Flying Tulum:
An Aerial + Mermaid Retreat
February 4-9, 2022
Join Brenna Bradbury of High Flying Retreats and Alexandra Baackes of Wander Women Retreats on an aerial getaway to Mexico’s lush Caribbean coast!
This six day aerial arts and mermaid retreat is based in the infamous bohemian beach town of Tulum. We’ll practice aerial silks in a beautiful jungle studio, head to a cenote to transform into magical mermaids, attend an aerial festival on the beach, try SUP yoga in a private lagoon, and even take in Mexico’s sole Cirque du Soleil performance. And heck yes we’re doing an aerial photoshoot in the jungle — mermaid tails optional (but encouraged 😛.)
Alex, who is a Tulum regular with deep roots there, above and below sea level, will show us her favorite street taco stands, chic rooftop bars, barefoot beaches, secret cenotes, and smoothie bowl spots. Tulum is so hot you can get burned — this retreat will give you an insider’s peek at Mexico’s epicenter of design and adventure.
Please note that while this retreat is open to a variety of levels of aerialists, you must have a passion for aerial arts and a base-level of skill in silks before enrolling. Please see the FAQ below for more details and feel free to contact Brenna or Alex to discuss your situation.
The dates of this retreat February 4-9th, 2022. Pricing starts at $2,600 — more details below.
• Five nights luxury accommodation at a chic Tulum retreat center
• Five breakfasts and an opening and closing dinner
• Two aerial silks workshops with Brenna, an acro-workshop with Acro Travels, SUP yoga and aerial play with SUP Tulum
• A ticket to Daydream Aerial Arts Festival by Lucid Aerial Arts
• A Mermaid For a Day experience with Tulum Mermaid
• A ticket to JOYA, Mexico’s first Cirque du Soleil show, with a half bottle of champagne per mermaid
• A professional personal aerial photoshoot with Lucid Aerial Arts
• Professional group photos of the entire retreat
• Welcome bag
• All local transportation in Tulum
What’s Not Included
• Meals not included in the itinerary — we’ll head to restaurants as a group, though, or be happy to make recommendations
• Alcohol not included in the itinerary
• Transport to and from Tulum
• Mandatory travel insurance
Subject to change, and expect surprises, but here’s the general idea.
Day 1: Arrive at Holistika + unwind by the pool! Kick off your aerial adventure and get to know your fellow mermaids with an acro yoga class with Acro Travels, Tulum’s favorite duo. After, we’ll head out for a welcome dinner on the beach.
Day 2: After breakfast, jump into an aerial silks workshop led by Brenna at Holistika’s own dreamy aerial studio. Later, we’ll head into Tulum Centro for delicious smoothie bowls and an afternoon of mermaiding with Tulum Mermaid at a beautiful local cenote. For dinner, we’ll head out for street tacos followed by a visit to Alex’s favorite churro stand.
Day 3: Today, we’re in for a treat! After breakfast at Holistika, we’ll head down to the beach for a full day aerial festival, Daydream. Hosted by Lucid Aerial Arts, Tulum’s aerial epicenter, your ticket will allow you to choose your own adventure and take the workshops that most appeal to you — past offerings have included silk sequencing, handstand fundamentals, hula hoop flows, conscious flexibility and more. Need a break between workshops? The beach is steps away! After the closing cabaret, feel free to stay at the beach for dinner.
Day 4: Following breakfast at Holistika, we’ll dive into another silks workshop with Brenna. Next up is lunch at a favorite local taqueria, followed by a truly unique Tulum experience! We’re heading out to Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, where we’ll have a beautiful lagoon all to ourselves. After Spanglish SUP yoga with Mila, a local instructor and aerial performer, the space is ours to mermaid, fly (there’s an aerial silk hanging from an outdoor palapa!) and frolic. That night, we’ll stick close to home for dinner at a design-mag worthy restaurant walking distance from Holistika.
Day 5: Lights, camera, action! It’s time for an aerial photoshoot with Colleen from Lucid Aerial Arts. After nabbing the jungle profile picture of your dreams, we’re off to the beach for a final swim in the sea. That night, we’ll glam back up for the ultimate aerial send off — a night at JOYÀ, the first Cirque du Soleil resident show in Mexico! A half bottle of champagne per person is included — a nice respite from tequila, by this point.
Day 6: After a farewell breakfast + closing circle, it’s time to head home… until the next adventure!
Where We’ll Stay + What We’ll Eat
We will be staying at the wellness boutique hotel in the Mexican Riviera, Holistika. Enter stress-free living in the middle of the jungle, art deco rooms and multiple shalas for our practice. We will nourish our bodies every morning with an onsite breakfast from Tierra, which creates toxin-free plant-based meals infused with the best flavors, local ingredients and love. When we are not swinging from the rafters of our Instagram worthy aerial space or relaxing poolside, why not treat yourself to some pampering at their own site spa or wander through the famous Jungle Art Walk.
Shared rooms have two queen size beds. Of course you can room with a friend but if you’re traveling solo, fear not, so are most of our guests! We’ll do our best to pair you with someone we think you’ll click with based on your intake forms — and we’ll all be besties by the end anyway. If you prefer to have your own space, book a private room with a single king sized bed and a balcony overlooking the pool!
We’ll bring you to and suggest at a wide variety of restaurants throughout the week — from local taco joints, to hip and critically acclaimed destinations. Expect tacos and tamales alongside more elevated expressions of Mexican food. Vegans and those with food allergies can be accommodated throughout.
WTF Is Mermaiding?
We didn’t choose the mermaid life, the mermaid life chose us — and we are so excited to have you join us, under the cenote! Long story short, mermaiding is the practice of wearing a mermaid tail and swimming in it.
Over the years it has evolved to be SO much more than that; it is a combination of technical swimming skills, acrobatics, breath holding, artistry and costume design. We are thrilled to be working with Carmen of Tulum Mermaid, who combines her passion for freediving with her former skills as a New York stylist to help humans transform into merpeople!
In addition to the Mermaid For A Day Experience, you’ll have an option to buy a custom tail and top set created just for you by Carmen herself, or rent some of hers for our photoshoots and other opportunities to splash around!
Travel With Us
Alexandra Baackes has long dreamed of moving to Mexico to study Spanish and scuba dive, and has spent many months there searching for a spot to settle down. She is a RYT 200 Registered Yoga Teacher, an aerial vinyasa and yin instructor, a Buti Bands and Sculpt instructor, and an aerial arts enthusiast. She runs retreats around the world, from Egypt to Thailand to the Dominican Republic and beyond.
Brenna Bradbury has performed as an aerialist and dancer with an assortment of entertainment companies in New York City, and as a specialty artist at venues such as The Box, The Slipper Room, The Diamond Horseshoe, Galapagos Art Space, and House of Yes. Off-Broadway, she performed aerial moon in “Speakeasy Dollhouse: Midnight Frolic” at the Liberty Theater. Brenna won 2nd place in the 2015 U.S. Aerial Championships, Silks Division, and was selected as a finalist in the 2016 U.S. Aerial Championships, Lyra Division. She has her 200 hour Vinyasa TT from Atmananda Yoga Studio, her 50 hour Aerial Yoga TT from OM Factory, and her 25 hour Flexibility TT from Elevated Education, through Body & Pole.
Health + Safety
All mermaids must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to join us. Thank you for understanding! Brenna and Alex are both fully vaccinated.
US Citizens must take a negative antigen test before re-entering the United States. These are easy to obtain in Mexico for around $30USD. We will arrange this on your behalf and make sure you receive your results before your departure.
How to Get to Tulum
There is no international or domestic airport in Tulum. The closest airports, both of which have regular direct flights to the US and beyond are Cancun (CUN), which is a two hour drive to Tulum, or Cozumel (CZM), which is a forty minute ferry and one hour drive to Tulum.
If you’re flying into Cozumel, take a taxi to the ferry terminal and a ferry, which run about once an hour, to Playa del Carmen. The ferry disembarks next to the ADO bus station, from where you can take a bus $7, taxi $30, or private transfer $50+ to Tulum.
If you’re flying into Cancun, you have several options, from an ADO bus $15 to a shared transfer $35 to a private transfer $100+. Taxis are not allowed to enter the airport. As always, we’ll be thrilled to connect you with other guests to coordinate arrival and departure and share transfers.
We are proud to have sold out every single 2021 trip we ran, and expect this will too! Book early to avoid major FOMO. A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot and payment plans are available.
Remember, don’t hesitate to email Brenna at email@example.com or Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org with any and all questions or concerns over if this is the right retreat for you. We’d love to chat!
How much aerial experience do I need?
As much as we’d like to welcome all aerial, circus, and yogis, you’ll get the most out of learning from Brenna on this retreat with a basic knowledge of silk technique. You must have experience with same side climb, opposite side climb, and inverting from the ground — and be working on inversions in the air, hip keys, crossback straddle, and aerial dance wraps. But don’t worry — you don’t have to have perfected these skills to run away with us! Feel free to inquire regarding your specific skill level.
Will I have time to do my own thing?
This is your retreat and we want you to make it exactly what you want! There’s so much we want you to see and experience in Tulum and it’s a pretty short time, so we will have a pretty full schedule. Any time you want to bow out to have some “me-time” or do your own thing, please do!
I want to extend my trip. Can you help me?
Absolutely! Alex and the Wander Women team have traveled the Quintana Roo region of Mexico extensively. We will offer an hour of complimentary consultation on expanding your trip, after which we will offer our hourly consulting at a special retreat guest rate.
How much should I expect to spend on non-included meals?
One of the best parts about Tulum is there is no shortage of restaurants to cater to any budget! You can keep it cheap by eating street tacos for $5 or look to spend on average $20-$35 when sitting down for a nice meal in a restaurant. If you want to add a cocktail to your meal expect to pay $6-10 or $2-3 for a beer.
Is there an age requirement?
You must be 18 years old or older.
What is the refund policy?
The $500 deposit to secure your space is non-refundable and remaining invoices are due 30 days before departure. If the trip must be postponed or cancelled due to events beyond our control, you will be offered the choice between a full refund and applying your payment to a future trip.
The reason our deposits are non-refundable is that we start incurring costs from the moment someone presses “book” — from credit card fees to high hourly wages for our team who corresponds with guests, manages trip inventory and our e-commerce platform, analyzes forms to create room assignments, coordinates with our local vendors, and beyond.
There’s nothing we want more than for our guests to take and enjoy the travel they have worked hard and paid for. Thank you so much for your understanding and respect of our need to enforce this policy strictly. We want to be here to travel with you for years to come!
Can I do a payment plan and pay in installments?
Absolutely. Email us at email@example.com.
What if I test positive for COVID while abroad?
We understand this is a major concern for many traveling internationally right now.
In the very unlikely event that you contract COVID-19 while traveling with us, we will assist you in confirming your positive test results, finding a location to isolate, and rebooking your travel home. We resumed our trips in May of 2021 and our guests have had a 100% success rate of staying positive and testing negative ever since 🙂
Will I need travel insurance?
Yes, everyone will be required to have travel insurance for the duration of the trip. Our affiliate, World Nomads offers coverage at affordable rates.
Is there a waiting list?
If the retreat is full and you’re still interested, email Brenna at firstname.lastname@example.org or Alex at email@example.com and we will add you to the waiting list.