Wander Women Egypt:
A Beginner Aerial Arts Retreat
Cairo + Beyond
September 24-October 1, 2021
Join Alexandra Baackes of Alex in Wanderland and Jess Lubin of Good Karma Studio for a week exploring Egypt, both from in the air on an apparatus and with two feet firmly on ancient ground!
This is not your typical Egypt tour — we’ll slow down and soak up unique experiences you won’t find anywhere else, like acro yoga along the Nile, sunset Egyptian wine tastings, pole classes with local instructors, and more. We’ll visit the pyramids, snorkel in the Red Sea, tour the Valley of Kings, and hit all the highlights too — but with a signature Wander Women twist!
A photographer will be behind the lens every step of the way, ensuring everyone leaves with profile-picture worthy shots of themselves on-the-go, in front of their favorite ancient wonders, and suspended from the ceilings in their new favorite aerial poses.
Where to? We’ll kick things off touching down in Cairo to ponder the Great Pyramids and browse Alladin-like markets before hopping a night train to Luxor, referred to by many as the world’s greatest open-air museum. From there we will transport ourselves to the coast and spend some time with sand between our toes in El Gouna, the most picturesque seaside town in Southern Egypt.
The retreat will be held from September 24-October 1, 2022. The cost, including all of the below, is $2,800 for a shared room and $3,200 for a private room.
• Two nights accommodation at the Conrad Cairo, two nights at the Hilton Luxor and two nights at Cook’s Club, a chic adults-only resort in El Gouna
• Seven breakfasts, four lunches, and three dinners
• Entrance fees and tours of all historic sights with an expert Egyptologist
• One aerial hammock class, one pole class, one acro yoga class, one SUP yoga class, one mat class and one silks and lyra workshop
• All additional local transportation, including trains airport transfers
• A custom welcome bag
• All gratuities for tour guides, included meals, airport pickups, and drivers (we generously tip on your behalf, removing the stress and anxiety of when and how much to tip!)
• Professional photos of the trip
• Donation to local charities
What’s Not Included
• Other activities or meals not outlined in the itinerary
• Transport to and from the start and end of the tour
• Mandatory travel insurance
Subject to change, and expect surprises, but here’s the general idea!
Day 1: Say hello to Egypt! We’ll gather together in Cairo for an afternoon poolside before an epic felucca sunset sail and a dinner of tradition Egyptian fare.
Day 2: Today we’ll get to see the famed pyramids up close and personal — spending all morning there so you get your perfect Instagram shot. In the afternoon we’ll have lunch overlooking the pyramids in one of the hottest restaurants to snag a reservation at. After we finish seeing the sights we will zen out in a restorative aerial yoga class. If you fancy a change of pace why not a night on the town, capped off with drinks at the Cairo Jazz Club.
Day 3: We’ll start today getting a taste for both silks and lyra at a local studio overlooking the city. After lunch at your leisure we’ll shop at the famous Khan el-Khalili market and visit a historic mosque in Islamic Cairo before we board the night train to Luxor.
Day 4: We will arrive bright and early into Luxor to enjoy Karnak temple before the heat of the day becomes too much for touristing. Once we get checked into our hotel we will lounge like Cleopatra poolside and experience an acro yoga class overlooking the Nile. When the sunsets it’s time to check out magical Luxor Temple by night and have dinner in town.
Day 5: Early risers, set your alarm to check out an optional hot air balloon experience to see the Valley of the Kings from a unique vantage point! After breakfast, we’ll visit the Valley of the Kings up close, then head to the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. After a leisurely lunch, you’ll have time for an afternoon nap as we drive to El Gouna. An aerial pole class in the evening taught by a local instructor should leave us ready for a feast at one of Alex’s favorite spots in town, margaritas recommended.
Day 6: After breakfast in our stylish hotel we will spend the day soaking up the sun and out on the lagoon practicing SUP yoga. The day is yours to go shopping, hit the spa or just enjoy some cocktails poolside. In the evening we will head out to the desert for an authentic bedouin experience and sunset dinner.
Day 7: On our last full day, get ready for a whirlwind El Gouna tour by land and sea! After a silks and lyra workshop with Jess in a glass-wall studio overlooking the sea, we’ll board our private boat for a full day of fun! Soak up the sights as we island hop, snorkel and sip Egyptian wine.
Day 8: This morning, it’s time for goodbyes! Or rather, see you laters. Exchange photos and contact info with all your new Wander Women besties for future get togethers.
Where We’ll Stay and Where We’ll Eat
In Cairo, we’ll stay at the lush Conrad Cairo with Nile view rooms. There’s an extensive onsite gym, sauna, pool and spa, and several bars and restaurants.
On the way to Luxor we we’ll be rocked to sleep aboard the infamous night train before arriving at the Hilton Luxor where we will soak up the atmosphere of the East Bank as we gaze upon the rolling mountains of the West Bank.
In El Gouna we will stay at the unique and stylish Cook’s Club El Gouna which boasts direct access to the saltwater lagoon, with its own private beach and jetty. An adults only resort known for its infamous pool parties means we will be staying at the hippest spot in town.
Shared rooms come with two twin beds. Of course, you can room with a friend but if you’re traveling solo, fear not, so are most of our Wander Women 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. A small supply of private rooms are available should you wish to have your own space.
For included meals, we’ll mix it up — one night, we’ll dine on local delicacies aboard a private felucca as sail along the Nile River. Another, we’ll eat on a chic rooftop. Egyptian food is generally healthy and delicious, and all special diets can be accommodated! For all non-included meals, we’ll head to curated spots where you can order as you please, or you are welcome to do your own thing.
Is It Safe To Travel to Egypt?
Needless to say, we would never hold a retreat in a destination where we didn’t feel fully confident of your safety, and our own. All the locations we are going to are popular tourist areas, and we will take the same safety precautions we would take anywhere in the world.
Wander Women Retreats founder Alexandra Baackes has traveled extensively through Egypt both on tour with Sameh and on her own, and has always reported feeling completely safe throughout her trips. With the comfort of our group and the advisement of our local experts, we will have a fantastic, hassle-free trip.
Health + Safety
If you’re fully vaccinated, you can enter Egypt without needing to test or quarantine. We recommend all Wander Women be fully vaccinated.
If you’re not fully vaccinated, you’ll need to show proof of a negative PCR test, or either a COVID-19 ID NOW or rapid antigen test (taken no more than 72 hours before arrival in Egypt). Proof of COVID-19 recovery will not be accepted.
With this trip being over six months away, we are sure travel requirements will change and likely become less stringent over time. We will keep a close eye on things and keep you updated along the way!
Getting There and Away
International flights will arrive and depart from Cairo International Airport (CAI). The tour begins in Cairo and ends in El Gouna. From there, you can stay by the sea for a few extra days, or hop one of many daily local flights from Hurghada International Airport (HRG) back to Cairo to coordinate with your international flight. Should you international flight timing require it, we are happy to assist you in booking an extra night at the Cairo Airport Hotel, as well.
Travel With Us
On this trip, you’ll be traveling with Alex Baackes, Jessica Lubin and Sameh Makram as your hosts.
Alexandra Baackes is the founder of Wander Women Retreats and Alex in Wanderland and will lead your yoga practices throughout this trip. She fell in love with Egypt when she first fulfilled her lifelong dream of visiting in 2018 and has been back several times since to soak up the undeniable magic in the air. She is a RYT 200 Registered Yoga Teacher, a Buti Bands and Sculpt instructor, and a regular yoga practitioner for over a decade — she can’t wait to practice and explore with you.
Jess Lubin returned to her hometown of Albany after her life path took her around the globe, living and studying yoga in Guatemala and India. She opened Good Karma Studio, the first and only aerial yoga studio in Albany, New York in 2011. Jessica has since studied & trained under Tribe Yoga, Gravotonics, Rolf Gates, Janet Stone, Shiva Rea, Yoga Works NYC, Kula Yoga’s Schuyler Grant, and Sadie Nardini. To know Jess is to love her — she’s developed a cult following in Upstate New York and loves to teach, to learn, to be inspired and to inspire!
Sameh Makram is a registered Egyptologist and a tour guide to his native country since 2000. Sameh’s kind of a big deal around here — in 2015 he was chosen as the 5th best tour guide worldwide according to Tour Radar, where he’s received over 700 glowing reviews from his work. Now, he’s branching off on his own to lead speciality tours like ours. And we are so lucky to have him! Sameh and his wife — also an Egyptian tour guide! — are also travelers at heart and love taking their twins on trips all over the Middle East.
This tour has limited space — book soon to avoid disappointment! A $500 deposit is required to hold your spot, and payment plans are available upon request. Can’t make it? Don’t stress! Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know when enrollment opens on future retreats.
Remember, don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any and all questions or concerns over whether this Egypt experience is right for you. We’d love to chat.
So does non-refundable really mean non-refundable?
The $500 deposit to secure your space is non-refundable and remaining invoices are due 60 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!
Do I need to be good at aerial?
Nope, this trip is totally beginner friendly! All levels will be catered to by our talented instructors. You’ll get the opportunity to sample a wide range of aerial styles, and you can opt in or out of as many classes as you wish.
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 a lot to see and experience in Egypt, so we’ve tried to design an itinerary that takes it all in. But any time you want to bow out to have some “me-time” or do your own thing, we’re going to cheer you on.
How much money will I need to bring?
The optional hot air balloon ride is $150USD and includes gratuity.
For lunches at the local spots we’ll bring you to, you can expect to spend 50-150LE (about $6-10USD) per meal, depending on where you go and what you order. For dinners, plan for around 100-300LE (about $12-20.) Liquor tends to be very expensive throughout Egypt, but beer and wine are affordable — and we’ll stop to pick some up before BYO meals.
You can use your discretion on how much you want to bring for shopping in places like the traditional markets or various boutiques — Sameh will be thrilled to give you guidelines on what you should pay for various items in a culture where haggling is expected.
Can I do a payment plan and pay in installments?
Absolutely. We want to make this happen for you! Email us at email@example.com.
Will I need travel insurance?
Yes, everyone will be required to have personal travel insurance for the duration of the trip. World Nomads offers coverage incredibly affordable rates — I recommend their travel insurance, which will reimburse you in the case of flight delay, medical issues, and more.
Is there an age requirement?
You must be 18 years old or older.
Do I need a visa for Egypt?
Visas are available upon arrival for Americans, Canadians, Brits, and citizens of about forty other countries. They cost $25, are valid for visits up to 30 days, and can be obtained at Cairo International Airport. For those traveling overland from Israel, visas can be obtained at the border. We are happy to help you navigate any specific questions or concerns.
Is there a waiting list?
There will be a waiting list on a first-come, first-served basis in case spaces open up. If the retreat is full and you’re still interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the waiting list.
I still have questions, or cute photos of my dog. Can I contact you?
Um, yes please! Our email is email@example.com.