Wander Women Fort Lauderdale:
A Dive + Yoga Retreat
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
July 13-16, 2023
Join us stateside for our third annual long weekend celebrating PADI Women’s Dive Day! We’re doing this one full kitsch Florida style, and there’s no one we’d rather get silly and scuba around with in the Sunshine State than all of you.
This four day dive party will show off the best of Fort Lauderdale for aqua addicts! We’re going back to our roots with a brightly colored sleepover-style rental house and while we have three dives and daily yoga on the schedule, we’ve also got dive bars — and custom koozies for poolside toasts!
When we’re not under the sea or on a mat, we’ll be checking out a Magic Mike underwater merman show, hopping around our favorite local breweries, and taking floating tiki bar boats to nearby sandbars. It’s a funky ocean-lovers dream weekend – and it’s intimately sized due to the nature of our bananas bungalow, so don’t delay in securing your spot!
Great news: this retreat is open to all levels of Open Water certified divers, and all levels of yogis. Come one, come all!
The dates of this retreat July 13-16th, 2023 and pricing starts at $1,750. More details below!
• Three nights accommodation at a fabulous and fruity private villa
• Three breakfasts and two dinners
• Three dives including a guided shore dive and two boat dives
• Four funky flows by Alex
• Floating tiki bar tour
• Themed brewery crawl with costumes, tours + tasting flights
• Professional group photos of the entire retreat, including underwater photography
• A fun local welcome bag
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. For the dinner and show on the first night, a $35 credit per person is applied. Any food or drinks beyond that can be paid individually.
• Alcohol not included in the itinerary — though you’re welcome to use our private villa to make a home bar!
• Dive gear rental — we’ll be happy to arrange.
• Dive crew tips — due to the different levels of service guests require, we leave tipping our dive professionals up to you but we’ll be happy to make recommendations.
• Local transportation — more details below.
• Mandatory travel + dive insurance — recommendations below.
Subject to change, and expect surprises, but here’s the general idea.
Day 1: Arrive at our headquarters for the weekend + hop in the pool to get the party started! Once all have arrived we’ll warm up with a yoga session to peel away those travel kinks and get ready for our first night in Fort Lauderdale. We’ll head to The Wreck Bar, where we’ll get to know our fellow ocean addicts and cheers to the perfect girls’ night out. Once we are all acquainted and suitably lubricated, it’s time for the Aquaman dinner and show! Watch as hunky mermen splash and strip at the only underwater boylesque show in America – please send locations if there are more, we must visit! We aren’t saying this is what Wander Women Retreats has been missing, but we aren’t not saying it either.
Arriving early on day one? Join Alex and Rayna for an optional SUP Pup Tour — space is limited! What is SUP PUP you ask? Just a stand up paddle session with a local woman and her corgi! Let the quirky Florida experience begin.
Day 2: After breakfast poolside at our villa, we’ll head to the shore for yoga and a beach cleanup before rendezvousing with our favorite real life Florida mermaid Keke. We’ll get our fins wet with a morning shore dive at one of her favorite Fort Lauderdale spots… and maybe splash around a little with Alex and Keke’s mermaid monofins after the fact! Back on land, we’ll break for lunch at a local café before free time to rest up or explore Fort Lauderdale. Later, we’ll head out for a breweries bar crawl — wearing matching visors, of course — led by Alex and Rayna in funky fresh Fort Lauderdale fashion with dinner at food trucks and kitchens along the way.
Day 3: Rise and shine, it’s time to kickoff our official Women’s Dive Day celebrations by getting underwater – but first, yoga! We’ll have a private boat and a professional photographer to really make the most of the first part of our day at sea. Next, we’ll fuel up at a hip local eatery before boarding our next vessel — floating tiki bars! The tikis are BYOB, so we’ll create the bar of our dreams. We’ll keep the good times rolling by stopping at a sandbar for more buzzy sunshine, relaxation and memory-making before finally planting our feet back on land for the night. It’s time to go BANANAS back at the villa with pizza, games and pool floats for as we close out our weekend. Last one in the hot tub is a deflated SMB!
Day 4: Good morning sunshine, it’s time for one last slow flow! After our final practice, we’ll enjoy breakfast, reminisce on our favorite moments, and say our farewells. It’s time to head home… until the next adventure.
Where We’ll Stay + What We’ll Eat
We will be staying at the Banana Bungalow, our tropical dream home and restful retreat headquarters! You’ll literally go bananas when you see the float-filled pool, the bright bedrooms, the specially designed Banana Bungalow Corner, the games room with ping pong and billiards, the hot tub and firepit, and more.
We are serving major sleepover vibes for this retreat so pack your party PJs! Due to the unique nature of our accommodation, each room layout is different, and shared room options may feature either two shared queen size beds or one large shared bed. 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. Read on for more details on room types!
• Premium Double: This room will feature a shared king bed and an ensuite bathroom.
• Double: These rooms feature a shared queen bed and a shared bathroom.
• Quad: Pajama party! This room features two shared queen beds for a total of four guests, who will all share an en-suite bathroom.
Between diving, bar hopping and yoga, we’ll definitely work up an appetite, and we can’t wait to bring you to the tastiest, freshest options Fort Lauderdale has to offer (and recommend great spots for your own exploration). Most dietary restrictions can easily be catered to. If you’re unsure; let’s talk!
Travel With Us
On this trip, you’ll be traveling with Alex Baackes as your host, yoga teacher, and ocean hype girl and Rayna O’Nan as your photographer, local hostess, and resident ocean enthusiast.
Alexandra Baackes is the founder of Wander Women Retreats and Alex in Wanderland as well as a PADI Divemaster, an AmbassaDiver, and a Women Divers’ Hall of Fame Associate Member. She has worked in the dive industry as an underwater videographer, a writer for publications like Sport Diver and Scuba Diver magazines, and as the creator of Wander Women Retreats. She is also a RYT 200 Registered Yoga Teacher, an RYT 50 Aerial Yoga Teacher, a Buti Bands and Sculpt instructor, and a regular yoga practitioner for more than a decade — she can’t wait to practice with you.
Rayna is a Wander Women regular, capturing the memories of our trips in Key Largo, West Palm Beach, the Maldives, Bali, and Raja Ampat! She is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, owner of Ocean Rays Photography and self-professed shark whisperer who has been working on dive boats for nearly 10 years. After becoming a scuba instructor in the Florida Keys, she picked up an underwater camera and fell in love, allowing her to travel the world taking photos of underwater life to inspire marine conservation. Rayna spends her days guiding others through their own shark experiences, along with using her marine biology background to educate her guests on the importance of sharks in our marine ecosystems.
How to Get to Fort Lauderdale
Great news! Our retreat house is just a 15 minute drive from West Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL) airport, ranked as one of the most affordable airports in the USA to fly in and out of. Need more options? Miami (MIA) is just over 30 minutes away.
Please note that local transportation is not included in this self-drive retreat. We always aim to make our retreats as accessible as possible — including bus transport for the duration of the trip would make a domestic retreat like this one cost-prohibitive for our guests. We do recommend renting a car, and will connect you with other retreat attendees to coordinate in case you’d like to share rentals!
Otherwise, you can reach and navigate Fort Lauderdale by ride share — get a free ride of up to $20 with Uber here, and up to $25 with Lyft here. If transportation is a concern for you in booking this retreat, please feel free to reach out at email@example.com to discuss further.
Book early to avoid Floridian FOMO! Due to space constraints in our rental house and aboard our tiki boats, this retreat is intimately sized to just ten spots. A non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot and payment plans are available.
This trip requires a minimum number of guests to run. We will notify you when it is a guaranteed departure! Until then, please do not book non-refundable airfare.
Remember, don’t hesitate to email us 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!
What is the refund policy?
Deposit payments are non-refundable. The deposit amount is 34% for this retreat and all additional payments are refundable up to 90 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 payments to a future trip.
The reason payments 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!
What dive certification do I need?
This retreat is a great option for those who are fairly new to diving or those with many days spent subsurface, you simply need your Open Water certification.
Is this trip women only?
This one’s for the girls! We’re celebrating Women’s Day Dive, after all. Our guest continue to tell us how much they love taking time to dive with just women in this male-dominated industry. We are so proud of the supportive, empowering vibe of our dive retreats and know that you’ll love them, too!
Will I need travel and dive 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. We urge you to purchase travel insurance as soon as you make your deposit to ensure the most coverage.
I have a unique rooming request, how can you help me?
Email us! We’ll do our best to make it happen via email@example.com.
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 West Palm Beach 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 extensively through Florida and will gladly offer an hour of complimentary consultation on expanding your trip, after which we will offer our hourly consulting at a special retreat guest rate.
Is there an age requirement?
You must be 21 years old or older.