Wander Women Key Largo:
A Sustainability Dive + Yoga Retreat
Key Largo, Florida
July 15-18, 2021
Join us for a weekend of diving in Key Largo with the Coral Restoration Foundation. This retreat is all about conservation – we’ll learn about planting new coral, dive a coral nursery, visit a turtle hospital, and head out for a standup paddle clean up ride. This retreat will celebrate both PADI Women’s Dive Day and the 20th anniversary of the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame — and we can’t imagine a better way to celebrate than diving with a boat full of badass women!
The Florida Keys are world-renown and home to the only living coral reef in the continental United States and the third largest barrier reef on the planet. With access to the reef only a few miles offshore, an abundance of marine life, aquarium-like warm clear waters, an impressive infrastructure for diving, and a very appealing topside atmosphere, it’s easy to see why divers are so happy to hang their fins here.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Wander Women Retreat without yoga — we’ll start off each day with sun salutations on the sand in Key Largo with ocean views aplenty, and even take a scenic SUP yoga class.
Sustainability is a cause near and dear to our hearts at Wander Women Retreats, and we’re thrilled to make it such a big focus of this trip! We’ll be partnering with the Coral Restoration Foundation to learn more about their accomplishments as the world’s largest coral reef restoration organization — and contribute ourselves by planting coral, diving alongside conservation legend and Women Divers Hall of Fame member Patti Gross. Each attendee will earn a PADI Coral Reef Conservation Specialty, which includes both classroom learning and four dives with hands-on experience restoring coral, preventing the extinction of an endangered species. We can’t wait to geek out on sustainable travel ideas with you!
When we aren’t exploring the Keys underwater, we’ll be topside enjoying fresh and delicious meals, sunsets on the water, and of course, a few sips of champagne to balance it all out. On the evening before Women’s Dive Day, we’ll get an intimate and private tour of the History of Diving Museum, founded by Women Divers Hall of Fame member and scuba legend Sally Bauer. We’ll round out the trip with a sunset clean up paddle, as well as a visit to a marine animal hospital helmed by conservationist Bette Zirkelbach, dedicated to the rehabilitation of endangered sea turtles.
This retreat is available to all levels of certified divers. The dives are focused on restoration and we will ensure all certified divers levels can contribute, however, basic buoyancy skills are required to ensure the safety of the reef. If you’re concerned about your competency, consider a PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Speciality to brush up on your skills.
The dates of this retreat are July 15-18, 2021. Pricing starts at $1,550 and includes accommodation, diving, yoga, two meals a day, and fun Wander Women surprises along the way.
• Three nights accommodation in a beachside boutique hotel
• Four guided boat dives on a private dive boat
• PADI Coral Reef Conservation Specialty certification
• Three breakfasts, two lunches, and one dinner
• Daily yoga sessions
• Private museum tour and admission
• Sunset SUP yoga + clean up paddle
• Professional photos
• A lush welcome bag
• Donation to the Coral Restoration Foundation
What’s Not Included
• Meals not included in the itinerary
• Transportation (see recommendations and details below)
• Travel + dive insurance
• Dive equipment rental
Subject to change, and expect surprises, but here’s the general idea.
Day 1: Arrive in the early afternoon for a meet and greet before heading to the Coral Restoration Foundation for the first classroom portion of the Coral Reef Conservation Specialty certification. After hitting the books, we’ll enjoy a sunset yin yoga class on the sand followed by a welcome dinner. Later, we’ll get to know each other over a workshop on making your own eco-friendly leave-in conditioner.
Day 2: We’ll kick off the day with a morning yoga class and zero-waste smoothie bowls on the beach. Then, time to put our skills from day one to the test at a coral nursery! After two dives and break for lunch, we’ll have our second classroom session before an after-hours private tour of the History of Diving Museum, and dinner at a popular local bayside spot.
Day 3: We’ll enjoy another stretchy start to the day with a yoga session on the sand before heading back underwater for a two reef monitoring-focused dives with the Coral Restoration Foundation. After some afternoon downtime, we’ll reconvene for a sunset SUP yoga session, followed by a paddle board clean up of the mangroves. The day will close out with a fun group dinner and a toast to sustainability — and our new skills.
Day 4: We’re making the most of our final day on the Keys! After a morning yoga class and breakfast, we’ll close out the trip with a visit to the Turtle Hospital, which rehabilitates marine animals around Florida. Flights should be scheduled for the afternoon to abide by the 24-hour no dive fly rule.
Where We’ll Stay
We’ll be staying at the cheerful Drift Hotel in Key Largo, perfectly located for our eco-adventure. The spacious rooms are outfitted in Wanderland-approved decor, and the sunset views are unbeatable.
Shared rooms have either one king-sized bed or two double 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. If you prefer to have your own bed, book a private room with a single queen sized bed.
What We’ll Eat
Every morning we’ll have delicious smoothie bowls delivered waste-free from local favorite Gratitude Cafe. Lunch and dinner will be at various local restaurants, or catered beachside at our hotel. For meals that are not included, we’ll typically dine as a group, though of course you are welcome to go elsewhere as you please. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and other diets can easily be accommodated, and we’d be happy to provide you with menus ahead of time if you have any concerns.
How to Get to Key Largo
The hotel is about an hour drive from the Miami (MIA) airport. We’d 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 Key Largo by ride share or shuttle service. We will send more details on this option closer to departure. Get a free ride of up to $20 with Uber here, and up to $25 with Lyft here.
Once in Key Largo, you can continue to carpool, or use ride share services. If transportation is a concern for you in booking this retreat, please feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further.
If you’re driving, parking at the hotel is included.
Dive + Downward Dog With Us
On this trip you’ll be traveling with Wander Women Retreats founder Alex Baackes as your host and yoga instructor.
Alex is a PADI Divemaster and AmbassaDiver and a Women Divers’ Hall of Fame grant recipient and 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, a Buti Bands and Sculpt instructor, and a regular yoga practitioner for over a decade.
This retreat has limited space and is likely to sell out quickly — book soon to avoid disappointment. A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot, and payment plans are available for the remainder. This retreat has a minimum booking requirement, so please do not book flights until it has been confirmed. Can’t make this one? Don’t sweat! Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know when enrollment opens on future retreats!
Don’t hesitate to email email@example.com 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?
Remaining invoices are due 90 days before departure. The $500 deposit to secure your space is non-refundable. If the trip must be postponed or cancelled due to events beyond our control (for example, a global pandemic resurgence!), you will be offered the choice between a full refund and applying your payment to a future trip.
Why women only?
We’re celebrating Women’s Day Dive, and the 20th anniversary of PADI Women Divers Hall of Fame! For this trip, we really want to honor that sisterhood.
Do I need to be good at yoga?
Absolutely not. (And frankly, we don’t believe in the idea of being “good” at yoga!) We have a range of yogis from brand-new beginners to talented instructors join us on our trips. You’ll get the opportunity to sample a wide range of yoga 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! That said, there’s so much we want you to see and experience in the Keys and it’s a pretty short time, so we will have a pretty full schedule. And if you want to complete the included PADI Coral Restoration certification, you will need to complete all four dives and both classroom sessions.
But outside of that, any time you want to bow out to have some “me-time” or do your own thing, that’s totally cool.
Will I need travel insurance?
Is there an age requirement?
Generally, we require guests to be 21 or older. If you are between the ages of 18-21 and interested in attending, please contact us.
Is there a waiting list?
We will have a waiting list on a first-come, first-served basis in case spaces open up. If the retreat is full, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to the waiting list.