Wander Women Red Sea:
A Dive + Yoga Retreat
September 4-11, 2021
Join us for an eight day women’s dive + yoga retreat in the remote desert paradise of Dahab, Egypt. This hidden gem, beloved by in-the-know travelers, is the Red Sea’s hippest beach town.
For this retreat we’ve partnered with PADI, the world’s largest diving organization, and H2O Divers, a female owned and operated Dahab dive center, to showcase all the most incredible diving opportunities the north Red Sea offers. We’ll take in some of North Sinai’s most famous dive sites, including The Blue Hole; complete a continuing education course of your choice in topics ranging from photography to freediving; go for a surreal UV night dive; and dive from shore, by boat, and get this — by camel!
Yup, you read that right. For one of the final nights of the retreat, we’ll travel to the remote Bedouin settlement of Ras Abu Gallum by camel, and spend the night at a local beach camp there. We’ll spend the day diving sites we’re likely to have entirely to ourselves, the night stargazing next to a fire, and the next morning practicing yoga on the beach.
Speaking of yoga, daily classes are included. We’ll explore vinyasa, yin, nidra, and partner yoga classes, as well as aerial yoga, too! And all along the way, we’ll explore the connection between scuba diving and yoga, both of which hold conscious breathing at their core. Don’t be surprised if your buoyancy improves and your dive times increase as a result of this retreat!
This isn’t a crazy, four-dives-a-day-every-day diving trip. And it’s not a militant, up-before-sunrise-for-meditative-breathing yoga bootcamp, either. It’s a fun exploration of a bit of both. And that’s not all – we’ve got bellydancing classes, sunset spotting, and pool time all on the itinerary too. Plus, plenty of time to wander the bohemian streets of Dahab, with its colorful cafes, ramshackle beach clubs, and cute artisan boutiques. We’ll share meals, talk daydreams and swap travel stories, and become a little retreat family. I want you to leave feeling inspired and well-adventured.
We also want to give back. We’ll complete a Project Aware clean up dive and a local beach clean up — and, as always with Wander Women Retreats, a percentage of profits are donated to a local charity in the area.
Bonus — new profile picture practically guaranteed. You’ll end the retreat with access to a drive of professional photos, including underwater portraits by an award-winning underwater photographer. And every night, you’ll be sent a selection of the day’s best photos to share instantly on social media.
This retreat is available to all level of divers. We will match you to other divers at your experience level and have shared yet tailored experiences for all.
Optional Open Water or Advanced Open Water upgrade: For those who aren’t yet certified, we are offering a pre-retreat extension to fit your needs. Contact us for details! If you are not certified and are unable to extend your retreat, again, contact us to discuss your situation. All Open Water divers will be offered the opportunity to do the Advanced Open Water course during course of the retreat.
The cost of this retreat, including literally just about everything, starts at $2,700USD.
• Six nights accommodation at a luxurious pool villa + one night accommodation in a Bedouin desert camp
• Seven breakfasts, four dinners, and three lunches
• Nine dives (plus an optional tenth)
• One PADI continuing education course of your choice
• Daily yoga, including an aerial class and a yin massage workshop
• A camel safari, an Egyptian cooking demo and an Arabic lesson
• Professional photos, above and below the surface
• A wow-able welcome bag
• All transportation, including transfers from Sharm El Sheik Airport or Taba Border
• 5% profit donation to local charities
What’s Not Included
• Transport to and from Egypt or Sinai
• Dive equipment rentals
• Optional nitrox upgrades
• Mandatory dive and travel insurance
• Tips for dive guides
Oh, The Places We’ll Go
Subject to change, and expect surprises, but here’s the general idea.
Day 1: Arrivals and sunset yin yoga massage workshop at our villas. Get to know each other over a group dinner with a basic Arabic lesson.
Day 2: After breakfast in the villa and morning yoga, head into town for some morning shore dives. Surface for an oceanfront lunch and sunbathing session. After sundowners back by the pool, enjoy dinner at a waterfront restaurant straight out of Aladdin.
Day 3: Pack your bags, we’re heading to the desert! After a camel ride along the coast, we’ll arrive at our home for the night, the remote bedouin settlement of Ras Abu Galum. After two dives exploring the area, you’re free to snorkel, make friends with camels, join our partner yoga class, or enjoy being lost in the middle of nowhere. At night, we’ll settle in for a traditional bedouin dinner and a stargazing campfire.
Day 4: After a chill yoga nidra meditation on the beach in Ras Abu Galum, we’ll pack up to head back to Dahab for a conservation day. After a clean-up walk into town, we’ll enjoy a plant-based lunch over a presentation from local female-run NGO Project Azraq. After, they’ll guide us on a Project Aware cleanup dive of Mashraba Bay! That night, choose between an optional night dive or fluorescent dive dive, and then dig into a pizza party back at the villas.
Day 5: After a morning vinyasa class, choose your own adventure — head out to the PADI Continuing Education course of your choice at the world famous Blue Hole and Canyon dive sites. At night, relax in front of an Egyptian cooking demo.
Day 6: After a rooftop yoga session, we’re grabbing falafels to go, because it’s our last day of diving — and we’re celebrating by exploring the dive sites of Gabr El Bint by private boat! Back on land, we’ll enjoy Egyptian wine poolside before heading out for a group bellydancing class and dinner. After, we’ll hit the town to show off our new moves 😉
Day 7: It’s officially decompression day! In the morning we’ll head to a local studio for a relaxed aerial yoga session before a free afternoon to spend as you please. Shop at the artisan boutiques in town, go horseback riding, get a massage — we’ll be happy to help you set up whatever you wish. In the evening, enjoy a special farewell poolside dinner back our villa.
Day 8: Time for goodbye hugs!
Where We’ll Stay and What We’ll Eat
We’ll be staying at a gorgeous seaside villa complex in north Dahab. With Arabic-inspired architecture, a luscious pool, and an onsite sauna, it will be a luxurious place to recharge between dives and desert adventures!
Shared rooms have two twin beds and private rooms have one double bed. Superior privates are larger and with a king sized 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. Rooms vary slightly by layout and view and will be assigned based on booking order.
Every morning we’ll have delicious healthy breakfasts and dinners at the villa and at favorite local spots. For lunch, which is not included in order to give you some freedom, we’ll typically dine as a group at local Egyptian restaurants where you can order as you please, though of course you are welcome to go elsewhere. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and other diets can easily be accommodated.
The Red Sea is hailed as one of the greatest dive destinations in the world. With relaxed dive conditions, abundant marine life, and a diverse array of dive sites, Dahab is the perfect place to explore it. We’ll dive Dahab’s famous shore dive sites like Lighthouse, Blue Hole and Canyon, as well as visit the sites of Gabr El Bint by boat, and Ras Abu Galum by camel. We’ll do a Project Aware cleanup dive, and give you the opportunity to sign up for an optional night dive or a UV night dive.
You’ll also get to take home a fresh new continuing education certification! For the Choose Your Own Adventure day, choose between the following courses. Each are one day PADI dive courses that include two scuba dives (with the exception of freediving, of course). Courses are first come, first serve — and you’re more than welcome to fun dive those dive sites too, if you’d rather sunbathe than hit the books on vacation.
Underwater Naturalist: Play Marine Biologist for a day! Learn about the Red Sea’s local ecosystem as well as the underwater ecology of the world at large. Dive into aquatic life groupings, interactions and information and discuss how to maintain responsible interactions with aquatic life.
Digital Underwater Photographer: Ace the shot! Learn about underwater photography techniques, how to interact with marine life, and editing tips. An underwater camera or a camera rental (which we can help facilitate) is required for this course. Read my review of a longer version of this course here.
DPV: Learn to fly underwater! Spend a day learning to dive with Diver Propulsion Vehicles, personal motors that allow you to scoot through the sea, gliding over reefs and around schools of fish. There is a $100USD surcharge for this course.
Basic Freediver: Try it without a tank! The “DSD” of freediving, Basic Freediver teaches basic freediving principles, practices breathhold techniques, and gets your fins wet in the introductory skills.
Enriched Air: Dive safer and stay down longer! An Enriched Air certification is good for life and will allow you to dive on nitrox around the world. Plus, it feels great. If you need a break from diving for any reason, this course can be conducted as a dry course. Read my review of a longer version of this course here.
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 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.
Joining us as the local dive leaders on this retreat will be Alex Heyes, owner and head instructor at H2O Dahab, and Jenny Lord, an accomplished underwater photographer and record-breaking tech diver.
How to Get to Dahab
Transfers are included from either the Sharm El Sheikh Airport, the Taba Border, or the Sharm El Sheikh or Dahab bus stations.
If you’re feeling adventurous, there are buses between Cairo and Dahab. However, considering it’s a twelve hour journey, most travelers chose to fly into Sharm El Sheikh Airport. From there, it’s an easy one hour transfer to Dahab.
How to get to Sharm El Sheikh? There are very affordable direct flights from Cairo and Hurghada on both EgyptAir or Nile Air, and there are some direct flights from the UK and Europe. You can also check for flights into Eilat, Israel, a two hour journey from Dahab, where we can fetch you from the Egyptian side of the border.
Extend Your Adventure
Can’t fathom flying to Egypt and not seeing the pyramids? Us neither! Join our week-long Wander Women: Egypt retreat taking place right before this one, where we’ll take in the wonders of Ancient Egypt in Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel. We’ll tour the pyramids, have a local henna party, sail down Nile on an overnight felucca, dance at a hip jazz club, browse markets straight from a movie set, marvel at ancient wonders like King Tut’s tomb — and practice yoga all along the way.
Travel seamlessly with Alex between these two retreats — and remember, guests attending multiple retreats receive 10% off all of them!
This retreat has limited space and extremely high interest is likely to sell out quickly. Book soon to avoid disappointment! A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot.
Once payment is complete, you’ll receive a confirmation email with intake form and an invite to a private Facebook group for your trip (so you can get to know your new travel besties virtually!). We’ll make sure you know exactly what to pack & expect, and help you with any questions.
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. Remember, don’t hesitate to email us at email@example.com with any and all questions or concerns over if this is the right retreat for you.
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.
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.
Why women only?
Girls just wanna have fun! Guys, we love you, and we promise that future retreats will be open to you, too. But diving is still a male-dominated industry, and I wanted to take a week to celebrate the sisterhood of scuba. (Please don’t judge me that I say phrases like, “sisterhood of scuba.”)
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 Dahab, so we’ve tried to design an itinerary that balances the best of that with some time to wander around town or relax poolside. Any time you want to bow out to have some “me-time” or do your own thing, that’s totally cool.
How much money will I need to bring?
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.
You can pre-pay for the optional night dive for $50USD or the UV night dive for $75USD. For rental gear, a full set of the below is available for the week for $150USD, or you can rent by the piece:
• BCD: $40USD
• Regulator: $40USD
• Wetsuit: $20USD
• Mask set: $10USD
• Fins: $10USD
• Dive computer: $60USD
I want to extend my trip to explore more of Egypt and I can’t make your tour dates work. Any suggestions?
Absolutely! First of all, we highly recommend making the most of Egypt’s capital city. You might also consider joining a group tour to take in the wonders of Luxor and Aswan, and perhaps sail down the Nile. Want a few more days by the sea? Consider posting up in Sharm El Sheikh, or booking a mini-liveaboard.
Can I do a payment plan and pay in installments?
Absolutely — we are happy to be flexible for you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will I need travel insurance?
Is there an age requirement?
You must be 18 years old or older.
What about visas?
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. I and my partners in Egypt are happy to help you navigate your specific situation.
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 email@example.com to be added to the waiting list.
I still have questions, or cute photos of my dog. Can I contact you?
Um, yes please! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.