Wander Women West Palm Beach:
A Dive + Yoga Retreat
West Palm Beach, Florida
July 14-17, 2022
Join us stateside for an epic long weekend celebrating Women’s Dive Day the best way we know how: shark diving or snorkeling, sun salutations in the sand, and SUP yoga in the pulse of West Palm Beach!
This four day adventure will show off the best of Florida’s beautiful East Coast and home of Wander Women Retreats photographer and shark whisperer Rayna of Ocean Rays Photography. You’ll be able to choose between freediving, snorkeling or scuba diving for a private shark charter one day, and then do so again at Blue Heron Bridge, one of the Sunshine State’s most famous dive sites.
When we’re not under the sea, we’ll be practicing yoga at our private villa or one of the many wow-worthy spots around West Palm Beach, taking a private SHARK-cuterie board workshop, hopping around our favorite local cafés, and paddleboarding to nearby islands. It’s the ocean-lovers dream weekend — and it’s intimately sized due to the nature of our activities, so don’t delay in securing your spot!
The dates of this retreat July 14-17th, 2022. Pricing starts at $1,750 — more details below.
• Three nights accommodation at a spacious private villa
• Three breakfasts, an opening SHARK-cuterie dinner, and a closing beach brunch
• Snorkeling, diving or freediving from our private two-tank shark charter
• A guided snorkel, dive or freedive of Blue Heron Bridge
• Three yoga sessions led by Alex
• One SIP + SUP yoga class led by a local instructor
• A paddle to Peanut Island
• Professional group photos of the entire retreat, including underwater photography
• A lush 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
• 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 home for the weekend + unwind with a yoga session to work out those travel kinks. After, we’ll host a SHARK-cuterie (had to!) workshop with The Board Babes, where we’ll get to know our fellow ocean addicts and learn how to curate the perfect feast for future girls’ nights in.
Day 2: After breakfast, it’s time to kickoff our official Women’s Dive Day celebrations by getting underwater and greeting the locals — sharks! We’ll have one boat private boat for divers and one private boat for snorkelers and freedivers, and a professional photographer onboard each. After getting our fins wet, we’ll break for lunch at a local café before free time to rest up or explore West Palm Beach. Later, we’ll meet up for a yoga class led by Alex at Grandview Public Market, a trendy food hall focused on creating unique culinary and cultural experiences. After our stretch sesh, we’ll cheers to a happy hour cocktail and choose from one (or several!) of the delicious food vendors at Grandview.
Day 3: After breakfast at our villa, we’ll spend the morning diving and snorkeling at Blue Heron Bridge, named one of the world’s best dive sites by Sport Magazine. Next, we’ll fuel up at a local eatery before our SIP + SUP yoga class, sure to be a good time thanks to the weekend party atmosphere in the bay! We’ll keep the good times rolling by paddling out to Peanut Island for more buzzy sunshine, relaxation and memory-making before a closing dinner at Rayna and Alex’s local favorite.
Day 4: Rise and shine, it’s time for sunrise yoga in the shadow of Jupiter Lighthouse! After our final practice, we’ll enjoy a picnic on the beach before embarking on a beloved Wander Women Retreats tradition: A beach cleanup to leave Florida a little better than we found it. After reminiscing on our favorite moments, it’s time to head home… until the next adventure!
Where We’ll Stay + What We’ll Eat
We will be staying in a private 1920’s style Spanish compound, thoughtfully restored and decorated. With an expansive green space, swaying palm trees, orchard garden and beautiful fountain courtyard our downdogs will never have been more picturesque!
The property features a lovely main house, a gorgeous orchid garden studio space and separate apartments across the courtyard.
Due to the unique nature of our accommodation, each room layout is unique, and shared room options may feature either two twin 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.
Between diving, snorkeling and yoga, we’ll definitely work up an appetite, and we can’t wait to bring you to the tastiest, freshest options West Palm Beach has to offer (+ recommend great spots for your own exploration). Vegans and those with food allergies can be accommodated throughout.
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 shark 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 PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, owner of Ocean Rays Photography and self-professed shark whisperer who has been working with sharks 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. She can’t wait to show you the beauty of West Palm Beach, her home for the past three years, above and below the surface.
How to Get to West Palm Beach
Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) is the closest airport, just 3 miles from our villa, and West Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL) and Miami (MIA) are roughly 45 miles and 65 miles from West Palm Beach respectively.
Please note that local transportation is not included in this self-drive retreat. We always aim to make our retreats as affordable as possible — including bus transport for the duration of the trip would make a domestic retreat like this one cost-prohibitive for our guests. But, we’re always happy to help guests coordinate carpools to reduce rental car needs.
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 West Palm 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further.
We are proud to have sold out every single 2021 trip we ran, and expect this will too — due to the nature of shark diving and snorkeling, it’s an intimate group with a limited number of spots on each boat! 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 us at email@example.com with any and all questions or concerns over if this is the right retreat for you. We’d love to chat!
Wait, are sharks safe to swim with?!
Yes! Sharks are safe to swim with when following the proper guidelines. You’ll be with shark professionals who spend their days with them, 100% safely, and you’ll always have a shark safety diver with you.
What kind of sharks can I expect to see this time of year?
During the summer months, we can expect to see sandbar sharks, silky sharks, dusky sharks and bull sharks.
What dive certification do I need?
This retreat is a great option for those who prefer to enjoy the Florida waters from above the surface and no experience is needed for snorkelers. For diving on the shark charter, you must have your Advanced Open Water certification with 30 logged dives to join as a diver. For the day at Blue Heron Bridge, you simply need your Open Water certification.
Is there a price difference for non-divers or divers?
No. Divers will be responsible for the cost of rental gear, but otherwise the costs to us are the same, so they are for you as well! (We know, it sounds kinda crazy.)
Is this trip women only?
This one’s for the girls! We’re celebrating Women’s Day Dive, so for this trip, we want to honor that sisterhood. 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!
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 pandemic variant resurgence!), you will be offered the choice between a full refund and applying your payment to a future trip.
I have a unique rooming request, how can you help me?
Email us! We’ll do our best to make it happen via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 18 years old or older.