Wander Women: A Dive + Yoga Retreat
Koh Tao, Thailand
August 19-26, 2018
Join me for an eight day women’s dive + yoga retreat on the island paradise of Koh Tao. The calming, healing benefits of both yoga and scuba diving are well documented – prepare to leave Thailand in a puddle of bliss!
For this retreat I’ve partnered with PADI, the world’s largest diving organization, to offer a tasting menu for all the incredible diving opportunities the Gulf of Thailand offers. We’ll take in some of Koh Tao’s most famous dive sites, from Sail Rock to Chumphon, and explore continuing education courses from PADI Enriched Air to PADI Digital Underwater Photographer and beyond — and you’ll leave certified in each. We’ll try UV night diving (if you’re keen!), take a freediving lesson, and learn about diving green through a conservation workshop and a private documentary screening at a local cinema.
And as for the yoga? You’ve never seen a more beautiful island on which to practice. We will explore vinyasa, hatha and yin yoga classes as well as workshops in SUP yoga and inversions! There might even be a Sangria Sip + Salutations class on the itinerary (okay, there definitely is.) 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 hiking, temples, and viewpoints all on the itinerary too. We’ll share meals, talk daydreams and swap travel stories, and you’ll meet my incredible Koh Tao tribe who are helping me make this magic happen. I want you to leave feeling inspired and well-adventured.
Bonus — new profile picture practically guaranteed. You’ll end the retreat with a USB of professional photos, including underwater portraits by an award-winning underwater photographer.
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 that includes accommodation and online e-learning prior to departure. Contact us for details! If you are not certified and are unable to extend your retreat, again, contact us to discuss your situation.
The dates of this retreat are August 19-26. The cost, including literally just about everything, is just $2,400 per person for a double share and $2,200 for a triple share.
Last minute sale! This previously-sold-out retreat was full, but due to two guests having to back out for personal reasons, we are now offering the retreat at a full $500 discount. Snap these spots up while they last!
This is less than the cost of most yoga retreats alone, and includes diving, professional photos, PADI certification cards, and more. What I love about living and traveling in Southeast Asia is that luxury is financially accessible in ways it isn’t in other parts of the world, and I created this retreat with that in mind. Nab a spot now — spaces are limited, and prices will increase May 1st.
• Seven nights shared accommodation in a private pool villa
• Breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday
• Scuba dives and an array of PADI Specialties
• Yoga classes and yoga workshops (led by my dear friends who I’ve practiced with for years!)
• A private island tour with Wow Koh Tao
• Two spa treatments
• Professional photo sessions – on the yoga mat and under the sea!
• Free Wanderland Guide To Koh Tao ebook
• Welcome bag including surprises and a special gift handmade on Koh Tao
• All on-island transportation
• An on-call dive medic who has consulted on our program
• 5% profit donation to local charities
What’s Not Included
• Dive equipment rental (but I’m happy to arrange it for you)
• Pre-retreat add-on for Open Water Certification (contact me for more details)
• Optional Night Dive or UV Night Dive
• Alcohol – though a post-dive champagne toast here or there may be be thrown in (and by maybe we mean definitely!)
• Transport to and from Koh Tao – though I’m happy to create a flight and transportation package for you. There are dozens of ways to get to and from Koh Tao and after many years of making the journey, we know all the best ones!
• Travel + dive insurance
We will be staying in a spa-like private pool villa set in a lush coconut grove. There are luxurious outdoor showers, beautiful examples of Southeast Asian art, and comfy Western-style beds. We’ll be making full use of the villa by having dive briefings given poolside, and smoothie bowl breakfast delivered to our dining room daily by my dear friends at Living Juices. That won’t be all — a private chef will drop by regularly to whip up healthy, delicious, instagram-able meals.
Oh, The Places We’ll Go
Subject to change, and expect surprises, but here’s the general idea.
Day 1: Arrivals + welcome massages. Private dinner at villa and late night yin session.
Day 2: Morning vinyasa flow + quick hike to Fraggle Rock Viewpoint. Afternoon welcome dives followed by a private nitrox lecture at villa. Group dinner on the beach.
Day 3: Two tank late morning dive with PADI Enriched Air specialty. Lunch by private chef at villa. Sunset SUP yoga + paddleboarding session followed by dinner + private ocean documentary screening at Koh Tao Cinema.
Day 4: Early morning hatha yoga class. PADI Discover Freediving or PADI Project Aware course followed by an evening inversions workshop and private dinner at villa.
Day 5: Morning vinyasa flow + quick hike to Burmese Temple. Lunch at a local Thai restaurant. Afternoon PADI Underwater Photographer specialty — and professional underwater photo shoot! Optional Night Dive or UV Night Dive and pizza delivery at villa.
Day 6: Three-tank full day trip to Sail Rock, the Gulf’s most famous dive site. Sunset yoga + group dinner at a favorite island restaurant with a marine conservation presentation.
Day 7: Afternoon tour of beaches, viewpoints, the local temple, and a coconut farm with Wow Koh Tao. Evening reflexology session + goodbye dinner at a restaurant in the remote Koh Tao hills.
Day 8: Breakfast delivery at the villa followed by personal time + departure at your leisure. Say sad goodbyes and vow to keep in touch forever — then do it!
Dive and Downward Dog With Me
Hi! My name is Alexandra Baackes, and Koh Tao is an island I feel blessed to call home. I first visited during a summer abroad in college, and quickly returned post-graduation to work in the dive industry as an underwater videographer. I’ve spent the majority of my twenties here — I kind of grew up on this island.
Today, I’m a full-time travel blogger and I could live anywhere – but still, Koh Tao calls me home. I love helping friends and readers plan trips here, and now I’m absolutely thrilled to be sharing this dream trip with what is sure to be a kick-ass group of women. I’m a PADI Divemaster and AmbassaDiver and at the time of this retreat I will be a RYT 200 Registered Yoga Teacher (though we’ll have local dive and yoga instructors lead our group — I’ll just assist.)
I’ve essentially been researching this retreat since 2009! I have a Koh Tao shaped imprint on my heart and I want you to love this island as much as I do. I am so excited to meet you.
This retreat has limited space and is likely to sell out quickly. Also, prices will increase May 1st. A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot. Payment plans are available. Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know when enrollment opens on future retreats.
Remember, don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any and all questions or concerns over if this is the right retreat for you. I’d love to chat!
Wander Women: A Dive + Yoga Retreat in Koh Tao, Thailand
Why women only?
Guys, I love you, and I promise that future retreats I have in mind 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 I want you to make it exactly what you want! There’s so much I want you to see and experience on Koh Tao, we will have a pretty full schedule. However, it’s packed with restorative moments like beach time, massages, and relaxing by our private pool. And any time you want to bow out to have some “me-time” or do your own thing, that’s totally cool.
Can I do a payment plan and pay in installments?
Absolutely. I want to make this happen for you. Email me at email@example.com.
Is it possible to have a private room?
Technically that’s possible, but it will cost extra. Contact me for more details.
Will I need travel insurance?
Yes, everyone will be required to have travel + diving insurance for the duration of the trip. I’d be happy to make recommendations.
Is there an age requirement?
You must be 18 years old or older.
What about visas?
Thailand is a visa-free country for most passports. If you’re from the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, and most of Europe, you can enter for thirty days visa-free. I’ve been navigating Thailand’s visa rules for years and I’m happy to help you figure out your specific situation.
What is the refund policy?
The $500 deposit to secure your space is non-refundable. Beyond that, if you cancel at least 90 days before departure, you’ll receive 100% of your remaining retreat fee back. If you cancel between 30-90 days before departure, you’ll receive a 50% refund. Cancellation less than 30 days before departure will result in a 0% refund.
Is there a waiting list?
I will have 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 and I will add you to the waiting list.
I still have questions, or cute photos of my dog. Can I contact you?
Um, yes please! My email is email@example.com.