I created Meihoukai in Wanderland for a lot of reasons — to hold on to my precious travel memories in a vessel more safe than my scattered brain, to share stories and perhaps inspiration with other wanderlusters, and, perhaps I’m realizing now, as a master plan to find myself the world’s best group of dive and travel buddies.
So come dive with me! I’m just absolutely bursting with pride to announce Wander Women Red Sea, an eight day women’s dive + yoga retreat in the remote desert paradise of Dahab, Egypt from September 21-28, 2019. I fell in love with this hidden gem, beloved by in-the-know travelers, from the moment I stepped foot there. And it didn’t take long before I was dreaming of taking you to the Red Sea’s hippest beach town too.
I know that for so many women, traveling to Egypt is a dream — but one that might seem overwhelming or intimidating to make into a reality. That’s where Wander Women comes in.
For this retreat I’ve partnered with 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, and partner yoga classes, as well as play with SUP and 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 desert canyon tours, 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.
I also want us all to give back. We’ll complete a Project Aware clean up dive and a local beach clean up, enjoy a little documentary film festival — and, as always with Wander Women Retreats, 5% of profits are donated to a local charity in the area (you’ll even get to vote on which!)
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.
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, us to discuss your situation.
The dates of this retreat are September 21-28, 2019. The cost, including literally just about everything, starts at $2,450USD.
• Six nights accommodation at a luxurious pool villa + one night accommodation in a Bedouin desert camp
• Two meals a day
• Ten to twelve dives
• One PADI continuing education course of your choice
• Daily yoga, including an aerial class and a SUP class
• A canyon desert jeep tour, 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
Oh, The Places We’ll Go
Subject to change, and expect surprises, but here’s the general idea.
Day 1: Arrivals and a sunset poolside yoga class at our villas. Get to know each other over a group dinner with a basic Arabic lesson.
Day 2: After breakfast in the villa, head into town for some morning shore dives. Surface for an oceanfront lunch and sunbathing session at a local restaurant before an afternoon of SUP yoga and dinner out on the town.
Day 3: After a morning poolside vinyasa class, head out for a day exploring the dive sites of Gabr El Bint by boat. Choose between an optional night dive or fluorescent dive dive, and then dig into a pizza party back at the villas.
Day 4: Choose your own adventure — head out to the PADI Continuing Education course of your choice. End the day with a relaxing aerial yoga class and an Egyptian cooking demo.
Day 5: Start the day with another poolside yoga class before a beach cleanup and a Project Aware cleanup dive. After, we’ll reward ourselves with dives at the world famous Blue Hole and Canyon dive sites. At night, we’ll screen underwater documentaries at our own little Wanderland Film Festival.
Day 6: 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 sendoff 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.
Day 7: After a final yoga class on the beach in Ras Abu Galum, we’ll pack up to head back to Dahab. For a day of decompression adventures, we’ll head out the canyons with a local adventure tour company before a final farewell dinner.
Day 8: Breakfast at the villa followed by personal time + departure at your leisure. Not ready to say goodbye? Join us for our post-retreat Pyramid Plus Package to Cairo!
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. 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. Courses are first come, first serve.
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.
: 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 and Downward Dog With Us
Many of you may recall I first visited Dahab from my first trip there as part of three weeks in Egypt in April of 2018. I knew almost instantaneously that this would be the sight of a future Wander Women Retreat.
For those that are new around here, I’m a and AmbassaDiver and I’ve worked in the dive industry as an underwater videographer, a writer for publications like Sport Diver and Scuba Diver magazines, and as the founder of Wander Women Retreats. I’m 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 Meihoukai Heyes, owner and head instructor at H2O Dahab, and , 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 Dahab bus station.
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. 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.
Can’t fathom flying to Egypt and not seeing the pyramids? Me neither! Join our three day, two night Cairo post-retreat extension and visit the pyramids, watch a bellydance performance in a local bar, take a sunset Nile cruise, and browse a market straight out of Aladdin.
The Cairo add-on dates are September 28-30, and prices start at $450. Learn more here.
Pre-sales already opened for this retreat to our exclusive retreat newsletter subscribers, so please keep in mind that 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. For frequently asked questions about this retreat, including rental equipment prices and beyond, check out my retreat landing page.
Remember, don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected] with any and all questions or concerns over if this is the right retreat for you. I’d love to chat!
Can’t make this one? Don’t sweat. Stay tuned to my Wander Women Retreats page, and to be the first to know when enrollment opens on future retreats.
Remember, return guests and guests booking multiple retreats receive 10% off. What else do we have in the works?
• July 24-28 2019: Our aerial yoga retreat in St. Pete, Florida
• December 2019: our TBA retreat in Cabarete, Dominican Republic
• March 2020: our TBA signature dive + yoga retreat in Koh Tao, Thailand
So who’s coming to Egypt with me?