Tag Archives: women-only travel

Women Travel the World With USTOA Tour Operators

smarTours’ seven-day, women-only tour through Iceland takes travelers through Reykjavik and Vik, with opportunities to see the Northern Lights and Iceland’s famous waterfalls
© Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK –In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) is highlighting women-focused itineraries offered by its tour operator members. Spanning the globe from Iceland to Ireland, Japan to Chile, each program offers small group, immersive experiences that allow guests to pursue a passion or check a box on their bucket list.

“USTOA tour operators have a collection of itineraries created by women, for women, that are packed with hands-on adventures and singular experiences. Each vacation provides much more than a traditional getaway, with opportunities to explore a new destination with like-minded travelers,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO of USTOA.

The collection of small group, women-only trips in 2020 include:

Incredible Iceland with Northern Lights – smarTours’ seven-day, women-only tour through Iceland takes travelers through Reykjavik and Vik, with opportunities to see the Northern Lights, Seljalandsfoss & Skogafoss Waterfalls, and more. Departure is available on October 29 starting at $2,399 per person.

Authentic Ladies Tee Time – Authentic Vacations offers a nine-day tour of Ireland’s five-star golf courses, designed for a private group of women who are interested in golfing the Emerald Isle’s lush landscape, experiencing fine dining, and relaxing at spas. Private group tours are available starting at $3,248 per person.

Japan Zen – The Art of Simple Living – Perillo’s Learning Journeys’ 11-day women’s journey  explores Japanese culture in Tokyo and Kyoto, where guests will attend meditation sessions, stay in a traditional ryokan inn, and participate in sake tastings and cooking classes.Departure is available on May 31 starting at $5,475 per person.

Chile with Patagonia – SITA World Tours’ six-day, women-only adventure through Chile and Patagonia takes guests to Chile’s wine country in Casablanca and Curacavi and a day in Torres del Paine National Park, with trip extensions available to Easter Island and Buenos Aires. Departure is available on November 12 starting at 3,810 per person.

In addition to better access to attractions, activities and lodgings, a benefit of traveling with a well-established tour operator is the additional layer of safety and security and ability to respond to changing situations at the destination.

Find all the itineraries offered by USTOA tour operators at https://ustoa.stridetravel.com/

Representing nearly $19 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow 9.8 million travelers annually unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe. Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business.  As a voice for the tour operator industry for more than 40 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents.

For more information on USTOA, visit www.ustoa.com, call 212-599-6599, or email information@ustoa.com.

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Women Traveling the World Features Ireland Tour

Killarney Castle, Ireland. Women Traveling the World is featuring an Ireland Emerald Island Tour, August 30-September 7, 2019.

Women Traveling the World is offering an Ireland Emerald Island Tour that includes seven days (Aug 30 – Sept 7, 2019) experiencing first-hand this beautiful country known as the Emerald Isle. (Emerald Isle is the poetic name for Ireland due to its green countryside, first referred to in print by William Drennan in his poem “When Erin first rose”).
 
The tour starts in Dublin, a city offering many pubs, live music, historic cathedrals, Trinity College, The Guinness Storehouse, St Stephens Green and so much more. Then, head off to the Wicklow country side and explore the breathtaking mountains and Powerscourt Estate. Traveling to Killarney you will pass through some quaint Irish villages.

You will get to stay in two different Castle Hotels and truly experience Ireland and all its heritage, Celtic history, and natural beauty.

The trip features beautiful landscapes and lush green colors set against the Atlantic Ocean – the cliff sides are worth the visit alone. The shorelines are trimmed by golden sands and rocky cliffs. Inland lakes and rural idylls are varied and tranquil. The Irish are some of friendliest people and enjoy sharing in myths and tales of this magical place. Home, too, of many great music artists such as U2, this is truly a gem worth exploring and taking in local Irish fare and music.
 
Tour Dates: Aug 30 – Sept 7, 2019
Cost: $1841 based on double occupancy (roommates can be provided); single supplement $750
 
Included:
7 nights’ hotel in 4* hotel with taxes
Daily breakfast
5 Dinners Including 1 Irish show
1 lunch
Entrance fees to all sites visited as per itinerary
Tour Leader with 6 or more clients
Private transfers to all included sites and cities visited
Shannon car ferry
Local Tour Guide/Private driver
Arrival transfers in Dublin if traveling on tour dates and at the same times as other travelers. TBA
Departure transfers in Shannon if traveling with the group.
 
More information at https://womentravelingtheworld.com/tour/ireland
 
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Croatia is the Next Hot Destination for Women-Only Adventure Travel

Wild Women Expeditions is hosting multiple departures of two new, distinct itineraries that embrace the blue waters and high-altitude wilderness of Croatia.

CORNER BROOK, NL, Canada– Across the Adriatic Sea from Italy is a sun-splashed shoreline that marks Croatia, sometimes known as Dalmatia. Here in 2019, Wild Women Expeditions will host multiple departures of two new, distinct itineraries that embrace the blue waters and high-altitude wilderness of this secret Riviera.

Kaleidoscopic Croatian Multisport is a 13-day active immersion in nature and culture that promises up to six hours of hiking or four hours each of paddling and cycling most days. Departures in 2019 are May 23, Sept. 1, Sept 22 and Oct.13. The per person (double occupancy) rate of $4,695 includes:

  • 12 nights shared accommodations in locally owned hotels and guesthouses
  • All breakfasts and lunches and some dinners
  • Ground transportation from Zagreb to Dubrovnik
  • Airport transfers on Day 13
  • All equipment required for activities outlined in the itinerary
  • All national park or entrance fees required to deliver the activities
  • English-speaking female lead guide plus support staff

This itinerary begins in Croatia’s capital city, Zagreb, before departing for Kopački Rit Nature Park on the Croatian-Serbian border. During a homestay, guests will prepare dinner and perhaps hear stories about the history of what life was like in Tito’s Yugoslavia before the Balkan states erupted into being in the early 1990s.

Croatia’s pride and joy are its national and nature parks. Kopački Rit Nature Park on the Danube floodplain is dubbed the European Amazon for its rich biodiversity and abundance of bird and wildlife. After exploring this wildest side of Croatia, the itinerary weaves through the mountains, tracing vestiges of Celtic and Roman civilizations en route to Dubrovnik. After hiking in Papuk Nature Park, guests will finish the day by arriving in Samobor to enjoy dinner and kremsnite, a puff pastry with custard cream unique to these high altitudes. Guests will further explore the Sambor Highlands before embarking on a hiking tour the following day through Plitvice Lakes National Park, home to over 16 lakes that cascade from one to the next.

Leaving mountains behind, guests arrive in Split, a 1700-year-old city with the palace of a Roman emperor, Diocletian, dating from 4th century AD. Guests roll up their sleeves to play with clay, making souvenirs with natural elements and tools. Swimming, snorkeling and kayaking follow an overnight on Hvar, one of the countless islands in this region. Guests will then sail to Vis, an island that until 25 years ago housed the largest military base in the former Yugoslavia alongside traditional Dalmatian stone villages, many abandoned.

Before touring Dubrovnik comes a day on bicycles past vineyards, farms and dwellings scarred by war from 1991-1995. A local family hosts a dinner with homemade bread and cheeses, local wines and prosek. They’ll probably embroider stories of the war for independence in the conversation, embroidery that replaces the colorful hand-stitched garments once worn here and that underscores the fragile cultures and customs. Dubrovnik residents in the early 1990s survived for six months on just bread and water as houses and shops were shelled inside 14th-century walls. Today’s Dubrovnik is a high-energy destination. For more details on this itinerary please see https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/kaleidoscopic-croatian-multisport/

Kornati Islands Kayak Adventure is a 10-night itinerary offered in 2019 on June 12 and Sept.12 departures. The per person rate is $4,495 USD for:

  • 10-night accommodations in small hotels, fisherman guest houses, self-catering apartment and on sailboats
  • All meals
  • Single or double sea kayaks, the use of skirts, paddles PFD’s, paddling jackets, dry bags and all safety gear
  • Ground and sea transportation from Zadar to Split
  • English-speaking female certified sea kayak guide(s);
  • All national park or entrance fees

The adventure begins in Zadar on the Dalmatian coast between Split (north) and Dubrovnik (south). This ancient center combines 8th-century religious art with Roman artifacts and Sea Organ, an installation that captures the music of the waves.

One of the least accessible places in Croatia is Kornati National Park that exposes a jagged coastline with a rich submarine eco-system, natural beauty and interesting geomorphology. Guests paddle by bottlenose dolphins and slow-but-lovable loggerhead sea turtles through a labyrinth of small islands, reefs and islets that make up 12 percent of all the islands in the Croatian Adriatic. Cliffs drop steeply to the sea that supports families of fisherfolk who offer hospitality over home-made meals. Written documents from the 10th century confirm one island’s fishing tradition of 1000 years.

In the Šibenik archipelago, a sailboat lends support for an open-sea crossing to a community of 249 islands, of which only six are inhabited. An undiscovered jewel on this archipelago is Zlarin, where, since the 14th century, islanders have been diving for colorful sea corals. A sea paddle to Krka National Park reveals a karst phenomenon with seven travertine waterfalls, numerous endemic endangered species, and over 1000 plant and 225 bird species. Speleology lovers are drawn to some 40 grottoes and pits; others to medieval fortresses, harbingers of the bustle of civilization that lies ahead in the farewell city of Split. For details please see https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/kornati-islands-kayak-adventure/.

For itineraries, availability and reservations for these and all Wild Women Expeditions’ programs call 1 (888) 993-1222, email info@wildwomenexpeditions.com or visit online at https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/.

Founded in 1991, Wild Women Expeditions is the world’s largest women-only travel company. Its initial focus was on canoeing on remote Ontario waters. Through an unwavering focus on Canada, one of the wildest, most pristine countries in the world, Wild Women Expeditions became experts in a pioneering niche that introduced small groups of women into wilderness settings. The company now hosts guests all over the world, offering more trips and more women-only, backcountry camping, hiking, paddling and horseback adventures than any other women’s travel company in the world. 

 

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Wild Women Expeditions Introduces Hiking Adventure to Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon

Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon: Wild Women Expeditions, a pioneer in women-only travel adventures, is introducing Spirit of Bhutan on three 2018 hiking departures.

CORNER BROOK, NL, CANADA – Imagine a country that places happiness above all else, where every policy must pass a Gross National Happiness filter to be enacted. Imagine trekking through lush green mountainous valleys of a remote Himalayan kingdom where yak herders greet you with smiles as the chanting of monks echoes from ancient cliff-side monasteries and colorful prayer flags ripple before snow-capped peaks.

Welcome to Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon.

A company devoted to active travel adventures designed for women only presents for 2018 its brand-new itinerary in this distant land that time – almost – forgot.

Wild Women Expeditions, the pioneer in women-only travel adventures, introduces Spirit of Bhutan on three brand-new 2018 hiking departures: Sept. 20-Oct. 2, Oct. 11-23 and Nov. 12-24.

Only over the past 50 years have visitors been allowed to visit Bhutan, land locked in the Himalayas between Tibet and China to the north and India to the south. It is still also time locked, only early in the 21st century opening to Western influences. Bhutan, despite the encroachment of the internet and hand-held devices, remains steeped in ancient traditions with overlays of powerful Buddhist mythologies. How spirituality and myth translate into 21st century life in this 750,000 population is a focus of Wild Women Expeditions’ quest.

“Bhutan is a shining example of how spirited adventure tourism can be truly sustainable,” underscored Jennifer Haddow, visionary Owner/Director of Wild Women Expeditions. “Bhutan’s commitment to being a carbon neutral country comes to life in its approach to tourism, where travelers take great care to minimize their footprint on this wilderness Shangri-la.” She personally researched and helped craft this tour of west and central Bhutan — with the highest standards of ecotourism at heart.

The per person rate is $4,495 inclusive of ground transportation, including airport transfers; 12 nights accommodation (lodges, inns, a luxury resort and one night camping); meals throughout the trip; services of an experienced Bhutanese English-speaking female guide and of porters; camping equipment for a hiking expedition to Tiger’s Nest; entry fees and permits; and domestic air fare from the gateway, Paro, one way to Bumthang, the spiritual heartland of Bhutan.

Visits to monasteries or dzong perched on cliffs overlooking traditional rural life reveal that these fortress-like cloisters historically served as lighthouses, sending warning signals against potential marauders. An afternoon of river rafting coincides with a visit to the imposing Punakha Dzong (Palace of Great Happiness). Built in 1637, it is strategically placed at the confluence of two rafting rivers (Po Chu and Mo Chu). Guests also visit Taktshang (Tiger’s Nest) whose lore and location epitomize Bhutan’s spirituality and beauty. One day guests walk for several hours through a forest of rhododendron and hemlock to meet some 30 nuns in contemplation and seclusion at one of the oldest (early 9th century) of seven nunneries in Bhutan.

Guests can anticipate walking up to16km on mountain pathways through blue pine and juniper forests. One trek leads to Bumdra Monastery and a meadow laced with chortens (stupas) and prayer flags. Here women camp under the stars with a nearby 4,000m peak beckoning the hearty.

Each glimpse of a dzong brings high-altitude vistas of mountains gouged by deep river valleys and rice fields, together comprising the country’s 60 percent of land designated national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Forests covering over 70 percent of the landscape are themselves resources. For example, guests visit a family-owned incense factory that utilizes juniper, rhododendron and cypress to make incense. They are served tea during another family visit; they experience the restorative properties of a hot stone bath followed by a lesson in Bhutan’s national sport, archery.

A day trip to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, features the weekly market and revered Memorial Chorten that underscores the importance of the country’s two-party constitutional monarchy. The Changangkha temple, since the 12th century overlooking Thimphu, is a study of devotees flocking here to circumambulate and turn the prayer wheels. The temple contains beautiful wall paintings and hundreds of religious scriptures written in gold. A huge golden statue of Buddha Dordenma commands a view of the valley. His three-story throne holds several chapels; the body itself is filled with 125,000 smaller statues of Buddha. On an earthly note is a visit to a nearby weaving center where local women create intricate fabric for the traditional Bhutanese garment of gho (for men) and kira (for women).

“Wild Women Expeditions gives women the opportunity to empower themselves amongst other women, connect with the natural world and make a positive impact in the communities we explore,” says Haddow. “When women adventure together in the wild, it is transformational.”

For trip details see https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/spirit-of-bhutan/.

For details, availability and reservations for these and all Wild Women Expeditions’ programs call 1 (888) 993-1222, email info@wildwomenexpeditions.com or visit online at https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/.

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Voluntourism: Wild Women Expeditions’ Elephants, Treks and Temples Tour Provides Opportunity to Help with Elephant Care in Thailand’s Chiang Mai Region

During Wild Women Expeditions’ Elephants, Treks and Temples tour of Northern Thailand participants get to help bathe, feed and walk elephants at both an elephant rescue center and in a Karen tribal village in the jungle.

CORNER BROOK, NL, CANADA– Elephants are the stars in a new-for-2018 multi-sport Thailand adventure for women-only hosted by Wild Women Expeditions.

Fall 2018 departures of Elephants, Treks and Temples tour of Northern Thailand (http://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/thailand-elephants/) will immerse guests for 11 days in the culture and landscape of northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai region on bicycles, and while trekking and coursing down rivers on bamboo rafts.  Stops enroute include helping to bathe, feed and walk elephants at both and an elephant rescue center and in a Karen tribal village in the jungle.

“Ethical, sustainable tourism is the Asian elephant’s best hope to survive. In the spirit of the #BeKindToElephants movement, we want to respect and protect these majestic animals and so won’t be riding elephants on any Wild Women tours,” says Jennifer Haddow, Owner/Director of Wild Women Expeditions. “This practice often relies on wild elephants being brutally tamed before they can be ridden and we are creating tourism opportunities with elephants that do not cause harm.”

The focus on elephants is part of a Wild Women Expeditions’ commitment to change the perception of elephants as beasts of burden for tourists. The company is supporting Chai Lai Sisters, a community-based tourism project to convert an abusive elephant riding camp into a sanctuary or rescue center for elephants that is run by the Karen tribal community near Chiang Mai. This company also benefits a second organization, Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation, supporting the work of the work of the first elephant hospital in Thailand to rehabilitate elephants injured by overwork and neglect in tourist camps.

Wild Women Expeditions’ Elephants, Treks and Temples Tour of Chiang Mai, Thailand, provides opportunity to help care for elephants.

Wild Women Expeditions has also thrown its financial support behind Chai Lai Orchid and a Go Fund Me Campaign to empower local women and rescue elephants. Donations are needed to save 13 Asian elephants from abusive conditions and to support a human-trafficking prevention program. For more details and to contribute see: https://www.gofundme.com/ChaiLai.

Elephants in this region are big business. The animals are enslaved to the tourist trade 365 days a year as cheap transportation carrying the weight of a heavy metal chair plus the weight of humans. Elephants are also in chains to logging interests, day after day dragging felled trees from the jungle. In the rescue center caretakers from a Karen hill tribe assure that the animals are well treated and have access to water for bathing. See: https://www.chailaiorchid.com/elephant-sanctuary/.

In Chiang Mai is the world’s first elephant hospital that is supported by a non-profit organization called Friends of the Asian Elephant. Here treatments cover the spectrum of what distressed elephants may require, from illnesses requiring antibiotics to injuries mandating surgeries and future prosthesis, to maternal and infant care. See: http://www.friendsoftheasianelephant.org/en/.

Thailand’s Chiang Mai is the gateway to access the country’s north. The Wild Women Adventure Tour will visit several tribal communities to get a view of the rural landscape through activities including cycling, rafting and trekking.

Rice paddies, orchards, bamboo and fern groves surround women on bicycles in Sri Lanna National Park. To cross a reservoir they board a longtail boat bound for lunch at a floating bamboo raft house. Atop Thailand’s second highest mountain they gaze across a landscape to neighboring Myanmar; they hike along a jungle trail and immerse themselves in the culture of a hill tribe whose business is maintaining tea plantations. The group will stay for two nights at Phu Chaisai, at an award-winning eco-resort crafted by bamboo in the jungle near Chiang Rai. One 3.5-hour trek leads to a Karen village hill tribe where elephants await new hands to feed and bathe them. Another day is spent at an elephant sanctuary near Chiang Mai.  Omnipresent throughout this journey are temples – or wats – and the role that rivers continue to play in shaping Thailand’s trade and agriculture.

The per person double rate is $2,295 USD inclusive of 10 nights accommodation (including a home stay), most meals, services of an English-speaking certified female guide and assistant guides, drinking water and snacks, activity-related equipment, travel, including airport transfers, in private air-conditioned vans, sightseeing tickets and zone entrance fees, flight confirmations and luggage transfers.

A quarter century ago Wild Women Expeditions pioneered today’s steam-charged movement encouraging women to travel in small women-only groups. “Wild Women Expeditions gives women the opportunity to empower themselves amongst other women, connect with the natural world and make a positive impact in the communities we explore,” says Haddow.

For details, availability and reservations for these and all Wild Women Expeditions’ programs call 1 (888) 993-1222, email info@wildwomenexpeditions.com or visit online at https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/.

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Women-Only Hiking, Kayaking Adventures in Canada

The coastlines and national parks of Canada are components of three summer wilderness vacations with Wild Women Expeditions.

The coastlines and national parks of Canada, celebrating its 150th heritage anniversary in 2017, are components of three summer wilderness vacations with Wild Women Expeditions, the tour company offering more active travel departures for women only than any other operator in the world.

“Canada is a country designed for adventurers. For women who want it all, Canada delivers the goods,” said Jennifer Haddow, Owner of Wild Women Expeditions  “We’ve been trailblazing outdoor adventures in Canada for over a quarter of a century. Increasingly women want to feel the freedom of connecting with wild space in its finest form. In Canada are some of the wildest and grandest natural treasures on the planet.”

Wild Women Expeditions’ Canadian programs are prototypes for the baptism-by-wilderness experiences that Haddow’s team arranges in 26 countries. These journeys reflect that…

  • Women need opportunities to just be themselves, together;
  • The wilderness helps women connect with elements of their psyche that may be lost in the daily hustle and bustle;
  • Pairing women and wilderness often encourages women beyond their comfort zones, leading to increased confidence;
  • These ingredients can be transformational, perhaps leading to answers to the question that Poet Mary Oliver poses: What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Backcountry camping is one of Wild Women’s signatures, a staple of 70 percent of its trips (a higher percentage of wilderness immersion than any other women-only company offers). Women carry their accommodations (tents) on their backs, as well as food and personal belongings, into remote wilderness where come nightfall, a campfire and the stars overhead provide the only light. Geology, wildlife and First Nation spiritual heritage found in Canada’s national parks figure into adventures in Newfoundland, British Columbia and Vancouver Island. Professional wilderness guides, all female, lead the trips. Following are capsule descriptions of three of the company’s Canadian adventures…

Newfoundland Gros Morne (National Park) Multi-Sport Adventure is a seven-day hiking and kayaking expedition that utilizes ocean-side cabins. The $2,295 CAD per person rate includes professional, local female guide(s), all meals, fully outfitted sea kayak day trip on Bonne Bay (think Minke whales, eagles, terns, and kingfishers), guided hikes (think Woodland caribou, Rock ptarmigan and Arctic hare) and walks throughout the park, a Western Brook Pond fjord boat tour, roundtrip transfers from Deer Lake Regional Airport (servicing Toronto) and a park pass.

Daily challenges reflect the philosophy that women can discover and build on their own inner strengths by mastering hurdles in the safe company of other women. The first hike in this UNESCO World Heritage Site is 5km with a 500m elevation gain/loss on rugged trails; the second is roundtrip 9km with a 300m elevation gain/loss; an estimated five-hour kayak excursion precedes the third hike, a 16 km, 800m elevation gain/loss trek experienced in over eight hours while climbing Gros Morne Mountain, the highest point in the park at 806m. Easy walks follow in tandem with a catch-your-breath boat tour of a landlocked fjord.

This park is as important to Plate Tectonics Theory as Ecuador’s Galapagos Archipelago is to the Theory of Evolution. The challenges of this environment become metaphors for those the women face, hiking first through a barren, nutrient-challenged  landscape; then discovering where the peridotite ends and the ancient oceanic crust begins, down through boreal forest to rugged coastline where pillow lava and sea stacks dominate the shoreline; then moving on to the rich marine wonderland of Bonne Bay and a landlocked lake before accomplishing a summit (http://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/newfoundland-multisport/).

Haida Gwaii Kayak Adventure in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site is a fully outfitted eight-day camping (on beaches) and kayaking expedition at $2,795 CAD per person that includes camping gear, all meals, Zodiac transportation, park pass and the expertise of two certified kayak guides.

This National Marine Conservation Area of Canada is north of Vancouver, BC. Here paddlers drift through Haida First Nation waterways, passing ancient totem poles. Black bears mosey among towering trees; sea lions and seals flop at the water’s edge. “You are one with the water. The silence is heavy and heavenly,” said Haddow, adding that water, wildlife and the spirit of the First Nation combine to create a spiritual quest.

Routes south and north begin in Sandspit on Moresby Island (serviced by air from Vancouver). Southern route departure is set for Aug. 20-27, 2018. Northern Route departures are Aug. 21-28, 2017, and Aug. 27- Sept. 3, 2018 (http://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/haida-gwaii-british-columbia/).

Vancouver Island Multi-Sport Adventure in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a fully outfitted, eight-day camping, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, surfing and hiking adventure. The $2,895 CAD per person rate includes services of two female guides, three nights camping, four nights inn accommodation, all meals, ground transportation, scheduled activities (and all gear), half-day surfing and paddling lessons, four-day sea kayak expedition to Vargas Island in Clayoquot Sound and guided coastal hikes.

Guests meet at Tofino Ecolodge on Vancouver Island, accessed by ferry or air shuttle from Victoria or Nanaimo, BC. From here the Wild Pacific Trail and the Pacific Ocean become both playgrounds and challenges, as does a three-night camping/four-day backcountry kayaking trip to experience the old growth forests and First Nation spirits of Clayoquot Sound, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve off the west coast of Vancouver Island (http://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/vancouver-island/).

Founded in 1991, Wild Women Expeditions is one of the world’s largest women-only travel companies. Its initial focus was on canoeing on remote Ontario waters. Through an unwavering focus on Canada, one of the wildest, most pristine countries in the world, Wild Women Expeditions became Canadian experts in a pioneering niche that introduced small groups of women into wilderness settings. Even though the company now hosts guests all over the world, it retains a national focus with more trips and more women-only, backcountry camping adventures in Canada than any other women’s travel company.

 

For further information, https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/.

 

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Wild Women Expeditions Features Mongolia by Horseback in 2018

“Wild Women Expeditions is all about women and wilderness and wild. Our horseback riding program in Mongolia, encapsulates our vision that women can move from their own comfort zones, take risks and begin to direct themselves in new and liberated ways.”

CORNER BROOK, NL, CANADA – Wild Women Expeditions, already offering more active travel departures for women only, including the most women-only adventures on horseback, than any other tour company in the world, is featuring five departures for a horseback adventure into Mongolia in 2018.

The Orkhon Valley Horseback Adventure, a 14-day itinerary into Mongolia is priced at $2,295 per person; however, because the program is so popular, only June 3-16 and Aug. 12-25 departures still have space available.

“Wild Women Expeditions is all about women and wilderness and wild. Our horseback riding program in Mongolia, where we ride 12km to 40km daily for up to six hours, encapsulates our vision that women can move from their own comfort zones, take risks and begin to direct themselves in new and liberated ways – in just a few days,” said Jennifer Haddow, Owner of Wild Women Expeditions. “Our Mongolia programs, in addition to making this country accessible, are affordable in an expensive country that many women only dream of visiting – until now.”

In the 12th and 13th centuries, Genghis Kahn reigned supreme here, gathering horses and men sufficient to create the Mongol empire that extended far beyond the borders of present-day Mongolia. A violent world was punctuated by the silence and peace of Tibetan temples, a dichotomy still to be sensed while visiting national parks and settling into yurts in the Orkhon Valley, the summer camp of nomads and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A homestay family shares the life of nomadic breeders: milking the animals, preparing dairy products, cutting wood, playing with children and living in yurts. As most honored guests, visitors assist in preparing a Mongolian barbecue that features a goat or sheep slaughtered for the occasion.

As landscapes shift from forests to grassy plains to desert and sand dunes, riders explore assorted ecologies of the lush Orkhon Valley, mountains, steppes and waterfalls, as well as the mini Gobi Desert.

“Here where wild meets wild, you feel the contradictions of this place taking root within you. It brings to life the quiet, contemplative space in your heart – the glorious scenery, and sacred temples inviting you to seek inward. But what you find inside isn’t still, but rather vibrant and loud. As you cross large swaths of black lava, you feel your own inner rumblings, as alive as the volcanic earth upon which you ride. Someone has come upon their trusty steed to save you. And it is you,” added Haddow.

In advance of venturing on horseback into the wilderness, guests spend arrival day and evening in Ulaanbaatar, the capital, visiting the country’s most important museum and listening to khoomi (also known as Tuvan throat singing), a vocal technique that elevates the human voice to an other-worldly instrument unique to this region.

For horse lovers, Mongolia is a dream, noted Haddow. “We visit Khustai National Park, where conservation efforts include the reintegration of the Przewalski’s horse, Takhi (spirit or spiritual in Mongolian), a symbol of Mongolian national heritage and considered the world’s only genuine wild horse. These beasts also protect the forest steppe ecosystem. In 1945 there were only 12 breeding takhi in the world.“

Wild Women Expeditions tours also offers a window into “some inspiring community development initiatives, such as visiting the Mongolian Quilting Centre. This is a non-profit association, whose purpose is to give unemployed and poor women, originally taken away from prostitution, and instead learn sewing skills to generate income for their families,” she said.

Another Wild Women Expeditions trip in Mongolia, Marvels of Mongolia, offers 14 days at $2,895 per person, mixing trekking with camel and horseback riding across grasslands and villages that may well owe their existence to the comings and goings of the fearless Genghis Kahn as he carved out what we know today as the Silk Road.

Wild Women Expeditions also hosts horseback riding trips in…

  • Iceland — Golden Circle Riding Adventure, nine days at $3,295 per person; Women & Girls Golden Circle Riding Adventure, seven days at $1,995 per person; Hekla Volcano Riding Adventure, nine days at $3,295 per person
  • British Columbia —  Chilcotin Cowgirl Riding Adventure, eight days at $3,495CAD per person
  • Argentina – Patagonia Pack Horse Adventure, 11 days at $3,395 per person
  • Chile – Torres del Paine Multisport Adventure, 10 days at $4,795 per person
  • Ireland – Connemara Riding Adventure, seven days at $3,295 per person.

Founded in 1991, Wild Women Expeditions is one of the world’s largest women-only travel companies. Its initial focus was on canoeing on remote Ontario waters. Through an unwavering focus on Canada, one of the wildest, most pristine countries in the world, Wild Women Expeditions became Canadian experts in a pioneering niche that introduced small groups of women into wilderness settings. Even though the company now hosts guests all over the world, it retains a national focus with more trips and more women-only, backcountry camping adventures in Canada than any other women’s travel company.

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