Far Flung Fiestas

Girls Only Adventures

    Photo: John Cuneo

Las Olas Surf Safaris
The ocean can be a fearsome foe, hurling thunderous breakers, riptides, undertows, and the occasional malicious jellyfish at those who venture near. Not the place for novice surfers, you might think. But Las Olas Surf Safaris for Women has been leading women of all abilities and ages into the waves off Puerto Vallarta since well before the movie Blue Crush turned gal-surfers into icons.

Founded in 1997 by Bev Sanders, a veteran snowboarder and businesswoman, La Olas Surf Safaris calls itself the "world's premier surf safari for women," although they also like the tagline of "reverse finishing school." Las Olas claims that surfing "develops inner strength, balance, and an unique bond with the ocean," and they offer an all-female environment for learning and practicing wave riding in the warm waters off Mexico. Participants receive coaching from women instructors at their Surf Diva® school. Each day includes surf lessons and yoga sessions, as well as plenty of opportunities to hit the waves. In between tube rides and duck dives, surf safarians will dine at family-owned restaurants and cantinas using a special currency that Las Olas developed to interact with the local community. A seven-day, six-night trip costs $2,195 for a shared room, and $2,695 for a private room (including meals). Somewhat lower rates are available if you pay 90 days ahead of time. The Las Olas surf season runs from November to June, and they warn that safaris usually sell out 60 to 120 days in advance.

Las Olas Surf Safaris for Women
991 Tyler St. #101 Benicia, CA 94510
www.surflasolas.com
info@surflasolas.com
Phone: 707-746-6435
Fax: 707-745-2261

Chicks With Picks
If you're more of an ice queen than a surfer babe, a trip with Colorado-based Chicks With Picks might be your thing. Operating in both Colorado's Box Canyon area and the White Mountains of New Hampshire, "Chicks" runs ice-climbing clinics for women of all ability levels; from beginners to advanced climbers ready to sink their crampons into some cold sheets of frozen H2O.

Colorado participants stay at the Victorian Inn in Ouray, Colorado, and the daily schedule leaves plenty of time for kicking back in hot tubs and hot springs. The New England clinics are based in the climbing capital of North Conway, New Hampshire, close to some of the best ice sheets in the U.S. Home-cooked meals at the Cranmore Inn will warm up frozen muscles at the end of each day. But don't party too hard, as each day on the ice begins at 6:30 a.m. All women must bring some required gear, including a helmet, climbing harness, locking carabiner, and belay device. A full equipment list is available on the Web site. The New Hampshire clinics run $575 for two days (February 20-22, 2005) and $775 for three days (February 23-26, 2005). Clinics in Ouray, Colorado, range from a two-day sampler for $625 (February 6-8, 2005) to four days of ice climbing at $1,200 (February 1-5, 2005). Chicks also organizes a more intensive clinic for alumni climbers called "Veteran Betty" that costs $1,200 and will take place January 17-21, 2005.

Chicks with Picks
c/o Kim Reynolds
P.O. Box 486 Ridgway, CO 81432
www.chickswithpicks.net
kim@chickswithpicks.net
Phone: 970-626-4424

BVI Sailing Adventure
Some women don't want to climb mountains or conquer waves. They just want to relax. That's why Adventurous Wench organizes a seven-day, six-night cruise in the British Virgin Islands onboard a white-hulled, 58-foot luxury catamaran. The yacht, Fantasy Island, features five guest cabins with queen or twin beds, each with a private head and shower. And don't forget the air conditioning, salon bar (wine and standard bar are included in the trip price), gourmet meals prepared by the yacht's chef, and flat-screen TVs in each suite.

The itinerary is that there is no itinerary—just sailing between luscious Caribbean islands and partaking in tropical activities, both adventurous and relaxing. The catamaran docks each night at an island so the voyagers can investigate terrestrial entertainments too. The 2004 Girl's Week is coming up this winter, from November 28 to December 4, 2004 (they have a week from December 5-11 when guys can come too). A week adrift costs $2,045 for a shared cabin, double occupancy, or $2,695 for a single. The voyages begin and end at Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands, and air transportation is not included.

Tropical Sailing Adventure — British Virgin Islands
www.adventurouswench.com
info@adventurouswench.com
Phone: 1-866-41-WENCH (83624)
Fax: 925-665-1438

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