Solo Female Travel: In Celebration of International Women’s Day
While women should be celebrated every day, International Women’s Day on March 8th inspires people around the world to recognize the social, economic, political, and cultural achievements of women.
As the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias, the travel and hospitality industry is seeing an influx of female-focused experiences and trips, in addition to more hotels and destinations appealing to the solo female traveler to make every woman feel encouraged and inspired while traveling.
In honor of International Women’s Day, here are some destinations supporting solo female travel:
1. Las Catalinas, Costa Rica
Located in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, the car-free, seaside town of Las Catalinas is a destination that is ideal for solo female travelers. With several non-stop, direct flights from cities including Miami, Houston, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Toronto, and more, travelers can experience a town that embraces nature – a place that is perfect for quiet reflection with an array of pursuits and activities perfect for a restorative getaway. For rejuvenating the mind, body, and soul, the solo traveler who is eager to explore on their own can find great self-discovery at Las Catalinas.
Beach Town Travel, the preferred travel agency in Las Catalinas offers new Re-Balance Retreats that aim to provide a space where people have access to practices that support their physical, mental, and spiritual health and especially, the opportunity to experience a better way of living found at Las Catalinas. Las Catalinas promotes accessibility to nutritious and well-sourced and organic food and physical activity as essential elements to support this healthier version of the life. Re-Balance Retreat goers can start with morning yoga on Santarena Hotel’s rooftop with a beautiful ocean view and the sound of the waves. Gather with other like-minded women for meditations, and visualizations, and talk about what balance and purpose mean for each participant. Take a sound healing journey at Center of Joy, the town’s wellness center, and experience sound-frequency vibration as part of the sound healing journey. The retreat includes other wellness-focused activities.
Whether you’re interested in a group retreat such as the Re-Balance Retreat or just want to come on your own and build your own itinerary, Las Catalinas puts women in a safe environment linking travelers to nature and the surroundings in an organic way. Solo travelers can meet people on the trails or converse with others sitting in front of the bike shop enjoying a coffee or reading a book by the fountain in Plaza Mercado. The car-free town encourages natural interactions with residents, visitors, and the people who work there. Guests can stay a few days or longer, with extended trips to focus on improving their health, wellness, and fitness regimens or set new goals.
The options are wonderful for solo travelers. Stay in town at Santarena Hotel or book a studio or flat through Beach Town Travel with an array of villa options including daily housekeeping and laundry service, a fully equipped kitchen, free Wi-Fi, use of the Las Catalinas Collection resort facilities, and more. While not biking, hiking, or running the trails or swimming or paddle boarding in the ocean, enjoy the convenience of the cardio classes and private training at CORE by Chakfitness outdoor gym, massage, and facials at WAKE Day Spa, wellbeing treatments, pilates, and organic cooking classes at Center of Joy, mountain bike, kayak and SUP rentals at Pura Vida Ride, healthy food to go, private chef dinners or wine tastings at Copper & Stone gourmet market, fresh smoothies and made from scratch organic dishes for all dietary restrictions at Pots & Bowls and more.
2. Ignacia Guest House, Mexico City
Ignacia Guest House in Colonia Roma is the perfect place to stay for a solo travel adventure in Mexico City. Colonia Roma is one of the safest districts in the city and Ignacia Guest House is within walking distance from some of Mexico City’s best restaurants, galleries, attractions, and shops. The coziness of their intimate spaces and warm staff make guests feel at home in this “home-away-from-home.” Within the bed and breakfast’s list of activity suggestions, which the staff can help guests book in advance, guests will discover food safaris, cooking classes, a balloon flight over Teotihuacán pyramids, sunrise in the chinampas of Xochimilcan, walking tours through the districts and historical landmarks of the city that are the perfect excuse to be immersed in the culture, meet new people, and make local friends.
Photo by Jaime Navarro
With their new renovations and the addition of four stylish rooms and additional amenities, guests can enjoy the beautiful Casona with an array of indoor activities. The concierge can help with making a reservation for an in-room massage and facial or even booking a yoga or fitness class. The staff can provide guests with tailor-made experiences with their insider knowledge of CDMX. The new renovations also feature a private terrace with a fire pit and jacuzzi for relaxation and meditation. Every morning guests wake up with Ignacia Guest House’s homemade breakfast served in the privacy of your suite (Master Suite Negra, Balcón 1 and Balcón 2, Terraza 1 and Terreza 2) or in their stunning dining room.
Every afternoon, guests gather for a cocktail hour from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm in their garden under the orange trees. The concierge service is available from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm on the weekdays and 8:00 am to 8:00 pm on the weekends and also offers a private driver for guests. For more information, visit www.ignacia.mx or email email@example.com.
3. Solo Journey in Spain
One of the main values that distinguish Naya Traveler is the intimate knowledge they have of their destinations and the personal contacts that enrich the experience for their travelers. Naya Traveler can personalize a solo travel experience and pair the traveler with local experts and specialists in different fields. Adventure on a solo journey through Southern Spain accompanied by a history buff whose local connections will make this trip a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Discover the dazzling confluence of Christian and Muslim heritage in Andalucia, which is crystalized by some of the world’s most impressive architectural feats.
A bike tour of Seville with an expert guide will be your first introduction to the city’s historical marvels with its soaring towers, charming cobblestone streets, and vibrant plazas. Skip the Flamenco Show for a more local experience at a taberna where Sevillanos go such as La Carboneria. Meet a scholar in Cordoba at Casa Sefarad, a historical Jewish center, to learn about the complex history of Jewish heritage in Spain. Take a Tapas Tour with a local foodie through the streets of Granada. Have lunch with the best view of the Alhambra: El Huerto de Juan Ranas. Visit the famous Alhambra in Granada & La Mezquita in Cordoba . The itinerary curated by Naya Traveler includes hand-picked hotels and accommodations: Day 1 – 3: Seville (Corral del rey); Day 4: Cordoba (Balcon de Cordoba); Day 5 – 7: Granada (Hotel Casa 1800) with an optional extension for a beach experience in Mallorca, (LA RESIDENCIA HOTEL). Starting at 1300 USD per person per day, airfare is not included. Every trip is tailored around individual interests and preferences. For more information, visit www.nayatraveler.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Eat Like a Local Mexico City Launches New Women’s Tour
In celebration of International Woman’s Day, Eat Like a Local Mexico City launches Badass Mexican Women Food Adventure, a new tour where travelers can eat around CDMX while learning the stories of six amazing Mexican women. From the infamous and greatly misunderstood Malitzin to the creative women collective who helped the migrants during their strenuous journey in search of a better life, this tour uses food to tell their stories.
While eating and walking around the lesser-known Colonia Escandón, learn about the Mexican women who shaped the city’s history, art, food, and culture. Freedom fighters, cooks, businesswomen, writers, art supporters, activist cooks, the first legal transgender in the country’s history, and indigenous lobbyists are some of the women highlighted throughout the tour. Learn the real stories from a woman’s perspective with this tribute to all these strong women. Eat Like a Local will donate a portion of the profits to fund education projects for women in the markets.
As a female-owned and operated company, Eat Like a Local Mexico City’s mission is to empower other women through mentorship and support and create job opportunities that allow women in the local community to take care of their children and explore economic opportunities. Accommodating up to six people, the Badass Mexican Women Food Adventure is offered on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 11:00 AM ($ 120 USD per person) and can address vegetarian dietary needs. For more information, visit www.eatlikealocal.com.mx or email email@example.com.
5. Naya Traveler Curates Women-Only Journey Through Morocco
A balance between East and West with ancient traditions and modern-day conveniences, Morocco boasts a spiritually uplifting culture grounded in gracious hospitality and compelling traditions. Naya Traveler’s gender-focused trip will unveil the beauty and culture of Morocco through the eyes and experiences of women, from local artisans to renowned academics. Journey across the country, starting in the medieval city of Fez, through the mountains across to the oasis of Skoura and the Berber villages of the High Atlas, before ending in the city legendary red city of Marrakesh. Explore the great cultural landmarks of Morocco, such as the medieval medina of Fez and its artisan neighborhoods, the natural beauty of the High Atlas and Desert Oases home to traditional Berber people, and the fusion of ancient and modern in Marrakesh.
To delve a little deeper, you’ll be led by a female host who will take you behind closed doors into grassroots women cooperatives, and crafts ateliers and host intimate private dinners with leading women academics and artists. Prepare lunch and eat with members of Amal Foundation, a non-profit organization enhancing the livelihoods of Moroccan women. Venture into the High Atlas Mountains to visit an all-girls school and meet teachers and students whose lives have been changed by education. Enjoy a traditional Moroccan pottery workshop in a female artist’s atelier in Fez.
Led by a celebrated female writer, learn about traditional Moroccan gastronomy, and master the art of preparing a traditional feast to later enjoy at leisure in a beautifully restored private riad in the heart of Fez. Accompanied by a local female artist, visit the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rabat, focusing on the female contribution to Morocco’s fine arts world. Take part in a private lecture and dinner hosted by a women’s rights expert to gain deeper insight into the role of women in Moroccan history, culture, and modern-day society. Meet with a traditional designer to create your own kaftan, and venture into the traditional souk to source your own fabrics and embellishments.
Following this, it’s back to her studio for a custom fitting. Outfits will be delivered to your home address. Starting at $800 USD per person per day. Rates are based on double occupancy, dependent on itinerary specifics. Airfare is not included. Every trip is tailored around individual interests and preferences. For more information, visit www.nayatraveler.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Ananda in The Himalayas Offers Dedicated Wellness Programs for Women
Nestled in a quiet corner of the historic palace on Ananda in The Himalayas’ 100-acre estate in the Himalayan foothills is a prayer room that was once home to Ma Anandamayi, an Indian saint and yoga guru. Swami Sivananda Saraswati described her as ‘the most perfect flower the Indian soil has produced’. With Ma’s temple overlooking the happenings at Ananda, the consciousness of this wellness retreat reverberates with shakti, the embodiment of feminine energy that heals all. Cocooned in the silent whispers of yin, the Himalayan retreat holds close to its heart, wellness programs specifically designed to address the ever-evolving stages of a woman’s mind and body.
With Ananda’s philosophy rooted in holistic healing and spiritual awakening, the retreat views aging (read growing wiser) as an organic turn of time, an intuitive process, and an emotional response to life. Certain conditions are responses to the external and internal environments and must be looked at differently. Mood swings, menopausal suffering, PCOS, early aging of the skin and joints, and anxious frustration, all sprout from the choices one makes through the unfolding years. Ananda has developed targeted wellness programs to address women as they move through life.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the top gynecological problems affecting 12-18 percent of women in the reproductive age groups of 18-35 (msn.com). PCOS is a complex endocrinal and metabolic disorder that affects the menstrual cycle, fertility, insulin production, circulatory system, and appearance. Ananda uses a traditional Ayurvedic process to balance the body from within, through a thorough investigation of past and present health patterns and family history, the physicians customize a treatment plan to restore balance in the disturbed glands. Though stronger to absorb and process pressures of all kinds, in the current pace of life a woman tends to succumb and show signs of early aging.
The emotional strain of childbirth, accompanied by active careers, relationships, and expectations to be-it-all have made the modern woman take the road of aging sooner than nature intended. The Renew Program using Ayurvedic, Oriental, and International therapies works on building skin health and unlocks youthful essence through cleansing and nourishment. The program also helps improve muscular-skeletal health and provides relief from muscle stiffness, rheumatism, and arthritis. The emotional healers at Ananda report women in the age group of 40-55 show exceptional receptivity and willingness to unravel traumas and stored negative life experiences to release the growing aches and pains, wrinkles, and dehydration in the tissues.
It’s ironic that one of life’s natural transitional phases has taken a monstrous form to be the primary reason for emotional stress in growing women. Menopause refers to the period of time when a woman’s hormone levels start to change. Ananda’s Rebalance Program applies traditional oriental therapies to address hormonal balance, specifically for menopause in women. This healing approach focuses on the blockage of energy flowing through the fourteen meridians. Intensive therapies are then used to balance its flow, relieve pain, improve energy flow, and vitalize systems intrinsically. Acupuncture, herbal medicine, cupping therapy, moxibustion, and therapeutic exercises with expert physiotherapists have proven to be extremely successful routes to alleviate the unpleasant experiences associated with menopause.
Women in Travel and Hospitality
1. Sarah Casewit, Director of Travel, Origin
Sarah Casewit grew up in Morocco and has spent most of her adult life living abroad in Argentina, South India, and now Spain on the peaceful island of Mallorca. As an avid explorer and writer, she pairs her love for travel with photography, and a healthy obsession with offbeat coffee shops and old bookstores – both of which count as must-finds on any trip she takes.
Exploring the unknown, learning about different cultures, and immersing herself in new places is Sarah’s ultimate education and was a prestigious introduction to working in travel. After living in Morocco and the U.S., her work in travel led her to live in all corners of the world including India, Syria, Argentina, and Spain. Making travel her career was only natural and she takes great joy in designing life-changing trips for people who are looking for a transformational experience. Sarah is the Director of Travel at Origin, a luxury travel planning company based in Palo Alto, California, with regional experts around the world creating completely individual, personalized trips. Origin’s mission is to deepen the traveler’s experience through boundless personalization and unique connections. Origin uses the knowledge of human travel experts and then superpowers their trip curation with machine learning – all in one app. Traveling to 40 countries, Sarah believes there are numerous ways to promote positive change when traveling. Her personal favorite is supporting local communities and small businesses. Wherever possible, she tries to use local boutique properties that share her values with regard to sustainability. Read more about Sarah and her deep passion for travel HERE.
2. Rocio Vazquez Landeta, Founder and Owner, Eat Like A Local Mexico City
The founder and mastermind behind Eat Like a Local Mexico City, Rocio Vazquez Landeta was born and raised in Mexico City. A world traveler with more than 23 countries and 65 cities under her belt, Rocio is a sustainable tourism researcher, an avid reader, a food expert, and an entrepreneur.
After fleeing a domestic violence situation that threatened her life in 2016, Rocio transformed her company into an all-women team where she could enable her employees to have the best wages in the industry along with health insurance benefits, fitness club memberships, and annual rewards. In December 2019, Rocio received certification from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and as a result, Eat Like a Local Mexico City complies with all the international sustainability standards. The company is committed to reducing single-use plastics and offsetting its carbon footprint through a reforestation program in Mexico City. Rocio provides English lessons for children, free tours for Mexican senior citizens, English lessons for stall owners in the markets, donations to improve the markets, a zero-hunger program where anyone who approaches a tour can have as much food as they want, a culinary cultural exchange program where children from the markets learn about other cultures and more. Eat Like a Local Mexico City is the only Mexican-founded food tour agency that actively promotes economic growth and creates opportunities for families within the traditional markets. www.eatlikealocal.com.mx
3. Sofia Mascotena, Co-Founder, Naya Traveler
Over the last decade, travel has shifted from must-see destinations to tailored, cultural experiences. Dive deeper into a destination by trading in those bucket lists and souvenirs for sharing a pot of tea with a Berber family in the Atlas Mountains or stamping your own sari pattern with a textile artist in Rajasthan or being guided through an ancient Tibetan monastery. At Naya Traveler, the founders have come to understand this need for authenticity in travel and build experiences around this central idea.
Sofia Mascotena grew up on a family estate in the Pampas of Argentina—a region governed by a balanced lifestyle, where her interest in sustainable living and responsible travel manifested itself from an early age. With a background in humanitarian and cultural studies, she was profoundly influenced by the positive impact that community exchange has on travel. Sofia values the responsibility that we have as individuals towards other cultures to keep them authentic and untarnished. Coupled with several years of working in tourism, Sofia’s commitment to this altruistic dimension of travel allows a Naya Traveler journey to go beyond the thrill of discovery, promoting intercultural understanding and sustainability of traditions.
4. Gina Lozada, Co-owner, Ignacia Guest House
Born and raised in Mexico City, Gina Lozada went to law school and practiced law for more than 10 years. She suddenly became aware of an entrepreneurial drive and intuition within her, so she trusted her gut, quit her job as a lawyer, and started a flower business that quickly became quite successful. Later, she partnered with some friends and opened a restaurant and then came up with the idea of transforming her home into a boutique bed and breakfast, Ignacia Guest House. Ignacia Guest House was once Gina’s family home for ten years, a 1913 mansion in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City. The namesake of this restored 1913 colonial house was the home’s beloved housekeeper, Ignacia.
Gina decided to convert her home into a boutique design hotel and name it in honor of the dedicated housekeeper who tirelessly took care of the Casona for 40 years. Opened in February of 2017 and newly renovated at the end of 2022, Gina with General Manager Magda Navarrete, oversees the daily operations of this beautiful property in one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods and loves welcoming guests into their “home-away-from-home”.