Often referred to as the adventure capital of Southeast Asia, Laos offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities given its lush mountain landscapes and scenic rivers. Our all-inclusive adventure vacations in Laos include waterfall treks, kayaking, and mountain biking through rural villages. Participants also take traditional cooking and weaving classes and visit nearby caves, temples, and markets. All guided activities, meals, accommodations in 4-star hotels, and transportation are included. Spaces are limited!Learn More
We offer all-inclusive, multi-day trekking trips in the Ladakh region of Northern India with hikes through scenic valleys, spectacular mountain passes, lush farmlands and traditional villages that include visits to local Buddhist monasteries and rural homestays. A 3-night stay at a yoga ashram is optional. This tour package also includes a guided visit to the Taj Mahal and Red Fort as well as a sightseeing tour of Leh. Internal flights, accommodations, local guides, and meals are included. Limited to 8 participants. ** Due to the current events in Kashmir, this holiday has been postponed until 2020**Learn More
Our one-of-a-kind arctic adventures in Norway's Lofoten Islands offer a wide variety of guided outdoor adventures like hiking, paddle boarding, and sea kayaking amid a breathtaking archipelago surround be imposing cliffs and sapphire-blue Arctic waters. Our adventure vacations are ideal for couples or a pair of friends travelling together, and include 4-star accommodations in scenic fishing villages, all professionally guided activities, transportation across the island, and traditional Norwegian meals. Limited to 8 people/4 couples.Learn More
Often referred to as the adventure capital of Southeast Asia, Laos offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities given its rich mountain topography. Our adventure and yoga retreats in Northern Laos combine daily yoga lessons with exciting adventures like kayaking, waterfall treks, and hiking to rural villages near the scenic riverside village of Nong Khiaw. We will also explore limestone caves, take a sunset cruise on the Mekong in a traditional wooden longboat, and visit local temples, museums, and markets on a guided city tour of Luang Prabang. Those eager to learn about the local customs will surely enjoy our silk weaving class and traditional cooking course. All guided activities, meals, private accommodations in 3-star hotels, and transportation are included. This 8-person retreat is the most fun and stress-free way to explore Laos!Learn More
Are you looking for a perfect holiday full of adventure but also plenty of time for relaxation and a bit of pampering? Our women-only alpine adventure and yoga retreats in the breathtaking Chamonix valley combine mountain adventures like hiking and beginner-level rock climbing with holistic activities like yoga and meditation. Our Spring retreats are all-inclusive, so from the moment you arrive you don't need to worry about a thing. Run by an all-female team, our alpine retreats include daily yoga lessons, guided outdoor activities, 4-star accommodations in a luxury chalet with an outdoor terrace and hot tub, a spa day with a complimentary massage, and gourmet meals prepared by our own chefs. Our retreats are the most hassle-free and affordable way to enjoy an amazing alpine adventure and recharge your batteries! Limited to 8 participants.Learn More
Witness Autumn on steroids in one of our women-only alpine retreats in the heart of the San Juan Rocky Mountains. Telluride, one of Colorado's most iconic mountain resorts, offers stunning views of autumnal aspen groves that will take your breath away. Activities include hiking, an introductory rock climbing course, paddle boarding on a beautiful alpine lake, and a fly fishing course. Last but not least, for that element of relaxation, we will include homemade gourmet meals, yoga classes, and a morning at the spa.Learn More
November 24-December 4, 2019 (11 days/10 nights). Price per couple based on shared, double room occupancy. Flights to Laos not included. Visit our All Inclusive Adventure Vacations page for trip details. Exclusions apply. A non-refundable 500 USD deposit* is required for booking and the remaining balance is due 60 days before arrival. Participants can also pay in full at time of booking. Fly in/out of Luang, Prabang, Laos.
Postponed until August/September, 2020 (13 days/12 nights). Price per person based on shared, double room occupancy. Flights to Delhi not included. 175 USD for single room upgrade (not possible in homestays). Visit our All Inclusive Adventure Vacations page for a detailed trip description. Exclusions apply. Fly in/out of Delhi, India.
Postponed until August/September, 2020 (16 days/15 nights). Price per person based on shared, double room occupancy. Flights to Delhi not included. 175 USD for single room upgrade (not possible in homestays). Visit our All Inclusive Adventure Vacations page for a detailed trip description. Exclusions apply. Fly in/out of Delhi, India.
June 15-22, 2019 (8 days/7 nights). Maximum 8 people or 4 couples. Price: 2,200 USD pp based on shared double rooms. Flights to Norway not included.
March 17-27, 2019 (11 days/10 nights). Price per person based on single occupancy double rooms. Flights to Laos not included. Visit our All Inclusive Adventure and Yoga Retreat page for a detailed trip description. Exclusions apply. A non-refundable 500 USD deposit* is required for booking and the remaining balance is due 60 days before arrival. Participants can also pay in full at time of booking. Fly in/out of Luang, Prabang, Laos.
May 18-25, 2019 (8 days/7 nights). Price per person based on shared, double room occupancy. Flights to Geneva are not included. 350 USD extra for single room upgrade. Exclusions apply. Visit https://www.urquadventures.com/all-inclusive-adventure-yoga-retreats/all-inclusive-alpine-yoga-retreats-in-chamonix-france for trip details. Early bird discount: Book by December 1st, 2018 and get 150 USD off. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with promo code CHX2019 before booking. Fly in/out of Geneva, Switzerland.
May 25-June 1, 2019 (8 days/7 nights). Price per person based on shared, double room occupancy. Flights to Geneva are not included. 350 USD extra for single room upgrade. Exclusions apply. Visit our All Inclusive Adventure and Yoga Retreat page for a detailed trip description. Early bird discount: Book by December 1st, 2018 and get 150 USD off. Email us at email@example.com with promo code CHX2019 before booking. Fly in/out of Geneva, Switzerland.
September 21-28, 2019 (8 days/7 nights). Price per person based on shared, double room occupancy. Flights to Telluride/Montrose not included. 300 USD extra for single room upgrade. Visit our All Inclusive Adventure and Yoga Retreat page for a detailed trip description. Exclusions apply. Fly in/out of Montrose or Telluride, CO (USA).
A 500 USD deposit is required to secure your spot in any of our retreats or all-inclusive adventure vacations. The balance is due 60 days before arrival. Failure to pay the trip balance will result in a non-refundable cancellation. If for some reason you need to cancel your trip and there is a waiting list, you will receive your full deposit back minus banking/Paypal costs.
'I really haven't taken the time to publicly thank my friend Julie for such a spectacular time in Chamonix last month. I came back a changed person, and to just think of the wonderful time I had with Raisa, Jennifer, Karen, and everyone that made the trip special (Zoe, Emma, Johanna, Ulrika, Natasha), and all that each of you taught me in a special way, puts a smile on my face. On July 1st I start a journey that seems scarier than the highest rock to climb, but somehow the things I learned while doing one of the URQU retreats Julie set up, help me feel readier than ever.'Gabriella Perotti: President, Allegria Foods, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Julie is a great travel planner and advisor! Last month we asked her (rather last minute!) for an itinerary of the Tour du Mont Blanc and literally within a few hours she sent us our very tailor-made travel plan together with ample amounts of useful detailed information! As an active traveller myself, I totally appreciate her very experienced and reliable travel suggestions and advice.Sahar Rad: Traveller, London, England
In this era of cyberspace and international air travel, the opportunities for adventure are limitless and can be overwhelming. When it comes to making the most of your precious vacation time, having an experienced, multi-lingual travel planner is invaluable. And I believe that there is no one more adept at creating an unforgettable itinerary than Julie Lotharius! When, last year, we decided to take my dream trip to the Galapagos Islands, Julie put together an itinerary that incorporated all that I had on my bucket list... hiking, scuba diving, and of course, wildlife viewing. With her fluent Spanish, she was able to find the best hotels, restaurants and guides for us, and made sure that we got off 'the beaten path' to some uninhabited islands where few had traveled before us. This allowed for incredible up close viewing of nesting Albatross and Blue-footed Boobies performing their mating rituals - a truly unique and unforgettable experience! But those were just some of the encounters... schooling Hammerhead Sharks, Giant Land Tortoises, marine iguanas, and Darwin's Finches are all part of my memory of this incredible trip. Without Julie's expertise, I would have been relegated to using an average travel agency, paying for an over-priced service, and staying on the tourist's trail. I cannot endorse Julie's services enough -- from the Serengeti to the Galapagos, from the European Alps to New Zealand's Southern Alps... Julie is your girl for planning the trip of a life-time!!James Brooks: Traveller, Nederland, CO
I've been on two 10 day trips planned by Julie. Both times she managed to exceed my expectations, and I had a great time both in Europe and USA. Everything was on track and to the point! She is a skilled planner, and a trustworthy travelpartner. She is definatly able to make the best of every day as you travel, and plans an efficient, yet very managable intinirary. There is always a plan B ready to launch, if anything comes up unexpected. This travel agency will help you get the most out of your holiday, and you can trust them to do their very best in making your journey comfortable and stressfree!Mariann Johansen: Traveller, Alesund, Norway
I have been using Julie Lotharius, new consulting service for European adventures, very happy with the work she has done. If you need help planning something, contact her. Her fees are well worth it. Generally, I know what I am doing, but she gave me that 10% edge that made it better! And, she is local!Ryan Roberts: Traveller, Nederland, CO
Reviews from our Chamonix retreats: 'Thanks for the amazing week, absolutely fantastic!!' 'Thanks again for the wonderful retreat and good luck with the future ones!' 'The all-women team was wonderful - accomplished, friendly, and supportive.' 'Extremely well-organised.' 'Spared no expense in lining up the finest of everything, from chef Emma L, guide Emma J, Stephanie, a world-class climber, wonderful Natasha, fabulous lunches at exquisite places, dinner at the best fondue restaurant in town - it was clear that you put your heart and soul into this retreat!!' 'The food was absolutely excellent.' 'Good mix of activities, met and exceeded expectations as described in brochure.' 'Had a great time..loved it.' 'Thanks for a fabulous weekend, it was such a lovely break and a beautiful setting.' 'Thank you for an amazing and refreshing experience.' 'A very nice long weekend in a wonderful location and with wonderful ladies.'Anonymous reviews, Chamonix retreats
I grew up spending my weekends on a remote beach in the Pacific coast of Ecuador. The sea was rough, but we still ventured out in boogie-boards and got tumbled in the waves onto the rugged, sandy shore. When I moved to the Swiss Alps in 2009, I grew to love and respect the mountains, because there was not much else to do in Switzerland on the weekends but hike, climb, and ski. So I learned to become a mountain woman and pushed myself to my uttermost limits of fear and endurance. I am glad I endeavoured in all those mountain sports and while I still love hiking, and will ski with my boyfriend every now and then, my heart belongs to the ocean. To me, going to the beach is like going home. So this past November, on a month-long road trip to California, I split my time between hiking in Death Valley, Sequoia, and Yosemite National Parks, and driving along and visiting the beautiful California Coast. After almost 2 decades of 'California Dreaming', I finally got to drive on the Pacific Coast Highway and walk along the striking cliffs and expansive beaches of this unique, rugged coastline. These are the highlights.Read More
Are you a novice hiker and want a simple guide of what to do and not to do in the wilderness? Or are you a city person who wants to explore more time in nature but is a little hesitant about how to hike safely? This guide contains some advice based on my personal experience after 8 years of hiking 1000's of miles in mountains, deserts, forests, and jungles, in several continents, sometimes on my own. A lot of it focuses on safety and avoiding getting injured or lost. The better prepared you are the more you will enjoy your hiking adventure. Soon hiking will become second nature, and you will be eager to explore not only local trails but go on an exciting hiking holiday abroad!Read More
From the world's grandest trees to the country's largest granite rock faces, combining Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks into a 4 day/5 night itinerary allows you to visit the best spots in both parks and also do some epic hikes for awe-inspiring vistas of the Sierra Nevada mountains. I did both in early November, and timed it so I was there mid-week, thus avoiding the crowds while still enjoying the mild weather characteristic of autumn in Southern California. I finished my trip off with a few days on the coast around Carmel and Big Sur.Read More
I visited Death Valley National Park in early November of this year and was blown away by the geologic wonders this park has to offer. Since I was combining this with visits to other California National Parks, I only had two full days to explore the park. Being an avid hiker, I wanted to explore the park as much on foot as I did by car. Here is a two-day itinerary of things to see and do in Death Valley if you only have a limited amount of time. It may be the country's hottest, driest place but it is one of the most beautiful and unique.Read More
Travelling alone, especially as a woman, can be very scary, but it's an experience everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. It gets easier the more times you do it, and soon, it becomes a bit of an addiction. That's why you seldom meet people who are one-off solo travellers. Today on Halloween 2018, while driving from California from Colorado on my second, 1-month long solo adventure trip, I reminisced about my first ever solo travel adventure 17 years ago.Read More
The Tour du Mont Blanc is a European classic. A 170 km circuit that traverses the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps over the course of 7-12 days, it can be done without heavy packs thanks to a well-established system of alpine huts placed within feasible hiking distances. The TMB, as it is often called, attracts a wide variety of hikers, from young to seasoned. The high, alpine passes can be steep and unrelenting, but the views of striking granite peaks, snow-capped mountains and majestic glaciers make this a bucket-list hike for all outdoor and mountain lovers alike.Read More
Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is only 1 hour from our home in Nederland, so it's like our neighbourhood playground. We prefer to go there in late September when most of the summer crowds are gone. Autumn, however, is still a popular time of year to visit RMNP as this is peak elk mating season, with dozens of herds roaming around the park. Bulls in rut will for bugle throughout the day and night while cows feed in the pastures. Seeing these majestic animals is very special, but we also enjoy the park for its wide variety of short, easy-to-difficult hikes that take you to scenic alpine lakes and waterfalls and offer amazing vistas of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.Read More
This past September, James and I went on a 3-day backpacking adventure in the Snowy Range of Wyoming. I was blown away by the scenery and the dozens of glacial tarns and alpine lakes we encountered, not to mention the striking white quartzite mountains lining what was once a grand glacial valley. We came across very few hikers along the way, which is always a plus. And on our summit day of Medicine Bow Peak, we had perfect weather. I definately recommend this hiking destination for anyone looking for scenic, isolated, and mellow trails and eager to bag a relatively easy and beautiful peak.Read More
Recently my partner and I did a 2-day backpacking trip in the Colorado High Country known as The High Lonesome Loop. This hike climbs over Devil's Thumb Pass in the Indian Peak's Wilderness and takes you across the Continental Divide, before bringing you to one of the most beautiful alpine lakes I've ever seen, King Lake. We camped at 11,000 feet under a meteor shower with a bear rustling around our campsite. It all sounds wonderful but walking 17 miles and climbing over 2500 feet with a heavy pack in the heat of summer after not having backpacked for over a year was a painful experience. These trips are challenging but the reward was the best vistas of the Colorado Rockies, and that makes all the pain worth it.Read More
In February/March 2018, I decided to take a 6-week solo trip to Southeast Asia, visiting Laos, Cambodia, and Northern Thailand in search of some off-the-beaten-path adventure. Towards the tail end of this already fabulous trip, I decided to spend a week hiking through rural villages outside Mae Sariang in the north of Thailand, something that had been recommended by local expats and adventure travellers in several travel forums. The first day of our trekking adventure, my local guide invited me to his cousin's wedding, and not knowing what I was getting into, I eagerly agreed. Let's just say I will never forget this particular wedding - definately one of the more enriching cultural experiences I've ever had.Read More
In September 2017, my friend Mariann and I decided to spend a week in New Mexico. I met Mariann on a climbing trip to Kilimanjaro in 2013, and we stayed friends ever since. She was also the first person to sign up to our kick-off alpine retreat in Chamonix, France back in 2015. I invited Mariann to Colorado two years later and offered to organize a road trip to New Mexico, to which I had never been. Being avid outdoors women, we decided to go on some outdoor adventures like rafting the Rio Grande and climbing New Mexico's highest mountain in addition to exploring the local culture. New Mexico has a rich Spanish and indigenous heritage, and the food is fantastic. Definately a must-see destination in the USA!Read More
Have you ever wondered what it's like to walk across an entire country and live for 34 days with nothing but a backpack, or to sleep 34 nights in a different bed, always in a different city? The Camino de Santiago is a famous pilgrimage that takes you 800 km (500 miles) across Spain, from the Pyrenees to the ancient city of Santiago, where the remains of Saint James the Greater are thought to be buried. I carried my dad's ashes on this wonderful but painful journey, one I will never forget. I highly recommend this journey to anyone who enjoys to walk, loves culture, and is looking for a life-changing experience. But unless you're an athlete or plan to take a bus/train to bypass sections of it, expect to feel some pain, as you should, in a real pilgrimage.Read More
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Watch a 5-minute video about our first-ever, all-women URQU Alpine Retreat in Chamonix, France, which took place May 9-16, 2015. This 7-day retreat was full of activities like hiking, rock climbing, and yoga, not to mention a day at the Le Bachal spa, plenty of gourmet dinners, and an awesome group of women. Enjoy!