Canadian Travel Bucket List for Nature Lovers
Everyone’s got a travel bucket list. This week we look at some of the highlights in Canada, maybe not somewhere you’d considered but it’s certainly got a lot going for it.
What comes to mind when you think of Canada? Cold winters? Moose? Hockey? Or maybe super polite people that say “eh” at the end of every sentence? Well I’m here to tell you that Canada is full of travel bucket list worthy adventures!
Whatever your first thoughts of Canada may be, what most people can agree on is that Canada is a nature lover’s dream. Icy blue lakes, towering mountains, endless forests, three oceans, and tons of wildlife. Canada has a lot going for it, and with 2017 being the nation’s 150th birthday, the country is throwing travellers a bunch of perks including free access to the national parks for the year.
On top of it being a huge celebration year for the country, Canada has also been named the top country to travel to in 2017 by Lonely Planet. If this has you convinced to visit (and it should!) then here are five travel bucket list worthy activities for nature lovers headed to the great white north.
- Get Close to Wild Polar Bears
One of the most iconic Canadian activities is to go see the polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba. Churchill is nicknamed the polar bear capital of the world, and animal enthusiasts from around the globe make their way out to the remote city and surrounding area for the polar bear experience of a lifetime. The bears can be seen year round, however best viewing times are between October and November.
Interested? Eco companion offers an Arctic photography and polar bear tour. With a maximum group number of 8, it promises to be an incredible experience. Learn more about this tour here.
- Kayak Among the Icebergs
Iceberg viewing is famous in Newfoundland and Labrador. They can be seen year round, but are especially abundant during the months of May and June. The icebergs can be watched from land but for a more adventurous experience, join a boat tour or hop in a kayak to get even closer. The best spots to see them are at St. John’s and Twillingate.
- Hunt the Northern Lights
The Northern lights are most regularly associated with Nordic Europe, but they can be seen frequently in Canada as well. In fact, you can see them from almost every province and territory at some point; if you get lucky. Of course the best places for viewing are the far north, including: Yellowknife (North West Territories), Fort McMurray (Alberta), Iqaluit (Nunavut), Whitehorse (Yukon), and Battle Harbour (Newfoundland). The Northern lights in Canada are best seen from September- April.
- Experience the Outdoors in Banff
You know the iconic Canadian photo of a bright blue lake with mountains in the background and surround by tall pine forests? That is Banff, Alberta and an absolute must visit for anyone coming to Canada. The national park is open year round and perfect for any activity from snowshoeing and skiing in the winter to canoeing and hiking in the summer. Visitors can camp and one of the many campsites or spend the nights in a hotel, or even a hostel, in the town. It’s one of the most beautiful natural places in the country. Remember: National park passes are free in 2017!
- Whale Watching
Whale watching is another popular Canadian activity that can be enjoyed in multiple places around the country. It’s also on a lot of travel bucket lists. The coastal areas such as Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and British Colombia are obvious choices. Quebec is another popular spot; the St. Lawrence is prime feeding ground for a variety of whale species including humpback and blue whales. But perhaps one of the most unique whale watching places is in the Arctic waters of Cunningham Inlet where every year as many as 2000 beluga whales meet during the month of July.
Canada is an incredible country and I hope this maybe makes you reconsider your travel bucket list. With an endless amount of incredible nature, scenery and friendly people. If you can make it in 2017, that’s great. But if not, don’t worry; the beautiful parks, hikes, and wildlife will still be waiting for you whenever the time is right.
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