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Canada Wildlife & Vancouver Island

The Canadian Rockies are incredible: rugged peaks, untouched fir forests and radiant glaciers interspersed with valleys rich with wildlife, from Black Bears, to deer, moose and coyotes. This tour visits the unmissable sights of the Rockies and Lake Louise, but also delves deeper, venturing far off the beaten track. Bella Coola and Tweedsmuir are rarely visited by tourists and offer a true wilderness experience. You’ll enjoy two dedicated boat trips from Vancouver Island to spot bear and whales in their natural habitat. This trip is a rare blend of the highlights and the lesser visited gems, showcasing Canada's spectacular wilderness and the wildlife which lives here.

  • Duration: 15 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Supplier Tour ID: PWV/208613
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Calgary, Canada
  • Finishes: Vancouver, Canada
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Calgary
  • Banff National Park
  • Icefields Parkway
  • Jasper National Park
  • Mount Robson
  • Tweedsmuir Provincial Park
  • Bella Coola
  • Inside Passage
  • Port Hardy
  • Tofino
  • Ucluelet
  • Victoria
  • Vancouver



Day 1: Calgary

Welcome to Calgary, a cosmopolitan Alberta city. Calgary has historically been known for its Wild West roots and is oozing with the Western culture which earned it the nickname 'Cowtown'. This is still evident in the rodeo and the Calgary Stampede, but it has also become a dynamic and vibrant city of skyscrapers at the centre of Canada's oil industry. Wander around the city ahead of your welcome meeting at 18:00 hrs in the hotel lobby, where you'll meet your tour leader and fellow travelling companions.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally


Day 2: Banff National Park

Banff National Park is one of the highlights of any visit to Western Canada, with its magnificent mountains, lakes and forests. It's Canada's first national park and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Banff town can easily be explored on foot and with plenty of optional activities there's more than enough to fill your time. Check out the iconic Banff Springs Hotel where tourism in the Canadian Rockies first began, visit some of the many souvenir shops in town or take a short trail to the tumbling Bow Falls. You could also walk along Tunnel Mountain trail for a view of Banff and the Bow Valley. Why not take the gondola up to Sulphur Mountain for rewarding panoramic views of the Rockies? Or simply relax in the heated, natural pools of the Banff Hot Springs.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

Optional Activities:

  • Aerial gondola/tramway CAD$49-64
  • Sulphur Mountain hot springs CA$9


Day 3: Banff National Park

It's time to see more of the magnificent mountains, lakes and forests that Banff is so famous for. Drive to Moraine Lake located in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, the highest of which is Deltaform Mountain (3,424m). Next, take a walk on one of the many trails at nearby Lake Louise. A favourite with many visitors is the hike up to the Plain of Six Glaciers, offering incredible views of the valley. Both lakes are famous for their striking blue glacial colour, caused by rock flour carried into the lakes by meltwater from surrounding glaciers. This is picture-perfect scenery at its very best!

Meals Included: Meals paid locally


Day 4: Icefields Parkway - Jasper National Park

Brace yourself, as this morning you hit one of the most famous and beautiful drives in the world, the Icefields Parkway. This spectacular road traverses the Rockies, running parallel to the Continental Divide. Mountain passes, glaciers and high peaks are some of the many scenic highlights and there are opportunities to see elk, caribou, bears, Bighorn Sheep and goats, which often graze on the vegetation found at the roadside. You'll stop at all of the ‘must see’ sights, including Bow Summit and Bow Lake, Peyto Lake and Crowfoot Glacier. There's also the option for a guided glacier walk along the way. Your overnight location will be approximately forty minutes out of town.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

Optional Activities:

  • Guided glacier walk CA$100 (CA$60 for under 17s)


Day 5: Jasper National Park

Jasper is much quieter and less developed than Banff, which means it is much easier to escape the crowds and spend the day getting to know Jasper National Park and its surroundings. One option is to take the SkyTram and walk to the summit, which provides fantastic views over the Canadian Rockies. Alternatively, there are various hikes at Mount Edith Cavell including a short hike in the alpine meadows with chances to see caribou. At the top, you'll enjoy spectacular views of Angel Glacier, a beautiful hanging glacier in the shape of angel wings. An included visit to Miette Hot Springs will relax your muscles after a day of exploring.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

Optional Activities:

  • SkyTram cable car CA$50
  • Float trip on the Athabasca River CA$70


Day 6: Mount Robson - Wells Gray Provincial Park

This morning take in the majestic views of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Rockies. You will continue your travels to Clearwater, the gateway to Wells Gray Provincial Park where you will explore the parks bewitching waterfalls.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally


Day 7-8: Tweedsmuir Provincial Park

Drive through authentic Canadian wilderness as you head off the beaten track towards Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. The park was named after the 15th Governor General of Canada, Baron Tweedsmuir, who travelled extensively throughout the area by float plane and horseback. The park has varied landscapes on offer, and you can expect to come face to face with rugged mountains, deep lush valleys and spectacular ocean fjords. Your overnight location for the next two nights is close to the shores of Anahim Lake, a popular lake for fly fishing that supports an eclectic mix of wildlife. There's an optional canoeing excursion on the lake which we recommend followed with a relaxing evening unwinding by the fireplace! Please note, this area has very basic facilities but is extremely beautiful and off the tourist trail. Please note: due to the remote nature of this property, some cabins will be more basic than others, often with shared bathroom facilities with a capacity of two to four people maximum. On rare occasions, you may have to use the bathrooms in the main lodge.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

Optional Activities:

  • Canoeing Anahim Lake CA$12 per hour


Day 9: Tweedsmuir Provincial Park - Bella Coola

Tweedsmuir Provincial Park is completely off the radar for most tour groups, despite being named as British Columbia's most beautiful park. Spend time in the southern area of the park and enjoy a hiking trail through an area of thick forest. A healthy population of Grizzly and Black Bears exist throughout the park, as well as elk, deer, moose and coyotes; it is possible to see any of these whilst visiting Tweedsmuir. Wildlife aside, the colours of the mountains combined with the flora and the wilderness feel will ensure that Tweedsmuir is a park to remember. After some time spent hiking, you'll drive over 'the Hill' with superb views all the way to Bella Coola.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally


Day 10: Bella Coola

Bella Coola is located at the point where the Bella Coola River joins with the saltwater of the Pacific Ocean. Here, amongst the lush valley bottoms and snow-capped peaks, some of the largest Grizzly Bears in the world reside - this little community is gaining a reputation as one of the finest places to spot them in British Columbia. The best time of year to view Grizzly Bears is late August and September, when they descend from the mountains to catch salmon in the rivers and eat berries. In season, it's possible to join an optional excursion in search of Grizzly Bears. Outside of bear season, there's a selection of excellent hikes on offer and plenty of optional activities, such as fishing and a scenic float excursion.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

Optional Activities:

  • Grizzly bear watching (mid Aug - end Sept) CA$195
  • Wildlife rafting tour CA$100


Day 11: Inside Passage - Port Hardy

An absolute delight for wildlife lovers, the Inside Passage offers one of the most amazing ferry crossings in North America, with everything from frozen fjords to forest-covered hillsides flanking your route. The journey is a 10-hour direct ferry journey and the scenery is simply spectacular: towering, forest-clad peaks surround the deep fjords and those with a keen eye can often spot Bald Eagles and bear. The Inside Passage also supports one of the world's richest marine environments and it may be possible to see Gray, Orca, Pacific White Sided and occasionally Humpback Whales. The remoteness of the Inside Passage is its most stunning feature; this area is largely inaccessible by road and the tiny communities that spread along it, rely on boats for transportation. You’ll spend tonight in Vancouver Island's most northerly town, Port Hardy.NB: One of the ferries is more basic, without a restaurant or lounge area, but offers an excellent opportunity to spot wildlife.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally


Day 12: Tofino - Ucluelet

Drive from the northern side of Vancouver Island to Tofino on the western side through some beautiful scenic areas. Make a stop at Cathedral Grove, where there are many trails which meander through the Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Grand Fir and Western Red Cedar trees. Enjoy the scenery and breathe in that fresh island air! You'll stay in Ucluelet for the next two nights.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally


Day 13: Tofino - Ucluelet

The west coast of Vancouver Island is well-known for its whale and bear sightings, so you’ll board a boat trip which gives you a unique chance to get up close with the iconic Black Bear. You’ll be guided by an experienced on-board specialist. You may even be lucky enough to spot whales on your trip. The afternoon is free for you to enjoy as you wish, with kayaking, hiking or perhaps even a whale watching boat trip.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

Optional Activities:

  • Zodiac whale watching adventure CA$130 for half day
  • Sea kayaking CA$130 for half day


Day 14: Victoria

Travel to Victoria, Vancouver Island's main city and the capital of British Columbia. It's a remarkable mix of English Edwardian, First Nations and even some unique Chinese style buildings, and was home to the first Chinatown in Canada. Victoria is well-known for being the ultimate place to spot Orca, so we’ve included a Zodiac boat tour to search out these magnificent mammals in their natural environment. In the late afternoon, enjoy a brief tour of the city's highlights with free time for you to explore afterwards.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally


Day 15: Victoria - Vancouver

In the morning, you’ll board a ferry across the Salish Sea, admiring the small islands and magnificent panorama of Vancouver City as it comes into view. This cosmopolitan and diverse metropolis is a real contrast to the rest of British Columbia, but always proves to be a highlight. Enjoy a scenic drive through Stanley Park, a 400-hectare green wonderland with authentic totem poles erected in the 1920s; and stop by Prospect Point, a scenic lookout where you can gaze out at spectacular views of Lions Gate Bridge, North Vancouver and West Vancouver.This tour ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 17:00 hrs. We can book you post-tour accommodation at our gateway hotel if required. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

  • Services of a professional tour leader
  • All transportation by private vehicle, ferry and zodiac boat
  • Wi-Fi available in some hotels
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Hotel: 14
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Tour Highlights:
  • Orca viewing Zodiac tour around Victoria
  • Bear viewing Zodiac tour in Tofino
  • Unforgettable Inside Passage ferry journey spotting whales and birdlife
  • Relax in Miette Hot Springs
  • Visit remote Tweedsmuir Provincial Park and Bella Coola Valley
  • Explore Jasper and Banff national parks
  • Drive along the stunning Icefields Parkway, one of the 'best drives in the world'
  • See Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies
  • Endless wildlife viewing opportunities
  • Many walks and hikes amongst stunning scenery