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Top Trip Memories

  • Taking a helicopter ride to beautiful Vancouver Island.
  • Take a boat tour to see the spectacular Niagara Falls.
  • Visit the beautiful Banff National Park to see wildlife and breathtaking scenery.
  • Skiing in Whistler.
  • During the winter, you can ice skate in the largest naturally frozen skating rink in the world, The Rideau Canal in Ottawa.
  • Sampling the best seafood in North America, including oysters, salmon, Pacific cod, and hake, at one of Vancouver’s many seafood restaurants.
  • Seeing the Victoria Symphony play Holst’s “The Planets” against the background of the flowers and natural splendor of Butchart Gardens.
  • Visiting the Anne of Green Gables museum on Prince Edward Island
  • Whale watching in the maritimes
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Tour Tips

  • Canada is quite similar to the United States in terms of most cultural protocols, which includes tipping, shopping, and dining.
  • French is predominantly spoken in Quebec. If you head to Montreal or elsewhere in the province, most people speak both English and French, but be aware that French may be preferred!
  • Do not underestimate the Canadian winter – plan your packing list accordingly!
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Canada Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.7 out of 5

100%

recommend

55 Reviews

  • Excellent 48
  • Great 16
  • Average 1
  • Disappointing 0
  • Terrible 0

Rating Details

  • Value
    4.7
  • Guide
    4.7
  • Activities
    4.7
  • Lodging
    4.7
  • Transportation
    4.7
  • Meals
    4.7

Tour Reviews

5.0
February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
A brilliant trip, with chance to see huge amounts of the stunning British Columbia Landscapes and lots of wildlife. We were very lucky with the weather, a great group, a top tour leader and wildlife that wanted to show off all of the time.
So many to choose from. A humpback whale breaching on the way back from seeing 18 bears racing through the emerald green waters of the Orford river catching salmon, to a grey whale who came within 5 metres of the zodiac (too close for some :-) or the Black Bears turning over rocks on the shoreline and a cub up the tree, or the first pod of Orcas, or the Deer swimming between Islands in fairly rough seas, or the fish and chips at Dicks fish and chips in Campbell river, or the Sea Otters, or the Salmon BBQ on the beach, with whales just off the coast, or the laughs with the group, or the rapids and whirlpools in the Bute Inlet.... or many many more

Top Class. Mac was chilled out, good fun and found the right balance on food for the group.. Granted, it’s a limited number I’ve experienced, but he’s presently the best Salmon Barbeque Chef in Canada. He was also on the ball in organising extra trips and experiences, and ensuring you could fit as much in as you wanted to do.

There is lots packed in at times, BUT there’s also a fair amount of free time. I was there for the wildlife, so managed to get out on 2 extra whale watching trips in Tofino, 1 long trip in Campbell River and even 1 in Victoria (although this was much more commercial and touristy than Tofino or Campbell River). Be decisive though, especially in Tofino. The weather changes it’s mind more often than you could imagine, if there’s a nice gap in the weather get out and do something - anything, you will have plenty of options, be it Whale Watching, Surfing, Kayaking, Sea Plane Flight, Hot Springs or anything else.
In Campbell river the extra Whale Watching Tour is worth doing - it was the first time we saw Orcas, and we got to see lots of the different currents and inlets.
Victoria is a lovely place, the nicest city - well worth getting up early to maximise time there.
I went to take photographs, and a few tips in that space 1) The bears at Orford River can be a good way away. If you’re taking photos, you’re likely to need for some shots at least 600mm reach (I took 300mm with 2* extender). Although, we also had plenty of opportunities to photograph with a 70-200mm. When we went, the light was very bright, so ensure you take lens hoods and any filters you want. For those not photographing, good binoculars are a must. For those taking camera gear a good dry bag (at least 30 litres) is very useful for out on the zodiacs, as are a couple of towels.
We had a group of 8, which was a very nice number for the bus. It allowed space for bags and to spread out a bit. With more people in, it could have got a bit tight.
Hotels in Vancouver, Nanaimo, and Tofino are functional, but all had dark rooms, good beds and powerful showers - so suited my needs perfectly. Painters Lodge / April Point are more luxurious and very nice.

Book the trip, it’s amazing. So much to see, so much wildlife, so much first nations history and influence - just another great exodus trip.

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Whales & Bears of British Colombia

Whales & Bears of British Columbia (2017)

5.0
February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
What an absolutely fantastic wildlife experience. Can you imagine how wonderful it is to witness, Gray Whales, Humpback Whales, diving and blowing and Orca (Killer) Whales. To watch a pod of Orcas breaching, a acrobatic performance which would win a Gold medal in any ones games.To stand and watch wild bears feasting on huge Salmon, oblivious to us viewing. (Well, most of the time!!). This is a wildlife and photographic trip not to be missed. You can add, sightings of Bald Eagles, the list is almost endless.
For me, watching the pod of Orcas performing, Tail slapping the water, followed by a giant leaps out of the water. Closely followed by the majestic performance of the Humpback Whales, Blowing, Diving, followed by the famous Tail lift as it submerges, only to rise again. Tremendous photo opportunities. These are things that you don't forget.

Our group leader "Mac". Mac was also our driver. Felt very safe during the sometimes long drives. A good organiser and full of information. Nothing was too much trouble for him. A great cook, we had several Bar-B. Q's and he delivered good cuisine in great settings.

September is at the end of summer, so it can be quite cold, wet and foggy. So be prepared for the elements. "Dress" in layers, with a waterproof handy.

If taking pictures with a "phone" is your thing, fine. But you have an opportunity to get great pictures, a good camera with a tele- zoom will deliver fantastic memories. Also, be patient, the wildlife are there, Yes you have to be lucky, it is not guaranteed, but you won't be disappointed.

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Canadian Family Discovery

Canadian Family Discovery

5.0
January 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
The holiday was brilliant! I wanted to introduce my 8 year old daughter to the outdoors, and our 10 days were filled with adventure - swimming, canoeing, white-water rafting, horse riding, and hiking, and of course camping.
Swimming at Eleanor Lake park was a personal favourite - lake swimming in a beautiful setting providing an oasis of calm in a busy schedule.
My daughter was thrilled with the animal life - a bear walking through the campsite, and a raccoon raid on our snack table.
Oh, and Lake Louise is beautiful!

Laurent was amazing, working from early until late with cooking, driving, and organising the activities - all with good humour!

The Rockies are colder than you might expect. While it was 32 °C in the day in Vancouver, it was only 5 °C at night while camping. Take an inflatable mat for sleeping, as the ones provided are thin, and may deflate. Check age limits for activities before you go.
If you are from the UK, allow a couple of days in Vancouver before joining the tour to explore this lovely city, and get over jetlag. Calgary is less touristy, but probably worth a night to sort luggage and enjoy some luxury after camping.

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The trip was well organized and interesting.

Anchorage to Mexico City

5.0
January 2017
Intrepid
Recommend: Yes
I would recommend this to other travelers who would like to have a different experience from the normal tour as we saw and did many things that were off the beaten track.

Trip of a Lifetime!

Blackfish Waters Orca Kayak Tour

5.0
December 2016
ROW Sea Kayak Adventures
Recommend: Yes
Absolutely loved this trip with ROW! It was my first time sea kayaking and the guides were very helpful with making me feel comfortable throughout the trip. The areas we visited were very beautiful and we also experienced such unique wildlife encounters! I have a new love for that area and a passion for the Orca's & Humpback whales. Can't wait to go again next year!
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Top Tour Operators and Travel Companies


Classic Itineraries

Highlights of Western Canada

Western Canada showcases the incredible Rocky Mountain Range as well as the stunning nature of British Columbia and Banff National Park. The anchor city is typically Vancouver, which is a very popular spot for foodies, as well as television enthusiasts - multiple shows are shot here and recognizable landmarks are around every turn!

Day 1, Vancouver: Gastown, Vancouver Island, Pacific Rim National Park

Day 2, Victoria: Butchart Gardens, take a guided walking tour.

Day 3-5, Whistler: Blackcomb Mountain lodge, mountain biking, explore popular Whistler Village

Day 6-8, Banff National Park: Gondola rides, peaceful nature, and beautiful scenery

Day 9-10, Jasper: Lake Louise, Columbia Icefield, hike around the Rocky Mountains, Maligne Canyon, take a ride on the Jasper SkyTram to see Mount Robson, the highest peak in Canada.

Trips that follow this itinerary:

Whales & Bears of British Columbia with Exodus - 10 Days, value trip

Iconic Rockies and Western Canada with Trafalgar - 13 Days, premium trip

Grand Canadian Rockies with Intrepid - 12 Days, premium trip

National Parks of the Canadian Rockies with G Adventures - 15 Days, camping trip

Or see All British Columbia Itineraries in Canada

Highlights of Eastern Canada

Eastern Canada is home to some wonderful attractions ranging from quaint towns, including French speaking Quebec, to the thundering Niagara Falls, to Prince Edward Island which attracts literary fans from all over the globe. Give yourself enough time to enjoy it all.

Day 1, Toronto: Niagara Falls, walking tour of the city.

Day 3, Kingston: Spend some time exploring Lake Ontario, take in the architecture of beautiful historic buildings.

Day 4, Ottawa: Take a walking tour through Canada’s capital, Parliament Hill, Rideau Hall.

Day 5-6, Quebec City: Enjoy the delicious pastries and other French inspired cuisine, explore Old Town, Plains of Abraham

Day 7, Montreal: Either end your journey in lovely Montreal or take a short flight to Nova Scotia and continue on to explore the Canadian Maritimes.

Optional Extension - Canadian Maritimes:

Day 7-9, Nova Scotia: Halifax Citadel, Prince of Wales Tower, Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg Old Town

Day 10-11, St. John: King’s Square, Reversing Falls rapids, Kingsbrae Garden. enjoy the rich history on a walking tour through the historic district. Go whale watching near Campobello Island.

Day 12-14, Prince Edward Island: go sea kayaking, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings on this small island. Take an Anne of Green Gables tour.

Trips that follow this itinerary:

Best of Eastern Canada with Trafalgar - 9 Days, value trip

The Canadian Maritimes with Lindblad Expeditions - 8 Days, luxury trip

The Canadian Maritimes with Grand Circle Travel - 16 Days, value trip

Or see All Canada Itineraries

Canadian Rockies Adventure

Day 1, Calgary: prepare for your Rockies adventures in Calgary, the so-called “gateway to the Canadian Rockies”. Visit the Calgary Tower for great views of the city and surrounding area.

Day 2-3, Banff National Park: Hike to the Lake Agnes tea house from the banks Lake Louise, learn about wildlife and nature photography from an expert

Day 4-5, Jasper National Park: Explore Lake Louise, visit the Columbia Icefields and go on a Glacier walk. Keep an eye out for moose, elk, bighorn sheep, and bald eagles.

Day 6-7, Whistler: Visit the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics, take a day trip for whale watching in Victoria

Day 8, Vancouver: After the end of your active journey, take a day to unwind in Vancouver. Explore the streets of Gastown, and enjoy delicious local seafood at any one of Vancouver’s delicious restaurants.

Trips that follow this itinerary:

North America: Canadian Rockies with Abercrombie & Kent - 8 Days, luxury trip

Discover the Canadian Rockies - Eastbound with G Adventures - 12 Days, premium trip

Grand Canadian Rockies with Intrepid - 12 Days, premium trip

Canadian Rockies and Glacier Park with Caravan - 9 Days, value trip

Or see All Canada Adventure Tours

Canada Trips & Tour Advice

Land-wise, it's one of the world's largest countries, but most of Canada's population lives within a fairly short distance north of the U.S. border. Here you'll find world-class cities like Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, all beautiful and diverse. Whether you want an adventure in the Rockies or a historic jaunt through quaint maritime towns you're sure to find your ideal slice of Canada.

Canada's Vast Landscapes

The summertime provides the best opportunity to see Canada. With long days of sunshine lasting well past 9 PM (and even later at higher latitudes), long strolls, outdoor dinners, and daytime adventures are all easily accommodated. Count on lots of places to run, hike, and explore. The larger cities of Vancouver and Toronto might appeal to international travelers who want to see urban landscapes, but escapes to smaller communities like Tofino on Vancouver Island can prove just as appealing.

Even though it gets very cold, Canada doesn’t shut down in the wintertime! Skiers and snow-sport enthusiasts flock here in the winter, for the great slopes, olympic history, and renowned ski resort towns and lodges. If you want to see the Northern Lights, head to the Northwest Territories and to the town of Yellowknife, where the views of this natural phenomenon rival those in Iceland and Greenland. Although opinions vary on when is best to see the Aurora Borealis, mid-August to end of September and winter/early spring (usually November to April) are widely considered great times to see the lights.

Canada is a prime destination for wildlife, in both summer and winter. For winter travelers, the chance to see polar bears in the wild is one you should not pass up. There are ample opportunities - consider tours to Manitoba that include Churchill for an unforgettable experience. The Churchill tourism website estimates that currently between 900 and 1000 polar bears in the area, giving you a very good chance of seeing multiple bears up close. Practice your snow photography, or if you shoot with an iphone, determine beforehand the best settings. You don’t want to miss out on the perfect shot!

Bear season does not overlap with other prime wildlife viewing, such as whales for example. Plan to visit Canada in October through November for Polar Bears. If you’re also interested in seeing whales, the best time to visit is June to August, so the chances of seeing both in one trip are unlikely.

Train Travel in Canada

From a transportation perspective, there are many ways you can travel through Canada. Canada train tours are a very popular and effective way to cover a lot of ground while taking in tremendous views. Some train journeys are available across the entire country - this is ideal if you have a lot of time and want to see more than just western Canada.

The Rocky Mountaineer is one of the most popular train trips in Canada. It’s a great option for older travelers or those with limited mobility, to experience the majesty of the Rockies and the expansive wilderness in comfort. There are 4 main routes on the Rocky Mountaineer, each will give you an unforgettable experience. All involve exciting excursions, top of the line dining, and comfortable accommodations along the way. This is also a very popular and exciting trip for families with young children.

Visiting Canada's National Parks

The great outdoors is perhaps what Canada is best known for. Sweeping mountain ranges, glacial lakes, bright green, rugged forests, and some of the world's most beautiful coastline.

Whether you’re an adventure seeking traveler looking for an exhilarating whitewater rafting trip or a challenging multi day mountain trek, or a senior traveler looking for a way to get out among nature, but with some creature comforts along the way, there’s something for everyone in Canada’s National Parks.

Canada has over 40 national parks, covering the country from East to West. These can be experienced in many different ways — from long camping trips, where you’ll sleep under an incredible expanse of stars, to pleasant walks and leisurely train journeys, staying in luxury mountain lodges. The Canada national park tours on Stride last anywhere from 6 days all the way to 20 days.

5 of the most popular national parks include:

1. Banff — Famous for sweeping views of the Rockies, glacial lakes, and recognizable as a picture perfect postcard in every souvenir shop you’ll find, Banff National Park is a can’t miss stop. Right on the border of Alberta and British Columbia, prepare to be in awe around every turn as you take in the majesty of the Canadian Rockies.

2. Torngat Mountains National Park — Newfoundland and Labrador. This is the place to go for those interested in Inuit culture. The entire parked is staffed by native Inuit people, and part of staying here is learning about their history, culture, and customs. You can also see the northern lights (if it’s the right time of year — October to March), and polar bears.

4. Prince Albert National Park — Saskatchewan. This is a very family friendly park, easily navigable and mostly flat. Great for long nature walks and wildlife viewing — especially bison. The lake attracts water skiers and wakeboarders in summer, while in winter this is a popular destination for cross country skiing.

5. Wapusk National Park — Manitoba. This is the main polar bears viewing area in Canada. Wapusk is Cree for “White Bear”. Despite freezing temperatures, winter is the most popular time to visit to view these and other classic tundra wildlife such as caribou, arctic foxes, wolverines, and moose. The nature and wildlife is well preserved here; no trails or roads exist in or out of the park. This means the only access is by helicopter — get ready for the experience of a lifetime!

6. Fundy National Park — New Brunswick. Canada’s eastern provinces provide an entirely different natural landscape. Beautiful green forest, coastal wildlife and coves illustrate the natural maritime history. Watch dramatic tides roll in and out from the St. John River, snorkel among rare Atlantic salmon, and hike up to the highest tides in the world at Hopewell Rocks.

With such diverse natural sights, comes incredibly diverse wildlife. On a tour through one of these many national parks, you’ll come face to face (from a reasonable distance) with black bears, grizzly bears, moose, grey wolves, and white tailed deer — just to name a few. Canada is also one of the best destinations for birding enthusiasts, with over 400 different species, including 16 separate species of owl.


Touring British Columbia: Diversity in Everything

The province of British Columbia is one of the most beautiful and exciting parts of Canada - with multiple national parks, plus vibrant cities, including Vancouver, it’s the perfect destination for a well rounded getaway.

In the winter months, there’s a chill to the air but the region is still majestic with the slopes of Whistler a short 90 minute drive from Vancouver. In summer, long days and fresh air off the water provide a clean getaway from toxic, traffic clogged cities of the world.

Or head over to Vancouver Island a short 30 minute helicopter ride or 2 hour ferry ride away) and to the provincial capital of Victoria. Victoria is home to the oldest Chinatown in Canada, a quaint downtown that lives to serve the hordes of tour boats that dock here, and the picturesque Butchart Gardens, a floral park that adds to the natural splendor of this fantastic island.

The small towns dotting the West coast of Canada are not to be missed either. Head north to Tofino, about 3 hours’ drive from Victoria, and take in a relaxing weekend away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The clean air is almost a shock to city dwellers, used to pollution in some degree, and it’s incredibly healing.

You may not think immediately of wine when you think of British Columbia, but you should. The Okanagan Valley is an up and coming wine region, which, much like Oregon, has been quiety producing solid wines for the past few decades. It’s a five hour drive from Vancouver, which might sound daunting to some, but if you have the time, it’s well worth a visit, if only to be among the first to know about these wines before they blow up!

Exploring the Canadian Maritimes: a Coastal Paradise

The Canadian Maritimes are an underappreciated and less well known destinations for travelers to Canada. Most are familiar with the bigger cities, national parks, Quebec, etc. The Maritimes are an incredible step back to the past, where stately historic homes, beautiful coastal walks, lighthouses, crisp sea breezes, and lovely small towns full of boutiques, quaint cafes, and of course, fresh seafood are the name of the game.

Comprised of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, a tour of the Canadian Maritimes will typically spend a few days in each. This usually involves some time on the water, getting from place to place, so if you get seasick easily prepare accordingly.

In Nova Scotia you’ll find a legacy of fishing villages and family businesses, with crab and lobster shacks just off the piers. This is also where one of the most widely used symbols of the maritimes can be found - a very popular destination for photographers - Peggy’s Point Lighthouse.

New Brunswick is the largest of the three Maritime provinces. Due to its size, there are many influences here, providing keys to early Canadian history. From the native cultures, to the exploration age when French and British explorers first landed. From there, thriving timber and mining industries influenced the population growth and economy.

Today, New Brunswick is known for beautiful coastline, particularly the Bay of Fundy. The outdoors coupled with the second largest town in the Maritimes, where you can shop, enjoy delicious meals, and visit museums, make this province a perfectly balanced trip for travelers to Canada.

Fans of the wildly popular book and film series Anne of Green Gables, will immediately recognize the name Prince Edward Island. This tiny island off the coast of Nova Scotia has been a tourist destination for kindred spirits of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s spunky red haired heroine for decades.

You can visit the Green Gables house, several museums dedicated to the series, and you’ll definitely feel the spirit of Anne all through the island. Those uninterested in the book series can still get a lot out of a visit to the area, including gorgeous photo ops, fresh seafood, and a multitude of outdoor activities.

Canada's Urban Areas

While a lot of travelers will seek out Canada’s natural delights, the cities are also worth exploring:

Vancouver is a big city with the some of the best food in North America. Sushi, Indian, and Chinese specialties all imbued with local ingredients are not to be missed. For Asian food especially, head south to the enclave of Richmond where most restaurant signs will sport two languages.

There are many cutting edge fusion restaurants as well as local farm to table offerings to be found. A stroll through Gastown, with its many boutiques and charming vibe is a must when visiting Vancouver. And don’t miss a half day bike ride around Stanley Park!

Many tours allow a few days in Vancouver before venturing through the Rocky Mountain regions and nearby national parks. Alternatively, multiple small ship cruise routes that also visit Alaska stop in Vancouver.

Toronto is another popular city to visit, known for a thriving arts scene, cutting edge culinary finds, and one of the world’s biggest LGBT pride parades. Many tours use Toronto as a base from which to visit the thundering Niagara Falls, which shares a border with nearby upstate New York.

Montreal is Quebec’s largest city, often looked over for it’s more famous counterparts above. But this bustling metropolis is a great place to visit - with museums, art galleries, and parks. Visit here for a city fix before venturing out into the wild and beautiful Canadian outdoors.

Canadia in a Nutshell

Take all of those ridiculous stereotypes you have about Canada – the ice hockey, the poutine, the Robin Sparkles jokes – and accept them. They’re true. People do love hockey. Poutine is quite rich and satisfying. And yes, Tim Horton’s is a common breakfast destination. But it’s also easily one of the safest and most naturally beautiful places to travel. Grab your camera and embrace all this beautiful country has to offer!

Related Guides

Continent:             

North America

Local Attractions:  

Niagara Falls, Banff National Park and the Rocky Mountains, Whistler, Old Quebec, Vancouver and Many More 

Top Activities:      

Nature SightseeingHiking & Rail Journey

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