A thrilling wilderness where much of the land remains as it was millennia ago, British Columbia is Canada’s favourite outdoor adventure playground. A land where the ocean meets the mountains, lakes and forests, creating a haven for marine, bird and wildlife, where you can enjoy the wild untamed beauty of the landscape and discover Indigenous and First Nations culture dating back over 10,000 years
Many consider the untrammelled forests, spectacular mountains, dramatic coastline and countless islands of British Columbia to represent the real Canada. A natural playground for a huge variety of land and water-based adventure activities, this region is bound to bring out your inner pioneer. What’s more, the wildlife is legendary, whether you wish to see the black bears, grizzlies and even the rare white Kermode bear in the Great Bear Rainforest or the orcas, dolphin, sea otters and seals that swim in the waters.
During the winter months, visitors can have fun downhill and cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing in world-class resorts, such as Whistler. While the summer season is a great time to get out and about hiking and biking the endless trails that criss-cross the region, or horse riding across the ranch country of Cariboo, scene of the Canadian Gold Rush. This is also a great place to get out on the water, whether you want to fish, swim, raft, float, kayak or canoe, the waterways, inlets and small islands all offer a variety of marine adventures. Take a kayak tour around the rugged coastline of the Sunshine Coast and Discovery Islands; enjoy fishing for salmon off Northern Vancouver Island or sail the lakes amid the vineyards of the Okanagan Valley.
The land also has a rich Indigenous and First Nations cultural heritage dating back around 10,000 years. To learn more about these peoples, we’d recommend visiting one of the many heritage centres, particularly around the delightful coastal towns of Tofino and Ucluelet on Vancouver Island or the archipelago of Haida Gwaii off the northern shoreline.
For those looking for a more relaxing way to enjoy all those scenic landscapes, we’d suggest taking a trip on the famous Rocky Mountaineer railway, which will transport you from the glittering coastline to the wondrous Rocky Mountain terrain. Or, for those looking for some urban sophistication head to Vancouver for great shopping, architecture, the splendid Stanley Park and an exciting and emerging culinary scene. Just 90-minutes away by ferry, we’d also recommend the state capital, Victoria on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Bustling with pretty Victorian charm, great museums and colourful house boats, it makes a great base for exploring the wild seascapes of the west coast, a great area for storm and whale watching.
Whether you’re looking for the trip of a lifetime through picture postcard scenery, an active outdoor family holiday or a cultural and wildlife adventure, we think British Columbia will deliver above and beyond your expectations on every count.