Canadian Wildlife & Vancouver Island

From Calgary to Vancouver

Visiting: Calgary, Vancouver, Banff National Park, , Rocky Mountains, Icefields Parkway, Canadian Rockies


Tour Operator: Exodus

Physical rating: Leisurely / Moderate

Special diets catered: Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Group size: 6 - 13

Age range: 16 to 99

Tour operated in: English


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Tour Overview

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. Visit the unmissable sights of the Rockies and Lake Louise, as well as venturing far off the beaten track for a wilderness experience in Bella Coola and Tweedsmuir. Two dedicated Zodiac boat trips from Vancouver Island give us opportunities to spot bears and whales and get close to the wonderful nature this region is deservedly famous. A highlight is a ferry trip through the Inside Passage which reveals one of the richest marine habitats of the world.

Highlights

  • iconVisit remote Tweedsmuir Provincial Park and Bella Coola Valley
  • iconZodiac tour to observe Orcas and other marine wildlife
  • iconZodiac tour to observe Orcas
  • iconUnforgettable Inside Passage ferry journey spotting whales and birdlife
  • iconRelax in Miette Hot Springs
  • iconExplore Jasper and Banff national parks
  • iconEndless wildlife viewing opportunities
  • iconBear viewing Zodiac tour in Tofino
  • iconSee Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies
  • iconDrive along the stunning Icefields Parkway, one of the 'best drives in the world'
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Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1 : Start Calgary

Welcome to Calgary, a cosmopolitan Alberta city with skyscrapers and a booming oil business industry. Calgary has historically been famous for its Wild West roots but in recent years it has become a dynamic and vibrant city. It’s oozing with the Western culture that earned it the nickname ‘Cowtown’, evident in the Calgary Stampede. Introduce yourself to the city by wandering around ahead of your welcome meeting at 18:00 hrs in the hotel lobby, where you’ll meet you tour leader and fellow travelling companions. *Accommodation: Ramada Downtown Calgary (or similar)*

icon 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. Banff was Canada's first national park and is 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. 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. Optional activities: * Aerial gondola/tramway CAD$49-64 * Hot Springs CA$9 *Accommodation: Charltons Banff (or similar)*

icon Day 3 : Banff National Park; walk at Lake Louise

Meals: breakfast

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 of these lakes are famous for their striking blue glacial colour, caused by rock flour carried into the lakes by meltwater from the surrounding glaciers. This is picture-perfect scenery at its very best! *Accommodation: Charltons Banff (or similar)*

icon Day 4 : Drive along Icefields Parkway; to Jasper National Park

Meals: breakfast

Brace yourself, as this morning we travel on 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. We stop at all of the 'must see' sights, including Bow Summit and Bow Lake, Peyto Lake and Crowfoot Glacier. There is the option to enjoy a guided glacier walk along the way. Our overnight location will be around forty minutes out of town. Optional activities:* •* Guided glacier walk CA$100 (CA$60 for under 17s) *Accommodation: Pocahontas Cabins (or similar)*

icon 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 the national park and its surroundings. There are several options for today. We recommend taking the SkyTram and walking 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, and from where you'll enjoy spectacular views of Angel Glacier, a beautiful hanging glacier in the shape of angel wings. A visit to Miette Hot Springs is included, to relax your muscles after a day of exploring and hiking. Optional activities: * SkyTram cable car CA$50 * Float trip on the Athabasca River CA$70 *Accommodation: Pocahontas Cabins (or similar)*

icon Day 6 :  Mount Robson and Wells Gray Provincial Park 

This morning we take in the majestic views of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Rockies. Our travels continue to Clearwater, the gateway to Wells Gray Provincial Park where we can discover the parks bewitching waterfalls. *Accommodation: Ace Western Motel (or similar) *

icon Day 7 : To Tweedsmuir Provincial Park; Anahim Lake; optional canoeing excursion.

Meals: dinner

We drive through the Canadian wilderness towards Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, an area that's off the beaten path. Tweedsmuir Provincial 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. Our overnight location for the next two nights is on picturesque Nimpo Lake, a popular lake for fly fishing that supports an eclectic mix of wildlife. 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.  *Accommodation: Chilcotin's Waterfront Resort & Motel (or similar) - multi share *

icon Day 8 : Tweedsmuir Provincial Park

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

We have a full day free to explore Tweedsmuir Provincial Park today. There are different hikes that can be done in the area, at Mt. Kappan, near Anahim Lake or at Rando Burnt Ridge, or you can simply enjoy the resort at Nimpo Lake. *Accommodation: Chilcotin's Waterfront Resort & Motel (or similar) - multi share*

icon Day 9 : Hiking in Tweedsmuir; to Bella Coola

Meals: breakfast, lunch

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 bear exists throughout the park, as well as elk, deer, moose and coyote; 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 that you'll remember. After some time spent hiking, you'll drive over 'the Hill' with superb views all the way to Bella Coola. *Accommodation: Bella Coola Mountain Lodge (or similar)*

icon 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 bear in the world reside and this little community is gaining a reputation as one of the best places to spot them in British Columbia. The best time of year to view Grizzly bear is from the middle of August to the end of September as this is 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 bear. Outside of bear season there's a selection of excellent hikes on offer and plenty of optional activities, such as fishing and wildlife viewing. Optional activities: • Grizzly bear watching (mid Aug - end of Sept) CAD$195 • Wildlife Rafting tour CAD$100 *Accommodation: Bella Coola Mountain Lodge (or similar)*

icon Day 11 : Ferry to Vancouver Island through the rich marine environment of the Inside Passage

An absolute delight for wildlife lovers, the Inside Passage offers one of the most amazing ferry journeys in the whole of North America, with everything from frozen fjords to forest-covered hillsides flanking your route. The journey involves taking a 10-hour direct ferry 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 bears. The Inside Passage also supports one of the world's richest marine environments and it may be possible to see Grey whales, Orcas, 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. We spend tonight in Vancouver Island's most northerly town, Port Hardy. *Accommodation: North Shore Inn (or similar) *

icon Day 12 : Scenic drive via Cathedral Grove; to Ucluelet near Tofino

We drive from the northern side of Vancouver Island to the area of Tofino on the west coast, through some incredibly scenic areas. We'll 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! Our overnight location will be Ucluelet which is our base for the next two nights. *Accommodation: Meares Vista Inn (or similar) *

icon Day 13 : Morning boat excursion to observe Black bears; afternoon free for optional activities

Meals: dinner

The west coast of Vancouver Island is well-known for its whale and bear sightings. This morning we undertake a boat trip for a unique chance to observe Black bears searching for crabs and clams on the rocky beaches near Tofino. Experienced on-board guides know the area in depth, and we may even be lucky enough to spot whales on this tour. The afternoon is free to enjoy as you wish with kayaking, hiking or the option to join a whale watching boat trip. Optional activities: * Zodiac Whale watching adventure CAD $130 per half day * Sea Kayaking CAD $130 per half day *Accommodation: Meares Vista Inn (or similar) *

icon Day 14 : Travel to Victoria; city tour and free time.

We 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 Chinese architecture, and was home to the first Chinatown in Canada. Victoria is well-known for being the ultimate place to spot Orcas so we have included a zodiac tour to search for these magnificent mammals in their natural environment. In the late afternoon we'll also enjoy a brief tour of the city's highlights with free time for you to explore afterwards. *Accommodation: Victoria Strathcona (or similar) *

icon Day 15 : Ferry to Vancouver; discover the city; end Vancouver

Meals: breakfast

In the morning we board a ferry across the Salish Sea, admiring the small islands and breathtaking panorama of the city of Vancouver 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 holiday ends at our gateway hotel in Vancouver at approximately 17:00 hrs. We can book your post-tour accommodation if required. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.

What's Included

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    All accommodation

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    We can include flights from the UK.  Please contact us for a quote.

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    5 breakfasts, 2 picnic lunches and 3 dinners 

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    Tour leader throughout

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    Driver

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    All transport and listed activities

What's Not Included

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    Flights

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    Visas and vaccinations

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    Optional activities

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    All meals

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    Travel insurance

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    Airport transfers

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    Single accommodation (available on request)

Food

5 breakfasts, 2 picnic lunches and 3 dinners are included. For all other meals you will usually eat out in local restaurants. To help you budget for your meals on average hotel breakfasts cost from CAD$6-$12, lunches from CAD$8-$15 and dinners from CAD$13-$30; this does not include alcoholic beverages. Wine costs approximately CAD$5 per glass and beer CAD$4 per bottle.  Please also be aware that a tip of approximately 15%-20% is added to group meals in Canadian restaurants. Applicable taxes will also be added to all listed menu prices. Your tour guide may offer your group the option to operate a ‘lunch only’ food kitty; this has proven to be a popular alternative to three daily restaurant meals. Tour guides will explain this option while on your tour, and the whole group will have to agree for this system to run.  Please make sure we are aware of any special meal requirements before travelling. We will do all we can to accommodate for various dietary requirements but in certain parts of Canada certain food types can be limited.

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Reviews

Read all 7 reviews
CANADIAN ROCKIES & VANCOUVER ISLAND
There was a great mix of activity on this holiday. It was a wonderful experience There was a great mix of activity on this holiday.

It was a wonderful experience;
CANADIAN ROCKIES & VANCOUVER ISLAND
This was a trip through beautiful scenery with a good mix of sights and activities This was a trip through beautiful scenery with a good mix of sights and activities;
Stunning Scenery
I enjoyed the trip and the scenery of the areas visited is stunning. I enjoyed the trip and the scenery of the areas visited is stunning.

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CANADIAN ROCKIES & VANCOUVER ISLAND
Mountains, glaciers, amazing blue lakes and lots of trees were on offer in abundance. Keep a sharp look-out and you might see bears and elk but you couldn't fail to ....more Mountains, glaciers, amazing blue lakes and lots of trees were on offer in abundance.

Keep a sharp look-out and you might see bears and elk but you couldn't fail to see the cheeky chipmunks and the ground squirrels.

This is just the trip for the outdoor type of person.

; ....less
Canadian Rockies
The trip was very enjoyable and our tour leader Simon was very pleasant and organized. He was very positive and enthusiastic about all aspects of the trip. The trip was very enjoyable and our tour leader Simon was very pleasant and organized.

He was very positive and enthusiastic about all aspects of the trip.

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CANADIAN ROCKIES & VANCOUVER ISLAND
Good holiday but quite a lot of travel. The minibus was a little cramped. Good holiday but quite a lot of travel.

The minibus was a little cramped.

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CANADIAN ROCKIES & VANCOUVER ISLAND
An amazing and diverse active trip with fabulous scenery and wildlife. An amazing and diverse active trip with fabulous scenery and wildlife.

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Dates & Availability

Select departure month

Saturday Jul 03, 2021

Nights

14

Available

8

Monday Aug 02, 2021

Nights

14

Available

8

Tuesday Aug 10, 2021

Nights

14

Available

8

Monday Aug 16, 2021

Nights

14

Available

6

Wednesday Sep 01, 2021

Nights

14

Available

7

Friday Jun 24, 2022

Nights

14

Available

8

Tuesday Jul 26, 2022

Nights

14

Available

8

Monday Aug 01, 2022

Nights

14

Available

8

Saturday Aug 27, 2022

Nights

14

Available

8

Saturday, Jul 03, 2021

14Nights

8Available

Monday, Aug 02, 2021

14Nights

8Available

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021

14Nights

8Available

Monday, Aug 16, 2021

14Nights

6Available

Wednesday, Sep 01, 2021

14Nights

7Available

Friday, Jun 24, 2022

14Nights

8Available

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2022

14Nights

8Available

Monday, Aug 01, 2022

14Nights

8Available

Saturday, Aug 27, 2022

14Nights

8Available