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The top activities to do in Canada – from wildlife to Northern Lights

posted March 3, 2016


The top activities to do in Canada

As one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and the second largest in the world in terms of land mass, Canada has endless activities and unique experiences for visitors.

If you are considering a holiday to Canada and are wondering where to begin, then you’re in the right place. Read our ultimate guide to discover the best things to do in Canada.

 

Polar bear safari

It is not often that you are able to come face-to-face with a wild polar bear, witness an arctic fox tiptoeing across the tundra or gaze as the Northern lights dance across the sky. But Churchill in Canada, which is regarded as the polar bear capital of the world, is one place that you can do all three. The isolated town is located in the province of Manitoba, in arctic Canada, and it is this remoteness that gives it its charm.

For unbeatable encounters with wild polar bears stood just metres from you, try the Tundra Buggy Adventure. The specially adapted all-terrain vehicle can rove right into the remotest tundra. This allows you not only to see polar bears and arctic foxes up close, but snowy owls, caribou and other incredible wildlife as well.

Tundra Buggy Churchill

 

Canadian canoeing

Canadian canoeing is a must-do activity during your visit to The Great White North. The country boasts countless stunning lakes and rivers to explore.

The Canadian Canoe Routes website has hundreds of routes and trip reports from across Canada. For example, if you are holidaying in Toronto then you will be spoilt for choice. Ontario is known for its plentiful waterways, with routes that are perfect to go canoeing on.

Another popular region to explore in a Canadian canoe is the Northwest Territories, where you can paddle through the dramatic Nahanni Canyon and experience the rugged Barrenlands. One particularly popular route takes you down the South Nahanni River which offers visitors spectacular views of untamed nature.

Canadian canoeing trips

 

Bungee jump

If you are a bit of a thrill seeker then doing a bungee jump should be right up your street! If that’s the case then Canada is the perfect destination to try it.

If you are on a car hire holiday in Canada and are visiting Ottawa during your trip, then take a 20-minute detour from downtown and head to ‘The Rock’ – not the wrestling superstar, but the most famous bungee jumping site in Canada.

Great Canadian Bungee boasts the highest bungee jump in the whole of Canada. Standing at 200 feet tall, The Rock is also the highest jump anywhere in the US. Visitors will experience one of the world’s most spectacular bungee jump sites as they will be jumping in an amphitheatre of limestone rock above a glittering turquoise lake.

If launching yourself over a sheer drop isn’t your idea of fun, then you can visit the Morrison’s Quarry Beach and picnic area just to relax, or to cheer on family and friends who are taking the leap.

 

Bungee jumping

See the Northern Lights

The Aurora Oval covers much of Canada and some of the best places to see the aurora borealis (Northern Lights) are the provinces of British Columbia, Yukon, Northern Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories and Nova Scotia.

A map by Canadian Geographic shows exactly where the best places are in Canada to see the breath-taking colours of the Northern Lights. Remember that some of the more remote northern provinces experience the midnight sun in summer, so if you want to see the Lights head over in winter when you’re guaranteed clear, dark skies.

Northern lights

 

Whale watching

If you are staying in Vancouver during your Canadian holiday then a whale-watching tour is an absolute must. One of the best tour operators in the city are Wild Whales, who offer tours that depart from Granville Island in downtown Vancouver.

The tours allow visitors to see the diverse wildlife that populates the Pacific Coast and average trip lengths vary from 3-7 hours. Sightings of wildlife are guaranteed, including whales – in the rare event that you don’t see a whale, you can return and take the tour for free until you do.

Some regular marine visitors you could hope to see include pods of orcas, gray whales, humpback whales, minke whales, harbour porpoises, Dall’s porpoises, Pacific white-sided dolphins, harbour seals, stellar sea lions and California sea lions. Don’t forget to look up to see a number of sea birds and try to catch a glimpse of the elusive bald eagle.

Whale watching in Canada

 

Visit Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is one of the world’s iconic waterfalls and it is easy to see why this is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet. Even with Canada’s reputation for stunning natural beauty, Niagara Falls stands out like a jewel in a crown.

There are a number of tour operators that can take you to the Falls and one of the most well-respected tour operators is the Niagara Falls Sightseeing Tours. Their 5-6 hour-long tours show you all of Niagara Falls’ highlights as well taking groups over the top of the waterfalls and giving visitors the chance to ride on the famous Maid of the Mist boat ride.

 

Climb a mountain in the Rockies

The Canadian Rockies mountain range spans British Columbia and Alberta. The Rockies bring together stunning turquoise lakes, dramatic wilderness and diverse wildlife.

To help you trek in the Rockies, the Summits of Canada site offers a wealth of information on not just the Rockies but other ranges across the country.

If you are a keen climber or walker and are staying in Calgary, then Banff National Park – which is a part of the Canadian Rockies – is only an hour and a half away from the city. The fact that it is a UNESCO World Heritage site demonstrates its natural importance and beauty and visitors to the park can explore it via the 1,600km of trails.

The Rockies

 

CN Tower Edgewalk

Toronto’s tallest attraction, the CN Tower, stands at an enormous 553 metres tall. The communications and observation tower can be seen across the city and is synonymous with the Toronto skyline.

What makes this attraction so special is that visitors can go on an Edge Walk at the CN Tower, a walk outside around the very circumference of the attraction’s roof. Clip yourself in at 1168ft and prepare for the thrill of a lifetime!

The opening day for walks in 2016 is 11th April, so if you are in Toronto on or after this date you should book yourself and your family a place on the walk. Will you dare to lean backwards over the edge?

CN Tower EdgeWalk-Lakeside

 

Go skiing

Canada is blessed with plenty of world-class ski resorts offering miles of powder in the winter season, but a favourite with visitors wishing to shred the slopes is Whistler in British Columbia.

Whistler is set in the Coastal Mountain range and is only a two-hour drive from Vancouver, which has helped to make it the number one mountain resort in North America.

The area’s dining and nightlife are just two of the many reasons to visit the resort, but the main reasons are the spectacular views on offer and the great ski and snowboarding conditions.

Banff - Ski Norquay

 

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