The best luxury wildlife experiences in Canada

Canada might be the second largest country in the world, but its natural beauty, wildlife and geographical variety are second to none. There is no better destination for those wanting to experience nature in all its glory than with the sheer number of opportunities available in Canada. So, where do you start? Well, we have put together our four favourite destinations for the adventurous travellers amongst you!

Wildlife trip to Quebec

Saint-Alexis-des-Monts

Whether you want to immerse yourself in one of the many National Parks, or venture out to sea and catch a glimpse of the mighty humpback whales, Quebec has it all. Hotel Sacacomie sits between the shores of an expansive lake and the Mastigouche Wildlife Reserve in the beautiful region of Saint-Alexis-des-Monts, just a couple of hours drive from Montreal.

Take to the waters in kayaks and canoes, or spend a morning relaxing in the spa. Join a trapper on a fascinating journey into nature and observe beavers and black bears in their natural habitat – don’t worry, the bears can be observed safely from a cabin.

Station Duchesnay

Luxurious lodge accommodation on the shores of Lac Saint Joseph provides the perfect location to start your journey deep into the surrounding forest, in search of grizzlies – accompanied by expert guides of course. If you can drag yourself away from the wildlife, the resort also offers a range of activities such as hiking and biking trails in summer, or dog sledding through the forest in winter.

Sonora Resort & Vancouver Island

Fly into Vancouver

Vancouver lies on Canada’s West Coast, in the perfect location to visit a fantastic range of ocean-front resorts, dense forest and soaring peaks. Our pick is the Tigh-Na-Mara resort, located on Vancouver Island, which is accessed from the mainland via ferry or floatplane.

The extravagant resort offers rustic wooden lodges in amongst the fir trees, or rooms with private balconies, Jacuzzi tubs and stunning views of the Strait of Georgia.

Sonora Resort

The luxury resort of Sonora nestles among a throng of islands known as the Discovery Islands between Vancouver and the BC mainland. It has seven themed suites in various sizes – the perfect environment to run a bath and relax after a day of adventure.

The surrounding area plays host to everything from bald eagles to otters – even orca pods are spotted on occasion. For the more adventurous, bear watching trips are available. If you think you can beat the bears at their own game then try one of the resort’s salmon fishing trips!

Tofino

There is no better place to experience the power of the Pacific Ocean than Long Beach Lodge in Tofino. The resort offers surf lessons on one of the most regarded surfing beaches in North America, and has unfettered access to the assortment of marine life that roams the waters off the coast.

Make sure you pack your camera because you’ll want to capture the moment you glimpse one of the areas grey whales, an awe-inspiring humpback whale or a pod of orcas.

British Columbia luxury holiday

Clayoquot Resort

Only a short floatplane journey from the mainland, Clayoquot resort, located on the West Coast of Vancouver Island puts you firmly at the centre of things. The turn-of-the-century accommodation is combined with 21st Century luxuries to create a five-star glamping experience nestled into the hillside along the water’s edge. Once at the resort, sit back and enjoy the fabulous food and wine while deciding which of the many activities to pursue during your visit. Watch the black bears enjoying the greenery just a stone’s throw away from your tent or try to catch the summer migration of humpback whales, which is increasing every year.

Nimmo Bay

Another hop on a floatplane back to the mainland will bring you to Nimmo Bay resort, located on the shores of British Colombia. The resort’s activities span into the Great Bear Rainforest, a vast expanse of lush greenery and teeming wildlife, and is made up of nine wooden lodges, all with gorgeous views of the bay. Enjoy yet more delicious food and build up your energy for the next day’s adventures around the fire pit on the floating dock, then fall asleep to the sound of the nearby waterfall.

Your all-inclusive stay will give you access to a host of adventure activities, from paddle boarding to kayaking, from forest hikes to yoga on the dock. Nimmo Bay is home to a vast array of wildlife that you will be able to marvel at, including a plethora of marine life. Watch the majestic bald eagle soaring through the skies, and spot variety of bears in the plains, including the grizzly and the black bear. Customize your stay to suit your own desires and appetite for adventure.

Ultimate polar bear expedition

For those after a truly unique wildlife experience, there is perhaps no place more exciting than the polar bear capital of the world – Churchill, Manitoba. Dive into the white expanse of frozen tundra in search of the King of the Arctic, as the Hudson Bay freezes over and the bears venture out to look for food.

Complete your authentic winter experience by spending your nights at the Lazy Bear Lodge, warming yourself by the massive stone fireplace.

Days can be spent on board the specially designed tundra vehicle, which often draws the attention of the bears who inquisitively follow alongside the Arctic crawler, giving you a chance to get up close and personal with one of the most magnificent animals in the world. You’d be wrong to think that it is only polar bears that venture into these cold conditions – a variety of other winter wildlife such as Arctic foxes and hares can be seen along the way.

Canada offers a plethora of options for the adventurous traveller, from the migration of the humpback whales off the coast of Vancouver to the mighty polar bears in the north. For those in need of an escape to the wild with a touch of luxury, we really don’t think there is any better choice!

Kathryn Munro is Managing Director at Canadian Affair.

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Comments (6)

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  1. Jack says:

    I love animals! I enjoy time being near to nature! If I get a chance, I definitely will go there for the wildlife, for the beautiful scenery in Quebec.

  2. Steve says:

    Wow that picture of the polar bear on the buggy is amazing. I can see why it is built a bit like a tank! I can’t believe that you can get that close to one of nature’s scariest – and rarest – large mammals. Talk about a once in a lifetime experience. I had no idea this was possible, one for the adventure portfolio.

  3. Jack says:

    I cannot imagine living in a place where you get to be so close to sights like the ones you have pictured. To visit is the next best thing and why not do it in luxury while you do it. I would love to meet a polar bear though I suspect my wife might just focus on the luxury aspect!

  4. Janet says:

    Canada is on the top of my list in terms of holidays, but being in England it’s quite a far trek! The Sonora Resort looks fantastic, perfect for a honeymoon or anniversary. It’s quite overwhelming how many wildlife experiences you can have in Canada, I honestly wouldn’t know where to start! A polar bear expedition is going straight on my bucket list.

  5. Robert says:

    Canada is such a brilliant country full of natural wonders and amazing wildlife. I love all of your suggestions in this post. Long beach lodge in Tofino looks like an incredible place to go surfing. I really need to try and explore more of Canada, I would love to live there for at least a year as there’s so much to do and explore. Lazy bear lodge would be a great place to go in Winter to get cosy by the fireplace.

  6. Kelly Leanne Jones says:

    Canada is so beautiful and with such varied wildlife so these are some amazing suggestions. I am in love with the idea of whale spotting and it just looks so breathtaking. I didn’t even realise you could go whale spotting in Canada and I am going to visit next year so thank you for that!

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