The world’s most fascinating destinations are often the ones we rarely talk about – perhaps because present-day travellers and their social media accounts have only just scratched the surface. But as travel to less accessible places becomes more accessible, we are uncovering the places most travellers today have never explored. A perfect example: The Canadian Arctic.
The Canadian Arctic is a place unlike nowhere else. The sprawling unspoiled landscape is home to extraordinary animals roaming freely from human interruption. It is rich with nature, culture, and history – each day brings something new to the table. If you’re seeking adventure, these are the reasons to put the Canadian Arctic on your list.
1. Spot incredible wild animals
You might be surprised how somewhere so seemingly barren is actually so full of life. A diverse range of land and marine mammals, birds, and hundreds of plant species thrive in the Canadian Arctic’s summer months. The remoteness of the region has preserved the free, untamed nature of the land animals that traverse the Arctic tundra, so there are countless wildlife-spotting opportunities during the daily safaris. Musk oxen, Arctic foxes, snowy owls, peregrine falcons and polar bears are just some of the animals to look out for – all while with an expert guide. The Cunningham Inlet is also the best place in the world to spot beluga whales: around 2,000 come into the bay every summer to socialize and enjoy warmer waters.
2. Stumble upon fascinating sights
The Canadian Arctic teems with natural beauty. The Triple Waterfalls, a five-story torrent of free-falling water, offers the same stunning views as the world’s most renowned falls, but without the crowds. The otherworldly landscape of Nunavut is exemplified at Flatrock Falls, where you’ll view canyons and (if you’re lucky) find prehistoric fossils of plant and animals. A visit to Cape Anne is a visit to the region’s historic and cultural past: in addition to ogling the scenic vistas and lazy icebergs, you can explore campsites of the ancient Thule people, who were the ancestors of the today’s Inuit people. While there, you’ll notice the interesting utilization of whale bones and stones that were used to construct their houses.
3. Get active with a range of activities
By taking a breather from technology, you’re able to focus your energies on the unique activities that the Canadian Arctic allows for. Beginner and avid kayakers alike can enjoy an afternoon kayaking the Northwest Passage – the famed sea corridor sought after by European explorers for 300 years. You can also raft the gentle rapids of the Cunningham River. The landscape, spotted with colourful flowers in the summer, is great for hiking and ATVing. The laid-back attitude of the Arctic and small group size of tours there enables the flexibility to tailor your experiences. No matter how you spend your time there, you’ll gain a sense of adventure and connection to the land.
4. Stay in one of the world’s most unique locations
The lodge where you stay (named the Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge) is located on the northern tip of Nunavut’s Somerset Island, which makes it the most northerly and remote lodge in the world – definitely something to brag about at the next family reunion. Even being so off the beaten path, the lodge is run by a family who give it a feeling of being at home. During the summer months, the Canadian Arctic experiences 24 hours of daylight. While you’ll still get a good night’s sleep, more hours of sunlight means more time for animal-spotting and adventure-seeking. And contrary to what you may think, the Arctic has quite comfortable weather in the summer: it ranges from about 0-20 degrees Celsius or 32-68 degrees Fahrenheit, but usually stays within the 8-12/46-54 range.
5. Gain a sense of adventure with the comforts of home
One of the perks about a Canadian Arctic trip is that it’s an adventure for everyone. You don’t have to be an experienced traveller nor have the sea legs often needed to navigate through some parts of the Poles. Trips start in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories then fly the group to Nunavut, so logistics are taken care of. The departures are in the summer, so the weather will be pleasant and you’ll be provided with a parka, waterproof boots, and unlimited hot drinks. The accommodations are comfortable, and provide guests the highest standard of food. The guides are experts in the region and are highly trained. It is an adventure of a lifetime that doesn’t sacrifice your personal comfort.
Want to explore the Canadian Arctic? Have a look at our Arctic Watch Lodge premium adventure.