Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or an urban aficionado Canada’s far-reaching geography offers tourists the best of all worlds.
From cascading waterfalls, majestic national parks, bustling city centres and oceanside escapes, visitors of all interests and lifestyles will feel at home in any of Canada’s welcoming provinces.
This culturally diverse country, comprised of French, British and its native aboriginal people (comprised of the First Nations, Inuit and Metis) Canadian locals are known for their friendly, tolerant and open-minded disposition.
From getting around the country and safeguarding your travels to top attractions and regions, we’ve got everything you need to know to make the most of this top travel destination.
Quick Travel Notes
Etiquette & Customs: Canada’s culturally diverse population is comprised of highly tolerant and welcoming locals known for their community-oriented nature. Canada’s natives have a high regard for social responsibility, be mindful of eco-friendly practices and cognizant of the various cultures and languages across the country.
Ecotourism: Known for its vast expanses of unspoiled wilderness, Canada’s ecotourism is plentiful. From the Boreal Forest with thousands of beautiful remote lakes and streams to the Canadian Shield with its famous rock formations and whitewater rivers, Canada’s eco system boast wildlife waiting to be photographed along with a highly diversified aboriginal culture to discover, according to Canada Wilderness.
Transportation: As the world’s second largest country, trekking through its ample terrain may seem like an overwhelming feat. Luckily, various forms of transportation are offered; read to learn more about transportation options in Canada.
Temperature & Weather: Canada is known for its winter sports, making it a hotspot for skiers and cold-weather enthusiasts alike. However, the country’s climate ranges in temperature depending on the region. According to CEC Network, Canadians enjoy four very distinct seasons, particularly in the more populated regions along the US border. Daytime summer temperatures can rise to 35 degrees celsius and higher, while lows of -25 degrees celsius are not uncommon in winter. More moderate temperatures are the norm in spring and autumn.
Do, See & Explore
Canada is composed of 10 beautifully diverse regions. For travellers with plenty of vacation time on their hands, we recommend visiting them all. For the rest of us, we’ve narrowed it down to the top four regions guaranteed to appease even the pickiest globe-trotters:
- Alberta: As one of three Prairie Provinces in Canada, Alberta is an outdoor splendour that’s marked by ample grasslands and surrounded by the towering peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the hiking trails at Banff National Park, spotting wildlife at Jasper National Park or canoeing on Lake Louise.
- Quebec: French inspired Quebec is the largest Canadian province in the area and the second largest in population. Quebec, a mainly French-speaking society, offers visitors historic grandeur. As the crown jewel of French Canada, Quebec City is one of North America’s oldest and most magnificent settlements. Its picturesque Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, a living museum of narrow cobblestone streets.
- British Columbia: Bordered by the Pacific Ocean and marked by the Okanagan wine region, travellers head to British Columbia for a fresh water to wine experience. Adding to the scenic beauty, the province is home to three major mountain ranges, 13 ski resorts and is two-thirds covered in forest.
- Ontario: Culture, dining and nightlife abound in Ontario. Head to the bustling city of Toronto to visit the historic Distillery District. This pedestrian-only village is set amidst fabulous heritage architecture and is devoted to promoting arts and culture. The area also features a wellness centre, plenty of cafés, restaurants and pubs.
- Fernie: Canada has huge attractions for skiers and snowboarders. One of the most popular spot for skiing is Fernie. Fernie is a city in the Elk Valley area of the East Kootenay region of south-eastern British Columbia. It is known for abundant snowfalls (9m, on average) and the adventurous nature of its steep, ungroomed terrain, largely in the shelter of trees. It is one of the best destinations for experts according to telegraph.co.uk.
From outdoor spectaculars to vibrant cities, there’s no shortage of attractions in Canada. With so many places to see, what’s a traveller to do? Here’s a few of our top recommendations to get you started.
- Head to Banff National Park in Alberta for 360-degree views of dazzling glaciers, large animals, alpine meadows and emerald lakes.
- Lie under the stars in Nunavik, Quebec and watch Mother Nature light up the night as the Aurora Borealis dances across the sky for the experience of a lifetime.
- A fun attraction for kids and adults alike, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in British Columbia offers adventure-packed outings.
- Take a White Water Walk along a boardwalk at the very edge of the Niagara Falls and catch awe-inspiring sights of one of the world’s wildest stretches of whitewater.
Health & Safety
Even in generally safe countries like Canada, which boasts relatively low crime rate and a great healthcare system, it’s always important to consider the necessary safety precautions. If you are skiing lover, make sure you have skiing tarvel insurance.
Ensure safe travels and a pleasant adventure by safeguarding possessions and personal identification. It is always recommended for travellers to make copies of personal documents like your passport and drivers license, safeguard all forms of payment like debit and credit cards and secure travel insurance to cover all possible accidents or emergencies while travelling abroad.
Getting Around in Canada
From mountains and waterfalls to prairies and rivers, Canada offers travellers a scenic adventure of epic proportions. To help travellers take in every bit of the breathtaking Canadian vistas, here are our top transportation options:
- By Car: If you’re going between provinces or staying a while in the country, consider renting a car. A road trip across the Trans-Canada Highway is the best way to drive through all 10 Canadian provinces. You’ll experience a vast change in scenery as you cross islands, tundra, peaks, forests, prairies and glaciers. The challenge for drivers will be keeping your eyes on the road to watch for wildlife, one-way streets and weather hazards. Most rental car rates don’t include vehicle insurance, however, a comprehensive travel insurance policy does cover rental vehicle excess in addition to other travel mishaps.
- By Rail: If you’d rather let someone else do the driving, Canada’s VIA Rail is a preferred mode of cross-country transport. The railway runs from coast to coast and through eight provinces. The scenic ride lets you kick up your feet and enjoy the ride. As a money-saver, VIA offers the Canrailpass, which gives you multiple economy trips within the span of a few weeks. Advanced purchase also gets you a discount on VIA.
- Public Transport: Vancouver and Toronto offer great public transportation networks including an excellent metro system. Use the Translink in Vancouver and Go Transit in Toronto to tour these metropolitan cityscapes.
- By Bus: According to Nomadic Matt, Greyhound and Red Arrow offer long-haul bus services across the country that are decent, but don’t make for the comfiest of conditions. There have been numerous reported instances of theft, so be on your guard and safeguard your belongings.
Whether you’re observing the majestic mammals like deer and elk from the roadside or touring the city and capturing the sights, securing your personal safety as well as your personal belongings is essential to a memorable vacation. Don’t let a lack of preparation ruin your stay. Put your mind at ease with travel insurance in case of an emergency and get ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime.