Canadian Wildlife & Vancouver Island

Traveller ratings
4.2 / 5 from 6 reviews >
Trip code: 
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Natural Wonders
Min age:
Group size:

Enjoy the mountains, coastline and wildlife of Western Canada

The Rockies are stunning: rugged peaks, fir forests, sparkling glaciers and bountiful wildlife including Black and Grizzly bears, deer, moose and coyotes. This trip takes in the celebrated attractions and also ventures off the beaten track to get closer to the wonderful nature for which 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, including several species of whale.


  • Mountains and wildlife
  • Inside Passage ferry
  • Bear spotting in Tofino
  • Bella Coola Valley and Tweedsmuir Park
  • Miette Hot Springs

Key information

  • Travel by minibus and boat
  • Some long drives
  • Group normally 6 to 13, plus leader. Min age 18yrs
  • 6 hotel nights, 4 lodge nights, 2 cabin nights and 1 basic hotel night (multi share)

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Driver

What's not included

  • All meals
  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Airport transfers
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Optional activities
Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 


  • 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 6.00pm in the hotel lobby, where you’ll meet you tour leader and fellow travelling companions.
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 2

    Banff National Park and Canmore

    Leave city life behind and transfer to Banff, Canada's first national park and 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. You can 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. You'll stay in Canmore, near Banff National Park, for the next two nights.

  • Day 3

    Banff N.P.; walk at Lake Louise.

    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!

  • Day 4

    Drive along Icefields Parkway; to Jasper N.P.

    Brace yourself, as this morning you hit 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. You'll stop at all of the `must see' sights, including Bow Summit and Bow Lake, Peyto Lake and Crowfoot Glacier. There's also the option to enjoy a guided glacier walk along the way. Your overnight location will be in Jasper National Park, around forty minutes out of town.

  • Day 5

    Hiking in Jasper N.P. with fantastic views

    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 Jasper National Park and its surroundings. One option is to take the SkyTram and walk 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.

  • Day 6

    To Mt Robson; optional river safari; to Williams Lake.

    As the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, Mount Robson is indeed a stunning sight. Pause to take in over 3,000m (10,000 ft.) of snow-capped loveliness. You have the option to hike at Kinney Lake, located in the Mount Robson Provincial Park, or you could join a wildlife river safari with the chance to see bear, moose, eagle and osprey from Blue River. Drive to the historic gold rush city of Williams Lake to spend the night.
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 7

    To Tweedsmuir Provincial Park; Anahim Lake; optional canoeing excursion.

    Today you drive through authentic Canadian wilderness as you head completely off the beaten track towards Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. The park was named after the 15th Governor General of Canada, Baron Tweedsmuir, who travelled extensively throughout the park by float aircraft and horseback. With a varied landscape you can expect to see rugged mountains, deep valleys and ocean fjords. Your overnight location is close to the shores of Anahim Lake, a popular lake for fly fishing that supports plenty of wildlife. There's an optional canoeing excursion on the lake this afternoon and in the evening we recommend relaxing by the fireplace! Please note, this area has very basic facilities but is extremely beautiful and off the tourist trail.
    Basic Hotel

  • Day 8

    Hiking in Tweedsmuir; to Bella Coola.

    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.

  • Day 9

    Optional activities in 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.

  • Day 10

    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 cannot be completed with one ferry so we take two ferries with a total duration of 16.5 hours. 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 bear. The Inside Passage also supports one of the world's richest marine environments and it may be possible to see Gray, Orca, 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 spread along it rely on boats for transportation. Spend tonight in Vancouver Island's most northerly town, Port Hardy.

    NB: In order to cross the Inside Passage you will need to take two different ferries with a total duration of 16.5 hours. One of the ferries is more basic, without a restaurant or lounge area, but offers an excellent opportunity to spot wildlife.
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 11

    To Tofino; scenic drive via Cathedral Grove; walking trails amid Douglas fir trees.

    Drive from northern side of Vancouver Island to the area of Tofino on the western side, through some beautiful scenic areas. 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! You'll stay in Ucluelet for the next two nights.

    Standard Hotel

  • Day 12

    Bear spotting boat trip; afternoon optional activities available.

    The west coast of Vancouver Island is well-known for its whale and bear sightings and this morning you'll undertake a boat trip that gives you a unique chance to get up close and personal with the beautiful Black Bear, with experienced on-board guides who know the area in depth. You may even be lucky enough to spot whales in the distance. The afternoon is yours to enjoy as you wish with kayaking, hiking or a whale watching boat trip.
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 13

    Travel to Victoria; city tour and free time.

    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 even some unique Chinese style buildings, and was home to the first Chinatown in Canada. Victoria is well-known for being the ultimate place to spot Orca so we have included a zodiac tour to search out these magnificent mammals in their natural environment. In the late afternoon enjoy a brief tour of the city's highlights with free time for you to explore afterwards.
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 14

    Ferry to Vancouver; explore city; end Vancouver.

    In the morning 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 tour ends at our gateway hotel in Vancouver at approximately 5:00pm. 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 9:00pm.

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info



The Government of Canada has an entry requirement, known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), for some international travellers flying into Canada. Citizens from countries other than the US who do not require a visa to enter Canada are required to obtain an eTA before entering the country. Eligible travellers will need to go online to apply for their eTA.

To apply for your eTA you will need your passport, credit or debit card and an email address. At the time of publication there was a CAD$7 fee to process your eTA. Your eTA will be valid for a period of five years, or until your passport expires. We recommend you carry a print out of your eTA approval when you travel. Please visit to apply.

If you have not applied for and received authorisation via an eTA prior to travel you may be denied boarding, experience a delayed processing or be denied admission at the Canadian point of entry. However, neither possession of a visa nor meeting the basic requirements for travelling visafree on the eTA, guarantees admission to Canada. As with most countries, the final determination of admissibility is made by immigration officials at the point of entry.



There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

No meals are included on this trip.

On hotel based tours, 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.


Temperatures in the coastal region around Vancouver average 22ºC in summer, but can reach as high as 30ºC in the low lying interior. June and September are usually a bit cooler, and the coast can get rain at any time of year. The mountains have typically unpredictable weather; sun, cloud, rain and even snow can all be experienced in a day!

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate).

This tour is operated in partnership with our sister company Grand American Adventures. As such the departures are not exclusive to Exodus and groups may be a mixture of Exodus, Grand American Adventures, and other clients. This trip is booked through Exodus and you will receive the same award winning customer service that you would expect. Grand American Adventures operate with the same core principles used by Exodus and champion the benefits of small group travel.

The Rockies are incredible: rugged peaks, untouched fir forests and radiant glaciers interspersed with valleys rich with wildlife - Black and Grizzly bear, deer, moose and coyote. The Vancouver Island wilderness hosts one of the richest marine habitats of the world, as well as the chance to get off the beaten track and experience true beauty. Included in your stay in Tofino is a cruise where you can observe bear in their natural habitat.

The geology, natural history and scenery make this part of Canada hugely attractive for the adventurous traveller and this tour encompasses all of these aspects, as we explore the mountains, glaciers, ice-caps, forests, hot springs, wildlife and rainforest of the area. The itinerary has been designed to give an in-depth view of some of the most spectacular areas. We have tried to keep the travelling to a minimum, as this is really 'outdoors' country, but please remember that Canada is vast and there is inevitably a significant amount of travelling. This is a very active trip and although none of the excursions or optional activities are particularly demanding, a good level of stamina is useful if you want to undertake all of them!

Although each tour follows an itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility and from time to time your tour leader may suggest changes. This may be due to road conditions, weather or a visit to a special attraction or event that happens to be in progress. Flexibility is key and often a side diversion will be a highlight of the tour. Hikes and optional activities cannot be guaranteed and may vary depending on ability, group interest, local weather conditions and time of year.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Hotels, lodges and cabins

6 hotel nights, 4 lodge nights, 2 cabin nights and 1 basic hotel night (multi share)

Hotel accommodation will be in clean, comfortable hotels or lodges with en-suite bathroom facilities, chosen for their friendly atmosphere and proximity to the highlights of the region. You will be roomed with a fellow passenger of the same sex on a twin share basis (two people per room) unless you are travelling as a couple.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

As another year flies past, it’s time for us to ask ourselves one simple question: where next?

Take an alphabetical journey through the world on two feet, covering some of the finest, most famous, and underrated

  • Reviewed July 2015
    Victoria Hemming

    Stunning Scenery

    I enjoyed the trip and the scenery of the areas visited is stunning.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking on the glacier and the ferry trip up the Inside Passage (long but well worth it) were the highlights for me.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was excellent and worked hard to ensure that all members of the group had options for activities suitable for them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is an active holiday with opportunities to go hiking - I'm not sure this was clear to some of the people booking through different companies onto the holiday so adjustments had to be made for them by to group leader.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The itinerary followed was not exactly as described in the trip notes - a visit to Lake Louise and Lake Moraine were done on the day the notes said we would go to Banff and the visit to Banff took place prior to driving to Calgary. It was good to see the lakes and have to opportunity to do some walking but this needs to be changed on the trip notes. It would be good to have some more time in Banff to explore the town.
  • Reviewed September 2013


    An amazing and diverse active trip with fabulous scenery and wildlife.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lake Moraine was my trip highlight, I have never seen colours like that anywhere in my life.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    She is probably the best tour leader I have ever had.  This was my first exodus trip but I have used many other operators and she by far surpassed my expectations.  She was fun but serious when she needed to be, direct and as helpful as she could be, not to mention strong (a very handy requirement given the weight of my case!).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Prepare for extreme temperatures at both ends of the spectrum.  When the sun is shining on you it is very hot but otherwise very cold.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just that I couldn't recommend this trip enough.  I have been eager to go to Canada for years now and this trip absolutely met all of my expectations.
  • Reviewed January 2012


    This was a trip through beautiful scenery with a good mix of sights and activities

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the humpback whales near Tofino.The drive down the Icefields parkway.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Joanne was very knowledgable about the area, and was good fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't take too much luggage - travel light!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you're thinking of doing this trip - then just go for it!
  • Reviewed September 2011


    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.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The amazing blue Peyto lake and the glacier and mini icebergs (and big fat snowflakes) at Mount Edith Cavell were some of the highlights of the trip. Pre-dawn over the bay with the tide out at Parksville gave us a magical moment. This was an unexpected hotel stop caused by the extra day spent on the ferry from Bella Coola to Port Hardy - sleeping on the floor of the ferry for the night had it's compensations!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Michel was efficient and friendly - he seemed to enjoy the trip as much as we did. He worked hard to pace the days according to the capabilities of the group and was always around for queries and questions. If he didn't know the answers to the questions, then he'd find out or lend us a book with the facts (obscure botanical questions were not his forte).When the ferry captain of the boat between Bella Coola and Port Hardy was delayed at anchor by 20 hours he and the local company worked hard to re-arrange the accommodation. This had to be done several times as the captain changed his mind about the situation and the timing of our arrival in Port Hardy. Michel consulted with the whole group and a joint decision was made to drop the night in Victoria, keeping two nights near Tofino.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    ATMs - make sure you know which banks use Visa and which use MasterCard. The banks in Canada use one or the other and you can waste some time finding a bank which will accept your card. Shops and restaurants will accept either.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There was not much cultural content - we learnt more about the first nations and the early history from our own museum visit in Calgary than we did on the trip.
  • Reviewed September 2011


    Good holiday but quite a lot of travel. The minibus was a little cramped.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Mount Robson without clouds on its peak!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent - we had to spend 31 hours on the boat fromBella Coola to Port Hardy instead of the expected 11. Michel sorted out our hotels etc very quickly cancelling our hotel in Port Hardy and booking us into another hotel in Parkville. He made a point of consulting us as to what the group wished to do - either spend two nights in Tofino or one night in Tofino and one night in Victoris.
  • Reviewed September 2011


    There was a great mix of activity on this holiday. It was a wonderful experience

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the bears and the whales in their natural habitat.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Good. Very knowledgeable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have taken suitable precautions for any injuries you may be carrying. Spraining my ankle again meant I couldn't take part in all the activities I wanted to. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A really fabulous trip.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 0208 772 3936