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The West is as much a state of mind as it is a geographical destination. Travelling from the cosmopolitan excitement of Vancouver, you will journey through Canada’s lush Pacific playground, before swinging back to the mainland for an invigorating trek through authentic Gold Rush territory. Moving higher into the Rocky Mountains, you will relish the clean air, sparkling water and breathtaking scenery of Whistler, Jasper and Banff. You will thrilled by energetic mountain safari through Kootenay National Park and the fertile Okanagan Valley.
Day 1: Arrival in Vancouver
Your adventure begins at Vancouver International Airport. Transfer independently to your downtown hotel. Pick-up your Canada Roadbook at the front desk and check-in. Take the rest of the day to create your own urban adventure amid the stores, parks, restaurants, theatres and other attractions in downtown Vancouver.
Overnight in Vancouver
Day 2: Vancouver
You have the entire day at leisure to explore Vancouver and surroundings. You may want to visit Stanley Park, the MacMillan Planetarium, Chinatown, Gastown, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Granville Island and Grouse Mountain.
Overnight in Vancouver
The Pacific salmon begin their journey to the inlands of the Pacific Coastal Rainforest hundreds of miles out to sea, braving predators, powerful currents and tiered ladders to arrive at the glades of this pristine area of the British Columbia coast. Luckily, with the Rainforest Adventure Tour, your travels won’t be so arduous. An experienced guide will lead you from the wilds of your hotel to the natural cathedrals, pillared by 500 year old trees and translucent canopies hundreds of feet above you. Marvel at the dizzying heights of the Capilano Canyon.
Day 3: Vancouver to Victoria
The BC Ferries cruise across the Strait of Georgia will transport you to Vancouver Island, passing the rugged coastline and tranquil beaches of the Gulf Islands. Make your way to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, with its maritime heritage and colonial charm. You may end your day with a visit to the Empress Hotel for traditional High Tea.
Overnight in Victoria
Day 4 – Victoria to Parksville
Back on the road, you’ll savour scenic ocean vistas as you explore the coast via gently winding Malahat Drive. The coastline is strewn with charming villages and offers breathtaking vistas and nature reserves with abundant wildlife. En route, you may detour to visit the murals of Chemainus, the Forest Museum, Cowichan Bay area and the quaint Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Centre in Duncan. Overnight in Parksville.
Activity: Victoria Whalewatching by Zodiac ( at additional cost )
This coastal excursion is an exhilarating round trip of 50 to 80 kilometres in search of orcas, minke whales, grey whales, porpoises, harbour seals and other marine wildlife. You will ride aboard a 14 metre ocean cruiser or a custom-built Zodiac boat that offers high speed with extraordinary stability giving you an exhilarating, safe and intimate whalewatching experience. Comments by a certified marine biologist and naturalist are provided.
Day 5 – Parksville
A glorious beach, three nearby provincial parks and excellent fishing opportunities have made Parksville a popular resort. You will enjoy angling for trout or salmon against the backdrop of fir forests, waterfalls and lush rainforests. The Parksville area resort tempts active visitors with tennis, volleyball, mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking and hiking trails. Overnight in Parksville.
Day 6 – Parksville to Whistler
The day begins with a scenic BC Ferries ride back through the Strait of Georgia to the mainland. From there, you’ll follow the spectacular Sea-to-Sky Highway to Whistler Resort, located at the foot of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain. En route, you will admire Shannon Falls and explore the dramatic canyons, ravines and lofty peaks of Garibaldi Provincial Park. Overnight in Whistler.
Day 7 – Whistler
Trade the freedom of the road for the adventure of the wilderness. Play a championship golf course in the shadow of towering mountain ranges, hike along endless trails and high alpine meadows, ride on horseback past spectacular glaciers or whitewater raft down one of the turbulent rivers. You may wish to just relax in the enchanting setting of the pedestrian village and enjoy the boutiques, restaurants and cafés. Overnight in Whistler.
Activity: Whistler Bear viewing tour ( at additional cost )
Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains support a population of up to 50 black bears that have adapted to feeding, mating, and hibernating amongst ski area habitats. In this area are also other wildlife such as Coastal Mountain blacktailed deer, coyote, ruffed grouse, red-tailed hawks, barred and great horned owls, and western hoary marmots. Riding in a comfortable 4x4 vehicle, you are lead through a maze of ski area roads that traverse the area’s diverse forests, meadows, and stream environments. Take short walks to bear feeding sites, daybeds, rub trees, and old growth trees where bears have hibernated during the winter.
Day 8 – Whistler to 100 Mile House
‘Smile, you’re in 100 Mile!’ is the catchphrase welcoming visitors to this 1862 Gold Rush ‘truck stop’. Located exactly 100 miles from Lillooet on the “Old Cariboo Gold Rush Trail”, this small community has been welcoming travellers since the early pioneer days. A gateway to over 100 recreational and fishing lakes, the 100 Mile region is home to some of the best lake trout and kokanee salmon in North America. Overnight in 100 Mile House.
Day 9 - 100 Mile House to Quesnel
Following in the footsteps of pioneering adventure seekers, you’ll travel further down the “Old Cariboo Gold Rush Trail” today. Passing through soaring mountain canyons, you’ll encounter innumerable logging villages and gold ghost towns on your way to the wilderness town of Quesnel. En route, don’t miss a visit to Barkerville, a restored 19th-century settlement. Overnight in Quesnel.
Day 10 – Quesnel to McBride
Continuing your journey through history, you’ll visit the turn-of-the-century railway boom town of McBride. Situated on the fertile land around the Fraser River, this bustling market town offers visitors a rare glimpse of a true Canadian rustic lifestyle. If you have time, drive just 1.5 km outside McBride to Koeneman Regional Park. Named after an early homesteading family, this Park is home to Rainbow Falls and Dear Mountain which offer spectacular views of Robson Valley and the Cariboo Mountains. Overnight in McBride.
Day 11 – McBride to Lake Louise
Today you’ll traverse the Rocky Mountains along the spectacular Icefields Parkway. Flanked by snowcovered mountain ridges, cascading waterfalls and sparkling glaciers you’ll see the spectacular Athabasca Glacier, where you can take an Ice Explorer ride. Overnight in Lake Louise.
Day 12 – Lake Louise to Banff
The Trans-Canada Highway leads you to Banff, a year-round resort region that boasts true wilderness scenery, numerous outdoor activities and modern accommodation facilities. An internationally renowned national park, Banff offers a world of sightseeing opportunities. Prepare for a full day of spectacular scenery tomorrow. Overnight in Banff.
Day 13 – Banff National Park
The day is at leisure to explore Banff and its environs. You may want to go on a discovery tour of the famous resort town, visit the Cave and Basin and Bow Falls, and take a thrilling gondola ride to the summit of Sulphur Mountain. Overnight in Banff.
Activity: Three Sisters Peak tour( at additional cost )
An excellent introduction to the dramatic views of helicopter sightseeing, this 12 minute tour of the Spray Lakes and Spray Valley takes you over the forested slopes of Mount Buller, a favourite destination for many intermediate climbers. The tree line stops well short of the summit, offering a dramatic view of the shale patterns rocky outcroppings of the surrounding mountains of the Goat Range as they tumble into the trees of the Spray Valley.
Day 14 – Banff to Panorama Mountain Village
Today you will drive through Kootenay National Park, a landscape dominated by lofty peaks, glaciers, deep valleys and crystal-blue lakes. A visit to the park’s hot springs or the Radium Hot Springs Resort offers numerous activities and sights. Wildflowers decorate the alpine meadows, while grizzly bears, moose and mountain goats roam the park. Overnight in Panorama Mountain Resort.
Day 15 – Panorama Mountain Village
Spend a full day in Invermere, a summer paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Enjoy a myriad of activities, such as hiking, fishing, bird watching, boating and windsurfing on Lake Windermere. You can also visit Invermere’s museum housing pioneer artifacts and local archives. Overnight in Panorama Mountain Resort.
Day 16 – Panorama Mountain Village to Rossland
Driving high above the valley today you’ll arrive at Rossland, one of Canada’s more unusual townships. Nestled within the crater of a long-extinct volcano, Rossland was the largest town in British Columbia at the height of the Gold Rush. Today, this charming alpine village is home to two Canadian Olympic Champion skiers, world-class mountain-biking facilities, two museums, scenic lakes and hiking trials that conveniently begin in the heart of the town. Overnight in Rossland.
Day 17 – Rossland to Penticton
A leisurely drive down the mountain today will carry you to Penticton, situated between the Skaha and Okanagan lakes. A native word meaning ‘place to live forever’, Penticton today is the thriving fruit capital of British Columbia. Every spring, the city blooms as thousands of fruit trees cast an unforgettable fragrance and wash of colour across the city limits. Overnight in Penticton.
Day 18 – Penticton
You’ll have more time today to further explore this fertile region. Don’t miss the Okanagan River Channel - a man-made canal running between the Skaha and Okanagan lakes. Another local highlight is the beached SS Sicamous, a 72 m lake sternwheeler currently being restored. Overnight in Penticton.
Day 19 – Penticton to Vancouver
Today you traverse the very heart of British Columbia. At the half way point, you may enjoy a brief stop in Hope - its ruggedly spectacular scenery often attracting film crews from Hollywood and around the world. For outdoor enthusiasts, Manning Provincial Park is a favourite destination because of its deep valleys, Blackwall Peak alpine meadows, Cascade Lookout and azure-blue lakes. Continue through and down the mountains to arrive at the coastline and the welcome, modern metropolis of Vancouver. Overnight in Vancouver.
Day 20 – End of tour
Return to Vancouver International Airport in time for check-in for your return flight.