When you decide to book your stay at one of the top Vancouver Island resorts in BC, it is a great idea to check out the many nearby parks and wildlife destinations that you can include in your itinerary. As many would agree, the Island is at its best when experienced outdoors with a vast, unspoiled wilderness area that will leave you breathless. All resorts are close to nature with wildlife nearby.
Your vacation won’t be complete without a trip to least one of the Island’s best nature reserves or wildlife parks. The following is a quick rundown of some of the most exciting outdoor activities that you will love whether you are a “watcher” or a “participant.”
Bear Watching is a Popular and Exciting Choice
One of the most popular activities for visitors to Vancouver Island is taking a bear-watching tour. The island is known as a black bear territory, and note that black bears can be black or brown. There are also grizzlies in the forests and you might catch sight of one or two of them, as well. Grizzly bears are more common in the northern part of the island such as in Port Hardy.
Two well-known bear watching spots are the Bute Inlet and Knight Inlet, which you can reach via a quick floatplane or boat ride (also fun!). When you are driving through some of the island’s remote areas, you might catch a glimpse of a black bear right on the side of the road.
You can slow down for a good look, but don’t stop, and never feed one! Inquire at the local visitor centre near your resort for tour information on bear watching.
Bird Watching Appeals to Many Visitors
Vancouver Island is home to over 200 species of birds and offers amazing bird watching opportunities. The environs of marshes, lakes, and rivers support avian species like trumpeter swans, brant geese, and bald eagles. The forests, meanwhile, serve as sanctuary to a great many songbirds and owls.
Spring and fall are particularly good seasons for bird watching, but you can enjoy this pleasure anytime of the year. The best spots include Courtenay’s River Estuary; Somenos Marsh Wildlife Refuge and Pacific Northwest Raptors Centre, both in Duncan; Swan Lake and Goldstream Provincial Park, both in Victoria; and Esquimalt Lagoon, also near Victoria.
Don’t Miss the Opportunity for a Whale Watching Tour
In 2010, Vancouver Island was hailed by Travel + Leisure Magazine as one of the best whale watching spots in North America. The Island offers tours where you can see humpback whales, Pacific grey whales, and orcas—also known as killer whales—along with a rich and diverse marine life.
About 85 orcas live in the southern part of the Island and the Southern Gulf Islands. There are about 250 orcas, humpback whales, and minke whales living and travelling along the northeastern coast.
Get Yourself Ready for Great Water Sports
Expand your resort experience by enjoying the many water sports available. There are great beaches on Vancouver Island for swimming and surfing, and opportunities to observe sea life up close and personal when snorkeling, deep sea diving, boating, kayaking, canoeing, or fishing. If you like water sports, head to some of the coast’s superb locations for your favourite activities.
Enjoy the beautiful gifts of nature during your visit. The top Vancouver Island resorts are positioned to bring you close to wonderful wildlife destinations and great outdoor experiences including hiking, biking, and guided tours. You will enjoy an unforgettable life-changing vacation.
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