From polar bears to Atlantic puffins, Canada is nothing short of spectacular when it comes to wildlife. With 48 national parks and reserves, it is home to some pretty incredible wildlife destinations just waiting to be explored!
The Canadian tourism industry’s biggest draw-card is its natural beauty. Travelers come from all over the globe to gaze in awe at this beauty: the mighty Canadian Rockies, the Northern lights, Lake Louise, as well as the thousands of wildlife species who find sanctuary in Canada’s vast expanse of untouched nature. And because of this, Canada has made it a top priority to ensure that it protects and preserves its environment, animals, communities, and culture in every way.
Take a look at our top 3 eco-friendly places to visit when you travel to Canada.
Top 3 Eco-Tourism Wildlife Destinations in Canada
British Columbia (B.C.) has a wide variety of eco-friendly and sustainable adventures to embark on when visiting Canada. The owner of Ocean Ecoadventures has a deep love of the ocean, and his tour company fittingly offers some of the best whale watching tours in the province. He has also partnered with local businesses that practice sustainability, such as local grocers and bakeries, to provide tourists with healthy, hearty, and, most importantly, sustainably sourced food options while on holiday.
Ecotours provides various wildlife “zero waste” tours by hikes, jet boats, and 4x4s on which you will encounter bears, indigenous birds, and sea life. Maple Leaf Tourism, certified by Green Tourism Canada, has low impact practices, focusing on maintaining agreements with First Nations territories and offers fantastic outdoor adventures in B.C.
Manitoba is a beautiful province home to the Canadian polar bear. Churchill, located on Hudson Bay, is one of the best places in Canada to embark on polar bear safaris! Churchill Wild is a family-owned tour company that offers award-winning sustainable tourism in the form of polar bear, caribou, moose, and black bear tours.
Other options include kayaking with beluga whales or, if you’re lucky, experiencing nature’s most stellar light show known as aurora borealis or, more commonly, the Northern Lights. Another sustainability-focused company is Duck Mountain Eco Tours, offering hiking, bird-watching, photography, and wilderness camping.
Nova Scotia is a great yet often underrated wildlife destination in Canada. The province is home to Atlantic puffins, beavers, humpback whales, coyotes, red foxes, black bears, white-tailed deers, and more. Great E.A.R.T.H Expeditions offers various kayaking, hiking, and multi-activity expeditions to smaller groups of travelers. They also partnered with local-owned accommodations, eateries, and operators to help boost the local economy as well as give tourists a true Canuck experience!
Do I Need a Visa to Travel to Canada?
Most people will either need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or visitor visa to enter Canada. How do you know if you need one? When traveling to Canada as a tourist, it depends mainly on which country you are applying from, your nationality, your type of travel document, as well as how you intend to travel to Canada.
If, for example, you are traveling from the United States (U.S.), you will not need a Canada visitor’s visa but rather an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), which can take as little as a few minutes to a few days to obtain.
However, if you do not qualify for an eTA, you will need to apply for a visitor or tourist visa. Before you apply, you will need to ensure that you:
- Have a valid travel document e.g. a passport
- Are you in good health
- Don’t have any criminal or immigration-related convictions
- Have ties to your home country indicating that you will return e.g. a job, home, financial assets, or family
- Have enough money to clever your expense during your stay in Canada
How long can I stay in Canada?
Most visitors can stay for up to 6 months at a time. However, this is completely up to the border officials.
Ready for Your Next Canadian Eco-Adventure?
Canada is a treasure trove filled with amazing, eco-friendly, and sustainable wildlife experiences just waiting to be embarked on.
For more information on how to apply for your Canada visitor visa (or tourist visa), be sure to visit CanadianVisa.org.