Experience Vancouver, a vibrant metropolitan city nestled between the mountains, the vast Pacific Ocean, rainforests and scenic parks. Vancouver is a walkable city, and locals take pride in welcoming visitors with clean, safe and vibrant streets.
Included today is a Hop-on-Hop-off Pass, which is a fun and flexible way to see the best of Vancouver! Take a bus, stop at a location, browse around for as long as you want and then hop back onto the next coming bus to move onto the next attraction! You will experience downtown Vancouver at leisure as the bus circles through a series of cultural districts, seaside points of interest, and Stanley Park. Clear top buses for stunning views, rain or shine, and full commentary in English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin. During your stop at Canada Place, we recommend the FlyOver Canada experience nearby. The show utilizes state-of-the-art technology to give you the feeling of flight. You will hang suspended, feet dangling, before a 20-metre spherical screen while the film takes you away on an exhilarating 8-minute journey across Canada, from east to west. Special effects, including wind, mist and scents, combine with the ride's motion to create an unforgettable experience. During the other stops, we suggest exploring Stanley Park and seeing the Lion's Gate Bridge spanning the entrance to Vancouver's port. The longest suspension bridge in the world when it was completed it offers unparalleled views of the harbour and English Bay beyond. Travel to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and walk among the towering trees of this temperate rain forest and learn the ways of the local Indigenous people. Walk across the world's longest foot suspension bridge to the other side of the river where you can climb to the tree canopy and stroll through the "Treetops Adventure" walkway high above the canyon floor and the river below.
Transfer to Vancouver's South Terminal for a short flight to Bella Coola. Flying over the fiords, high mountains and rugged terrain will give you an idea why so few roads exist in this relatively pristine part of British Columbia's coastline.On arrival, transfer to the Bella Coola Valley Inn before heading out to explore the Kopas Store, the Copper Sun Gallery and the Bello Coola Museum. The museum provides an insight into the area's history starting with the Indigenous people who have inhabited the region for thousands of years, then the early explorers, the coming of the first pioneer European settlers and the building of the 'Freedom Road'. The Kopas Store and the Copper Sun gallery provide a showcase for the traditional Nuxalk peoples artwork and handicrafts as well as maps, jewelry and masks typical of the area.
Overnight: Great Bear Rainforest
British Columbia's central coast swathed in temperate rainforest hosts a tremendous variety of habitats. On the full day bus tour, you get a comprehensive overview of the history, the culture, landscapes and the biodiversity of the area. Depending on the weather and the exact time of year, you will visit some or all of Bella Coola area highlights including the Clayton Falls Recreation Site and Tidal Estuary Waterfalls, the First Nations Salmon Smokehouse (only when operational), the Snootli Creek Fish Hatchery, stroll to the Walker Island Giant Red Cedar Grove, visit the Norwegian Heritage House, stop at the BC Parks public Grizzly Bear Viewing Stand (during season), do a short walk to the Burnt Bridge Creek Lookout at the southern edge of Tweedsmuir Park, and visit viewpoints to Mt Stupendous, Mt. Nusatsum and Mt. Defiance.
Overnight: Bella Coola
Board an ocean going boat and depart on a guided day tour of the ocean fiords and inlets to see several sites built by settlers and learn about the history and settlement of the area. We cruise by Hanging Glaciers and stop in Bachelor Bay at the sandy beach and visit Seal Rock. The views to the east of Mt. Nusatsum and to the west of Bentinck Spire are spectacular.All the while, the captain will be on the lookout for wildlife as you cruise into the mouth of the Salmon Spawning Creek at Green Bay to view the tidal estuary in search of grizzlies, black bears and wolves. Heading out around the point into South Bentinck Arm you may have opportunity to see seals, dolphins, humpback whales and orcas.You will have the opportunity to enjoy a soak in the natural mineral hot spring nestled in a rock crevice with crystal clear waters. After a soothing soak in the hot springs, we cruise to a quiet little emerald green harbour at the trailhead of the famous Big Cedar Tree while our captain prepares a nice onboard lunch as we enjoy watching the seals and eagles. Departing the bay, cruise up to a vertical granite bluff to view a very impressive display of ancient First Nation pictographs that tell stories of long ago. Heading north out of the fjord we keep an eye out for dolphins. Our cruise ends with arrival back at the Bella Coola Harbour late afternoon. The 8 hour cruise covers approximately 50 nautical miles of remote marine wilderness with many spectacular sights.
A number of guided bear viewing walks and boat cruises are available for you to re-visit any of the locations that we may have seen over the previous days. In addition, Indigenous craftsmen and artisans have several galleries and workshops to showcase their exquisite carvings and artwork. Further, having an unstructured day allows you to re-schedule any of the activities that you may have had to cut short on account of inclement weather.
We transfer to Bella Coola airport for our return flight to Vancouver and the end of our Great Bear Rainforest adventure.