British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province, embraces nearly a million square kilometres of mountains, forests and beaches, cosmopolitan cities and friendly little towns. Set between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, BC’s vast and beautiful landscapes span hundreds of provincial parks, seven national parks and countless green spaces in spectacular settings.
This is the great outdoors. There’s so much to discover from thriving wine regions, ancient temperate rainforests, inspiring indigenous cultures and fascinating wildlife.
Even BC’s largest and most vibrant cities Vancouver and Victoria rub shoulders with the wilds and make it easy to step into nature – from sea-kayaking and whale watching in the morning to sipping cocktails in the afternoon. In British Columbia nature shapes culture and unbridled adventures abound.
Regions of British Columbia
With the abundance of wildlife and awe-inspiring scenery, BC is also road trip country. Take the sea-to-sky highway along the coast from Vancouver to Whistler flanked by soaring cliffs and waterfalls on one side and vast blue seas and open skies on the other. Travel ‘route 97’ – North America’s longest continuous North-South highway through BC’s orchard and wine region – the Okanagan Valley – and on to Alaska.
Or hit trans-Canada highway 1 for big mountain, high octane views and outdoor adventures. For additional wildlife viewing just look out of the window as you drive through the Rocky Mountains or along the Alaska Highway and see moose, deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, wolves and bald eagles.
It’s been said that ‘BC’ stands for ‘Bear Country’ and for good reason. British Columbia has some of the most diverse wildlife anywhere in the world with more than 1,100 different species and wildlife-viewing experiences across the province.
The Great Bear Rainforest is one of the planet’s most pristine wilderness environments, with a large population of black and grizzly bears and the only place in the world to see the elusive Kermode (Spirit) bear. BC’s coastal waters are also teeming with life and you can join tours from Vancouver, Victoria and Vancouver Island to see orcas, humpbacks, grey whales, seals, sea lions, porpoises, otters and more.
Mountains reign supreme in winter
For some of the world’s best powder and second-to-none heli-skiing, head to the mountains. Both cat-skiing and heli-skiing were pioneered here, and the province is home to some unforgettable snowmobiling terrain. BC is home to more than 50 Nordic ski areas, many offering lit trails for night skiing. But there’s plenty to do besides skiing. Other popular winter pursuits in BC include snowshoeing, storm watching, and ice climbing.
Gain a deeper understanding of how the people and the land are intertwined
Listen to the stories. Close your eyes, open your heart and mind to thousands of years of knowledge and wisdom as these Indigenous leaders share their unique relationships to the land, sea, and wildlife. You will see that everything truly is connected.
With 203 Indigenous communities and more than 30 Indigenous languages, British Columbia’s six diverse and beautiful regions offer extensive authentic Indigenous experiences. Explore ancient coastal villages with an indigenous guide, learn about traditional plant medicines, appreciate stunning and distinctive art and enjoy authentic indigenous cuisine. For a deeper experience spend the night in an indigenous-owned accommodation and find connections to the land, the people and to something bigger than yourself.
With more than 200 First Nations, there is a breadth of authentic Indigenous experiences in British Columbia. Here, you can deepen your connection with the land, waters, elements, and wildlife and immerse yourself in the rich living cultures and traditional knowledge of Indigenous Peoples.