Canada’s 24 Absolute Best Eco-Adventure Tours for 2017

Category:  

Awesome Tips   Bucket List Worthy  

Canada_24_Absolute best_eco_adv-_2017

It’s Mother Earth like you’ve never seen her – and here’s your chance to love her as much as she loves you.

 

With an emphasis on not only incredible experiences but knowledge, awareness, and actionable insight, ecotourism is on the rise. More and more we are seeing that travelers are searching for authenticity as well as the chance to leave a smaller carbon footprint or learn about local preservation efforts while traveling.

 

mapleleafadventures-kayleen-vanderree

Here in Canada, a place rich with both cultural and ecological diversity, there are an incredible amount of ways for travelers to partake in ecotourism. With that being said, we’ve done you the favor or narrowing down that list to the very best this country has to offer.

 

freshadvwentures3

Here, you’ll find tours that consists of old-school wood kayaking, driving a Tesla through the countryside, learning about the First Nations, visiting Niagara Falls, rafting, whale watching and so much more. Ready for the adventure? Let’s get started.

Cultural

1. Maple Leaf Adventures |  2. Long Point Tours | 3. Fresh Adventures | 4. CapeRace Newfoundland Adventure Inc. | 5. Niagara Tours | 6. Tesla Tours Wine Tour 

Wildlife/Wilderness

1. Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve Ltd. |  2. Homarus Eco-Centre | 3. Tuckamore Discoveries  |  4. One Tree Paddles  | 5. Cove Adventure Tours  |  6. Skookum Adventures  |  7. Osoyoos Desert Centre  |  8. Big Tree Tours  |  9. K-awat’si Tours  |  10. Blind Channel Resort  |  11. Spirit of the West Adventures  |  12. West Coast Expeditions

Adventure Sports

1. Windmill Lake Wake & Eco Park |  2. Elora Raft Rides  |  3. Tofino Sea Kayaking   |  4. Treeosix Adventure Parks  |  5. D-Tour  |  6. Lardeau River Adventures

 

Cultural

 

1. Maple Leaf Adventures 

mapleleafadventures-kevin-smith

Location: Victoria, British Columbia Open season: May 30th – July 18th Starting prices: $6,210 CAD for 8 nights Website: www.mapleleafadventures.com Dedicated to ecotourism, the experts at Maple Leaf Adventures will take you along on an expedition that’s both exciting and environmentally conscious. Their week long trip starts out on Graham Island before you board a ship that will take you to some of the most remote corners of Haida Gwaii and the Queen Charlotte islands. The ship will take you to areas only small ships can explore, and along the way you’ll get to know the crew, hear their stories and learn more about this incredible region. Oh, you’ll meet locals like humpbacks, too.

 

2. Long Point Tours

 

Location: Turkey Point, Ontario Open season: June – September Starting prices: 109 CAD Website: www.longpointtours.com

The guides at Long Point Tours combine ecotourism with the rich history Long Point and the UNESCO world biosphere reserve. During the three hour tour you’ll explore the splash pool, the lighthouse, historical locations, rolling dunes and secluded beaches. The folks at Long Point will give you time to explore, but they also educate you on the area’s history and showcase all the beauty it has to offer.

 

3. Fresh Adventures

freshadventures2

 

Location: Victoria, British Columbia Open season: June 1st – September 30 Starting prices: $228 CAD a day Website: www.freshadventures.ca

Get off the beaten path and ditch the crowds by taking a private tour with a local on Vancouver Island. The folks at Fresh Adventures will arrange for you to explore the island’s secret beaches, caves, and rope swings — you can even try your hand at surfing here. The entire adventure is about connecting with nature and exploring with a local who will even feed you a gourmet meal with local produce and meat. If you’re ready for salt air, seclusion and a refreshing experience — this eco tour is for you.

 

4. CapeRace Newfoundland Adventure Inc.

Property of CapeRace3

 

Location: St. John’s -Fogo Island- Bonavista, Newfoundland & Labrador Open season: May 31st – October 31st Starting prices: $1990 CAD Website: http://www.caperace.com/

What travelers love about tours is the inside knowledge, but it can be hard to have genuine experiences when you’re being shown around rather than exploring for yourself. From this idea, the folks at Cape Race Newfoundland Adventure Inc. decided to devise a travel guide that would escort travelers through the region at their own pace. The guidebook will bring you to locations that locals hold secret and gives you the opportunity to engage with the communities you’ll pass in an organic way. The focus on eco and experiential tourism is what makes this tour truly unique and an experience you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

 

5. Niagara Tours

Natural Niagara Tours (Niagara River View)

 

Location: Niagara Falls, Ontario (from Toronto, Ontario) Open season: Year-round Starting prices: $79 CAD Website: https://niagaratours.ca

Visit what is often known as the eighth wonder of the world with a tour company that makes experiencing Niagara Falls extraordinary and convenient. This tour company is geared toward helping you check Niagara Falls off your bucket list while experiencing the other great features of the area too, including the Niagara region’s famous Ice Wine. Niagara Tours offers pick-up from more than 200 hotels and Airbnb locations throughout Toronto, which allows you to enjoy two entirely different vacations in one. Experience the city life and excitement of Toronto, while still having plenty of time to enjoy the majesty of one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world — Niagara Falls.

 

 

6. Tesla Tours Wine Tour

IMG_2591 (Edited)

 

Location: Victoria, British Columbia Open season: March 1st – November 30 Starting prices: $360 CAD a day Website: www.teslatours.ca On this trip you not only get to drive along picturesque roads in a sporty, solar charged Model S Tesla (like you’re in a fancy car advertisement) but you get to sip some of the finest wine of the region. The day-long adventure by Tesla Tours will take you on an incredible adventure to award-winning wineries where you’ll taste wines, speak to the artisans behind them, picnic on the terrace at Averill Creek, sunbathe at Blue Grouse patio and indulge in a gourmet meal at Unsworth’s award-winning restaurant. Sustainable luxury has never looked, felt or tasted so good.

 

Wildlife/Wilderness

 

 

1. Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve Ltd.

Haliburton Forest - Canopy Tour 2 of 3

 

Location: Haliburton, Ontario Open season: Mid May – Mid October Starting prices: $95 CAD Website: www.haliburtonforest.com

With a strong focus on love wildlife, the experts at the Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve will take you on an adventurous half-day tour of the forest itself. The day begins with a scenic drive then you’ll embark across the lake on canoe. After you’ll get a tour of the local Pelaw River Rapids then hike up the Canopy Walkway where you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views. And, if you just can’t get enough of this spectacular landscape you can always arrange overnight accommodation right on site.

 

2. Homarus Eco-Centre

Homarus Eco-Centre 2

 

Location: Shediac, New Brunswick Open season: June 3rd – August 26th Starting prices: $12 CAD Website: www.ecocentrehomarus.org

As the sharks in Finding Nemo once said, “Fish are friends, not food!” and that’s what the folks at Homarus Eco-Center think, too. While you tour this ecological center you’ll get the chance to learn about lobsters and other marine ecosystems. They even give you the chance to handle lobsters and adopt babies! It’s a truly unique and authentic experience.

 

3. Tuckamore Discoveries

 

Location: Bonavista, Newfoundland and Labrador Open season: May 15 – August 31 Starting prices: $60 CAD Website: www.tuckamorediscoveries.com

With a biologist as your tour guide, Tuckamore Discoveries will take you out into the wilderness to see and learn about the local puffin population. You’ll start out in Bonavista, Newfoundland and hike to a remote area where these animals roam so you can get as close as possible while being respectful to their habitat. It’s an incredible experience only local experts could bring you out on.

 

4. One Tree Paddles

P1011597

 

Location: Nanoose Bay, British Columbia Open season: May – September Starting prices: Starting at $80 Website: https://www.onetreepaddles.com/

The kayaking experts at One Tree Paddles won’t just teach you to have an appreciation for the sport of wooden kayaks, but also for the sea and wilderness they take you out on. During the tour, they’ll show you all the Winchelsea Archipelago and Schooners Reef has to offer while promoting sustainability and environmental protection. This is a true eco tour with a ton of adventure.

 

5. Cove Adventure Tours

Cove Adventure Tours 1 (1)

 

Location: Port Hardy, British Columbia Open season: Year round Starting prices: $140 CAD Website: www.coveadventuretours.com

The guided tours by Cove Adventure Tours guests a hassle-free way to experience the most remote and rugged locations on Vancouver Island North. While promoting the ecology of the area, they’ll take you on a hike through cedar and spruce forests and out onto picturesque white sandy beaches. It’s unlike anything you’ve seen before and some of the most breathtaking views in North America.

 

6. Skookum Adventures

Skookum Adventures Wilderness Rafting

 

Location: Skookumchuck, British Columbia Open season: May 1st – September 30th Starting prices: $169 CAD Website: https://www.wildskook.com/

Tucked right off the banks of the Skookumchuck creek you’ll find Skookum Adventures. At their perfectly situated whitewater locale, you’ll be able to take advantage of incredible rafting that flows from the creek from the Purcell Wilderness Conservatory. After some fun on the creek you can always venture off to enjoy the area’s hot springs, lakes and rugged terrain, too!

 

Jump to any tour by clicking here: 

Cultural

1. Maple Leaf Adventures |  2. Long Point Tours | 3. Fresh Adventures | 4. CapeRace Newfoundland Adventure Inc. | 5. Niagara Tours | 6. Tesla Tours Wine Tour 

Wildlife/Wilderness

1. Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve Ltd. |  2. Homarus Eco-Centre | 3. Tuckamore Discoveries  |  4. One Tree Paddles  | 5. Cove Adventure Tours  |  6. Skookum Adventures  |  7. Osoyoos Desert Centre  |  8. Big Tree Tours  |  9. K-awat’si Tours  |  10. Blind Channel Resort  |  11. Spirit of the West Adventures  |  12. West Coast Expeditions

Adventure Sports

1. Windmill Lake Wake & Eco Park |  2. Elora Raft Rides  |  3. Tofino Sea Kayaking   |  4. Treeosix Adventure Parks  |  5. D-Tour  |  6. Lardeau River Adventures

 

 

7. Osoyoos Desert Centre

Osoyoos Desert Centre

 

Location: Osoyoos, British Columbia Open season: April – October Starting prices: $7 CAD Website: www.desert.org

A desert in Canada? Yep, you read that right! And the folks at Osoyoos Desert Center are ready to teach you about it and their preservation efforts. Not all deserts are dry and sandy, and the team of experts here will show you how they work on habitat restoration as well as with the endangered ecosystems in their North American desert. This is an incredible way to spend the day on an eco-tour, as well as support people who do great work.

 

8. Big Tree Tours

Big-Tree-Tours-1-Avatar-Grove

 

Location: Port Renfrew, British Columbia Open season: May – October Starting prices: $150 CAD Website: www.bigtreetours.ca

Walk amongst giants with Big Tree Tours in Port Renfrew. The forests they’ll take you through are full of gigantic Douglas-firs and other trees that span over 14 feet wide and over 200 feet tall — some tree’s standing taller than Niagara Falls. Incredible, right? During your tour you’ll get to see some of the most incredible trees the continent has to offer all while getting great information from the eco-tourism experts at Big Tree tours.

 

9. K-awat’si Tours

Scenic_Boat_and_Wildlife_Tour_800x600

 

Location: Port Hardy, British Columbia Open season: June 15th – September 15th Starting prices: $125 CAD Website: www.kawatsitours.ca

Climb aboard and discover Hardy Bay, God’s Pocket, wildlife like whales and sea lions, and so much more with the eco-tour experts at Kawat’si Tours. On their signature tour, they’ll explain the history of the land along with the culture while showcasing everything the beautiful coastal mountains of the North Island has to offer. If you want a mix of history, culture, adventure and fun — this is the place to be.

 

10. Blind Channel Resort

 

Location: Blind Channel, British Columbia Open season: May 25th – September 20th Starting prices: $260 CAD Website: www.blindchannel.com

Located on West Thurlow Island, part of the outer Discovery Islands, is Blind Channel Resort. A mix of both excellent service and exceptional adventure, the eco-tourism experts here know how to show their guests a great time. While on the island you’ll explore teeming tidal rapids, watch bald eagles glide above your head and hike breathtaking trails all while indulging in gourmet food and superb accommodation. The hope is that you’ll leave the island with a new appreciation for the wild and an unforgettable experience.

 

11. Spirit of the West Adventures

Spirit of the West Adventures sunset Blackfish Sound

 

Location: Heriot Bay, British Columbia Open season: June 25th – September 20 Starting prices: $1695 CAD for 4 days Website: www.kayakingtours.com

Spirit of the West Adventures offers a camping trip and eco-tour of Heriot Bay unlike any other. The popular Whales and Wilderness Glamping tour offers an unbeatable kayaking experience where you’ll view wildlife like humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, eagles and more in the rich ecosystem of Blackfish Sound. The experts at Spirit of the West provide you not only with top notch service on their expeditions (like gourmet food and a wood burning hot tub) but with deep knowledge of the region that will leave you with a newfound love for this island.

 

12. West Coast Expeditions

_MG_3616

 

Location: Courtenay/Kyuquot, British Columbia Open season: June 15th – September 15th Starting prices: $2299 CAD for 5 days Website: www.westcoastexpeditions.com

Off the beaten bath, on Spring Island, you’ll find the folks of West Coast expeditions taking travelers on kayaking tours, exploring beaches, hiking through old-growth forests and teaching them about the diverse wildlife and aboriginal culture. The island resort is perfectly situated to take advantage of all the Kyuquot Sound and Checleset Bay have to offer, including a wonderful wildlife population of sea otters. This adventure is sure to both excite and enlighten you.

 

Adventure Sports

 

1. Windmill Lake Wake & Eco Park

Windmill Lake Wake & Eco Park (2)

 

Location: Bayfield, Ontario Open season: May 20th – October 31st Starting prices: $20 CAD Website: www.windmill-lake.ca Windmill Lake Wake & Eco Park is an environmentally conscious recreation park where you can fulfil all of your watersport dream adventures. Here, the experts will teach you how to wakeboard and paddleboard, and you can also rent kayaks, canoes, and pedal boats too. You’ll be at nature and helping it, too — the folks at the park explaining that by playing in the water you help aerate it for all the creatures that call it home. Pretty cool, right?

 

2. Elora Raft Rides

 

Location: Elora, Ontario Open season: May – September Starting prices: $65 CAD Website: www.eloraraftrides.com This is white water rafting like you’ve never seen it before. An eco-rafting tour with Elora Raft Rides is sure to leave you breathless with excitement as you climb into one-man inflatable cata-rafts called ‘RiverBugs’. What you do it get nestled between two pontoons and using swim-fins and webbed gloves, propel yourself down the Grand River. The two-hour guided trip features 36 sets of white-water rapids, a waterfall in downtown Fergus (that is awesome, but optional to descend), 8 islands and 4 bridges. Along the way you’ll scream with excitement and get the chance to experience the nature around you as well as learn a lot about the ecology and history of the area.

 

3. Tofino Sea Kayaking

Tofino Sea Kayaking - TSK sunset

 

Location: Tofino, British Columbia Open season: Year round Starting prices: $119 CAD Website: www.tofinoseakayaking.com During an epic five hour kayaking tour, the folks at Tofino Sea Kayaking will take you through the rainforests of Clayoquot Sound, the incoming tides of Mareas Island and through old forests that will loom around you. They call this tour the ‘Hidden Places’ tour because it takes you where no one else does. And, if you come during the right time of year, you could catch the migration season of the local birds.

 

4. Treeosix Adventure Parks

Treeosix_3

 

Location: Waskesiu Lake, Saskatchewan Open season: May 1st – September 30th Starting prices: $20 CAD Website: www.treeosix.com Admire the Boreal Forest of northern Saskatchewan and the Lodgepole Pine Forest of the Cypress Hills from above with the help of Treeosix Adventure Parks. With their state of the art zipline high above these spectacular ecosystems, the Treeosix team will help you admire and appreciate this land in a new and unique way. Everything about this park is eco-friendly, plus, it’s packed with adventure — and it doesn’t get much better than that.

 

5. D-Tour

header.ebike

 

Location: Mont-Tremblant, Quebec Open season: May 13th – October 22nd Starting prices: $87 CAD Website: www.dtourtremblant.com The e-Bike Discovery tour (electrically-enhanced bike) allows even novice riders to enjoy the vast, beautiful region of Mont-Tremblant in only a couple of hours with ease and pleasure. Thanks to this innovative bike, you’ll get to see more of this wonderful landscape in less time. Plus, it’s totally sustainable and a unique experience you’ll rave about for years to come.

 

6. Lardeau River Adventures

Nelson Kootenay Lake Rafting-Lardeau River Adventures 3

 

Location: Meadow Creek, Kaslo, British Columbia Open season: May 1st – September 30th Starting prices: $169 CAD Website: www.lardeauriveradventures.com Lardeau River Adventures offers a wilderness whitewater rafting experience and eco-tour in the heart of the Kootenay Rockies of British Columbia. With their team, you’ll get to ride the crystal waters of the Lardeau River which wind through a beautiful mountain valley providing class 2+ rapids and overlooking incredible scenery and wildlife. The trained experts on your trip will teach you about the region, take you on a picnic and show the great biological diversity teeming in these mountains — it’s a piece of backcountry BC you have to see for yourself.

 

Jump to any tour by clicking here: 

Cultural

1. Maple Leaf Adventures |  2. Long Point Tours | 3. Fresh Adventures | 4. CapeRace Newfoundland Adventure Inc. | 5. Niagara Tours | 6. Tesla Tours Wine Tour 

Wildlife/Wilderness

1. Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve Ltd. |  2. Homarus Eco-Centre | 3. Tuckamore Discoveries  |  4. One Tree Paddles  | 5. Cove Adventure Tours  |  6. Skookum Adventures  |  7. Osoyoos Desert Centre  |  8. Big Tree Tours  |  9. K-awat’si Tours  |  10. Blind Channel Resort  |  11. Spirit of the West Adventures  |  12. West Coast Expeditions

Adventure Sports

1. Windmill Lake Wake & Eco Park |  2. Elora Raft Rides  |  3. Tofino Sea Kayaking   |  4. Treeosix Adventure Parks  |  5. D-Tour  |  6. Lardeau River Adventures

About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a freelance writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, learning new cultures and surfing new waves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *