Back to Nature in British Columbia
By Charlotte Flach
Following a renewed focus on health and wellness, clients who find themselves in Canada’s nature hotspot can discover ‘The British Columbia Effect’ first-hand, says Charlotte Flach
Whale of a time
Homalco Wildlife and Cultural Tours has launched a Whales, Wildlife and Culture Tour, which combines wildlife sightseeing with Indigenous storytelling. Clients will marvel at humpback whales while exploring culturally significant sites such as the Discovery Islands. The area has a rich Indigenous heritage with occupation by the people of the Homalco, Klahoose and other First Nations.
Deep in the coastal wilderness of Desolation Sound, only accessible by boat or seaplane, the Klahoose Wilderness Resort is BC’s newest Indigenous cultural experience. Owned by Indigenous peoples, the luxury all-inclusive eco-resort hosts its first season this May. Guests can take a boat ride in Toba Inlet, to see grizzly bears, visit thundering waterfalls on a rainforest hike or go sea kayaking.
Talaysay Tours has debuted a new Talking Trees tour at the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre in Whistler. Guided by Lil’wat Elder and plant specialist Lucille Joseph, guests will learn about the medicinal and culinary uses of local trees and plants. There’s also the new Kees and Claire Hut at Russet Lake, situated along Spearhead Traverse, a 40-kilometre route which crosses 13 glaciers between Whistler and Blackcomb.
In the heart of the West Kootenays, close to the bohemian town of Nelson, the newly opened Bear Spring Eco Retreat takes travellers off grid. Stay in glamping tents, charming cottages or the lodge itself. The retreat uses only solar lighting and boasts edible food gardens, with 300 acres of land allowing for foraging, hiking, swimming, skiing, snowshoeing and brushes with wildlife.
Step into the wild at the new Nemiah Valley Lodge – planned to open June 2022. Located in the rolling valley and beside BC’s Ts’ilos Provincial Park, the all-inclusive lodge will offer activities such as guided hikes, cultural interpretations, archery, fishing, kayaking and paddleboarding. There’s also the chance to become fully immersed in the lives and traditions of the Xeni Gwet’in people.
High up in the Skeena Mountains, near Terrace, is the new Northern Escape mountain lodge. The ideal base for exploring the wild north of BC, guests will discover world-class steelhead and salmon fishing plus the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary and coastal whale watching for orcas and humpbacks. Adventurers can hit the trails on an e-mountain bike or paddle the surrounding lakes.