Tag : canada

Trekking in Canada

The second biggest country in the world, after Russia, Canada is a vast expanse of mountains, lakes, islands, forests and rivers. Major cities, such as Toronto and Vancouver are close to the border with the US, while Montreal and Edmonton are a little further north.

Most people live within a couple of hundred miles from the border with America, but Canada has huge northern areas that stretch way beyond the Arctic Circle and with settlements inhabited mainly by the native Inuit people.

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Canada has all the luxuries one might expect from a Western country, but it is also a paradise for those who love the great outdoors – and Canada has more great outdoors than practically any other nation! Trekking is a major vacation activity for visitors, as well as for Canadians and it’s hardly surprising given the stunning natural sights to be seen. The country is also easy to get to, with Air Transat flying in from many different countries and airports.

 

Trekking choices

Although trekking doesn’t just mean hiking and backpacking – travelers can take canoe and kayak trips as part of a trek – hiking is an inexpensive way to get to see nature close up, sometimes red in tooth and claw. Scenery is spectacular, from cascading waterfalls to raging white water through gorges, snow-tipped mountain peaks and deep, dark forests. The Rocky Mountains are the setting for vacation hotspots Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff, ideal places to set off on a Canadian trek.

 

Wild encounters

Trekkers should expect the unexpected, and while heading off into the wilderness without a guide can be an incredible adventure, there are many tours with experienced guides who know where all the best sights and activities can be found. Extensive trails fan out from the three tourist areas, and trekkers might expect to turn their hand to whitewater rafting, kayaking on a peaceful lake, or fishing for rainbow trout.

Almost around every corner there is another spectacular sight, perhaps a steep valley plunging to a gorge below, or layers of ice field to explore, and all around are the sensational views that are such an important part of the trekking experience.

Wildlife can be experienced at any time; the Rocky Mountains hosting a mixture of fascinating creatures. Most famous is the fearsome grizzly bear, and trekkers may come across black bears, elks (or wapiti, and not the same as moose), caribou – perhaps better know to many as reindeer – mountain goats, marmots and bighorn sheep. In the skies above may be seen eagles, geese and other wildfowl making their way to or from their feeding grounds.

 

Resting places for the weary

When the day’s trekking is done having the right place to rest is essential. Serious trekkers will head out for several days and stay in well-appointed campsites to be close to nature.

These vacation areas can also provide the height of luxurious accommodations, with fine food and a relaxing atmosphere providing a real chance to unwind. The smaller local inns also offer a warm welcome, and self-catering lodges and cabins are also a popular alternative with many trekkers.

 

 

Categories: Blog, Bucket List, Inspiration, Natural Wonders, Travel Tips

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5 weird and wonderful places to explore in Canada

Romantic weekends away are ideal for exploration and, of course, some quiet time with one another. One wrong turn onto the tourist track though and you’re stuck in endless queues, eating over-priced food and not getting the most out of your time away. On your next vacation, forget about the Rockies and the CN Tower; visit some of the more obscure Canadian destinations. Be sure to have the camera ready for a few unique and memorable snaps for future family albums.

1. The world’s first UFO landing pad

Do you believe the truth is out there? Find a fellow stargazer at www.eharmony.ca and have your own close encounter on top the UFO landing pad in St. Paul, Alberta. Proudly boasting the title of world’s first, the pad was erected in 1967 as a handy parking space for extra terrestrials. Today, it serves as a town landmark and is a big hit with earthlings. For those of you who need more evidence of alien life, take a look at the UFO exhibit that’s also on site.

2. Hoodoos

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For an amazing spectacle that’s a bit closer to home – but still out-of-this-world – visit the bizarre-looking hoodoos in Drumheller, Alberta. Standing at around seven meters tall, these unusual sandstone pillars have formed over millions of years. The hard stone ‘cap’ at the top protects the fragile sandstone as its sides are eroded, leaving the weird columns scattered around the landscape.

3. Signpost forest

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/delorenzo/7847964920/

The Signpost Forest is a much-loved attraction in Walston Lake. Back in 1942, Carl K. Lindley – a homesick U.S. Army G.I. – erected a sign while working on the Alaska Highway. It stated the how far away his hometown was and pointed the way. Others followed suit, creating a metallic forest of nostalgia and fond memories of home.

Why not add your own? Whether you two met via online dating in Kamloops or at a party in Vancouver, point the way back to home sweet home.

4. Dining in the dark

Taking ‘blind dates’ to a whole new level, the O.NOIR restaurants in Toronto and Montreal offer a rather different dining experience. Enjoy a romantic meal for two while in complete darkness. The theory is that without be able to see the food, your other senses such as smell and taste become much more sensitive. Detect the subtle flavors of your dish, prepared by tops chefs and served by visually impaired waiters.

5. Swim with a polar bear

In normal circumstances, it’s advisable to stay out of the way of bears. However, at the polar bear habitat in Cochrane, Ontario, you can get right up close and personal with these majestic animals. Separated by just two inches of shatterproof glass, experience the magical sensation of swimming with polar bears while being completely safe. That has to be worth skipping the tourist track for.

Categories: Blog, Travel Tips

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The Best Places to Shop in Montreal

Located in the Province of Quebec, the city of Montreal is one of the most famous cities in all of Canada. While this city has one of the richest and more diverse histories in the entire world, it must not be forgotten that it also is frequented by millions of shoppers each year. If you are one of them do not forget to take your credit card and start accumulating rewards points at a higher rate for every dollar you spend. For some smart shopping, use Costco card that offers you cash back on a wide range of purchases. Let us have a brief look at some of the best places that this city has to offer.

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Eaton Centre

This is the most famous shopping complex in all of Montreal. Tourists and locals alike flock here each day to partake in many of the internationally recognised brand names which are sold. When one grows tired of perusing the countless stores, a multiplex cinema is located within. One of the major benefits here is that credit cards are accepted, therefore eliminating the need for a wary traveller to carry around local currency or worry about what exchange rate he will be given.

Rue Ste-Catharine

This well-travelled street is a must for one seeking to find the most local and unique items which Montreal has to offer. The idea of open-air shopping has found its niche here, as one can slowly peruse the numerous shops containing the latest fashions. Should the shopper be looking for even more choices, several major shopping centres are located nearby.

Underground City

The name alone sounds intriguing, and what this subterranean complex has to offer will not disappoint. Stretching for nearly fifteen miles under the streets of Montreal, countless shops and boutiques can be found. Additionally, the aforementioned Eaton Centre can be accessed from here as well. Due to the fact that Montreal can suffer from rather inclement weather from time to time, this option is perfect for the traveller looking to avoid the cold and the damp. Once again, by using credit cards, one does not have to worry about going above ground to find that elusive ATM in the dead of winter.

The Old Port

As the name denotes, what was at one time an old shipping port has now been transformed into a niche market where many diverse and unique souvenirs can be found. This area is perfect for those who are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the major city centres.

These areas are to name but a few of the myriad which Montreal has to offer. With the modern advantage of credit cards, purchasing that unforgettable keepsake can be just moments away.

 

 

Categories: Blog, Travel Tips

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HOW TO GET A CANADIAN WORKING HOLIDAY VISA

One of the most popular quotes in this day and age is ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’; this is simply because it justifies the need for people to take a break from hard work and simply relax and have fun. One of the many ways to take a break off work is by organizing a working holiday. Working holidays are all the rage, affordable accommodation is hard to come by and sometimes backpackers need a little extra cash to cover costs.

Most people are not used to hearing working and holiday in the same phrase simply because you leave work to go on trips but this does not have to be the case. If you want to let your holiday in Canada finance it self completely, then here is what you need to know.

A specific Visa

First and foremost you will need to apply for a special visa that will not only allow you to go into the country and travel freely but will also allow you to work there legally for the period of time you will be there. Canada is one of the few countries that give out working holiday permits alongside some European countries such as Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Proper planning

You have options in this case; one, you can decide to do the planning yourself or you could decide to hire a travel agency to do the planning for you. However, if you are going on a working holiday am sure that you are trying to save as much as you can so it is best to take time and do the planning yourself in order to maximize on your savings.


The main disadvantage of doing everything yourself is the massive paper work you will have to do; here is where having a travel agent is advantageous because they can do that for you. In the end it’s all about what you prefer.

Health Insurance

Quality overseas insurance is quite important before you begin your working holiday. As much as we don’t like it, accidents do happen despite which part of the globe you are in. In most cases the insurance plan you have in your home country will not be able to cover you while you are on working holiday in Canada.
These are the main things you should be aware of before you decide to go for a working holiday in Canada. Of course there are other things to be put into consideration but once you understand these you can make a decision.

Categories: Blog, Inspiration, Money