WESTERN CANADA

Fun Facts From Globus Tours

      • The Great Horned Owl is Alberta’s official bird
      • British Columbia is larger than every U.S. state except Alaska
      • 90% of the total land in British Columbia is owned by the government
      • The emerald color water of Lake Louise is due to the rock flour deposited by the melting of glaciers

The western side of Canada is the wild side of Canada. With cold, sparkling mountain lakes, snow-tipped mountains, wildlife on land and shore, and crisp clean air, Western Canada is a wilderness trip beyond compare. It’s also a place packed with rich heritage, history, and culture. As far to the southwest as Canada stretches, Vancouver & Victoria sit – just a ferry’s ride away from Seattle, lies another country – Rocky Mountain country! Vancouver, the largest metropolitan area in Western Canada, is a bustling and vibrant city sheltered by stunning mountains and the great Pacific Ocean. With endless things to do, Vancouver is the Cosmopolitan part of any Western Canada vacation. Just next door is Victoria – a serene spot on the globe known for its lush gardens and quaint city streets. The world-famous Butchart Gardens can easily occupy visitors for a day. Well-manicured flower beds and stunning colors as well as the story of the Butchart family make for an enchanted afternoon.

Moving onto the Canadian mainland, the majesty takes over and everything is bigger than life. Whistler Mountain is a perfect destination for adventurers – biking, touring by helicopter, or hiking, are just some of the ways to see this amazing mountain city, home of the 2010 Winter Olympics. While in Whistler, the chance to visit the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Center is a chance to experience some of the First Nations People of Canada, and it is a tremendous source of pride for the native residents. National Parks abound in this wild mountainous territory: whether visiting Glacier National Park, Jasper, Banff, or Yoho. You can walk across an ice field, drive over the Continental Divide, or see the agricultural regions of Okanagan Valley, Penticton, and Kelowna, where the Fraser Valley showcases grand vistas of vineyards and orchards. Along the journey, witness moose, deer, bears, and a variety of bird species. Near the water, see spouting whales, barking seals, and bald eagles.

A trip into Calgary is a treat. Home of the world-famous Calgary Stampede, this city offers entertainment and fun, and the Wild West earns its name! Visit the uniquely named “Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump,” a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a field day for lovers of history. This site has been used continuously by Aboriginal peoples of the plains for more than 5,500 years.

Spend every day captivated by endless mountain lakes, rivers, and falls – all providing opportunities for fun and adventure – hiking, rafting, canoeing, or just cruising across the lakes. There is something for everyone at each destination and all along the journey. Don’t miss the opportunity to enhance a Western Canada vacation by taking a portion of it by train or cruise – Canada’s neighbor, Alaska, offers additional opportunities to witness glaciers and wildlife in a magical setting. The quiet grandeur of this unique corner of the world with its dazzling rugged and untamed territory might not be done justice by a camera, but the fun part is recounting tales of the adventures to friends and family back home.

CURRENCY

For the most current exchange rates, please go to our website at Globusjourneys.com/Currency.

Although credit cards are widely accepted in the United States, we recommend our passengers carry some cash (~$50.00) to use in circumstances when credit cards are not accepted or in destinations where ATMs are not readily available.

BUDGETING AND SHOPPING

When budgeting for your trip, keep in mind that the cost of goods, including food, drinks, and souvenirs, may differ significantly from what you’re used to at home. In general, Canada IS more expensive than destinations in the continental United States.

Shopping
Look for smoked salmon, maple syrup products, 2010 Olympic souvenirs, and First Nation crafts including jewelry, carvings, and paintings. You also might want to bring home a bottle of British Columbia wine, some of the best in the world. Vancouver offers a wide variety of specialty stores and boutique shops. It’s an “artsy” town and you’ll want to visit some of the one-of-a-kind shops in Downtown Vancouver.

TEMPERATURES

When traveling to western Canada keep in mind that the temperature can vary greatly between destinations. Some of the destinations we visit are higher in elevation therefore, the sun will be more intense but the temperature may be substantially cooler than that of lower elevations. When traveling to coastal cities, an ocean breeze may persist. We recommend checking local weather in each of your destinations prior to travel to ensure you are adequately prepared for the conditions. To help you plan, below are average low and high temperatures for Western Canada.

To convert to Celsius, subtract 30, then divide by 2. While not exact, this simple formula will give a close estimation..

FOOD SPECIALTIES

Local favorites of Western Canada include the tasty Nanaimo bars, fresh salmon and halibut, farm raised beef, sweet corn pancakes, and fresh berry preserves. Sample British Columbia wines, some of the best in the world. Cuisine is a big deal in Vancouver and Calgary, and you should have no shortage of choices for wining and dining in the heart of the city.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE COUNTRY INFORMATION

Additional country-specific information for US citizens can be found on the US Government’s website www.travel.state.gov. Here, you can find the most up-to-date information about destination descriptions, passports/visas, safety and security, transportation, travel local laws, alerts/warnings, vaccinations, and more. For citizens of other nations, we recommend you consult your local consulate for travel information, regulations, and requirements.

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