Conservation & Sustainability in Vancouver

Study Sustainability in the Canadian Pacific

With a land area of over 12,000 square miles, Vancouver Island is the largest island off the west coast of North America. That immense size also makes it the 43rd largest island in the world, and Canada’s 11th largest island!

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Sojourn – Gain a better understanding of the community you’re visiting. Learn about different religions or spiritual practices. How do these impact the communities? How does religion or spirituality influence local traditions?

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Savor – Will you choose sweet or savory? Take the time to visit local markets and discover unique local ingredients. Learn how to prepare traditional meals & local favorites.

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Tip of the Tongue – Each morning, take the time to learn a few basic greetings and phrases in the local language. Learn how to write greetings & your name in the local script.

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A Wrinkle in Time – History influences our present. Discover the history of the country you visit. Hear the stories of your guides & their family history. Where do they come from?

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Journal Journeys – Take some time to reflect on the day’s events and document your journey. Spend a moment journaling about the day had & day ahead. These are memories for a lifetime!

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Culture – From local dances, festivals, or simple gestures to communicate – all of these make up a country’s culture. Learn and practice cultural norms & how to show respect in the culture you visit.

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You’ll be met at the Vancouver airport by your guide and transferred to your hotel in the city. After you have an opportunity to get settled, you’ll meet up with your group to get acquainted, do a little light sightseeing around the city, and have dinner, where you’ll discuss your upcoming adventure to study sustainability!

You’ll start the day with a trip to Stanley Park, an urban miracle with over 500,000 fir, cedar and hemlock trees within a 1,000-acre park. You’ll also get to view a number of First Nations totem poles along the way before you head across the Lion’s Gate Bridge and into the massive old-growth forest that still exists just outside the city. Your guide will tell you about the flora and fauna that thrives in the huge natural area that butts up against Vancouver’s suburbs.

Next you’ll arrive at the Cliffwalk, a glass-bottomed walkway that protrudes from the granite cliff face over the Capilano River, where you’ll be treated to some amazing views. After lunch, it’s time to head over to 450-foot Capilano suspension bridge, first built in 1889 and offering a spectacular views. Then continue on to Treetops Adventure, a series of suspended walkways among the pines that offer a fun way to see the forest from another perspective. There, your guide will explain how the suspended bridges and walkways are attached sustainably to the native Douglas firs, some of which are centuries old.

Back to the city for dinner on Granville Island, where you can stroll through the famous public market and check out Chinatown, which boasts the largest Chinese population in the world outside of China.

You’ll pack up for the next leg of your adventure on Vancouver Island, where you’ll be the rest of your journey. You’ll be picked up at your hotel, then it’s off on a gorgeous 1.5-hour ferry ride through the scenic Gulf Islands before you dock on the island. It’s a short transfer ride to the city of Victoria, where you’ll be taken to your hotel to drop off your things and get settled in.

Then it’s time to meet up for some lunch and light sightseeing around Victoria, including a trip to the Royal BC Museum, which features highly recommended exhibitions on the First Nations through the settler period to today, illustrating the various impacts each wave of people has had on the area’s ecosystem. Finally it’s off to the Butchart Gardens, a fairyland of curated natural beauty that was created on the bones of an old limestone quarry. Plants and flowers have been imported from all over the world to create this magical refuge, a reminder that we are all connected to one another as we are to the earth.

Today it’s over to the west side of Vancouver Island as we head through the stunning Pacific Rim National Park. Your guide will take you on a number of hikes along the way through the varying ecologies of the area. You’ll hike on trails through rainforest, marine forest, and then finally end up at the beach for a picnic lunch.

After lunch and passing some time beachcombing or simply enjoying the sand, surf, and the view of the mighty Pacific, it’s on up to Ukuelet, which means “People of the Safe Harbor.” It’s worth it to stop off to stroll through this delightful and picturesque town, and you may want to check out the rugged Wild Pacific Trail, an easy hike but with incredible views of the ocean and the treetops.

Finally, it’s up to Tofino, a favorite spot for outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes, where you’ll get checked in to your hotel and meet up for dinner and a stroll around the town.

Today it’s all about the wildlife, so after a hearty breakfast, it’s off for a whale-watching tour! Your local guide will take you out on the water and show you the best spots to see some of the 20,000 grey whales that pass through the area between March and November. With many of them hanging out in the area all summer, there are plenty of chances to catch a glimpse! You’ll also have the opportunity to spot orcas and humpback whales, as well as a variety of other marine life, such as seals, sea lions, otters, bald eagles and more.

After lunch back on land it’s off for another animal adventure, this time bear watching. But don’t worry – you’ll be doing so from the safety of a boat well offshore! After the tide rolls out among the inter-island waters of the Meares Island, black bears come down from the forest to feed at the shoreline on their favorite seafood delicacies, including rock crabs and fish. Your guide will explain how this entire area was under threat from clear-cut logging interests, and how the local First Nations people teamed up with environmentalists to fight the logging companies starting in the 1980s to rescue this centuries-old forest. You’ll also learn about the impact human settlement has had on bears and other local fauna, and the efforts to offer the animals some peace and a natural existence in this protected area. You might also catch a glimpse of harbor porpoises, bald eagles, wolves, blue herons and more in this sanctuary.

Finally, after dinner it’s time for a trip to the hot springs to relax after your big day!

Today you’ll head across the island through the incredible Clayoquot Plateau Provincial Park. You’ll stop off for some hiking through the irresistible scenery, enjoying the peace of the might forest around you as well as a dip, weather permitting!

After a picnic lunch and some exploring, it’s off to the coastal town of Naimano. Once you get settled in to your hotel, it’s off for another whale-watching tour along the lovely Salish Sea. Your guide will introduce you to the particular ecosystem of the Salish Sea on your way to the Gulf Islands archipelago, where you’ll see orcas, humpback whales, porpoises, sea lions and bald eagles.

Back on land, there’s just time for dinner followed by an evening ferry over to Newcastle Island, where you can walk along trails, or simply enjoy the company of your group as you catch the sunset from one of the lovely beaches.

Time for an early breakfast and goodbyes to your new mates and this gorgeous green land full of such rich history and wildlife. But you’ll head home with a great deal more knowledge about the human impact on the flora and fauna of a delicate region like this, and full of hope for the efforts people are making toward sustainability!

From seeing stunning, centuries-old forests to visiting beautiful gardens reclaimed from old limestone quarries to whale watching, Vancouver Island is a must-see for people interested in conservation and who wish to study sustainability. The island’s inhabitants are acutely aware of the fragility of their home, and numerous initiatives are in place to minimize the impact of industry, tourists and locals alike. You’ll learn about how they do it while taking in some of the most breathtaking wild sights you’ll ever witness in the raw, wild beauty of Vancouver Island!


3-6 Day
Group Trips


7-12 Day
Group Trips


7-14 Day
Group Trips

Interested in adding or modifying activities? No problem! All Worldwide Navigator itineraries can be customized to your liking!

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