Canada Travel Guide

Alternative Travel Index Rank: #3

Canada is also the 6th Most Underrated & the 2nd Eco Travel Destination
Excels in World Heritage natural sites, level of peace, ATMs coverage
Population and tourists density at peak season: 4 (very low)

  • Quebec City Buildings

Canada is by size, the largest country in North America, second in the world overall (behind only Russia). Renowned worldwide for its vast, untouched landscape, its unique and tolerant blend of cultures and multifaceted history, Canada is one of the world’s wealthiest countries and a major travel destination.

Sparsely populated, the majority of its land territory is dominated by forest and tundra and the Rocky Mountains. About four-fifths of the country’s population of 35M people live near the southern border. Canada has historically been built and influenced by immigrants from two European nations, Britain and France.

Travel Costs

Canada ranks #124/141 for price competitiveness in Justraveling’s Alternative Travel Index. Average travel costs per day: $64 (backpacker) – $205 (mid-range). Cheapest Canadian cities: Rimouski, Moncton, Oshawa, Quebec City. Most expensive Canadian cities: Ottawa, St. John’s, Calgary, Red Deer.

Best Time to Go

May-Oct is the best time to go to Canada. The majority of the country has a cold or severely cold winter climate, but southern areas are warm in summer. Tourist crowds and prices decline in May and during the fall (Sep-Oct).

Places to Visit

Quebec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec. Located at a commanding position on cliffs overlooking the St. Lawrence Seaway, Quebec City’s Old Town is an UNESCO World Heritage site and the only city in North America (outside Mexico and the Caribbean) with its original city walls.

Riding Mountain National Park, located in the province of Manitoba, is a vibrant wilderness oasis, set high above a sea of prairie agricultural lands. It is marked by a mosaic of flourishing ecosystems with an incredible diversity of plant and animal species, including moose, gray wolf, lynx, and cougar.

Home to the second largest natural harbour in the world, Halifax is rich in history, with an architecture dating back to colonial times. The city is quite compact and walkable and boasts a slow pace of life and a warm hospitality.

The Interlake is situated north of Winnipeg, between Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba. Its lakes and rivers are popular for boating, swimming, and fishing, while its towns provide a good glimpse into the region’s rural past.

Cape Breton Island is a large island comprising the north-eastern portion of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. It supports a lively, but seasonal tourist industry with a mix of cultural and historical attractions.

Terra Nova National Park, in eastern Newfoundland, is wholly committed to protecting and celebrating the beauty and variety of nature in this scenic region. Here the sheltered Atlantic fjords stretch inland to touch the boreal landscape.

Travel Ideas and Things to Do

With a 21,500 km network of connected greenways, waterways, and roadways, the Trans Canada Trail is the longest recreational trail in the world. Crossing it from the Atlantic to the Arctic would take over two years, but you can just pick a section and hike, bike, or paddle along it. Read these stories to get inspiration.

The Canadian, an iconic train linking Toronto to the Pacific Coast, is your window to Canada, and a great, intimate way to discover the country’s prairie fields, lakes, picturesque towns, and the snowy peaks of the majestic Rockies.

Spend 3 to 5 days hiking the Tonquin Valley (Alberta). From Jasper, four and a half hours from Calgary’s airport and easily reachable by rail, the main trail takes you through Portal Creek, McCarib Pass, and the Astoria River.

Adventure Canada’s Arctic Safari begins in Kangerlussuaq (the big fjord) and leads to some of the most beautiful and isolated places on the planet, including Baffin Island, Davis Strait, and the UNESCO-listed Ilulissat Icefjord (Greenland).

More active travel ideas for your next trip can be found in the Hiking Series. Check out these five routes to enjoy an awesome day hike in Canada.

This Travel Guide is a work in progress. Improve it with a Canadian touch!

Sources: some text excerpts from Wikitravel & Wikipedia; travel cost data from Numbeo.