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Immerse yourself into the Inuit culture on one of these aboriginal cultural tours in northern Quebec


Immerse yourself in the cultural and natural heritage of the Inuit people on one of these Inuit cultural tours in northern Quebec.

From Hudson Bay to the west, to Hudson Straight and Ungava Bay to the north, to the Torngat Mountains rising in the east - this is their land, their home, and the Nunavimmiut – the people of Nunavik - invite you to explore this little known region of northern Quebec for an unforgettable journey.

Learn about a culture steeped in ancient stories and traditions that have guided a people for a thousand years to thrive in one of the most challenging and unforgiving climates on earth. In a rare opportunity, the Inuit community of Puvirnituq and Kuujjuaq invites you to join themt o experience their seasonal activities and help you create a memorable, unforgettable story of your own.

Discovering Kuujjuaq

Your guides offer an exceptional perspective of Kuujjuaq which reveals how the whole region buzzes with activity, providing the essential services to the local Inuit and to the entire population of Nunavik. Comfortably lodged at the co-op hotel, you will have the leisure to spend the week ambling through town, gaining understanding that would have been impossible without your guide. During your stay, you will of course also have the opportunity to gaze upon the spectacular aurora borealis sweeping across dark blue skies.

Kuujjuaq is south of Ungava Bay. With 2,400 residents, one can say that it is Nunavik's metropolis. So if you've been dreaming of going to the Arctic, in Kuujjuaq, you're already there. There are no roads that link Kuujjuaq to even its closest neighbour. In fact, none of the 14 villages in Nunavik are linked by roads. The only way to gain access is by snowmobile, dog-sled, plane or canoe. Goods are shipped there by boat in summer or by plane year-round. In Kuujjuaq, in the summertime, days are long with only four hours of darkness during the solstice, then at the winter solstice it is the opposite, with four short hours of sun.

Puvirnituq in the summer and the winter

This 4 day package is the perfect introduction for the non-tourist seeking a real travel experience – one in which to learn first hand the living natural and cultural history of the local Inuit who have, on the outer edge of the known world, carved themselves a place to call home. In a rare opportunity, the Inuit community of Puvirnituq invites you to join them for a day (or two) to experience their seasonal activities and help you create a memorable, unforgettable story of your own.

Absorb the sounds of arctic wildlife as traditional throat singers interpret them in their haunting, rhythmic melodies. Observe master carvers calling out mythical beings from blocks of stone, and then try your own hand at sculpting the forms of your imagination. Our guided tour of the village introduces you to many local personalities, and you will also have the opportunity to help local fisherman bring in their nets from the open water, or, depending on the season, from beneath the ice.

The nearly endless sunshine of summer is a time for hiking, camping, and berry picking amongst glimmering lakes set upon the wind swept tundra; the refreshingly crisp air of winter invites opportunities to travel by dog team and the chance to build - and sleep in - an igloo of your own. No two experiences are ever the same, and at all times of the year, the warmth and hospitality of your hosts will leave you wanting to come back for more.

STARTING AT
$3115.00 CAD
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TRIP DETAILS
DESTINATION
EQUIPMENT/CLOTHING
ACCOMMODATIONS
MEALS & DINING
DATES & PRICING
ITINERARY
TRIP TYPE
Aboriginal Culture
SEASON

Year round.

DIFFICULTY
Easy / Moderate
MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE
10
GUIDE INFORMATION

You will be accompanied on these tours by qualified and experienced guides knowledgeable in the local Inuit culture, ecosystem, history, flora and fauna. They are looking forward to sharing their knowledge and customs with you.

RESTRICTIONS
Not Applicable
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Communication in the north:

Nunavik benefits from Canada’s modern telecommunications system and in the villages, WiFi, and landlines are all commonly used and available. As is common in many remote areas of the world, in the national parks and wilderness areas of Nunavik, satellite phones are a very reliable form of communication. But your hosts serve as a point of contact for any urgent or emergency situations, should someone need to reach you from home, or vice versa.

TRANSPORTATION

Trips begin and end in Montreal, Quebec. Round trip flights between Montreal and the towns are included.

Nunavik’s “highways” are built by nature: In winter, the frozen tundra provides easy passage for dog-sleds and snowmobiles. In summer, an extensive system of lakes, rivers, and bays provide open waterways to explore Nunavik by boat, kayak, and canoe. Light aircraft transfers link the 14 villages, with regularly scheduled short flights making travel easy between small airports. Once you touch down, you will travel by local-access four-wheel drive vehicles, by foot, or by boat as you explore and experience one of the few regions of our planet not covered with tarmac highways.

To get to Nunavik, you generally fly north from your departure point, via Montreal (or Quebec City), to either Kuujjuaq (YVP) or Puvirnituq (YPX), approximately a two hour flight to either gateway community. Kuujjuaq is the largest of the two communities, with a population of just over 2,000 people, and its small, modern airport has a gift shop, along with a baggage claim area, as well as connecting flights to all of the other villages in Nunavik. 

WEATHER

Whatever the time of year, weather in Nunavik is always variable. The winter brings temperatures well below freezing and complete winter gear and traveling with reputable outfitters and guides is essential. In the summer, temperatures of 20°C (70° F) or higher are not uncommon during the day in July and August, dipping lower during the long twilight hours that make up the night. In some areas, temperatures near freezing can be expected at night (hiking in the Torngat Mountains, for example). The most important thing to remember is to be prepared for all kinds of weather – bright, warm sunshine, wind, rain, and even snow.

If coming in the winter the months of March and April are the best times to come when the daylight hours are longer and temperatures are not as cold.

REGION
Northern Quebec
PROVIDED EQUIPMENT

All equipment required for summer or winter activities, cultural performances and workshops.

SUGGESTED CLOTHING

The happy traveler is the one who travels lightest. Choose the clothing you bring based on what is lightweight, comfortable, and washable.  Being able to add and remove layers is especially important in the variable weather conditions you can expect to find. Along with comfortable, causal wear, be sure to bring long underwear, a fleece jacket, a knit hat and gloves, and a waterproof windbreaker or jacket. For hiking and walking, you will want a good pair of sturdy, comfortable, well broken-in walking shoes or light boots. 

If coming in the winter you will need warm winter clothing including a warm coat/parka, winter boots, fleece or wool underclothes, hat and mitts.

Like much of the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, during July and August, mosquitoes can flourish when the wind is soft or still. Likewise, a strong breeze can help keep them away. Bug repellant works just fine, and for those who prefer not to use insect repellant, locals in Nunavik often wear a light mesh jacket or a head net which prevents mosquitoes from biting. We suggest that you purchase either one before leaving for your trip. Long sleeved shirts and pants are recommended to likewise minimize being bitten.

A packing list will be supplied upon booking.

SUGGESTED ITEMS

Camera, daypack, binoculars, water bottle, insect repellent. Polarized sunglasses and sunscreen are also important, especially in Spring, with its long days of sun bouncing off the bright snow.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Accommodations included in this package are in local hotels in town.

There are no name brand hotels, no condos, and no time share resorts boasting swimming pools in Nunavik. Instead, a handful of small hotels in the villages offer basic comforts, along with meals prepared on request. In the shared guest areas, travelers mix freely where swapping travel stories is not uncommon. 

Outside of the villages, rustic cabins or camps may also be used for people looking for a more authentic Inuit accommodations during certain portion of the trip. In the winter it is even possible to stay overnight in an igloo.

Do not expect casinos or theme parks. Instead of sitting down to watch a National Geographic TV special about nature and culture, you’ll be experiencing it yourself: Elders sharing stories about their history and heritage, throat singers performing and demonstrating their richly vibrant skills inspired by nature’s songs, Inuit guides explaining the turn of the seasons and the movements of wildlife. Your senses will come alive with the sights, smells, and sounds of unspoiled wilderness – something increasingly rare in today’s world.

MEALS & DINING

MEALS & DINING

All meals during the tour are included.

At a time when the most famous Michelin-star restaurants in the world are singing the praises of foraging for wild food, the Inuit of Nunavik have already been doing this for centuries. Mussels are harvested year-round, even from underneath the ice in winter, and in the summer, you will taste some of the freshest fish you have ever eaten. Summer also brings cloudberries, blueberries, and other wild fruits, enjoyed at the peak of their ripeness. Traditional Inuit cuisine such as bannock can also be arranged.

Food in Nunavik is prepared simple and fresh, with little spice or seasoning – just the pure flavors of the food itself. Because there is no farming in this Arctic region, fresh vegetables and other fruits are flown in from points south (like Montreal, two hours away), along with other goods. Alcohol is not served or sold in most Nunavik communities and only available in a few places. Bottled drinking water is readily available however, although fresh water from the tap in Nunavik comes from snow and ice fed lakes.

4 day tour, available year round.
$3115.00 / per person - CAD
Tour from the town of Puvirnituq. 4 days/3 nights. Price based on a minimum group size of 4 people.
5 day tour, available year round.
$3470.00 / per person - CAD
Tour from the town of Kuujjuaq. 5 days/4 nights. Based on double occupancy.
6 day tour, available March, 2017 - April, 2017
$5435.00 / per person - CAD
Special deluxe winter Inuit experience. Includes extras such as dogsledding, living on the land, igloo building, snowmobiling and many other authentic Inuit traditions. Price based on a minimum of 2 people.
PAYMENT INFORMATION
Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST. 8.00% PST.

A 30% deposit is required to hold your reservation.

Balance of payment is due 60 days before trip commencement.
CANCELLATION POLICY & DETAILS
Deposit non-refundable. If you cancel your trip reservation, the following cancellation fees will apply: Up to 61 days before trip departure date - 30% deposit Within 60 days of trip departure date - 100 % of trip cost All trip cancellations must be communicated in writing.Cancellation insurance is strongly recommended.

4 day tour, available year round.

Day 1

Depart from Montreal Airport and arrive in Puvirnituq. After settling in you will be taken on a guided tour of the village, meet its friendly residents, and receive an audiovisual presentation on the history of the settlement.

Day 2

Leave the village behind for the open tundra. With the help of your guide, learn to build a traditional Inuit igloo or look for migrating white geese, caribou and other wildlife as they feed on the flourishing plant life of the Arctic summer. Spend the night ‘on the land’ and look for the green-hued aurora borealis as it races across the midnight sky.

Day 3

Visit with a traditional soapstone sculptor and participate in a carving workshop. Afterwards you will get the chance to observe local fishing practices as they catch Arctic char, a regional staple. Then explore the surrounding landscape, on foot during the summer and by dog sled during the winter. In the evening, enjoy a performance of female throat singers as they replicate the
timeless sounds of Arctic wildlife with their unique rhythmic chants. 

Day 4

Return to Puvirnituq for a final walk through the village and photo opportunities with its residents. Say farewell to your new friends and return to Montreal on an evening flight.

5 day tour, available year round.

Day 1

In 2 1/4 hrs the jet carries you the distance separating Kuujjuaq from Montreal. You land at the gateway of Ungava Bay. For the afternoon, we propose a visit to the local Fire Station, arena, churches, water distribution system as well as driving by the hydroelectric station and the petroleum distribution installation; then how about a visit to the local radio station where broadcasts are aired in Inuktitut.

Day 2

Today we've planned visits to organizations such as Makivik Corporation whose principal functions are the administration of Inuit land and management of funds received as a result of the James Bay and Northern Quebec agreement as well as the Kativik Regional Government who work in favour of greater political autonomy for the region of Nunavik. Other institutions you will have the opportunity to see that day are the School Board, the Nunavik Tourism Association, Town Hall and the hospital that serves all of Ungava Bay.

Day 3

A map of the town will be your means of orientation to spot different locations of interest. It is simply a matter of following the directions indicated on your map and making fun discoveries such as the mayor's house, the local day-care, the general store... In the evening, enjoy Katadjak throat singers who will entertain you with a traditional performance.

Day 4

You have a choice of going out on excursions such as a dog-sled ride in winter, seeing musk-oxen riding a snowmobile or paddling a kayak depending on the season, or you can choose to do some fishing in summertime. And what would you say about ending the day by catching a movie at the local cinema?

Day 5

The time has come to purchase souvenirs from one of the village's stores. Before you return to Montreal, you will enjoy sitting down with elders who will tell you stories of long ago while sipping down a traditional tea and savoring bannock.

6 day tour, available March, 2017 - April, 2017

Day 1

Montreal / Kuujjuaq
Depart from Montreal Airport to arrive in Kuujjuaq village around lunchtime. Meet and get acquainted with your guide and check into your hotel. After getting settled, take a guided tour of Kuujjuaq settlement and visit local shops stocked with crafts, beautiful tapestries, and polished soapstone carvings. Spend the night in hotel accommodation.

Day 2

Day 2, 3 & 4
Kuujjuaq / on the land
Leave Kuujjuaq and journey 48 km to your campsite via a Snowmobile ride across the gleaming white snow of the Arctic tundra. Once at camp, Spend the night in a cozy igloo that you will help build with your Inuit guides. You will also observe how the Inuit hunt for the small game. You will also assist and learn how to set and net under the Ice.

Day 5

On the land/ Kuujjuaq
You will be driven by snowmobile to try and locate the muskox and wildlife (caribou, arctic fox, and ptarmigan). Take pictures of the beautiful landscapes above the tree line. Soak up more of the stunning snow-covered scenery of Nunavik as it sparkles under the Arctic sun. Spend the night in your hotel. In the evening, enjoy Katadjak throat singers who will come to entertain you with a traditional performance at hotel.

Day 6

Kuujjuaq / Montreal
Swoosh across the brilliant white snow of the Arctic tundra, led by a team of Inuit sled dogs scrambling with excitement in a fan hitch before you. Imagine the crisp fresh air filling your chest as you coast across the frozen snow-covered sea, scanning for signs of wildlife under an immense blue sky that fills the horizon.

After the lunch, we’ll have time for a quick last look at local shops where you can buy crafts, jewelry, beautiful tapestries, and polished soapstone carving before going to the airport for your return trip back home.