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Haida Gwaii Indigenous Culture and Nature Tour in British Columbia | CA-MSA001

Learn about the culture and history of Haida Gwaii in this 8-day tour

Overview

Haida Gwaii (or Queen Charlotte Islands) is an archipelago off British Columbia’s North Coast. Haida Gwaii is a great travel destination because of its beautiful rainforests, dunes, and magnificent beaches. Learn more about Haida Gwaii’s history by visiting the totems that show 10,000 years of history and hear all about it from no other but a Haida Watchman. Later have a proper traditional dinner – fresh seafood. 

The coastal area of British Columbia breathes ancient culture that still holds its relevance to this day. During this tour, you’ll have the opportunity to travel sustainably, going on secluded paths to remote areas with small tourist groups. Get ready for a world where nature and culture rule. 

Haida Gwaii also translates to “Islands of the People.” This archipelago of 150 islands is often compared to Galapagos Islands, also known for its biological diversity and complete privacy.

Highlights

  • Haida Gwaii / Queen Charlotte Islands
  • Haida Indigenous Culture, History and Art
  • Sandspit, Skidegate, Port Clements, Masset, Graham Island
  • Totem poles, longhouses
  • Kay Llinagaay, Gwaay Llinagaay, Old Masset, Naikoon
  • Rainforests and coastlines
  • Marine wildlife

 

During your trip, you'll be guided by David Hopper, who has been leading people through Haida Gwaii for six seasons. 

You'll visit old-fashioned, unusual galleries and shops in small groups, walk in the rainforest, and spend some time with your accommodation providers. 

On this tour, you'll have time to relax, surrounded by nature and fresh air, and stroll on the beach at Naikoon Provincial Park. You'll also meet a watchman at S'Gaang Gwaay Llnagaay (Ninstints) - an old yet essential village now known to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

You'll learn the history of the site of the Golden Spruce and visit St. Mary's Spring, Tow Hill, and Balance Rock. 

After this trip, you'll return relaxed, energetic, and inspired.

Availability July - Sept
Duration 8 days
Departs From Vancouver, BC
Difficulty Easy Suitable for most people in fair condition.
Minimum age 9 years
Group maximum 6 people
Pick Up Yes
Meet on Location No

From

4 498
Per
Adult
  • Small Group Experience
  • Local Guides
  • Toll Free number in N. America: +1 888 285 1676
  • International number: +1 780 414 1676
  • Fast & secure payment

Availability (2023):

  • July 6 - 13
  • July 14 - 21
  • July 24 - 31
  • Aug 1 - 8
  • Aug 9 - 16
  • Aug 17 - 24
  • Aug 25 - Sept 1
  • Sept 4 - 11

Price: $5995 CAD per person
Based on double occupancy.
Single Supplement: Add $775 CAD

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What's Included

Included

  • Return airfare from Vancouver to Sandspit
  • Fully escorted with knowledgeable driver/guide
  • Tours of local villages, escorted walks and hikes
  • Transportation by van, ferry and float plane
  • 7 nights’ accommodation in hotels, motels and inns
  • 7 breakfasts, 4 dinners and 1 lunch
  • All entrance fees to provincial, national parks and protected areas
  • Local excursions, ferries and museums

What to bring

  • Clothing for a variety of coastal weather conditions
  • Warm jacket
  • Rain gear
  • Hat & gloves
  • Hiking boots
  • Fleece or wool sweaters
  • Camera

Not Included

  • Meals unless otherwise stated in itinerary
  • Optional activities
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance

Contact us for more Information about this tour

TOLL FREE NUMBER IN N. AMERICA: +1 888 285 1676
INTERNATIONAL NUMBER: +1 780 414 1676

You can also send an email to info@adventures.com, or use the contact form here below.

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Itinerary

Find out more details about the tour and its highlights

Day 1: Getting to know the Haida Gwaii culture

The itinerary might change due to weather conditions and tour operator planning.

The trip starts at Vancouver South Terminal Airport, where you will fly to Sandspit. At Sandspit Airport, you’ll be greeted by your driver/guide and taken to Skidegate – Haida community located on Graham Island. Before checking into your bed and breakfast (B&B) and exploring the village of Queen Charlotte, you’ll also have an opportunity to visit the Queen Charlotte Visitor Centre. 

Haida Chef Roberta Olsen will serve your dinner at Keenawaii’s Kitchen, where you can try traditional Haida dishes. This must-visit place is known for serving fresh and authentic food and attracting many famous and influential people, such as Empress Masako.

Only dinner will be served that day.

After breakfast, you'll fly to Rose Bay on a float plane. In an old whaling station, you'll meet a local tour boat operator and be given a survival suit before your trip to Anthony Island. Here you'll be greeted by Haida Watchman, who will provide you with a tour through S'Gaang Gwaay Llnagaay (Ninstints) – an ancient village known to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The village is unique for its clean and untouched environment that the Haida people protect. During your visit, you'll also see totem poles and longhouses – symbols of the community's past. 

After the trip to S'Gaang Gwaay Llnagaay (Ninstints), you'll return to Graham Island, where you'll later continue your night at a local pub.

In case of bad weather, instead of going to S'Gaang Gwaay Llnagaay (Ninstints), you'll have a trip to the villages of Ḵ'uuna Llnagaay (Skedans) and T'aanuu llnagaay (Tanu).

Both breakfast and lunch will be served that day.

The morning starts with Skitegate village, where you'll visit Haida Heritage Centre at Ḵay' Llnagaay. Those who wish to have a morning walk can reach the centre on foot by going six kilometers along the coastal road. Once there, you'll be guided through the centre that was built on the site of the historical village Ḵay' Llnagaay (also known as "Sea Lion Town"). The centre museum preserves many Haida antiquities: traditional clothing, household items, poles, and the most extensive argillite collection in the world. 

The premises of the centre also include the Performance House, where you'll get the opportunity to hear exciting stories and drumming accompanied by traditional dances. Next on the list is the Carving House (Gyaa K'id Naay) and Canoe House (Skaajang Naay). In the Carving House, you'll see more old poles, canoes, and other large items. The one piece of art you can quickly notice is artist Bill Reid's carved Skidegate Pole. To learn more about the life of the Haida people, you'll be invited to the Canoe House. Here you'll hear about the importance of canoes that helped them to travel, work, and gather essential resources such as food. Haidas were known for being experienced, travelers and traders. After spending time at the centre, you'll have the possibility to go for a walk on a well-maintained path around Spirit Lake.

After eating lunch at a local bistro, you'll continue your day by going north on the Yellowhead Highway to see Balance Rock. The place, surrounded by tall cedars and the ocean, is known for its spiritual atmosphere. On your way to Tlell, you'll also stop at Jungle Beach and St. Mary Spring. According to the legend, those who sip water from the spring are destined to return to Haida Gwaii.

The day will end when you check into a B&B and have dinner at a local restaurant. 

Only breakfast will be served that day.

Start your morning by walking on the beach, watching the sunrise, and having a slow breakfast later. After this, you'll continue your morning by going to the village of Port Clements and exploring the protected lands of Yaaguun Gandlaay Heritage Site. By taking a trail that takes you to the banks of the Yakoun River, you'll end up near the location of Kiidk'yaas ("The Golden Spruce"). The Golden Spruce was a Sitka spruce tree that was well-known for its genetic mutation, making the tree's needles golden-colored. This tree was very special to the Haida people. Unfortunately, it was cut down in the act of protest in 1997 by forest engineer Grant Hadwin. On the road, you'll find out more details about the "death" of the tree and the attempts to save it. 

After lunch, you'll visit a family-owned gift shop called the Crystal Cabin Gallery, founded 25 years ago by the Dutheil family. The shop also serves as a display of the Tlell Stone Circle. It was created in 2002 by Dutes Dutheil, a lapidary artist and rockhound, and showcases rare fossils, crystals, old wood, and even volcanic thunder eggs. It also serves as a place that allows you to connect to Haida Gwaii spiritually. In the Crystal Cabin Gallery, you can also buy unique jewelry made from an international selection of gems and crystals. The Dutheil family offers signature articles such as Island Mist Agates, Serenity Stones, or Star Spirit Thunder Eggs.

Later you'll have the option to finish your day by returning to your B&B and resting for the night or go on a hike to Misty Meadows in Naikoon Provincial Park. On your way there, you'll see another popular tourist attraction called Pesuta Shipwreck. It would take approximately three to four hours to reach the destination and get back. 

Only breakfast will be served that day.

After breakfast, you'll first go to the village of Masset, where you'll meet your local guide, with whom you'll continue your trip to the historic Village of Yan or Kung. The final destination will depend on occurring weather conditions. Both these villages were once successful and prominent; now, compared with S'Gaang Gwaay Llinagaay (Ninstints), they only remain of the past. Yan, which used to have up to seventeen long houses and is considered one of the biggest villages of the north in Haida Gwaii, was abandoned in the 1800s. The Village of Kung was also a prosperous place with fifteen long houses. During your trip, you'll visit one of these villages and hear exciting stories from your local guide, surrounded by this unique atmosphere.

You'll finish your evening by checking into a local B&B and receiving a tasty dinner. 

Both breakfast and dinner will be served that day.

This day will be more relaxing than the previous ones. After checking the tides, you’ll start your tour of the day by going to Naikoon Provincial Park. It covers 72,640 hectares along the Northeast tip of Graham Island and is known for various trees such as lodgepole pines, red and yellow cedars, hemlocks, and Sitka spruces. You’ll walk the trail up Tow Hill, which offers a panoramic view of Masset Inlet and sandy beaches.

After checking the surroundings at Tow Hill, you’ll continue walking along North Beach, where you’ll have time to wade and beachcomb. Later, you’ll visit a hip local bakery in the forest. 

In the afternoon, you can also visit Dixon Entrance Maritime Museum, which tells the story of the creation of Masset or choose to explore Delkatla Wildlife Sanctuary – a sanctuary for migrating birds. 

Both breakfast and dinner will be served that day.

On the last touring day, you'll be exploring the village of Old Masset. To feel the true spirit of the town, you'll visit the local chief's Big House. As the name suggests, the house owned by a chief was bigger than the others and was situated in the middle of the row of houses. To deepen your knowledge about the Haida People, you'll also visit the homes of local argillite and cedar carvers and painters. 

You'll continue your tour by checking out recent poles that were put up in the village and having lunch with the town's locals at their favorite dining place. You'll also have an opportunity to check out Sarah's Haida Arts & Jewellery house and wonder in Haida Raven Gallery. It's guaranteed that you'll have some pleasant memories of this trip as you'll be able to take some pictures at the local sites whenever possible. Another attraction that will await you is watching eagles fly and fishermen throwing out treats for them.

At the end of this trip, you'll admire the tranquility and calmness of Haida Gwaii. This trip will make you feel more at ease and in sync with nature. 

Both breakfast and dinner will be served that day.

After an early breakfast, you’ll get time to load your luggage and check out from your B&B. The driver/tour will take you to a point where an airport shuttle will pick you up to go back to Sandspit. At Sandspit airport, you’ll have a flight to Vancouver, B.C.

Only breakfast will be served that day.

Payment Details

PAYMENT INFORMATION

  • Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.
  • A 35% deposit is required to hold your reservation.
  • Balance of payment is due 60 days before trip commencement.

CANCELLATION POLICY & DETAILS

The 61 days or more prior to trip departure: full refund. 60-0 days prior to arrival: no refund.