Cheap direct flights from Ottawa now mean travellers can find their Arctic passion for the price of a New York City weekender.
Suggested tweet: Find your Arctic passion in Iqaluit discovering wildlife, Inuit culture, cuisine + more http://ow.ly/xAMIH #explorecanada
If distance and cost have kept the Canadian Arctic out of your vacation reach, there’s good news. Cheaper direct flights from Ottawa, ON, and accommodations now make it feasible to spend a long weekend exploring Iqaluit, NU, for the same price as a trip to New York City.
A place of mountains, rivers and spectacular parkland, Iqaluit sits at the head of Frobisher Bay on Baffin Island’s south coast, just miles from the Arctic Circle. It offers a fabulous lineup of activities for your Arctic explorations. Here are 10 to kick-start your planning:
1) Fly boys and fly girls: Try your hand at fly-fishing from the shores of Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park, just a 30-minute walk from the centre of town. If you do land a big arctic char, sweet-talk the chef at your hotel into serving it for dinner. No luck? Then sample a muskox burger or caribou steak.
2) Travel back in time: Check out one of many 13th-century Thule sites, built by the ancestors of the Inuit. Imagine warming yourself at primeval fire pits or hunting polar bears with primitive flint tools.
3) Ice, ice baby: Head Take a trip to the floe edge, the mystical place where ice meets ocean and icebergs rise higher than skyscrapers.
4) Take a trip to the wild side: Enjoy the challenge of a guided snowmobile photo safari, in search of narwhals, seals, walruses and polar bears, plus beluga and bowhead whales.
5) Make a splash in Frobisher Bay: Grab a paddle, kayak or canoe, head into open water and savour the silence of the north.
6) Carry a tune: Learn traditional Inuit throat-singing and discover why the hardest trick is not to laugh!
7) Hitch up your team and try dog-sledding: Keep your feet on the rails and your eyes on the trails; you might just decide to become a full-time musher.
8) Argent admirers: Visit the studio of local artist Matthew Nuqingaq to view his beautiful collection of handmade silver jewellery and chat with local carvers who’ll drop by to show their creations.
9) Watch feathers fly: Pack your binoculars and expand your bird-watching range. Although more than 40 species of birds frequent the Iqaluit area, keep a special watch for the King Eider duck, one of the Arctic’s most beautiful birds.
10) Get an Inuit education: Visit the Nunatta Sunakkataangit Museum for a fascinating introduction to ancient Inuit culture, including the legend of Sedna, goddess of the sea and the Inuit’s most important deity.
Looking for more visual inspiration from Canada’s North? Browse our Brand Canada Library for thousands of images and videos from all over Canada.
Follow us on Twitter @DestinationCAN