Remote, unexplored, and breathtaking, Nunavut burgeons with both nature and cultural adventures
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From polar bears and narwhal to Inuit throat-singing and drum dancing, Nunavut’s unique natural and cultural sights are as awe-inspiring as the Aurora Borealis. Here are 10 must-do activities in Canada’s newest territory.
1. View wildlife by boat: On the edge of the Arctic Circle, the traditional fishing community of Repulse Bay abounds with heart-pounding wildlife sightings. Tour pristine Arctic waters, spotting narwhal, seals, and polar bears.
2. Discover authentic Inuit art: Stunning artwork that reflects the power of nature awaits in Cape Dorset, the “Capital of Inuit Art.” Visit local galleries and acquire beautiful soapstone sculptures by Nunavummiut artists like Johnny Pootoogook.
3. Kayak in the narwhal summer feeding grounds: Paddle off Baffin Island as majestic narwhal joust with their tusks, diving close to enthralled kayakers. Admire playful belugas and curious harp seals as snow geese soar overhead.
4. Celebrate at Toonik Tyme: At Iqaluit’s annual festival of Inuit culture, revere the ancient rhythms of drum dancing, or groove to Aboriginal hip-hop. Snowmobile races enthrall spectators.
5. Go dog-sledding: Mush through rugged mountains and glaciers around Pond Inlet on a dog-sledding odyssey with Polar Sea Adventures. When the eagerly panting qimmiq dogs get a break, listen to the Inuit guide’s tales of the tundra, and feast on caribou stew beneath the midnight sun.
6. See towering inukshuks: Stone inukshuks, resembling human figures, evoke hope, safety, and friendship among the Inuit. Grab a photo of the monumental inukshuk erected in Rankin Inlet.
7. Fish in the wild: Catch and release enormous lake trout and trophy northern pike at Nueltin Lake. This pristine, 2,279-square-kilometre lake straddles the border between Nunavut and northern Manitoba. Arctic grayling flourish in the rushing rapids.
8. Visit a luxury Arctic lodge: Enjoy a five-star tent lodge 800 kilometres above the Arctic Circle and dine nightly on delicacies like baked Arctic char. At Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge, you can see belugas playing in the shallows or photograph an Arctic fox den, all in between deliciously cooked meals.
9. Watch caribou on the move: Gaze awestruck at close to 350,000 Qamanirjuaq caribou migrating past Arctic Haven Lodge on Ennadai Lake each spring. The wild, raw landscape is also home to wolves and grizzly bears.
10. Camp in an igloo: Overnighting in an igloo is an ideal way to get the authentic Inuit experience. Take a five-day igloo camping trip from Resolute Bay, the gateway to the North Pole, to Grise Fiord, Canada’s northernmost civilian settlement.
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