Terracotta Travel
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Terracotta Travel

The Best of British Columbia

Exploring the wilderness by private plane

The alluring province of British Columbia is the gift that keeps on giving; striking natural vistas and abundant wildlife intertwined with cosmopolitan cities and world-class food. On this 12 day itinerary, encounter orcas, whales, bald eagles, and grizzly bears in their natural habitats at the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast and explore wild glaciers, alpine meadows, and imposing mountain peaks by private helicopter.

Trip highlights

  • Relax in luxurious surrounds amid the vibrant setting of Vancouver
  • Saddle-up across rolling cattle pastures and through forested canopies
  • Observe grizzly bears in their natural habitat
  • Take to the skies by private helicopter charter, over wild glaciers, alpine meadows, and formidable mountain peaks
  • Discover Nimmo Islet by boat, kayak, and paddleboard, observing orcas, whales, and bald eagles
Paddleboard and kayak through Nimmo Islet

When to go: September — October

Length: 12 days / 11 nights

Itinerary at a glance

Day 1–2: Vancouver

Day 2–4: Chilcotin

Day 5–10: Great Bear Rainforest

Day 11–12: Vancouver

Two grizzlies taking their afternoon drink

Itinerary summary

Whether you seek authentic adventure, stillness, awe-inspiring landscapes, or fresh flavors, British Columbia has it all and then some. On this 12-day adventure, roam far from the beaten path to a family-owned horse ranch where you’ll spend three blissful days in a luxury safari-style tent and enjoy horseback adventures by day and star-gazing by night. Next, travel west to the Great Bear Forest where you’ll observe grizzlies in their natural habitat and fill your lungs with ocean air on BC’s south coast. From your luxury cabin at the water’s edge on Nimmo Bay, embark on daily ocean safaris to encounter whales, orcas, eagles, and bears. Spend your final full day touring the ocean-fringed metropolis of Vancouver: a vibrant city hugged by nature. Indulge in a smorgasbord of culinary treats as you explore the many facets of this captivating coastal city. Throughout your trip, stay at luxurious lodges, immersed in nature, before returning to one of Vancouver’s most opulent and iconic hotels.

Heli-hiking adventure

Day 1. Arrive in Vancouver and transfer to your hotel

After landing at Vancouver International airport you will be transferred to your city center hotel ready to explore this exuberant city at your leisure. Unwind from your journey without venturing far; take in the panoramic views at the rooftop bar with a drink in hand; or relax at the spa, before enjoying dinner in one of Vancouver’s many exquisite restaurants. If you’d prefer to stay closer to ‘home’, the award-winning Hawksworth Restaurant & Bar is one of the country’s most celebrated fine dining venues, offering contemporary Canadian cuisine, found right inside the Rosewood.

Vancouver skyline

In the heart of Vancouver, the Rosewood Hotel Georgia has been artfully restored to its former 1920’s glory, balancing historic grandeur with contemporary flair. Enjoy a drink in Reflections rooftop bar & lounge: Vancouver’s ‘secret’ urban oasis; or invigorate your senses at the luxurious SENSE spa.

Day 2. Embrace ranch life amongst the foothills of the Cariboo Mountains

Leave the rush of the city behind as you board your private flight into British Columbia’s rugged Cariboo Mountains, where you’ll spend three nights at the luxurious Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort. You’ll experience glamping at new heights in your luxury canvas tent with panoramic views over Siwash Lake and Marble Mountain. Relax with a campfire and enjoy a long soak in your private cedar hot tub as you marvel at the starry night sky amongst this wild oasis. Enjoy alfresco dining by the lake, with locally-foraged dishes, carefully curated around sustainability — a real taste of the wild.

BC’s rugged Cariboo Mountains

Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort is a small, luxury wilderness retreat and family-owned ranch; an immersive, serene alpine sanctuary. Featured on National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, Siwash is off-the-beaten-path amid the rugged beauty of British Columbia. For a truly unique stay, the ultra-private Siwash Star Camp provides an extraordinary glamping experience in a luxury canvas tent with unrivaled star-gazing.

Day 3: Ride horseback across the vast Chilcotin wilderness

Today, saddle-up and experience a real sense of freedom during a private horseback riding adventure with your personal wrangler guide. Ride the foothills of the Cariboo Mountains, trotting under forested canopies and galloping across rolling cattle pastures, observing local wildlife as you go. Pause for a rest by the river and choose your relaxation mode, letting your horse graze, before riding back to camp.

Day 4: Experience British Columbia’s backcountry activities

Fuel your insatiable sense of adventure with an array of private backcountry activities available on the ranch including hiking, rafting, canoeing, and mountain biking. The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast offers the chance to try something new or engage in something you love. Recover from an action-packed day with a blissful soak in your private wood-fired cedar hot tub before dining at your leisure.

Day 5: Fly to the Great Bear Rainforest

Depart Siwash Lake and fly west, heading deeper into this densely-forested region to your secluded log cabin chalet in Bella Coola. The Tweedsmuir Park Lodge is set amongst the peaks and rivers of the Great Bear Rainforest — named for the rare white spirit bears that inhabit the temperate region. Today, experience a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with wild grizzly bears as they fish for salmon. From early September to mid-October, there’s even more visual splendor as thousands of Pacific salmon circle the pools below the river falls before climbing fish ladders to spawning beds, attracting hungry bears to the riverfront and heightening your chances of seeing multiple bears. Later, head back to your log cabin for a gourmet meal at your leisure.

Nestled in the Great Bear Rainforest of the Bella Coola Valley, Tweedsmuir Park Lodge hosts wilderness luxury in authentic timber chalets. This wild retreat is your gateway to the great outdoors offering limitless private or small group activities from horseback riding and heli-hiking to fishing and nature walks; whatever you do, Tweedsmuir Park is your oyster!

The Great Bear Rainforest from above

Day 6: Fly high above Bella Coola’s vast wilderness

Today, revel in adrenaline-inducing heights and postcard-worthy views with a heli-hiking or heli-sightseeing add-on activity. Fly over the vast wilderness and soak up the sheer majesty of Bella Coola’s remote wilderness with a helicopter sightseeing tour. Revel at the awe-inspiring views of ancient glaciers, alpine meadows, and imposing mountain peaks, discovering British Columbia from new heights.

Day 7: Choose your Great Bear Rainforest adventure on your day at leisure

Dive headfirst into the many exciting activities on offer in the Bella Coola Valley, such as fishing, mountain biking, archery or via ferrata. Venture off-the-beaten-path on a nature walk with a mountain-top picnic, where you can bask in the tranquility of nature and admire views of forested peaks and alpine lakes.

Day 8: Venture to coastal Nimmo Bay and ignite your senses

Today, fly to the pristine shores of Vancouver Island as you head to your third and final wilderness lodge, Nimmo Bay: a place where you can recharge and reconnect by the ocean. This nature resort offers a truly sensory experience, with the rich smell of cedar in the air, the blissful sounds of the shore, the adrenaline rush of spotting wildlife, and the fresh flavors of local culinary delights. Indulge in a little pampering with a soothing massage and downtime on the floating sauna, before returning to your cabin to refresh and, once again, connect with nature, in your private outdoor rain shower. As evening falls, Nimmo Bay’s chefs serve up a culinary adventure with dishes inspired by land and sea. Expect to see wild Pacific salmon and Dungeness crab on the menu uniquely presented alongside locally-foraged ingredients.

The cabins at Nimmo Bay

Nimmo Bay is a remote retreat located in the lush heartland of British Columbia’s wild Great Bear Rainforest, on the rugged West Coast of Canada. Their picturesque cabins offer a wild yet refined stay, in natural surrounds, with outdoor adventure on your doorstep.

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort

Alternative Accommodation: The Clayoquot Wilderness Resort offers a restorative escape in truly authentic luxury. This eco-safari-style resort hosts canvas prospector tents that allow you to experience wild living without compromising on luxury and home comforts.

Day 9: Encounter orcas and humpback whales by land, sea, and sky in Nimmo Bay

After a restful night in your cabin, embark on an ocean safari, where you will embrace the vibrant waters and lush temperate rainforests that surround your resort. Explore the area on foot or via boat, kayak, paddleboard, or helicopter in the hope of spotting humpback whales and orcas frolicking the coastal fjords as eagles soar above. The region’s rich biodiversity also brings black bears and grizzlies to the area, gathering along the remote shores as they paw for salmon, presenting another opportunity to admire these majestic creatures. Return to your oceanside cabin before savoring dinner at your leisure.

Day 10: Connect with the history of BC and feast on local cuisine at Nimmo Bay

On your final day of wilderness exploration, learn about the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast’s fascinating indigenous culture from your knowledgeable guides as they share their love for this special place. Admire some of British Columbia’s wonders as you fly by private helicopter over 10,000-year-old glaciers, snow-capped peaks, ancient forests, and white sand beaches. Feast on local fare, relishing the fresh flavors of BC, and celebrate a memorable week immersed in nature.

Dining at Nimmo Bay

Day 11: Return to Vancouver

Return to faster-paced city life as you fly back to vibrant Vancouver. Explore this multifaceted city at your leisure: stroll along the meandering oceanside pathways, wander around historic Gastown with its coffee culture and boutique shops; cruise through the urban green jewel and tranquil oasis that is Stanley Park; and delight your senses in this cosmopolitan foodie haven. Rest your adventurous soul at the familiar Rosewood Hotel Georgia, where the SENSE spa awaits for some final self-care indulgence before your journey home.

Stanley Park, Vancouver Island

Day 12: Until next time BC!

It’s hard not to fall in love with beautiful BC and it’s limitless wild spaces. On your final day, say goodbye to this “Super, Natural” province as you are privately transferred to Vancouver International Airport to begin the trip home, reflecting on permanently etched, life-enriching memories of the wild.

What’s included

  • Meet and greet airport service
  • Private transfers in Vancouver
  • Private charter flights within Canada
  • Accommodation with breakfast
  • Full board, beverages, and alcohol in all wilderness lodges
  • Tailor-made activities
  • Entrance fees to parks
  • Use of all sporting equipment

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Terracotta Travel

Terracotta Travel

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