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Bear Camp
Deep in the forested Coast Range Mountains – a 3.5-hour drive from the closest town – sits Bear Camp, a safari-style wilderness retreat perched atop a platform five metres above the water’s edge.

Some 20 grizzlies live in the area year-round. Come autumn, when more than 2 million salmon return to spawn, another 80 or so grizzlies move in to fatten up on crimson red sockeye, just a stone’s throw from your front door – or canvas flap, to be precise, since guests stay in walled, prospector-like tents, complete with king-size, down-duvet-covered beds.

Mornings begin with coffee delivered to your waterfront deck. Then it’s on to paddling adventures on the Chilko River, the longest continuous stretch of whitewater in North America, or horseback riding, heli-hiking and mountain biking.

Come early evening, catch a glimpse of bears returning for their dusk feed while you sip a glass of wine and nibble on hors d’oeuvres on the boardwalk. Dinner follows in a homey, renovated 1954 trapper’s log cabin, where guests gather around a communal table for dishes like seafood white wine risotto or barbecued wild boar sausage, accompanied by the call of a loon across the moonlit lake.

Pacific Yellowfin
Built as a U.S. Army warfare ship during World War II, the 35-metre MV Pacific Yellowfin is now a cream-coloured gem of old-world elegance. Loaded with kayaks, mopeds, water skis and a 12-metre inflatable slide, the luxury expedition yacht floats along B.C.’s sheltered coastline.

Pacific Yellowfin

Captain Colin Griffinson tailors week-long voyages to the whims of his passengers – up to 12, who stay in four teak- and mahogany-trimmed suites – be it island-hopping, fly-fishing or exploring moss-draped forests by foot. He’s planning an upcoming sail through the remote Broughton Archipelago on a cultural exploration of First Nation lands. But no matter your itinerary, you’re likely to encounter whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions and seals during your stay. Lower a microphone into the water, and you can hear the humpback whales sing, or take a smaller boat out to the beaches to see orcas rubbing their bellies on the stones.

With a Four Seasons-trained chef aboard, dining on the Yellowfin features what Griffinson calls a “one-nautical mile diet.” On Seafood Fest nights that means whatever the crew and guests snared that day, which often includes crabs, prawns, mussels, oysters, clams, salmon and halibut.

Sonora Resort
To experience wildlife without getting your hands dirty, hop aboard the leather-upholstered helicopter charter to Sonora Resort, a secluded island retreat just an hour’s flight from Vancouver, off British Columbia’s rugged West Coast.

Tucked into a mountainside of fir, cedar and hemlock forest, this Relais & Châteaux hideaway of light-filled, fieldstone-and-timber lodges overlooks a narrow ocean channel and the tiny islet known as Sea Lion Rock, a favourite of sunning harbour seals.

Sonora Resort - Salmon dish

From archery to tennis to fly-fishing in the trout ponds, there’s no shortage of activities on the island, but it’s the surrounding salmon-filled waters that this place is justifiably famous for. Sonora’s experienced fishing guides know where the chinook are likely to bite and can teach even a novice how to reel in a 20-pounder. Back at the resort, they fillet and vacuum-pack your catch or send it to a Vancouver Island cannery to be turned into lox. Try it for yourself at Sonora’s ocean-view restaurant, where prize-winning chef Terry Pichor serves candied salmon at breakfast, cured salmon for lunch and salmon confit with Dungeness crab hollandaise for dinner. Can’t choose? Live on the wild side and try all three.



Getting There

Vancouver: Air Canada offers the most nonstop flights into Vancouver with daily service from Europe, Asia the US and rest of Canada. Victoria: Take advantage of the most daily nonstop flights into Victoria with flights from Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary and convenient connections from Air Canada's worldwide network.

Comments… or add another

sylvia Melka

Friday, July 4th 2014 12:30
Beautiful and exciting

Marcela Wensing

Friday, July 4th 2014 15:29
Love your description of this fabulous place. Canada is one of the Wonders of the World.
Thank you for sharing your words.


Sunday, July 6th 2014 13:35
Excellent information. Thankd.

John Kamada

Friday, July 11th 2014 00:37
Always enjoy Victoria whenever we visit from Vancouver. Although have not been there for sometime now... but will be visiting this August.

jackie franceschini

Friday, July 11th 2014 06:46
Sounds like a plan, let's go!!
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