Spirit Bear Lodge


Welcome in the Great Bear Rainforest, the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world. This is the natural habitat of the Spirit Bear and of the world’s only Kitasoo Spirit Bear Conservancy. This is also the ancestral lands and traditional territory of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation. In a land sculpted by the last ice age, where deep coastal fjords cut into the snow capped mountains and temperate rainforests lead to remote beaches, Spirit Bear Lodge takes visitors on an authentic cultural journey. The ancestral lands of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais are also home to ancient village sites and architecture. As for the coast, this section of the Pacific Ocean attracts numerous killer and humpback whales. 

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Vancouver - Klemtu

    Vancouver - Klemtu The tour departs from Vancouver International Airport's South Terminal where you’ll catch a flight towards Bella Bella. Upon arrival in Bella Bella, you’ll be greeted by a guide. you’ll board the water taxi for a scenic 90 minute ride to Spirit Bear Lodge in Klemtu. Upon arrival, you receive a short orientation to the tours, viewing opportunities and facilities. (D)

    - Accommodation : Hotel

  • Day 2 Klemtu

    Klemtu After breakfast, You will embarke with your guides on a high speed boat (lunch aboard) for the first day tour. The bear viewing program take you daily to different pristine river valleys and estuaries. Typically, you will travel by boat and disembark to explore the lush river valleys and broad, braided estuaries on foot. In the evening, the dinner (buffet) will be followed by lectures about the local native culture, wildlife and flora. (B, L, D)

    - Accommodation : Hotel

  • Day 3 Klemtu

    Klemtu Early departure for Spirit Bear viewing safari on foot in one of our Spirit Bear rivers. (B, L, D)

    - Accommodation : Hotel

  • Day 4 Klemtu - Vancouver

    Klemtu - Vancouver For the 3 nights package, you can choose between different activities in the morning : explore the rugged coastline in a kayak, take a walk in the rainforest, or choose a cultural tour. Then the water taxi takes you back to Bella Bella for the Flight to Vancouver. Those who chose the 4 nights package will have a choice between: an additional grizzly viewing tours, a whale watching excursion, sea kayaking day trip excursion, an ancient First Nations cultural tour on the Dis’ju site or a spirit auest to one of the pristine valleys in the Spirit Bear Conservancy. (B, L, D) or (B, L) only for the 3 nights package.

4th night option :

Day 5 - Klemtu / Vancouver (2h flight)
After breakfast, choose between sea kayaking along the shores south of Klemtu, a rainforest walk or a cultural tour. Then the water taxi takes you back to Bella Bella (B, L) 

Period & budget

When to travel?

The best period for travelling is during the following months:

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Price

-

The budget is an indication of the price per person, subject to availability. Your local agent will send you a customized quote with the exact price. The price can vary according to availability, level of services, period of travel, number of participants, booking time frame and other items.

Notes

The cost includes:


· Return airfare from Vancouver to Bella Bella
· Shuttle from Bella Bella Airport  to Bella Bella dock
· Round trip water taxi from Bella Bella to Spirit Bear Lodge
· All transportation to bear viewing area
· Professionnal guides services on all programs and tours
· Full day excursions to main grizzly viewing area on day 2 and 3
· Full day excursion optional on day 4: spirit quest to one of the pristine valleys in the spirit bear conservancy, additional grizzly viewing tour, whale-watching, ancient first nations cultural tour, sea kayacking. (only for the 4 night package)
· Half day morning optional excursions on departure day: kayak paddle along the shores south of Klemlu, a rainforest walk or a cultural tour.· 3 or 4 nights accommodation in private ocean view room at Spirit Bear Lodge with private bathroom.
· 9 or 12 meals
· Applicable taxes

The cost does not include:


· Air travel (except round trip flight from Vancouver to Bella Bella)
· Gratuity for staff (recommended 20$ cdn per day per guest for duration of stay)
· Personal expenses

Practical info

Food

« See the inclusions of this package »

Accommodation

Spirit Bear Lodge was built in 2007 and features 12 rooms with a mix of occupancy types including twin, double and triple. Architecturally, the exterior of the Spirit Bear Lodge pays homage to the traditional long houses built for thousands of years by West Coast First Nations. Inside, the atmosphere is modern and relaxing. After a day of Spirit bear viewing, share stories with fellow guests in “The Great Room”, an intimate central room with comfy couches, 20-foot high, ocean view windows, local Tsimshian Art and two 12-foot, solid cedar dining tables. Gaze out towards the grey blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and watch for passing Orcas, White-Sided Dolphins and Sea Lions. Listen to the silence as you revel in the natural wonders of the pristine and raw landscapes that surrounds you in this unique culturally authentic accommodation. Each room in the Spirit Bear Lodge is afforded with a private bathroom. 

Transportation

We can offer our services for transfers and provide a rental car (seek us)

Budget & exchange

Visa and Mastercards credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. You can also exchange euros. 1 Euro = 1,57$CAN (04/04/2018) 

Tips

In the United States and in Canada, service is never included in the prices. In bars, restaurants and all the places where service is provided, it is expected that you tip the waiter/waitress between 15% and 20% of the total sum. Note that a lot of employees working as waiters are paid by tips only. Not giving anything or not giving enough would be poorly received. Even when paying by credit card, you’ll indicate the sum you wish to give. On this type of trip, it is customary to tip the guide(s) 4$ to 5$ by persons and per day.

Supplied equipment

We provide rubberized rain gear (jackets and bib pants) and rubber boots in all average sizes for our guests to use, so there is no need to bring your own.

Vital equipment

Over the years, we have compiled a list of of clothing and equipment that will make your trip with Spirit Bear Lodge the most comfortable and enjoyable. We recommend you take a layering approach to dressing for this climate as the temperature can vary due to the environment and your activity level. Synthetic fibres, which are warm and quick drying are recommended !

  • Rain jacket or poncho and pants (we have a supply of rubber boots and rain gear available for guest use in average sizes)
  • Waterproof boots or rubber boots
  • Fleece or wool jacket
  • Fleece or wool sweater
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Warm pants
  • Long underwear (thermal)
  • Shirts
  • Extra shoes or sandals
  • Wool socks
  • Warm hat/rain hat with brim or ball cap
  • Warm gloves
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses and retainer
  • Sunscreen
  • Toiletries (biodegradable)
  • Personal Medication (clearly labelled)
  • Small backpack or bag to carry camera and belongings during the day
  • Dry bag(s) or heavy duty zip lock bags to go inside your backpack
  • Water bottle

Helpful equipment

Optional :
  • Shorts
  • Camera and film
  • Small novel or journal
  • Binoculars (recommended)
  • Personal thermos
  • Insect repellent (some have commented this shouldn’t be optional – depends on your susceptibility)
  • Personal snacks if desired (we will provide)
  • Polypropylene liner socks and/or glove liners
  • Hiking Poles (recommended if you need extra support when walking over uneven terrain)

Passport

Consular formalities for Europeans and Swiss nationals: 

Upon your registration, please transmit your passport information (name, first name, passport number, date of issues and expiration). Currently, to stay as a tourist for less than six months, a visa is not mandatory and a valid passport is sufficient with a validity exceeding by one day your stay in Canada.

Travelers must imperatively have an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to enter Canada. You will have to fill the form online and individually (one application per person) on http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/ave.aspIt is essential that you have a valid email address. The 7 CAD fees are payable by Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit cards. The eTA is granted in just a few minutes but we advise you to apply for it as soon as your trip is confirmed. The eTA is an electronic document linked to your passport and stays valid for 5 years or until the expiration of the passport, depending on the first of these eventualities to occur. You must then travel with the passport used to apply for it. 

CAREFUL: for French women, the eTA must be filled with your maiden name. Hence, to facilitate the check-in at the airport, we ask travelers in Canada to indicate their maiden name for the booking of their tickets.

You travel with children:
Children and adults are submitted to the same obligations regarding passports and visa described above. Registration of minors on parents’ passports is now impossible; children must hold an individual passport. It is compulsory to apply for an eTA for each child individually. 

CAREFUL, from January 15th 2017 onwards, for all French minors traveling abroad alone, an authorization to leave the country is compulsory.
The child will have to submit the three following documents:
- The minor’s valid passport
- A photocopy of the signatory’s identity card, valid or expired for less than 5 years and the birth certificate
- The form, signed by one of the legal guardians, available online on https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F1359 

Concerning other nationalities, seek the Canadian consular authority of your country.

ARRIVAL IN CANADA VIA A TRANSIT THROUGH THE UNITED STATES :
CAREFUL, we can exceptionally use American airlines for travels bound for the American continent (North and South). 
They stop over in the US: you must possess an electronic or biometric passport which is still valid 6 months after your departure from the US (under ‘’passport’’, a rectangle under a circle meaning a secure symbol). 

You must also apply for an electronic travel authorization (ESTA) on the official website https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. Valid for a duration of two years or until the expiration of the passport, this authorization must be requested at the latest 72h before your departure: we advise you to apply to it as soon as your trip is confirmed. It has to be paid for (14 USD online by credit card). The name you put on the form must be the same as the one that figures on your plane tickets and must of course appears on your passport. If the name used on the ESTA form is different from the one on your tickets, the airline can deny your boarding. Minors must also fill out an ESTA authorization. 

The Visa Waiver Program allows French nationals to enter the American territory without a visa, either via transit or for a stay of 90 days to the maximum. A visa is nevertheless necessary if you only have an emergency passport. Furthermore, travelers who went to Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen or Soudan since March 11th 2011 and people who are national of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Soudan cannot benefit from the Visa Waiver program anymore: more information on http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs/conseils-par-pays/etats-unis/

ARRIVAL IN THE US OR TRANSIT THROUGHT THE US :
Upon your arrival, the immigration service will take your photo and fingerprints. You’ll have to wait behind the yellow line and not cross it unless you’re told to, it can take some time. Customs controls will take place at the first access point to the territory (in case of a transit through a Canadian airport, it will be considered as a first access point to the US and the following process must be applied). Once you’ve been through the immigration service, you’ll get your luggage back from the conveyer belt and go to the customs. In case of a continuation of your trip, you’ll have to get your luggage back and bring them the baggage conveyer which serves.

Weather

Spring is a rainy season in the major part of Canada. During the day, temperatures generally get high but nights still cool. The median temperature is 12°C in March, April and the beginning of May. Summer officially starts on June 21st but for most Canadians, July and August are the real summer months. It is warm in most regions of Canada. In the South, they are above 20°C during the day and can sometimes pass 30°C. Autumn starts in September. Temperature gets chillier and leaves change color and fall. This season can be very rainy. In some regions, particularly in the North and in the mountains, it may start to snow towards the end of October. During the day, normal temperatures vary between 10 and 12°C in the major part of the country.

Unlike Europe, seasons are well defined in Canada. Temperatures can get higher than 30°C in summer and down to –30°C in winter. In fact, Canadian climate changes a lot from a region or a season to another. Canada extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and lies at the same latitude as Roma at his southern extreme, where it reaches the Arctic.  

To knoz the current climate and weather conditions by provinces and territories, go to www.meteo.gc.ca or www.meteomedia.com 

Spring : Spring comes as soon as February on the West Coast. In the rest of Canada, weather gets warmer at the beginning of April and lasts until June.

Summer : Summer in Canada bring cool to hot temperatures from the end of June to the end of September. The warmth of summer last from June to August, and July is often the hottest month.

Autumn : Autumn brings pleasant and cool temperatures, particularly in September and in October. It is the best time of the year to enjoy the spectacular beauty of Autumn leaves in the East of Canada, to take long walks while breathing fresh air.

Winter : A major part of Canada is covered with a white coat during winter, temperatures fall below the freezing point, and snowfalls start at the end of October. However, winters are very cool on the West Coast where the snow doesn’t stay long.


Electricity

As everywhere in the US, voltage runs at 110 Volts/60 cycles. New electric devices can be adapted o the current. It’s preferable to check whether or not your device is equipped with a current transformer. In general, it is a black box located between the electric plug and your device. If your device isn’t compatible with the 110-volt current, you’ll need to get a current transformer sold separately. As electrical plugs are flat, you’ll also need an adaptor to plug your device in. you’ll find it easily on the spot or before departure in a shop specialized in travels. A waterproof Zip Lock bag is a good way to keep your equipment in a dry place.

Sustainable tourism

Since the outset, Altai works for an eco-tourism and an organization of trips that respects equitable and sustainable principles.  

The harmonization of practices assures:
  •  A fair economical repartition
  • The improvement of local teams’ working conditions and their awareness of the protection of the environment
  • The information of travelers about respecting the local population and environment and the collection of their feelings at their return. 

You can also act in favor of an eco-tourism by adopting simple green gestures during your trips:
  • Avoid letting waste out, throw it in the trash can or bring it with you
  • Use potable water sparingly (take a shower instead of a bath and report any leaks) and avoid wasting it (use biodegradable soap to wash yourself)
  • Avoid damaging cultural sites: don’t touch the statues, don’t move the stones and objects
  • Exchange instead of giving (too Important gifts can destabilize the local economic stability of the country depending on their living standards)
  • When taking a walk, especially in some fragile ecosystems, observe the fauna from afar, do not go beyond beaten roads, limit stamping and do not bring any souvenirs: give up picking rare flowers picking fossils...
  • In some hotels, you can have  individual air conditioning. It is advised to systematically switching it off when you’re out of the room to avoid energetical overconsumption and greenhouse gas emission.

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Mathieu

My local agent
Mathieu

  • Curious by nature
  • Globe trotter
  • Custom Travel Specialist
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Region
British Colombia Rocky mountains
Activity
Nature - Adventure Short trips and extensions Summer
Duration
4 days
Code
AV-16
Price
From C$2,939
Level
1/5
Comfort
4/5

Strengths

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