Experience the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Coast with Insight Vacations
Unique cultures, vibrant cities and some of the most jaw-dropping vistas in the world; how do you navigate around the beautiful Rocky Mountains? You tour with the experts...
With so much on offer on the pacific coast of USA and Canada, it can be a daunting experience to plan a holiday yourself. Insight Vacations have been providing refined escorted tours for over 35 years and know how to bring out the best in a destination. Along with the knowledge of expert local guides, the tours offer authentic experiences and luxury flourishes to help you truly get the most out of your trip with some added style. We take a look at their 13 night Canadian Rockies & Pacific Coast tour and touch on just some of the incredible discoveries you can make on this adventure.
Some cities are lucky enough to have a pretty, waterside setting, some a dramatic mountain backdrop; Vancouver has them both and a lot more besides. The city manages to combine a cosmopolitan, modern feel with a quirky, bohemian vibe. Early in the tour, witness this vibrant city with your Insight Tour Director and you immerse yourself into Canadian culture both old and new. Make your first of many discoveries into the indigenous people of Canada as you visit the ancient totem poles in Stanley Park then experience the blossoming youth movement as you taste the renowned craft beers of the modern Vancouver brewpubs.
To bookend the tour nicely, you will also spend two nights in Seattle, Washington. Almost like the American side of the same coin, the city shares Vancouver’s stunning backdrop and exciting urban feel. Travel over 600 feet up the iconic Space Needle and see the incredible setting this city is afforded in the 360° observation deck before spending the evening downtown and experiencing the fantastic food & music scenes.
The tours of these cities are just two of the many signature experiences you will be part of on your journey and they’re something that Insight Vacations prides itself on. Way beyond the idea of a standard ‘excursion’, these included tours, trips and activities are experiential, authentic and immersive opportunities to meet local people and destination experts keen to share the heritage of their homeland.
The National Parks
Much is written on the great outdoors of North America, and with good reason. Some of the world’s most stunning lakes, mountains and national parks are here; none more stunning, perhaps, than the Rocky Mountains. The Rockies stretch from the southern most states of the USA, 3000 miles up to the northern western provinces of Canada and it’s here where they are at their most dramatic.
Jasper National Park is home to many natural wonders that make the Rockies so special. From freezing glaciers to thermal springs, deep forests to majestic waterfalls; there are plenty of jaw-dropping sights. The local expert here hosts you on a private boat tour of Lake Maligne and shows off many of the fantastic highlights like the iconic image of Spirit Island. This tour is not for those looking for a wildlife adventure but this is where you might catch a glimpse of the bears or moose of Canada.
One of the most special signature experiences on this tour is the actual travel between the city and National Parks. After experiencing Vancouver, board one of the world’s greatest rail journeys as you spend a night on The Canadian. Welcomed on board with Champagne, you will soon realise why the service, as well as the views, of this train are world renowned. Wake from your overnight rest in your private sleeper cabin and, as you approach the Rocky Mountains, you are treated to awe-inspiring views from the unique Panorama Car.
Banff is another favourite national park of Canada you’ll visit on this tour. Known for both its stunning beauty and strong cultural heritage, it’s reached from Jasper via the Icefields Parkways, one of the most scenic drives you’re ever likely to experience. On board the specially designed Ice Explorer, you’ll pass by glaciers and waterfalls as your driver-guide expertly talks of the history and geology of the region. After the drive you’ll stop by the Chateau at Lake Louise and enjoy afternoon tea in one of the most photographed spots in Canada.
The First Nations
An incredibly important part of this tour is to educate you on the little known history and culture of the indigenous First Nations people of Canada. Like the Native American tribes found further south in the USA, the First Nations are made up of multiple groups of people that have lived on these lands millennia before the Europeans arrived in the 17th Century. A very important area to the First Nations people, in particular the Blackfoot tribe, is the Glacier National Park Plains.
On the way through the park, you visit the infamous ‘Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump’. This 11 metre high cliff was used by the Plains People to hunt stampeding herds of bison, their main source of food and clothing. Your Insight Tour Director will introduce you to an elder of the Blackfoot people. They share awe-inspiring stories of the old way of life and talk about this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The North Pacific Coast offers such a wealth of discoveries whether scenic, historical or contemporary that you don’t want to rush a trip like this. The Rockies and surrounding areas are so rich in culture and life that to hurry through would be a lost opportunity. Insight Vacations recognises this and make sure that throughout your stay, there is plenty of time for you to either relax or get out and experience these towns, cities and national parks for yourself. Also, your Tour Director is on hand the whole time to give expert advice on what to do or where to eat allowing you to concentrate on enjoying this incredible part of the world.