Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What To Know Before Going Out To Get Your Haida Gwaii Accommodations

By Marci Nielsen

Many in recent years are starting to visit British Columbia for short jaunts and vacations. Quite a few are discovering and putting into their itinerary the Haida Gwaii archipelago. May would be thinking of looking for hotel in Haida Gwaii, but before you look for Haida Gwaii accommodations, you must know a little bit more about the island chain and what it has to offer.

Since Haida Gwaii is an island system, or rather archipelago, it is logical to expect that activities will involve and revolve around the water. One of the most popular attractions is whale watching and whale watching related activities which is available for the tourist and visitor year round.

As with any ecological observation tour, the frequency of you being able to catch a good view or glimpse of orcas, humpbacks and gray whales will depend on the season and month. However, this is still considered the best place in the whole world to watch these species of whales. In any case, always do some advanced research regarding best viewing times.

Those who do not want to spend too much time on the water can enjoy a myriad of land based activities as well. The islands do have quite a few hiking trails and camping spots available and these can in turn be coupled with some kayaking and fishing. A quite popular combination of activities involves biking or hiking in the early morning and finishing this off with just lounging or lazing around the beach until early evening.

The Haida are a friendly people and are the local inhabitants of the islands. If learning about local history and culture is your cup of tea, they would be more than happy to indulge you. It is, however recommended that you read up on some aspects of their culture beforehand to avoid embarrassing situations and questions.

When one does travel to each of the islands, one will notice quite a few totem poles erected and strewn about. These are actually the recorded history of each of the families on the island and deserve much respect. These totem poles are remarkably similar to Alaskan totems, since the Haida also inhabit large parts of that region. Thus their culture is quite widespread.

A complete four days is what it will take to completely tour the archipelago and soak up its local culture and history. Be on the lookout for local museums that are part of local communities, wherein you can browse through some local arts and crafts. Here in these museums you will see origins of the bent wood technique used in making furniture. This technique is shared across almost all North American Indian cultures.

The island chain is also very accessible and takes only about two hours flight via plane originating from Toronto. Most describe it as close enough to get to, but far enough away to get away from it all. You can also access the islands by boat or ferry as well. However going there by ferry or boat may take you up to eight hours and also it is very dependent on the weather. Most that have taken the boat say it is a very scenic way to do so.

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