Vancouver Island

May 28 – June 2, 2024

Vancouver Island offers students the opportunity to explore one of Canada’s most unique ecosystems and breathtaking coastlines. Students will be invited to enjoy the natural beauty of Vancouver Island from Nanaimo to Tofino while learning about indigenous culture and identities in an idyllic sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts. From spiritual representations of animals eternalized in totem poles to old growth forests and paddling Clayoquot Sound in a traditional dugout canoe, this program will unpack the historical significance of local ecosystems in a memorable way.

Trip Details

Global Pillars

How do the natural surroundings of a location intersect with the historical experiences of its inhabitants?

What's Included

What's Not Included

Itinerary - 6 days

Travel from Los Angeles to Nanaimo, British Columbia.

Begin your adventure by scaling the towering Malahat Skywalk to look over the rainforests and clear blue ocean of British Columbia’s coast. Then, drop into the cultural history of the place by taking a totem tour walk around the town of Duncan. Totem poles are important monuments to many Indigenous nations and commonly represent ancestry, histories, people, or events. Round out your day by visiting the BC Forest Discovery Centre where you can explore an operational railway, forest and marsh trails, take in some bird watching, and learn about the history of forestry on the island.

On your way from Nanaimo to the small coastal town of Ucluelet (locally referred to as Ukee!), stop in Cathedral Grove. The grove is a rare area of ancient trees, some reaching an age of 800 years old and up to 29 feet in circumference.

In the afternoon, get to know the marine inhabitants of the area at the Ucluelet Aquarium. As Canada’s first catch-and-release aquarium, you never know what you might see but you are likely to meet sea urchins, jellyfish, and maybe even a Giant Pacific Octopus.

Get out on the water yourself this morning with a bear watching tour led by the Ahous First Nations. Your guide will share the stories of the people and the land as you tour through the teeming intertidal environment.

Explore Pacific Rim National Park with a nature walk, taking in world-renowned views of long sandy beaches and unspoiled temperate rainforests. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

As you return to the east side of Vancouver Island, stop by the Old Country Market in Coombs, famously known for its goats that live on its grass roof. Then engage with the Snuneymuxw First Nation through a tour on Saysutshun Island, taking in sacred village sites, historical medicines, and stories breathing with life.

Begin your journey home.

Health & Safety

Insight has delivered international trips for a wide variety of audiences, including both adults and youths, since 2013. Our top priority from start to finish is the health and well-being of our participants. In the event conditions change while on trip, Insight may need to adjust the itinerary to ensure participant health and safety.

As with all trips, risks do exist and participants will need to complete Acknowledgement of Risk documentation prior to departure. Insight will take every precaution to ensure this experience is truly unforgettable, all for the right reasons. To learn more about our health and safety practices, please contact us.

Please refer to instructions sent by your school.

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