This vast area of British Columbia encompasses wild Pacific coastline to the West and the rolling Cariboo Mountains to the East. In between are forests, lakes and golden plains against a landscape made for outdoor enthusiasts. You can hit the trail at one of the several guest ranches we can recommend, canoe the famous Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit, kayak the central coast region or land a catch along the Fishing Highway.
The boundaries of the region embrace virtually every kind of terrain and climate so can offer ocean fjords, canyons, deciduous woodlands, alpine mountains and glacier ecosystems within its almost 40,000 square miles, an area bigger than Scotland.
And by way of contrast from its big, open skies and rustic reputation the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast can also offer sophisticated eco-resorts, championship golf courses and a wide range of cultural experiences.
Travel thousands of miles of coastline in the Great Bear Rainforest, sailing into secluded coves, fjords, inlets, with opportunities to view bears, seabirds, whales and porpoises up close. Welcoming First Nations villages offer a rich and storied heritage that residents are pleased to share. If you time it right, you may even witness one of nature’s most remarkable feats: salmon migrating back to their birthplace, to spawn in many of the rivers and streams on the Coast, throughout the Fraser Canyon and into the Cariboo and Chilcotin.
The Cariboo, stretching from Lillooet and Cache Creek in the south to Hixon and Stoner in the north, is bordered by the Cariboo Mountains in the east and the Fraser River to the west. From arid grasslands, pine and aspen forests to tranquil lakes and rushing rivers, the Cariboo’s distinctive landscape is as diverse as its mix of recreational and cultural attractions. In a landscape seemingly airlifted out of an old western, the Cariboo of today remains firmly rooted in cowboy culture. B.C.’s Cowboy Hall of Fame and premier ranch and rodeo museum, as well as one of Canada’s largest rodeos, are all found here alongside the largest number of guest ranches in B.C.
Unlike the Cariboo, the vast, spectacular landscape of the Chilcotin – framed by the Coast Mountains to the west and Fraser River to the east – was never invaded by swarms of gold-crazed prospectors in the 1800s. The result is a world of fewer roads, little industry and barely a scattering of residents, the majority of them First Nations – plus a diversity of wildlife, including populations of rare white pelicans, trumpeter swans, long-billed curlews, bears, cougars and lynx, moose and wolves, Canada’s largest numbers of bighorn sheep and one of the only herds of wild horses in the country. The Chilcotin remains a wild and natural landscape, welcoming visitors to experience nature and hospitality as it once was.
The wild, rugged beauty of B.C.’s central Pacific coast has long drawn artists, naturalists, scientists and travellers – all in pursuit of their passions and adventure, plus the freshest seafood, of course. Even those who simply love to fish, hike, ocean kayak or explore via guided eco-tour, find it almost impossible to do so without experiencing some of the region’s natural wonders and wilderness thrills. For whether one is an ecologist or anthropologist, an artist or a world traveller, the Great Bear Rainforest represents that rare travel opportunity: the chance to experience one of the few places on Earth where an incredibly diverse and unique mix of pristine ecosystems, exceptional wilderness opportunities and authentic, indigenous cultures still exist.
To include the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast in your tailor-made holiday to Canada, call the experts at Bon Voyage.
Where you stay is the heart of your holiday. Location reigns supreme but do you prefer resort facilities or unique and boutique? Historic and old world or modern and shiny?
We aim to present choices across the spectrum but there are many hundreds of places to stay and not room to feature them all. Do speak to your Bon Voyage travel consultant and click the video for our take on this important topic.
We would rate the Bellagio as one of the best hotels we have ever stayed in. Fabulous, glitzy, exciting. We loved having breakfast at the poolside café... one of our best experiences ever. If it hadn't been for you we wouldn't have had the suite or cabana and we loved them. We both agreed that the hotel was the best for us and you had suggested that so well done!Leonore & Mike Rumford