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Welcome to our cultural exploration of remote Haida Gwaii, a name that translates to “Islands of the People.”

The themes on this Haida Gwaii tourism experience are interpretation, cultural awareness and experiential learning. Haida People including carvers, Watchmen, and interpreters provide an understanding of their traditional way of life and how the Haida have adapted to changing times, including tourism. As a small group of six, we tread lightly on this land, our steps taking us to closer to an immersive experience.

  • Roundtrip airfare from Vancouver (South Terminal) to Sandspit
  • 7 night guided vacation
  • 7 night accommodation in hotels, motels and inns
  • 12 meals: 7 breakfast, 1 lunch and 4 dinners
  • Fully escorted with knowledgeable driver/guide
  • Tours of local villages, escorted walks and hikes
  • Transportation by van, ferry and float plane
  • All entrance fees to provincial, national parks and protected areas
  • Local excursions, ferries and museums and more
  • Small group tour max 6
July 10,21,31, Aug 11,21, Sep 1, 2024 from $6595 + $330 tax
Single Supplement add from $775

Not included:

  • Meals not mentioned on the itinerary
  • Gratuities
  • Optional activities
  • Travel Insurance



Day 1: Queen Charlotte City – A Taste of Haida Culture (D)

Our travel to Haida Gwaii begins at Vancouver South Terminal Airport when we board our flight to Sandspit. The two-hour fight skirts the Coastal Mountains, swings north-west over Hecate Strait and then crosses over Gwaii Haanis National Park and Reserve.
At Sandspit Airport, your Driver/ Guide will load your luggage and then escort the group to Ailford Bay where we take the 20 minute crossing to Skidegate on Graham Island. A stop the Queen Charlotte Visitor Centre will give us “the big picture” and we load up on local maps. From here we’ll check into our bed and breakfast and tour the village of Queen Charlotte.

In the evening we experience a taste of Haida culture and lifestyle by dining in a truly unforgettable way. At Keenwaiis Kitchen our Haida Chef, Roberta Olson who specializes in traditional Haida and local foods, will prepare an authentic three course dinner for our group. From her home, Roberta, whose Haida name is Keenawaii, has served dignitaries, government officials and celebrities. The seafood and venison are locally harvested as are the berries, mushrooms and other wild edibles.
Accommodation:  One or two queen beds and private bathroom.

Day 2: Queen Charlotte City – Visit S’Gaang Gwaay Llinagaay (B/L)

After an early breakfast, we make our way down to the boat dock for a 15 minute briefing. Here, our 30 foot aluminum catamaran awaits with its heated closed cabin, bathroom and open deck space. Guests are issued gear including rubber boots, toques and floater jackets. Then, off we go to the Haida villages of Ḵ’uuna Llnagaay (commonly known as Skedans) and T’aanuu Llnagaay for walks through two distinctive village sites. Ḵ’uuna Llnagaay (Skedans) was a village of 26 to 30 longhouses at its height.

In this remote corner of the world, we view these ruins as structures that evoke and summon the past to an encounter with contemporary reality. At Ḵ’uuna Llnagaay, guests follow the network of clam shell trails to view the remains of the village. The poles that remain and the depressions of several longhouses give one a sense of the former grandeur of the village, splayed out along Skedans Bay. Along the way, Haida Gwaii guides incorporate storytelling, songs and local history to give guests a glimpse into the heritage of the Haida People and how they protect the land and waters.

After lunch, we board our boat and head to the village of Tanu. The Eagle and Raven Wolf village of T’aanuu Llnagaay translates to Eelgrass Town in reference to the eelgrass beds nearby. This village was once populated between 25 and 40 longhouses. Though no standing poles remain at T’aanuu, the house depressions and moss-covered house posts provide a vivid reminder of the history this place holds.
Accommodation:  One or two queen beds and private bathroom.

Day 3: Tlell – Natural and Cultural Monuments (B)

This morning we head to the village of Skidegate and the Haida Culture Centre at Kay Llnagaay. More ambitious passengers may want to walk the six k’s along the coastal road to the Centre.

Here at the Centre, guests will get a guided tour of this award winning Haida Gwaii cultural tourism attraction. The Centre sits on the ancient site of Kay Llnagaay or “Sea Lion Town,” and is designed to resemble the traditional Oceanside Haida Village that once stood in its place. The Centre houses a museum which contains thousands of Haida artifacts including the largest argillite collection in the world. We’ll also see poles, traditional and ceremonial clothing as well as everyday household objects.

At the Performance House stories, drumming and traditional dances are performed. We’ll also visit the carving house/ Gyaa K’id Naay and Tluu Naay Canoe Shed / Skaajang Naay. The large open-walled building of the carving house is designed to hold monumental poles, canoes and any other work that would be too large to fit in the enclosed space of the carving shed. Guests are invited to walk around and tour Haida artists at work in this work space. Currently, the Skidegate Pole carved by legendary Haida artist Bill Reid is housed in the Carving House until it’s ready to be raised again inside the walls of the Haida Gwaii Museum.

At the canoe shed, learn about the Haida mode of travel, transportation, food/resource gathering and trade by exploring the history and importance of canoes in Haida lives.

Haidas were fierce warriors and well-known coastal travellers, having ventured to Victoria for trading purposes in earlier times during the 1800s. Critical to the sustainability of Haida culture was the canoe which the Haida depended on in order to trade with neighbouring coast First Peoples and travel between communities.

Those guests feeling the need to get out and stretch their legs can elect to take a walk around Spirit Lake. This hiking trail is hard packed and well maintained rated easy to moderate with some steep parts at the beginning.
After lunch at the local bistro we’ll head north on the Yellowhead Highway. Along the way, nestled behind a stand of tall cedars, a narrow trail leads to the ocean and one of the most mysterious and uniquely photographed sites in all of Haida Gwaii: Balance Rock. Here, we stop and explore the area known to the Haida as a spiritual site.

Enroute to Tlell we stop at the Jungle Beach and St Mary’s Spring where those who take a sip are destined to come back to Haida Gwaii. We check into our local B&B and enjoy dinner at the local restaurant.
Accommodation:  One or two queen beds and private bathroom.

Day 4: Tlell – Tlell Stone Circle (B)

Enjoy a quiet morning, take a walk on the beach, watch the sun rise. After a leisurely breakfast we head out to the village of Port Clements, and the protected lands of Yaaguun Gandlaay. Here we’ll visit the site of Kiidk’yaas, also known as the Golden Spruce. An easy hard packed hiking trail takes us to the banks of the Yakoun River where this mighty tree once stood. The Golden Spruce was a Sitka spruce tree that had a rare genetic mutation that caused its needles to be golden in colour. This tree was considered sacred by the Haida People.

On the trail you will learn about the tragic end of this tree and the efforts today to save and create a new Golden Spruce and visit the new Golden Spruce growing in Port Clements.

After lunch we head out to the Crystal Cabin, a small gift shop founded by the Dutheil family of jewelers 25 years ago. This shop is home to the Tlell Stone Circle, an outdoor exhibit of Haida Gwaii’s Geological Past. These stones, which are arranged in a medicine wheel, mark the intersection of two harmonic leylines and an entryway for light into the universe. We can stand in the middle of the circle to become more spiritually connected to Haida Gwaii.
Inside, guests can discover local and international selection of crystals, and gemstone jewelry. Be sure to pick up the Dutheil Family local signature specimens, including the Serenity Stone, Star Spirit Thunder Eggs, or Island Mist Agates.

At the end of the day, guests have the option to relax at their accommodation or follow a hiking hike to nearby Misty Meadows in Naikoon National Park. This trail leads to the Pesuta Shipwreck and takes three to four hours, there and back.
Accommodation: One or two queen beds and private bathroom.

Day 5: Masset, / Tow Hill B.C – Village of Yan or Kung (B/D)

After breakfast, we continue with another big adventure day. We head to the Village of Masset where we meet our local guide for a marine tour to the Village of Yan or Kung (depending on weather conditions).

Unlike Ninstints/ S’Gaang Gwaay Llinagaay, in the south, there is not much left of these villages but the giant moss covered poles of the long houses. Yan was once one of the larger villages of the north in Haida Gwaii and had up to seventeen long houses but was abandoned in the late 1800s. Kung was also once a thriving village of fifteen long houses with a rich history. We’ll have time to visit one of these places with our local guide and enjoy the stories, surroundings and atmosphere. Later, we check into our local bed and breakfast to enjoy a delicious dinner.
Accommodation:  One or two queen beds and private bathroom.

Day 6: Masset, / Tow Hill B.C – Naikoon Provincial Park (B/D)

Everyone needs a chill day and today is it. After a relaxing morning we’ll check the tides and head out to explore Tow Hill and Naikoon Provincial Park. We’ll walk along the boardwalk trail up Tow Hill with panoramic views of the sandy beaches and Masset Inlet. Naikoon National Park encompasses 72,640 hectares along the Northeast tip of Graham Island with 97 kilometres of sandy beaches, making it a beachcomber’s delight. The park is mostly lowland forest with stunted lodge pole pine, red and yellow cedar, Sitka spruce and Western Helmlock.

After our visit to Tow Hill we’ll walk along North Beach and sink out toes into the soft sand and do some beachcombing. We take refreshment at a funky local bakery set in the forest. In the afternoon passengers can visit the Dixon Maritime Museum and Delkatla Nature Sanctuary.
Accommodation:  One or two queen beds and private bathroom.

Day 7: Masset, / Tow Hill B.C. – Artisans (B/D)

Our last full day on our Haida Gwaii vacation is spent touring the village of Old Masset. We visit the local chiefs’ Big House and then are guided by a local through the canoe shed. For a first hand and personal understanding of the Haida People we visit local carvers of argelitte, cedar and painters in their homes.

We’ll tour the more recent poles put up in the village and enjoy lunch with the locals at their favourite eating place. Other stops will include Sarah’s Gift House and the Raven Gallery. We stop for pictures of the local sites whenever and wherever possible, watch the eagles ride the wind along the shoreline or enjoy the treats thrown out to them by local fishermen.

By the end of this week you will have slowed down and become tuned to the unique rhythm of this place, of the peace and quiet that is Haida Gwaii. Your spirit will be renewed and love of nature awakened.
Accommodation: One or two queen beds and private bathroom.

Day 8: Fly out – Back to Vancouver (B)

Alas, today is the last day of your Haida Gwaii vacation. After breakfast, we get an early morning start and load our luggage and checkout of our accommodation. Your driver/guide will drive us to meet up with the airport shuttle back to Sandspit. Check in at the Sandspit Airport and fly back to Vancouver, B.C.

Terms & Conditions

All rates are per person, based on double occupancy in Canadian dollars (unless otherwise stated) New bookings only. Space and price may be limited and subject to availability at the time of booking.  Errors or omissions may occur on the above information with no guarantee of being honoured. Terms and conditions apply. Tax is not included in the above base fare. Above tax amount includes non-refundable $30 per adult Booking Management Fee. $50 per adult cancellation fee. Not included in the above rates: Xpresspost fee, recommended medical, cancellation or baggage insurance. Child rate is applicable when travelling with 2 paying adults sharing 1 hotel room, using the existing bedding. Price Match Policy: Travel Best Bets makes every effort to remain competitive by offering our ‘Match or Beat Any Price’ offer however due to certain restrictions  there will be some product we cannot match or beat. Please note the star ratings found on www.travelbestbets.com are determined by Travel Best Bets based on a number of factors and may not match the star rating found in the Tour Operator’s brochure. Please view our star ratings by clicking here. Due to an increasing volume of disputed bookings, we will only accept payment for air only travel to India, the Philippines and the continent of Africa through the following means: book and pay cash in person or by direct deposit into our business account – once the transaction is verified and a copy of the receipt emailed or faxed to our office, we will confirm the booking. Please contact us for details on how to book using this method. Please contact [email protected] for photo credit information. BPCPA #3287