Iqaluit – Nunavut’s Vibrant Capital
Iqaluit is unique. We could say this about all of our Arctic destinations for different reasons, but this vibrant city thrums with an eclectic blend of traditional and metropolitan life.
- Explore Iqaluit, the territorial capital of Nunavut and centre for business in the region
- Take a boat trip out on Frobisher Bay or hike along the Sylvia Grinnell River
- Meet local Inuit, the Iqalumiut, and learn about their fascinating culture and arts
- Visit nearby parks that feature mountains, rivers, waterfalls and ancient Thule sites
- See the second highest tides in Canada, which rise and fall 8-12 metres/26-39 feet, twice each day
Daily from Ottawa
From CA$2,125 – twin
From CA$2,815 – single
Taxes: CA$195.49 on airfare / 13% HST on total
Prices are shown in CA$ per person, based on two people sharing a double room and one person in a single room. They are “starting from” prices, to be used as a base to build your program. Pricing may fluctuate depending on flight and accommodation availability.
The beginning leg of your trip would be spent enjoying Northern hospitality aboard your flight from Ottawa before landing and getting settled in to your hotel. There’s a lot to look at, and a great place to start to get oriented is the Unikkaarvik Visitors Centre. Here you can rent bicycles, watch Inuit movies, attend weekly events, and of course get lots of great information about Iqaluit!
Time in the north holds such a wealth of opportunities! You may choose to start with a tour of the city from an expert local guide. There’s no better way to gain perspective about a community and area than from someone who not only lives there, but also loves and cares for their surroundings. The guides revel in showing you their favourite spots, taking you to the best places for spectacular views, and introducing you to the extensive history of Iqaluit’s land.
Step outside of the city (which is not a big step in Iqaluit!) with a boat tour on Frobisher Bay. The Arctic is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife, so keep your eyes open for hundreds of bird species, seals, and maybe even whales. A boat tour wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Qaummaarviit Territorial Park (Qaummaarviit means ‘the place that shines’) where colourful heath tundra stretches down to a rocky coastline, rich in archeological artifacts. Check out ancient Thule sites, and maybe meet some local families who still use the area for hunting, fishing, and gathering. Go fishing for Arctic char, take a hiking tour out into the surrounding countryside or try your hand at driving an ATV. Our local guides and outfitters will customize a program to fit your needs and interests.
Your last chance to look around town or take a half day tour this morning before heading to the airport for your flight back to Ottawa.
- Round trip flights between Ottawa and Iqaluit
- Three nights of accommodation in Iqaluit
- Iqaluit information pack
- Information and pre-trip advice and planning
- Airfare from your home city to/from Ottawa
- Optional tours and excursions
- Travel Insurance
- Items of a personal nature
- Gratuities to local guides
With a population of 6,700 people (2011) Iqaluit is Canada’s smallest provincial or territorial capital, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in cultural energy. From the Nunavut Legislative Building’s integrated Inuit motifs, to the igloo-shaped Anglican Cathedral, the evident blend of cultures creates an exciting new set of traditions.
As the capital of Nunavut it has the most to offer in terms of shops, services and museums of any of the Arctic communities we visit. However, that doesn’t stop the community here being well-connected to their lands. Year round you’ll find locals practising traditional methods of hunting, fishing, and trapping. Since the arrival of Europeans in the Canadian Arctic, the Inuit have found work as excellent guides and leaders, and that tradition too continues today. You’ll find outdoor pursuits, interpretive information, and exploration easy and accessible here in Iqaluit.
Who should visit Iqaluit?
Iqaluit has something for everyone, and is one of the most accessible northern communities with flights direct from Ottawa and Montreal. The city has all a great collection of cultural activities and museums, a lively arts scene, comfortable hotels, tasty restaurants and hip cafes, not to mention an array of outdoor activities, boat trips, hiking opportunities, and parks to visit. In summer there are chances to kayak, river raft, camp, and berry pick, while winter is popular for cross country skiing and tobogganing.
If I chose to travel to Iqaluit, what might my trip look like?
Remember, what follows is just a flavour of the activities available in Iqaluit. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, contact us as we may well be able to make it happen for you.
Local outfitters will take you out to some of the historical sites, or you can even extend the trip to spend a night in the Inuit hamlet of Kimmirut, only a short flight to the south of Iqaluit. In the summer the weather is cool, but usually bright, and the sun is up for almost twenty-four hours!
When should we go to Iqaluit?
Timing your visit really depends on what activities you would like to experience, and how much you like the cold in winter… Contact us to talk over the best time to go.
All the above activities are available in Iqaluit in summer, and we haven’t even started talking about winter yet! Snowmobile excursions are an awesome way to get a taste for this expansive land, or take a dog-sled or Qamutik (traditional sled) ride for a traditional winter experience. Are you a fisherman? In that case you’ll already know that Ice Fishing is the most exciting way to fish, for beginners and experts alike, and it results in a delicious reward. Learn from the best and enjoy your own fresh-caught Arctic Char.
How long should we visit Iqaluit for?
Our Touch of the Arctic: Iqaluit – Nunavut’s Vibrant Capital program is designed to get you started on your northern adventure. It’s a framework to which we can add anything and everything you need to make your vacation truly yours. Whether you’re travelling for a long weekend or for a week-long vacation with your family, Iqaluit will keep you occupied. Give us a call and we’ll be able to help you structure your trip to make best use of the time and resources you have.
Contact us to add tour options to your Iqaluit adventure. Tour options include, but are not limited to:
- Boat tours
- Wildlife viewing
- Community tours
- Dog-sledding/ice fishing/snowmobiling (seasonal)
- ATV tours
Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operators.