Wilderness and civilization
British Columbia is a land of exceptional mountain scenery, wild rivers,
fjords and hundreds of islands that are home to ancient forests. Whether you ski on
freshly powdered slopes, hike along wilderness trails, wander the endless stretches of
Pacific shoreline, or explore its city streets and parks, you'll discover a remarkable
province that will delight you at every turn.
Southern British Columbia offers a
wealth of possibilities to commune with nature. The waters that lap the deserted shores of
beaches beckon you to relax and let your mind wander. Stately trees stand guard over
unspoiled, tranquil areas untouched by human activities. Dotted with national and
provincial parks, which lie stretched across the loveliest parts of the province, this
region has an extremely varied landscape, with everything from perpetually snow-covered
peaks to desert valleys and rivers teeming with fish.
The Okanagan Valley is home to countless orchards and some of the best wineries in the
province. As one magnificent landscape succeeds another, your eyes will be dazzled by the
fertile lands and sparkling lakes, presided over by the majestic Rocky
The forest found along the coast of B.C.,
as well as on the Queen Charlotte Islands and the west coast of Vancouver Island is so
lush that it is referred to as temperate rain forest, the counterpart of the tropical rain
forest. Douglas firs and western red cedars abound, as does the Sitka spruce. Warmed by
the current from Japan, the waters of the Pacific maintain a higher temperature than those
of the Atlantic, which are cooled by the Labrador current. As a result, this region
features very distinctive forms of marine life.
Vancouver is truly a modern city, whose urban landscape is framed by the mighty elements
of the sea and the rugged Rocky Mountains. Vancouver is one of the most multicultural
metropolises of the Pacific Rim. Most of its residents were lured here by the magnificent
setting and the climate, which is remarkably mild in a country known for its bitter
winters and stifling summers. Vancouver, where Asia meets America, is a city well worth
Vancouver Island is split into two
distinct regions by a chain of mountains that divides the north from the south. The open
ocean has sculpted the west side, creating big, deep fjords while the shoreline on the
east side is much more smooth and continuous. Located at the southern tip of Vancouver
Island, Victoria is the capital of the province. This city was settled by many British
immigrants, who brought with them the customs and traditions of their homeland, providing
Victoria with an unmistakably British character. Any tour of Victoria starts at the port,
which was the city's main point of access for decades.
Where on earthBritish Columbia is located in the western extremity of
Canada bordered by the Pacific Ocean. Three quarters of the territory in this coastal
province is more than 930 m (3,051 feet) above sea level.