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Southwest Sampler

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2,467

/ person
  • 1
  • 15 Days

Tanya Tapley

West Adventures

Providing adventure, nature, culture & memories with more inclusions & activities for the best value

  • Local time:13:35

Southwest Sampler

Combining the best of Vancouver Island with the Okanagan. It is a tour of contrasts: the ocean, rugged mountains, rolling hills; beautiful gardens and alpine meadows; Pacific swells in which you can surf to a houseboat on the placid waters of the Shuswap. Explore the arts and crafts of Vancouver Island and sample the award-winning wines from some of the 130 Okanagan wineries. Soak in the hot springs, hike the high mountains or go for a trail ride.

DAY 1

Meeting Day in Vancouver

Meet your fellow adventurers and tour leader at 6 pm at the joining hotel in downtown Vancouver. Be sure to have your insurance documents and passports available for presentation to your tour leader. After your tour briefing, you may want to go out together for dinner at one of the many nearby restaurants. Overnight at the joining hotel. Read more

Vancouver
DAY 2

Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria

We depart Vancouver for the ferry terminal that will take us across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island. The scenery on the crossing is exceptional. We arrive in Victoria about noon and have a day-and-a-half to explore this historic, very British city. There is incredible variety to explore in this region. Visit the world renowned Butchart Gardens. Charter a fishing trip. Visit Craigdarroch Castle or Miniature World or the Royal British Columbia Museum or simply stroll the BC Parliament Buildings, Government House or the iconic Empress Hotel. Stroll the Inner Harbour or check out the Oak Bay marina. Read more

Victoria
DAY 3

Juan de Fuca Trail

Today we take an included excursion to Port Renfrew. This is the terminus of the Juan de Fuca Trail, a coastal trail that is typically a three- or four-day trek. We’ll hike a short section along this scenic trail before arriving in Port Renfrew, home to Botanical Beach which displays a plethora of small sea life in its unique geological and botanical tidal pools. Non-hikers will have the option to opt out of this moderate hike. Read more

Victoria
DAY 4

Travel from Victoria to Tofino

Today we have quite a variety of interesting stops as we make our way, first up the coast, then across Vancouver Island to the Pacific coast. Take in the breath-taking views of the Malahat Drive on our way up island. A quick stop in Duncan gives us the opportunity to view some of their famous totem poles, historic symbols of the Coast First Nations, then it’s on to to Chemainus, where we spend some time wandering around this artsy community. After Nanaimo, we turn inland, and shortly we’ll stop at Coombs Country Market, world famous for its goats grazing on the roof. The market itself is an interesting place to wander and shop, and where we’ll likely have our lunch. Two other stops in the area include the North Island Animal Rescue Centre and Little Qualicum Falls. Before getting to the Pacific coast we’ll also stop at Cathedral Grove, the aptly named giant forest preserve. We’ll arrive in the Tofino area late afternoon, where we’ll set up camp for the next three nights. Read more

Tofino
DAY 5

Whale Whatching and Hot Springs Cove

Today we take an included whale-watching excursion that culminates in Hot Springs Cove. More often than not, you’ll be treated not only to whales but also various other sea life such as harbour seals, porpoises and sea lions. At Hot Springs Cove, you’ll relax in the soothing hot mineral waters as ocean waves surge up to meet you. A true bucket list experience. Read more

Tofino
DAY 6

Day to Explore Tofino

Today we have a great variety of activities options associated with the Pacific Coast. Surf the waves of Long Beach, or simply relax on the beach; rent a kayak or canoe; take a guided First Nations canoe experience; hike in the rainforest. Explore the art galleries of Tofino, or simply grab your camera and capture the exquisite scenery of Clayoquot Sound and the Pacific Coast. Read more

Tofino
DAY 7

Horne Lake Caves

After breaking camp, we’ll re-board our minibus for the return trip across the Island, arriving in Parksville around noon. This afternoon we go to the magnificent Horne Lake Caves for an included one-hour exploration. Those who wish, may add on a second hour to explore the caves. Back at Parksville by late afternoon, you’re free to explore this coastal community, perhaps spending your time to relax on Rathtrevor Beach, a completely different beach experience from that of the Pacific Coast. If you haven’t yet indulged in the famous Nanaimo Bar, make sure you treat yourself to that before leaving the Island. Read more

Parksville - Tigh-Na-Mara Se
DAY 8

Farewell & Ferry, Naniamo to Vancouver

This morning we drive to the ferry terminal in Nanaimo, then cross back over to the British Columbia mainland. We’ll say good-bye on our arrival back in Vancouver, unless, of course, you are continuing on. If so, you’ll have time to catch an afternoon city excursion before meeting your tour leader this evening. If you are ending your trip with West Adventures here, please do not book flights leaving before 4 pm, to ensure you have time to get to the airport. Or if you have a few days before departure, we would be happy to arrange some tours for you to add on to your trip before you have to go home. Read more

Parksville to Vancouver
DAY 9

Hiking in Manning Park

We depart relatively early, travelling first through the scenic Fraser Valley that produces most of BC’s berries, vegetables, dairy, and poultry products. We’ll stop to visit the Hope Slide, where a mountain came crashing down through the Nicolum Valley. More than fifty years later, the rubble still tells an amazing geologic story. By late morning we’ll arrive at Manning Park where we spend most of the day. There are numerous hiking options here for all fitness and adventure levels, as well as tranquil waters to relax beside. Your driver will take you to various trailheads. Later in summer you’ll also get to appreciate the attractive alpine meadows. Before sundown we travel on to Osoyoos, the northern end of the Great Sonoran Desert and a summer playground for locals, with a stop at the enigmatic “Spotted Lake.” Read more

Osoyoos
DAY 10

Beach time in Osoyoos

Today is a full day to spend in Osoyoos, with lots of options: go swimming or simply relax on the beach, rent a canoe or kayak or motorized boat, go waterskiing or jetboating, visit the Desert Model Railroad or the Nk’mip Desert Cultural Centre, or take a tour at the Desert Centre. Rent a bike to explore the area, or challenge your fitness on the steep hills outside town. Our stay in Osoyoos is right near the beach, close to everything. Read more

Osoyoos
DAY 11

Okanagan Wine Tasting

Our drive today takes us up alongside the turquoise waters of the Okanagan Lakes and through the centre of the Okanagan wine region, a greatly under-appreciated region that is winning accolades around the world. We’ll stop at several wineries along the way. We may stop in Penticton for a float trip down the Penticton Channel, as well. This evening we arrive in Kelowna, where we’ll stay for two nights. This is a bustling city with loads of activities and lots of night-life. Read more

Kelowna
DAY 12

Myra Canyan Trestles and free time

Hike or cycle the famous Myra Canyon, including sixteen old or restored trestles from the Kettle Valley Railroad. Or rent a boat and spend the day on Okanagan Lake, home of the Ogopogo, Canada’s Loch Ness Monster. Go mini-golfing, lie on the beach, check out a few more wineries or farm tours featuring orchards, honey or vegetables. If you’re a golfer, you won’t find many better courses than those of this region. Maybe you want to take a tour in an exotic car (think Lambo or McLaren) or a custom sidecar. You’ll have a tough time making your decision! Read more

Kelowna
DAY 13

Houseboating on the Shuswap

We travel up the north end of the Okanagan Valley, passing the emerald waters of Kalamalka Lake (a definite photo stop), then cross into the Shuswap drainage basin. We may stop for a tour of the Armstrong cheese factory and, on arrival in Sicamous about noon, may check out a farm tour and ice cream outlet. Then we head down to the marina and board the Remote Escape for an afternoon and overnight on the waters of Shuswap and Mara Lakes, the house-boating capital of Canada. We’ll sail into Shuswap Lake, stopping at various sites and enjoying this special place. Activities include swimming, sun-tanning, riding a dinghy, simply relaxing on board, or sitting in the on-board hot-tub. Shared cooking responsibilities for dinner. Read more

Shuswap Lake
DAY 14

Guest Ranch stay with Trail Ride

Returning to the marina, we re-board our minibus for a trip through picturesque Shuswap country and into the Thompson region. After Kamloops we ascend to the high country and eventually into the back-country where we’ll end up at an artistically and hand-built guest ranch for this, our final night. At the ranch, we get an included horseback trail ride before our final dinner together. Spend the evening in the attached lounge; kick up your heels and enjoy the night. Read more

Merritt
DAY 15

Farewell Morning

After a hearty breakfast at the ranch, we make our way back to the main freeway and travel the scenic Coquihalla Highway back to the Fraser Valley and on to Vancouver. If you are flying out today, please don’t book flights leaving before 4 pm, to give you adequate time to get to the airport. If you are continuing on to another West Adventures tour, your tour leader will meet you at the joining hotel for a group meeting at 6 pm. In the meantime, enjoy one of many optional downtown tours of Vancouver. And if you have a few extra days to spend in the area, we’ll be happy to help you arrange some tours or accommodations in Vancouver or Whistler. Read more

Merrit to Vancouver

ACCOMMODATIONS

Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Vancouver
Day 2
Location Victoria
Day 4
Location Tofino
Hotel Camping
Day 7
Location Parksville
Day 8
Location Vancouver
Day 9
Location Osoyoos
Day 11
Location Kelowna
Day 13
Location Shuswap Lake
Hotel Houseboat
Day 14
Location Merritt

TRIP PACKAGE

Package includes

  • Transport during the tour
  • Accommodation
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Local guides
  • Information services
  • Camping Equipment
  • Entrance fee
  • Included meals: 7 breakfasts, 4 dinners
  • Included Activities: Ferry rides, excursion to Port Renfrew, Cathedral Grove, whale-watching tour, Hot Springs Cove, houseboat adventure, wine tours, trail ride

Package excludes

  • Airfare
  • Transfer from/to the airport
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Sleeping bag and towel
  • Visa, consular 76fees or any other formalities.
  • Tips
  • Beverages
  • Additional journeys and transfers

More information

  • Although we make every effort to provide the listed hotels, they may vary according to availability and our discretion.
  • If you are interested in a private tour on any of our listed dates or alternate dates, please contact us with your date and how many people in the group and we will provide a customized quote for you.

REVIEWS

10 Reviews

Andrea, Canada

We saw so much wildlife, & the fact that local guides were at no extra cost made a big difference to the things we saw. Other people without local guides walk right past things that our guides showed us, also very helpful getting great photos. Our tour guide was fabulous. Accommodations were great!

Kelly Brewer, Australia

I recently returned from a trip to Costa Rica and am beyond satisfied with the service provided. Everything was super straightforward and we were well looked after from the second we booked our trip. We had really lovely accommodation, reliable transport that ran on time and some delicious meals...

Shendra B, Canada

The West Adventures trip to Costa Rica was better than expected. Beautiful country, excellent guides. Excellent, experienced host guide, Becky. We saw almost all the animals. had wonderful adventures, zipline, exciting river cruise through Tortuguero National Park, a day at the hotsprings.

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