Canada is the largest country in North America and the second largest in the world after Russia. It is also one of the countries that are famous for its large stretches of untouched land. Undoubtedly, Canada is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
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But at the same time it is one of the wealthiest countries in the world which also lies high up in the Human Development Index. To the tourists this translates into a country having the finest of amenities. So what are the areas to explore in Canada?
1. The Atlantic Provinces
The Atlantic Provinces consists of the areas lying in the east on the Atlantic and includes areas of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. The region was once dependent on fishing only. But now oil, information technology, bio research and tourism have become important. So the once rustic region is fast becoming a tourist friendly destination. The Atlantic Provinces will give a visitor a peep into the times when the first European settlers landed here.
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Saint John River Valley is one such area where you will still find the wooden covered bridges and river ferries as well as wells and falls. L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic site is a place where one will find remains of an ancient Viking settlement which dates back to about 1000 A.D. The Bay of Fundy between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick is famous as it experiences the highest tide in the world. Halifax is the largest city of the region.
Quebec is a dominantly French speaking area and the largest region of Canada. Though the capital of the region is Quebec City, Montreal is larger and more famous all over the world. It is one of the liveliest cities in not only Canada but also in North America. Old Montreal is a treasure house of historical buildings. One can get a walking map and walk around the area. Repeat the walk at night when these historical buildings are lit up and the experience will be one to remember.
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There is also a 30 km underground area of malls and arcades and that means you can go on shopping even if the weather outside is not favoring you. See the Olympic Stadium and spend some time at the lovely Parc Jean-Drapeau. Saguenay Lac St-Jean is a great region to camp, hike and go fishing. It also has many beautiful beaches and a fjord, a few that Canada has to offer. Plenty of activities take place in this region all round the year from the Canadian Grand Prix and Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival to the Quebec City Winter Carnival and the Loto Quebec International Fireworks Competition.
This region is not only home to Ottawa, the Canadian capital but also Toronto, the largest city in the country. This region is the most visited place in Canada as it is also the home to the spectacle called Niagara. Along with the Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls, the Niagra Falls is the largest tourist draw in the country. One can get close to the falls aboard the Maid of the Mist, or behind the fall or simply walk in front of it along the White Water Walk. Also climb the CN Tower in Toronto on a glass elevator and have a spectacular view of the city standing on a glass floor.
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Visit the Thunder Bay region for a hike in the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, or visit the Kakabeka Falls and Eagle Canyon. The walk along the suspension bridge in the Eagle Canyon provides some memorable views of the area. If you are interested in history then visit the Fort William Historical Park and you will find yourself amidst fur –trading days complete with old buildings, culture and even the domestic life and farming using the techniques of those days.
4. Canadian Prairies
Visually, the Canadian Prairies are dominant flat land that also has mountains, lakes and shoreline. Alberta is the westernmost province of Canada and has much to offer to the visitors. One can have breathtaking views of the Canadian Rockies as well as the northern wilderness. Visit the Dinosaur Provincial Park for seeing some dinosaur fossil firsthand and also visit the strange, eroded landforms of the Alberta Badlands.
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The area of the Rockies is probably the most beautiful in the region and the two oldest national parks in Canada, the Banff National Park and the Jasper National Park also lie in the area. The other regions of the area where one must not fail to visit while in this region are Kananaskis Country, Lake Louis and Waterton Lakes National Park. The Manitoba region lying west of the Prairies is well known for its historical areas gong back to the fur trading days and the many beautiful beaches between the Lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba.
5. British Columbia
Though the name is British Columbia, the region is almost four times in size than Great Britain. This region has number of mountain ranges running mostly from north to south and these include the Rockies and Selkirks and also the Coastal Range. This region is one of the best for ecotourism and that is what is emphasized here.
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Vancouver is one of the most liberal cities in the whole of North America. There are two national parks in the region, the Yoho National Park and the Glacier National Park. The Canyons and Cariboo area of this region is home to Fraser Canyon. Here one is exposed to dramatic gorges and whitewater and one must have a ride up the Fraser River for some great adventure.
6. North Region
This region is one of the remotest regions of the world. The most accessible region of this part of Canada is Yukon which is linked by the Alaska Highway. Dawson City is the most important city and witness to the gold rush era.
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Kluane National Park is a great place to relish the natural beauty of the region. The glaciers and ice fields together with the wildlife and wildflowers provide a memorable experience.
Canada is such a vast country that covering it all at one go is nearly impossible. So it is better to explore each region separately.