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Destinations > Canada > Alert Bay


Alert Bay

Alert Bay is a village on the 1.78 km² Cormorant Island situated on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. You will be overwhelmed by its natural beauty. Their population of 1,248 inhabitants is divided into Canadians and native Americans who live peacefully together. A minority of 692 people are still the Kwakwaka'wakw. Their highly interesting culture is well represented. In Alert Bay you can also find the tallest totem pole of the world. Alert Bay is the place to be for eco-tourism because it is rich in wildlife. The waterways surrounding this small island are a habitat for impressive killer whales as well as friendly playful dolphins, their relatives porpoises, also called mereswines and funny waddling sea lions.
So come to visit Alert Bay to experience it for yourself.

Districts of Alert Bay


The Namgins, a Canadian aborigine trip of a group of First Nations called Kwakwaka'wakw, live in the reservoirs of Alert Bay. This tongue twister simply means "Those who speak Kwak’wala" though less than five percent of them can speak this language.
Their tradition is of high importance to Alert Bay. They used to practice rituals during Potlatch, a present-giving event. It was held for special events such as the birth of the sachems’ first son.
Also important to their tradition is the big house. Each extended family units used to live in a big house. Often  consisting of 50 people. In the big house of the most affluent family the Potlatch was held.
Find out more about the Namgis’s history on-location.


In 1792 Europeans settled on Alert Bay. In its village live 556 inhabitants. The friendly Canadians are owner of a variety of shops, galleries and studios for arts and crafts. In Alert Bay down town you can go to eat in one of its homestyle restaurants. In addition you will find every thing you need like an ATM, pharmacy, laundrette and a full-service salon. Alert Bay has a range of comfortable accommodations.

Vancouver Island

From Alert Bay you can easily reach Vancouver Island by Ferry. It is a beautiful island with many things to do from skiing and hiking in the rainforests to an adventurous grizzly bear tour. In Summer the Hot Springs Cove, with its 47 degree Celsius water, are worth visiting. Enjoy them under fresh air. See cute sea otters splashing around in Checleset Bay Ecological Reserve and relax in the calm of nature.


Five top attractions for Alert Bay

World's tallest totem pole: Don’t miss the world’s tallest totem pole. The breathtaking animal faces calved into the huge tree-trunks will impress you. This customary fourteen figures represent a few tribes of the Kwakwaka'wakw nation.
Namgis Burial Grounds: At Namgis Burial Grounds you can see totem poles which stand at an old cemetry.
Alert Bay Big House: Visit this big house in which a group named the T'sasala Cultural Group perform dances while singing.
U'mista Cultural Centre: In the museum called U'mista Cultural Centre you will find out more about the exciting traditions of the Namgis.
Library-Museum: Come to visit the Library-Museum to see a historic photograph collection of Alert Bay.

10 travel tips for Alert Bay

whale watching: Go sailing with the killer whales. You can see them close up.

Alert Bay Ecological Reserve: A first impression about the birds and the beauty of the landscape you will get in the Alert Bay Ecological Reserve.

Fly over Alert Bay by aircraft to experience its beauty from a birds-eyes’ view.

Fishing: A sport you can definitely do in Alert Bay is fishing. The waterways next to the island are rich in fish and they are really tasty!

Scuba diving: If you prefer a more exiting sport try scuba diving.

Food: In Alert Bay you can find a lot of good restaurants which serve home-made food.

Indoor sport: Work out at the impressive gym.

Hiking: Go hiking along the amazing coast and enjoy nature.

Alert Bay is the right destination if you want to avoid crowded landscape.

Shopping: Buy a souvenir in K’uaweekeelas Treasures & Numas One Stop Shop to remember the gorgeous time you have been spent in Alert Bay.

Arrival: There are different ways to reach Alert Bay. Whether you go there by plane or by ferry.


Fun Facts and Tips for Alert Bay

Alcohol and Smoking: It is forbidden to drink alcohol in public and remember not to smoke in restaurants, bars, public buildings as well as in public transport and shopping malls.
Entry: Be aware that an immigration officer will ask you a few questions before entering Canada.
Weapons: You can bring your Knives like penknives and hunting knives but knives with spring mechanism are forbidden.
In Canada you can drink the water from the tap.



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