Spotlight Canada: Churchill – a destination you won’t want to miss any time of the year!

By Brenna Houston

From polar bears in the fall, the dazzling northern lights in winter offer, bird migrations in the spring, and the beluga whales in the summer – Churchill is an outdoor lover’s dream destination!

How to get there: There are no roads to get to Churchill. Coming by plane and train are the only ways to access Churchill. Flights to/from Winnipeg will gain you the quickest access to this stellar destination.

About the people of Churchill: Churchill has a year-round population of approximately 900 residents. Hunting, trapping and fishing is still an important activity to most of these residents. Although there are some summer trails, snowmobiles are their main transport in the winter.

Things not to miss in Churchill

Churchill is one of the Best places in the world to experience the Northern Lights in Canada.

Churchill is located in the Auroral Oval, meaning it is a great destination to view the northern lights, or aurora borealis. The northern lights can be seen in Churchill up to 300 nights a year.

Because Churchill is a top place to view northern lights, you can see them while visiting during beluga whale season (June to September) or polar bear season (October and November). The clear, dark skies of February and March are among the best times to observe northern lights. – Travel Manitoba

polar bears

There are a variety of options available that allow you experience the famous polar bears of Churchill! Our advisors can recommend and assist you with your travel plans to find a knowledgeable guide/tour operator for your trip.

Frequently called “Lords of the Arctic”, these spectacular animals are huge. Male polar bears can grow to more than 600 kg (1,320 lbs) and stand 3.05 metres (10 feet) tall. But don’t let their massive size fool you – these white bears can move with surprising speed and agility. With a highly acute sense of smell, they are also skilled hunters that can pick up a scent from over 30 kilometers away, and can detect the presence of seals under three feet of snow and ice. –

Dogsledding churchill

Adding to an exhilarating itinerary of stargazing and polar bears – Dogsledding is another authentic, northern experience you’ll want to add to your Churchill itinerary. Dogsledding gives you a cultural insight as you mush across the frozen tundra. Mid-November to Mid may you can experience various winter dogsled adventures from half-day, one day and so many other options.  Dog sled tour options are available year-round with variations between the summer and winter months.

From fur traders to mail carriers, the dogsled was the most convenient way to travel across the snow. Dogsledding represents an authentic northern experience. You’ll get the chance to learn how the mushers care and raise their kennels and you will even be able to interact with some of the dogs, who each have a distinct personality. In the summer months, the dogsled is replaced by a cart on wheels. See the landscape bursting with the colour of thousands of blooming wildflowers.. – Travel Manitoba

birdwatching churchill

Churchill is a birders paradise! 250+ species of birds that nest of pass through Churchill on their annual migration. The sub-arctic environment of Churchill provides a healthy habitat for a variety of falcons, hawks, Tundra Swans and Snowy Owls. Birders search for rare species that are spotted annually in Churchill such as Ross’s Gulls and Harlequin Ducks. Plenty of tour options available for photographers and wildlife fans.

Other wildlife that you can see in Churchill include Arctic hare and ptarmigan – both snowy white in the winter and grey-brown in summer. Artic fox is another animal whose coat changes depending on the season. The red fox, as well as its cousin the cross fox, can also be seen in Churchill. Keep an eye open for the siksik, a ground squirrel that lives in the rocky landscape of the north. Other possible animal sightings on the tundra include wolverine, moose, caribou and wolves. – Travel Manitoba

Belugas in Churchill

Thousands of beluga whales, which move into the warmer waters of the Churchill River estuary during July and August to calf, are a major summer attraction!  Boat Tours, Kayak Tours, and other methods are available to experience this nature lovers dream experience. Summer is an extraordinary time to visit the arctic tundra.

Nicknamed “sea canaries” for their underwater vocalizations, beluga whales move to the warmer waters of the Churchill River between mid-June and mid-September. These curious whales have few natural predators, and populations are relatively stable – only the orca and the polar bear are natural predators.

Calves and born grey and turn white as they mature. Belugas are unique among other whales because they can turn their heads, often making it seem like they are looking right at you!

Want to go to Churchill? We have a tour departing this November to experience all that Churchill has to offer! Click here for details or contact us for assistance planning a departure to this amazing Canadian destination.