Visitor Information

In a land one-fifth the size of Canada, where the 28 communities are separated only by hundreds of kilometres of tundra, travelling to and within Nunavut is part of your Nunavut experience!
Getting Here and Around
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Traveling to NunavutTraveling in Nunavut

Nunavut is a very accessible destination for your vacation plans – only 3 hours away from a major city airport. For visitors wishing to travel to the western Kitikmeot region, your southern ‘gateway’ cities include Calgary and Edmonton (Alberta) flying through Yellowknife. Paddlers, fishers, and others en route to the central Kivalliq region would fly from Winnipeg (Manitoba) direct to Rankin Inlet, and for Baffin Island destinations, travellers board in either Ottawa (Ontario) or Montreal (Quebec) for direct service to Nunavut’s capital city of Iqaluit. There is also east-west routing that links Yellowknife – Rankin Inlet – Iqaluit – and Ottawa.

There are no roads leading to Nunavut from other parts of Canada, nor between communities within the region. For general travel, all communities are fly-in only. Cambridge Bay, Rankin Inlet, and Iqaluit are the transportation hubs for their respective regions. Most communities are serviced daily by one or more regional airlines, however smaller communities may be less frequent. Charters are also available. Some northern airlines also fly routes between the regions providing extra flexibility in scheduling your itinerary.


Southern Connections

Jet service from southern gateways is provided by one of three airlines:

Calm Air International LP

Services the Kivalliq region from Winnipeg, Churchill, and Thompson. Charter services available.

Email

Toll Free: 1-800-839-2256

Winnipeg
Tel: 204-778-6471
Fax: 204-778-6954

Rankin Inlet
Tel: 867-645-2746
Fax: 867-645-2191

Canadian North

Scheduled and charter passenger and cargo service with an all-jet fleet of Boeing 737s throughout Nunavut and the NWT. Gateways include Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver. Connections with both domestic and international flights.

Toll Free: 1-800-661-1505

Iqaluit
Tel: 867-669-4000
Fax: 867-669-4040

First Air

Scheduled and charter passenger flights to and within Nunavut. Main gateways: Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Yellowknife. First Air flies to a total of 26 destinations in the North, operating a fleet of over 30 aircraft. All scheduled First Air flights are eligible for Aeroplan points. Charters are also available.

Email

Toll Free: 1-800-267-1247

Ottawa
Tel: 613-839-3340
Fax: 613-839-5690

Iqaluit
Tel: 867-979-8308

Travel Agents

Northern travel agencies can be very helpful in planning trips to and within Nunavut. These agencies are more familiar with flight schedules, accommodations and other arrangements than are southern agents, particularly if you choose not to go with a package tour operator.

Top of the World

Tel: 867-979-8686
Fax: 867-979-8687

With few roads and many of its communities scattered over islands and archipelagos, Nunavut benefits from regularly scheduled air service that links most of its communities. Flights to the smaller communities operate two or three times a week, while some of the larger communities have daily service.

If you can’t find a scheduled flight to your destination, a charter service can probably get you there. Charter aircraft – including helicopters – are often the only way to reach many fishing camps and parks. If you’re taking a package tour, the charter cost will probably be included, but check to be sure.

It is important to note that flights within Nunavut are frequently delayed by bad weather, particularly in the small communities where air operations run under visual flight rules. And don’t be surprised when an aircraft is taken off scheduled service to fly as an air ambulance.


Canadian North

Scheduled and charter passenger and cargo service with an all-jet fleet of Boeing 737s throughout Nunavut and the NWT. Gateways include Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver. Connections with both domestic and international flights. Canadian North flights are eligible for Aeroplan points.

Toll Free: 1-800-661-1505

Iqaluit
Tel: 867-669-4000
Fax: 867-669-4040

First Air

Scheduled and charter passenger flights to and within Nunavut. Main gateways: Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Yellowknife. First Air flies to a total of 26 destinations in the North, operating a fleet of over 30 aircraft. All scheduled First Air flights are eligible for Aeroplan points. Charters are also available.

Email

Toll Free: 1-800-267-1247

Ottawa
Tel: 613-839-3340
Fax: 613-839-5690

Iqaluit
Tel: 867-979-8308

Kenn Borek Air

Scheduled and charter service for the Baffin region.

Email

Iqaluit
Tel: 867-979-0040
Fax: 867-979-0132

Kivalliq Air/Keewatin Air LP

Scheduled air service for the Kivalliq and Kitikmeot regions. Charter Service also available.

Rankin Inlet
Tel: 867-645-2992
Fax: 867-645-2330

Winnipeg
Toll Free: 1-877-855-1500

Unaalik Aviation

Scheduled and charter service for the Baffin region.

Email

Toll Free: 1-866-366-6784

Iqaluit
Tel: 867-979-6795
Fax: 867-979-6798

Taxi Service

In most communities, local taxis meet every commercial flight that comes in. There are also usually dedicated phones at airports and in some of the hotels. Taxis usually charge a flat rate per person, and typically more than one group uses the cab at the same time, so don’t be surprised if the driver pulls up at other destinations to pick up or drop off passengers before getting to your stop, and don’t pass up a taxi just because you see a passenger inside. There may be only one or two taxis in town, so hop in, if there’s room.

Vehicle Rentals

Although most Nunavut communities are small enough to explore on foot, many them still offer rental vehicles in addition to taxi service. In areas of the Kitikmeot, around communities such as Cambridge Bay, there are networks of roadways or trails that people use to drive to cottages and camps in outlying areas. As well, in towns like Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet there are a few stretches of pavement, although, most community roads are gravel only. Despite the limited number of roads, it is possible to rent ATVs, snow machines, and in a few places, cars or vans. To rent a vehicle in Nunavut, you require a Canadian provincial, territorial, or international driver’s license. Travellers considering rentals should also keep in mind that most tour operators and accommodation suppliers usually provide transport for their guests.

Arranging a Tour

For adventure-seeking visitors to Nunavut, tour operators and outfitters offer a wide range of excursions that include various levels of services. Outfitters usually operate between March and September, which is Nunavut’s peak travel season. They can still be contacted in the off-season months to facilitate planning, however due to cold temperatures and reduced daylight, few travellers visit during this time of year.

If you’re already visiting a northern community and feel like taking a tour on the tundra or going on a fishing trip, check in with the Visitor Centre, hamlet office or with Hunters and Trappers Organization (HTO) – who can refer you to a local licensed guide or outfitter.

Check with Nunavut Tourism for more information on outfitters, guides, and arranging package tours.


Accommodations

You have a number of different options for accommodations during your visit to Nunavut, from the modern hotel with conference facilities to the cozy comfort of B&Bs and tourist homes, as well as the warm hospitality of a homestay experience with an Inuit family. A list of accommodations in each community servicing a park is located in their profiles.

In Nunavut, lodgings can range from very comfortable full-service hotels comparable to many southern facilities to interesting small hotels, home stays, bed and breakfast facilities or even a night in an igloo. As with most Nunavut experiences, a hotel stay in any or our small Arctic communities can be part of a very unique and rewarding cultural encounter.

There are a few hotels and lodges in Nunavut of exceptional quality and service – similar or exceeding the standards found in hotels across Canada. However, many community hotels are not luxurious, although most are clean and functional. Space is limited in the smaller communities, and it is fairly common to share a room with others. Initially this may not seem an attractive option to the solo traveller, however you are guaranteed to meet fascinating people from all over the world, engaged in all kinds of interesting adventures and activities. Similar to other northern experiences, hotels are expensive – you can expect to pay $140-$180 per night, not including meals. Meals will run on average an extra $60-$90 per day if you eat in the hotel – which is often the only place in town to get a meal. Also be aware that rates are usually quoted per person or per bed, as opposed to per room.

A number of communities have a bed & breakfast as an alternative to the hotel. They are usually a little less expensive, and as their name suggests the cost includes breakfast. You will have to make arrangements with your host or the local hotel for your other meals. Tourist homes are similar, although you usually have access to a kitchen and you are responsible for cooking all your own meals.

Some travellers wish to immerse themselves into the culture and billet with a local Inuit family. This is possible, however, unlike other accommodations, homestays are not regulated by any standards for quality or safety and they are not licensed by the Government of Nunavut. It is your sole responsibility to investigate what services will be provided. A few good questions to start with include, “Have you done this before?”, “Are meals included?”, and “Do I get my own room, or just a bed?” The Inuit are incredibly hospitable and a homestay is a unique opportunity for an authentic travelling experience, however be aware that northern living conditions are very different and full of surprises even for the experienced traveller. To arrange a homestay, begin by calling the hamlet office or visitor centre in the community you wish to visit for a list of families offering this service.

You’ll also find lodges and outpost camps in many areas of Nunavut. They are usually not located in a community and are most often operating seasonally. Many such facilities cater to or specialize in specific Arctic activities and expeditions such as sport fishing and wildlife tours. While quite comfortable, you are most likely to have to share accommodations in an outpost camp and may have to bring your own sleeping bag.

Safe Travel
Supplies and InformationSafe TravelSuggested Resources
Welcome to Nunavut Parks! Our parks will offer you spectacular scenery, unique wildlife, and opportunities to experience Inuit culture and learn about northern places few people go. But, there are a host of associated dangers with travel in this northern wilderness. The remoteness of the area, and limited rescue capabilities increase the risk of the challenging natural hazards. All visitors must be prepared to deal with extreme and rapidly changing weather, unpredictable river crossings, high winds, and wildlife – including polar bears – which you may not be familiar with.

Remember, you must be self-reliant and responsible for your own safety!

The following organizations are a great place to start for information.

Nunavut Parks and Special Places
P.O. Box 1000, Station 1340, Iqaluit, Nunavut
X0A 0H0, Canada
Tel: 867-975-7700
Fax: 867-975-7747
Email
Nunavut Tourism
P.O. Box 1450, Iqaluit, Nunavut
X0A 0H0, Canada
Tel: 867-979-6551
Fax: 867-979-1261
Email
Topographic Information

Centre for Topographic Information
Natural Resources Canada
Toll Free: 1-800-465-6277
Fax: 613-947-7948
Email

Dangerous Goods Transport

Transport Canada
Tel: 613-990-2309
Fax: 613-954-4731

Grizzly Bear Safety Information

Department of Environment and Natural Resources,
Government of the Northwest Territories

Safety in Grizzly and Black Bear Country

Other Supplies

Bear Resistant Containers, Deterrents and Warning Systems

Arctic Survival Store
Building 170
Iqaluit
Tel: 867-979-1984

Bearproof Trash/Food Containment Systems

Margo Supplies

Mountain Equipment Co-op

REI Co-op

Planning Your Trip

In An Emergency

Weather

River Crossings

Wildlife Safety

Arctic Insects

Minimum Impact Travel

Suggested DVDs/Videos

• Staying Safe in Bear Country
• Working in Bear Country
• Polar Bears: A Guide to Safety
• Safe and Sustainable Travel in Nunavut

All videos are available for viewing at local visitor centres and wildlife officers. The Bear Safety video series is also available for purchase through Distribution Access.

• Tel: 1-888-440-4640

Any proceeds from the sales of the Bear Safety Videos are put directly back into further educational efforts.

Suggested Readings

Bromley, Marianne. 1996. Safety in Polar Bear Country. Northwest Territories Renewable Resources, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, 24pp.

Bromley, Marianne. 1996. Safety in Grizzly and Black Bear Country. Northwest Territories Renewable Resources, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, 24pp.

Pielou, E.C. 1994. A Naturalist’s Guide to the Arctic. University of Chicago Press. Chicago, Illinois. 327 pp.

Soubliere, Marion Editor. 1999. The Nunavut Handbook. Nortext. Iqaluit, Nunavut. 413 pp.

Stirling, Ian. 1998. Polar Bears. University of Michigan Press, Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Markham, Ontario, 220pp.

Registration, Permits and Rentals
Territorial Parks have been established to help park visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience. Through pre-trip information visitors find out about potential hazards as well as safe and low impact travel practices required in Arctic environments.

Visitors must inform themselves, plan and organize logistics, equipment and supplies as much as possible at home while still in the trip planning process. Visitors are asked to read “Polar Bear Safety in Nunavut Territorial Parks” as well as “Safe and Sustainable Travel in Nunavut Territorial Parks” mandatory pre-trip information. Pre-trip information is available at www.nunavutparks.com or in print format by request.

Visitors should determine their choices regarding bear deterrents, emergency communications devices, firearms and other specialized equipment before leaving home. Visitors should also inform themselves about access to Inuit Owned Lands as well as hunting and fishing regulations if applicable to their trip.

RegistrationPermitsRentals

As the last point of contact for up-to-date trip information before visitors embark into a Nunavut park, the registration and orientation process is a chance for visitors to finalize their level of preparation and equipment for their trip, as well as to ask park staff any remaining questions.

Currently, registration/de-registration is mandatory for all visitors planning trips into Katannilik Territorial Park. If you are planning a wilderness trip to one of Nunavut’s other parks, register your plans with the RCMP at the detachment closest to your departure point (and very importantly DO NOT forget to check in when you return!) It’s a good idea to leave your plans with someone you trust as well.

For Katannilik, registration and de-registration is available at the Unikkaarvik Visitor Centre in Iqaluit and the Katannilik Territorial Park Visitor Centre in Kimmirut. Guided visitors must be registered through their guide / outfitter company. Guide / Outfitting companies must contact Nunavut Territorial Parks Headquarters in Iqaluit for details of the Guides and Outfitters Registration / Deregistration and Orientation process.

A Nunavut Parks Registration Form must be completed and signed jointly by group leaders and registration staff during the registration and orientation process. The Registration Form is a record of expected trip plans, equipment and supplies.

Through the registration process visitors can obtain additional, known, up-to-date information including safety notices, land and water conditions, as well as wildlife sighting reports and emergency shelters / group shelter use levels. Registration allows parks staff to know intended travel routes and expected dates of return. Group leaders must acknowledge that all group members have read and understood the Safe and Sustainable Travel / Polar Bear Safety in Nunavut Territorial Parks mandatory pre-trip information.

To be most beneficial, this information must be read at home while visitors are still in the trip planning process.

As part of the mandatory registration process all park visitors watch the Safe and Sustainable Travel / Polar Bear Safety in Nunavut Territorial Parks Orientation Slideshow. This audio-visual presentation is an opportunity to see images and hear key messages reinforcing considerations that visitors should make before embarking on their Nunavut Territorial Parks experience.

Group leaders must also de-register at the end of their trip. De-registration allows park staff to know that registered groups have returned. De-registration is an opportunity for visitors to convey information back to park staff including park conditions, wildlife sightings and level of satisfaction with park facilities and information. If a group does not return by the date agreed upon on the registration form, a search and rescue effort will be initiated.

All search and rescue costs are the responsibility of the visitor.

Visitors should be aware that search and rescue efforts can be delayed, sometimes for many days, due to poor visibility, weather conditions or high winds. Aircraft can only land if terrain is safe.

Download and read the appropriate registration package:

Katannilik Park Registration Information for Non-Guided Groups and Outfitted/Guided Groups (.pdf)

Permits are required for various activities that occur within Territorial Park boundaries. Research and filming are two activities that have potential to impact our parks. For other activities, contact Nunavut Parks to confirm if a permit is required.

Nunavut Territorial Parks Use Permit (.pdf) Suitable for general park use or research purposes

• Nunavut Territorial Wildlife Research Permit (.pdf) | Permit (.doc) | Guidelines (.pdf)

Nunavut Territorial Parks Use Permit – Filming in Parks (.pdf)

It is recommended that visitors to Nunavut Territorial Parks travel with licensed local guides and outfitters. All visitors should inform themselves about bear warning systems and deterrents such as pistol and pen launched ‘bear bangers’, bear spray, noisemakers, and air horns. Use of firearms is not encouraged. Check with Nunavut Park staff for regulations governing carrying and using firearms.

If you are interested in carrying a firearm in a territorial park, you must download and complete the permit application:

Nunavut Territorial Parks Firearm Permit (.pdf)

Parks are for everyone and the majority of park facilities are free for the public to use. However, two of our Territorial Parks currently feature buildings you may rent for activities or events that require some shelter from the elements. Fill out our rental application for the Park Pavilion in Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park, or the Elders Cabin in Iqalugaarjuup Nunanga Territorial Park.

Sylvia Grinnell Pavilion Rental (.pdf)

Iqalugaarjuup Nunanga Elders Cabin Rental (.pdf)

Inuit Owned Lands
With the May 25, 1993 signing of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA), Inuit of the central and eastern arctic were given a new territory: Nunavut. The agreement provides Inuit of Nunavut with benefits such as equal representation with government, wildlife harvesting rights, and the title to approximately 350,000 km2 of land – these lands are known as Inuit Owned Lands.

There were four primary considerations for the selection of Inuit Owned Lands within the NLCA. They include:
• Areas of value principally for renewable resource reasons
• Areas of value principally for reasons related to the development of non-renewable resources
• Areas of commercial value; and
• Areas of archaeological, historical or cultural importance.

Access to Inuit Owned Lands

Some of Nunavut’s territorial parks are adjacent to Inuit Owned Lands. In some cases, Inuit Owned Lands may fall within the boundary of the territorial parks. Nunavut Parks makes every effort to provide mapping and signage indicating where these lands exist.

Visitors who want access to Inuit Owned Lands are required to get authorization from the appropriate Regional Inuit Association. For further information and to apply for such authorization, see the following:

To access lands in the: Apply for land access authorization from the:
Kitikmeot Region Kitikmeot Inuit Association
Kivalliq Region Kivalliq Inuit Association
Qikiqtaaluk Region Qikiqtaaluk Inuit Association

Visitor Centres

Nunavut’s Visitor Centres are a great first place to contact before your visit to Nunavut. They are community centres where residents come together to take part in traditional activities; they are places that interpret the rich and important history of Nunavut; they describe the strong relationships between Nunavummiut and the land; and they celebrate and promote tourism, local, regional and territorial attractions.

Contact the local Visitor Centre before you arrive, or when you get there, to make sure you have the brochures and publications you need. Staff at the centres can connect you to a local outfitter or guide to take you out to a park or a day on the land, set you up in a homestay program overnight, or uncover something new to see and do while you are there.

Arviat Margaret Aniksak Visitor Centre The Margaret Aniksak Visitor Centre celebrates the rich history of Arviat and the Padlei Area. Enjoy the many displays featuring traditional tools, Inuit games and traditional clothing. The Centre is open seasonally; from end of July to September. It will also be open on special occasions. Tel: 867-857-2366
Fax: 867-857-2519
Baker Lake Vera Akumalik Visitor Centre Step back in time to a Hudson’s Bay Post at the Vera Akumalik Visitor Centre in Baker Lake – the geographic centre of Canada. Stop by the Vera Akumalik Center, the Baker Lake Heritage Centre, one of the towns several galleries, or the Jessie Oonark Arts and Crafts Centre at the start, or end, of a trip down the Thelon Heritage River, the Kazan Heritage River, or the Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary. Tel: 867-793-2456
Fax: 867-793-2175
Baker Lake Baker Lake Heritage Centre Tel: 867-793-2598
Fax: 867-793-2509
Cambridge Bay Arctic Coast Visitor Centre Explore the history of the quest for the Northwest Passage at the Arctic Coast Visitor Centre in Cambridge Bay. Stop by the centre during your visit to Ovayok Territorial Park and the surrounding area, or to set up a local tour. Tel: 867-983-2842
Fax: 867-983-2302
Cape Dorset Mallikjuaq Park Visitor Centre A main stop for cruise ship passengers en route to Mallikjuaq Territorial Park in Cape Dorset, the Mallikjuaq Park Visitor Centre displays artifacts portraying the history of Dorset and Mallikjuaq islands. Start here to arrange your trip to the Park. Tel: 867-897-8996
Fax: 867-897-8475
Iqaluit Unikkaarvik Visitor Centre The Unikkaarvik Visitor Centre celebrates Nunavut – its lands, its people, and its history. The centre also highlights things to do while in Iqaluit, including a guided tour of Frobisher Bay or a walking tour of Iqaluit – Nunavut’s capital City. The Centre is also a great starting point for a trip to Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park or Qaummaarviit Territorial Park, both only a short distance from Iqaluit, or to register to go to Katannilik Territorial Park. Tel: 867-979-4636
Fax: 867-979-1261
Email Unikkaarvik
Kimmirut Katannilik Park Visitor Centre The Katannilik Park Visitor Centre, located in the restored Dewey Soper House in Kimmirut, provides interpretation for Katannilik Territorial Park and the Soper Heritage River. Staff at the centre will also register you in or out of the Park, and set up home-stays for visitors to Kimmirut. Tel: 867-939-2416
Fax: 867-939-2406
Email Katannilik Park
Kugluktuk Kugluktuk Heritage and Visitors’ Centre Visitors to the Kugluktuk Heritage and Visitors’ Centre can learn about the local history, and the importance of the Coppermine River – a nominated Canadian Heritage River, and the scenic Kugluk (Bloody Falls) Territorial Park. The Centre is also the starting point to a self-guided interpretive walking trail of Kugluktuk. Tel: 867-982-3570
Fax: 867-982-3573
Pangnirtung Angmarlik Visitor Centre The history of whaling in Cumberland Sound and Pangnirtung is interpreted at the Angmarlik Visitor Centre, the Hudson’s Bay Blubber Station and Kekerten Territorial Park – a three hour boat ride from Pangnirtung. Staff at the Centre will also arrange guides and outfitters to the Park, or to Auyuittuq National Park. Tel: 867-473-8737
Fax 867-473-8685
Pond Inlet Nattinnak Centre Visitors to Pond Inlet come to enjoy spring snowmobile and dog team tours for wildlife watching at the floe edge and to the bird cliffs on Bylot Island, cross-country skiing and boat trips for sport fishing, narwhal watching, and sea kayaking among the ice bergs, or camping at Tamaarvik Territorial Park. This, and the history of the region, is showcased at the Nattinnak Centre – as is Sirmilik National Park, and Bylot Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Tel: 867-899-8225
Fax: 867-899-8175
Rankin Inlet Rankin Inlet Visitor Centre The Rankin Inlet Visitor Centre is conveniently housed in the Rankin Inlet Airport. Staff at the centre will direct visitors to Iqalugaarjuup Nunanga Territorial Park, and set up trips to Marble Island – an Inuit-owned historic site, and other sites in the region. Tel: 867-645-3838
Fax: 867-645-3904

nunavut-tourism Nunavut Tourism can provide detailed information on your trip to Nunavut. Visit their website or contact them by email to request your copy of the Nunavut Travel Planner.
Toll Free: 1-866-NUNAVUT (1-866-686-2888)