The British Columbia Effect

29 January 2020

Scientific research has found that spending time outdoors in a natural environment provides wide-ranging health benefits: reducing the risk of diseases, easing stress levels and improving thought clarity and creativity. Of course, anyone that has spent time in British Columbia could testify to this as they’ve felt it for themselves as they surround themselves with a pristine environment, untouched by human hands.

Feeling nature’s embrace

Anyone that has left a hectic city environment surrounded by busy traffic, loud construction work and endless concrete buildings can attest to the fact that time spent out amongst nature can make you feel a whole lot better. As a region that is blessed with an abundance of diverse natural ecosystems, British Columbia presents the opportunity to wholeheartedly reconnect with the natural elements in a way that we seldom do.

With almost 16,000 miles of coastline lapped by the clear waters of the Pacific Ocean, there is no shortage of space to call your own when it comes to feeling the ocean’s soothing benefits. Time spent around blue spaces has been shown to reduce anxiety levels so take this opportunity to relax along the shores, take a swim in the refreshing waters, or head out on your board to ride the ocean waves.   

It has been demonstrated that leisurely forest walks reduce stress hormones found in the body by as much as 12.4%. Amongst British Columbia’s lush green rainforests there is a wealth of walking trails that wind up mountain slopes to viewpoints out across long cascading slopes, and down through thick forest canopies where the clean air allows you to breathe more deeply and feel a sense of clarity.

Bear Watching

With the highest concentration of grizzly bears in North America, chances to spot these majestic creatures is second to none at Khuteymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary. From mid-May to late-July, day tours take place from Prince Rupert, via boat, to Khutzeymateen. En route to the sanctuary, you’ll pass through rich marine environments lined by rugged mountains where eagles, seals and even orcas are known to inhabit.

Hot Springs

The perfect way to soothe your body and relax after a day amongst British Columbia’s mountains and waterways is to ease yourself into the warm waters of a hot spring and feel the therapeutic benefits of the natural minerals as they envelop your body.

The perfect time of year to enjoy the hot springs is in autumn when the forest canopy is filled with shades of copper, gold and auburn; and the cool evenings provide a pleasant temperature to enjoy the warming embrace of the geothermal pools.

Our pick of British Columbia’s Hot Springs:

Savour the flavours of Okanagan Valley

Across British Columbia, you’ll find foodie havens that connect diners with the landscape by serving up farm-fresh produce. One such area is the Okanagan Valley where over 80% of the province’s vineyard space is found, and diverse growing conditions create a broad variety of grapes for making distinctive wines.

October in Okanagan Valley brings about the harvest, also known as crush time, when people come together to celebrate the area’s rich natural produce. Grape-stomping-parties, farm-to-table winemakers’ dinners, and tasting workshops are held to celebrate the occasion and sample the fine flavours that the landscape provides. Self-picking orchards and pumpkin patches also provide a great opportunity for families to have fun and procure fresh produce for themselves.

Connect with Indigenous culture

British Columbia is home to some 200,000 Indigenous people who trace their heritage back to various groups, each with their own unique traditions and history. Enrich your British Columbia experience by interacting with these cultures and learning of their customs.  Activities and events such as tours through the Great Bear Rainforest, the Annual Kamloopa Powwow and First Nation Canoe Tours give you the chance to broaden your horizons and gain a new perspective.


To experience the British Columbia Effect for yourself, get in touch with your Travel Counsellor and take advantage of exclusive benefits, including full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to support you before, during and even after your trip.

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