Hello and welcome back to part two of my Canadian adventures. Hopefully I will go back and explore Whistler, as I was for a short period of time. But for now, you can enjoy a quick sneak peek of British Columbia and have a great Wanderlust afternoon. If Canada is not in your travel list, then you have to go ahead and make it part of your future travel dreams. Many people asked me why I chose Vancouver. Well, is not too hot not too cold, and is a place where city and nature meet together. I wanted to experience both environments in one trip. After many hours of research Vancouver seemed like the perfect vacation spot. Spring and Summer are one of the best time to visit Vancouver as is not too rainy. To know more before traveling please scroll down to the bottom of the page to discover the “Traveler’s Guide to Vancouver”.
Is very easy to travel around a strange city when you have maps in each corner. I was impressed by the structure and organization of the city of Vancouver. There were few occasions I used the map offered at the hotel, since Vancouver had convenient maps in many streets and avenues. After three days walking around, I was already feeling like a local.
The Buchan hotel, was a very interesting location to visit. I was already used to sharing bathrooms from the previous hostel but, I would also recommend using the sandals they give you at the nail salon (just in case). If you ever have an opportunity staying at this location, do it. Is convenient with different food shops around. However, finding parking at night is kind of a hustle.
I well enjoyed nature after all. I never thought suspension bridges were going to be a phobia for me. As they swing from side to side when you walk, you can only imagine the worst. One of my favorite suspension bridges was the Capilano bridge. Is a touristic place and you might get lucky to watch bald eagles. They say winter is the best time to get a view of this majestic bird. Luckily I was able to see one thanks to a birdwatcher.
Canada continued to impress me with their cathedrals and aboriginal influences. Vancouver has many aboriginal art and artifacts as the picture with the Indian above. The cathedral from the picture above is a Catholic church. I am so glad Vancouver has a strong catholic influence as it is my primary religion. On a different note, Canada’s fashion has become one of my favorites. Their Asian influence and classic brands is what makes Vancouver’s style unique.
After discovering the city for few days, we drove up north to a small town called Squamish. In order to get most of my trip I need to be in contact with nature. I have discovered in recent years that I am more of a mountain person than a beach babe. I love ecotourism and wild ecosystems. Squamish is a city rich of life but short in population. As we drove up north in the highway we discovered many attractions along the way. One of my favorite adventures was the Sea to Sky Gondola. This mountain offered the gondola ride, a suspension bridge and viewing platforms. Also during my visit to the mountain, we were able to enjoy a hot cocoa while enjoying breathtaking views of Howe Sound. I never thought I was going to get nervous during the gondola ride. During the ride I thought the summit was close enough but as we continued going up the mountain for 8 more minutes I became slightly anxious. The views are worth the ride though. The moments of oohs and aahs, the smell of pine cones and fresh air has no price. You can also enjoy two trails during your time up there and enjoy a delicious meal at their Summit Restaurant and Edge Bar.
Each trip I make I have to conclude it with a wild adventure. This time I decided for water rafting as it is a popular activity in Canada. I was the only Latina during the tour among many Canadians and Europeans. We tried to build a pyramid on the boat but this is how it came out (LOL).
Vancouver is well known for its fish variety and different types of cuisines including Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. During our stroll around the city we discovered Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant located 553 feet high, and overlooks the entire city of Vancouver. I truly recommend this restaurant if you ever try to impress a date. As usual, I ordered a fish and it was one of the best fish I have ever tried.
Not only you can have a 360 degree view of the city but you can also see the coastal mountains surrounding the city. This place was the perfect combination of tasty food and magical views. Another of my favorite spots to eat without the upscale was The Watershed Grill. Is the perfect casual lunch spot to enjoy a view of the Squamish river. Another place not to miss is Howe Sound Brewing Co. where you can get their seasonal oysters. This restaurant also brew their own beer and have amazing bands during the weekend. Vancouver is a whole food experience itself.
Last but not least, we enjoyed a last view of Shannon Falls. This park is perfect to plan a picnic with your family or get a quick run workout. I hope you enjoyed this quick visual tour of Vancouver and Squamish. Stay tuned for my next travel adventures. Have a fabulous week!
Traveler’s Guide to Vancouver
- Travel Light. Backpacking is the best decision you can do when visiting Canada as you would want to visit different cities.
- Experience Sport Adventures. Enjoy adrenaline by signing up for a white water rafting tour, skydiving or mountain climbing. These are the best experiences you can buy.
- Ask Locals. People in Canada are the friendliest. You will be impressed how much they are willing to help by giving you directions and the best spots to visit.
- Check the Weather. Before heading to Vancouver plan your days and clothes you will be wearing according to the weather forecast. Some months are heavier in rain and some just require a light warm jacket.
- Take Public Transportation. If renting a car becomes a luxury you can always take advantage of Vancouver’s public transportation as they have many ways to get around with buses and the sky train. Many tours also offer free shuttle.
- Exchange Currency. It is not necessary to exchange currency before going to Vancouver. You can easily exchange your US dollars by heading to the nearest TD bank in the city. Many hotels offer currency exchange as well.
- Wear Sneakers. There is a lot of walking involved in Vancouver, so always wear your more comfortable shoes unless you’re heading three blocks away from your hotel.
- Credit Card vs. Cash. I enjoyed using my credit card as it seemed I was always paying less due to conversion.