Churchill Manitoba is not a place that anyone just comes across. Located in northern Canada along the shores of the Hudson Bay, the town is on the map for select groups of people. Scientists, wildlife watchers, and adventurers join the Inuit who make their home at in the far north of Manitoba. For those who take the effort to head north from Winnipeg, they will will be treated to vistas and experiences not found anywhere else. It’s one of the best places in the world to see polar bears. In fact, it’s so good, Churchill has earned the nickname as the Polar Bear Capital of the the world.
Because Churchill is so remote, it takes some effort to get up there. You can’t just get in the car and head to the Hudson Bay. That doesn’t mean that it’s difficult, however. Air service connects the airport with Winnipeg and other Canadian cities. ViaRail, Canada’s official rail service, runs a train from Winnipeg, the thousand-mile (1,600 kilometers) requires an overnight, but you can sit back and relax the whole way north. Because of the weather and other factors, the majority of visitors arrive between May and November. This is prime season for viewing the polar bears in the wild, as well as the beluga whales, puffins, and other Arctic animals.
Ecotourism is the primary activity in Churchill Manitoba; most of it things to do involve watching wildlife and experiencing nature at its most pristine. Many adventure tour operators offer vacation packages that include ample opportunities to see to see wildlife up close and from a safe distance. Boat tours can bring you up close to the whales, and tundra buggies can take you where the bears congregate. Many times, the curious white bears stand on their hind legs to check out what’s going on—they can reach up to 10 feet tall, so the windows on the all-terrain vehicles are not a problem to reach. These tours also give you some time to explore Churchill’s town center, home to a museum of Inuit carvings, as well as visitor center operated by Parks Canada and some shops. When conditions are just right, Churchill is one of the best places anywhere to observe the northern lights dancing in the night sky.