Berg Lake © Jeff P
Canada's most westerly province, British Columbia is sandwiched between the Rocky Mountains on the east and the mighty Pacific Ocean on the west. It's also bordered to the south by the USA and to the north by the Northwest and Yukon territories.
Its location on the Pacific Rim ensures that British Columbia has a rich blend of cultures. Together with the area's own rich indigenous heritage, this diverse makeup makes for interesting towns and cities with a cosmopolitan ambience.
The combination of sea and mountains, together with the broken coastline sporting hundreds of islands and inlets, gives the province a varied set of natural attractions and recreational opportunities, from world-class winter sports to sailing or hiking in tall forests.
It is especially attractive to travellers who enjoy the great outdoors, particularly because a good transport infrastructure of ferries, charter boats, trains, and well-maintained roads makes it possible to access all the best wilderness spots in British Columbia with ease and comfort.
British Columbia is home to four national parks, seven provincial heritage sites, many nature reserves, and the scenic Cariboo Chilcotin Coast. The coast has a number of beautiful fjords and is a popular destination for canoeing. The volcanic mountains of Tweedsmuir Provincial Park provide trekking opportunities while the Kootenay Rockies boast some of the best skiing and snowboarding in Canada.
The provincial capital of British Columbia is the city of Victoria, situated on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. But its largest and most populated city is Vancouver, known as Canada's 'emerald jewel' because of its green-blue vistas of mountains and sea.