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Nunavut travel guide

About Nunavut

Stark, but stunning, barren, yet crammed with wildlife: Nunavut is as wild and remote as it gets. If getting away from it all is your aim, you’ve come to the right place. You’re more likely to see a plodding polar bear or a bouncing beluga whale than another human being. Canada’s youngest territory makes up a fifth of Canada, but is home to less than 0.1% of its population.

You have to be pretty determined to get here though, as there are no roads either to Nunavut or between the territory’s communities. A platinum credit card and a wealthy benefactor can go a long way to funding the eye-wateringly expensive airfares.

But make it here and you’re rewarded with unfathomable wilderness and not a coach tour in sight. You can hike or ski among granite peaks, gigantic glaciers and mammoth fjords on Baffin Island. Or dodge herds of muskoxen and packs of Arctic wolves on Ellesmere Island, where a smattering of hardy flora makes a colourful splash on the otherwise barren scenery.

Pitch your tent on the open tundra beneath a sun that never sets or brave Nunavut’s frigid temperatures and spend a night in a winter igloo.

At the floe edge or sinaaq, a veritable Noah’s ark of Arctic wildlife gathers in the spring: polar bears, walruses, narwhals and beluga whales for starters. The northeastern coastline of Baffin Island is considered one of the world’s best places to spot a steady conveyor belt of 10,000-year-old icebergs drifting past.

As the ice breaks up, grab a kayak and explore the magnificent Arctic Archipelago shoreline, or canoe along an astonishing number of inland rivers and lakes. If the airfare home is too high, you always have your oars.

Key facts

Area:

2,093,190 sq km (808,185 sq miles).

Population:

36,900 (2015).

Population density:

0.02 per sq km.

Capital:

Iqaluit.

Travel Advice

COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.