The National Parks of Canada on a Budget: Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, Quebec
In 1990, the difficult task began to establish the first park in Quebec dedicated to the protection of a marine environment. The park offers great vantage points for observing the many species of birds andBanff Wildlifemarine animals.
Carved right out from a glacier, with banks blanketed in thick forest and flanked by rugged cliffs, the spectacular, 60-mile Saguenay Fjord eventually merges its warm waters with the chilly St. Lawrence Estuary, creating one of North America’s best feeding grounds for gluttonous whales. There are many places around the world where you can pay hefty fees and boat through rough seas to catch a glimpse of a whale. At Saguenay, you can sit on the beach and have a good chance of a blue whale sighting.
When to go: May to October. Best weather and also the time the whales choose to visit.
Photo op: For belugas, head to the viewing platforms at Baie Sainte-Marguerite and Pointe-Noire. There are some great views of the stunning cliffs on the fjords south side and for less than $30 (adult) you can hop onto to one of the gigantic zodiac boats for an even better view
Wildlife: There are all kinds of wildlife around but most people come to see the water dwellers. In summer, finback, minke, and enormous blue whales chill out in the area where the waters meet. Sometimes humpbacks and sperm whales also come to join the party. Take note that if there are birds floating for no apparent reason over a certain patch of water, this is where the whales are. The birds are looking for an easy snack from the whales leftovers.
Where to stay: There are a few cheaper options here than the other national parks of Canada. If you don’t mind a gamble, wait until the last minute and go to Some of the deals here are irresistible. Also try Canadian Rockies.
Fact to tell your friends: The distinctly average 1984 Rob Lowe movie The Hotel New Hampshire was shot at the Hotel Tadoussac, which was built in 1864. This place actually has some good buffet food for competitive prices so if hunger takes you, take a visit.