Canada?s westernmost province, which stretches from the thousands of islands and inlets on the Pacific west coast, to the Rocky and Columbia mountain ranges in the east, is renown for its spectacular mountain and coastal scenery. British Columbia is 60 per cent forested (much of it temperate rainforest), 75 per cent of the province is mountainous, and the northern two-thirds is largely unpopulated and wild. Many species of wild life that have become scarce elsewhere still flourish here. Fish are still abundant in its lakes, marshes and streams, whales and porpoises cruise the rugged coastline, and many rare mammals and birds still prosper in the forests and on the plains.

Here you?ll find a thriving ecotourism and outdoor adventure industry. For animal and bird watchers, keen photographers, and those who enjoy adventure sports, it?s the perfect place to have a long relaxing holiday. Cross-country bike touring, hiking, fishing and horseback riding are popular in the summer and cross-country and downhill skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling in winter. And there are plenty of water sports, including scuba diving, sea kayaking, sailing, wind surfing, and whitewater rafting.

Northern British Columbia The vast top third of the province stretches from the mountainous fjords on the west coast, to the incredible Rocky Mountains, with its pristine forests and countless lakes, rivers and streams. Here you?ll find plenty of wildlife to photograph, and excellent hunting, fishing and hiking. There are great camping spots in the National Parks.

Cariboo, Chilcotin and Coast British Columbia?s central region is bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Cariboo Mountains in the east. This popular region is a land of alpine meadows, glaciers and snow-capped mountains, grasslands and lush valleys, waterfalls, lakes and meandering streams, and wild, splendid fiords on the coast, where the saltwater fishing is unparalleled. Many of the resorts in this area offer tours and watersports equipment in summer, and snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter.

Okanagan Similkameen Region This fertile region in the south includes the Okanagan and Similameen valleys, home to picturesque vineyards, orchards and farms. You?ll find the full range of accommodations in this lovely area, from tenting to luxury resorts. The lakes provide excellent fresh water fishing and watersports, and the many resorts offer golf, horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking. And there?s the full range of snow-related sports during the winter months.

The Kootenays and the Rockies These towering mountain ranges lie side by side in the southeast of British Columbia, a land of pristine lakes and streams, hot springs, and panoramic mountain views. Resorts offer world-class golf courses and the Provincial and National Parks are outstanding. Outdoor recreation on offer includes kayaking, hiking, mountain climbing, fishing and boating in summer, and snow and ice sports in winter.

Vancover Island Region Stay on Vancouver Island, if you?d like to visit some of the smaller islands scattered along the province?s west coast or it?s dramatic fiords. BC?s capital city, Victoria, is located at Vancouver?s southern tip, famous for it?s relaxed lifestyle and hospitality with visitors from around the world. From here you can take an Orca tour. This cosmopolitan and friendly city is the perfect place to start your visit to scenic British Columbia.

Rod Ritchie, a travel writer and editor, writes for many publishers including AA Publishing and Fodors. Bon Voyage Travel and Tours provide tailor made tours and holidays to British Columbia for the individual traveler. Visit their website at