Nunavik... mere words can’t begin to describe it: the endless silence of the tundra, the thundering hooves of immense caribou herds, the dancing northern lights, the pack ice drifting by... Located north of the 55th parallel, Nunavik covers some 500,000 km2 (193,000 sq. mi.). For thousands of years, the Inuit have lived in this vast Arctic territory.
Scenery like you’ve never seen
Nunavik is home to extraordinary natural attractions. You’ll see an unusual indent in the earth 88 km (55 mi.) from Kangiqsujuaq: the Pingualuit crater, recently made a national park. Created by a meteorite, the crater is 3.4 km (2.11 mi.) in diameter and contains exceptionally pure water. Two other parks are currently being created in this region: the Parc national des Lacs-Guillaume-Delisle-et-à-L’Eau-Claire and the Parc national des Monts-Torngat-et-de-la-Rivière-Koroc. The Torngat Mountains boast the highest peak in Québec, Mont d'Iberville, which, at 1,646 m (5,400 ft.), poses a worthy challenge to hikers and mountaineers.
Experience the true north
Nunavik’s wide expanses lend themselves well to expeditions led by guides who really know the territory. Its outfitting operations enjoy a worldwide reputation for caribou hunting and Arctic char, Atlantic salmon, lake trout, northern pike and yellow walleye fishing. In Tasiujaq, you can see exceptional tides at the Bassin aux Feuilles (also known as Leaf Basin). In March 2002, the highest tide ever recorded on the planet was seen here. Nunavik, the land of snow, is a great destination to explore in the winter. That’s when you’ll be able to travel across the frozen territory by snowmobile and live northern life to the fullest.
Welcome to the land of the Inuit
For the past 4,000 years, Nunavik has been inhabited by people whose ancestors travelled from Asia via the Bering Strait. Still nomads, the Inuit gradually began to settle barely two generations ago. Nunavik’s some 10,700 inhabitants—for the most part Inuit—live in 14 villages located mainly on the coast, at the mouths of rivers. Kuujjuaq, the administrative capital, has 2,200 inhabitants. Since the 14 villages are not linked by road, inhabitants make extensive use of ATVs and snowmobiles. But to get from one village to another... an airplane is essential!
Before you leave...
Nunavik is reached by airplane (no road goes there). Ivujivik, the northernmost locality in Québec, is more than 1,900 km (1,180 mi.) from Montréal as the crow flies and less than 500 km (310 mi.) from the Arctic Circle.
Before travelling to Nunavik, you’d be wise to contact a local tourist organization or outfitter or even a travel agency that specializes in this destination. Since accommodations are limited, you’ll have to book in advance.
Travellers organizing their own expedition in an isolated part of the region are advised to inform the Sûreté du Québec (Québec’s provincial police force) or the Kativik regional police of their itinerary before leaving.
It is essential that you respect the environment and the inhabitants’ way of life, and that you comply with hunting and fishing regulations at all times.