The area is rich in aboriginal history and is primarily populated by the Kwakwaka’wakw people. The U’mista Cultural Centre is an internationally-known facility that houses one of the finest collections of historical artifacts depicting the Potlatch Ceremony of the Kwakwaka’wakw. Ruins of native villages and culturally modified trees can be found on nearby islands.
The natural beauty of the island has not been altered by large developments or crowds. Travellers can sea kayak, rent a mountain bike, explore the Island’s hiking trails, and rarely see other tourists. Most beaches are accessible by foot. The world-renowned Robson Bight Ecological Reserve, a favoured rubbing beach for killer whales, is just 30 minutes away by boat. Alert Bay is an ideal place to unwind and enjoy a place that appears to have stood still for half a century.
While Alert Bay’s economy is still influenced by commercial fishing, it has gained a reputation as an “off the beaten path” tourism destination emphasizing First Nations culture, its natural environment and eco-tours. Educational institutions throughout the world regularly station researchers here to study First Nations culture and the pristine marine habitat, including Orcas.
Alert Bay Lodge is located two kilometers south of the BC Ferry Terminal at 549 Fir Street, an oceanside road adjacent to the ferry terminal.