BANFF, CANADA IS REAL!

July 7th, 11:11 PM: Banff, Aberta, CA

I’m writing this blog post while laying down in my hotel room in Base Camp Lodge in Banff Canada, and I’m here to tell you it’s so real out here. Sometimes photos can be so deceiving you know, specially of places, but not Banff, nope. Banff is exactly or even more beautiful in person. And I am so in love with it.

It never crossed my mind places like Banff existed in our planet until I google searched ‘northern lights’ and found an image of Lake Louise. To my own surprise, Iceland is not the only place where one can witness the northern lights, if you’re lucky, you can witness the aurora in Banff as well. Initially, that was the plan, ‘If I’m visiting Canada for the second time (I’ve been to B.C before!), I’ll enjoy a few days in Toronto and then enjoy the northern lights in Banff!’ I didn’t get sooo lucky, but I did get to enjoy some of the best days I won’t ever forget in Banff with a friend of mine. Which if I may add, we’ve traveled to more than 15+ cities together, yeah #bffgoals right?

Every year, I like to hike a mountain. I started this tradition about two years ago when I took a trip to Angel’s Landing in Utah, and since then I’ve been a passionate hiker for all things nature. I knew I had to visit Banff after seeing that photo, aurora or not, I was going to cross this hike from my bucket list.

ABOUT BANFF

Banff is located in Alberta, Canada. From the locals I learned it was found by a couple of railway workers that came across a series of hot springs near Sulphur Mountain. Then Banff was born as the first National Park in Canada drawing millions of people yearly to experience the beauty that is Banff. My favorite part of the park is all the wild life that lives on the surrounding areas, including the grizzly bears (which, I did not get to see, but so badly did hope to, maybe next time?).

BOOKING YOUR TRIP & BEST TIMES TO VISIT BANFF

I’m not a fan of the cold to be honest, so I wouldn’t suggest to visit Banff during early November end of April, because how severe the cold can get. July was a breeze and according to the locals, summer only lasts for a few months, so it’s important to enjoy it while it lasts. I loved seeing Banff in July. The weather was perfect. I would have preferred it a little warmer but, it was good enough for a little cardigan. The locals advised that sometimes you can experience multiple temperatures after September. You can go from a hot climate to some snow when visiting areas of higher elevation.

When booking your flight, the nearest airport is Calgary. It’s close to a 2 hour drive from the airport to Banff (the town) and Canmore (near by town).

WHERE TO STAY

There’s so many cute places to stay in Canmore (15 minutes from the entrance to the park) and Banff (the town inside the park).

I stayed in Canmore for its affordability at The Basecamp, but below find a few hotels that are worth the stay:

WHERE TO EAT

Eating was probably my favorite part of this trip besides hiking!

Here’s a few places to eat both in Canmore/Banff the town that I absolutely loved:

Canmore:

  • Communitea (breakfast/brunch) – the best vegan restaurant I’ve ever ever gone in my entire life.  No worries nonvegan options available, but highly encourage their tofu scramble. I came back home and learned how to make it myself, because well, it was THAT good.

Banff:

THINGS TO REMEMBER

  • you pay a park fee for being inside the park but it’s completely affordable, less than $20 American dollars for a little over 24 hours.
  • Make sure to take water when you’re going to hike, the body needs to be hydrated!
  • Bring layers! As I mentioned, it can go from hot to cold in some seasons. Not so much during the summer, but it does rain often so it’s always nice to pack a jacket that is water resistant.
  • It goes without saying, but hiking shoes please! Make sure they’re water resistant as well.
  • A lightweight backpack to store cameras, water bottle, and pretty much anything you will be needing including some snacks.
  • Ear phones in case you like walking listening to music like I do.
  • Cash!!!!

THE HIKES

  • There are so many amazing hikes from easy to strenuous that you can do. I’m listing a few of my favorites:
  • Moraine Lake – super duper famous and my favorite lake to take photos.
  • Peyto Lake – for picnic lovers.
  • Two Jack Lake – a little hike, nothing too crazy!
  • Lake Louise – totally canoe here, I think you would love it as much as I do.
  • Emerald Lake – one of the most beautiful lakes I’ve ever seen.

So far, this trip has been one of my favorites from this year. I hope to go back soon, maybe even bring along more of my friends to experience this because it was incredible.

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