Seeing the Northern Lights has always been one of the top items in my bucket list. There are many wonderful destinations where you could witness this magical event. Mr. C and I are lucky enough to see it twice, first on our tour for the Northern Lights in Yellowknife, Canada and second on our flight to Iceland.
We chose Yellowknife in Canada to see the Northern Lights because it’s always included in the lists of top destinations to see the Northern Lights. It is also relatively cheaper for us since we’re already in Canada. Later on, we learned from Joe, our local tour guide, that Yellowknife is the best place to see the Northern Lights because there aren’t any mountains or oceans nearby which allows the weather to be more stable.
Northern Lights Tour with North Star Adventures
After choosing a destination, we searched for a Northern Lights tour in Yellowknife. Although it’s more expensive, we decided to join a tour because we wanted to maximize our chances of seeing the Northern Lights. We joined North Star Adventures because it had an overwhelming number of great reviews in Tripadvisor. During our tour, we realized that they deserve the reviews. The crew was awesome and very friendly. They drove us around Yellowknife to search for the Northern Lights.
The Northern Lights or Aurora Tour fee depends on the package and hotel that you’ll choose. We chose the Yellowknife Aurora Package which included a 3-night stay at a hotel, 2 nights of 4-4.5 hours of Aurora hunting tour, 2 hours of snowmobile tour (optional at $149+GST/person), and a personal airport pick-up service. We ended up paying $610+tax/person.
On our first night, we didn’t expect to see any Northern Lights because it was cloudy. When we looked from our hotel window at around 10:30pm-11pm, we saw it! Unbelievable!
1st Night of Northern Lights Tour
Our tour guide from North Star Adventures picked us up from our hotel at 9pm. The tour had three vans with groups of 7-10 people. It was a bit crowded but all of us had the chance to see the Northern Lights and have our pictures taken. We went to three areas in search of the Northern Lights. We didn’t see it at the first site. At the second site, the Northern Lights appeared! It wasn’t as bright as we expected it to be but it was still incredible. It was all over the place! One minute the Aurora is at one direction, the next minute at another. Our luck finally came! For a brief moment, we witnessed the Aurora Borealis dancing like a heartbeat. ♥ A rarer event happened.. We saw a glimpse of magenta. It seemed as if the Northern Lights was putting a show for us. At the third site, the Aurora was clearer and appeared larger.
2nd Night of Northern Lights Tour
We had low expectations because the night started as cloudy. When we reached the first site, clouds filled the sky. Then, we began to see the stars coming out and the clouds were slowly opening. We all got excited and our tour guide kept on screaming to the sky, “Aurora! Aurora!”. Several minutes later, the Northern Lights appeared. It was brighter and greener than the other night! It danced for a few minutes. It was so surreal. ♥ We watched the Northern Lights for an hour until the clouds returned.
We tried to look for the Northern Lights again. They drove us for a while and we reached two sites but the clouds didn’t cooperate. Nonetheless, we were still ecstatic with what we witnessed at the first site.
Our 4-Day Itinerary:
- Checked in at Capital Suites
- City tour
- Dinner at Bullocks’ Bistro
Since it was the peak of winter, we walked around the city at -20/-30ᵒC.
There are Thai and Sushi restaurants, Shopper’s Drug Mart, galleries, grocery store and cinema. At the farther end is the Old Town. Here, we found the popular Bullocks’ Bistro, Dancing Moose Cafe, a frozen lake, and The Bush Pilot’s Monument. We went up the Monument and saw a beautiful view of the city and the frozen lake.
- Snowmobile tour with North Star Adventures
- Dinner at Sushi Cafe
- 1st night of Aurora hunting tour
- Lunch at Taste of Saigon
- Dinner at the famous Bullocks’ Bistro
- 2nd night of Aurora hunting tour
- Lunch at the Dancing Moose Cafe
Despite the inconvenience of putting on at least 4 layers of clothes every time we go out, we loved this Northern Lights trip so much, this might be our best one so far! ♥
It’s definitely a unique experience, more of an adventure than a vacation. I saw the Northern Lights and watched it dance. We were even lucky enough to witness a slight magenta. I also rode the snowmobile. With these alone, I already crossed off 2 items from my bucket list! How amazing is that? Aside from the highlights of our trip, I love the whole experience. The locals are very nice (particularly the North Star Adventures crew). Our long walks during the very cold winter also added thrill to our adventure. We loved the challenge! We even saw wildlife like foxes and wolverine.
Tips on Seeing the Northern Lights:
- Yellowknife is a good option to see the Northern Lights.
- Make your experience even better by taking the Aurora Hunting Tour and Snowmobile Tour with North Star Adventures
- If you want to take pictures of the Northern Lights, a tripod is highly recommended. It helps avoid blurry pictures.
- If you’re planning to go during winter like we did, bring lots of layers, hand warmers and foot warmers
*Prices are in CAD
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