High above the Gulf of Saint Lawrence on the steep eastern rockface of Quebec's Île Bonaventure sits a seemingly endless sea of birds. A migration stopover for a colony of 116,000 Northern Gannets, the Île Bonaventure Bird Sanctuary is a marvel of nature. Until October 12, 2020, visitors to the island can even approach the sanctuary to take in the impressive views.

Perched atop the cliff, you'll feel like you're one of the birds.

The sanctuary is part of Quebec's iconic Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé off the coast of Gaspésie and only accessible by ferry from the mainland.


Northern Gannets settle on Île Bonaventure

Still, Sépaq claims that the Gannets' summer home is one of the most accessible wildlife watching spots in the world.

All four intermediate-level hiking trails on the island lead from the dock in the west to the bird colonies in the east.

The shortest, called Les Colonies, is 5.6 kilometres there and back.

Visitors do have to follow a few rules to ensure they don't disrupt the birds or their habitat. All of these are listed on the website of the Government of Canada.

Tickets to visit the national park are available exclusively online. Check the Sépaq website for the latest information about access to the area near the sanctuary.

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.

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