Longer nights and lower temperatures mean one thing: winter is here. And one of the best parts of winter is enjoying beautiful, colorful lights.
We’re not talking about the kind on a Christmas tree, though. We’re talking about the Aurora Borealis (also known as the Northern Lights) — Mother Nature’s most beautiful light display.
One of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights is in the Northern Territories of Canada, also known as the Aurora Capital of North America. From Dehcho to Inuvik, a view of the lights is (mostly) guaranteed. In fact, visitors are 95 percent likely to expect to catch them. And the best part is, you don’t have to completely rough it in the wilderness to get a peek.
In Yellowknife, on the shore of the Great Slave Lake in Northern Canada, there is an incredible Aurora Village that offers a warm and cozy tepee for you to enjoy the view from.
At Aurora Village, visitors can choose the package that’s right for them. The village offers one-night aurora viewing, dining experiences, dog sledding, ice fishing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and even a tour of the city of Yellowknife.
The village itself is a gathering of 21 teepees surrounding a picturesque lake. Inside the tepees are wood-burning stoves, and hot drinks are available so you can look out over the stars in perfect comfort. Overnight accommodations are not available in the Aurora Village itself, but it’s a cozy way to celebrate this natural phenomenon.
Instead, the tours last four and a half hours and include transportation to and from downtown Yellowknife (with hotel pickup), transport along the Aurora Hunting Ingraham trail, around four hours of aurora viewing, your own tepee, hot drinks, a photography tutorial, an ice show, and guides who speak multiple languages. Pick-up times are generally between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Plus, since it opened in 2000, Aurora Village has been entirely indigenous-owned – operated by an Aboriginal family formerly from Fort Resolution, which was the “oldest trading settlement in the territories and home to mostly Dene and Metis people,” according to the Aurora Village website.
The cost for the first-night viewing is $126 CAD (about $95 USD) for adults and $84 CAD (about $64 USD) for children. Extra nights may be purchased at a discount in order to increase your chances of seeing the aurora.