Cortes Island is part of the Discovery Islands Group located off the east coast of Vancouver Island and Quadra Island in British Columbia, Canada. The small island measures only 25 kilometres long and 13 kilometres wide and is rich in artisans, marine scenery and First Nation history.
On Cortes Island there are 3 main hamlets - Whaletown, Squirrel Cove and Manson's Landing. A large pier and the BC Ferry connecting Cortes Island to Quadra Island is located in Whaletown. Squirrel Cove is a marina at the "doorstep" to Desolation Sound with a rich First Nation history. Manson's Landing is a sandy beach destination welcoming boats and seaplanes.
Throughout Cortes Island are limited services. Most located around one of the three hamlets. Some of the services important to travelers located on Cortes Island include restaurants, ATM, pubs, marinas, a general store, tour companies and accommodations.
To the northwest of Cortes Island is Quadra Island, Read Island and Sutil Channel. To the northeast of the island is West Redonda Island, Lewis Channel and the very popular marine adventure destination known as Desolation Sound.
Cortes Island is also part of the Discovery Islands Group marine route. The Discovery Islands Group includes the islands of Cortes, Quadra, East Thurlow, Sonora, Maurelle, Read, West and East Redonda and Stuart. Both Desolation Sound and Discovery Islands are very popular for marine activities like ocean kayaking, boating, scuba diving, fishing, sailing and sightseeing.
Many activities are enjoyed on Cortes Island, both marine and on land. Some activities are enjoyed as self guided tours, some as guided tours. Other activities include beachcombing, camping, swimming, picnicking, wildlife watching, birdwatching, cycling, canoeing and mountain biking.
There are many wildlife viewing opportunities on Cortes Island and while exploring Desolation Sound and the Discovery Islands. Some of the wildlife in the region include whales, seals, otters, sea lions, eagles, blue herons, oyster catchers, herons and sea gulls.
Throughout the island are a few good hiking trails and parks. There are hiking trails located along the shores of Haig Lake and Gunflint Lake. There are trails and many activities enjoyed in Smelt Bay, Carrington and Manson's Landing Provincial Parks. The island is full of adventure with an eclectic touch and marine influences.eh! Plan to Visit Gabriola Island today.