If you really want to do something different, something so unique, something so out of your comfort zone, then this journey is the one you’ve been looking for. The northern lights, or aurora borealis, are one of the most magical visual experiences one can have on Earth, and the Aurora Village may just be one of the best places on Earth to see it.
Where Is Aurora Village?
Aurora Village is owned by an Indigenous family that has called the area home for generations. Here, they share the heritage, culture, and traditions of the Dene and Metis peoples, who live traditional and modern lives of fishing, trapping, and hunting.
In two decades, Aurora Village has grown to become one of the premier destinations in the world to view aurora borealis. Located along the Ingraham Trail near Yellowknife, the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories, which are directly north of Alberta. Here, the northern lights are visible around 240 days out of the year, which is why it’s called the “Aurora Capital of North America,” as we've reported before.
Inside Aurora Village is where you’ll find the Teepee Village, “a picturesque gathering of 21 traditional Teepees and hilltop viewpoints surrounding a pristine frozen lake.” Here, guests can view the splendor of the aurora while enjoying a cozy wood-burning fire and hot beverages inside their own teepee.
From there, the night is yours. Guests are free to roam the property to find the perfect viewing spot, using the teepee as their base of operations, so to speak. In the winter season, be prepared for colder temperatures, but the village itself is protected from the subarctic winds by the surrounding forests. From the village, lantern-lit pathways are yours to explore. Groomed trails wind up and down the hills to provide everyone with optimal viewing opportunities.
Guests are also invited to upgrade to the ViTeepee Experience, which includes a three-course meal in the comfort of your private teepee. The menu features either fresh Great Slave Lake Whitefish or slow-roasted smoked bison prime rib.
Are There Accommodations At Aurora Village?
While the teepees do sound inviting, they are not for overnight lodging. Aurora Village is more of a tour company and they take guests on varying tours on or around the village. They work with all the hotels in Yellowknife and provide transportation to and from the village.
When To Visit Aurora Village
“When is the best time to see the northern lights?” is the most common question Aurora Village employees get. The oft-given answer is, “At night.” Ha, ha -- the real answer is that while the aurora can be seen more than 240 days of the year, there are never any guarantees on any given night. Packages for the winter and spring seasons normally run November through April, while the summer and fall seasons run August through October.
What Else Can Visitors Expect?
While viewing the northern lights is the highlight activity at the village, that only occurs at night. But the village has much to offer in the hours leading up to the viewing. Various packages are available that could include an afternoon with your own dog-sledding team. That’s right, you and your “team” can ride through the wooded trails around the village. Or, if you’re feeling physical, strap on some traditional wooden snowshoes and hit the trails that way.
If you travel to Aurora Village during the winter months, dressing appropriately for the cold is required. But just in case you forget your layers, they actually do rent winter clothing if you find you need anything extra.
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