It’s all in the title: Today I would like to share with you my favorite plan for a few days of camping in Quebec. Mer&Monde écotours, 13 miles north of Tadoussac. If you’re struggling to define this region, all you have to know is that it’s a paradise for whale watching and a vital part of any first travel in Quebec.
Mer&Monde is one of my favorite spots and I’ve been back there many times over the past ten years. You’re about to find out why.
It has seen many changes over 10 years, becoming more comfortable and creating new services for the clients: more spots, more ready-to-camp equipment, small cabins, and showers at the entrance. But one thing did not change, and that is the magnificent spots to set your tent. Picture this: there is a small wooden platform by the cliff, with a pick nick table, and a fire place. Gaze at the Saint Laurent River, reaching as far as the eye can see, and yet right here, a few meters away. From the top of your rock, you can admire a stunning sunrise or appreciate the pink glow of the sundown. There is a serenity in this place that reaches you to your core and will leave you appeased.
What’s so special about this place is the ability to camp on a cliff. This is the very best spot to catch a glimpse of beluga whales, dolphins or humpback whales… More than 13 different species roam the streams of the Saint Laurent, so if there is one item you really need to pack, it’s your binoculars… this red cliff of ours reaches so deep into the River that you won’t be that surprised to see fins appearing right under your nose.
The first time I went there, I had few expectations, except the desire to gaze upon such sea giants. So me and my friends reached our spot, excited and impatient for our upcoming day of kayaking on the Saint Laurent, but that’s another story! When I woke up, I heard this strange sound, deep and strong « pshhhh »…Am I dreaming? Am I awake? « pshhhh »… here it goes again… What is it? « pshhhh »… Alright let me take a look outside! And there they were, just a few meters from me, ten rorqual whales just passing along. Their breath alone sufficed to wake me up. Trust me when I say I wished I could have awoken to this marvel every day. And now you know why I go back there on a regular basis.
A word of advice before you hit the road: in the summer time, make sure you make your reservation as early as possible, especially if you’re going during one of those long week ends.
Choose a spot at the forefront: this is the best part. An entire day of kayaking can be quite the challenge for a first time, so I recommend the half a day option ( yes, I did it). There is a decent chance of seeing whales along the way, but this is their natural habitat so they’ll choose to show themselves or not! First time we were able to follow a beluga whale at a respectable distance for quite a while! The second time, it was a rorqual whale (about 65 feet!)That dived right under our kayaks before coming back up a few meters away: that was quite the thrill that’s for sure! What an extraordinary memory! And on the third time, we experienced the peace and quiet of a morning a magical sunrise…