A few kilometers east of Tadoussac , we set off to discover the Côte-Nord , a still wild territory where the first Innu ancestors settled over 10,000 years ago, along the St. Lawrence River . In Essipit – which means the Innu of the Seashell River – we are still active today in keeping the traditions of a proud and terribly human people alive .
In Essipit, the majestic vis-à-vis the St. Lawrence estuary is a source of contemplation and adventure.
Innu means human being. It’s no surprise that the first thing that strikes us when we arrive in Essipit are the huge smiles of its inhabitants. Like a moon in the face, their light seems inexhaustible. Formerly nomads, now sedentary, the Innu nevertheless bear the traces of a history marked by the impacts of colonization. Slowly, they gave up hunting for the slave trade which they in turn abandoned to focus on developing a tourist offer at human height, this one proudly bearing the traces of the past although resolutely turned towards the future.
TO Essipit , you will be spoiled for choice among a multitude of nature experiences: hiking , sea kayaking , fishing , whale watching and black bear observation in its natural habitat. The latter is popular with tourists, city dwellers and thrill seekers. Venerated by the Innu , an emblem of traditional Innu culture, the black bear is a fascinating animal. Curious and cunning, he is said to be the mammal
the smartest on the planet. It is observed in complete safety, in the middle of the forest – several meters in the air but often just a few meters from the beast – in the company of an experienced guide who has a lot to tell. Sometimes anecdotes and legends intermingle to everyone’s delight; one way or another, the experience is captivating.
Sea and World
Les Bergeronnes,Anse-à-la-Cave. It is here, betweensky andsea, that all the emotions converge: between the salty air of theriver, thegraniterocksbordered byconifersand thesong of the whales, something extraordinary is happening there. We come to live a unique experience of cohabitation with thewhalesby sleeping under the tent erected on the sand or on a platform installed on the rocks and overlooking the sea. Asea kayak trip- we fall for the night out in sounds and in lights – allows you to see and hear the breath ofwhales within paddle reach. An unforgettable experience to say the least!
Magical whale-watching cruises
Want to feel small in the infinitely large? To discoverthe Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Parkand its inhabitants, nothing better than awhale-watching cruise. On board a40-passengerzodiac(inflatable boat), expect to experience immense thrills, in complete safety and with the greatest respect for marine life. Experienced captains share their knowledge as well as certainInnubeliefs during an incredible 2-hour trip on the water in the company ofwhales.
The Côte-Nord is a great place to recharge your batteries. Whether you come as a couple or as a family, it offers immense possibilities to those who want to live an unusual accommodation experiencein the heart of a territory larger than life. In Essipit , there is something surreal about the offer, so close to the river makes it possible to experience truly moments of grace. At the water’s edge or catch cliff , which lodge in chalets at the Anse-à-Jos or you climb the tent camp Tipi right on the border of the river, you can hear the breath of whalesas if they were sleeping there, right next door. It is so comforting that we would like it never to end! True hunting and fishing enthusiasts will choose one of the six outfitters scattered throughout the territory, while lovers of comfort will opt for the Natakam condos-hotels located on the riverfront , close to everything… and only 30 minutes from Tadoussac .
DISCOVER INNU ART
Craftsmen at heart, the Innu demonstrate a great deal of creativity – and patience – in the field of art and craftsmanship . While in the past, ancestors painted patterns on caribou skins to make clothes or drum skins , today Innu artisans are busy making traditional clothes and souvenirs , available in stores on the site. site of the reserve in summer: dream catchers , dolls and traditional pieces, clothes , ornaments and artisanal boots … Everything is handcrafted and of exceptional quality.
The creativity and the sense of hospitality of the Innu can be discovered in the craft shops, restaurants and in the many places of accommodation in the Essipit community.