Interested visitors to Nunavut should call the toll-free number for Travel Nunavut (1-866-686-2888) and an information counsellor will be pleased to assist them. The below sections provide some valuable basic information about the following important topics for all potential visitors to Nunavut:
Access Restrictions In Nunavut
Nunavut visitors from abroad should contact the Canadian High Commission, Embassy, or Consulate General in their home country for information about passport and visa requirements needed for entering Canada.
For information about what items can be brought into Canada, visitors should contact the Canada Border Services Agency. Their website answers most questions that people have about what can be brought into the country and provides phone numbers to reach an agent for more specific information.
Access Restrictions in Nunavut
There is a significant amount of private Inuit-owned land in Nunavut. However, boundaries are rarely marked.
Access restrictions apply to visitors travelling inside the Nunavut Settlement Area, while fishing is also restricted in certain places.
Visitors who are planning to go wilderness camping in Nunavut should contact the Inuit Land Administration Office for permit requirements in the area, at one of the following numbers:
Qikiqtaaluk Region: (867) 979-5391
Kivalliq Region: (867) 645-2810
Kitikmeot Region: (867) 982-3310
It is illegal to disturb any archeological site and it’s a federal offence to remove artifacts.
Few archeological sites are marked in Nunavut, so if a visitor suspects that they may have entered one, they should treat it carefully and they must not camp there.
When visitors are properly dressed for the arctic, in multiple layers, they will enjoy their time better. Except for the short summer season in Nunavut — which is equivalent to cool spring or fall conditions in most of southern Canada, northern USA and Europe — the rest of the year requires warm, insulated clothing.
Warm, insulated boots are vital, also a down-filled parka with hood, windproof outer pants, plus mittens and a warm hat.
Visitors should bring sunblock lotion and good quality sunglasses, with UV protection. For the summertime, especially near the seashore, a set of breathable rain gear, top and bottom, is desirable. For hiking on rocky trails, or across the tundra, good quality footwear with ankle support is best.
Export Permits are required for the removal of any animal part from Nunavut, including frozen wild meats purchased from a store.
Visitors will need a Wildlife Export Permit if they wish to export legally killed game, a gift of meat from a hunter, legally purchased meat, untanned furs and raw hides, ducks or geese, antlers, skulls, teeth, bones or any other parts of wildlife. Certification is required before exporting some species, including any parts of the animal, from Nunavut.
Species that may require certification include birds of prey, grizzly bears, polar bears and muskoxen. Wildlife Export Permits are available at the Department of Environment offices in most communities. There is no fee for a Wildlife Export Permit. For more information, visitors should contact the Nunavut Department of Environment at (867) 975-5900 or visit their website.
Visitors are also required to be fully aware of all the import regulations of their home country before purchasing any animal products in Nunavut.
Some countries, including USA, have severe restrictions on marine mammal products like sealskin and ivory, including arts and crafts made from these materials.
Restrictions on importing and consuming alcohol in Nunavut are determined by the local plebiscite. Rules vary between communities. Possession of alcohol is prohibited in some places and restricted in others. Visitors should check with the RCMP for the rules.
Visitors to Nunavut must never leave leftover alcohol behind. Trading alcohol for anything is illegal!
If any visitor needs medical attention when visiting Nunavut, they should contact the local Health Centre.
Iqaluit has a very well equipped hospital and all smaller communities have Health Centres staffed by specially trained nurses. The regional centres of Cambridge Bayand Rankin Inlet have community doctors. There are dentists in some communities.
Air ambulance (Medevac) services, when required, will be arranged by the local Health Centre or hospital.
The Nunavut Health Care Plan does not cover the cost of ground, marine, or air ambulance service for non-residents. Visitors will be billed for these costs, which can be expensive, but may be covered by their personal insurance. Visitors are advised to check the terms of their medical coverage before leaving home.
If a visitor is a Canadian citizen requiring medical services in Nunavut, then they must present their provincial or territorial health plan identification card at the Health Centre or hospital. Most costs will be covered and billed directly to their own health plan, or visitors can claim the expenses back later, usually within 6 months.
If a visitor is not Canadian, then they are advised to check with their private, national or state health insurance provider before leaving home as to exactly what coverage will be afforded to them when travelling abroad. Short-term policies to cover medical emergencies and related ambulance or air transport costs are available through most travel agents, but usually these plans must be purchased before departure date.
Most things in Nunavut cost twice as much as they do in southern Canada.
Banking services exist in the regional gateway centres of Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay. Visitors will find an ATM in most Nunavut communities at the local Co-op or Northern Store.
Some of these stores will also cash cheques. VISA is the most widely accepted credit card, although other cards may be honoured too. Most Nunavut stores provide credit card sales service plus ATM cash withdrawal service.
Visitors should also bring along some Canadian currency, especially if they are arriving on a Sunday as stores and banks may be closed. If visitors are arriving from outside Canada, it is best to convert their currency at home, or in Canada before arriving in Nunavut. Airports in southern Canadian cities offer foreign exchange services.
Telephone service is direct dial in every community of Nunavut.
In the smaller communities, pay phones are limited to a few locations. Visitors should check for telephone service at their hotel. Prepaid Calling Cards are available at various stores. Some remote communities and wilderness lodges in Nunavut offer HF radio or satellite phone service. Mobile phone service is available in select communities. Bell Canada is the only satellite service provider. International mobile phones won’t work unless linked to Bell Canada or possibly through the Ice Wireless network in certain circumstances. Please contact your cellular service provider if you are unsure if your phone will work in Nunavut.
The area code for all parts of Nunavut is 867.
Internet service is limited in Nunavut and slower than elsewhere. Wi-Fi service is uncommon. Visitors to Nunavut should not plan to spend much time on the internet.
The Inuktitut word for ‘arrival time’ is ‘tikiuti’
Welcome American neighbours!
U.S. Consular Assistance to Americans: The United States Consulate General in Quebec City covers the Territory of Nunavut as well as the majority of the Province of Quebec north of Montreal, including Nunavik. Consular officers can provide immediate and personal assistance to American citizens who need to replace lost or stolen passports, who need assistance due to injuries or illness, or who wish to document births, deaths, or adoptions.
For detailed information on the assistance the Consulate can provide American citizens, please visit our websites: