Watch whales, seals and seabirds from the shore. Belugas, porpoises and other cetaceans often swim past Cap de Bon-Désir.
Observe whales from the shore: The Cap de Bon-Désir Interpretation and Observation Centre is an ideal place to observe whales and seals because these marine mammals often swim within a few hundred feet of the shore! Regardless of the time of day or the tides, your chances of spotting a whale are good during the period that the centre is open. A sheltered lookout allows you to take in the view while being protected from the elements. A guide is on hand to help you identify the animals you see and understand them better. Access to the site is only possible when the centre is open.
Discover seabed animals: Have you ever seen starfish? You will be surprised by their colours! Participate in the “Ocean Encounters” activity, during which divers will bring up some of the mysterious animals that live at the bottom of the estuary for you to see. This activity is offered three times a week in July and August. You can also participate in “The Ups and Downs of the Seashore,” an activity that presents the impressive adaptations of algae and small animals that live between low and high tide. (This activity is available in French only.)
Go on a picnic by the sea or at the foot of the lighthouse: Bring a picnic and make sure you wear warm clothes and closed shoes. The temperature can drop by 10°C when the tide rises, even on a hot summer day. From mid-June to mid-October, the temperature can range from 4°C to 30°C, depending on the wind, the tide and the presence of fog.
Visit the light station: In the lightkeeper’s house, learn about the whales and the history of the lighthouse and its lightkeepers. Play a game to test your talents as a pilot!
For children: Do your children love to explore? Request the Parks Canada Xplorers booklet at the reception centre. Children will enjoy the play area inspired by the whales.
Tickets includes same-day admission to the two other Parks Canada interpretation centres (the Marine Environment Discovery Centre in Les Escoumins and Pointe-Noire in Baie-Sainte-Catherine).
June 15 to October 14, 2019
ScheduleCENTRE: June 15 to September 2: daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; September 3 to 8: daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 9 to October 14: Wednesday to Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. OCEAN ENCOUNTERS: June 29 to August 17: Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Please arrive at least 30 minutes early. THE UPS AND DOWNS OF THE SEASHORE (in French only): June 15 to 28 and August 18 to September 2: daily at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.; June 29 to August 17: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Cost$7.80/adult (18-64), $6.80/senior (65+), free for child under 17 (ticket includes same-day admission to the Marine Environment Discovery Centre and Pointe-Noire interpretation centre); annual passes available on site or online
ReservationsRecommended for groups
- American Express
- Travelers Cheque
- Childrens playground
- Picnic area
- Pets allowed on leashes only
- Free parking
- Guide services
How to get there
Take Route 138 to Les Bergeronnes and follow the signs for the Cap-de-Bon-Désir Interpretation and Observation Centre (Centre d’interprétation et d’observation de Cap-de-Bon-Désir).
The Cap-de-Bon-Désir Interpretation and Observation Centre is located 30 km (18 mi.) from Tadoussac, 145 km (90 mi.) from Saguenay, 171 km (105 mi.) from Baie-Comeau and 245 km (150 mi.) from Québec City.
Affiliations and distinctions
- Parcs Canada
- Tourisme Côte-Nord - Manicouagan
- La route des Baleines