Box 1320, Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (QC), J0M 1C0, Canada
Phone: +608-370-5071 / Email


Trip Leader / Photographer
Mariela Urra Schiaffino

All photography on this webpage is copyrighted to Mariela Urra Schiaffino - all rights reserved

For the second year we were very pleased to have worked on the field with Mariela Urra this past 2017 season! Mariela is a naturalist guide and photographer from Chile. She arrived to Canada directly from Patagonia where she spent 3 years working as a trekking and horseback guide in Torres del Paine National Park, well known for its mountain peaks and puma (cougars). It was here where she developed a strong interest for wildlife and environmental conservation. She specialized in birds and animal observation, photographic expeditions and developed ornithology lectures. Her passion for the outdoors and adventure had taken her to to many places including Atacama dessert, Tierra del Fuego, the Bolivian Amazon and the Rocky Mountains. Mariela is a graduate from the National Outdoors Leadership School Patagonia (NOLS). She has her Wilderness First Responder (WFR) international certification; Outdoor trekking and Birdwatching Guide certificate. Mariela spent the last two summers working as a naturalist guide for us on the tundra of Ungava...

Mariela had this to say about her experiences in Nunavik with us...



"I came to Canada with the idea of exploring and photograph its wild territories, without knowing that I’d reach its far north regions. In July 2016 I joined the staff of Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures in Nunavik as a volunteer guide, it was probably the most rich and remarkable experience I had in this country." 



"As soon as I arrived I could discover many similarities with Patagonia, the southernmost tip of my home country Chile, the place where I discovered the passion for wilderness and nature photography, and where I became an interpretative guide. There is something about the vastness of this isolated landscape, the hard ecosystem, and even the way people live and cooperate between each other, that made me feel like home again. I felt immediately excited to go out and explore and couldn’t wait for our fist expedition to the tundra."



"On our first flight to wolves' camp I could see the rocks scarred by erosion, the evidence of recent glacier retreat from the last Ice Age, only 8500 years ago. Eskers, moraines and kettle lakes everywhere. Covering the rocks, the treeless vegetation composed by grasses, low shrubs, mosses and lichen was just starting its short growing season."





"If you looked closely you could even see the trails left by thousand caribou migrating every year between their winter and summer territories. The seemingly desolate arctic tundra slowly started showing its secret, I came to understand that this land is unique in its own authentic way."







"All trips were planned in the most respectful way to the fragile ecosystems from where we operated. We were specially sensitive in our encounter with wildlife trying not to disturb them nor feel our presence."




"We had memorable encounters with wolves',"




"with migrating caribou,"




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"polar bears and musk-oxen..."

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"But I also we came to appreciate the smaller life forms such as migrating peregrines,"




"the dwarf coniferous trees... the colorful moss carpets and lichen covering the igneous rocks formations."

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"While during the day we were out exploring the tundra, the nights were the time to share a warm meal and to tell stories and impressions. Many night we were able to see the spectacle of the Northern Lights dancing in the sky."




"The local Inuit guides were so important to understand how people have depended on this land to live for thousand of years, and they were so kind to share their knowledge and culture with us. I enjoyed every minute of this learning experience." 


"I was able to witness the positive evolution that our guests experienced in all of our expeditions. Being outside of their comfort zones, exposed to this sublime landscapes, rigorous weather conditions and encounters with animals in the wild, I think It is a genuine and profound invitation to re-think personal choices and priorities in everyone’s life. I am sure that all of them came back home with something much more than great pictures, something new and unexpected to share with friends and family. Being one of the guides I felt like a true travel partner in the deep exploration of this territory."


"To invite our guests to explore, understand and appreciate the exquisite richness of this lands is my small contribution to a bigger cause, it’s a personal action that carries the urgent warning that we are rapidly destroying the environments that made possible our own evolution and it’s our duty to make more people aware of the critical importance of the conservation of the few remaining unaltered ecosystems, like this one."

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"I will never forget this past summer in the Arctic tundra,
and I hope to come back soon for more adventures!"

Mariella Urra






Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures

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