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Alberta Essential Travel Information

Here is some information that will help you understand what to expect when you come to Alberta. For more information, call our Alberta Specialists, toll free 1-800-661-8888. Outside of North America call 1-403-427-4321. They can help you plan your getaway or extended vacation. 

Access by Air

Alberta provides two International Airports in Edmonton and Calgary, which are served by many major international airlines, including: Air Canada, American Airlines, Canada 3000, Canadian Airlines International, Horizon Airlines, Delta, KLM, Lufthansa, Northwest and United Airlines. (United and Lufthansa serve Calgary only)

Renting A Car

All the major car rental companies have a strong network of outlets in Alberta, including Avis, Budget, Discount, Driving Force, Hertz, Tilden (National), etc. To rent a car you need to be 21 years old, hold a valid driver's license and a major credit card, preferably Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Diners Club. Note a small surcharge may apply to drivers under 25 years of age. Reserving ahead is wise, and could result in a lower rate. All companies have insurance for purchase at the time of rental.


Motorcoach service is available throughout the province by Greyhound Bus Lines (403) 265-9111 or 1-800-661-8747 (Cdn) and Red Arrow (403) 424-3339.


Alberta is provided with scheduled transcontinental railway passenger service by VIA Rail Canada three times weekly. Stops are scheduled in Edmonton and Jasper. In Canada, call 1-800-561-8630 (Cdn). In the United States VIA Rail can be booked at 1-800-561-3949 (US) or through your local travel agent.

Customs and Immigration

As of June 1, 2009, a new American law known as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires U.S. citizens 16 years of age or over who re-enter the United States by land and sea to have a passport or other appropriate secure document like a NEXUS card or Enhanced Drivers License.

Children age 18 and under will be able to enter with proof of citizenship. Verbal claims of citizenship and identity alone will not be sufficient to establish identity and citizenship for entry into the United States.

Visitors form other countries must have a passport to enter Canada.

Each visitor may import, duty free, a maximum of 40 ounces (1.1 litres) of liquor, or 24 12-oz cans of beer or ale into Canada as personal luggage. Up to 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes, and 400 grams of tobacco and 400 tobacco sticks may be allowed entry duty free. To import tobacco products, a person must be 18 years of age or over.

Visitors may bring sporting equipment and personal goods for their own use, duty free, by declaring them at entry. A visitor does not require a permit or certificate to import non-restricted firearms if the firearms are brought in: for sporting or hunting use while in Canada; for use in approved competitions; for an in-transit movement through Canada; or for a person's protection against wildlife in remote areas of Canada. Individual licenses are required for hunting and fishing. Revolvers, pistols and fully automatic firearms are prohibited. Once in every 31 day period, after being in Canada for at least 48 hours US visitors may take back merchandise for personal or household use up to the value of $400 duty free. US visitors spending less than 48 hours, may take back $200 worth of merchandise free of US duty and tax. Other visitors should check the customs regulation of their own country prior to departure.

Ports of Entry

Visitors traveling from the United States into Canada or vice versa can use any of the following six ports of entry:

  • Aden, Alberta/Whitlash, Montana;
  • Carway, Alberta/Peigan, Montana;
    Open all year; daily, 0700 hrs - 2300 hrs
  • Del Bonita, Alberta/Del Bonita, Montana;
    June 1 - Sept 15 0800 hrs - 2100 hrs Sept 16 - May 31 0900 hrs - 1800 hrs
  • Wild Horse, Alberta/Wild Horse, Montana;
  • Coutts, Alberta/Sweetgrass, Montana;
    Coutts, AB/Sweetgrass, MT Open all year, daily 24 hour service
  • Chief Mountain, Alberta/Chief Mountain, Montana.
    Open June 1 to end of September  0700 hrs - 2200 hrs, with reduced operating hours near opening and closing dates.

Their hours of operation vary, check with the local immigration office before making your trip. For further information on border crossing please contact:
Canada Customs Regional Office Suite 320, Harry Hays Building 220 - 4th Ave. S.E., Calgary AB T2G OL1


Canada has two official languages: English and French. The dominant language in Alberta is English, but you will find communities where there is fluent French, German, Ukrainian, etc. spoken.

The Weather

Alberta is the sunniest province in Canada. Many visitors are confused about our weather because we are a northern country. Also we measure our temperatures on the Celsius scale, so the weather reports may sound cold to Americans!

Weather in Alberta is usually warm and sunny between May and October. Alberta is a comparatively dry province. Temperature and the weather can vary greatly, especially in the mountains, so it is a good idea to be prepared. In summer, bring a warm sweater and a raincoat along with your bathing suit!. When rain comes it usually doesn't last long, and travel is rarely interrupted.

The winters are sunny and inviting. Just so you know, even on the coldest days of winter, bright sunshine sparkles off the snow. In winter, make sure you have a couple of warm sweaters along with winter coat, hat, gloves and boots.

Temperature Guide:

  • 40C - a heat wave
  • 30C - a hot day
  • 20C - room temperature
  • 0C - water freezes
  • -10C - a pleasant winter day
  • -20C - a cold winter day

Goods and Services Tax

Alberta is the only province that does not have a provincial sales tax on goods and services. There is however an additional 4% hotel/room tax that is non-refundable.

All Provinces apply a Federal Goods and Services Tax (GST), of 6% to most purchased goods and services, but rebates on some of the accommodation and non- consumable products can be claimed by non-residents of Canada. Some restrictions to GST rebates apply. For more information, please write to: Revenue Canada, Customs, Excise and Taxation, Visitor Rebate Program, Summerside Tax Centre, Summerside PE, C1N 6C6 or call 1-800-668-4748 (Cdn), Outside Canada (902) 432-5608.

Banking and Currency

You'll find the exchange rate on our dollar a delightful surprise. Travelers cheques and credit cards are accepted at most commercial establishments. All banks cash and sell travelers cheques and exchange currency. Most banks are open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Many are open on Saturday as well. Most cash machines accept one or more of the following networks: Interac, Cirrus or Plus.

Health Insurance

Before you come to Alberta, make sure your health insurance will cover your costs outside of your country, or purchase travel insurance from your travel agent. And then relax, our health care professionals will take good care of you in the event of illness or injury.

Fishing and Hunting Licenses

Alberta's fishing and hunting is world famous, but you must have a license! Catch limits are set in order to preserve fish populations. Alberta has a "catch and release" program whereby all anglers are encouraged to release any caught fish they do not intend to use.


    Licenses for fishing in our National Parks can be purchased at park information centres, administration, campgrounds, warden offices and some fishing shops.Fishing licenses outside National Parks can be purchased from Fish and Wildlife offices, hardware and convenience stores, and department stores.


    Regulations and special licensing requirements vary depending on the type of hunting.
    Alberta is truly one of the last natural places on earth, and we value our wildlife. You are invited to fish and hunt in Alberta, but remember doing so without a license is a crime, and will definitely result in prosecution!

    For complete information contact Alberta Fish and Wildlife Division, 9945 - 108th St., Edmonton, AB T5K 2G6 or call (403) 427-3574. Plan ahead to avoid disappointment.

Metric Measurements

Canada uses the metric system. Distance is measured by kilometers (km), speed signs are in kilometers per hour (km/h), gas is sold by the litre 4 1/2 litres = 1 Imperial gallon
3.8 litres = 1 U.S. gallon
Miles x 1.6 = kilometers
Kilometers x 0.6 = miles


The WatertonPark.com, acting only as a coordinator for the programs listed herein, assumes no responsibility or liability in connection with the services or rates as listed and provided by the operators. While every effort is made to ensure the information contained in this brochure is correct,  WatertonPark.com disclaims any liability in negligence or otherwise for any loss or damage which may occur as a result of reliance upon any of this material. All information is subject to change without notice.

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