Welcome to Bonavista

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When Italian explorer Giovanni Caboto (or John Cabot as he is locally known) first discovered North America in 1497, his first words were “O buono vista!” When translated into English, this phrase means “Oh happy sight!”, which is certainly fitting for what would become the town of Bonavista, the historic site of Cabot's landing.

Explore our Attractions

Small huddles of houses, new and old, sit alongside rocky shores, pebble beaches, and picturesque fishing boats. Dense forest becomes amazing shoreline, frequently visited by whales, seabirds, and icebergs. At the Dungeon, the cliffs drop away into a mammoth sinkhole with two seaward channels, the result of years of ocean erosion.

At the harbour, step inside a full-scale replica of Matthew, Cabot’s ship, and imagine how the explorer felt on his epic voyage to North America.

Bonavista & Area Attractions

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Experience the Lighthouse

Catch a glimpse of 10,000-year-old icebergs from the top of the Cape Bonavista Lighthouse Provincial Historic Site, and gaze over the horizon where lightkeepers have stood watch since the 1840s. If you look close enough, you might catch a glimpse of a puffin nesting ground just behind the lighthouse or a humpback whale. Now, if that doesn’t brighten up your day, nothing will.

Explore Waterfront

On the waterfront, the Ryan Premises National Historic Site and the Bonavista Museum bring to life the salt fish trade – the cornerstone of Newfoundland and Labrador's economy for centuries. The nearby Mockbeggar Plantation Provincial Historic Site tells a story of the battle for Confederation.

Getting to Bonavista

Bonavista is located on the island of Newfoundland on the Discovery Trail, Route 230, just 3 hours from both Gander and the Argentia ferry, and 3½ hours from the capital city of St. John's.

More on Getting to Newfoundland & Labrador

Customizable Itineraries

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Videos far, far off the beaten path



Travel Stories

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Picture Yourself Here #ExploreNL

Bonavista Offers

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Start planning your Bonavista adventure

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Friendly Reminder: Make sure you book your car rental and accommodations in advance.