Tofino

Tofino and its neighbour Ucluelet nestle between the rainforest of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and the Pacific Ocean. Tofino is a charming small harbour with some interesting shops and galleries but most people visit Tofino for the rainforest and the hot springs, the long sandy beaches, the wildlife and the surf. Spring and summer are the best whale watching times, where you can see the migration of the gray whales as they travel between Alaska and Hawaii and you may see the occasional humpback whale during the summer months. Black bears are frequently seen as are large quantities of sea lions and seals. Winter brings huge storms and a new activity – Storm watching!

Access to Tofino is either by air from Vancouver or a beautiful drive across Vancouver Island passing through Cathedral Grove which contains some of the enormous first growth Douglas Firs and Port Alberni.

Why should I visit Tofino?

Beauty abounds at every turn; clean, uncrowded beaches at the end of every street. With a thriving eco-tourism economy, Tofino, BC, is the place for adventure. But wait, there is more. Perhaps you want to hike the rainforest trail, witness eagles swooping for salmon while you’re hiking up Mears Mountain on Mears island. Or perhaps renting sea kayaks or taking a zodiac boat trip out to see the Whales, Bears, Eagles or many other wildlife viewing options. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try surfing? You can find some of the best waves in the world on the west coast of Vancouver Island!

Bear Viewing

Choose either a Zodiac or a covered vessel for this extraordinary 2 ½ hours journey through the quiet fjord inlets of Clayoquot Sound searching for black bears. While bears forage for rock crabs at low tide, visitors unobtrusively observe and photograph their behaviour. Sightings frequently include Bald eagles and seals. A favourite programme for photographers and bird watchers.

Operates mid-April through October, according to tides
Vessels: Zodiacs – fully customized rigid-hull vessels. Hard Hull covered vessel with heated cabin and washroom facilities
Comments: Suitable for everyone.

Hot Springs Explorer

Travel over 30 km by water to north end of Clayoquot Sound. Highlights on this marine program are planned stops at a sea cave, eagles nest, and wildlife viewing, including whale watching (primarily Gray whales; also Humpback, Killer and Minke whales) and bear watching. From the dock, a 2 km walk along a boardwalk trail, through ancient rainforest, arrives at natural thermal soaking pools (average temperature 42 C). Time at pools is approx. 2 hours.

Vessels: Zodiacs – fully customized rigid-hull vessels or Hard Hull covered vessel with heated cabin and washroom facilities
Trip Duration: 6½ to 7 hours
Available : March through October

Sea Kayaking

Program takes place entirely on protected, inside waters, and is fully guided. You will be issued with gear, trained in basic paddling and safety techniques before launching. On kayak outings, wildlife sightings may include sea- and migratory birds, river otters, seals, eagles, porpoise. Suitable for first-time kayakers

Operates April – September
2 1/2 hours

Clayoquot Explorer

This 4 hour trip moves across Tofino harbour, through the harbour islets, to Meares Island. The guide leads an interpretive walk along the ‘Big Tree Trail’ on Meares Island, through the ancient rainforest of the area; stop for lunch; paddle back to base.

The program takes place entirely on protected, inside waters, and is fully guided. You will be issued gear, trained in basic paddling and safety techniques before launching. On kayak outings, wildlife sightings may include sea and migratory birds, river otters, seals, eagles, porpoise. Vessels: full fiberglass hulls, single & double cockpits.
Trip Duration: 4 hours April through September No previous experience needed

Whale Watching

You will travel along the Tofino coast to where whales are active (primarily Gray whales; also Humpback whales, Killer whales (orca)and Minke whales). You will be introduced to the rainforest and marine ecosystems of the area, highlighting the marine wildlife (regularly including seals, sea lions, Bald eagles, Black bear, Harbour porpoise). You will visit a sea lion colony and/or a seabird nesting sanctuary en route to the best whale watch areas.

Trip Duration: 2 ½ hours
Available: March through October
Client:Guide Ratio: maximum 12 : 1

Vessels:
Zodiacs – fully customized rigid-hull vessels.
Hard Hull – covered vessel with heated cabin and washroom facilities

Suitable for clients 3 years and older. Not suitable for pregnant women, clients with back injuries.