The west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia has a popular small town called Tofino. The town is home to many wild animals, this place has long expanses of beaches, and is wrapped within ancient forests. Being part of the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere, Tofino has magnetically attracted surfers, families, and even hikers.
1. Exploring Tofino BC
Nature lovers who are not afraid of breaking out a sweat, or being muddy, will love Tofino. Stroll along fur-friendly beaches, do kayaking, pick a fishing charter and cast for salmons, and gorge on fresh seafood. Visit Tofino Bc, and see for yourself why this place is the crowd’s favourite.
1.1 Beach Combing
In British Columbia, Tofino landscapes are incomplete without the rugged coastlines. Beach comb through the top-ranked surf beaches of the world. With the right surf knowledge, bravely surf in wetsuits through the cold waters.
If you are against getting all wet, watch the glorious sunset that adorns the skies and the beaches. Enjoy the beachy bonfires at Mackenzie Beach and Chesterman Beach. On some nights, take a dip in the waters that glow to bright neon light due to bioluminescence. Making you feel like you are swimming in fireworks.
Ranked especially among the top 50, Chesterman Beach is a W-shaped beach, accessible only during low tide season. It further divides into the north and south beach. Besides that, it has many tide pools, holding a treasure trove of intertidal creatures. Catch a glimpse at these creatures clinging to the waves-washed rocks.
1.1 Surfing in Tofino BC
Tofino is the surf capital, and all for the right reasons. Cox Bay and Long Beach continue to be popular surf spots for surfers. Doesn’t matter whether you are a pro or an amateur, the waves are perfect and consistent all year round. Beginners can take surf lessons and learn in the calm gentler waves of Long Beach, where the surf culture began.
It is ideally located outside Pacific Rim National Park and is 16km long, so you might want to rent a mountain bike as you pass through the weathered-washed-away driftwood. The National Park consists of Combers and the Wickaninnish Beach, and also has a parking lot that accommodates plenty of cars.
1.2. Dip in Hot Springs
After all that travelling, mark a day off for relaxing. Although, a little pricey, a 90-minute boat ride to Maquinna Provincial Park won’t let you down. After being greeted with the sight of soaring bald eagles to sea animals, you arrive at Hot Springs Cove not-so-secretive place!
Follow the winding 1.5 km boardwalk to reach there, and immediately you are greeted with the smell of sulphur. A couple of hours soak in the geothermal pools after the sky-to-sea journey is worth it. Don’t forget your water shoes, as the rocks are slippery! With the views of the ocean in front and rainforests enveloping you, drown in Tofino’s beauty at Hot Springs Cove.
1.3. Bear into the Wild
It would be an absolute thrill to spot black bears, live in action in Tofino. One can have 2.5 hours of bear-watching tours in their natural surroundings. After a long hibernation, the favourite hanging spot for bears is the low tidal areas. It’s easy to spot at least one bear, munching on grasses, fruits, or rolling rocks in search of a salmon or crab.
Certainly taking advantage of their poor eyesight, you can get closer to them. However, be mindful and do not act wild in front of the wild – unless you want a wild bear running towards you.
To ensure everyone’s safety, it would be best to avoid strong perfume, disturbing their habitat, feeding them, or making unnecessary movements. Moreover, you can catch glimpses of other wildlife animals, like porpoises, bald eagles, sea lions, seals and many more.
1.4 Hiking Trails of Tofino BC
You might think that only the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet, and the West Coast Trail of Vancouver Island are popular. Do look out for the hiking trails of Tofino, which await outdoor enthusiasts. Through mountain biking, cruise around the Beaten track of the rainforests.
- Rain forest trail located within Pacific Rim National Park is fit for a beginner. This location surely puts you under a spell. One surely will feel like a dwarf under the lines of majestic cedar trees covered in green moss and ferns. The 2 km paths of the trail are easy to follow, making sure you are not short of breath.
- Do not miss the Canso Bomber Ruins trail, especially if you are in Tofino. The remnants of the World War 2 Canso Bomber that crashed in may depress you, but knowing that all boarding passengers survived, you would rather thank whatever deity you believe in. Ensure proper footwear, as it might get all muddy on this trail.
- Radar Hill in Pacific Rim National Park, takes you to the highest point of the park. Take comfort in the iconic red chairs there, and take in the breathtaking sunset views.
1.5 Stay in Tofino BC
- You can choose between the luxurious Tofino resort or campgrounds in Vargas Island Park of Clayoquot Sound based on your budget. However, you have to book months in advance, as it fills up quickly. During the summer months, it can be a little costly.
- There are many affordable Air Bnbs, which also make the perfect cheap staying option for visitors. Furthermore, Tofino resorts, lodges and cabins have cozy rooms, fully equipped kitchens and other amenities. Thus, you won’t have to carry a heavy suitcase.
- Standing out, worthy of every penny, is the Pacific Sands beach resort in Cox Bay Beach, with amazing ocean views and direct access to the beach. You can enjoy your vacation with your whole family. Watch the stormy waves crashing the shores from the comfort of your rooms.
- All in one, MAQ hotel has everything you need, from a perfect stay, food restaurant, and craft beers, to a fun pub. Tofino thereby ensures a comfortable stay.
1.6 Tofino Fest
1.6.1 Pacific Rim Whale Festival
In March, spot the Sea giants just a few meters away from your boat. Watch as they take a sneak peek above the ocean and dive in, spraying puffs of mist from their spout. The local tribe used to hunt these nearly extinct whale species. Thanks to the preservation programs, the whales now thrive in the Pacific Ocean.
The Pacific Rim Whale Festival, as a matter of fact, is held every year to honour their return. Every year, thousands of grey whales return to the Pacific to feed themselves. They do it by filtering the tiniest fishes, plankton, and larvae through their baleen.
They return after a season of birth and breed in the warmest Baja lagoons of Mexico. If you believe in your observation power, take a moment to scan around for other sea animals. Meanwhile, do not forget to look for otters, seals, acrobatic humpback whales, and not-so-friendly orcas.
1.6.2 Tofino Shorebird Festival
You know that you are missing out if you associate bird-watching with an idle old man’s activity. By and large, there are over 10,000 bird species in our planet. While it is impossible to spot every bird, Tofino guarantees sightings of at least 40 bird species throughout the spring.
Tofino Shorebird Festival is a subtle cue to know how crucial these birds are for the ecosystems. Tofino Mudflats Wildlife Management Area in its expansive 21 sq. km offers triple temporary home benefits. As a matter of fact, it provides them with forests, beaches, shorelines, and of course mudflats.
Carry your binoculars to zoom in on birds like Bald Eagles, Black oystercatchers, Rufous Hummingbirds, Great Blue Herons, and Stellar Jays. The bird songs and the flights of these beautiful birds will certainly keep every birdwatcher in a zen mode of appreciation. If you are new to birding, let the Bird Experts guide you to observe bird diversity, their behaviours, and other details.
1.6.3 Tofino Lantern Festival
Thousands of handcrafted lanterns lit the August sky in Tofino. If you dream of a sustainable future, then ideally Tofino Botanical Gardens is for you. For this purpose, it raises funds and also conducts one-week prior lantern workshops to help you create your DIY Lantern.
Along with making memories, this place also gets filled with musical and entertainment shows. In addition, it even prioritizes a drug- alcohol- or car-free environment. Thus, making sure that you and your family feel safe, included, and have the utmost enjoyment.
7. Winter: The Storm Watching Season
Winter in Tofino is calling if you want to witness the monstrous sea power and the birds bravely flying against the wind in the animated skies. From Chesterman Beach, try to fathom the gale force winds whipping the waves of the Pacific Ocean to an impressive 20 feet height.
Always wear yellow rain slickers and rubber boots, and check for yourself in the aftermath of the storm. It reveals the moments that unfolded just moments ago. Basically, the whole experience is enough to change you as a person.
Therefore, keep your backpack ready for Tofino in British Columbia. This place not only offers surfable beaches but also hosts fund-raising festivals and delicious Tofino food. Strap your hiking boots and walk along the elevated trails. Discover wild animals in the comfort of their habitats.
Undoubtedly, one will return to Tofino seeking out more adventures!