Whale watching Tofino, a 2 Billion dollar industry that hubs almost 20 million tourists each year and is an occupation for about 13,000 people, is a practice of watching the gigantic whales surf the oceans and seas.
It is a practice to watch these majestic creatures bounce in and out of waters and play with the up and down tides of the seas or oceans, and watching these creatures do so is a mesmerizing and magical experience.
There are hardly very few moments in life when one says that life was magical to have conspired the way it did, and watching the whales bounce in waters under the setting sun in the evening is also among those experiences.
Its pure beauty and magical adventure as one sees the setting sun and the whales with such restlessness.
Tofino is a tourist attraction for watching whales and is located in the west part of the island of Vancouver in the Canadian province of BC.
We see a massive variety of Gray whales, eagles, bears, seals, sea lions, sea otters, and other sea creatures, which makes it a very popular tourist vacation spot.
There is a “Whale Centre,” where the whole show is operated in. And the company that owns the Centre is named- “Whale Watching and Wildlife Tour Company.”
It holds whale watching Tofino shows, tours, bear watching shows, and other wildlife viewing too.
The team respects the wildlife is exceptionally knowledgeable about their jobs and is very enthusiastic about showing the wilderness.
There are Hot Springs so that one can relax and rejuvenate their spirits after tiring and adventurous days.
The possibilities here are endless- including Fishing Charters, Wildlife tours, Dolphin and Kayaking and Canoeing, Hiking and Camping tours, River rafting, and Tubing.
All these activities are provided herein Tofino and are excellent ways to get out of one’s daily boring life to one filled with joy and adventure.
The watching season extends from March to October. And here, we will usually find Gray Whales to see.
By November, about 200 gray whales are feeding in the water. And with them, there are Sea lions and Sea Otters too.
There are “orcas” too, also called killer whales. Now, these whales may or may not come to the surface, but they are dangerous and deadly. Clayoquot Sound is a crucial birding place here, and migratory birds visit here every year.
The temperature and the habitat of this place are what attract the birds here to this place. About two hundred species of birds fly here every year. The bald eagle is a prominent one.
The whales love to showcase their athleticism and robustness by jumping the waters up and down, in waters high and low, and near the yacht, or the boat one takes to see them. The possibilities are endless and the people coming to visit here is a large number too.
The major tourist population comes from neighboring areas of the island of Vancouver and other countries near British Columbia.
The tourists who visit here come from all around the world, from all walks of life, to look at the whales playing with the ocean tides.
They begin the journey by taking a boat to the ocean, where the whales jump and play with the water.
Then, when they reach deeper waters, they spot the whales, the gray whales, the sea lions, the sea otters, and many other sea animals.
Tourists, even though they are mostly from neighboring countries; however, it isn’t a surprise to see some of those coming from very far-away lands, to witness the cultures of sea life.
1. Whale Watching Tofino – Everything You Need To Know!
- To watch the whales playing with the waters, one must first get there. So the first step is to book your flight. One can check websites like trip-adviser or other well-reputed sources to know if their journey could be worthwhile. There are a lot of reference articles that will help the tourists know about their journeys beforehand.
- Now, book the hotel one would stay in. There are many hotels in Tofino where one can relax and have a journey worth remembering. And also, there are a large number of websites that offer information about the reputed hotels in different countries and would help the tourist take more out of the trip.
- Thirdly, book the company with which one wants to use the service of watching whales. Many of them have knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and capable tour guides who help the visitor immensely, helping them with almost everything they need. The enthusiasm these guides have spread to the tourists very fast.
2. What One Will See In Their Journey?
The tourist will see the whales’ spy-hopping, diving, and lob tailing in the ocean. There are high-speed cruises available in Tofino that take you through one of the most spectacular journeys in the world.
The journey is through pristine wilderness, with the waters filled up with loads of marine wildlife, out of which whales are a specialty. On a side note, there are migratory birds like blue herons and bald eagles too.
And there are transient killer whales who are always hunting for food. These are the things that people miss in their everyday lives.
They live the monotonous everyday life and seldom, if not never, pay attention to the calls of nature and the wilderness it offers.
The trip lasts for about 2.5 to 3 hours, covering every single sea creature. The primary sea creature here is the whales- especially the Gray Whales.
They leave Mexico and are heading toward Alaska, making their migratory trip. And it is these whales that are heading toward their journey that we see during the vacation we planned.
Island Vancouver is a food hunting spot for many of these. Killer whales, also called Orcas, are sometimes a surprise trip.
They are usually traveling in groups. They are not a regular sight; however, there is still a real possibility to spot them. And lastly, we see humpback whales.
They are more significant than the gray whales and the orcas and are found in the waters of the Clayoquot in summer.
They are huge and are a magnificent sight to behold. They are least seen because they are in the deeper waters, far away in the ocean.
The trip is filled with a wide variety of sea creatures, even though the tourists take this journey to view the whales. It pays to be dressed in warm-winter clothes because of the cold weather the ocean has.
3. Some Cons of The Whale-Watching Tofino Trip
Though watching whales in Tofino is fun and has many pros, sometimes things go wrong, and there are a few cons that show up: this sport, although relaxing, is deadly at times.
A few reports of the boats sometimes crashing and a few people dying due to the crash.
Even though these numbers are very minute, however, they are there. So one must decide at their discretion.
This is an exclusive exercise in Tofino, near Vancouver Islands. The days are unusually long, with nights shorter for the tourists, just because of the fun and awe the day provides.
The day begins with the visitors getting to a boat or a cruise or a yacht and then spending it amid the majesties of the oceans and the marine wilderness it offers.
The possibilities of watching many sea creatures are endless. The guides are usually knowledgeable and enthusiastic about nature, and they go to lengths to make the tourists get the best of nature here in Tofino.
The animals found here are- whales, gray whales, orcas or killer whales, sea lions, sea otters, and many other water creatures.
The weather is a bit cold; however, it doesn’t hold much of the tourists’ attention who are preoccupied with savoring the ocean.
Time flies soon, and the day descends into the night while savoring the awe-inspiring beauty of nature amidst the wilderness and the cautions and dangers of the oceans, which aren’t a simple game for most people.
And while this time slips through their fingers, the tourists, in large numbers, are meeting the adventures of the seas and waters, and they do enjoy the whole of it.
A high percentage of people who go to Tofino report a very soothing and loving environment filled with adventure and nature’s majestic awe.
The industry is about 2 Billion dollars in revenue every year, providing occupation to about 13,000 people worldwide.
Lastly, and effortlessly, one can say that this was indeed a special event worth remembering with moments to behold. It is also a spiritual exercise where one deepens their adventure sense and finds true fulfillment in nature and its wilderness.
4. What You Can See in a Whale Watching Tour in Tofino?
The three most common large whale sightings in Tofino whale watching are the Pacific Gray whale, The Orca, and The Humpback. The Pacific Gray whale is a special whale sighting in Tofino.
Alongside the captivating whales which are the main attraction, you can also get the chance to see some of the other residents of Tofino, including porpoises, sea otters, The Steller sea lions, Harbour seals, bald eagles and osprey, and some other sea animals that are found in the area.
The sea lions are a highlight in Torino as They leap into the crashing waves and play fight on the rocks which instantly makes the sea otters a crowd favorite.
They look so comfortable with their tiny fluffy bodies floating on the water!
4.1 The Pacific Gray Whale
Pacific Gray Whales migrate past Clayoquot every spring in massive numbers, traveling north from their wintering grounds in and around Mexico’s Baja Peninsula to the Bering Strait situated near Alaska.
Around 200 Gray Whales stay on for the summer to feed in the rich waters around Tofino.
These gentle giants don’t have a dorsal fin, making them unusually unique among other whales. As they rise out of the water for air, they are most distinguishable by their two blowholes and encrusted barnacles.
The Pacific Gray Whales are a fairly common sight around Clayoquot from April to October.
4.2 Orca Whale
Undoubtedly the Orca whale is the most iconic whale of the Pacific Northwest, they top the ‘must see’ whale list for the many visitors of Tofino. Their mesmerizing dorsal fins and ever-playful nature make them a fun whale to watch.
The large variety of orcas that visit the waters of Clayoquot are called “transients” or “Bigg’s killer whales.”
As they are avid mammal hunters, these orcas have a massive traveling range and they come and go as they please, all year round regardless of the weather
So seeing an orca isn’t guaranteed, they are a regular visitor to Tofino and would be a wonderful bonus to any trip in Tofino.
4.3 Humpback Whale
The humpback whale is most often seen in the Tofino area from May to September. As they are known for their dramatic tail slaps and body breaching, these whales can be hugely entertaining.
Funnily enough, The reason for humpbacks leaping out of the water is still unknown. Some theorize it is to show dominance or warn of danger and others believe it may be to dislodge parasites.
Either way, it is assured that you’ll never forget your first close encounter with a humpback.
5. Tourists Spot in and Around Tofino to Visit After Watching Whales!
5.1 Hot Springs Cove
This is an exciting 6-hour adventure where the captains try to make an effort to find wildlife like whales, black bears, seals, sea lions, puffins, sea otters, and bald eagles over 20 miles of gorgeous coastline, and beaches.
These tours are offered year-round but only if the weather permits. Although it is not guaranteed that wildlife can be seen on this adventure you have an excellent chance to see a lot of different wildlife.
Once disembarking at the dock, you can follow the historic cedar boardwalk through an enchanting rainforest lasting for almost 1.5 km.
At the end of this incredible walk, there are a number of natural geothermal hot spring pools, cascading waterfalls, and an awesome view of the mighty pacific ocean. This guarantees an amazing day trip for all ages!
5.2 Jamie’s Whaling
Since 1982, Jamie’s whaling station has been giving authentic, family-friendly, and affordable eco-tours to adventure lovers hailing from around the world.
Whether it’s whales or bears, Jamie’s has an adventure in store for everyone looking to enjoy the experience of a lifetime when visiting Tofino.
For those seeking an experience in the aquatics of whale watching Ucluelet, with a real connection to the elements of nature, join Jamie’s on one of their more fast-paced Zodiac Whale Watching tours.
Enjoy the views, the remote passages, and the ocean adventures along the coastline on your way to the feeding areas of whales, and also get a chance to learn about the fascinating ecosystems with the engaging naturalists while experiencing the natural characteristics of a wide variety of wildlife.
5.3 West Coast Aquatic Safaris
Tour Tofino’s untamed waters with adventure Tofino’s best Safaris! The temperate rainforest presents the perfect environment for feeding multiple species of birds and animals including marine wildlife.
Tours are curated by experts to give you the ultimate experience of the West.
So come, get off the beaten path, and experience eco-tourism that is environmentally responsible and equally safe, and fun for the whole family!
5.4 Tofino Resort and Marina
This is a 63-room hotel and marina located right in the heart of the community which means you can walk from your room to anywhere in downtown Tofino.
The property amenities, including a full-service marina and an Adventure Centre, are designed to reflect a passion for Tofino’s outdoor lifestyle.
Whether you want to go on an epic whale watching trip like the Tofino whale watching tour, see summer resident gray whales at Vancouver Island, or even go with bear watching tours.
Their tours focus on the environment without disturbing the ecosystem giving us a safe and fun viewing experience of whales, harbor sea life, black bears, eagles, and all of Tofino’s nature.