Each person’s idea of the perfect vacation is different. For some, it’s a relaxing, tropical getaway; for others, it’s leaving behind modern distractions by getting in touch with nature by camping or hiking. Tofino offers something for almost every traveler, whether you seek adventure or just want to get away.
Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Tofino is a small town with an unbelievable landscape. It merges mountains with sea, and is covered with dense, green forestry. This unique combination creates natural wonders attractive to hikers, campers, whale watchers, fishermen and surfers. In fact, Tofino is world-renowned for its surf.
If you’re looking for a cozy vacation or a trip off the beaten path, consider Tofino. If you’re on a budget, there’s plenty of low-cost activities that will make your vacation memorable. You can also save money by planning ahead. Look for budget flights and deals on attractions. For information about hotel deals in Tofino, click here.
If Canada is on your list of possible vacation destinations, here are a few reasons to choose Tofino:
1. Gray Whale Watching
There may be no better way to enjoy the North Pacific ecosystem than by whale watching. In March, Tofino offers a firsthand glimpse at the migration of thousands of gray whales, an event unlike any other on the planet. It also hosts the annual Pacific Rim Whale Festival, which offers food, live music, wine and more to Tofino guests.
2. Pacific Rim National Park
Pacific Rim National Park is internationally recognized as the perfect nature getaway. The park is divided into three areas: the Broken Islands, Long Beach and the West Coast Trail. Each has its own landscape and appeal.
Long Beach is the most popular and accessible area in the park. It offers 94 campsites for both tents and trailers, and there are plenty of hiking trails running through temperate rainforest.
The Broken Islands are made up of about 100 small islands. They are only accessible by boat and are popular among kayakers. If you want to go off the beaten path, the Broken Islands is a wonderful experience. But remember: There’s no fresh water, so pack plenty.
The West Coast Trail is approximately 75 kilometers. It can be traversed in its entirety in about five to seven days.
Make sure you visit the nearby Wickaninnish Interpretive Centre. The centre features exhibits about local plants, wildlife, history and native culture.
3. Clayoquot Sound
As part of both the Pacific Rim National Park and the Strathcona Provincial Park, Clayoquot Sound offers a unique diversity of wildlife. It covers 860,000 acres of rainforest, lakes, rivers, beaches and other marine areas.
The Sound is home to cougars, wolves, black bears, orcas, gray whales, porpoises, sea lions, seals, river otters, osprey, bald eagles, marbled Murrelets, Roosevelt elk, Pacific loons, raccoons and martens. It truly is a world of its own.
Clayoquot Sound is a Biosphere Reserve. Since 2000, the Sound has been protected due to its biodiversity. A monetary fund of $12 million supports research and education within the region.
Other Tofino Events and Festivals
If you want to add a bit of excitement to your vacation, try timing your trip during one of Tofino’s annual festivals. In March, stop by for the Pacific Rim Whale Festival. The Tofino Food and Wine Festival takes place on the first weekend of June. It showcases some of the top chefs in Canada and the best wines in British Columbia.
There’s also the Tofino Lantern Festival, which Time Magazine voted the “Most Popular Event in Tolfino.” If you’re around in November, the Clayoquot Oyster Festival hosts an annual Oyster Gala, with chefs competing for best oyster dish, slurping contests, fine wines, expertly prepared food and live music.
Whether or not you decide to plan your vacation during one of these events, a trip to Tofino is a rejuvenating, memorable experience. If you’re a nature lover, bring your camera; some of the wildlife here cannot be experienced anywhere on the plant, and you’ll want to remember it.