Tofino is a pretty fishing village at the tip of Esowista Peninsula near the entrance to Clayoquot Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Tofino is a rapidly growing tourist centre for Long Beach and other Pacific Rim destinations. Once a timber and fishing town, Tofino has become a favoured destination for travellers from around the world.
Tofino was named in 1792 after the Spanish Hydrographer Vicente Tofino de San Miguel (1732 - 1795) who was Rear Admiral of the Spanish Naval Academy in Cadiz. Amongst Tofino's pupils while a mathematics teacher was the explorer Bodega y Quadra.
The first trading post and hotel was established on Stubbs Island around 1875, where the building remained until 1905 before being moved to present day Tofino. Tofino was incorporated in 1932 and connected to the rest of Vancouver Island in 1959, when a gravel road was built to Port Alberni.
Tofino's docks bustle with local fishermen and act as launching points for numerous sea kayaking, whale watching, wildlife, hot springs and cultural tours. Local boats also supply the 1,500 residents of five Nuu-chah-nulth communities and others who make their homes on the nearby islands and secluded shores of Clayoquot Sound.
The economy of the relaxed, vacation destination of Tofino is largely dependent upon tourism and aquaculture.
Location and Transportation
Literally at the end of the road, Tofino is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, accessed via Highway or Scheduled Air Service.
Highway 4 from Parksville, 26 miles (42 kms) north of Ucluelet and 81 miles (130 kms) west of Port Alberni. Driving time from Victoria is approximately 5 to 6 hours.
Daily Flights provided by Orca Airways. 45min from Vancouver Intl or Victoria Intl Airport. Shuttle services to and from the airport also provided by Orca Airways. www.flyorcaair.com
Tel: 1-888-359-6722 (FLY-ORCA).
World Class Resorts
The Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino Canada, has become a landmark - the enchanting and critically acclaimed destination on the awesome western edge of beautiful British Columbia. No trip to BC - and indeed, Canada - should be made without experiencing this remarkable Tofino destination.
Tofino Resorts and B&B Listings
The Wickaninnish Interpretive Centre is a definite highlight for all ages. You'll find telescopes mounted on an observation deck at the centre, plus numerous displays inside that introduce visitors to the geographical and natural history of the Pacific Northwest. The centre's purpose is to provide an understanding of the north Pacific Ocean, its influence on nature and man. The history of the North Pacific coast is illustrated by a collection of artifacts used by Nuu-chah-nulth Indians, the traditional inhabitants of the area. Open during the day, late spring to fall.
|There are two excellent Native-run galleries in Tofino: the hand-hewn longhouse, Eagle Aerie Gallery, which displays Tsimshian artist Roy Vickers' works, and the House of Himwitsa. Tofino is home to many artists and features traditional First Nations artwork including totem poles, sculptures, masks, paintings, basketry, and jewellery. Many of Vancouver Island’s artists are also represented, with original paintings, pottery, sculptures, carvings, metal work and glass.|
Hot Springs Cove, located in Maquinna Provincial Park in the remote northern end of Clayoquot Sound, is a splendid hot spring still enjoyable in its natural state. The boiling spring water cascades down a small cliff into a series of layered rock pools, cooled by the incoming ocean surf. Open year-round and accessible only by sea or air, guided tours from Tofino explore Hot Springs Cove, a popular destination with kayakers after paddling past Flores and Vargas Islands.
|One of Tofino's government wharves is known locally as the crab dock and is used by crab fishermen to store traps and tie up their boats - a good place to buy some live and fresh seafood.
Tofino's docks also serve as starting points for First Nations cultural tours, hot springs tours, whale watching and wildlife tours, bike tours, and kayaking tours.
|Grey whales, Humpback and Killer whales migrate the coastal waters, and porpoises, seals, sea lions, and elephant seals are viewed along the coastline.
Most often viewed are the Pacific Gray Whales. The migration starts to show up along the coast of Vancouver Island in early February and continues through late April. From April on through November, we have our 'Resident' Gray whales feeding in Clayoquot Sound and Barkley Sound. Humpback whales are seen throughout our season, with the heaviest sightings in February, June, July,
|Storm watching near Tofino in winter allows visitors to experience the raw power of the mighty Pacific Ocean, as ferocious waves roll in from Japan and pound the shores of the rugged west coast - nature in all it's fierce majesty! The weather in the Pacific Rim area has a profound effect on any planned activities, as precipitation along the west coast of Vancouver Island is amongst the heaviest in the world, especially in winter. Annual rainfall is approximately 3 metres or approximately 120 inches. Match the season with|
|There are only two locations on Vancouver Island where you'll find a surfing community. Jordan River is one, and Tofino (Long Beach) the other. A small but dedicated group of aficionados lives here year-round, while another coterie safaris over as often as possible, particularly in winter months when storm season produces the best peeling surf. Tofino does boast the highest annual|
The Long Beach Golf Course is surrounded by the ancient rainforest of the Pacific Rim National Park, one of the most scenic golf courses in BC. The 9-hole championship course is also known to be one of the most challenging courses on Vancouver Island. Golf Vacations on Vancouver Island.
Open-ocean fishing occurs far offshore from Tofino and Ucluelet. The continental shelf runs west of the two ports for almost 30km to La Perouse Bank, an undersea plateau that forms the leading edge of British Columbia's coastline. This is where the action happens, where the currents, swells, and weather combine. Fishing charters and guides are available for day trips to the area's many fishing spots.
Tofino offers year-round saltwater fishing opportunities, with world-class salmon fishing and flyfishing in Clayoquot Sound, with April through September being the best time. Freshwater anglers can driftfish or flyfish for magnificent sea-run rainbow trout or fall Salmon on the remote, pristine rivers that drain into Clayoquot Sound. Shallow protected waters and the abundance of bait fish, makes Clayoquot Sound an ideal place to catch salmon and sea-run cutthroat on the cast fly. For those who have not caught salmon on a fly, once is all it takes to get you hooked.
|You can spend days walking the beaches between Ucluelet and Tofino, and in the process discover why some folks spend their whole lives caught up in the surf and tidal rhythms here. Located between the village of Tofino and Ucluelet, the Long Beach unit, which offers outstanding beach hiking, is the most accessible and most developed component of the Pacific Rim National Park.|
Radar Beach, Long Beach, Combers Beach, and Wickaninnish Beach run successively from north to south and stretch for 15.5 miles between Cox and Quisitas Points. Radar Beach is rugged and puts up a fight when pummelled by the surf. If you only have a short amount of time, head directly to Long Beach. Depending on the season and the height of the swells in Wickaninnish Bay, not to mention the thickness of the mist, you may see surfers, sea kayakers, cyclists, kite flyers, hackey-sackers, disc tossers, swimmers, joggers, and walkers at play on the hard-packed sand.