Tofino is located at the northern end of the Pacific Rim Highway
40 km (25 miles) from the District of Ucluelet.
Tofino is situated on the northern end of Esowista Peninsula just
past the Pacific Rim National Park, Long Beach section. To get here
by car you need to drive to Port Alberni
and take Hwy 4 west to the southern end of Pacific Rim National
Park 8 km (5 miles) from Ucluelet.
This is a beachcomber's paradise with exploring and discovering
found everywhere. Tofino is completely surrounded by the Pacific
Ocean with islands, inlets, sandy beaches and rocky shoreline in
all four directions
Rim National Park
When you come to Tofino, make sure you visit the Long Beach section
of the Pacific Rim National Park. The beach is made up of four sections
and is absolutely stunning and, if you enjoy surfing, just excellent.
You will need a permit to park anywhere in the park and this can
be obtained at the Parks Information Centre near junction point
for Port Alberni on Hwy 4, 8 km (5 miles) north of Ucluelet.
If you surf Tofino is centrally located to offer you some of British
Columbia's best areas. For people who want to try the surfing found
at Long Beach, there are a few surf shops available. Some of the
surf shops offer board rentals, wetsuits, lessons and surf clinics
catering to women only. Shuttle service and tours to the best surf
spots can also be arranged.
As you travel north from Long Beach just outside the boundaries
of the Pacific Rim National is Cox Bay. Cox Bay probably has the
best surf waves on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. The surf
is created by the waves breaking off the reef at Lennard Island
just off the shoreline. Cox Bay is also home to one of the most
popular resorts in Tofino, the Pacific Sands.
Going north and bordering on Cox Bay is Chesterman Beach. Chesterman
is a nice sandy beach, has some good waves and is very popular with
people enjoying the surf. Try parking at the south end of Chesterman
Beach and walking on the beach close by to Frank Island. This way
you're at a good point to reach both Chesterman Beach and the north
end of Cox Bay. The world-famous Wickaninnish Inn sits at the most
western point of Chesterman Beach.
After Chesterman Beach going farther north-west, just before you
reach Tofino, is MacKenzie Beach. MacKenzie Beach has quite a few
resorts and camping areas located nearby along the beach. If you're
at MacKenzie Beach, commuting into Tofino is very convenient especially
if you're biking or walking.
Located directly across the Browning Passage east from Tofino is
Meares Island. Easily visible from Tofino and only 10 minutes by
boat, Meares Island is a quick introduction to the lush temperate
rain forests of Vancouver Island.
Designated by the First Nations Nuu-chah-nulth tribal council as
a park in 1985, Meares Island contains some of the biggest trees
on the coast. The Meares Island Big Cedar Trail is 3 km (2 miles)
long and will take you through a grove of cedars and hemlock trees
up to six metres across and approx. one-thousand-years old.
Vargas Island is located in Clayoquot Sound directly north-west
of Tofino and west of Meares Island. The island is a very popular
kayak and wilderness camping destination with a provincial park
featuring long sandy beaches, an exposed rocky coastline and a sheltered
lagoon.. There are excellent wildlife viewing opportunities especially
with the gray whale migration past Ahous Bay and nesting birds at
the Cleland Island Ecological Reserve
Located just north-east of Vargas Island is Ahousat, a small, First
Nation village situated on Flores Island. To get to Ahousat take
the 40-minute trip by water-taxi or the seabus which leaves Tofino
every day at 10:30 am and 4:00 pm from the government dock.
Flores Island is one of the more popular destinations in Clayoquot
Sound with various trails to Flores Island Provincial Park and Gibson
Marine Park. The Ahousat Wild Side Heritage Trail is 16 km (10 miles)
long taking you from Ahousat past secluded beaches through forest
scenery to the Mount Flores viewpoint 886 metres (2900 feet).
If you are visiting Flores Island, try going to Hot Spring's Cove
located just west of Flores Island Provincial Park boundary in Maquinna
Marine Park. Located here is a natural thermal hot spring pool carved
into the rocks overlooking the ocean. To get here you will have
to walk from the boat dock along a 2 km (1.25 miles) boardwalk through
the forest to reach the pools
Rim Whale Festival
During March you should come to celebrate the annual Pacific Rim
Whale Festival with people from Tofino and Ucluelet. Starting around
March to approximately the end of May, almost 20,000 gray whales
pass are on a migration south to Baja, Mexico and pass within 5
km (3 miles) of shore. The Pacific Rim Whale Festival celebrates
this with information, presentations and events planned around the
If you enjoy walking in old-growth Cedar and Sitka Forests found
on the West Coast you'll enjoy a self-guided tour at the Tofino
Botanical Gardens. The gardens are set up to educate and show a
display of plants native to British Columbia's coastal temperate
Just a reminder, if you are exploring the wilderness that surrounds
this whole area, please be prepared. On some of the islands, especially
Flores and Vargas, there have been numerous sightings of wolf packs
looking for food. Black bears, cougars, heavy winds, rain and fog
can be very bad and occur any time of the year. Check in at Tofino
Visitor Info Centres for more help and information about local conditions.
Transportation to Tofino
The Tofino/Ucluelet airport is located at the north end of Wickaninnish
Bay (Long Beach) right across from the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations
settlement of Esowista IR 3. Air transportation includes Long Beach
sightseeing trips plus scheduled flights and charter services from
Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo and Comox Valley airports.
Beach Golf Course
Located near the airport is the Long Beach Golf Course. If you would
like to play a round of golf the course is challenging with the
wind, very enjoyable to play and, if you don't mind the rain, can
be played all year long. The Long Beach Golf Course also has a very
nice convenient RV site available almost splitting the travelling
distance in half between Ucluelet and Tofino.
Bay Recreation Site
If you want to visit the Pacific Rim National Park Broken Group
Islands by kayak, you can do it from Toquart Bay. The turnoff to
Toquart Bay is 45 km (28 miles) from Tofino on Hwy 4 towards Port
Alberni. Toquart Bay Recreation Site is an additional 16 km (10
miles) from the turnoff on active logging roads. There is a boat/kayak
launch at the recreation site and, for supplies, there is the Toquart
Bay Store situated on Macoah IR 1.
Includes; Travel, Recreation, Accommodation, Places to Eat and First