Communities of Vancouver Island
The Gulf Islands
B.C. Travel Regions
Tofino, nestled on the western shores of British Columbia's largest and most populous island, is an ecological gem. Here you will find the Clayoquot Sound, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Located at the northwestern end of Highway 4, on the edge of Clayoquot Sound, it is best known for its whale-watching opportunities. Humpback, Grey and Killer whales use the nearby waters as a migration route during their 10,000-mile/16,000 km round-trip passage from Baja California to Alaska. More than 20,000 whales make this sojourn each year, and can often be seen from shore during their spring migration.
The Pacific Rim Whale Festival, which takes place in mid March, celebrates the annual migration of the Pacific Grey whale. One of the largest environmental festivals on the island, it features music, educational presentations, interpretive walks, food and of course, whale watching opportunities. The festival takes place in and around Tofino and its southern neighbor, Ucluelet.
Tofino is also known for its distinctive First Nations art. Native-run galleries feature art from around the region, ranging from totems to hand-carved masks and jewelry.
The nearby Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, which was established in 1970, has also helped to put this small fishing village on the map. The park attracts as many as 1 million visitors a year and is known for a wealth of recreational and ecological attractions. Wildlife viewing, back country hiking and camping are a few of the park's most popular activities.
Tofino lies west of the cities of Port Alberni and Qualicum Beach and is reachable by car from Victoria via highways 1, 19 and 4. Tofino can also be reached by air from Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo.
Name: Named after Tofino Inlet, itself named in 1792 for Spanish hydrographer Vincente Tofino de San Miguel.
Location: West side of the island, 42km (26 miles) north of Ucluelet, on Highway 4, 130 km (81 miles) west of Port Albernl, 337 km (209 miles) northwest of Victoria.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
Tofino Guide by John Platenius. This is a guide for Tofino and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Inside is a list of activities, tips on local attractions, accommodations, shops, galleries and restaurants. Discover the beaches and nature in the heart of Clayoquot Sound as well as the history and culture. Order now...
The Wild Side Guide to Vancouver Island's Pacific Rim, Revised 2nd Edition: Long Beach, Tofino, Ucluelet, Port Alberni, Nitinat & Bamfield by Jacqueline Windh. In this updated edition the author and photographer shares her secrets about travelling the region while providing information on how to get there, where to stay, what to do, where to eat, as well as inside scoops. Order now...
Moon British Columbia: Including the Alaska Highway, 10th Edition (Moon Handbooks) by Andrew Hempstead. Find the best places to eat, where to go skiing and snowboarding, how to get around along with much more through the unique trip ideas recommended by the author. Order now...
Discover Canada (Full Color Country Travel Guide) by Lonely Planet. This book is the ideal guide for planning your trip with all the must see sights and must do experiences through images, insider tips, tailored itineraries and east to navigate content. Full colored maps for the country, regions and cities are also included. Order now...
Frommer's Far & Wide: A Weekly Guide to Canada's Best Travel Experiences by Andrew Hempstead, Pamela Cuthbert, Lucas Aykroyd and Helena Katz. Written by a team of local authors this book has maps of trips along with information about the culture and history, nature, festivals and events, restaurants, adventure and even the quirky Canada. Order now...
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