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Tofino is a popular summer destination, when its population swells to many times its size in winter, attracting surfers, nature lovers, whale watchers, fishermen, or anyone looking to be close to nature.

Close to Tofino is Long Beach, a popular spot all year round in Pacific Rim National Park. Maquinna Marine Provincial Park, with its natural hot springs, is located about 45 kilometres to the north, but can only be reached by boat or float plane. Every March, the migration of thousands of grey whales is celebrated at the Pacific Rim Whale Festival, while the last weekend of April is the Tofino Shorebird Festival.

Although the area is much quieter in winter, many people still visit to watch storms over the Pacific.  The settlement acquired its Spanish name in 1909 from the nearby Tofino Inlet, which was named in 1792 by Spanish naval commanders in honor of their Admiral, Vicente Tofiño.

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Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: otter, bald eagle, orca, humpback whale, American black bear
  • Where: British Columbia, Canada

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

Walking with Bears & Whale Watching

This trip offers a remarkable opportunity to spend time with the ‘the bear whisperer™’ to experience seeing grizzly bears at close quarters in one of the planet’s last pristine wildernesses. You can also see bald eagles in the skies, and watch grey and humpback whales slipping through the offshore waters.

  • When to go: Sep-Oct
  • Duration inc. flights: 10 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,195 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Whales & Mountains

This superb route winds it way through the celebrated Rocky Mountains and into the Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island. This area of ancient coastal rainforest abounds with plant life and is famed for its whale watching, as well as being home to brown bears, wolves and bald eagles.

  • When to go: May-Sep
  • Duration inc. flights: 14 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £2,845 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Wickaninnish Inn

Beautifully located on Chesterman Beach in Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Wickannish Inn is a relaxing rural retreat surrounded by forest and sea. The inn has direct access to the beach, and panoramic ocean or beach views from its 75 deluxe rooms and suites. An extremely relaxing place to stay.