Tofino, population 1700, is a former logging and fishing village that has become a center for ecotourism and activities such as whale watching, surfing, and camping. It is located on Clayoquot Sound, on the Pacific coast of Vancouver Island, 208 km (129 miles) west of Nanaimo. Clayoquot Sound is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Get in

By car

Tofino is accessible via Highway 4. The road, best driven during the day, is very twisty and narrow (particularly west of Port Alberni) but offers great views of lakes and mountains on the west coast. Coming from Victoria, take Highway #1/#19 north 160km to the Highway 4 turnoff west to Port Alberni.

By plane

Tofino-Ucluelet Airport (YAZ), also known as Long Beach Airport (CYAZ), is located 19 kilometers south-east of Tofino, on the Pacific Rim Highway (Hwy 4). It is in Pacific Rim National Park, and just across the highway from Long Beach. Regularly scheduled flights to Victoria (YYJ) and Vancouver (YVR) on Orca Airways are $130-$160 one-way. Private pilots will find three 5,000-foot paved runways, no landing fees, and fuel available. However, beware the weather; low overcast is common, and fog can appear suddenly on summer days.

By boat

If you are starting from Vancouver, catch the ferry from Horseshoe Bay or Tsawwassen to Nanaimo on BC Ferries, and drive the rest of the way.

In the summer you can catch the M.V. Frances Barkley from Port Alberni to Ucluelet (37km south from Tofino), 4.5 hours, $30 one-way.

By bus

Tofino Bus Island Express runs service in conjunction with Greyhound on Vancouver Island. Routes make stops in Nanaimo and Victoria (among others between Nanaimo and Tofino).


Pacific Rim National Park, Long Beach section


Tofino is a popular tourist destination for visitors from around the world. The long sandy beaches south of town are the main attraction, as are whale watching, hot springs, and surfing. In the winter, many of the facilities close up. However, there are still a number of travellers who come to see the storm season. For hikers, Tofino is a gateway to the Island's backcountry. With a guide or on your own, explore amazing trails or paddle beautiful inlets. There is still a lot of wildlife, such as Orcas, Bald Eagles, and bears. Tofino and Clayoquot Sound is a world reowned kayaking destination offering wilderness experiences on daily trips between 2 - 6 hrs or even multi-day kayak adventures. Usually no previous experience is required.

Tofino is the surfing capital of Canada. There are only beach breaks in Tofino. Surfing (with a 5mm wet suit) is popular whenever the surf is up. Winter brings higher waves yet the temperature is still moderate enough to surf. There are 3 surfing beaches. All can get busy in the high season.




There is a bar next to the beer & wine store in town and a nice pub by the water.


During high season (May–September) hotels here are among the most expensive in BC. During the off-season better deals are available. If you don't mind the two hour drive, considerably cheaper accommodation is available in Port Alberni.




In the summer the campgrounds are very popular. There are a number of public and private campgrounds in the Tofino area. Most of these operate from about Mid-March to October or November.

Vacation Rentals

Private cabins, homes and condominiums are available year round. This option is ideal for couples, families or groups who desire a self-catered holiday.


Cell phones work in Tofino, but data connections can be very slow. Computers with Internet access are available at a few shops in town (such as the Tofino Pharmacy and Tofitian Coffee Shop). Free Wifi is available at Darwins Cafe at the Tofino Botanical Gardens.

Go next

Routes through Tofino

END  W  E  Ucluelet - Port Alberni Nanaimo

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