Adventure Tours

The West Coast is a thrilling area to explore by land, sea and air. There is so much to see and do, it's difficult to narrow it down. Hopefully this page will help you do just that! Many different operators in both Tofino and Ucluelet offer a wide variety of boat tours and activities. Whale watching, bear watching, hot springs, exploring, fishing and simply sightseeing are all possibilities.

Whale watching

BaleenNumerous local companies offer whale-watching tours in the Clayoquot and Barkley Sound areas. There are resident pods of humpback and grey whales, and many migrants also make the trip northward from their rearing water in Baja, California to hang out here for the season. Orca whales are also often seen on the West Coast, with residents and transient pods present here. You can choose a covered boat with indoor seating or a zodiac boat for you whale-watching adventure. If you choose the latter, you will be provided with a full survival suit that doubles as a personal flotation device and keeps you warm on the open ocean. Whale-watching tour guides are very knowledgeable about the area and will share their knowledge of wildlife with you on your trip. They operate under regulations that govern how close they can come to the whales, but you will be able to get a good view of them so bring your camera!

Bear watching

Black BearMany of the whale-watching companies also offer bear watching tours from their boats as well. These tours normally take you to protected areas in Clayoquot and Barkley Sounds. Being on a boat means you can view all sorts of wildlife safely from the water, especially the area's magnificent black bears. They come down to the water's edge to feed on salmon, and this is where you'll most likely catch a glimpse of these gorgeous creatures.

It's also possible to view wildlife at Thornton Creek Hatchery in Ucluelet. Please use extreme caution, bears are wild animals and therefore unpredictable. Do not approach the bears; safest viewing is from your vehicle. Juveniles often frequent the hatchery from March-June, and adults from mid-October-November. The hatchery is accessible off Hwy. 4 by turning towards Port Albion and continuing approximately 2km until you see a sign for the Thornton Creek Hatchery. Turn right and continue for 1km, the hatchery is on the right-hand side. You can tour the hatchery operation; donations are most appreciated.

 

Ucluelet Wildlife Viewing   Companies
 Archipelago Wildlife Cruises 250 726-8289 www.archipelagocruises.com
 Aquamarine Adventures  250 726-7727  
 Barkley Adventure Station  250 266-0151  
Beachcomber Ocean Tours 250 726-8921  
Jamie's Whale Station 250 726-7444  
Pristine Adventures 250 266-0226  
Subtidal Adventures 250 726-7336 www.subtidaladventures.com

Tofino Wildlife Viewing   Companies  
 Clayoquot Eco Tours Whale Centre   250 725-2132  
 Jamie's Whaling Station  250 725-3919  
 Ocean Outfitters  250 725-2866  
Pacific Whaler 250 725-2895  
Remote Passages 250 725-3330  
Seaside Adventures 250 725-2295  
Sea Trek Tours 250 725-4412  
Weigh West Marine Resort 250 725-3277  
West Coast Aquatic Safaris 250 725-9227  
The Whale Centre 250 725 2132  

Hot Springs

Tours departing from Tofino go regularly to Hot Springs Cove, located in Maquinna Marine Provincial Park. This idyllic setting is located 27 nautical miles northwest of Tofino, or roughly one and a half hours. Home of the Hesquiaht people, this area is also home to a natural hot springs that bubbles up from a crack in the earth. The springs are located at the end of a boardwalk forest walk. The simmering sulfur water flows as a gentle brook and then cascades as a waterfall into five natural interconnected pools. It's the most incredible meeting of the cold ocean with a naturally heated hot spring.

Getting there from Tofino is half the fun. A number of different tour operators offer transportation via water or air. Most of these tours usually include whale watching, bird watching and other eco-interpretive activities along the way. Once at the dock it's a 30-minute hike to the hot springs. You can also take a floatplane from Tofino harbour to Hot Springs harbour and do some sightseeing along the way.

Tours companies offering trips to Hot Springs (all departing from Tofino)
 Clayoquot Eco Tours Whale Centre  250 725-2132  
 Eagle Eye Adventures (Ahousaht)  250 670-9587  
 Hymax Charters  250 266-0147  
Jamie's Whaling Station 250 725-3919  
Ocean Outfitters 250 725-2866  
Pacific Whaler 250 725-2895  
Remote Passages 250 725-3330  
Seaside Adventures 250 725-2295  
Sea Trek Tours   250 725-4412  
Weigh West Marine Resort 250 725-3277  
West Coast Aquatic Safaris  250 725-9227  
Atleo River Air Service 250 725-2205  

Hesquiaht Harbour and Cougar Annie's Garden

Hesquiaht Peninsula Provincial Park occupies most of the eastern shore of Nootka Sound and is where Cougar Annie's Garden is located. A significant area for hiking, boating and sea kayaking, this remote area is without facilities and recommended only for experienced outdoors campers and kayakers. You can take a boat or plane from Tofino to visit Cougar Annie's Garden on a day trip. Early 20th century homesteader Ada Annie pre-empted this land, bore 8 of her 11 children here and carved a magical garden out of the wilderness. This is the only wilderness homestead that endured in Clayoquot Sound. The five-acre garden and heritage site is now managed by the Boat Basin Foundation. The foundation conducts tours of the garden, visit www.boatbasin.org. Marvel at the amount of work it would have taken to clear this plot from rainforest using no modern machinery at all. A visit to Cougar Annie's garden is unforgettable!

Tour companies that offer trips to Cougar Annie's and Hesquiaht Harbour
 Ocean Outfitters 250 725-2866  
 Atleo River Air Service 250 725-2205  

Fishing

FishingThere are a number of fish guiding businesses in the area that cater to all who are looking for the big catch during their trip to the West Coast. Salmon and halibut are the most common catches while off-shore fishing, and local guides are well versed in the best areas, both off shore and in shore to find your prey. Most fishing trips are half-day, departing either in the morning or early afternoon, but all-day charters are available. Most guides will also be willing to fillet your catch for you. Fishing licenses are required, enquire with your guiding company.

Tofino Fishing    
 Al's Fishing Charters and Tours  250 725-3417  
 Biggar Fish Charters   250 726-8987  
 Bobby Kimoto Charters  250 725-3882  
Chinook Charters 250 725-3431  
Clayoquot Ventures Fishing 1-888-534-7422  
Hymax Charters 250 266-0147  
Lance's Sportfishing Adventures 1-888-725-6125  
Osprey Fishing Charters   250 725-2133  
Scottie Jaynes Sports Fishing Charters 250 522-0060  
Tofino First Class Fishing 250 725-2047  
 Weigh West Marine Resort 250 725-3277  

 
Ucluelet Fishing    
 Ucluelet Charters   250 726-3644   www.uclueletcharters.com
 Long Beach Charters   250 726-3474   
 Albion Charters   250 726-8761   
Pacific North East Charters 250 726-8426  
Tightlines Fishing Charters   250 266-8000  
West Coast Fish Expeditions   250 726-8221  
 
 
Boat Charters and Cruises    
 Archipelago Wildlife Cruises   250 726-8289  
 Browning Pass Charters 250 725-3435   
 Clayoquot Connections Tour  250 726 8789   
Majestic Ocean Adventures   250 726-2868  
Pacific Northeast Charter Co   250 726-8426  
Tla-ook Cultural Adventures   250 725-2656  
Hymax charters   250 266-0147  

Kayaking

KayakingKayaking in Barkley Sound (Broken Island Group) and Clayoquot Sound is an opportunity to experiences the amazing sights, sounds and tranquility of the area. View vast rugged shorelines from afar, see the temperate rainforests that hug the shorelines, view all sorts of marine wildlife from eagles and herons, to shorebirds, anemones, sea lions, seals, sea otters and even whales! Beginners are welcome on tours that range from harbour tours in Tofino, to Meares Island Big Tree Trail tours to overnight trips in the Broken Group Islands.

Tofino Kayaking Guides and Rentals
 Inter Island Excursions 250 725-3163   
 Paddle West Kayaking 250 725-3232   
 Rainforest Kayak Adventures    1- 877-422-WILD  
Tofino Sea Kayaking   250 725-4222  

Ucluelet Kayaking Guides and Rentals
 Coastal Knights Kayaking  250 726-4202  
 Majestic Ocean Kayaking 250 726-2868   www.oceankayaking.com
 Pacific Rim Informative Adventures 250 726-5119  

Private Tofino & Ucluelet Vacation Rentals on Vancouver Island, BC Canada.
Toll-free +1 866 985 9378