While the town itself offers a charming collection of boutiques, restaurants, and cafes, Tofino is famed for the natural wonders around it. So, we think it only makes sense to start your trip in nature — because how often do you have the opportunity to walk through a rainforest, catch an idyllic sunset on the beach, and see a whale or two in the same day?
Located on the chiefly territories of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, the nature surrounding the town of Tofino is nothing short of awe-inspiring. With plenty of expansive beaches and rainforest trails to choose from, you can easily fill a weekend trip to Tofino with the best the west coast has to offer. What’s more, there’s an abundance of opportunities to catch wildlife in action — just walking along the beach is often enough to spot seals, shorebirds, and maybe even the occasional otter if luck is on your side.
Explore the Beaches
Tofino is known for its beaches. Whether you’re in for a surf or a leisurely stroll, your perfect beach is no more than a 15 minute drive away.
Unsurprisingly, our personal favourite is Mackenzie Beach. Its uniquely calm waters make it the ideal place for boogie boarding or SUP boarding (there are even on-site rentals from our pals at Tofino Paddle Surf)… and the coziness of its nightly beach fires is a truly Tofitian experience (more on this later).
But there’s always more to see. Some of the most noteworthy beaches in the area are Long Beach and Cox Bay. Long Beach lives up to its name, with a 8km stretch of shoreline that’s popular for bird watching and nature walks. It is also the home of incinerator rock, a famous landmark in the area, as well as many mischievous sea lions.
Long Beach and Cox Bay are both sought-after surf destinations. Even if you aren’t interested in taking a lesson yourself, you can still get some secondhand thrills by watching all the action happening on the water.
Go for a Hike
The magic of Tofino radiates from its rich, rainforest ecosystem. Hikes in the area tend to be short yet utterly captivating, and brimming with ecological diversity.
The beautiful Rainforest Trail is just a short drive away from Long Beach. It’s a great place to explore anytime, but it’s a particularly good option for rainy days as the overhanging trees also provide shelter from the rain.
Meare’s Island, just north of Tofino, is a fun 10-minute water taxi ride away and boasts some of the island’s oldest trees, some up to over 1,000 years old. The island’s large trees are both incredibly breathtaking and humbling.
Wherever you might find yourself around Tofino, you’re sure to spot some wildlife. There are beautiful birds everywhere you go, and if you’ve made your way to the water you might even catch the occasional otter waving at beach goers on the shore.
Don’t mind splurging a little? You can budget for an activity whale watching or kayaking tour. There are several companies in town that offer some amazing guided tours, and they know where to go to find whales, eagles, bears, and more!
It’s time to reconnect with nature…
Some of the most memorable experiences you can have in Tofino are those you have in nature. It’s truly a privilege to step away from the noise and reach a level of relaxation that only nature has to offer.
The team at Tin Wis looks forward to sharing more about the area with you on check-in!
— Mel McDonald (Tin Wis Guest Service Agent)