Want to explore Clayoquot Sound? Of course, you do!
One of the reasons that millions of people travel from around the world to visit this small coastal village is because of the natural beauty, ancient rainforests, and wildlife – and don’t forget the amazing surf!
TOFINO HOSTEL Adventure Centre can help you plan your perfect vacation by offering you the following tours and activities below with trusted local guides and companies at a discounted price, only when you book through our Reservation Desk.
- Surfing lessons and Gear Rentals
- SUP lessons, Paddle Boarding and SUP Surfing
- Whale Watching
- Bear Watching
- Hot Springs Cove Tours (currently not available due to COVID-19)
- Sea Kayaking
- Canoeing and Cultural Tours
A little more info...
Tofino is fast becoming very popular for the waves and the breakers. Any of the exposed beaches along the west side are excellent spots for surfing, with Long Beach, Cox Bay, and Chesterman Beach ranking among the local favourites. Swells can be anywhere from 1 metre to 8 metres high and this is agitated during the winter storms. As conditions vary throughout the year, check with the local surf shops for an up-to-date report.
Within Tofino their are 5 sandy beaches to surf at. Depending on the size of the waves and direction of the wind you can always find the perfect wave. The popular surf beaches are Middle Beach, McKenzie Beach, North Chesterman Beach, South Chesterman Beach and Cox Bay (largest waves). All have sandy bottoms so they are perfect for learning. Tofino is the surf capital of Canada, therefore there are many surf shops and surf schools to get the gear and knowledge you need to catch as many waves as you like!
The whale watching season begins in March with the Pacific Rim Whale Festival and lasts into October. Each year 20,000 Gray Whales migrate over 8000 km from their breeding grounds in Baja, Mexico, past the shores of Tofino on their way north. The peak sightings are during the grey whale northward migration throughout the spring & early summer months. Trips last between 2 to 3 hours and you will most likely encounter eagles, seals, and sometimes orca or humpback whales and porpoise. Many trips will use a Zodiac boat where you are completely outfitted with warm, waterproof gear.
Hot Springs Cove (currently not available due to COVID-19)
The trail is well known and a popular destination for many that come to the Clayoquot Sound. The boardwalk and the Hot Springs are maintained by BC Parks although there is no park staff here during the winter months. A well-built boardwalk, with a variety of artistically engraved boards, winds its way through the beautiful forest until it reaches the hot springs. Although there are many sets of stairs the trail is relatively easy. The Hot Springs begins as a small stream that turns into a waterfall and then flows through a series of small pools before draining into the ocean. It is a beautiful spot to sit back and watch the waves crash against the rocks, and the eagles flying overhead. The terrain and crevices to the springs and within them can be hard on the feet, so water shoes are a plus. Don’t expect any commercial services at the “springs” other than a small outhouse and a change room. For about 8 months of the year, you will be able to visit the "springs", with one of the many tour operators that travel there on a daily basis. For a longer stay, there is a private camping area which lies adjacent to the park boundary and is for tenting only.
Black Bear Tours
This area supports a large number of resident black bears. On this trip, usually at low tide as this is when the bears can be seen on the beaches, you can witness these incredible mammals in their own habitat from the vantage of the water. Also expect to see seals, eagles, and other wildlife as you cruise along the shoreline. This trip is different from whale watching, as the emphasis is directed to land mammals and concentrates close to shore.
Much of the water in Clayoquot Sound is protected from "Open Ocean" by island barriers. This gives you the exciting opportunity to enjoy the tranquil and engaging art of kayaking. People of all ages are finding sea-kayaking to be a safe and satisfying way, to explore the coastal waterways of the Clayoquot Sound. Tofino which is surrounded by a vast array of islands, is the perfect place to experience the natural world of the marine environment. Kayak to the islands of Meares, Flores & Vargas, and hike your way through traditional native territories, while experiencing ancient old growth rainforests, mountains, and deserted beaches. For the beginner, you will be accompanied by a professional guide, who will offer safe and informative journeys. No experience is required when with qualified guides.
Powerful winter storms whip this area, offering a unique sight. Large waves crashing on the beaches, with horizontal wind and rain, make this activity exciting and satisfying. During the winter months, surfing is considered to be prime.
A special thank-you to the following companies that offer us a great discounted price for our guests and Hostelling International Members.