Remote Passage

Tofino whale watching
Whales Bears Hot Springs Sea Kayaking Meares Island

FAQs and Places In and Around Tofino

Places To Stay | Places To Go | To and From Tofino | West Coast Images to Treasure  | FAQs

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Places To Stay

Middle Beach Lodge - Spectacularly perched on 40 acres of secluded West Coast oceanfront, this accommodation features almost a mile of private beach, rugged headlands, two magnificent lodges, twenty rustic self-contained cabins & new tree house lodgings..

The EcoLodge - In the Tofino Botanical Gardens.  Comfortable, quiet, private bedrooms and shared common areas in a convservation-minded environment.

Cox Bay Beach Resort - Where the West Coast of Vancouver Island meets the full might of the Pacific Ocean, nature envelops you in a spiritual way. Powerful winter storms inspire awe while summer calm instills a sense of peace and tranquility.

Long Beach Lodge Resort - On the edge of the Pacific Ocean. This luxurious boutique resort offers 41 lodge rooms and 20 quaint cottages tucked beneath the trees.

Pacific Sands Beach Resort - See especially the beautifully-appointed beachfront villas. Featuring B.C. reclaimed timber, geothermal heating -- thoughtful attention to detail throughout.

Ocean Village Beach Resort - Classic west coast A-frame cabins on Mackenzie Beach.  Studio and one-bedroom units.

Wickaninnish Inn - Luxury beachfront accommodation on Chesterman Beach.  A breakfast at The Pointe Restaurant is a great way to start your morning, watching waves and winter storms.

Pacific Coast Retreats - A touch of West Coast luxury just across the road from spectacular Chesterman Beach. Host Barbara and Daniel La Marsh

Black Bear GuestHouse  - Luxury accommodation in Tofino on the inlet, just a step away from the beach.  Hosts Bobbi Chisholm and Jay Feaver.

 The EcoLodge - Comfortable group and retreat accommodations.  Quiet, private bedrooms and shared common areas in a convservation-minded environment.

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Places To Go

Pacific Rim National Park - The Long Beach Unit of Pacific Rim National Park is a 10-mile stretch of sandy beach located between Ucluelet and Tofino on Wickaninnish Bay. A must-walk while you're in Tofino!

Tofino Botanical Gardens - A network of paths and boardwalks through 12 acres of gardens, forest, and west coast shoreline. Educational programs and loads of information about temperate rainforest conservation. GREAT for the whole family.

Wild Pacific Trail - Located in nearby Ucluelet, this multi-phase trail system skirts the shoreline of the open coast overlooking Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands.

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To and From Tofino, Vancouver Island

Tofino Bus - Daily transportation to Tofino, Ucluelet and Port Alberni from Parksville, Nanaimo, Vancouver and Victoria.

BC Ferries - Ferry service to and from Vancouver Island with numerous routes servicing the west coast.

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West Coast Images 

Mark Hobson - West coast wildlife and landscape artist.

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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

WHALES, BEARS & WILDLIFE VIEWING

What Type of Whales Will I See?

Gray whales are the most common whale we see on our tours. Starting with their return from the Baja Lagoons in Mexico in March they will feed along our coast near Tofino until October.

Humpback whales return to the waters off Tofino each spring, having migrated from their breeding grounds around Hawaii and Mexico. Each year is different for sightings as in our area the whales are following schools of fish called Pilchards.

Transient (Bigg's) Killer whales visit our coast in search of their prey throughout the year. These whales are often observed on our tours.

When Is The Best Time of Day To See Whales?

Whales are actively feeding throughout the day allowing us many opportunities to view them. Sea conditions and where the whales are feeding can affect viewing but these conditions can change through the day.

When Is The Best Time of Day To See Bears?

Bears feed during low tide so we plan departures during the low tide period. On our bear watching tours we set our departure times according to low tide, as that is when the bears come down to the shoreline to find crabs and other shellfish to feast on.

What is the best whale watching company in Tofino?

Remote Passages Marine Excursions is a family business that has been operating in Tofino for over 36 years. We offer safe, educational programs for all ages. Whales, bears, hot springs, sea kayaking, and Meares Island rainforest tours. It's our passion to introduce visitors to this unique marine environment and the surrounding temperate rainforest. Connecting visitors to Clayoqout Sound since 1986.

SEA KAYAKING - DAY TRIPS

How many people do you take on a kayak tour?

Our ratio is 6 paddlers to 1 guide for our sea kayak tours. Maximum number of paddlers departing at one time is 12 with 2 guides.

What is the youngest age that can paddle on a sea kayak tour?

Children 5 years of age and older can join our 'For Families' 2 ½ hour kayak paddle. Trip route is based on conditions.

What do you provide for a kayak trip?

On our day trip we provide all equipment right down to water shoes. You need only bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, water and a snack. Wear shorts or a loose fitting pant and layers up top with a wind jacket.

Can beginners join your kayaking day trips?

Yes, all our sea kayak paddles are accessible for beginners. Paddle orientation starts with a lesson and further instruction can be given on the water.

Do you provide parking?

Yes, parking can be provided for cars while space is available. The good news is the parking is free!

What is the best sea kayak paddle to join when in Tofino?

Depends on your availability. If you have 4 hours join our Clayoqout Explorer paddle. This paddle takes you to Meares Island where you can walk with your guide on the 'Big Tree Trail'.

MEARES ISLAND 'BIG TREE TRAIL' water taxi

Is there a water taxi to Meares Island?

Yes, we offer a water taxi to Meares Island. You can travel by zodiac which is a fast open boat. Travelling by zodiac is a safe, fun way to explore the waterways of Clayoqout Sound. Life jackets worn for safety on all trips. Or you can join one of our 4 hour sea kayak paddles.

How can I get to Meares Island?

If you have time join one of our sea kayak paddles to Meares Island. We can also take you to Meares Island by Zodiac motor vessel which gives you easy access to the 'Big Tree Trail'.

How long does it take for a trip to Meares Island's 'Big Tree Trail'?

By water taxi it takes about 1 ½ hours by the time you go by boat, walk the trail and return to Remote Passages' boathouse.

What level of fitness is required to walk the 'Big Tree Trail'?

It only requires a medium level of fitness to join us for a trip to Meares Island. The board walk, though rustic in its building design is a short walk to experience the true nature of a west coast temperate rainforest.

What do I need for a trip to Meares Island by water taxi?

Wear a wind jacket, long pants and regular walking shoes or runners. Bring a light snack and water in a day bag.

Which is the best walk on Meares Island?

If you want to experience a temperate rainforest outside of a national park then the 'Big Tree Trail' on Meares Island is the best walk. The whole trip takes about 1 ½ hours and allows you to access large old growth rainforest trees.

HOT SPRINGS COVE

How Can I get to Hot Springs Cove from Tofino?

Remote Passages Marine Excursions offers a full featured wildlife viewing program that includes the hot springs in Maquinna Provincial Park. The trip is longer than the regular water taxis because there is so much to experience on the way to and returning from the springs. The good news is you get the same amount of time at the hot springs as one of the water taxi trips and it is about the same price.

What is the best type of boat for going to the Hot Springs near Tofino?

We offer both open-air Zodiac and covered vessels for our 'Hot Springs Explorer' program. The Zodiac inflatable vessel makes for an exciting adventure for finding whales, wildlife and exploring the waterways that take you to Hot Springs Cove. Our covered vessel was purposely built for the marine programs we operate. Everyone can be inside with a large viewing deck out back for use during our planned stops. Also it has a heated cabin and washroom facilities.

What should I wear when I join a trip to the hot springs located north of Tofino?

Long pants, a couple of layers up top with a wind jacket and regular walking shoes or runners will get you ready for your day. Safety floatation garments called floatersuits are issued for the open Zodiacs. These suits will keep you warm while out on the water. The crew at Remote Passages will even issue yellow Helly Hansen jackets, hats and gloves to make sure you are ready for the day.

What should I bring for a day trip to Hot Springs Cove?

The west coast is known for its sunshine, fog and changeable weather. Plan for potential weather changes by dressing for the day and then adding extra clothing to your day bag in case it gets cool or rains. Wear warm foot gear – walking shoes and runners. Pack water shoes with your towel and swimsuit for the pools. Bring food but keep it simple as you will be carrying it to the hot springs. Pack a litre of water per person as the hot springs can cause dehydration. Here's a tip: Wear your swimsuit under your clothes so you are ready for the pools when you finish your hike into the hot springs.