… it’s worth the trip to experience the beauty of nature at Tofino
290 km away from Vancouver, Tofino is one of the Vancouver Island that lets you experience nature at its best, really up close and personal. It doesn’t pop up in the top list when you google attractions in British Columbia because it is not something central and easily accessible for exploration unless you have a car and it will require at least an overnight or 2 days to fully appreciate the place. This is more driving through scenic routes or hiking the huge lush forest or strolling by the beach and of course enjoying local food. If you are saying longer in Vancouver, you might want to consider squeezing this in to your itinerary as it is really worth the trip if you are a nature kind of person. So what’s in for you when you visit this place? Let’s check.
What Tofino is known for …
Tofino is an island dominated by landscape, shoreline and small villages. You might be asking what can you do in place like this? For some, the place could get boring and for others it is a peaceful heaven retreat, I guess it just depends on what kind of activity you like to do and how you like to spend your vacation time. Appreciation of Tofino is best experienced outdoors because of the beautiful nature this place have. Hiking the huge lush forest, walking in the expansive beaches or surfing, exploring marine life like sea stars, barnacles etc. Let’s start our trip with exploring the water, follow me…
The Beaches, my favorite playground! Tofino is well know for having expansive beaches with huge shoreline like you wouldn’t believe. Most of the activities that you can do at Tofino will have something to do with water or forest escapes. If you are looking for a surf place in British Columbia (BC) this is the place to be, Tofino is home to professional and seasoned surfers. There are several beaches in Tofino that is good location for surfing, one of them is the Cox Bay Beach area where we stayed during our visit. I am not a surfer, but based on what I’ve heard and read, the area is not all beaches in the Pacific Rim region are unsupervised, with no lifeguards on duty so make sure to research all you need to know before taking in the plunge.
There were quite few surfers on the beach when we were there, but it’s not as crowded so we were still able to enjoy and explore our walk at the beach. My favorite time to walk in the beach was during morning where the place was still very quite and peaceful, nothing could be more relaxing than that. I was most awed with the shoreline of the beaches there and how very fine and smooth the sand. Walking in the middle and seeing the expansive shoreline and the curve effect that the water leaves in the sand is truly a sight to marvel at.
Depending on the season when you visit Tofino, make sure to dress properly. When went there it was almost end of summer and start of fall so there times that it was raining. When on Vancouver, its always safe to be prepared with your rain gears, because we mean take rain seriously in here. Wearing a comfortable clothes and footwear makes a lot of difference in being able to enjoy the exploration of the area. I wouldn’t recommend wearing you beautiful rubber shoes when walking down the beach, something that is waterproof is the way to go, like a pair of comfortable boots. Walking on foot is not awaysadvisable, unless you make sure to stay in the smoother side of the shore. We walked the stretch of the beach but still wasn’t able to reach the end because of our limited time. We stayed only overnight and had to leave the following day before noon, so we had to make the most of the time that we have.
.. being there felt like I was in a huge outdoor aquarium
We walked and explored tidal caves and saw a lot of marine life. Being there felt like I was in an outdoor aquarium. Seeing those marine life made me feel so lucky that I was given the chance to experience such a wonderful place. I was particularly happy to see so many different colors of sea stars scattered almost every where, alive!
One thing that you have to be mindful here is the low and high tide schedule. We didn’t have any idea about the low tide and high schedule in the area and was almost trapped in the other side of the beach. It was early morning when we went out for a walk and we decided to explore the other side of the beach. On our way back, the same path the we took going there was almost getting covered by water. The water current was so strong that we literally had to walk and glide by the side of the rocks to be able to cross the other side. It was one scary experience and a lesson learned that I never forgot until now. So don’t be like us and be more cautious when you visit and explore the place.
One of the nice place to admire both the water and the mountain view is the Pettinger Point. The view was fantastic and one activity that made me truly appreciate Tofino. This is not a flat area, but rather on a rocky side, and some area are steep with sharp rocks. The view was really spectacular and impressive, surely different vibe from the fast and crazy life in the city.
Admiring the view from the top
As always, I have to get my short of back shot with this breathtaking view. I love this place and I wouldn’t mind going back again given the chance.
Rain Forest Trail
After exploring the beach area, it’s time to go down and experience nature through a hike in the forest. Rain Forest Trail is one of the most famous hiking trail for locals and visitors alike. Its a short 2 km hike, a simple and easy one with 2 routes (A and B) to choose from. There were built in stairs and wooden steps and board walks which makes the hike even easier, although as always be careful and watch out for wet spots in the stairs and board walk as it could get slippery. We passed by huge old trees, small creek and tiny streams.
Mac Millan Provincial Park , house to giant Douglas fir tree!
Now, next destination was Mac Millan Provincial Park. We did the hiking trip and visits to provincial park on our back, so we only stopped to the ones that are along the way and one of which is this huge 301 hectares park. I feel so small being inside this huge park, especially standing side by side the giant trees along the way of the trail.
This is where Cathedral Cove is located, house to giant Douglas Fir tress that you could ever see. When I say giant, I am not exaggerating, they really are massive!
Cox Bay Resort, Home Away From Home
This is where we stayed overnight during our vacation. The place is more like a lowrise individual condiminium style, its literary home. Separate bedroom, dining room, kitchen room, living room and washroom. The rooms are fully furnished with everything basic that you need for a short stay. We were able to cook our own meals and there was even a BBQ area if you feel like havng some smokey BBQ dinner or lunch. I really like this place because its very cozy, comfortable and quiet with lots of privacy. This is a beach front resort few steps away and the beach is literally in front of us.
Spotted, Goat on the Roof @The Coombs Old Country Market
I thought I should mention this interesting establishment called “Got on the Roof”, and there was really a live moving goat on the roof! Look up, there it is! The goat actually lives in the grass roof of The Coombs Old Country Market. The stores sells a lot of things from fresh deli, bottled jams, cheese, artisan gifts, in-house baked pastries, ice cream, gellato, sorbetto and wide variety of international foods. The store itself is an attraction on its own because of the goats living on the roof. We ourselves were curious so we decided to pay this store a visit. Let’s just say we went there for the goat on the roof rather than the goodies inside the store. We satisfied our curiosity and we ended up with bags of interesting goodies, so that alone is worth the trip to this market. If this market is along the way in your itinerary, stop by and pay them a visit.
Too bad we only had 2 days to explore the Tofino, I am pretty sure there are a lot more things to do and places to visit if we had more time. I would like to hike more and walk the strecth of the beach and experience local cuisine given more time. But nonetheless, I was very thankful for my friends for inviting me to join them on that trip. Actually, it was not the end of that trip, after Tofino we head to beautiful Victoria, another one of Vancouver Island.
I was there at the beautiful Tofino. So when in Bristish Columbia, take time to explore our Vancouver Islands too, there are so much more to see when you leave the comfort of downtown Vancouver. Until next time, this is SweetNSpicy, your travel buddy. Bye! ♥♥♥
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