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Rocky coastline along Middle Beach in Tofino
(Albert Normandin photo)

Tofino

Geography

Tofino sits at the northern tip of the Esowista Peninsula in the magnificence of Clayoquot Sound.

It overlooks the sound, the Pacific Ocean, and Flores, Vargas, and Meares islands. Tofino's greater setting encompasses ancient coastal temperate rainforest, rivers, lakes, the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and some of the most exquisite beaches in Canada.

The Pacific Rim

"The Pacific Rim" takes in 43 countries and stretches from Alaska south to Chile, west to Australia and northwest to China, Japan, South Korea and Russia. But here and now, it's the west coast of the west coast of Canada. It's also the namesake of one of its most inspired and inspiring national parks.

Temperate Rainforest

Clayoquot Sound contains the largest area of intact temperate rainforest left on Vancouver Island. Coastal temperate rainforests are a rare ecosystem in which moisture-laden ocean breezes strike steep coastal mountains, prompting fog, mist, drizzle and rain. Giant 1,000 year-old cedars, spruce and hemlock thrive in this mild, wet climate.

Flora and Fauna

The diversity of plant and animal life leaves the head whirling. Walk the Tofino mudflats, an internationally significant estuarine ecosystem. Get to know flora and fauna from unicellular algae to great blue herons up close and personal. The intertidal zone is a magical world exposed for only a few hours every day between high tide and low tide. Then it's filled with life forms from anemones to sponges and sea stars.

Climate & Weather

The winter months in Tofino are mild and wet, loosely averaging 400mm/16in of rainfall monthly. Summer is warm and relatively dry, averaging 120mm/4.7in of rain monthly. The location smack on the ocean means temperatures are moderated by the sea. It's rarely very hot or very cold.

Daily maximum temperatures during the warmest months rarely exceed 20°C/68°F. Nor do they drop below 1.5°C/35°F in the coldest.

What to Wear

Clayoquot Sound is on record as one of the wettest places in North America. Locals claim there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing choices. So be forewarned: Layered and waterproof is a way of life in Tofino.