A group of friends walking on a bridge (Patrice Halley photo)
The Ucluelet Aquarium, one of many things to do in Ucluelet, makes learning about local Pacific Ocean creatures accessible and fun.
Catch-and-release takes a novel twist at this aquarium: the good folk of Ucluelet collect the marine life at summer's beginning and release back into the ocean in October. Even rocks and sand go back where they belong.
Enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff is available and eager to answer all questions. They like to point out that the giant octopus, sea anemones, sea urchins and sea stars are "just visiting." If they don't actually know what the critter is, they'll find out, and pronto.
This approach isn't all that's special about this mini-aquarium. It's probably the most hands-on aquarium on this continent. Visitors, especially kids, are invited to meet the sea creatures up close and personal at the touch tank.