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The BEST Tours to Tofino from Vancouver

The BEST Tours to Tofino from Vancouver

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Tofino is one of the best places to visit on Vancouver Island. It’s a coastal town full of natural wonders such as rainforests, lakes, and sandy beaches. This makes it a unique destination with tons to do like surfing and hiking.

Living in Vancouver, we love to visit Tofino to escape the city for a bit and immerse ourselves in this small surf town. But, getting to Tofino from Vancouver can be a bit tricky, which is why I recommend taking a tour so that you don’t have to deal with the logistics. After taking a few tours here ourselves, we’ve narrowed it down to our top 3!

Why take a tour to Tofino?

Bailey at the top of Cox Bay Lookout in Tofino, Vancouver Island
Cox Bay Lookout in Tofino, Vancouver Island

Tofino is actually quite remote. The closest large city is Nanaimo and that’s a 3-hour drive away. If you’re based in Vancouver like us, or starting your BC vacation there, chances are you’ll either be flying into the international airport in Vancouver or driving. To get to Tofino from Vancouver means a ferry ride to either Victoria or Nanaimo and then a road trip on Vancouver Island.

If you’re running tight on time or just don’t want to deal with the hassle of planning a quick trip to Tofino, that’s where these tours come in. We’ve found these tours make the whole experience of getting to Tofino and enjoying our time here stress-free and fun!

Best Tofino Tours from Vancouver

1. Vancouver to Tofino 2-Day Private Tour

View of Tofino Bay from a viewpoint with a totem pole
Tofino is so beautiful!

At the top of our list is this private 2-day tour from Vancouver. We loved how everything was taken care of for us, from the transportation to the accommodation and activities. It was so nice to just sit back, relax and enjoy the magnificent West Coast views!

The tour starts with pick-up from your Vancouver accommodation, where you will see some of Vancouver’s iconic sights before getting on the ferry to cruise through the Strait of Georgia towards Vancouver Island. You’re going to want to have your camera ready because this is one of the most scenic ferry rides I’ve ever been on – we even saw a pod of whales on our journey over to the island!

The best part of this tour was having our private guide and driver with us the whole time. This let us customize the tour, while also getting the best recommendations from our guide to make sure we didn’t miss any of Tofino’s highlights. We definitely recommend surfing at Wickaninnish Beach or hiking to Cox Bay Lookout if you’re up for some light exercise!

This 2-day adventure is full of scenic stops, including Cathedral Grove (my personal favorite) to see the giant Douglas fir trees – some are over 75 meters (250 feet) tall! Two days may not seem like a lot of time, but with our expert guide, I’m sure we saw and learned more than most would in an entire week!

This private tour departs daily from Vancouver and costs $2,575 CAD per person.

Related Read: Another great place to visit on Vancouver Island is Victoria. There are great tours to get from Vancouver to Victoria as well!

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

2. Pacific Rim 3-Day Tour

Two kayaks in the water kayaking around the islands of Tofino
No wonder people want to visit!
The Amphitrite Lighthouse in Ucluelet, BC
The iconic lighthouse in Ucluelet

What’s better than a 2-day tour of Tofino? A 3-day tour of course! Believe me, you’re going to want as much time here as possible.

This 3-day Pacific Rim tour not only visits Tofino but also goes to the hidden gem of Ucluelet – one of our favorite places on BC’s West Coast. What I enjoyed most about this tour was the amount of time we had to thoroughly explore the area. Not only did we visit Pacific Rim National Park, but we also saw majestic waterfalls, visited quaint markets, and even roasted marshmallows during a bonfire on the beach!

I’m positive you’re going to fall in love with the natural magic of this area – it has certainly captured our hearts and has kept us coming back time and time again!

With only 22 people, this tour didn’t feel crowded or rushed. Plus, the guides go out of their way to make sure you’re having the best time. One of my favorite things about this tour is that it includes some free time where you can choose to do optional activities such as surfing, kayaking, whale watching, or bear watching – talk about a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

This tour starts at $1,162 CAD per person and includes 2 nights’ accommodation, transportation, park fees, a tour guide, and 2 breakfasts. All other meals and optional activities are extra, but we think this is a great deal for the amazing experience you get!

It departs on select Saturdays and tends to book up very quickly, so make sure to book in advance!

3. Vancouver to Tofino Seaplane Flight  

View of English Bay from a sea plane traveling from Vancouver to Tofino
Flying out of Vancouver on the seaplane!

This option is not only the most convenient but also the most fun way to get from Vancouver to Tofino! If you are running a bit short on time, or just want to make the most of every second in Tofino, then we recommend doing this seaplane flight to Tofino instead of a driving tour.

Having spent so much time in Vancouver, we know how much of a nightmare traffic can be. This can make the already long 6-hour trip to Tofino even longer! So the last time we went to Tofino we decided to take a scenic seaplane flight instead and flew right over all of the traffic – it was probably one of the best decisions we’ve ever made!

The seaplane flight took under an hour and we got phenomenal bird’s eye views the entire time. Seeing the Vancouver skyline, Straight of Georgia, Gulf Islands, and Pacific Rim National Park from above is something I won’t soon forget.

While this isn’t a pre-planned or guided tour, it’s a great option for getting to and from the island quickly. The seaplane actually drops you off right at the Tofino Resort + Marina, which is only a 10-minute stroll to Tofino’s center where you’ll find shops, restaurants, cafes, and art galleries.

The seaplane flights start at $380 CAD for a one-way flight. This is a popular experience (for good reason!), so you’ll want to book ahead! Plus booking with Viator means you can always cancel up to 24 hours before your departure date in case your plans change.

Related Read: If you’re craving more adventures from Vancouver, check out these awesome day trips!

Other Things to do while you’re in Vancouver

Bailey walks on the Lynn Canyon suspension Bridge, Vancouver
The Lynn Canyon suspension bridge is a must!
Bailey sits at the Boatshed Restaurant in Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC
Enjoying the sunset from The Boatshed restaurant in Kitsilano.

Vancouver is a city filled with tons of things to do and see. Make sure not to miss out on some of the other top attractions and activities we recommend including:

  • Go whale watching – It’s not just people who flock to Vancouver every year! From the beautiful black and white orcas to the lively humpbacks, going whale watching in Vancouver makes for a truly unforgettable memory. This half-day whale watching tour offers an amazing experience with a guarantee you’ll see whales!
  • Eat ALL the food! – Vancouver is a foodie destination. Showcasing cuisine from all around the world in top-rated restaurants, you really need to eat out a few times while in Vancouver. For breakfast, Jam Cafe or Medina are our go-tos. For Asian cuisine, you can’t pass up Minami for sushi or Danbo for ramen. You can also join this highly-rated food tour that takes you to some of the city’s best restaurants in Gastown.
  • See Granville Island – Granville Island has such a fun energy and you can easily spend an afternoon wandering through the streets seeing the street performers or checking out the famous Granville Public Market. If you’re short on time or want a stress-free stop, there are some Granville Island tours we love like this VIP market access tour where you’ll get to sample all the best food!
  • Explore Kitsilano – One of our favorite areas in all of Vancouver is Kitsilano. This suburb is super trendy and has many cute stores, cafes, and restaurants that are well worth checking out. On top of that, Kitsilano Beach is one of the best beaches in Vancouver and the perfect place to relax. It’s also our favorite place to watch the sunset.

Where to Stay in Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver city skyline
Vancouver skyline

Vancouver is one of the most popular cities in Canada. The fact is that in the summer and winter, the city books up in advance very fast! Booking your hotel or hostel well in advance is the only way to secure the best place to stay for you!

Some great hotels and hostels in Vancouver that we love are:

Hyatt Regency Vancouver – $$$

Can’t decide whether you’d prefer to stay near Stanley Park or Gastown? Well, the Hyatt Regency might just be right for you, as it’s located right between them! Rooms here enjoy gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows that help to bring in light and there is a small fridge, work desk, and toiletries in the bathroom too.

You can also conveniently enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner at their beautiful Mosaic Bar and Grill just off the lobby. As you can imagine, it’s a luxury stay in a large hotel chain that is highly reviewed! So if you’re looking to celebrate something special, or just fancy taking your vacation to a whole new level, then staying here will definitely do the trick.

I’ve seen a one-night stay at the Hyatt Regency going as low as $232 CAD per night, although the rooms here on average are more around the $300-$500 CAD mark. So, for the best price, don’t forget to reserve your room in advance.

Times Square Suites – $$

For a beautiful hotel close to Stanley Park, the Times Square Hotel is a fantastic choice! It’s very hard to fault this hotel, and the location really is perfect. The fully equipped kitchens and gas fireplaces are a nice touch in all of the rooms, plus the suites have living rooms and a washer and dryer.

For being pretty affordable, it has a lot of amenities, which is just one of the reasons we love staying here! You can book a room here from $232 CAD per night, but as this is a popular stay, I recommend checking your dates and booking ahead of time to secure your preferred room type!

The Cambie Hostel Gastown – $

The Cambie Hostel is a great budget-friendly hostel that’s located right in the heart of Gastown and close to lots of bars and restaurants and attached to the hostel is a very lively bar too. The rooms are clean, although the bathrooms are a little on the small side (part of the fun when you’re staying cheap, though!).

It’s perfect for backpackers on a budget and is considerably cheaper than others offering comparable quality. A bed in a dorm here starts at around $50 CAD, and you can book a stay here through Hostelworld.com or Booking.com.

Didn’t find exactly what you’re looking for? Click here to browse all hotels in Vancouver!

For more info on the best areas and hotels, check out my complete guide on where to stay in Vancouver. It breaks down everything you need to know before choosing the right hotel!

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a seflie in Tofino, Vancouver Island
Thanks for reading!

I hope this blog has helped you plan your trip to Tofino. We know you’ll have a great time exploring this part of Vancouver Island!

If you’re headed to BC soon, be sure to check out our other Vancouver Island blogs or some of our articles detailing travel in British Columbia. We have lots of ideas of places to see and things to do – no matter what season you visit.

33 EPIC Things to do in Vancouver in Summer

18 BEST Stops on the Drive from Victoria to Tofino

12 Things to KNOW About Visiting the Malahat Skywalk, Vancouver Island