Our next destination in Canada was Ucluelet and Tofino, they are located in the middle of the west Coast in Vancouver Island. These two places are also popular in Canada because a lot of canadians also go there to spend their vacation. Both places are surrounded by beaches and it is the place to go if you wanna surf. It is a perfect spot for hiking, surfing or just enjoy the beach and a campfire at sunset. In this article, we will like to present you some differences between Ucluelet and Tofino and also some places we felt in love with and you should also visit if you have the chance. And here we go with the first tip: drive the road from Port Alberni to Ucluelet always with daylight!
Everyone was encouraging us to go to Tofino and Ucluelet and so we did. We did not do any research before about the area and what we will find there. We just stopped in port Alberni to buy some groceries and to eat something. We started our drive to Ucluelet at 19:00. We hoped to be in Ucluelet by 20:00 or maybe stop in the way and sleep somewhere. We definitely had no clue what was expecting us. We did not need to much time to realize how really the highway to Ucluelet was: a winding and narrow road. It was getting dark and it started to rain and all around us was foggy. In addition to that we discovered that in Canada there is no lights on the road, so the only light we had was the light from the high beams of our car. We decided to stop at the first opportunity that we had. Unfortunately, there was no possibility to stop. The first one came almost 90 km after, so almost in Ucluelet. These 90 km were the worst km that Geda have ever drove. We stopped at Kennedy Provincial Park parking lot and we stay there for the night, even we were not sure if we could stay there, but we did not feel like driving any further.
In this area from Vancouver Island there is Ucluelet in one side and Tofino on the other side. Between these two there is the Pacific Rim National Park and the Longbeach. Ucluelet and Tofino are both surf places. Moreover, Ucluelet has a lot of trails to go for a hiking. These trails are clear indicated, so you can not get lost. The nature in Ucluelet is amazing and we had the feeling we were in the middle of the jungle. If you love hiking and being in the nature, you must go to Ucluelet, all the words be can write down for you are not enough to describe how beautiful the place is. Just take a trail and start walking, let you surprise from the view!
In Ucluelet there are different trails you can walk. Some of them are longer trails and some are loops, which is quite convenient because you do not need to walk the same way back. We walked the Lighthouse Loop. At that day it was really foggy and rainy so that the lighthouse made some noise at least every minute in order to guide the boats. We spent some time trying to deduce why the lighthouse was doing this annoying noise 😉 We also walk the Arstist Loop and the Ancient Cedars Loop. The last one allowed us to admire the hundred-year-old cedars, what amazing trees! Almost all the trails are part of the Wild Pacific Trail and also most of them are along the shore. You will find a lot of banks along the trails so you can sit down and enjoy the view or use the spot to take some incredible pictures (if the weather allows it 🙂 )
Around Tofino you will found thousands of beaches to practice surf, walk around or just let you fascinate for the view. We were in Tofino during the low season and still were more shops open than in Ucluelet. From the harbor of Tofino we have seen the most breathtaking sunsets we can remember. The city is quite small but it has a lot of young people. If you feel like discovering a new beach everyday, the place to go is Tofino. Though you need a car or a bike in order to reach most of the beaches 😉
The National Park Pacific Rim includes the Long Beach. This beach is wonderful. As the name already tells you, the beach is long and you can walk and walk and walk. We decided to walk the path from Long Beach until Florencia Bay. We were told that Florencia Bay is also a really nice beach. And we agree 🙂 The path through the forest between the two beaches is really beautiful as well as interesting. Along the path you will find some placards with information about the native nation how they were connected to this place. It took a lot of time to walk the trail because Lennart found a great motive to shot a picture in almost every corner. At the same time Geda red the whole placards along the way, saw some seals (one of my favorites animals! ) and a lot of birds and even talk with some people who also were walking the same trail.
Maybe you already realized that the beaches from Vancouver Island are full with wood which is brought by the sea. We do not know exactly why it happens and why it happens specially in Vancouver Island and not on the rest of the coast. Anyway, people there use the wood to fire campfires when the sunset is coming in order to use it as a barbecue or just warm themselves. You can also use the wood to sit down and enjoy the magnificent sunsets.
Just to sum up a little bit: We stayed in Ucluelet and Tofino more days that we planed to. This area just fascinated us. If you are in British Columbia or in Vancouver you need to go to Ucluelet and Tofino, no excuses! If you go to Ucluelet you must go hiking and if you are in Tofino go to the beach, maybe practice some surf? And just do not miss the sunsets in Tofino! You want to go to Long Beach, just go for a walk and enjoy the views. We felt in love with the path from Long Beach to Florencia Bay, so we can not do anything else than recommend it 🙂