Join us at Ocean Village Resort for the beginning of whale watching season on the West Coast! Running from March through October, Tofino’s coastline is visited by thousands of whales every year along their migratory routes, with many staying throughout the summer months to feast on our rich local waters. With so much opportunity to see these majestic mammals in person, we recommend adding an incredible whale watching excursion into your Tofino itinerary. Ask our staff about booking your family in for a trip with West Coast Aquatic Safaris.
Greet The Gray Whales
Every year beginning in March, upwards of 20,000 gray whales travel through our local waters en route from the Baja Peninsula, where they birth their calves, all the way north to Alaska’s Bering Strait. Recognizable thanks to their grey skin and encrusted coat of barnacles, your chances of seeing a gray whale spouting out at you from its two blowholes are very high in our local waters. You may even have a chance to see one of these massive mammals breach and make a splash. Don’t worry, you’ll be wearing rain gear and a flotation suit provided by your tour guide, to ensure your safety in the open water, and your warmth if you’re lucky enough to get splashed!
Although gray whales are most likely to be spotted around Tofino, you may be treated to an orca sighting as well. Killer whales, as they’re sometimes known as, are transient (AKA: just visiting) here in our waters, so we can’t guarantee they’ll be around when you visit — but if they are, you’re in for a real West Coast treat as they’ve been known to put on quite a show as they hunt for their dinner right in front of lucky whale watching groups. Don’t forget to also keep your eyes peeled for sea lions, bald eagles, otters, porpoises and tufted puffins!
What to Expect (Besides Wildlife)
Whale watching tours typically last around 2.5 – 3 hours in length, ensuring enough time to get out into the open waters where the whales like to hang out and say hello. Be sure to dress extra warm and bring a toque to keep your head dry and cozy as some tours are led from an open-air zodiac boat, and some from covered vessels.
Whale watching is an excellent way to build a lasting family memory while in Tofino — once you’ve had the chance to see wildlife thriving in their natural habitat, your connection with the natural world grows and your respect for their way of life is remembered forever.
Photo Credit: Kyler Vos Photography