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Whale-watching and Marine Excursions
In March and April, an estimated 20,000 gray whales migrate along the coast here; resident grays can be seen anytime between March and October. In addition, humpback whales, sea otters, sea lions, orca, black bears, and other wildlife are increasingly seen in the area. Most whale-watching operators lead excursions along the coast and to the region's outlying islands, including Meares Island, Flores Island, and Hot Springs Cove. Services range from no-frills water-taxi drop-off to tours with experienced guides; prices vary accordingly.
Jamie's Whaling Station & Adventure Centre. One of the most established whale-watching operators on the coast, Jamie's has motorized inflatable boats as well as more comfortable 65-foot tour boats. You can book a whole range of adventures, including kayaking, bear watching, and trips to Meares Island or Hot Springs Cove. Jamie's operates from mid-February through October. There's also a location in Ucluelet. 606 Campbell St., Tofino, BC, V0R 2Z0. 250/725-3919 or 800/667-9913. www.jamies.com.
Tla-ook Cultural Adventures. Led by First Nations guides, Tla-ook Cultural Adventures lets you paddle traditional dugout canoes through traditional native territory on the way to Meares Island and Echachist Island. The all-day trip features a seafood feast in an old village dotted with historic middens. Tofino, BC. 250/725-2656 or 877/942-2663. www.tlaook.com.
Tofino Whale Centre. This company has a maritime museum with a 40-foot-long gray whale skeleton that you can study while waiting for your boat. It runs whale-watching, bird-watching, and bear-spotting tours year-round. 411 Campbell St., Tofino, BC, V0R 2Z0. 250/725-2132 or 888/474-2288. www.tofinowhalecentre.com.
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