A home away from home. There are both dorm rooms and very affordable private rooms. The owner and his team are warm, friendly, welcoming and helpful. They're happy to suggest plentiful activities locally or you can also snuggle up in the living room with the wood stove when it's cold and wet outside. You can hike, surf, kayak, there are live shows, galleries and beaches aplenty. The guesthouse has a kitchen where you can cook, dine and share some wonderful conversations with the other guests. Breakfast is included and it is probably the most reasonably priced place in town!
Uclulet is a very small town on the west coast. It was everything I hoped the Pacific coast would be. Stunning, quiet, rain forested, long beaches and amazing views and trails.
All the trails between Ucluelet and Torfino are worth exploring for sheer diversity. Must do Wickaninish beach, Schooner cove and the wild Pacific rim.
The Cabins at Terrace Beach are amazing, eat at Ukee Dogs or the Driftwood Patio.
Trips at Jamie's Whaling station are awesome. Get on a Zodiac with Narla. Her enthusiastic commentary is wonderful as we tracked a humpback whale and her calves. What a great place!
168 Fraser Lane, Ucluelet, B.C.
+1 877 726 7444
Google map: bit.ly/rsh8by
1090 Peninsula Road, Ucluelet, BC V0R 3A0
Google map: bit.ly/p9TpKm
1576 Imperial Lane, Ucluelet, BC, Canada
Google map: bit.ly/nVtQnN
1672 Cedar Ave, Ucluelet, B.C, V0R 3A0
Google map: bit.ly/nRwhjI
+1 (250) 726-2739
If you are near Courtenay or heading northwards along the east coast of Vancouver Island and you like small, simple rural hostels, then this is a must. Run by the delightful Bonnie, the atmosphere is so warm and welcoming.You can sit around a camp fire in the evening and if you are lucky like us, a large barred owl might watch you from a neighbouring tree. Black bears come into the garden looking for apples and blackberries,but the five lovely dogs scare them away and will take you for walks along the Comox river, if you are too nervous to head out alone.
Tofino is on the Pacific coast of Vancouver Island. The area is formed of temperate rainforest and white sandy beaches which stretch for miles. Beyond its unbelievable natural beauty, it offers a rare thing in North America: harmony. The indigenous First Nations people, aided by eco-warriors, made a stand against the loggers in the 1980s and since then it has been given UN status as a natural wilderness.
The high-priced resorts dotted along the beaches are best avoided, especially in summer. To see the real Tofino go there in May (shoulder season) and stay in the town. The Tofino Motel offers great views at around $85 (£40) a night per room. If you like seafood Shelter and Schooner restaurants are a must, but for something more funky try Raincoast.
There are three impressive beaches nearby. Tonquin is but a short walk from the town and is good for a post-prandial stroll. Chesterman beach is a short drive away and is full of spirits and driftwood and as the site of First Nations resistance has great historical resonance. Long Beach is, well, just long. The caveats to all this are that because this is the raincoast it rains a lot. However, much natural beauty comes from this rain.
The First Nations people run several businesses in town offering whale watching, bear watching (you park near a beach and watch the bears forage for food) as well as trips to hot springs. The botanical garden are like nothing else, blending sculpture and nature. Getting to Tofino is easy. You can fly from downtown Vancouver from around $250 (£120) return by sea-plane, but the best way to travel is to take the Harbour Lynx from downtown Vancouver and then the Tofino bus across the island. Even though this journey takes around six hours, don't fall asleep. Remember you're going to paradise.
This vacation rental perched on the edge of the wild Pacific states it is 'luxury at the edge of the earth' - and it is! We spent a week here in July 2006 and didn't want to leave. Our days were spent surfing, kayaking, and hiking and evenings spent relaxing our tired bodies in the hot tub watching the whales go by - it was truly an unbelievable once in a lifetime experience. The house is located on a private beach, so beachcombing with coffee became our morning ritual. The area is one of unspoiled rugged wilderness, and one of our best meals was the salmon we caught that morning, barbequed on the beachfront porch and served on the 12 foot handmade cedar dining table - we created some wonderful family memories here. This is the wild west coast of Canada at its very best!
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