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Ucluelt v Tofino

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Ucluelt v Tofino

What are the latest (2009) views about staying in Ucluelet or Tofino. It appears Tofino is developing fast and touristy but with a greater range of eateries etc whereas Ucluelet is not. Is there loads of development going on?

Which is better spot to reduce driving times to main sites in pacific rim national park?

Yukon, Canada
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1. Re: Ucluelt v Tofino

I find Tofino better for accessing great beaches. While there is a "lot" of development, that's by Tofino standards - you might not even notice it.

Nanaimo, Canada
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2. Re: Ucluelt v Tofino

Prices for accommodation will likely be a bit less expensive in Ucluelet.

Ucluelet really does not have any beaches. It does have a stunning rocky shoreline and a great walk along the shoreline high up in the forest edge.

Tofino on the other hand has wonderful sand beaches, surfing and wild rocky headlands.

Tofino is also much closer to Pacific Rim National Park but in reality Ucluelet, is not much more than a 20 minute drive to the park.

Development in Tofino is fairly small scale although there is a new waterfront condo being built but it is just outside the main part of town so it does not mar the landscape.

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3. Re: Ucluelt v Tofino

If you look on the 'pink & blue' map that they hand out of the pacific rim area / tourist office, Ucluelet is actually closer to Long Beach than Tofino is.

As well Florencia Bay is 10 minutes from Ucluelet and is a great beach with no one there. I love Tofino too, but most of the well know hotels/cabins are not in TOFINO, they are closer to the beaches - I think this is why people assume that the drive to the incredible beaches is much shorter from Tofino, when in fact it's not.

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4. Re: Ucluelt v Tofino

As noted, access to Pacific Rim NP is about equi-distant. For promimity to restaurants I'd stay closer to Tofino. You'll see when you get there, as others have said--development and "touristy" is relative. It's still a tiny town with lots of open spaces in the surrounding area.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Ucluelt v Tofino

As you come into the Pacific Rim area, there is a stop-sign at a "T" intersection. From that intersection, you turn either left to go about 8 km or so to Ucluelet or right to go the Pacific Rim National Park, the resorts beyond and finally Tofino. Tofino is, I seem to recall, about 33 km from the "T" intersection.

In terms of driving, I think that Ucluelet is probably slightly closer to Pacific Rim Park. However, the distances are not so great that it is really an issue (at least for us). Unless you do not have a car, I would think that you should consider other factors in addition to distance from the Park and the cut-offs to see the various attractions in the Park.

We were over to Tofino in April. We drove down to Ucluelet during the morning. There is development going on in both communities, although slightly more in the Tofino area. However, because we have seen so much development in the area since the very first time we visited a number of years ago, what is going on 2009 was not that remarkable in either case. As pointed out above, there are still significant green spaces.

I would think that the most important factors for someone who has not visited Pacific Rim before would be accommodation and restaurants.

Accommodation ranges from camping, in-town motels with/without kitchen facilities, cabins, B&Bs and the resorts. Even among the resorts, there is some variation in the type of facility available and the cost. Much depends upon the budget of the traveller. Everything is expensive. Some places are just more expensive than others.

When we travel over there, we generally go outside the main season (mid-June to mid/end September) and get accommodation with kitchen facilities. We then do a combination of home and restaurant meals. There are more restaurants in the Tofino area than in Ucluelet. However, I would think that, on the whole, they would be somewhat more expensive. Many are in the "fine dining" category.

Here is a website that may be of assistance to you in planning your trip.


I hope that this helps and that you are able to travel over to the Pacific Rim area. It is truly beautiful.

PS. Please allow enough time to get there. There is a ferry ride involved from the mainland. Depending upon the time of year you travel, you will need reservations. Once you arrive on Vancouver Island, although it does not appear to be very far across to Pacific Rim, the road after Port Alberni has lots of twists and turns and there are areas on which you do not make good time.

6. Re: Ucluelt v Tofino

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