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viewing animals: Tofino or Telegraph cove

Barcelona
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viewing animals: Tofino or Telegraph cove

I will spent three or four full days in Vancouver island. My idea is to whalewatching, to see bears and visit Pacific Rim National Park. I would spend some days in Tofino or Uclet. I don't know if it is a good idea to stay in Tofico and also to go to Telegraph Cove or near to sea orchas? How is whalewatching there? Do you recomend it even it's a long distance to go there?

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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1. Re: viewing animals: Tofino or Telegraph cove

What time of year?

Barcelona
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2. Re: viewing animals: Tofino or Telegraph cove

Thaks for your interest.

We will be there from 6th. to 9th. august.

Port McNeill
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3. Re: viewing animals: Tofino or Telegraph cove

For the amount of time you have on Vancouver Island I would suggest you can visit Tofino / Ucluelet or Port McNeill / Telegraph Cove, but not both areas.

You can go whale watching in both areas. In Tofino / Ucluelet you have good chances of humpback and grey whales and an outside chance of orcas. In the Port McNeill / Telegraph Cove area you have very good chances of both orcas and humpback whales (plus a wide diversity of other marine life).

You can see black bears on tours from Tofino / Ucluelet. From Port McNeill / Telegraph Cove there are tours specifically for grizzly bears and you may also see black bears. For both areas you have a good chance of seeing black bears while driving the highways.

Tofino / Ucluelet is a much larger tourist destination with many more hotels, resorts, and restaurants to choose from. It also has the easily accessed beaches of Pacific Rim National Park The Port McNeill / Telegpah Cove area is much less developed and sees much less tourists. Most visitors here come for the wildlife and scenery. The north end of the island also has some great beaches but are not as easily accessed.

From the Nanaimo ferry terminal it usually takes me about 3.5 hours to get to Tofino or 4 hours to get to Telegraph Cove, and about 6 hours from Tofino to Telegraph Cove (all of these times are at reasonable highway speeds with one short stop for gas and coffee).

So while it would be nice to see both areas considering you only have 3 or 4 days I would suggest the Port McNeill / Telegraph Cove area if wildlife viewing is your priority (especially orcas and grizzly bears). But if you want a bit of everything with more choices of places to stay and eat then Tofino / Ucluelet is your better option.

Barcelona
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4. Re: viewing animals: Tofino or Telegraph cove

Many thanks for your advice. I will think about it. A friend of mine tells me that Rim National park is very, very nice. As I am interested in it and in wildlife I will probably go to Uclelet / Tofino.

Edited: 1:25 pm, March 15, 2011
Telegraph Cove
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5. Re: viewing animals: Tofino or Telegraph cove

There are two tour groups that run out of Telegraph Cove for Orcas and Grizzleys. My experience with both these tours was great. There were lots of Orcas as well as Pacific White Sided dolphins, Sea Lions and a Humpback whale. Lots of Eagles The grizzlys are seen off the water in the spring and summer, but travelling up Knight's Inlet on the tour is the best way to see them. You will likely see black bears along the road to Telegraph Cove as they are very common in the North Island. Telegraph Cove itself is worth seeing as it is a boardwalk village in which the history has been maintained, but also accommodates tourists. There is a wonderful pub and restaurant as well. Enjoy your holiday!

Barcelona
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6. Re: viewing animals: Tofino or Telegraph cove

Thanks for your opinion. Could you pelase recommend us the two tour groups that oyu refered?

Have you ever been to Tofino? Is it easier to watch sea animals in Telegraph cove than in Tofino?

Mny thanks.

Port McNeill
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7. Re: viewing animals: Tofino or Telegraph cove

The two companies that post #5 is referring to in Telegraph Cove are Stubbs Island Whale Watching www.stubbs-island.com and Tide Rip Tours www.tiderip.com for grizzly bear viewing. Another 20 minutes north in Port McNeil there is also Mackay Whale Watching www.whaletime.com .

For info on whale watching on the north island check out tripadvisor.com/Travel-g499144-c112836/Port-… and for other additional activities go to tripadvisor.com/Travel-g499144-c112905/Port-…

I often visit Tofino and live in Port McNeill just north of Telegraph Cove. In August you will have a much better chance of seeing orcas on the north end of the island than in Tofino.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, Tofino offers things the north island doesn't but if wildlife viewing is your priority you are probably better visiting Telegraph Cove and Port McNeill.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: viewing animals: Tofino or Telegraph cove

The only place you can guarantee wildlife is a zoo. You may or may not see various wild animals at either place, but to approach it as "I want to see x,y,z, where is the best place to go." is just setting yourself up for disappointment. The animals don't show up on any sort of schedule and can not be predicted. Go because you want to go, but not because you have a wildlife viewing agenda of things to check off your list, and then accept the gifts offered to you by Mother Nature during your visit.

Owen Sound, Canada
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9. Re: viewing animals: Tofino or Telegraph cove

Vancouverite67,

You are correct to a point, but the OP will be on VI at a very good season for wildlife viewing, especially in the Telegraph Cove / Port McNeill area. This is a fact based on many years of observations and on the life history patterns of the wildlife.

Your post seems to suggest viewing wildlife is just a matter of chance. Chance is a factor of course but being in the right place at the right season and the right time of day greatly increases ones chances.

Barcelona
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10. Re: viewing animals: Tofino or Telegraph cove

Can you please explain me what does " the OP will be on VI at a very good season for wildlife viewing" mean? I am spanish and I don't know what's that.

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