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Though Tofino is remote even to most Canadians, getting there isn't as difficult as it seems. The
Vancouver International Airport
, located on mainland Canada in the city of Vancouver, is the second-largest international airport on the western coast of North America, so it’s easy to get flights there from anywhere in the world. Once you arrive, you will need to cross over to Vancouver Island and make your way to Tofino. There are several ways to do this:
Plane: KD Airhas Tofino flights scheduled daily year round, has the best safety record of any of the airlines serving Tofino - Long Beach Airport and offers their Airport Shuttle Year-round. Incase of inclement weather they have a plan in place to get you to and from YVR as long as you schedule connecting flights appropriately during Fogust or large Nortth Pacific winter storms. Orca Airwaysflies in and out of Tofino. It's a reliable and convenient way to travel. Flying is by far the most expensive of these options, but you’ll cut hours out of the trip by arriving directly in a small airport on the outskirts of Tofino, along Hwy 4. Note that baggage allowances with these services are significantly smaller than on major commercial carriers — check websites for details. Flying time is 40 minutes to Vancouver. New for 2008, Orca is increasing daily service in and out of Tofino - up to 5 times daily beginning May 15th. Other carriers are also entering this market with direct flights from Seattle and Victoria; look into Kenmore Airand Sound Flightas well.
Bus: The Tofino Buscan get you from the mainland to Tofino via the ferry. You can catch a Greyhound at the Vancouver bus depot daily that connects with it, or board the ferry as a walk-on and the Tofino Bus picks up at the Departure Bay ferry terminal. Coming from Vancouver, it will stop at the Nanaimo bus depot, where you may have to transfer buses. It can take you all the way to Tofino for about $35 (CAD). It is a cheap option, (offers discounts for online bookings, seniors, students and Hostelling International members), but gives you less flexibility in terms of getting around Tofino itself or taking day trips. If travelling in the summer however, local Beach Bus transfers and Tofino Transit make getting around very easy. Moose Travel Networkcan get you from Vancouver to Tofino and Victoria via the ferry. You can catch a Moose bus 3 times a week from May to October at most hostels in Vancouver. The tour is an adventure and budget option that takes 4 days and costs approximately $400 including tour, hostel accommodation, ferry fees, dinner and taxes.
BC Ferriesoperates an inexpensive
commuter ferry that travels regularly between the mainland and the island. Rent a car at the airport, drive to one of several departure points and take your car on the ferry to Nanaimo, a major city east of Tofino. From here you can drive to Tofino in about three hours. To reduce stress, you can reserve your spot on the ferry ahead of time (for an additional charge), and this is strongly recommended if your vehicle will be overheight or overlength (e.g. some RVs); if your vehicle falls into this category, you will also have to pay more for the ferry trip, so check the costs ahead of time to make sure it fits your budget.