The Pacific Rim

by Ron Kirstein


Terrific Tofino

The Esowista Peninsula is perched in the edge of the North America Continent. Next stop Japan! At the north end of the Peninsula is the town of Tofino, located in a protected harbour. Just to the North, you will also find protected waters, and directly offshore is the Wild West Coast.

The constant ocean surge in this area keeps the surf breaking on expansive white sandy beaches. In winter, waves can reach up to 50 feet in height! North of Tofino, you'll find the Ahousaht First Nations Community, Cougar Annie's Gardens and Hot Springs Cove, and just across the harbour you'll find Optisat First Nations Village on Meares Island.

Before you enjoy all the exciting tourist activities Tofino has to offer, you must first find a place to stay. Since nearly one million visitors flock to this paradise each summer, it is best to book in advance.

Clayoquot-Orca Lodge

If you are looking for a good value, check out the Clayoquot-Orca Lodge. It's centrally located on the East Side of Highway 4, just as you approach Tofino, and close to all the major beaches. Clayoquot-Orca is a unique destination resort featuring on-site Eco Experience on 4 acres of old growth rain forest. Well groomed trails lead to Jensen Bay, a waterfront Bird Sanctuary, while other trails will lead you throughout the rainforest. The Lodge has comfortable, spacious ensuite rooms, some with private hot tubs. There is a licensed piano lounge, 'the Chuckling Oyster' which is also pet friendly. It's full of games and activities and has a nice fireplace to curl up beside on summer evenings.

Olivia, the owner/operator of Clayoquot-Orca is a unique character who's dedicated to ensuring you have a special holiday. She quite regularly helps guests plan their days and book their chosen activities. Many people who've stayed here have written to say their stay in Tofino was the highlight of their trip. Olivia is currently adding an additional 30 rooms to the Lodge. We stayed in a spacious suite that had two Queen sized beds and a pullout couch in it. The room could have easily handled six people and there was lots of room to relax at the end of a busy day.

The Lodge also has a dining room that operates throughout the peak tourist season with an attached Solarium where guests can dine with their pets. Now that is pet friendly! Chloe is the host pet. The highway sign proudly boasts that the Clayoquot-Orca Lodge was voted #1 for best-value accommodation in the Tofino area.

Ron Kirstein is the owner of a Canadian Travel & Tourism Web site (since 1995). Ron has traveled the length and breadth of Vancouver Island BC Canada in search of adventures; see

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