Where to Stay? Ucluelet or Tofino

Are you planning a trip the West coast of Vancouver Island? Can’t decide between Tofino or Ucluelet? Picking the best spot really depends on the type of trip you’re looking for. Both destinations share a lot in common but have some key differences that you need to know!

Spoiler: You can’t go wrong between these two amazing destinations! The key difference is that Ucluelet is a little less touristy but more affordable. Tofino has more to offer but costs more.

Location & Geography

Both Ucluelet and Tofino are located on the west coast of Vancouver Island in a region known as the Clayoquot Sound. The towns share a pristine coastline with unreal views of the Pacific Ocean. Long Beach runs between the two towns and is a hot spot for residents and visitors of both Ucluelet and Tofino.

It takes slightly longer to get to Tofino than Ucluelet, from the east side of the island, but the difference is only 20 minutes. If your staying in either town I strongly suggest visiting other since they are only 25 minutes apart.

Ucluelet Beach, Pacific Rim

Things to Do: Ucluelet

  1. Wild Pacific Trail: This trail is among the top rated things to do on Vancouver Island. Enjoy 8 kilometres of rugged Ucluelet coastline.
  2. Ucluelet Aquarium: You will love this beloved catch and release aquarium. The aquarium is located in the heart of town and is a must see hotspot.
  3. The Broken Group Islands: This natural marvel is a collection of a hundred small islands in the Barkley Sound. The Broken Islands are are popular destination for paddlers and boaters visiting the region.

Things to Do: Tofino

  1. Surfing at Cox Bay: Wanna get some surfing in? Tofino is the ideal location for both novices and experts. Unlike Ucluelet, Tofino has sandy beaches located in town!
  2. Tofino Botanical Garden: This spot is a uniquely Tofino destination. Complete with drop in yoga, massages, a cafe, and of course more plants than you can count.
  3. Tofino Nightlife: You won’t find this level of nightlife in Ucluelet. Tofino is full of fantastic bars, restaurants, and clubs that will keep you partying into the late night.

Things to Do: Shared

  1. Long Beach: This stretch of sandy beach is between both Ucluelet and Tofino. Soak up the sun, take a swim, paddle, or surf in Canada’s best beach!
  2. Whale Watching Tours: Wanna get on the water and spot some majestic and mighty whales? Of course you do! Both Ucluelet and Tofino have great whale watching tours that will take you out.
  3. Pacific Rim National Park: Not much beats the Pacific Rim National Park that is in part located between the towns. This park has more hikes and secrets than can be named in this article!
beach airbnb tofino


As previously stated Ucluelet is more affordable than its neighbour Tofino. In regards to vacation rentals Ucluelet has an average nightly rate of $220 based on 220 active rentals. Tofino vacation rentals have an average nightly rate of $285 based on 369 active properties. Ucluelet properties tend to be larger and therefore provide superior value at a better rate.

Looking for Help Booking Your Trip?

Lifty Life provides amazing vacation rentals to visitors of both Tofino and Ucluelet. Reach out and learn about our affordable properties in the region and get our recommendations for the best things to do!

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