Plan Your Trip Getting Here

Wherever you are visiting from, getting to Tofino is part of the adventure.

Hop aboard a scenic ferry, drive through old growth forest at Cathedral Grove, or soar overhead on a floatplane. Be sure to check the travel advisories and bulletins before you depart and when you arrive. Our friendly Visitor Centre team can answer questions and help you get settled.

Island living

The geography of Vancouver Island can be confusing. Let us clear things up for you:

  • Tofino is one of the most westerly points on central Vancouver Island. 
  • Victoria is a city at the southern tip of Vancouver Island.
  • Vancouver is a city on the mainland of BC, about a 2-hour ferry ride across the Salish Sea, east of Vancouver Island. 
  • For scale, Vancouver Island is approximately 1/4 the size of the UK. 
Bus driving on along a highway by a lake

Choose your mode

Vancouver Island—and Tofino—can be accessed by driving your own or a rented vehicle. If coming from BC’s mainland, you’ll need to first cross the Salish Sea via ferry. The approximate drive times from ferry terminals to Tofino are:

  • Nanaimo (Departure Bay Terminal) - just under 3 hrs
  • Nanaimo (Duke Point) - 3 hrs
  • Comox (Little River Terminal) - just over 3 hrs
  • Victoria (Swartz Bay) - 4 hrs, 40 min
  • Port Hardy (Bear Cove) - 6 hrs

If you are coming from elsewhere on Vancouver Island, the approximate drive times are:

  • Downtown Victoria - 4 hrs, 20 min
  • Campbell River - 3 hrs, 20 min
  • Port Alberni - 2 hrs
  • Mount Washington - 3 hrs, 15 min

Keep up-to-date on year-round road conditions, including events or delays, by checking DriveBC. Click on the map for road and weather conditions, or get a visual with their live webcams. If you visit anytime between October 1 and March 31, you must have winter tires or carry chains.

If coming from BC’s mainland, you’ll first need to sail with BC Ferries or Hullo Ferry and then drive, bus, or fly to Tofino. Reservations for both services are highly recommended.

BC Ferries

  • West Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) to Nanaimo (Departure Bay): The Horseshoe Bay terminal is north of the city of Vancouver and takes under 2 hours. 
  • Tsawwassen to Nanaimo (Duke Point): The Tsawwassen terminal is south of Vancouver, close to the USA border. This ferry route takes 2 hours.
  • Tsawwassen to Victoria (Swartz Bay): This ferry route takes 1:35 hours and arrives in Sidney - about 30 min north of Victoria’s downtown.
  • Prince Rupert to Port Hardy (Bear Cove): This overnight ferry route from Northern BC takes 22 hours.
  • Powell River (Westview) to Comox (Little River): This route from the Sunshine Coast takes 1.5 hours.

While we've indicated the time duration of sailings above, allow time for driving on board the ferry, and driving off board as well.

Hullo Ferry (Walk-on Only)

  • Downtown Vancouver to Nanaimo Harbour: This walk-on-only catamaran ferry takes approximately 70 min. Travel from the Nanaimo Harbour to Tofino can then be pre-arranged via a rental car service or shuttle.

Advance ferry reservations are highly recommended any time of year, but particularly on all routes during weekends, holiday periods, and summer months. Reservations can save you a 3-hour wait in the ferry lineup. 

Ferries from Washington State (US)

  • Clipper Ferry - year-round, daily passenger ferry service between Seattle and Victoria.
  • Black Ball Ferry Line - year-round, daily vehicle and passenger ferry service between Port Angeles and Victoria.
  • Washington State Ferries - this vehicle and passenger ferry service between Anacortes or the San Juan Islands and Sidney is out of service until at least 2030.

Visitors can book a custom shuttle service in a private or shared SUV or passenger van from Vancouver Island airports or communities. You can also book a bus from several locations on Vancouver Island.

Looking for the quickest way to get to Tofino? Fly non-stop to Tofino on a scheduled or charter flight in 45 minutes or less from downtown Vancouver, Richmond or select cities on Vancouver Island.

To Tofino-Long Beach Airport (YAZ)

To Tofino Harbour (via floatplane)

  • From downtown Vancouver with Harbour Air (seasonal)
  • From Vancouver South Terminal at YVR in Richmond with Harbour Air (seasonal)

Feeling adventurous? Inquire with our member businesses about chartering a seaplane or a helicopter to fly to Tofino from different areas in British Columbia.

The international airport most convenient for travel to Tofino is Vancouver International Airport (YVR) in Richmond, adjacent to Vancouver. Visitors can also fly into three airports on Vancouver Island including Victoria (YYJ), which serves as a major hub for international visitors.

  • Nanaimo (YCD): serviced by Air Canada, WestJet (including daily flights from Alberta), and Pacific Coastal Airlines.
  • Comox (YQQ): serviced by Air Canada, WestJet (including daily flights from Alberta), and Pacific Coastal Airlines.
  • Victoria International Airport (YYJ): a major hub serviced by a number of airlines.

Upon landing, rental car services or shuttles are available to reach Tofino.. We recommend reserving your vehicle ahead of time.

Getting Around

Learn more

Visitor Centre

Come by
We value your privacy
We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience, serve personalized ads or content, and analyze our traffic. By clicking "Allow Cookies", you consent to our use of cookies. For additional details view our Privacy Policy.
Cookie preferences

You can control how your data is used on our website. Learn more below about the cookies we use by reviewing our Privacy Policy.

Your cookie preferences have been saved.