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British Columbia Surf Network
Tofino, BC:  Beach Paradise on Canada's "Big Island"
by Hector Fuente

British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing tourism hotspots in North America.  The reason, like so many other tourism Meccas, is landscape.  In BC you will find high desert, mountains, long sandy beaches, lush rainforest, vast glaciers and everything in-between.

You've likely heard of BC, but there's a good chance that you haven't heard about the province's fastest growing tourism destination: Tofino.  Located on the west coast of Canada's "Big Island", Tofino is home to long sandy beaches, world-class hotels, restaurants, and some pretty good surfing too.

Tofino BC gained fame in the early 90's when logging in the region's old-growth forests turned many of the locals into action-taking environmentalists.  The logging continued and the locals grew more and more upset, and before anyone knew what happened, the Clayoquot Sound Blockade was the largest non-violent act of civil disobedience in Canadian history.

All of this media attention brought visitors to Tofino - lots of visitors.  Today more than 1 million tourists pass through Tofino in a year.  All of these people are crammed into a town with a year-round population of about 1700.

These people are all coming to Tofino to experience the region’s breathtaking scenery and the long, sandy beaches.  Tofino's visitors are usually the type of traveler that takes advantage of the amazing natural resources that abound in the Clayoquot Sound region.  Sea kayaking is very popular, as is surfing and wind surfing, walking the long sandy beaches, and fishing for the huge salmon that abound in the near-shore waters.

Of all the places in BC to become a tourism mecca, Tofino has to be one of the most unlikely.  Situated at the end of a remote peninsula, it's almost comical that so many folks flock here on a yearly basis.  But once you've arrived in Tofino and experienced the landscape, oceanscape and the relaxed coastal way of life, you'll probably be planning your next trip back before you leave.

Hector Fuente is a globetrotter who is currently planning his next trip back to Tofino BC
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