Like junior-high drama club, wildlife observation requires the patience to sit still for long periods of time in a tree costume. Enjoy nature sans arboreal attire with today’s Groupon for a tour from The Whale Centre in Tofino. Choose from three options:
• For $39, you get one admission to a 2.5-hour bear-watching tour (up to a $79 value, including a $5 fuel charge).
• For $42, you get one admission to a 2.5-hour whale-watching tour (up to an $84 value, including a $5 fuel charge).
• For $55, you get one admission to a 6-hour tour of Hot Springs Cove with whale watching (up to a $110 value, including a $5 fuel charge).
Kids three and younger are normally free, and tickets for students, seniors, and kids ages 4–12 are normally discounted.
Aboard eco-friendly, quiet-engine vessels, The Whale Centre’s seasoned seafarers lead wildlife watching tours around Clayoquot Sound. A 30-foot Boston Whaler ferries tourists past reefs and islands for a 2.5-hour whale-watching expedition, introducing them to a chance at seeing a host of fluke-flaunting cetaceans such as Pacific gray whales, humpback whales, and orcas. Each whale-watching tour outfits landlubbers with cruiser suits and woolen gloves and hats to prevent teeth from chattering to the beat of "Frosty the Snowman" while guides spew out educational commentaries about the wildlife in sight. Alternately, observe zany antics from the hull of the 24-foot M.V. Eco during the 2.5-hour bear-watching tour through tranquil inlets and channels. West Coast black bears scour low-tide shores for picnic baskets while guides identify individual teddies by name based on their behavior and monogrammed T-shirt.
Those opting for the 6-hour hot-springs tour cruise up the coast on a covered boat—the Hootla - Kootla—toward Hot Springs Cove in Maquinna Provincial Park, keeping their ocular orbs peeled for possible marine-life sightings. Once docked at the cove, explorers trek across a 2-kilometre cedar boardwalk through an old-growth rainforest, rewarding torsos tired of standing up to gravity's bullying with a soak in the toasty waters of a thermal spring pool. The Whale Centre recommends that hot springers bring along lunch, water shoes, a bathing suit, a towel, and a $3 BC Parks fee to enter the park.