There’s sightseeing around Tofino, and then there’s exploring it from the air on a flight-seeing tour. From glaciers and hidden lakes, to majestic islands and wildlife, imagine a birds-eye-view of Clayoquot Sound as it unfolds all around you, with scenery so spectacular, you won’t want to blink.
Whether you take a 15 minute Long Beach Rip on a helicopter with Atleo River Air Service, or a 2-hour Fly & Paddle Board Adventure on a float plane to Kennedy Lake with Tofino Air, the flight-seeing tour options in Tofino are bucket-list levels of awesome.
“Our float plane tours are always a hit, but it’s heli-tours that have been super popular this year,” declared Erica, a knowledgeable and animated dispatcher from Atleo River Air Service. “Guests are wanting really epic adventures like our 2-hour Peak to Surf Tour which includes a beach and mountain stop.
“There’s something very special about taking in views of the mountains, islands and beaches from the air, then getting out of the helicopter and walking around. We turn off the aircraft and you’re enveloped in a silence and natural setting that’s hard to describe.
“Guests are always amazed at how mountainous the area is and how many untouched beaches there are. They have aha moments as they get their bearings and see just how on the edge of the west coast Tofino actually is.”
Locally owned and operated since 1995, the professional and eclectic crew at Atleo River Air Service is passionate about showing off the area from a different point of view, along with safety.
“Safety is always a priority, and this year more than ever, we are grateful we can operate in a way that’s safe for our staff, pilots, locals, and of course, guests,” explained Erica. “We are not combining groups on tours. Guests essentially get to book a private aircraft—at our standard charter tour rate—including only people in their bubble.”
The roar of a seaplane taking flight is a familiar sound around coastal towns like Tofino.
Sometimes it indicates the transport of groceries and supplies to remote local communities; often it’s an adventure tour with the renowned, local veterans at Tofino Air.
Tofino Air has been flying the coast of British Columbia for over 25 years, with grassroots dating back to 1970.
From their 30-minute Coastal Explorer to the popular, new 2-hour Fly & Paddle Board Adventure, Tofino Air offers a range of epic flight-see adventures… like the one in this video; filmed by a guest on a tour piloted by Craig Grandfield.
When asked why flight-seeing in Tofino is a must-do, Craig the pilot said, “One of the coolest things about flying around Tofino is watching the landscape of mountains transform into islands and inlets that you don’t even know are there. It’s a perspective you have to see to believe.
“In fact, I’ve been flying in this area for a few years now, and I see new things every flight.”
Feeling like some air-time?
Book a flight-seeing tour on your next visit for a new view on the jaw-dropping beauty of Tofino, Clayoquot Sound and the west coast of Vancouver Island. For full details, visit Atleo River Air Service and Tofino Air.