Ucluelet is a district harbor located on the edge of the Pacific Ocean at the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Ucluelet offers breathtaking sights and outdoor adventures with a pristine coastline that is beyond comparison. In the native language, it translates to "safe harbor".
Getting to Ucluelet
There is no direct flight to Ucluelet but getting there is easy via Vancouver Island's Comox Valley Airport. Once you reach the island, you can rent a car from either Budget, Enterprise or National Car Rentalthe service available located at the airport terminal and enjoy a scenic ride to Ucluelet.
History and Climate
Ucluelet used to be populated by the "Nuu-chah-nulth" people who coined its name. The arrival of Europeans and the numerous wars that ensued, have contributed to the tumbled and rugged soul of Ucluelet. In recognition of its growing population and lucrative tourism, it received the status of a district in 1997. Since then, Ucluelet has become an active site for hotels, resorts and adventure tourism.
Today, the population of Ucluelet is a mere 1,627 people. Thousands of tourists flock to Ucluelet each year to enjoy the mild seasonal temperatures. Summer time marks the most active tourist season but moderate winters make Ucluelet a hot spot for travellers all year round.
For adventure seeking travellers, Ucluelet is one of the best areas for kayaking on Vancouver Island. Enjoy an awe-inspiring kayak trip through the majestic West Coast waters, visit pristine beaches, dine on gourmet food, hike through the beautiful rain forests and behold the wonders of the Pacific Ocean first- hand. Guided tours can be planned for excursions outside the calm waters of the Ucluelet Harbor. Nearby areas such as the Deer Group Islands, Clayoquot Sound and the Barkley Sounds are popular areas for wildlife viewing
The Pacific Rim Whale Festival
of Ucluelet is a popular annual event and is an amazing experience. Every year in March and April, up to 20,000 whales migrate to their summer homes in the Arctic en route Ucluelet. Spring, whale watching shows are available because of the lingering Gray whales in Barkley Sound and the appearance of Humpbacks later in the season. Whale watching can be done on the shore but the best way is to choose a boat charter and view on the ocean. Choices vary from high speed inflatable boats to closed cabins ships.
The ability to hike the Pacific Wild Trail is aother great reason to visit Ucluelet. The breathtaking trail follows the rugged coastline of the Pacific Ocean through thickets of moss, thick ferns and twisted trunks. You can view the fury of the Pacific Ocean as you travel along the rocky shore. The scenic Amphitrite Point light station is also on the Pacific Wild Trail and is only a short 2 km hike away.
The annual Ukee Day Festival
runs between July 24 to 26 and is two fun filled days of food, entertainment, kid's games, prizes and competitions for the whole family. Keeping with local traditions, it starts off with a salmon barbecue, long board competition and whiskey dock run. The next day features s a pancake breakfast and a parade.
Ucluelet Accommodation and Dining
Ucluelet offers a wide range of accommodation options ranging from bed and breakfasts, cabins, cottages, campgrounds for parking RVs, motels, hotels and luxurious beachside resorts. There is something that caters to every budget and preference. During the peak tourism season, it is highly advisable to book accommodations well in advance to ensure availability.
Ucluelet may be a small district but when it comes to dining, talented chefs prepare a plethora of mouthwatering culinary masterpieces. The restaurants are affordable while providing a diverse dining experience. From breakfast at coffeehouses to a dining menu filled with fresh local produced seafood, whatever you eat in Ucluelet is enhanced by the stunning ambience of the rugged coast.
With striking coastal vistas, adventurous sports, gourmet food and year round activities, Ucluelet should be your next vacation destination. Perfect for couples, families or groups of friends, Ucluelet makes for a beautiful experience.