Grab a board and tackle the gentle breakers at Chesterman Beach or sit back and look on as rookies and experts surf the waves together. The 1.7-mile (2.7-kilometer) white sandy expanse is a popular place for learning how to surf. It's also where you can walk to an island, see migrating whales and explore tidal pools for marine life.
Chesterman Beach is named after one of the first non-native settlers to the region, and occupies a bay that is flanked by a pine forest. It is divided into South Chesterman which faces south and North Chesterman which faces west.
Tofino's beaches have been popular surfing destinations since the 1960s. Don’t miss the opportunity to try your hand at surfing during your visit. There are a number of surf schools based in the district that offer first timers the chance to learn the basics at Chesterman.
Meanwhile, advanced surfers will love the bigger, more powerful waves that break further out to sea. All water users should be aware that the rip currents here can be very strong.
If you would rather keep your feet dry, relax and enjoy a spot of sunbathing. To spot some of the local marine life, wait until low tide to explore rock pools for crabs, starfish and other small creatures. Also, during low tide, make your way across the sand to Frank Island in the middle of the bay. From here, you can take in excellent views of the beach and the mountains behind it.
If you are visiting during the spring or summer, look out for dolphins and whales. At these times of the year, humpback, minke and pilot whales are often seen swimming close to the shore as they migrate down the coast.
Chesterman Beach is a 10-minute drive south from the town of Tofino. There are two parking lots and both have toilet facilities.
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