When you first think of Vancouver, your mind will probably conjure up images of a tall twinkling modern city on the Canadian west coast. In the small town of Tofino on Vancouver Island, however, you will find secluded beaches, ancient rain forests, and some of the best whale-watching spots on the planet. So grab your hiking boots or your surfboards, there is no better place to get in touch with the natural beauty of Vancouver than from Tofino!
Although Tofino is the perfect base to explore all of the secluded lakes and beaches of Vancouver Island, you will find an absence of backpacker’s hostels and budget-friendly options for places to rest your head. Does this mean that backpackers traveling on a shoestring can’t also explore all the wilderness and beauty of Tofino?
We put together all the best budget options in Tofino together in one place so you can find a stay that fits how you like to travel! From the best hostels in Tofino to budget guesthouses, you will be getting away from it all on Vancouver Island before you know it!
Just a few clicks away your adventure to Tofino is just one step closer to becoming a reality!
Quick Answer: The Best Hostels in Tofino
- Overall Best Hostel in Tofino – Sienna’s Tree House
- Best Hostel for Solo Travelers in Tofino – Surfs Inn Rainforest Cottages
- Best Cheap Hostel in Tofino – West Coast Motel on the Harbour
- Best Hostel for Couples in Tofino – Tofino Resort & Marina
- Best Party Hostel in Tofino – The Maq Hotel
The Best Hostels in Tofino
Before you know it you will be traveling into the unknown, exploring all of the wonders hidden within the Canadian wilderness and on its coast. First, you will have to pick that perfect guesthouse to set the tone for your trip!
Best Overall Hostel in Tofino – Sienna’s Tree House
- Barbeque Pit
Rather than having you pack into a dorm room, Sienna’s Tree House will have you moving into your very own apartment in Tofino just minutes away from the gorgeous beaches of Vancouver Island. Complete with their very own kitchen, TV, and private bathroom, you will be getting quite the upgrade when checking into one of the cozy and homey rooms at Sienna’s Tree House. With an outdoor terrace, you will find that there is no better place to crack open a beer and enjoy the evening that at your guesthouse. With tons of hiking trails nearby, this budget hotel makes for the perfect base in Tofino!
Best Hostel for Solo Travelers in Tofino – Surfs Inn Rainforest Cottages
- Surf Lessons
- Shared Kitchen
- Bike Rentals
Located a bit down the coast from Tofino in the small town of Ucluelet, Surfs Inn Rainforest Cottages will not only hook you up with some of the cheapest rooms in the area, but they will also having you staying in a laid back atmosphere perfect for just kicking back and watching the world slowly pass by. With their surf lessons and bike rentals, they will give you everything you need to hit the trails and start exploring all the beauty of Canada’s rugged coast. On Surfs Inn’s outdoor terrace and garden, you will find no better place to hang out with the other guests and enjoy the nature of Vancouver Island.
Best Cheap Hostel in Tofino – West Coast Motel on the Harbour
- Heated Pool
- Barbeque Pit
At West Coast Motel, you will be getting so much more than just the cheapest rooms on all of Vancouver Island, this budget guesthouse will pamper you with its very own heated pool and even a gym. You will be enjoying all the perks of a 5-star hotel for the price of a budget hostel!
Complete with a barbeque pit and an inviting garden to hang out in, you will be finding yourself cracking a beer open every night after a long day of exploring the nearby hiking trails. Top it off with views of the nearby harbor from your hotel room, West Coast Motel tops the list of best places to stay in Tofino!
Best Hostel for Couples in Tofino – Tofino Resort & Marina
- Fitness Center
Although you will not find hardly any budget hostels in Tofino, what you will find are some of the most romantic resorts in Canada that won’t totally break the bank. Tofino Resort & Marina will have all you couples out there enjoying a glass of fine wine while overlooking the nearby harbor in Tofino!
You will get so much more than budget rooms and great views, however. Tofino Resort will also hook you and your boo up with an onsite bar, cafe, and even a fitness center. This budget resort will also help you get your adventure started with bear watching tours and fishing charters. No matter if it is exploring or romance, you will be able to find it at Tofino Resort and Marina.
Best Party Hostel in Tofino – The Maq Hotel
- Live Music
Let’s get a beer in your hand and your foot tapping. While in Tofino, you will find that the best party is always at The Maq Hotel! Although this budget hotel may be a little bit more expensive than the hostels you are used to, you will find that you will get a one of a kind experience when staying in this cheap hotel in Tofino.
Not only will you have views of the coast and hiking trails nearby, but you will also have access to your very own in house pub. The fun doesn’t stop there, The Maq Hotel will have you hitting the dance floor with their weekly live music events. From cheap rooms to a stellar party, The Maq Hotel is a place that will give you memories that will last a lifetime.
Psst! Heading to a hostel? Don’t forget to pack a padlock! It’s well worth having one so you can secure your locker and protect your stuff!
More of the Best Hostels in Tofino
- Convenience Store
- Barbeque Pit
We know you came to Tofino to hit the beaches, so why would you settle for any place that doesn’t put you right next to the sea? Mackenzie Beach Resort will have you doing just that, putting you just a few minutes from sinking your toes into the sands of some of Tofino’s most gorgeous beaches. Plus, if you book quick enough you could grab space in one of their two on-site Airstream trailers. Fun!
This budget resort offers not only a great location, they will also pamper you with an onsite convenience store, a pit to cook up some barbeque, and tons of room to simply just kick back and relax in! Great ready to throw another log on the fire and stay a bit longer, Mackenzie Beach Resort is one place where you will never be wanting to leave!
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- Harbor Views
Last but certainly not least on our list of some of the best backpacker-friendly stays in Tofino is Tofino Motel Harborview. Wake up every morning with a hot cup of coffee and pull the shades to reveal some absolutely gorgeous views of the nearby harbor and sea. Putting you right by some of the best hiking trails in all of Tofino, you will find that there is no other place that can top Tofino Motel Harborview when it comes to location. With its cozy rooms and stunning views, you will know that you are home.
What to Pack for your Tofino Hostel
We don’t often travel without these essentials.
1. Active Roots Toiletry Bag:The Active Roots Toiletry bag keeps all of your bathroom essential items organized instead of flowing around your backpack. Having everything handy and accessible in one water-resistant bag is a bathroom lifesaver. This toiletry bag also helps from being that embarrassed person walking back to the dorm room, in a towel, to grab forgotten shampoo.
2. Active Roots Microfiber Towel: Quick-drying, lightweight, super soft and compact – the Active Roots Microfiber Towel is essential for every backpacker. No need to use the scabby towels your hostel may or may not provide! Use it for drying off, as a yoga towel or even as a picnic blanket – the options don’t stop here. Made of antibacterial material, you don’t have to worry about your towel starting to smell unpleasant either after lots of use.
3. Universal Travel Adapter: Not every country has the same electrical plug style, so carry along a universal travel adapter. You’ll want one that covers varying voltage levels, has protection from power surges, a fried laptop is not fun, and enough ports so you don’t have to spend all day individually charging your devices.
4. TRTL Travel Pillow: Get rid of the red eyes and yawning with this TRTL travel pillow. It’s not just a normal neck pillow (I mean, look at it!), the ergonomic design gives your neck and head so much comfortable support that you’ll actually be able to have some decent rest. Super easy to carry and clean, it takes up so little space compared to a traditional travel pillow.
5. Padlock: Keep your stuff safe, guys. Unfortunately not all dorm lockers share the same security standard. You’ll want a lightweight lock that can fit all the various dorm lockers you’ll clip it to. Having a padlock that is flexible and can fit a variety of locker styles is the best way to make sure none of your belongings wander away while you are out.
6. Headphone Splitter: Don’t be those awkward people sharing one earbud on the bus, as you show off your in-depth music knowledge to your new friend. A headphone splitter is a great item to bring traveling, it works fantastic on those long bus rides or easy dorm Netflix nights when you want to relax and connect with someone.
Why You Should Travel to Tofino
While Tofino has more than enough wildlife and natural beauty to have you planning your trip to Vancouver Island in a heartbeat, the lack of budget accommodation may throw a wrench in your plans. As a backpacker, you will have to move from your common hostels to cheap guesthouses and resorts. However, there is a third option: Tofino has numerous great cabins, each different and unique. If your budget allows it and you’re looking for a more private place to stay, cabins are the one for you.
Are you still unsure about which guesthouse in Tofino to book into? Let us help point you in the right direction. The one stay in Tofino that will give you a laid back backpacker’s atmosphere is Sienna’s Tree House, our pick for the top hostel in Tofino.
Over to you
Pull out your binoculars, you may be able to catch a whale along the coast or a bear poking its head out from the dense wilderness surrounding Tofino. With a kind of rustic beauty that you can only find in Canada, Tofino will have you driving along breathtaking coastal roads, hiking through untouched rainforests (yes, really!), and taking to the seas in search of adventure. Being far away from the crowds and noise of Vancouver, you will be truly getting away from it all in Tofino!
The seclusion and natural wonders of Tofino come at a price. With the lack of casual tourists, you will find a lack of hostels and budget hotels for your typical travelers. Although you may have to splurge a few extra dollars, you too can travel to Tofino on a budget and begin exploring all the mysteries and scenic beauty of the Canadian coast!
Have you ever traveled to Tofino? We would love to hear about your trip! Let us know what you think is the best hostel in Tofino in the comments below!
And don’t forget Travel Insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
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