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No Paddler Is An Island. But This Region Is. Here’s How to Best Experience It.

The largest island on the west coast of the Americas, Vancouver Island is a destination that’s usually associated with ocean paddling, but it also offers excellent freshwater opportunities, including one of BC’s best canoe circuits located in a pristine forest northwest of Campbell River. The surf scene in Tofino is legendary here, as is the old-school British charm of the provincial capital of Victoria, but this region also includes the smaller Gulf and Discovery Islands where you’ll find remote beaches, secluded bays, and vibrant artistic communities.

Featured waterways in Vancouver Island

Here are some of the area’s best bodies of water to dip into.

Meet the specialists Vancouver Island

From guides and instructors to marina owners and sales reps, here are the people who will ensure you’re not sent up the creek without a, well, you know. 

I want to go

on a(n)

tours
Alder Bay Kayak

Alder Bay Resort offers sea kayaking excursions with North Island Kayaks in Johnstone Strait. Explore local islands, remote beaches, and marine wildlife.

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tours
ALERT BAY 360 ECO PADDLE

Join the Alert Bay 360 event for a chance to win prizes and cash rewards. Limited spots available!

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tours, lessons & rentals
AT THE WATER’S EDGE ADVENTURES

Explore breathtaking kayak tours in Vancouver Island’s marine wildlife habitats with At the Water’s Edge Adventures.

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tours
Black Bear Kayaking

Experience the thrill of kayaking among black bears in Clayoquot Sound with expert guides.

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Proud to offer paddling tours and instruction accessible and enjoyable for people of all levels.
lessons, rentals & tours
Blue Dog Kayaking

Book a kayaking or SUP tour or lesson with Blue Dog Kayaking. Amber specializes in safety training before going out to explore.

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tours
BROUGHTON ARCHIPELAGO PADDLER’S INN

Paddle paradise awaits! Explore Broughton’s islands & inlets at Paddler’s Inn.

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tours
CANADA SEA KAYAK

Sea Kayak Adventures offers world-renowned orca and humpback watching in British Columbia. Enjoy exceptional sea kayaking, hiking, and cultural exploration on basecamp, lodge-based, and expeditionary trips from June to September.

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lessons, tours & rentals
Coastal Bliss Adventures Ltd.

Experience amazing sea kayaking tours with Coastal Bliss Adventures.

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tours, lessons & rentals
Coastal Expression

If you’re looking for a canoe or kayak rental, lesson or guided tour Coastal Expression offers them all!

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retail, lessons, tours & rentals
Coast Surf Shop

Coast Surf Shop is a family-owned store in Comox and Cumberland, B.C., offering surf, paddle boards, rentals, lessons, and tours since 2012.

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tours, rentals, retail & lessons
Comox Valley Kayaks & Canoes

Comox Valley Kayaks & Canoes offers top-quality kayaks, canoes, and SUPs, along with rentals, lessons, and guided tours for all skill levels.

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tours
Comox Valley Paddlers Club

Comox Valley Paddlers Club offers paddling trips, education, resources, and memberships for all levels.

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retail, rentals, tours & lessons
Compass Adventure

Compass Adventure offers a variety of ocean activities, rentals, lessons, and programs for all ages.

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tours, rentals & lessons
Cowichan Bay Kayaking and Adventure Centre

Choose from different kayaking tours or check out their other watersports rental options at Cowichan Bay Kayaking and Adventure Centre.

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tours
Destination Desolation

Destination Desolation offers custom tours and shuttle services to explore Desolation Sound & surrounding islands.

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lessons, rentals & tours
Dog Mermaid Eco Excursions, Kayak Rentals & Retreats

Providing eco-excursions via guided kayaking and paddle board tours, Dog Mermaid Eco Excursions is a great place to reconnect with nature.

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tours
ECOSUMMER EXPEDITIONS

Experience eco-friendly sea kayaking adventures in Telegraph Cove, BC. Encounter orcas and wildlife up close.

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tours
Farewell Harbour Lodge

Escape to a west-coast lodge in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest. Experience wildlife, nature, and indigenous culture.

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rentals and tours
Gulf Island Kayaking

Rent or book a kayak tour with Gulf Island Kayaking.

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tours and rentals
Hello Nature Adventure Tours

Hello Nature Adventure Tours are passionate about the outdoors and the land we operate on. We look forward to meeting you and hosting you on an unforgettable kayaking experience. TIP: No before you go – check the weather and tides.

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lessons and tours
Island Römer Adventures

Explore the ocean on a guided kayaking tour with Island Römer Adventures.

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rentals
Jeff’s Kayak and Bike Rentals

Rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards with Jeff’s Kayak and Bike Rentals.

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tours and rentals
Kaatza Adventures

With tour and rental options Kaatza Adventures is a great way to explore Cowichan Lake.

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tours
KARIBU ADVENTURES

Karibu Adventures offers curated trips for active adventurers seeking raw and real experiences.

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rentals and tours
Kayaking Gulf Islands

Explore Mayne Island at our own pace with kayak and paddle board rentals or booked a guided kayak tour to explore the beautiful waters.

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tours, rentals & lessons
Kayaking Skills Saturna Island

Book a kayak tour, lesson, or rental with Kayaking Skills and explore the Southern Gulf Islands.

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tours
King Fisher

King Fisher offers guided sea kayaking tours along the Great Bear Rainforest, Haida Gwaii, and Northern Vancouver Island.

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tours
Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures – Sea Kayaking Tours

Experience fully guided kayak tours in British Columbia’s stunning wilderness since 1999. Small group sizes, eco-conscious practices, and passionate guides.

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tours
North Island Kayak

North Island Kayak offers unforgettable sea kayaking tours in Telegraph Cove, BC since 1991.

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rentals, Accomodation, Tours & Rentals
Paddler’s Inn

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Tours, Rentals & rentals
Paddle West Kayaking

Experience unforgettable kayak tours in Tofino and Ucluelet, Vancouver Island. Rentals and custom tours available.

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tours and rentals
Page’s Resort and Marina

Secluded cottages, marina & island adventures await at Page’s Resort. Kayak, hike, relax – it’s your island time.

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tours, lessons & rentals
Palli Palli Mobile Ebike & Paddle Board Rentals

Rent a paddle board with Palli Palli Mobile Ebike & Paddle Board Rentals.

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rentals, tours, retail & lessons
Pender Island Kayak Adventures

Pender Island Kayak Adventures is a perfect place to try anything from kayaking to canoeing and even paddle boarding.

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rentals and tours
Pristine Paddleboard Adventures

Located on Cowichan Lake Pristine Paddleboard Adventures is the perfect place to rent a paddleboard and explore the lake at your own pace.

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lessons and tours
Quatsino Lodge

Quatsino Lodge in Vancouver Island offers top-notch fishing, kayaking, and hospitality in a remote setting.

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tours
Remote Passages Marine Excursions

Discover breathtaking wildlife adventures in Tofino with Remote Passages. Enjoy whale watching, bear watching, and more.

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tours and rentals
Salt Spring Adventures

Salt Spring Adventures has many tour and rental options available.

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rentals, lessons, retail & tours
Sealegs Kayaking Adventures

With many kayak and paddleboard rental and tour options Sealegs Kayaking Adventures has something for everyone!

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tours
Sea to Sky Expeditions

Book an unforgettable guided kayaking tour with Sea to Sky Expeditions.

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rentals
Shawnigan Surf & Board co

Create your own adventure with paddleboard rentals from Shawnigan Surf & Board Co.

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lessons and tours
T’ashii Paddle School

T’ashii Paddle School offers unique cultural canoe tours led by indigenous guides.

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tours and rentals
Tofino Sea Kayaking

Discover Tofino Sea Kayaking, offering guided tours and rentals for exploring Clayoquot Sound.

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tours and Tours
UKEE BACKCOUNTRY

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tours
West Coast Expeditions Kayaking Tours

Experience kayak-fishing and more with West Coast Expeditions.

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tours
West Coast Water Sports

Rent kayaks, canoes, or SUP boards from West Coast Water Sports. Fun for all skill levels!

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tours
Wildcoast Adventures

Wildcoast Adventures offers unforgettable sea kayak tours with gourmet meals and top-notch service.

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rentals, tours & lessons
Wilderness Kayaking Co

Wilderness Kayaking Co offers many different kayaking tours, lessons, and has many rental options for kayaks and paddleboards.

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The Search For BC’s Best Lake

Which body of water will win CBC’s Best Lake in BC Contest? We have some suggestions of what to vote for.

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How to Start Kayak Fishing in BC

Here are 16 ways to slightly alter our paddling practices and improve our experiences at all of the wild places in BC. 

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