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A Guide to Sea Kayaking on BC Coastal Islands

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West Coast Sea Kayaking: Salt Spring Island (+ Ucluelet)

Sea kayaking is perfect for each and every experience level. We love the ability to see cities and coastlines from a new perspective, witness wildlife in a personal way, cruise around the nooks and crannies of the ocean and challenge ourselves to push harder hour after hour, day after day.

From multi-day kayak tours to wildlife viewing and ocean exploration, the BC coastal islands support your sea kayaking needs! Explore the Broken Islands off the coast of Ucluelet or head out to secluded spots along the Gulf Islands and discover why slow pace living is such a big way of life on Island. 

Book a Summer 2021 Sea Kayaking Adventure

Explore the coastlines and wildlife on a guided sea kayaking adventure.

Getting Out

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran, heading out on a sea kayaking adventure will keep you excited and entertained the whole way through. 

Bioluminescence Paddle (3 hours)

See the fireflies of the sea! Watch the beautiful emerald glow from the bow of your kayak and paddle as you glide along serene waters. This late evening paddle (8pm-11pm) provides you with the opportunity to view this natural phenomenon that’s sure to leave a lasting impression!

Ganges Harbour Chocolate Beach Tour (3 hours) 

This tour is a great intro to kayaking and the Gulf Islands environment. The safe and calm waters of Ganges Harbour ensure an easy paddle. You will paddle through Ganges Harbour to the white sand shores of Chocolate Beach, where you’ll stop to stretch your legs and enjoy the area before returning home. During your paddle you will explore the intertidal zone and get up close and personal with a Sunflower Star, experience the meditative, yet energizing experience that is Sea Kayaking, and have a whole lot of family fun on the water.

Broken Group Islands Day Tour (8 hours)

On this full day kayaking tour on the west coast, enjoy a 45 minute boat ride from Ucluelet to the Broken Group Islands, an internationally acclaimed sea kayaking destination featuring natural white sand beaches and calm ocean waves perfect for kayaking. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as eagles, whales, sea lions, seals, mink, and otters within the protected waters of the Broken Group Islands.

Single to Multi-Day Tours:

Multi-day tours are the perfect way to explore further and get some camping in! These trips are designed to help you hone your sea kayaking skills, but also get to know the area in a deeper way. Gear and kayak rentals are included with these trips too. If you’re traveling in from afar, that’s one less thing to squeeze into your luggage allowance!

Your professional kayaking guide will ensure you get the most out of your desired trip by staying by your side every step of the way, plotting the route, monitoring the weather, assisting in loading and unloading of boats, and teaching you whatever you want to learn. 

Gulf Islands Explorer 4 day Kayak Tour

Spend 4 days kayaking around the Gulf Islands, staying at some of the most beautiful camping and paddling destinations in British Columbia. Stunning white shell beaches, amazing sandstone formations, abundant marine wildlife and a Mediterranean-like climate in protected waters make the Southern Gulf Islands a world-class kayaking destination.

Local Insight

Sea Kayak Guide, Aaron Miller

Yervana Local, Aaron, has lived on Vancouver Island for years and knows it’s a unique spot for sea kayaking:

We have such a big playground. The currents that run through here are very dynamic. People come from everywhere to be on these waters.”

Have Fun & Stay Safe 

Whether you’re new to kayaking or it’s your first time paddling on one of BC’s coastal Islands, it’s important to be aware of your abilities and the location you’re in. To make sure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible, we would always recommend heading out with a certified sea kayak guide who can also provide you with the necessary safety gear and equipment. 

Getting your head around local currents, marine traffic and changing weather conditions can be a challenge, but that’s what your guide is for! They can ensure that you’re paddling in areas that are suited to your abilities on the water – be it calm quiet bays or somewhere a little more challenging to stretch your skills. This leaves more time for you to learn new techniques and pick up fun bits of local knowledge along the way.

Read more about Yervana’s commitment to safety.

See you on the water!


For outdoor Adventures on Vancouver Island, try Yervana. Our Local hosts can take you out kayaking from Ucluelet, floating down the Cowichan Valley River, or exploring on land with hiking Adventures in Sooke.

Related reading: A Local’s Guide to Victoria, BC

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