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Telegraph Cove is right on the Johnstone Strait, a narrow passage that serves as the summer home to hundreds of orcas as well as dolphins, porpoises, and seals. Bald eagles also patrol the waterway, and more unusual birds pass through the area, an important stop on the Pacific Flyway.

Seventeen kilometers (11 miles) south of Telegraph Cove, the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve provides fascinating whale-watching. Orcas regularly beach themselves in the shallow waters of the pebbly "rubbing beaches" to remove the barnacles from their tummies. Boat tours are not allowed to enter the reserve itself, but you can watch from nearby areas. Stubbs Island Whale-Watching, at the end of the Telegraph Cove boardwalk (tel. 800/665-3066 or 250/928-3185; www.stubbs-island.com), offers tours from May through early October in boats equipped with hydrophones, so you can hear the whales' underwater communication. In high season, these 3 1/2-hour cruises cost from C$84 to C$94 for adults.

From May to mid-October, Tide Rip Tours, 28 Boardwalk (tel. 888/643-9319 or 250/339-5320; www.tiderip.com), offers daylong boat excursions to watch grizzly bears for C$288. Other wildlife-viewing trips are available.

For kayaking tours, contact Telegraph Cove Sea Kayaking (tel. 888/756-0099 or 250/756-0094; www.tckayaks.com), which offers guided day trips out onto Telegraph Cove (C$165 per person) or Johnstone Strait (C$350 per person), where you might kayak with orcas. Kayak rentals are also available.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.