Whale & dolphin watching in Tenerife


The observation of cetaceans in Tenerife is undoubtedly one of the activities you shouldn’t miss. There are many whales and dolphins in the waters of Tenerife. Some are huge and reach a length of up to 30 metres, others are small and fast as the lively dolphins that love playing with the boats. Take a trip to Los Gigantes on a sailboat, refresh yourself in the Atlantic, enjoy an aperitif on board and relax…

Cetaceans in Tenerife: Bottlenose dolphins, short-finned whales and many more

Up to 21 different species of whales and dolphins coexist in the waters of Tenerife, 8 belong to the dolphins (including orcas are among them) and 13 belong to the whales. From the charming bottlenose dolphin with its characteristic gray color, to the short-finned pilot whale of five metres in length.


The chance to see cetaceans, by the way, is almost 100% and throughout the whole year, because there are resident populations of the bottlenose dolphins and short-finned pilot whales living in our waters. For the other species it depends on the season.

Whale watching trips: everything you need to know

We recommend you to check the offer beforehand, because there are very different activities with different timetables and duration. Check out and choose what’s best for you, because some of them include a stop for swimming in the coastal waters!


Normally the activity takes about two hours; ideal if you do not have much time and still enough to say “hello” to the cetaceans. But if you want to spend a few more hours on the Atlantic Ocean and prefer a relaxing trip, then choose one of the companies that offer three hours and even five hours with a stop for swimming in the sea and a delicious meal on board to recharge your batteries.

Tips for boat trips in Tenerife

When you’re on the sea, you want to immortalize whales and dolphins with your camera. As the cetaceans are very playful and it may become difficult to take a picture of them as they are constantly moving and the boat also rocks.

Be patient! If you have a SLR camera, try to use a fast shooting mode (“Sports” setting) or, if you can adjust it manually, choose a fast shutter speed to capture that moment when the dolphin jumps out of the water. For photos with your mobile phone, it is advisable to avoid zoom as it often adds blur to the photo.

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By the way, to make sure it really will be a nice trip, do not forget to pack suncream and take some medication with you to prevent sea sickness. You can also bring binoculars with you and think of warm clothes, because at sea it can become windy.

Respect the nature: Quality Charter for the cetaceans

When you book the trip, make sure that the company has a Quality Charter, as this indicates its environmental commitment.

According to the certificate, companies undertake to use recyclable products during their excursions, actively collaborate with the cleaning of the seabed, maximize the tourist experience with minimum environmental impact and ensure the satisfaction of the tourist, surveying at a minimum to 5% of their daily customers. Therefore, if you are on a blue-flag boat, you know that you will not only have a unique experience with whales and dolphins in Tenerife, but also do something for the environment.

5 curiosities about whales and dolphins

A few things you have probably never heard of…

  1. At the back fin you can distinguish a shark (vertical position) from a whale (horizontal position).
  2. The common dolphin is very fast! It reaches speeds of 45 km/h (28 mph).
  3. If whales had to go to the dentist, sperm whales would have expensive dentistry! Because they have up to 50 teeth, each weighing up to 1 kg!
  4. Have you ever wondered how dolphins breathe? They make it through a hole in their head, which is called blowhole.
  5. The waters of south-west Tenerife are Europe’s largest mating ground for the bottlenose dolphin!


So, after this little insight, you certainly would love to get to know the whales and dolphins personally. Are you coming?

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