Tag Archives: cetaceans

The day I meet the wild whales and dolphins of Tenerife

“Your excursion to see whales and dolphins in Tenerife is confirmed,” said the email. I checked it over and over to make sure because I couldn’t wait to get out on the ocean and see the cetaceans.  

Where does my Tenerife whale and dolphin trip in Tenerife leave from?

The email said to be at “Puerto Colón” in the southern municipality of Costa Adeje although I could have chosen a trip from Los Cristianos or Los Gigantes. I arrive early so I go for a walk to watch people having fun on pretty Playa de la Pinta beach. I think I’ll head back tomorrow for a swim!

Right on time, I head to the boat and meet the small group of people coming with me on the trip. Everyone is excited to get the chance to see whales and dolphins swimming free in the ocean. 

I meet Julian, a friendly traveller who is on holiday and staying in the north of the island. He got up at dawn to make it to the boat in time for the trip. We exchange experiences for a while and he gives me some good tips about places to visit in Puerto de la Cruz, La Orotava y Garachico.

Then the captain calls us all on board.

At last we head out to see to look for whales and dolphins

After a quick safety briefing, our guide tells us all about the experience of watching whales and dolphins in Tenerife. He starts by telling us that the boat is proud to be signed up to the Quality Charter that guarantees that it respects the environment and doesn’t disturb the whales and dolphins.

Oh, I almost forgot to say! I put on plenty of sunscreen and a hat as the hot sun. It’s always best to be prepared and protect yourself from the sun’s rays. 

Waiting to see the cetaceans 

After a few minutes we are out on the open water. The sea is calm but at first we don’t see any animals. Our guide tells us not to worry as we are close to the area where they live. Then, suddenly, a group of whales appears right by the boat. 

The captain switches off the engines so we don’t disturb them and as they drift closer to us we can hear the sounds they make as they break the surface to breathe. It’s a magical experience  to be out there on the ocean sharing this moment with such beautiful creatures. 

As we keep our eyes on the whales, our guide tells us all about the 21 species of whales and dolphins that live in or visit the ocean around Tenerife. The most common species are the bottlenose dolphin and the short-finned pilot whale. 

Back to the harbour at Puerto Colón

After two hours on the water and a lovely snack we head back to Puerto Colón. Other trips include a swimming stop at a sheltered cove (especially around Los Gigantes) and there are short options for anyone in a hurry. I’m quite happy with my two-hour trip and have time to chat to Julian again. We swap impressions and a few photos of the day and we even agreed to go diving together in the north of Tenerife. Tomorrow will be another adventure; it looks like my day on the beach will have to wait.

Dolphin watching in Tenerife – don’t miss it

Paseo maritimo cetáceos

Dolphin watching in Tenerife is one of the most popular activities among our visitors, as there are up to 21 different species of whales and dolphins. If you want to experience such an adventure on the Atlantic Ocean, then read this blog post.

Respect and care for the environment with the Quality Charter of Whale Watching

If you want to see cetaceans in the wild, the best way is to book an excursion with one of the companies attached to the Quality Charter of Whale Watching.

Delfin salto Tenerife

This not only ensures that you are accompanied by experts who can answer all your questions and tell you interesting things about the animals, but also follow guidelines to avoid disturbing the animals and protecting the environment.

Companies that voluntarily participate in the Quality Charter commit working together to clean up the oceans and to collaborate with various scientific teams to conserve the marine environment.

Watch whales and dolphins in Tenerife

Ballenas Tenerife

The chance to see cetaceans in Tenerife is very good, as the probability on boat trips is up to 100%, on 80% of the days of the year.

The reason why we have so good possibilities is because in the waters of Tenerife there are resident populations of pilot whales and Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

Where to observe dolphins in Tenerife

Delfin sonrisa Tenerife

The southwest coast of the island is the ideal place to observe cetaceans in Tenerife because it is the area where most of the populations of marine mammals live and where companies offer their excursions. Los Cristianos, Puerto Colón and Los Gigantes are the main ports, with different options according to your needs:

Two-hour excursion to watch dolphins in Tenerife

If you don’t have much time then it is best to do a short two-hour tour. In this case the boat drives directly to the animals. You can also combine this trip with other activities in the south of the island.

Three to four hour excursion to observe cetaceans in Tenerife

If you have more time, it will be worth to spend two or three hours. Here you can enjoy a meal on board as well as a small break in a nearby cove where you can take a dip.

The boats that offer this type of excursion tend to be larger and therefore you have more space of movement and comfort.

Five-hour boat tours in Tenerife

These trips are made on the largest and most spacious boats, as you will spend a lot of time at sea. Not only can you spot whales and dolphins in Tenerife, but you can also visit the most iconic places on the coast of our island. Los Gigantes for example are imposing cliffs of up to 600 metres high. In the time of the Guanches, the indigenous people of Tenerife, the imposing natural monument was called “The Wall of Hell”.

Would you like to read more interesting articles about Tenerife? Don’t miss anything on our blog; information about beaches, culture, places of interest…

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.

Bonadea - 5


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?