Tag Archives: whale watching Tenerife

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.

Whale and dolphin watching in Tenerife all year round

Whale and dolphin watching in Tenerife all year round

I’m on board a beautiful sailing boat, enjoying the amazing experience of watching pilot whales close up. They are impressive, very sociable and they glide smoothly alongside the boat. I think they’re delighted to have some visitors!


Of the 79 whale and dolphin species in the world, 25 are found in the Canary Islands and 21 of them have been spotted in Tenerife’s waters. It’s hard to believe that the chances of seeing pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins are nearly 100%, but it’s true! They live in the waters between the islands of Tenerife and La Gomera and you can usually see them when they come up to the surface to breathe and enjoy the warm rays of sunlight. Watching whales and dolphins in the wild is a wonderful gift you can enjoy in the island all year round thanks to Tenerife’s great weather.

These marine mammals have found paradise in southwest Tenerife, around 3 miles offshore:  crystal clear water, plenty of food, a wind-protected stretch of sea and a mild climate that they love.


There are many relaxing boat excursions with an expert guide to explain interesting facts about the way of life of these incredible creatures that are able to give birth and suckle their offspring underwater.

There are plenty of companies specialising in whale and dolphin watching trips departing from Los Cristianos harbour (Arona), Puerto Colón (Adeje) and Los Gigantes (Santiago del Teide). Ten companies take part in a quality charter created by the Tenerife Tourism Corporation and are committed to maintaining a high quality service and respecting the environment.

If you’re wondering about whale and dolphin care and preservation, it’s great to hear that the Canary Islands Government put in place Decree 178/2000 (6th September 2000) which regulates whale watching activities and lays down strict measures for boats, crew and visitors to respect the natural habitat of these marine mammals and protect them from any disturbance or threat.

See more at: http://www.webtenerife.co.uk/activities/in-the-sea/whale-and-dolphin-watching/