Welcome to Tenerife!
Did you know that if you go whale watching in Tenerife you might be able to spot the world’s largest mammal? It is undoubtedly a sight to behold. But not everyone is lucky enough to catch a glimpse at the right time. Since whales often swim towards the surface for a breather, knowing the best time and hotspots increases the probability of you spotting some beautiful whales and dolphins!
One such famous whale and dolphin watching hotspots is Tenerife, the most populous spot in the Canary Islands. It boasts a rich fauna, including fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals like whales and dolphins.
In this guide I will show you what makes these tours so special, what the hotspots are and the rich history that the Tenerife culture & its people share with these gentle giants and their dolphin cousins.
Whale Watching in Tenerife
Speaking of whales and dolphins, the resident species of Tenerife include short-finned pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins. In addition to these, the island is an occasional/seasonal spot for sperm whales, false killer whales, Atlantic spotted dolphins and common dolphins.
This island is blessed with 21 different species of aquatic mammals because of the favorable weather, which is sunny all year round. On top of that, the occasional sea breeze makes the temperature perfect for humans and whales alike! After all, who doesn’t like some sunshine mixed with the ocean mist?
Further, Tenerife is an affordable holiday getaway as compared to other exotic locations around the world. With cheap flights and budget hotels, the island is always bustling with travelers. And the fact that almost every trip ensures whale sightings is the cherry on the cake!
Thus, here are some affordable tour packages in and around Tenerife for whale watchers or the usual “wanderlust” enthusiasts. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in…
When can you see whales & dolphins in Tenerife?
The Tenerife whale watching season depends on the species your are trying to spot. You see, pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins can be seen all year round. However, migratory whales can be spotted during the winter months, i.e., November to February.
On the other hand, sperm whale sightings have reduced from all year long to spring and summer months only.
The gigantic blue whales can also be seen from December to February during their migratory season. But this happens rarely.
Where can you see whales & dolphins in Tenerife?
Costa Adeje and Los Gigantes are the main harbors that host several whale/dolphin watching tours in Tenerife. Other hotspots n the Canary Islands to spot whales and dolphins are neighbour islands Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.
Besides being home to a large variety of marine mammals, the southern shore of this island is ideal for a number of boat activities and water sports.
Can you swim with wild whale & dolphins in Tenerife?
No, you are allowed to swim with wild whales and dolphins in Tenerife directly, but most of the whale tour packages mentioned in this article include a swimming/snorkeling break. The reason why it is not allowed to swim with wild whales and dolphin directly is because the presences of tourists in the water can create a stressful and even dangerous situation for the animals. There is even a penalty for swimmers that try to harass marine animals in the coastal waters of the island.
It is important to mention that all whale watching tour operators should put the welfare of the animals as their top priority.
What types of whales & dolphins can you spot in Tenerife?
Some of the whales and dolphins spotted frequently include pilot whales, sperm whales, bottlenose dolphins, Risso dolphins, and more. Albeit not a resident of the Tenerife waters, killer whales also happen to surprise the tourists once in a while!
Best Sustainable Whale Watching Tours in Tenerife
Our Pick: Dolphin and Whale Eco-Cruise with Food & Drinks
This eco-friendly whale trip starts with the crew announcing safety instructions. Then the fuel-efficient catamaran sails towards the best whale/dolphin watching spots around the island. The live commentary will keep you on track in English, Spanish, or German, while the underwater sound equipment ensures an immersive experience.
The eco-boat pauses by the Teno-Rasca Whale Sanctuary, the official conservation zone for Tenerife’s marine life, followed by the gorgeous beaches, Playa de las Américas and Playa de Los Cristianos. And if it is your lucky (and a clear) day, you might even spot the famous Mount Teide!
Moreover, you can take a refreshing dip in the Atlantic waters before heading to the shore. Note that the 5-hour extended tour includes a visit to Los Gigantes and Masca Bay, and a wholesome serving of Spanish delicacy, Paella Valenciana, with wine.
Interested to learn more? Click here to check availability and prices!
About This Activity
- 3-5 hours duration
- Instant confirmation, free cancellation, and rescheduling if no whales or dolphins are spotted
- Whale/dolphin watching in a conservation area
- Expert commentary and underwater sound equipment
- Swimming/snorkeling allowed
- Refreshments included
- 5-hour tour option includes more tourist attractions and delicacies
What You Should Carry
- Comfortable shoes
- Sun protection (SPF lotions, sunglasses, etc.)
- Swimwear and towel
- Snorkeling gear
- Medicines, if any
Best Private Luxury Whale Watching Tour
This luxury tour includes a 3-hour long yacht cruise through the most populated whale spots of Southern Tenerife.
With state-of-the-art equipment, you can catch a closer glimpse of these exotic water mammals. The trip concludes with
a swim with the turtles and complimentary refreshments.
Best Whale Watching Safari For The Money
This tour boasts a stylish catamaran with underwater viewing stations. The trained crew uses their expertise to track flocks of whales along the coastline. Top it off with free lunch and a glass of beer/sangria/soft drinks to end the tour on a hearty note!
Other Great Wildlife & Nature Tours in Tenerife
Scuba Dive For Beginners in Turtle Area
This 3-hour scuba diving session is the best bet for amateur divers.
With the supervision and control of your PADI-qualified instructor, you will witness the enthralling aquatic life and go back with a new skill!
Teide National Park Stargazing
Soak in the calming sunset and the sparkling constellation through computerized telescopes.
And don’t forget to collect your free photos and a sunset time-lapse before you leave! You will love it.
Kayaking with Dolphins & Turtles
This 2.5-hour kayaking adventure lets tourists get up close and personal with the marine life of the Tenerife waters.
You might even witness the magnificent sight of multiple dolphins jumping into the air! Amazing, right?