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Whale and dolphin watching in Tenerife

The best way to see dolphins and whales in Tenerife is to do it while the cetaceans are free and in their habitat. Find out where and how the dolphin and whale species are waiting for you to see them.

Best excursions to see dolphins and whales in Tenerife

Take a look at the best excursions to enjoy whale watching in the Atlantic waters off the coast of Tenerife.

Kayaking Los Gigantes + Whale Watching

kayak los gigantes avistamiento cetaceos
  • The excursion departs from Los Gigantes marina, along the coast of the mythical cliffs on a round trip route in which professional guides will explain all the singularities of this wonderful landscape.
  • The kayaks are for two people (two-seater), easy to navigate even if it’s your first time. Single kayaks are also available if there is an odd number of people in the group.
  • In addition, a support boat accompanies the group throughout the tour just in case.
  • After the kayak tour, there is a one hour stop for a bite to eat before getting back on the boat to go dolphin and whale watching in the waters of Los Gigantes but further inland.
  • On the way back, the boat stops for about 15 minutes in the bay of Masca for a refreshing swim and to enjoy the scenery.

Book online and get a cheaper price than on other intermediary platforms that raise prices 🙂

Tenerife: Dolphin and whale watching with appetizers

  • It is the best-selling whale watching tour on the Getyourguide platform, with over 1,300 reviews and the vast majority rating it 5 stars. It is one of the best value for money.
  • The 3 hour tour takes place on a yacht to see whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. It also includes a stop at a cove to snorkel and enjoy the Canarian marine life first hand.
  • They have sonar equipment so you can not only see them, but also listen to the whales, dolphins and other marine fauna.
  • The cruise lasts 3 hours and the maximum group size is 11 passengers.
  • Drinks and snacks are included, as well as a pick-up and return service to the hotels in the south of Tenerife.

Tenerife: whale watching tour

  • Catamaran excursion from Puerto Colón, in the southwest of Tenerife, to see whales and dolphins almost for sure. The tour passes the fish farms that attract the dolphins.
  • The boat departs from Puerto Colón and travels 3 to 5 km off the coast, where pilot whales can often be spotted. These marine mammals inhabit the area permanently and can be seen all year round.
  • The crew is very knowledgeable about Tenerife’s whales and the rest of the island’s marine life. During the trip, you will also learn interesting facts about the giant squid.
  • Free drinks on board (including water, soft drinks and beer).

Price: 28€ per person (the cheapest)

Sailing trip along the south coast of Tenerife

velero ruta cetaceos tenerife avistamiento
Whale watching excursion on a sailing boat
  • Sailboat with capacity for up to 10 people, which will make a tour of approximately 3 hours sailing along the southwest coast of Tenerife to see cetaceans such as bottlenose dolphins or the pilot whale (also known as “pilot whale”).
  • There will be a stop to dive into the Atlantic and snorkel or simply enjoy the scenic beauty of the Canary Islands.
  • There is a choice of water, beer and soft drinks on board. Also included are sandwiches and snacks so you won’t go hungry during the trip.
  • The excursion ends when you return to the dock in Puerto Colón.
  • In case you are staying in Costa Adeje, Las Americas and Los Cristianos, less than 25 km from Puerto Colon, the pick-up from your location to the harbour will be done at no extra cost.

Whale and dolphin watching in Costa Adeje

  • This whale watching excursion departs from Puerto de Colón and sails around Costa Adeje in Tenerife.
  • About 5 km from the coast you will be able to see dolphins and whales from the boat, as well as other Tenerife marine fauna such as fish and squid.
  • The excursion lasts two hours and includes a guide, drinks, hotel pick-up service and optional return transport. Remember that no food is included.

Price: 30€ per person

Catamaran trip with whale watching and listening to whales and dolphins

tour cetaceos tenerife en catamaran
Whale and Dolphin Watching Catamaran Tour
  • The whale watching tour starts in Puerto Colón (Costa Adeje), in Tenerife South. There you can take a catamaran with a total capacity of up to 60 people.
  • Depending on the sea and weather conditions, the number of cetaceans that can be sighted can vary. It is common to see pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins swimming in their habitat in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • It is not only about seeing them, but also about studying and interpreting their behaviour by listening to the cetaceans, as they emit very diverse sounds that form a complex language.
  • The excursion also includes a swim in the open sea and snorkelling (remember to bring your own snorkelling goggles, swimming costume or bikini).
  • Snacks, sandwiches, water, soft drinks and beer are provided on board.
  • The excursion ends at the dock of Puerto Colon, which is the same point of departure.

Whale watching yacht trip

paseo en yate avistamiento delfines y ballenas tenerife
Excursion by yacht along the coast of Tenerife

Seeing the sea creatures of Tenerife on board of a yacht is also possible. You can choose between a 3 or 4 hour tour, starting and finishing in the harbour of Playa de San Juan.

  • 3 hour excursion: the route runs along the west coast of the island of Tenerife, where you will see dolphins and whales swimming alongside the boat. There will also be a stop at the Agua Dulce cove for snorkelling and to continue getting to know the local marine fauna.
  • 4-hour excursion: on this longer route you will sail parallel to the cliffs of Los Gigantes, where you will see cetaceans and volcanic formations of the island’s coastline. The stop will take place at Masca beach, where you can take a refreshing swim, rest or snorkel, and then return to the port of Playa de San Juan. Remember to bring your own goggles and snorkel.

Excursion to Masca and Los Gigantes

ruta masca delfines ballenas tenerife
Boat trip through Masca for whale watching
  • The excursion starts with the pick-up at your hotel (as long as it is included in the list, and if it is not, you can always go on your own to the door of the hotel closest to your location), from where you will go to the catamaran in Puerto Colón to cruise along the Adeje Coast and get close to the place where the dolphins and whales live in their own habitat.
  • The marine species you will be able to observe are pilot whales, bottlenose dolphins and spotted dolphins, which will swim around the boat during the trip along the cliffs of Los Gigantes.
  • After the whale watching, the tour continues to Barranco de Masca, where there will be a stop at the rocky beach to relax or take a dip in the sea.
  • The tour ends after this stop and returns to Puerto Colón.

More excursions to see whales and dolphins in Tenerife

What species of cetaceans can be seen in Tenerife waters?

In the waters of Tenerife inhabit up to 21 different species of cetaceans, many of them are difficult to distinguish. Below we show the species of whales and dolphins that can be found off the coast of Tenerife at any time of the year.

The most common are the pilot whale and the bottlenose dolphin.

Pilot whale

calderon tropical ballena piloto
Globicephala macrorhynchus

It is a species of odontocete cetacean of the family Delphinidae. Dark gray or black in color, with some white spots on the vertical part. Males measure between 6 and 7 meters, while females measure between 5 and 5.5 meters. They weigh between 1,000 and 4,000 kg. They live in groups of between 10 and 30 specimens, and can even reach 60.

Bottlenose dolphin

Tursiops truncatus delfin mular
Tursiops truncatus

It is a species of the Delphinidae family, being the most common and well known of all the species that make up this group. They are intelligent and sociable animals that you will also see in shows. They usually live in groups of between 10 and 12 individuals. Bottlenose dolphins can swim at a maximum speed of 35 km/h. Every 5-8 minutes, they come to the surface to breathe. Females live around 40 years while males rarely reach 30 years of age.

Calderón gris

calderon gris Grampus griseus
Grampus griseus

It is a cetacean of the Delphinidae family. It is a large dolphin, about 3.5 meters long and weighing 350 kg. It has a strong body and a wide and rounded head, without a beak. Characteristic are the scars on its body, caused by other pilot whales or their prey (commonly squid).

Sperm Whale

cachalote Physeter macrocephalus
Physeter macrocephalus

One of the most abundant whale species on the planet. Sperm whales have a large head unbalanced with their body, with short and wide pectoral fins. They are dark grey to brown cetaceans. Males can measure up to 18 meters and weigh 57,000 kg, while females can measure more than 11 meters and weigh about 24,000 kg.

Atlantic spotted dolphin

Stenella frontalis delfin moteado atlantico
Stenella frontalis

The spotted dolphin is also known as the painted or spotted dolphin, because of its characteristic spotted coloration that changes in the different stages of its life. They belong to the family Delphinidae, reaching a length of up to 2.5 meters, although those found in the Canary Islands do not exceed 2 meters.

Striped dolphin

delfin listado Stenella coeruleoalba
Stenella coeruleoalba

It is a cetacean of the Delphinidae family, which does not exceed 2.5 metres in length and weighs approximately 150 kg. A characteristic that differentiates it from other species are the black lines that go from the eye to the beginning of the pectoral fins and the anus. It has an average life expectancy of about 58 years.

Rough-toothed dolphin

delfin Steno bredanensis
Steno bredanensis

Also known as the narrow-snouted dolphin, it is a cetacean with a light grey colour combined with white in the area of the snout, throat and belly. It can reach 2.5 metres in length and weigh about 150 kg. It lives in groups of 10 to 30 individuals. As good divers, rough-toothed dolphins can dive for periods of up to 15 minutes.

What is the best time to see cetaceans?

Although there are many species that inhabit the Canary coasts throughout the year, the best time for whale watching in Tenerife is spring, especially during the months of April and May. The main reason is that it is not high season, fewer boats go out and therefore the marine animals can be seen more easily.

Tips before you go on your boat trip

Some indications to enjoy this wonderful aquatic activity in the best way:

  • Remember that for whale watching you will have to go on board a boat, so it is advisable to take sun cream, sunglasses and seasickness tablets.
  • A pair of binoculars will allow you to get the most out of your whale watching.
  • Temperatures drop at sea, so it is also advisable to take some warm clothing.
  • Don’t forget your camera to capture the dolphins and whales. Take a quick shot to ensure the best images, as cetaceans are excellent swimmers and move very fast, making it difficult to take pictures.

Sustainability Charter for Whale and Dolphin Watching in Tenerife

The Charter for Sustainability was created to guarantee maximum respect for the environment and the marine fauna of Tenerife. It is a voluntary commitment by which whale watching companies undertake to respect 5 basic principles:

  1. To transmit significant and transforming experiences.
  2. A tourism product to match the exceptional value of the unique natural environment.
  3. Care for the environment, the sea and the local community.
  4. Complying with current regulations.
  5. Transparency, commitment and continuous improvement of the sector.

Companies that sign the Sustainability Charter are assessed each year on the basis of these 5 principles.

No permits are necessary to see whales and dolphins in Tenerife, as long as the organising company has the “Blue Boat” flag, which accredits the professional nature of the activity with qualified personnel at the disposal of the users.