American Oceans

Best Whale Watching in Tenerife

Tenerife is a beautiful island located in the Canary Islands, Spain. It is known for its stunning beaches, breathtaking landscapes, and diverse wildlife.

a massive whale breaching the surface of the water

One of the most popular activities on the island is whale watching, where visitors can witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Whale watching in Tenerife is a truly unforgettable experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Whether it’s spotting dolphins, pilot whales, or even the elusive blue whale, Tenerife offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness these magnificent creatures up close.

Tenerife Whale Watching

the tail of a blue whale in the air after breaching

Tenerife is a popular destination for whale watching enthusiasts. With its clear waters and diverse marine life, it offers a unique opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

There are several companies that offer whale watching tours in Tenerife. These tours vary in length, price, and itinerary, so it’s important to do some research before booking. Some of the best whale watching tours in Tenerife include:

  • Freebird One: This spacious catamaran offers a 3-hour tour of the waters around Tenerife, with the chance to see dolphins, whales, and turtles. The tour includes snacks and drinks, and the boat has a glass bottom for underwater viewing.

  • Flipper Uno: This eco-friendly catamaran offers a 3-hour tour of the waters around Tenerife, with the chance to see pilot whales, bottlenose dolphins, and sea turtles. The tour includes snacks and drinks, and the boat has a hydrophone for listening to the whales.

  • Marine Excursions: This company offers a 4.5-hour tour of the waters around Tenerife, with the chance to see pilot whales, bottlenose dolphins, and sperm whales. The tour includes snacks and drinks, and the boat has a sonar system for locating the whales.

Whale watching tours in Tenerife are subject to strict regulations to protect the whales and their habitat. Tour operators must follow guidelines on speed limits, distance from the whales, and noise levels.

Visitors should also be aware of their own impact on the environment and follow guidelines on waste disposal and wildlife interaction.

Best Time for Whale Watching

right whale breaching water

The best time for whale watching in Tenerife is between November and February. During this period, the chances of spotting whales are high due to the migration of pilot whales and other species to the waters around the island.

The Tenerife whale watching season coincides with the winter months when the sea is relatively calm, and the weather is mild.

It is also the time when the whales come to the surface to breathe and mate, making it the perfect time to see them up close.

However, it is important to note that whale watching is a natural activity, and sightings are not guaranteed. The tour operators have experienced guides who know the best spots to see the whales, but it is still dependent on the whales’ movements.

If you are planning a whale watching trip, it is recommended to book in advance, especially during the peak season, to ensure availability.

Types of Whales in Tenerife

Tenerife is home to a wide variety of whales and dolphins, making it one of the best places in the world for whale watching. Here are some of the most common types of whales and dolphins that can be spotted off the coast of Tenerife:

  • Pilot Whales: Pilot whales are one of the most commonly sighted species of whale in Tenerife. These whales are known for their distinctive bulbous heads and sleek black bodies. They typically travel in large pods and can often be seen swimming close to the shore.

  • Sperm Whales: Sperm whales are the largest toothed whales in the world and can be seen off the coast of Tenerife throughout the year. These whales are known for their distinctive block-shaped heads and powerful diving abilities.

  • Fin Whales: Fin whales are the second-largest species of whale in the world and can be seen off the coast of Tenerife during the summer months. These whales are known for their sleek bodies and long, pointed heads.

  • Blue Whales: Blue whales are the largest animals on the planet, and while they are rare in Tenerife, they can occasionally be spotted during the summer months. These whales are known for their distinctive blue-gray coloration and long, slender bodies.

  • Killer Whales: Killer whales, also known as orcas, are one of the most iconic species of whale and can occasionally be seen off the coast of Tenerife. These whales are known for their distinctive black and white coloration and powerful hunting abilities.

  • Humpback Whales: Humpback whales are known for their acrobatic displays and haunting songs, and can occasionally be seen off the coast of Tenerife during the winter months. These whales are easily identified by their long, pointed flippers and distinctive humpbacked shape.

Tours and Excursions

a woman watching a whale breach from a boat in tenerife

Tenerife offers a wide range of whale watching tours and excursions that cater to all kinds of travelers. Whether you’re looking for a catamaran cruise, a luxury yacht, or an eco-cruise, there’s something for everyone.

One of the best ways to experience whale watching in Tenerife is on a small group tour. These tours typically have a maximum of 12 passengers, which allows for a more intimate and personalized experience.

Some small group tours even offer the opportunity to swim with dolphins, making for an unforgettable adventure.

For those who prefer a larger vessel, catamaran cruises are a popular choice. These tours offer plenty of space for passengers to move around and take in the stunning views of the coastline. Some catamaran tours even include a stop at a secluded beach for swimming and snorkeling.

Sailing enthusiasts will love the opportunity to experience whale watching on a traditional sailing boat. These tours offer a unique and authentic experience, as passengers can help to hoist the sails and navigate the boat.

For those looking for a more luxurious experience, there are plenty of options available. Luxury yachts offer a private and exclusive experience, with top-of-the-line amenities and personalized service. Viking cruises are also available, offering a unique and historical perspective on whale watching in Tenerife.

One of the most popular whale watching tours in Tenerife is the Los Gigantes whale watching cruise. This tour takes passengers along the stunning cliffs of Los Gigantes, where they can see whales and dolphins in their natural habitat.

The tour also includes a stop at Masca Bay, where passengers can swim and snorkel in crystal-clear waters.

There are plenty of tour operators offering whale-watching tours in Tenerife, so it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable company. Look for companies with experienced guides and a commitment to responsible and sustainable tourism.

Notable Locations

a group of people on a whale watching tour

Tenerife is known for its exceptional whale watching opportunities. Here are some notable locations where visitors can experience this amazing activity:

  • Costa Adeje: Located in the southwestern part of the island, Costa Adeje is a popular spot for whale watching. The area is home to various species of whales, including pilot whales, sperm whales, and even orcas. Visitors can book a tour from one of the many tour operators in the area.

  • Los Cristianos: This charming town is located in the southern part of Tenerife and is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters. Los Cristianos is also a great location for whale watching, with many tour operators offering daily tours.

  • Los Gigantes: Located on the western coast of Tenerife, Los Gigantes is a small town known for its breathtaking cliffs and stunning views. Visitors can take a boat tour from the marina to see whales and dolphins in their natural habitat.

  • Puerto Colon: This bustling port town is located in the southwestern part of Tenerife and is a popular spot for whale watching. Visitors can take a tour from one of the many tour operators in the area and enjoy the beautiful scenery while watching whales and dolphins.

  • Masca: This small village is located in the northwestern part of Tenerife and is known for its stunning natural beauty. Visitors can take a boat tour from Masca to see whales and dolphins in their natural habitat.

  • Mount Teide: This iconic mountain is located in the center of Tenerife and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While whale watching is not typically associated with Mount Teide, visitors can still enjoy stunning views of the Canary Islands archipelago from the top of the mountain.

Experience and Adventure

a blue whale diving deep in the ocean

Whale watching in Tenerife is an unforgettable experience that combines adventure, excitement, and nature. Visitors can enjoy a unique perspective of the ocean and its inhabitants while on the water.

The deep ocean channel off the coast of Tenerife provides an ideal location for whale watching, as it is home to a variety of whale species, including the impressive pilot whale.

Many tour operators offer a range of activities to enhance the whale watching experience, such as swimming and snorkeling stops, kayaking, and even extreme sports like parasailing.

These activities allow visitors to get up close and personal with the ocean and its inhabitants, creating a truly immersive experience.

The best time to go whale watching in Tenerife is during the summer months when the weather is warm and the waters are calm.

Visitors can expect to see a variety of whale species, including the pilot whale, sperm whale, and fin whale. Additionally, dolphins and sea turtles are often spotted during the tour, adding to the excitement of the adventure.

Regulations and Guidelines

a humpback whale swimming in the ocean

Whale watching is a popular activity in Tenerife, and it is important to follow regulations and guidelines to ensure the safety of both the whales and the tourists.

The Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Government of the Canary Islands have established rules that must be followed by all whale watching operators in Tenerife.

One of the most important regulations is that boats must maintain a safe distance from the whales.

This distance is usually around 60 meters, although it may vary depending on the species of whale. Boats must also never approach whales from the front or from behind, as this can be dangerous for the animals.

In addition, boats must never block the path of a whale or change its direction of travel. If a whale approaches a boat, the boat must turn off its engine and wait for the whale to pass. Boats must also never feed or touch the whales, as this can be harmful to their health.

To ensure that these regulations are followed, the Government of the Canary Islands has established a system of fines for operators who violate the rules. These fines can be as high as €60,000, and operators can also have their licenses revoked if they repeatedly break the regulations.

Tourists who are planning to go whale watching in Tenerife should also follow guidelines to ensure the safety of the whales.

This includes not throwing any trash or food into the water, as this can harm the whales and disrupt their natural behavior. Tourists should also never attempt to swim with the whales, as this can be dangerous for both the tourists and the whales.

Trip Considerations

endangered orcas swimming in the oceans

When planning a whale watching trip in Tenerife, there are several considerations to keep in mind. Whether you are an informative traveler, a family with children, a group of friends, a nature lover, a biologist, or simply someone looking for a unique experience in Spain, these factors will help you make the most of your trip.

First and foremost, it’s important to choose a reputable tour operator. Look for companies that prioritize the well-being of the animals and follow responsible whale watching guidelines. It’s also a good idea to read reviews and ask for recommendations from locals or other travelers.

Next, consider the time of year. While whales can be seen year-round in Tenerife, certain species are more prevalent during specific seasons. For example, pilot whales are typically seen in large numbers between April and October, while orcas are more commonly spotted in the winter months.

Another factor to consider is the length of the tour. Most whale watching tours in Tenerife last between 3-4 hours, but longer trips are available for those who want to explore further offshore. Keep in mind that longer tours may be more strenuous and may not be suitable for young children or those with mobility issues.

It’s also important to dress appropriately for the weather and conditions. Tenerife can be quite hot and sunny, so be sure to wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. However, it can also be windy and chilly out at sea, so bring a jacket or sweater as well.

Finally, be prepared for the possibility of rough seas. While Tenerife’s waters are generally calm, there may be some choppy conditions depending on the weather. If you are prone to seasickness, consider taking medication or wearing acupressure wristbands to help alleviate symptoms.

By taking these considerations into account, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable whale watching experience in Tenerife.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of year to go whale watching in Tenerife?

The best time to go whale watching in Tenerife is from December to April. During this time, the waters are calm and the weather is mild, making it easier to spot whales. However, whales can be seen in Tenerife throughout the year.

What types of whales can be seen during a whale watching tour in Tenerife?

The most common types of whales that can be seen during a whale watching tour in Tenerife are pilot whales and sperm whales. Other species that can be spotted include fin whales, Bryde’s whales, and killer whales.

What should I wear for a whale watching excursion in Tenerife?

It is recommended to wear comfortable clothing and shoes, and to bring a jacket or sweater as it can get chilly on the boat. Sunscreen and a hat are also recommended as the sun can be strong, especially during the summer months.

How long does a typical whale watching tour last in Tenerife?

A typical whale watching tour in Tenerife lasts around 2-3 hours. However, some tours can last up to 5 hours depending on the operator and the location of the whales.

Are there any age restrictions for whale watching in Tenerife?

Most whale watching operators in Tenerife do not have age restrictions, but it is recommended to check with the specific operator before booking. Children under a certain age may be required to wear a life jacket during the tour.

What is the cost of a whale watching tour in Tenerife?

The cost of a whale watching tour in Tenerife varies depending on the operator and the length of the tour. Prices typically range from €20 to €60 per person. It is recommended to book in advance to secure a spot and to compare prices from different operators.

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