Don’t worry, here you can find out everything about the whale watching tours in Tenerife, so that you don’t miss out on this unique experience.
The kinds of dolphins and whales in Tenerife
There are 27 different species of whales and dolphins in the waters around the Canary Islands, which is a quarter of all known species worldwide. Some species are here all year round, while others cross the waters at a certain time of the year on their way to other regions. The species that can be spotted all year round include bottlenose dolphins, for example, which even reproduce in this area. The most frequently sighted whale species in the waters around the Canary Islands include the common pilot whales (pilot whales) and sperm whales.
Species sighted all year round:
1. Bottlenose dolphins
2. Common dolphins
3. Common pilot whales
4. Sperm whales
5. Common beaked whale
Seasonally sighted species:
1. Borneo Dolphins
2. Blue and white dolphins
3. Northern right whale
5. Blue whales
In the past few years there have been more sightings of orcas.
The best season to see dolphins and whales
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Swimming with dolphins
The dolphins that are spotted during the excursions are wild animals and they simply are unpredictable. Swimming with them is therefore strictly forbidden. The prohibition applies to the safety of humans but of course also to the protection of animals. In order not to disturb their habitat or themselves, the marine mammals are not allowed to be touched, fed and above all swimming with them. Any approaches come solely from the side of the dolphins, which in most cases is shown by the fact that they are swimming in the bow wave of the boat.
Animal Welfare – License for whale and dolphin watching
There are strict rules on the part of the government for watching whales and dolphins in Tenerife. Operators of such tours must have a license, which can be recognized by the yellow flag with the imprint “Barco Azul” (blue boat). Without such a license there would be far too many providers of dolphin and whale tours that the animals would be harmed. This license not only severely restricts the number of excursion boats. The license is also bound to rules of conduct that ensure that the animals are disturbed as little as possible in their habitat:
• The boats are only allowed to approach the animals a maximum of 60 meters
• Approach may only take place from the side of the animals
• The animals must not be followed
• A time of a maximum of 30 minutes must not be exceeded during the sighting
However, there are also operators who offer these excursions despite not having a license. We can only advise against these, as they usually do not adhere to the rules of conduct either and even harass the animals. You can help protect the animals by avoiding such excursion boats. We at CANCO Travel Services only offer tours from certified tour operators in order to protect the welfare of the dolphins and whales as much as possible. The encounter with the animals should ultimately be a positive experience for you as participants and also for the animals.
The different types of tours
The duration of the tours can vary greatly. This is because some excursion boats only go out to watch, while others offer other activities and services afterwards. Regardless of the total duration, a maximum of 2.5 hours is spent looking for dolphins. The rest of the time is reserved for fun on the sea.
• Dolphin Search only: The tours only offer to observe the dolphins and whales, these last a maximum of 2.5 hours as the time for the dolphin and whale search is limited by law on all tours.
• Combined tours: Here the observation tour is supplemented with a swim stop and various water activities near the coast. There are also drinks and food on board.
The boat tours take place either on sailboats, catamarans or on yachts. Choose the size of the boat depending on whether you prefer to keep your experience more private or share it with other people. All tours ensure that all passengers have a good view of the dolphins and whales.
The ports for whale watching boats
Tenerife is a very large island. The holiday resorts are distributed in the coastal area mainly on the west to north coast. Below we list where the dolphin and whale watching tours start from: Puerto Colón:
The marina is located in the south of the island in Playa de las Américas, one of the most popular tourist areas in Tenerife. Its port is very modern and has space for 364 boats. Right next to the marina is the Playa de la Pinta beach, with fine sand and calm water. At the port there is also a globe in memory of Columbus.
One of the most beautiful harbors in Europe! Surrounded by large rocks, it offers the perfect conditions for boat tours. You can see many old houses in the harbor that still have the typical Canarian wooden balconies. Right next to the port is the Playa de Los Gigantes, with its black volcanic sand. The waters off the cliffs are known for their great marine diversity.
A fishing port in the west of the island, where visitors can watch fish auctions starting in the late afternoon during the week. From the harbor you can see many brightly painted houses standing on the slope.
The port is located in the south of Tenerife and is one of the busiest passenger ports. From here many boats go to the other Canary Islands and boat trips leave from this port. There is also a beautiful, light sandy beach with swimming facilities right next to the harbor.
What you should definitely bring on the trip
• Comfortable clothing: we recommend sporty clothing for freedom of movement
• Swimming gear: on the combined tours, bath sheets and swimming gear for swimming stops
• Jacket: especially from October to April, as the sea breeze can be a little cooler during this period
• Sun cream: with the highest possible sun protection factor regardless of the season, as the sun in the Canary Islands is very strong even in winter and a hat
• Anti-nausea tablets: if you get seasick or if you don’t know whether you can take boat trips well
• Camera: or mobile phone to capture the beautiful moments forever