Whale-watching-in-Tenerife

Whale Watching in Tenerife – Best Tours & Prices

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Whale watching in Tenerife is one of the best activities you can do in the Canary Islands since its waters have the optimal conditions for you to experience great marine diversity. Here you can find up to 21 different species of cetaceans, and other fish and marine creatures that you will not find anywhere else. Therefore, doing a whale watching tour is one of the best things to do in Tenerife.

If you want to see dolphins in Tenerife, as well as orcas, pilot whales, and other cetaceans, you’re in the right place, because I’ll share several tour options. Besides, the experience of observing these animals free in their natural habitat is incredible. Keep in mind that these are wild animals, so each tour is different and has something to offer.

We did a whale watching tour in Tenerife and we loved it. We took this 3-hour tour that departs from Costa Adeje but many more options depart from different parts of the island and last for different durations. To help you choose, in this guide you will find the 5 best Tenerife whale watching tours. Besides, I will tell you about the best time to see whales in Tenerife to increase your chances of crossing paths with these giants.

Top Tenerife whale-watching and dolphin tours

Most whale-watching tours in Tenerife depart from Costa Adeje or the port of Los Gigantes. While you can also do this type of excursion from other islands, Tenerife is one of the best options because, due to its location, you can see dolphins and other cetaceans just about any time of the year.

Since there are numerous options, here are the best tours to see whales and dolphins in Tenerife. Also, most of them can be repeated for free until you luck out and see cetaceans.

  1. Whale and dolphin tour in Tenerife South with snorkeling
  2. Dolphin and whale-watching in Tenerife on a luxury yacht
  3. Cheap whale-watching in South Tenerife
  4. Boat from South Tenerife to see whales and dolphins in Los Gigantes and Masca
  5. Whale-watching from Los Gigantes, Tenerife

1. Whale and dolphin tour in Tenerife South with snorkeling (3 hours)

Among all the excursions to see whales around Tenerife, as well as other cetaceans, this is the most popular and it is also the one we did. In fact, it is one of the best things to do in south Tenerife.

The tour starts in Puerto Colón, Costa Adeje, and goes 2 to 2.5 miles from the coast to where you can see dolphins and whales. Cetaceans are often seen here throughout the year, so you can enjoy this impressive activity regardless of when you travel to the Canary Islands.

Whale and dolphin tour in Tenerife South with snorkeling, dolphin trip Tenerife

1. Whale and dolphin tour in Tenerife South with snorkeling (3 hours)

This Tenerife dolphin trip ends with a stop at Playa Espagueti, where you can enjoy a pleasant swimming or snorkeling session.

During our tour, we saw a lot of dolphins and a pod of pilot whales. It was an unforgettable experience!

  • Highlights: Catamaran ride to see whales and dolphins, snorkeling at Espagueti Beach
  • Starting point: Puerto Colón, Costa Adeje
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Price: $44
  • Description: This catamaran tour goes about 2 miles off the coast to see wild dolphins and whales in Tenerife. At the end of the tour, you’ll stop at Playa Espagueti, where you can snorkel and swim.

2. Dolphin and whale watching in Tenerife on a luxury yacht (3 hours)

If you’re looking for something more luxurious, you can do this yacht tour to see dolphins in Tenerife, as well as whales and other marine animals.

The yacht holds a maximum of 11 people and travels along the coast in search of dolphins and pilot whales in Tenerife. During the tour, you can use sonar equipment to listen to the cetaceans. There is even a stop in a bay full of sea turtles, and travelers who want to swim with them will have a chance to do so.

Dolphin and whale watching in Tenerife on a luxury yacht, dolphins Tenerife

2. Dolphin and whale watching in Tenerife on a luxury yacht (3 hours)

  • Highlights: Luxury yacht ride with drinks and snacks to see dolphins, pilot whales, and sea turtles
  • Starting point: Puerto Colón, Costa Adeje
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Price: $70
  • Description: This luxury yacht tour covers the area mostly inhabited by dolphins and pilot whales. There is also a stop to see and swim among sea turtles. This whale-watching tour in Tenerife includes a snack and drinks and sonar equipment to listen to the marine animals.

3. Cheap whale-watching in South Tenerife

If you’re looking for something cheaper, this tour offers the best whale-watching in Tenerife on a budget.

You’ll travel up to 3 miles off the coast by boat to reach the areas with a high concentration of pilot whales, which can be seen throughout the year. You’ll also pass through areas where dolphins usually go to look for food.

Cheap whale-watching in South Tenerife, whale-watching season Tenerife

3. Cheap whale-watching in South Tenerife

The knowledgeable crew will share interesting information about the marine animals that inhabit the area, so in addition to seeing whales in Tenerife, you’ll learn everything to know about them.

Even though it’s one of the cheapest dolphin trips in Tenerife, it’s comprehensive and, like the others, you can repeat it for free if you don’t see any cetaceans.

  • Highlights: Boat trip to see dolphins and pilot whales
  • Starting point: Puerto Colón, Costa Adeje
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Price: $33
  • Description: This tour is ideal to see dolphins and whales in Tenerife and learn everything about these animal species.

4. Boat from South Tenerife to see whales and dolphins in Los Gigantes and Masca

If you’re looking for the best whale-watching in Tenerife, the most comprehensive option is this tour. It takes you from South Tenerife to the Los Gigantes and Masca area, which is where you are most likely to see cetaceans.

This tour runs through the Teno-Rasca sanctuary, which is part of the first Whale Heritage Site in Europe (the third such site in the world). This qualification is awarded by the World Cetacean Alliance, whose main objective is to protect these marine animals.

Boat from South Tenerife to Los Gigantes and Masca, whales around Tenerife

4. Boat from South Tenerife to see whales and dolphins in Los Gigantes and Masca

In addition to enjoying whale watching in Tenerife, as well as dolphins and other marine animals, the boat used on this tour has sonar technology that lets you hear the marine animals from on deck. The tour includes sandwiches and drinks, and before the end of the tour, you’ll get time to swim and snorkel in the Atlantic.

Travelers who choose the 5-hour option will have extra time to see Los Gigantes, Masca Beach, and other sights. In this case, Valencian paella is also included.

  • Highlights: Whale and dolphin-watching in the Teno-Rasca sanctuary, snorkeling, and a visit to Los Gigantes and the bay of Masca Beach
  • Starting point: Puerto Colón, Costa Adeje
  • Duration: 3-5 hours
  • Price: $47+
  • Description: Enjoy dolphin and whale-watching around Tenerife, specifically in the Teno-Rasca sanctuary. Take advantage of underwater audio equipment to listen to the whales and enjoy sandwiches and drinks. During the tour, there will be time to swim and snorkel. The 5-hour tour includes a visit to Los Gigantes and Masca Beach, as well as a Valencian paella.

5. Whale-watching from Los Gigantes, Tenerife

If you’re looking for a whale-watching tour in Tenerife that departs from Puerto de Los Gigantes, this is your best option.

The small-group tour takes place on a sailboat and is ideal to see dolphins and pilot whales as well as the impressive Los Gigantes cliffs from the sea. The most beautiful thing about this tour is that if the wind speed is optimal, your guide can unfurl the sails and make the ride more beautiful. Before returning to the coast, you’ll get time to swim or snorkel. The tour also includes drinks and fruit.

Whale-watching from Los Gigantes, Tenerife, best whale-watching in Tenerife

5. Whale-watching from Los Gigantes, Tenerife

  • Highlights: Sailboat tour to see whales and dolphins, as well as swim and snorkel in the sea
  • Starting point: Puerto de Lo Gigantes
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Price: $77
  • Description: Dolphin and whale-watching in Tenerife from a sailboat with time to swim or snorkel in the waters of the Atlantic. The tour includes drinks and fruit on board.

Best time to whale-watch in Tenerife

I’m sure by now you’re wondering when the best time of year to whale-watch in Tenerife is. Thanks to its prime location, you can see cetaceans in Tenerife any time of year. Species like common dolphins and pilot whales are easy to spot no matter when you go.

That said, if you want to see a wider variety of whales and marine creatures, it’s better to take a whale-watching tour in Tenerife in the winter or spring. This is when there are more migratory baleen whales and dolphins in the area, so you’ll have the best chances of seeing blue and minke whales, and other species.

So, winter and spring are the best seasons for seeing whales, but you can take a whale-watching tour in Tenerife year-round.

Where to see whales in Tenerife

Another common question is where to see whales in Tenerife. While it’s the best island in the Canary Islands for whale watching, you’ll notice that tours usually depart from just a few ports, specifically Puerto Colón, in Costa Adeje and the Port of Los Gigantes.

Whale-watching in South Tenerife

Most whale-watching tours in Tenerife depart from Puerto Colón in Costa Adeje. This is one of the most touristy areas on the island, so you’ll find numerous hotels, restaurants, and charming villages, as well as the Siam Park and the popular Playa de las Américas. Costa Adeje is also one of the best areas to stay in Tenerife.

Whale-watching in South Tenerife, dolphin tour Tenerife

Whale-watching in South Tenerife

If you are going to stay in Costa Adeje, these tours offer the best whale-watching in South Tenerife:

Whale-watching in Los Gigantes, Tenerife

Without a doubt, Los Gigantes is the best place for whale-watching in Tenerife. Not only will you have more chances to see cetaceans here, but you’ll be surrounded by the magical seaside cliffs of this area. This is the top tour from Los Gigantes:

If you’re in Costa Adeje and want to see whales around Tenerife‘s Los Gigantes area, this is the best option:

Types of whales in Tenerife

As I’ve said, the Canary Islands are a prime destination for spotting whales and dolphins throughout the year. Here are the most common species of whales in Tenerife and their distinguishing features so you can easily identify them.

Dolphins in Tenerife

If you want to see dolphins in Tenerife, you’re in luck because the bottlenose dolphin can be seen here throughout the year.

You can find this species just a short distance from the coast of Tenerife, so it’s one of the most common creatures to see. These dolphins measure between 8 and 10 feet and live in groups of 10 to 30. They’re dark grey, although their undersides are usually lighter.

Dolphins in Tenerife, whale-watching season Tenerife

Dolphins in Tenerife

While dolphin-watching in Tenerife, keep an eye out for the Atlantic spotted dolphin, whose body is covered in specks. You may also see the rough tooth dolphin, which has an elongated skull and grooved teeth, and the striped dolphin, which is more bluish. You’ll probably also see the common dolphin, which has yellow coloration on its sides.

These species are less common and more seasonal, so depending on the time of year you take a tour, you may see one or more of them.

Pilot whales in Tenerife

Pilot whales in Tenerife are quite easy to see. They can reach up to 16 feet long and usually weigh between 1 and 2 tons. Pilot whales actually belong to the dolphin family but are considered whales because of their large size.

Pilot whales in Tenerife, best whale-watching in Tenerife

Pilot whales in Tenerife

One of the most striking features of a pilot whale is its rounded head and small beak with a curved mouth. These cetaceans are black with a grey spot behind their dorsal fins.

You can see these types of whales around Tenerife and the grey pilot whale, which has lighter skin. It’s also smaller, weighing 660 – 1,300 lbs.

Sperm whales in Tenerife

If you’re lucky, you may see a sperm whale in Tenerife, but they’re only seen sporadically, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t spot one.

This impressive cetacean measures between 36 and 59 feet and weighs 15-60 tons. While it’s easily identifiable by its size, the sperm whale’s most defining characteristics are its large head and ridged skin.

Orcas in Tenerife

If you want to see killer whales in Tenerife, you’ve got your work cut out for you because it’s quite difficult. These cetaceans can measure up to 30 feet long and weigh up to 5.5 tons. You can quickly recognize an orca by its black upper body and white lower half.

Although it’s rare to see orcas in Tenerife, it’s not uncommon to see false killer whales, which reach up to 20 feet and weigh up to 1.5 tons. They usually live in groups of 10-50.

Other whales in Tenerife

Along with all the species I’ve mentioned, while whale and dolphin-watching in Tenerife, you could see several types of fin whales, specifically the tropical, common, and northern species. There are even rarer species that you could see if you’re lucky, such as the Fraser dolphin, humpback whale, beaked whale, or pygmy sperm whale.

Other whales in Tenerife, best time for whale-watching in Tenerife

Other whales in Tenerife

Moreover, the waters of the Canary Islands are teeming with sea turtles and a wide variety of fish, so if you have the opportunity to book a whale-watching tour in Tenerife with snorkeling, like this one we did, I definitely recommend it.

And that’s it for my guide to the best whale-watching in Tenerife! I hope you feel more informed and prepared to go whale and dolphin-watching in Tenerife, and that you’re lucky enough to see many different species. Whichever tour you take, I know you’ll enjoy it and it’ll be an experience you won’t soon forget!

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COFOUNDER & TRAVEL JUNKIE

Hi, I'm Ascen, a globetrotter based in Philadelphia, USA. I enjoy exploring new landscapes and creating in-depth travel guides for Capture the Atlas.

I have felt a special connection with nature and all the inhabitants of the planet since I was a kid. I am passionate about discovering new countries and especially their wildlife, but no matter how many places I visit, I will always belong to the remote beaches of Almería, in Southern Spain.

You can know a little more about me here.

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