Tenerife Whales: Species in the Island and How To Watch Them

Although whales are a protected specie in Tenerife, it is possible to watch them with what is known as “ethical whale watching”. It simply consist in getting close to these big animals and taking a look to how they live without harming them or their habitat.

With more than 10 species that can be found in the island over the year, you have a big spectacle with looking them. That’s why we explain you everything about them in this post.

How to watch whales in the island?

We, Tenerife Sailing Charters offer in our services a whale sighting experience (with dolphins included) where you’ll be able to see these big friends in their natural habitat and learn a lot about their lifestyle.

It’s important to mention that it could be dangerous to get to close to them, because it can harm their ecosystem or even, can be damaging for the crew. We get into a prudent distance where is possible to see them without having direct contact and enjoy the spectacle they give to the people.

It is commonly known as an unforgettable experience and in that way we collaborate to their conservation.

In addition, we also cover different points in the island where you’ll see amazing landscapes that only Tenerife can give you.

Whale species in Tenerife

Whale Species in Tenerife

There are more than 10 whale species in Tenerife, fact that makes the island very diverse when it comes down to this maritime animal.

They can be categorized in 2 different types:

  • Residents: As the name says, these are the species that basically live in the island all the year. Here you can find Pilot Whale, Sperm Whale and others.
  • Migrants: Tend to come in certain seasons due optimum weather conditions for their development. Here you can find species such as: Northern Right Whales, Minke Whales, Fin Whales and others. It’s important to mention that commonly, migrants number is higher than residents in Tenerife’s case.

Some of the most relevant whale species that we can specify for you (which form part of what you’ll see in trips with us) are:

Short Finned Pilot-Whale

Also known as pilot whale, forms part of the Delphinidae family. Its size can reach up to 5 meters long and can weight the incredible amount between 900 kg – 1800 kg. So, they are pretty heavy.

For a whale excursion in the island this is probably the most common specie to see, because is one of the residents with the biggest population.

Blue Whales

You may already know the blue whale thanks all the movies that tend to mention it. It is probably the big celebrity in this maritime specie.

Blue Whale is the biggest animal that has ever existed on earth. If you believe that the previous whale size was impressive, you haven’t seen the 33,6 meters long record that a blue whale has reached. Some of them can live more than 90 years and weight up to 190 tonnes.

This is right now considered as a endangered specie, reason that made authorities in Tenerife take care of all of them in the island, as well as any other whale specie. It has become into a problem due ilegal hunt of them.

They are not too common to be seen in the area. However, if you are lucky you can find one and take a look to an impressive animal.

Bryde’s Whale

Small and robust whale which has a characteristic that makes it different to its family, which are its three ridges located at top of its head, oppositely to just one central. Males can reach up to 13,7 meters while males can be bigger, measuring up to 14,5 meters.

This is a migrant specie so it can only be seen in certain seasons of the year.

False Killer Whales

Their names come from a lot of attributes in common that they have with killer whales (known as orca) like for example, killing other marine mammals. However, they are not related as family.

This is the third biggest whale member in their family delphinidae. They are known for forming strong social bonds, such as sharing food or forming tight knit ponds.

Sei Whales

Also known as Dense Beaked Whale and they can be found typically in deep weather and tropical waters (such as Tenerife). They have long dive and travelling times in pods between 6 and 12 individuals.

Many research have discovered that this specie don’t get communicated in shallow water to prevent of getting discovered from predatory killer whales.

We could keep the list going and going. However, this information is good for starting when it comes down whale knowledge in the island.

We really recommend you whale watch in Tenerife with us, having a lot of commodities in the palm of your hand to have an amazing experience.


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