Whale Watching Tenerife

Have you ever wanted to see whales?

Tenerife is the place to do it! Tenerife is one of the best places in the world to see whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. In the waters off the south coast of Tenerife, there are two species of mammals that live here all year long. The short fined pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins.

There are also many other species that can be seen depending on the time of year. Such as the Atlantic spotted dolphin, Bryde’s whale, sperm whale and even orcas.


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Best Time for Whale Watching in Tenerife

Many people wonder when the best time to see the whales is. Tenerife has a resident colony of over 600 pilot whales that lives off the coast of Tenerife all year round. This is due to their constant food source of giant squid living in the waters below. Also, the mild climate in the Canary Islands makes the sea temperature only fluctuates between 19 °C and 21ºC. This means that the whales do not have to migrate for food or warmth.

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

They can be categorized into 2 different types:

  • Residents: As the name says, these are the species that basically live near the island all the year. Here you can find Pilot Whale, Sperm Whale and others.
  • Migrants: Tend to come in certain seasons due to 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, migrant numbers are 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 on trips with us) are:

Short Finned Pilot-Whale

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

For a whale excursion on 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 to all the movies that tend to mention it. It is probably the big celebrity in the whale world.

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-meter-long record that blue whales have reached. Some of them can live more than 90 years and weigh up to 190 tonnes.

This is right now considered an endangered species, this is the reason that made authorities in Tenerife take care of all of them on the island, as well as any other whale species. It has become a problem due to the illegal hunting of them.

They are not too common to see in the area. However, they are most common in winter as they migrate to the warmer water for breeding. If you are lucky you can find one and take a look at an impressive animal.

Bryde’s Whale

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

This is a migrant species so it can only be seen in summer as they migrate away from the equator where they normally live.

False Killer Whales

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

These whales aren’t seasonal in the Canary Islands however they are uncommon to see as they live in deep water many miles away from the coast.

Sei Whales

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

Many researchers have discovered that this specie doesn’t communicate in shallow waters to prevent it from getting caught by predatory killer whales.

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

Similar to Blue Whales, Sei Whales Migrate to the warmer water in winter. So your best chance to see these amazing animals is in the winter months.

We say that best time for whales and dolphin watching in Tenerife is whenever you can come. As the whales and dolphins are always here.

 This being said, during the winter months there is a possibility to see migrating species. This includes sperm whales, Sei whales, common dolphins and more.


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Whale and Dolphin Watching Trips Tenerife

Going to see the whales and dolphins off the south coast of Tenerife is a must for anyone visiting this beautiful island. Boat trips are perfect for families, groups, students, nature lovers, friends and more as well as being an excellent way to relax

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

It is important to keep in mind when going on a whale-watching trips to go on boats that comply with local sustainability regulations such as the Blue Flag. This keeps the whales and local wildlife safe.

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

Tenerife Sailing Charters has all permits and licences and is authorized for whale watching by the Government of the Canary Islands and the Spanish Ministry of Environment.

It’s important to mention that it could be dangerous to get too close to them because it can harm their ecosystem or even, can be damaging to the crew. We get within a safe 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 on their conservation.

We also recommend avoiding the big crowded unsustainable catamarans that often visit the whales.

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

Best Whale and Dolphin Watching Tenerife

Tenerife Sailing Charters offer a variety of trips and excursion to see the whales and dolphins in Tenerife. Our fleet of boats includes two luxury eco-friendly sailing boats that make whale watching sustainable.

We have over 10 years of experience and a record of 99.8% chance of seeing whales on our trips due to our experience friendly guides.

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