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IN SEARCH OF CETACEANS: WHALE WATCHING IN TENERIFE

The most adventurous travellers who dare to explore the seas will be able to see whales, dolphins and other cetaceans calmly swimming around, just off the coast of Tenerife.

Dolphins, killer whales, sperm whales, finback whales and beaked whales... all these cetaceans prove to be very popular with tourists all around the world. You can watch these species swimming around calmly about three miles from the south coast of Tenerife. It’s a spectacle not to be missed if you are a fan of marine life. Up to 21 different cetacean species live in the area just off the coast. This area was Europe’s first Whale Heritage Site, a certification awarded by the World Cetacean Alliance.

There are many companies in Tenerife that organise whale-watching tours to observe these beautiful sea creatures in their natural habitat, and Vueling makes it easy for you by offering cheap flights to Tenerife! Book a flight, grab your binoculars, and you’ll be good to go!

Why is Tenerife perfect for whale watching?

The island of Tenerife has everything you could possibly need to spend a few wonderful days, with activities for everyone: from sun and sand to nature, sports, culture and, of course, gastronomy. But the ocean here is also very special, as it is a migration spot for up to 21 different cetacean species, thanks to the particular features of the Atlantic currents that we find just off the southwest coast.

About three miles from the coast of Tenerife, if we go from Los Cristianos or Puerto Colón, the water is up to 3,000 metres deep, and the biodiversity in the area is very special, full of tasty treats for cetaceans! Another thing that makes this area the perfect habitat for cetaceans is the temperature of the water. It’s a bit lower than usual at this latitude, as there is a branch than comes down from the Gulf Stream, combined with colder waters from the African coast.

What cetacean species can we see in Tenerife?

Migration happens between autumn and spring, and we can find many species in Tenerife. But there are also other species, like pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins, who live here all year round, so they are relatively easy to spot. There are about half a dozen seasonal cetaceans that visit the island too, including Bryde’s whales, false killer whales and sperm whales, to name but a few. Other species visit on rare occasions, so it is a real treat if someone manages to spot one. Some of these are the humpback whale, Cuvier’s beaked whale and pygmy sperm whale, for example.

Always respecting marine life

The fact this area in Tenerife became the Europe’s first Whale Heritage Site means that the island takes very seriously the protection of these species and caring for their habitat. That means that, although there are many services that will take you to the area by boat so you can watch these beautiful animals, the trips are always carried out respectfully and sustainably, without getting in the way of these wonderful marine mammals. We advise you to always look for boats that have the “Blue Boat” logo, because that means that they are authorised boats and comply with the strict regulations.

Whale-watching tours in Tenerife

The boats sail from Los Cristianos, Puerto Colón and Los Gigantes. We recommend spending a few hours exploring these typical towns in the south of the Canary Islands, and make sure to taste fresh fish at one of the affordable restaurants that you’ll find there. But first we need to make sure we know what kind of trip we are looking for. There are trips that last about 2 hours – short trips where we’ll be able to see dolphins, whales and other cetaceans in all their glory! But there are also longer trips that last 2-3 hours and include extras, like a meal on board or a stopover at a secluded cove to go for a dip. If you want to spend the whole day with the whales and explore their environment as much as possible, the best option is a five-hour trip on a larger boat, which includes a meal and stops at beautiful places in the area.

If you choose to leave from Los Gigantes, you can enjoy a unique show: watch the whales with the huge cliffs as a backdrop and Mount Teide in the distance.

You’ll definitely come again!

The good thing about whale watching is that you never get tired of watching, because these animals are so unpredictable. As they are marine animals living in their own habitat, no two days are the same, and you might find yourself coming back time and time again because it’s an amazing experience to watch these completely wild, free and beautiful animals.

Do you fancy hopping on a boat to watch the antics of dolphins and whales? Let's go!

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