The Best Time for Tenerife Whale Watching Tours

Frequently asked questions and answers

When is the best time for whale watching in Tenerife?

This is the most common question and there are two answers.

The best time of the year depends on many factors. Unlike most whale and dolphin watching destinations, Tenerife has resident pods of Pilot whales and Bottlenose dolphins ensuring wonderful whale watching all year round. Throughout the year there are different cetacean species that do migrate to Tenerife. If you would like to know more about what we are currently seeing on our tours we recommend visiting our Facebook page or contacting us.

The best time of the day depends a bit on what you hope to see. As the Pilot whales are our main resident species we can generalise about their daily activity. Typically the Pilot whales are calm and resting during the morning tours. As the day gets later and the ocean typically a bit rougher, the Pilot whales tend to get more active as well.

How far does the boat go to find whales and dolphins?

We often encounter the first group of whales or dolphins within the first 2 kilometres or 20 minutes after leaving the marina. Generally speaking we stay within 2-3 kilometres of the coast as this area is the most cetacean rich area of the Tenerife marine environment. Using our directional hydrophone we have the best chances of finding whales and dolphins offshore for some of the most magical encounters.

What are the Tenerife Whale Watching Regulations?

The Tenerife Whale Watching regulations require us to stay 60 meters from the whales. We are dedicated to supporting sustainable tourism and our expert staff have a combined 40 years experience conducting whale watching tours. However, the whales and dolphins do not know the regulations and often they come closer to the boat as they are curious – these are some of the best moments when the whales and dolphins decide to do some ‘people watching’.

What kind of whales are there in Tenerife?

Pilot Whales are the most common cetacean species we see as there is a resident population of over 400 that permanently reside off the southern coast of Tenerife. We see them on 99% of our tours. Occasionally we do see Bryde’s whales and less often Sperm whales and Beaked whales. During their seasonal migrations we have also seen Humpback whales and Sei whales in Tenerife.

What kind of dolphins are there in Tenerife?

Bottlenose dolphins are the most common dolphin species observed on our tours as there are 2 resident eco-types here in Tenerife. We see Bottlenose dolphins on 80% of our tours. Our tours also see Spotted Dolphins very regularly. We see other dolphin species during their seasonal migrations including; Common dolphins, Striped dolphins, Rough-toothed dolphins, Frasers dolphins, and very occasionally Risso’s dolphins and Orcas in Tenerife.

Do guests get seasick on the tour?

If you suffer from motion sickness you can get sick on any boat. Our custom built 8 meter rigid hull inflatable boat is the kind used by most professional whale watching companies around the world as it is fast, nimble and safe. Our guests often remark how enjoyable a ride it is.

Regardless, if you typically suffer from motion sickness take precautions. Pressure wrist bands may work or if you use a medication, be sure to take it at least 45 minutes before departure. We recommend avoiding heavy drinking the night before a tour, avoiding a heavy meal before going out as well.

Do you offer a sightings guarantee?

Whale Watch Tenerife is a premium product and we are the first company to offer a whale and dolphin sightings guarantee in Tenerife.

If no whales or dolphins are seen on the tour we invite you back for another tour at no additional tour fee.

What we do not guarantee is; the weather, any particular species of whale or dolphin, any particular activity by the whales or dolphins.

What kind of boat do you use?

We use a custom built 8 meter rigid hull inflatable boat whale watching boat that is certified for up to 12 passengers. We limit the number of guests on the tour to 10 for everyones comfort and to ensure a quality experience. The boat has cushioned bench seats that face forward ensuring all of our guests the best view.

The boat has a 200hp engine making it quick to reach areas with active whales and dolphins, increasing our chances of seeing the most whale and dolphin activity on our tours.

What should I bring on the tour?

We always recommend bringing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Depending on the time of year a light jacket or sweater is also a good idea, especially on the morning tour.

Our staff take photos of the whales and dolphins for research and conservation. These photos are shared with our guests for free via Google Drive after the tour. If you want photos of yourselves on the tour please bring your own cameras, phones, tablets, etc.

Do you include resort transportation?

Whale Watch Tenerife is too small an organisation to qualify for the licenses to offer resort transportation to our guests. These licenses are limited to much larger, more commercially oriented companies.

Often our guests coming to Puerto Colón will rent a car for the day and spend a half day with us and the other half exploring the Costa Adeje area. Car rentals are very inexpensive on Tenerife, starting at 10€ per day. There is parking right at the marina for 1.20€ per hour.

What makes for the best time whale watching in Tenerife?

Find a group dedicated to ensuring respectful and quality experiences.

Make sure they are a certified ‘Blue Flag’ whale watching tour operator.

Choose a company that employs Marine Biologists to support cetacean conservation.

No matter who you choose to go on a tour with, we wish you the best time whale watching in Tenerife!

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