When you think of Tenerife, your mind probably automatically thinks of sandy beaches, high-rise hotel resorts and lots of western tourists making the most of the sun that they do not necessarily get back at home. However, in recent decades Tenerife has been expanding its range of activities and has gone from being a sun-worshippers’ destination to being the perfect place for those seeking adventure. Tenerife is now attracting a wide range of tourists who are looking for excitement and thrills to fill their vacation.
How is Tenerife Attracting More Adventure Tourists?
Despite its reputation for beaches, partying and being a family-friendly destination, Tenerife is actually the ideal spot to enjoy all kinds of adventure activities. Obviously, as an island, Tenerife offers ample opportunity for those who are interested in water sports. But it is inland terrain is also apt for all kinds of recreational sports and activities. As a volcanic island, Tenerife’s landscapes in the inner part are rugged, with massifs, valleys, ravines and volcanic tubes all hugely characteristic to the island’s geology.
In addition to its natural appearance, the tourist industry on Tenerife have been actively promoting the island as an adventure tourism destination. With travel trends steering away from the classic beach holiday towards vacations with lots of activities and excitement, it makes complete sense that Tenerife would take advantage of these trends and cater to these types of tourists.
Which Activities Are Adventure Tourists Taking Part in Tenerife?
Many visitors now head to Teide National Park and Parque Rural de Anaga, both of which offer excellent hiking opportunities as well as the chance to see the imposing form of Mount Teide, the third highest volcano in the world. The island also offers great scenic but challenging drives and bike rides and is also the place where one can find one of the biggest lava cave systems in the world. Tenerife is a favoured destination for scuba divers, with visitors being able to dive the waters surrounding the island throughout the whole year, plus fishing, surfing, jet skiing, parasailing and windsurfing all remain popular.
However, there is one activity which is really drawing the crowds to Tenerife. Trips for whale watching Tenerife have seen a significant rise in numbers in recent years. From those with a keen interest in the natural world to those who would just like to see some of the most magnificent creatures the world has to offer in their natural habitat, more and more tourists are choosing to spend part of their holiday boarding a vessel and taking to the seas just for a chance to spot the myriad of marine life Tenerife has living off its coast.
What Can Visitors See When Whale Watching Tenerife?
The waters around Tenerife offer many chances to spot some wonderful examples of marine wildlife. The island is particularly famous for its populations of pilot whales. These short-finned whales live not too far from the shore of Tenerife and it is estimated that they are spotted on 99% of whale watching Tenerife tours. They are among the largest of the oceanic dolphins, exceeded in size only by the orca, or the killer whale as they are more commonly known. As Tenerife has a steep and deep topography very close to the shore due to the island being volcanic, this means the marine conditions off the coast of Tenerife are perfect for the pilot whale as it gives them the ideal place to live and hunt for their favourite food, the squid.
Another commonly encountered species on whale-watching Tenerife tours is the bottlenose dolphin. As well as being the most common of the dolphin family, bottlenose dolphins are also some of the friendliest marine life you could wish to encounter; it is not unusual for them to swim alongside the boats, giving visitors great opportunities for taking photos or simply observing them in their natural habitat.
Species which are frequently encountered on the whale watching Tenerife trips include the Bryde’s whale and spotted a dolphin. Belonging to the same group of whales like the blue whale and the humpback whale, Bryde’s whales have twin blowholes with a low splash guard to the front; it is a fantastic sight to see if they happen to blow water from their holes as you are sailing past. They are also the only large whale to exclusively live in tropical or subtropical waters. Spotted dolphins are just as fascinating to see. Their appearance changes widely as they grow older, ranging from speckling just as the dolphin has been weaned to a black body with white spots when the dolphin reaches full maturity.
Infrequently spotted species when whale watching Tenerife include the following: sperm whale; fin whale; common dolphin; striped dolphin; Blainville’s beaked whale; and a rough-toothed dolphin. The reason why these species are lesser spotted is due to the fact that their appearance is dependent on migratory patterns, so whether visitors see them or not will depend on the time of year they take a whale watching Tenerife tour.
Aside from those listed above, it is possible to spot a vast array of other marine species, although the likelihood of this is rare. However, part of the fun of joining a whale watching Tenerife trip is the possibility of seeing such creatures, no matter how slim. These rare sights include blue whale; false killer whale; minke whale; humpback whale; dwarf sperm whale; sei whale; orca; and Fraser’s dolphin.
But it is not just whales and dolphins that visitors can get the chance to see when whale watching Tenerife. Loggerhead sea turtles and green sea turtles have both known to be spotted by visitors taking part in these trips, as well as a huge number of marine bird species such as the yellow-legged gull and Cory’s shearwater.
What Can Visitors Expect From A Whale Watching Tenerife Trip?
Whale watching Tenerife trips take place on a number of different vessels, from ones catering to the most basic of traveller budgets to super luxurious yachts offering whale watching in Tenerife.
For those who are looking for a whale watching Tenerife trip with a unique twist, it is possible to do a trip onboard a pirate ship, a Peter Pan sailing ship or even a Shogun Oriental ship. These trips are especially magical for those travelling with small children who will delight in the fantasy of actually being aboard a ship from history or fairy tales. If you would prefer a more traditional trip, there are plenty of operators who offer whale watching Tenerife tours on catamarans and yachts of varying levels of luxury, from the comfortable to the extravagant.
Are Whale Watching Tenerife Trips Expensive?
One of the great things about whale watching Tenerife trips is that they offer excellent value for money for what you get. The tours which can be booked through TripsPoint start as little as €25 – a fantastic price when one considers this gives tourists the chance to see some of the most magnificent of wildlife one can see in the world. Prices of standard whale watching Tenerife tours can go up to €89 for longer and more luxurious trips, but many will probably agree that this is still a brilliant price for what is on offer. However, if travellers are feeling particularly flush, it is possible to hire a private charter vessel; here at TripsPoint we advertise one for €440.
What Is Included in the Price of the Whale Watching Tenerife Trips?
Of course, seeing whales and dolphins is the main thing which is included in the price of whale watching Tenerife trips. But the standard tours also include lots of extras which make them comfortable and convenient to take. Many tour operators include hotel pick-up and drop-off, soft drinks and, depending on the vessel, children up to five years of age can travel for free. Other inclusions can be lunch or free snacks and the chance to go swimming and snorkelling off the boat. For those travellers who opt for the most extravagant package of the private charter yachts, you will also have your catering and all drinks, alcohol included, provided as part of the trip cost.
Exactly what is included in each whale watching Tenerife trip will depend on the tour company and the type of vessel chosen. It is best to check the tour itineraries like the ones on TripsPoint to see what is provided on each tour.
How Long Do the Trips Last?
How long a whale watching Tenerife trip lasts depends on the tour which is booked. Some trips take just two hours, whereas others can last all day. The vast majority of tours last between three to five hours, which is more than enough time to get the chance to spot these wonderful creatures and enjoy yourself on the boat. Two-hour trips are ideal for those travelling with very small children to avoid them getting too bored when out on the water.
Are Whale and Dolphin Sightings Guaranteed?
Many of the tour operators now guarantee that you will see some form of marine life while you are on the boat. Because of the huge populations of pilot whales which make their home around Tenerife, it would be highly surprising if visitors did not see any.
However, if visitors do not see any whales or dolphins while on their whale watching Tenerife trip, some of the companies do offer a repeat tour for no extra cost. Not every company offers this though; this should be checked with the tour operator to see if this option is available.
When Is the Best Time of Year to Go Whale Watching Tenerife?
This is a very common question among those who wish to participate in a whale watching Tenerife trip. At the end of the day, people book these tours in the hope of seeing amazing marine life, so it is a sensible question to ask to get the most out of their tour. Tenerife is unique in that the best time of year does not depend on the season or weather, but on what you want to see.
The pods of bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales are resident in the surrounding waters all year round, so whenever one decides to take their vacation, they can guarantee that they will be able to see these wonderful creatures. The other species that can be spotted depending on migratory patterns, so if there is something specific that a visitor wants the chance to see, it is best to ask the tour operators to see what they can recommend.
When Is the Best Time of Day to Go Whale Watching Tenerife?
For those wondering when the best time of day to go whale watching Tenerife, this will depend on the level activity one wants to see from the marine life. As pilot whales are the most prominent of all the species, it is easier for whale watching Tenerife tour companies to track their movements. During the morning tours, pilot whales tend to be calm and restful, but as the day goes on they become more active to coincide with the changes in the ocean waves.
Who Can Take Part in Whale Watching Tenerife Trips?
Literally anybody. The tours are suitable for all age ranges. If visitors have mobility issues or are disabled, some of the vessels have specially adapted facilities to ensure that your trip is a safe and fun one, so they do not need to worry about missing out.
Is There Anything I Need to Bring?
Tour operators usually advise guests to bring a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses. This is because Tenerife has year-round sunshine and there will be less shade from the sun when the boats are out on the water. Obviously many will want a memento of their whale watching Tenerife trip, a camera – or at least a smartphone or tablet with a camera – is also highly recommended.
Which Parts of the Island Are Best for Whale Watching?
Just like the vast majority of tourists who visit Tenerife, both the resident and migratory whales and dolphins prefer the warm waters of the west and south coasts of the island. Because of this, most of the tour operators are based in these areas. But this should not be a worry for guests staying elsewhere on the island; depending on the company chosen, they should be able to organise a hotel pick-up and drop-off.
Some companies do this at no extra cost, others may charge a small fee if guests are coming from a part of the island further away from the usual tourist hotspots. Alternatively, visitors could ask your accommodation to organise transportation; taxis are usually extremely cheap in Tenerife.
How Do I Know That the Whale Watching Tenerife Tour Operator Is Legit?
All whale watching Tenerife tour operators are required to follow the Tenerife Whale Watching regulations. The regulations state that the vessel has to stay at least 60 metres from the whales. Any reputable company that is dedicated to sustainable tourism will follow this regulation; as much as it is the company’s wish to ensure their guests have a great time watching the whales, the well-being of the animals must come first. However, whales and dolphins are curious creatures and may swim towards the boats, which is considered fine as long as the boat does not sail into the exclusion zone.
Other regulations that the tour operators must follow include:
- Keeping the watch time to a maximum of 30 minutes;
- Sailing at slow speeds;
- Avoiding large concentrations of boats in one area.
Some of the tour operators offer a swimming stop as part of their whale watching Tenerife package. However, if they are following the correct procedures, they should never allow guests to swim with the animals, feed them, make any noise which may disturb them or touch them in any way. This is to ensure the animals’ safety as well as your own. One final regulation is that on no account should guests be allowed to throw any rubbish into the sea.
When booking a whale watching Tenerife tour, guests should check whether the company they are booking with adheres to these guidelines. It is advisable to look for the companies which bear the Blue Boat symbol. This sign means that the company is operating ethically and is dedicated to the conservation and well-being of the whales, dolphins and other marine life. If one books your trip through TripsPoint, it is guaranteed that the tour operators used are experienced in giving whale watching tours and will be serious about following the regulations.
Whale Watching Tenerife Trips Are Definitely One of the Best Things to Do in Tenerife
When on holiday on this amazing island, it really is recommended that visitors take one of the many whale watching Tenerife tours that are available - just check it out and book one below. Not only will they get the chance to observe these magnificent marine creatures in their natural habitat, but they will be able to do so in comfort, style and at reasonable prices. Whether visitors are looking for a short, basic trip or hoping to spend a day in the lap of luxury, they will be spoilt for choice with the abundance of whale watching Tenerife trips on offer here.