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love the Canary Islands too
The rich marine ecosystems and warm waters around the Canary Islands attract all sorts of visitors, including a wide range of cetaceans. The great advantage of whale watching in the Canary Islands is that many of our whales and dolphins are permanent residents so you know that you’ll see them.
Up to 26 species live around the Canary Islands, from the gigantic blue whale to cute dolphins. Because they live so close to shore, the islands are Europe’s most popular wild whale and dolphin watching spot.
The percentage of successful whale watching trips in the Canaries is high and the most common resident species are the short-finned pilot whale, bottlenose dolphin, and the humpback whale. They live here all-year-round and are waiting for your visit.
Spotting dolphins around the Canary Islands is an everyday event as up to six species live in and visit our waters. These marine mammals, thought to be amongst the world’s most intelligent creatures, are incredibly sociable and often play in the bow waves of boats.
One of the largest delphinids in the world and a common species around the Canary Islands. In fact, a permanent colony of short-finned pilot whales lives in our waters. They are social whales and always travel as a group or family so it’s common to see lots at the same time. Pilot whales also often play amongst themselves or interact with whale-watching boats.
The most abundant and diverse of the baleen whales, this group includes the humpback whales that live around the Canary Islands. They grow to 16 metres long and are easy to spot and recognise thanks to their humped backs. These enormous mammals leave you breathless when they pop up to say hello.
Up to 20.5 metres long, sperm whales are one of the world’s biggest creatures. They can dive to 3 kilometres and stay underwater for 35 minutes in search of prey. The sheer scale of sperm whale can’t help but make you feel insignificant.
Whale watching boats in the Canary Islands follow Blue Boat standards and respect the strict laws that guarantee our whales and dolphins a hassle-free life. Feeding and swimming with them is not allowed on whale-watching trips as it’s important for our cetaceans to lead a completely natural life.
The waters off the southwest coast of Tenerife are a hotspot for watching whales in the wild. More people see wild cetaceans here than anywhere else in Europe and 21 different species have been sighted, including blue whales and killer whales. Resident populations of pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins are spotted on 80% days throughout the year.
South coast Gran Canaria
Small cetaceans like dolphins are common in the waters around Puerto Rico harbour in south Gran Canaria. They thrive in the clear waters and cool breezes and are active from the crack of dawn. Spotting dolphins is the highlight of many visitors and locals’ day and several boats arrange trips with the correct expert staff and safety standards.
One of the top spots for watching large- and medium-sized cetaceans in the Canary Islands is around Tazacorte harbour in western La Palma. Boats know the local cetaceans’ routines well and they spot them on 90% of trips. The sea off La Palma is an excellent place to see sperm whales.
Valle Gran Rey coast
The waters around Valle Gran Rey in south La Gomera are a superb location for watching whales and dolphins in the wild. It’s a busy cetacean highway with spotted, common and bottlenose dolphins, whales, sperm whales and rorquals visiting regularly. Whale watching trips here, all with a qualified expert guide, are also a great opportunity to spot sea turtles.