The rich marine ecosystems and warm waters around the Canary Islands attract all sorts of visitors, including a wide range of marine mammals. The great advantage of watching cetaceans in the Canary Islands is that many of them are permanent residents so you know that you’ll see them.
Up to 30 species live around the archipelago, 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.
For some years now, several companies have been providing visitors with the company of cetaceans, with excursions to approach their habitats with the maximum guarantees required by law, as well as supervision on board by experts who inform the passage.
It’s important to know that cetacean watching boats in the Canary Islands follow “Blue Boat” standards and respect the strict laws that guarantee marine mammals a hassle-free life, so we will have the certainty that they comply with the laws that respect a full and happy life to these animals that inhabit the Canarian waters.
Thus, feeding and swimming with them is not allowed on cetacean-watching trips as it’s important for our marine mammals to lead a completely natural life so that these mammals can continue to enjoy in total freedom their habitat in calm seas oxygenated by the fresh trade winds from the north.
Spotting cetaceans in the Canary Islands
The warmth of the sun, the sea breeze and the swaying waves make us feel completely relaxed. The boat stops unexpectedly, we all take our cameras, they bring us closer to the ends of the boat and we watch the water carefully.
We imitate them and then we see them, first as small spots that appear and disappear and then as the imposing animals they are. Cetaceans swim calmly in the sea. For a moment we share with them an insurmountable emotion: feeling free in the ocean.
Does it sound good? Going out to spot cetaceans is an adventure in which many things can happen. Therefore, the best way to ensure as much success as possible is to trust in professionals in the field. Qualified experts who know the waters in which cetaceans can be found and how they behave.
To fully enjoy this type of excursion, don’t forget binoculars, sunscreen and, if necessary, a product to combat dizziness. In addition, the sea and the boat movement produce a lowering of the thermal sensation, so it is advisable to wear some warm clothing.
Most common cetacean species in the Canary Islands
The percentage of successful cetacean watching trips in the Canaries is high. In fact, they live here all-year-round and are waiting for your visit. The most common resident species are sperm whales, pilot whales, dolphins, rorquals, etc.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hotels to enjoy cetaceans in Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria is the perfect place to enjoy a holiday with friends or family. In fact, this island offers a lot of plans, leisure offers and impressive places to visit with an excursion.
There are those who come to this "miniature continent" for the purpose of resting and spending a few quiet days and relaxing, where the ideal plan is to spend the day at the hotel or on the nearest beach.
However, others prefer looking for fun, different and exciting plans such as water activities, hiking trails or marine excursions for cetacean watching.
Don Gregory by Dunas
Don Gregory by Dunas is an adult-only hotel located on the Las Burras beachfront, with direct access to San Agustín, near Playa del Inglés. Its Nordic style, Wellness Center and infinity pool with solarium invite to relax in this charming hotel.
Maspalomas Resort by Dunas and Suites & Villas by Dunas
Both the Maspalomas Resort by Dunas and the Suites & Villas by Dunas are located in Maspalomas, a few minutes from the Natural Reserve of the Dunes of Maspalomas and one of the most important golf courses in Gran Canaria. Its villas and bungalows are distributed in such a way that it seems that we are in the middle of a beautiful village with attractive gardens. In addition, they have a Bike Center that will delight cycling lovers.
Mirador Maspalomas by Dunas
Mirador Maspalomas by Dunas is the ultimate family hotel on the island. Located in Maspalomas, is an all-inclusive hotel where children will have a great time thanks to DUNI, the hotel mascot and the animation team. Something that parents who want to have a relaxing time will undoubtedly appreciate.
In short, cetacean watching in the Canary Islands is a great plan for those who enjoy the experiences and contact with nature and also want to learn something while having a good time. If we also stay in a hotel with a good connection to the starting points of these marine excursions, the experience will be unbeatable.