TENERIFE: Whale and Dolphin Research


Adventure Overview:

  • 2 Weeks
  • 1 Month
  • 6 Weeks
  • 2 Months

There’s no better way to gain marine conservation / education experience, meet new friends and get a great tan than joining this amazing programme in Tenerife! Feel the sea spray against your face as you help a team of experts and volunteers from all around the world to research and support the conservation of Whales and Dolphins in the clear blue waters around the Canary islands

Tenerife is one of the top destinations for Whale & dolphin observation in the world. There are resident communities of pilot whales and dolphins which remain here throughout the year, which can be observed on perhaps 80% of the days of the year. There is also a total of 24 other species migrating through Canarian waters at different times of the year from the giant blue whale to the majestic killer whale. Tenerife’s position in the Atlantic, close to both the tropics and the Mediterranean, gives its sea life a unique mix of the tropical, the temperate and the pelagic. Species more likely to be found over coral reefs mix with cold water species from Northern Europe and those more typical of the open ocean. Combined with the spectacular volcanic make-up of the island, this diversity of life makes it a unique and very special marine environment. Huge tracts of virgin yellow sand, interspersed with lawns of sea-grass exist alongside breath-taking underwater cliffs and jumbles of lava rock.

The whales and dolphins of the Atlantics are under threat as never before- from populations of Blue whales and Right whales on the verge of extinction in the North Atlantic, to Belugas decimated through pollution in the St Lawrence, Vaquita reduced to dozens rather than hundreds in the Gulf of Mexico through by-catch, and river dolphins in Brazil being destroyed by deforestation and pollution. 

The project’s core objective is to work towards the protection of cetaceans through education, research and conservation programmes.  It works closely with the island’s whale watching community and tourism infrastructure - hotels, tour operators, local authorities, media, animal and education establishments.


The team’s activities aim to raise awareness of the threats to marine life caused by tourism, human development and climate change.  In addition to the awareness raising work with visitors to the island, they also work with local education and community groups to share information about the threats to marine life amongst various groups of stakeholders on Tenerife.


During your time here, no matter how briefly you stay, you will be involved in the hands on work of the team out on the whale watching boats and in the research centre. You will spend a minimum of 3 days a week on the boats helping to log the whales and dolphin’s viewed.


However Tenerife is not just work work work! Whilst here – particularly during the summer months – you will enjoy extra activities such as Kayaking, horse riding, trekking, snorkeling and diving to name but a few, all at no extra cost. This is a fantastic adventure to enjoy and learn from. So what are you waiting for?! 


2 Weeks €600

1 Month €900

6 Weeks €1150

2 Months €1350

What is Included?

  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • 24 / 7 Support
  • Training
  • Adventure Package
  • Information Pack
  • Accommodation: : During your time on the project you will be staying at the volunteer house, located close to the three major harbours from where the whale watching boats launch, with your fellow volunteers and research staff. This house also acts as the field base for conservation efforts so you’ll spend the majority of your work time here when not out on the boats analysing data collected from the morning’s survey. Within the house there is a large living room and balcony for you to relax on after a busy day in the field, an open kitchen with all the facilities you’ll need to cook up a feast. You’ll sleep in bunk beds in one of the volunteer bedrooms with the other volunteers. As well as sleeping, the bedrooms can also be used to relax in after the long hours spent at sea and working on dolphin data. If you decide to venture out the house in your spare time, everything you’ll need is a short walk or bus ride away, including the harbour, supermarkets, bars, restaurants and banks.
  • Food: You will be provided with 2 basic meals a day on weekdays as part of this programme consisting of breakfast and an evening meal. Volunteers typically work together with the research staff to cook and complete all house-keeping duties. 
  • Spanish Lessons: For those staying long term under EVS Spanish lessons will be provided. Within the centre itself generally communication is in English but it is good to help learn / improve your language skills whilst you are there too - on the boats all European languages are spoken 
  • Training: All volunteers setting out on an adventure with us receive pre-departure training to help you prepare for the experience ahead. This training covers all the areas you need to think about before you pack your bags. It gives you time to focus and prioritise, and provides you with the knowledge and information you need in order to have a safe, fulfilling and enjoyable adventure. On arrival at your project you will also receive orientation training which will help you to better understand the local culture and support you as you find your way around this new country. On your return we will also support you as you readapt to life back home. We encourage you to keep in contact with us and consider opportunities for you to stay connected to the work you have been part of with Agapé. In addition to all of this training you will also receive a comprehensive welcome pack full of useful information on your project, the country and the culture, as well as detailed safety and communication lists.
  • Support: Agapé Adventures respects that each person is unique, and thus has different needs, and we endeavour to meet those genuine needs as effectively as we can. All volunteers are supported by Agapé every step of the way. You will be allocated a line manager to assist you in the day to day aspects of your adventure and staff at Agapé’s main base who will be available 24/7 for any out of hour’s emergencies. All staff involved in supporting you, work together to provide coordinated, personal and professional support throughout your adventure.

What Isn't Included

  • Stipend
  • Visa
  • Flights
  • Insurance

What will I do?:

You will work from three main bases with numerous options for further experience for those who are able to stay longer.

  1. On the whale watching boats working as research guides three days per week
  2. In the research room processing, analysing and interpreting data.
  3. In the Whale & Dolphin Information Centre at the heart of the islands whale watching industry, interacting with the whale watching boats, tourists and the island’s tourism industry.

The Visitor Centre has dedicated space for volunteers, a management meeting room and public area which combined will allow for a number of key activities: providing multi-media information resources for whale watching tourists, whale watching community and for local educational needs; pre whale watching educational sessions; post whale watching analysis of (tourist) photographs. It will also organise events such as visiting expert speakers, hotel and tour operator animation sessions, and campaigns such as beach clean ups. The information centre is a hub for cetacean projects across the world- conservation, education and research and through the centre it is hoped to raise funds to support interesting projects across the Atlantics.

The Local Area

Tenerife is the biggest and highest island of the Canarian archipelago with the imposing El Teide that rises over 3,000 metres into the glorious blue skies. 

The lunar landscape of Mount Teide National Park is fascinating, reminiscent of the beginning of time and a must-see experience. As the plane comes in to land, chances are you will see this magnificent sight from the air, but there is nothing like getting up close to the world’s third largest volcano. 

This is an island you will instantly love, from the sunshine, the warmth of the welcome and the beauty of the nature around you. 


To start your very own adventure click below and apply to join one of our projects.

Youth in Action Comlamh Volunteering Options British Standards Keeping Children Safe