Best tours to see Dolphins in Lanzarote

Do you like dolphins? When you are in Lanzarote, I recommend that you don't miss the opportunity to see them in their habitat or even to have contact with them. This magnificent Canary Island offers you different options to see them.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

11 min read

Best tours to see Dolphins in Lanzarote

Dolphins in Lanzarote | ©Angelo Failla

The Canary Islands are synonymous with the sea. Specifically, there are many things to see and do on Lanzarote, an island of the archipelago of utterly enviable beauty. But, although the island is really beautiful, there is too much you can do directly in the sea... like seeing dolphins. Many of them live around Lanzarote so you can see them on a tour.

That's why I recommend that when you are on the island, don't miss the opportunity to meet the dolphins swimming in their habitat. The Canary Islands is a leader in whale watching tourism and when you see the dolphins, you will understand that it is not a surprise. There are many ways to do it and they will vary depending on the type of boat or the excursion you have planned. Read on to find out how and where to see the most beautiful dolphins in Lanzarote.

An hour and a half mini cruise

Lanzarote boat trip| ©Sunstryker3
Lanzarote boat trip| ©Sunstryker3

Let's go dolphin watching! But the best thing is that you do it in maximum comfort in a reasonable amount of time that allows you to do other things during the day. Besides, if you want to see dolphins then you will want to take pictures and for that, it is best to be on a stable boat like a mini-cruise. I guarantee that this is one of the best boat tours you can do in Lanzarote, because it is safe, short and very profitable.

This mini-cruise can leave from Puerto del Carmen, from Playa Blanca which is one of the best beaches in Lanzarote or from different locations in the southeast of the island. As it is a fairly small boat, it does not require a large dock and can stop almost anywhere along the coast. During the one and a half hour trip you will have the opportunity to see the dolphins come out as you go further out to sea and receive the commentary of a guide specialised in cetaceans who will explain the characteristics of the animals you see.

Additionally this is the best trip for taking photos. On this trip, the captains of the mini-cruises usually stop or slow down at the dolphin sightings and as it is a boat where you can stand or sit still without much movement, you will have the perfect opportunity to get the best framing for your dolphin photos.

Practical information

  • Location: it usually departs from Puerto del Carmen or Playa Blanca and does not go too far from the coast. You arrive at the same point of departure.
  • Price: approximately 30 €.
  • Timetable and duration: it is usually taken mid-morning or mid-afternoon and only lasts an hour and a half.

Book a boat tour in Lanzarote

Sunset tour

Sunset in Lanzarote| ©mkperson
Sunset in Lanzarote| ©mkperson

Throughout the Canaries, sunsets are truly beautiful, the way the sea blends with the sun. Imagine watching a breathtaking sunset while the dolphins swim by and you eat a delicious aperitif. All of that can be provided by this sunset dinner cruise option, as you sail around the entire island of Lanzarote alongside the dolphins.

This trip usually starts in the town of Puerto del Carmen, from where you board the cruise at around 4pm in the winter or 6pm in the summer. The idea is to get on during the day and as you sit down to a delicious dinner, the sun goes down. Generally, the tables are arranged very close to the edge of the boat so that you can see the dolphins passing around you.

It's quite a contemplative trip, because everything is designed for you to see the sunset and the dolphins, plus you can identify different points of the coast of Lanzarote, because it generally goes around the island. After about three hours, the cruise will dock again in Puerto del Carmen, where you can return to your hotel.

Practical information

  • Location: departs from Puerto del Carmen and circles the island of Lanzarote.
  • Price: about 50 €.
  • Timetable and duration: from 4 p.m. or 6 p.m. depending on the season. It usually lasts about three hours

Snorkelling and dolphins in one plan

Snorkelling in Lanzarote| ©castgen
Snorkelling in Lanzarote| ©castgen

Have you ever thought if it is possible to see dolphins while snorkelling? The island of Lanzarote is here to show you that it is, because here you can enjoy snorkelling, diving and kayaking in abundance. This is a mixed plan where you can get on a small boat where you will be taken somewhere to snorkel and hopefully see some dolphins while you are in the water. Afterwards, you can be on the boat and watch the dolphins leaping through the waters of Lanzarote.

This tour often starts after lunch and continues until the lights run out. It is important that there is light because it will be necessary for you to be able to do your snorkelling activities and enjoy the marine life to the full. If you are patient, you may even get to see some dolphins swimming in the area. You may also have a guide to explain the possible movements of the dolphins, either in the sea or on the boat.

Once you have finished snorkelling, you will dry off on the boat and wait to see the most beautiful dolphins on the island. The tour doesn't take long at all and in less than two hours you'll be back on shore to continue your activities. It is important to check the route, as these tours may start and finish in different places, but they are always concentrated on the north-east and south-east coast of the island.

Practical information

  • Location: they often start from beaches in the south, such as Playa Blanca, but can also start and finish in the vicinity of Arrecife.
  • Price: around €20
  • Timetable and duration: no more than two hours. They usually take place in the afternoon, from 1pm onwards.

Book a boat tour in Lanzarote

By speed boat from Puerto del Carmen

Puerto del Carmen| ©Roberto Villar
Puerto del Carmen| ©Roberto Villar

Do you want to see the dolphins while moving at almost the same speed as them? Then this is your chance. There are many marine excursions from Puerto del Carmen, but you will love this one in particular if you want to see how fast the dolphins go. It's a speed boat with blades like the aliscafo in which you will shiver the whole way, while watching the dolphins jump.

If you wonder why this trip will be to your liking, I'd say it's because it's the most dynamic of them all. On the other excursions the routine is more of contemplation and taking pictures, while here it's all about standing up and having a great time, while with all that movement you might get to see some dolphins. Besides, these boats are very fashionable and are in the same style as the seaplanes that are becoming popular again in the Canary archipelago.

Bear in mind that it is not the best plan for taking photos and that you will get very, very wet. But I guarantee you will be fascinated and you will laugh like never before, while watching the dolphins in the middle distance. As the boat is going at high speed, it leaves a wake that can scare the dolphins away, so you won't have them so close. In any case, it's a fantastic experience and you can have a great time in a short time, as these tours don't usually last more than an hour.

Practical information

  • Location: departs from Puerto del Carmen and returns there as well.
  • Price: around 30 €.
  • Timetable and duration: the tour usually takes about an hour due to the speed it takes, although it can take longer if there are no dolphin sightings.

Meet sea lions and dolphins at Rancho Texas Park

Rancho Texas Lanzarote Park| ©Resort Hotel
Rancho Texas Lanzarote Park| ©Resort Hotel

Not everything has to be done at sea and on a boat: you can also meet dolphins and other animals such as sea lions up close and even touch them. In Lanzarote there is a large water park called Rancho Texas Lanzarote Park, located in the southeast of the island. It is a contact park, where you can touch the parades and other species while you learn about their habitat and their different needs.

The best plan is to go and interact with the sea lions in the morning, which are really beautiful animals that are worth getting to know up close, and in the afternoon you can do the same with the dolphins. In both cases you need to book in advance, because it is a place where only a few people can interact with the animals, so you can be sure that it will not be a massive event.

In this case, it is one of the ideal activities to do with children in Lanzarote, because children from eight years of age accompanied by their representative can participate and interact with the animals. Rancho Texas Lanzarote will provide you with free transport to and from the site and will also provide you with a wetsuit so that you are comfortable in the water while you meet the animals. Remember to always be attentive to the instructions of the keepers about the behaviour of the animals and how to handle them.

Practical information

  • Location: in the vicinity of Puerto del Carmen, in the southeast of the island. There is free transport to and from Puerto del Carmen, Costa Teguise and Playa Blanca.
  • Price: about €50 per swim with the animals, so both lions and dolphins would cost about €100.
  • Timetable and duration: about half an hour each contact with the animals. It is usually done in two separate shifts. The park opens between 9.30am and 5.30pm.

Traveller Tip
If you go with children, it is important that they know how to swim. Although children as young as 8 years old are accepted in the company of their representative, remember that you are with animals and you need to have some dexterity while swimming with them.

A day trip to Lobos Islet

The Island of Lobos.| ©Alex Lopez
The Island of Lobos.| ©Alex Lopez

Although there are seven main islands in the Canaries, there are a few islets in the surrounding area that are well worth a visit, especially if the excuse is to see dolphins. The islet of Lobos stands as a protected natural area that stretches across its six square kilometres of fairly deserted land. If you are looking for an excursionfrom Lanzarote to Fuerteventura then you might like this one because the islet of Lobos is right next to Fuerteventura and that is where you will be able to see the dolphins at their best.

On the route between Lanzarote and the natural park of the islet of Lobos, you will see a kind of route where the dolphins constantly come out to breathe and you will love to take pictures when they do. But it's also a beautiful tour because you'll get to know the Canarian sea, plus you 'll have a guide specialised in cetaceans and marine fauna in general who can answer any questions you may have along the way.

Taking into account the return trip, it's a long excursion that takes more than five hours. If you are lucky, apart from the dolphins, you may see some whales wandering around the area. Once at Lobos islet, you can take a half hour tour and refreshments are included in the tour package. This islet is great for spotting the best marine fauna with your binoculars or camera.

Practical information

  • Location: departure from Puerto del Carmen in Lanzarote to the islet of Lobos.
  • Price: about 50 € per person
  • Timetable and duration: the tour lasts about five hours in total. You will spend between half an hour and 45 minutes on the islet of Lobos. It is best to start this tour mid-morning or just after lunch, so that you can do the whole tour during the day.

What types of dolphins and cetaceans can be seen in Lanzarote?

Cetaceans are really phenomenal and off the coast of Lanzarote you can see an important variety of them. Specifically in terms of dolphins, the ones that circulate the most in these waters are the common dolphin and the common dolphin. The one that stands out the most is the bottlenose dolphin, which is considered a resident species, because it circulates in the same area throughout its life. It is a large dolphin, grey in colour and whose beak is quite separate from the rest of its body.

The other dolphin is the common dolphin, which is smaller in size, but is usually seen closer to the island's coasts. In addition to these there is the occasional presence of other dolphins such as the rough-toothed dolphins or striped dolphins, which appear occasionally and depending on the season.

But in the world of cetaceans there is a lot of variety, because the sperm whale and the short-finned pilot whale are frequently seen off the coast of Lanzarote. The sperm whale is truly impressive, because it is a protected species that can be up to 20 metres long and is an important predator of fish.

The pilot whale is a small whale, also known as pilot whale, which is threatened by illegal fishing. Because of their black colour you are sure to see them on your whale watching excursions.

What do you need to see dolphins in Lanzarote?

Seeing Dolphins in Lanzarote| ©Jan Knoop
Seeing Dolphins in Lanzarote| ©Jan Knoop

To be honest, the first thing you need is that you really like dolphins. If you really love this animal, then get ready to enjoy one of the best experiences of your life. But keep in mind that you need to protect yourself from the sun with a good sunscreen. In addition, you should know how to swim a little and it is always advisable to be with a guide specialised in cetaceans. In all these cases, it is necessary to hire an excursion that takes you step by step and that can be one of the best day tours from Lanzarote.

If you are going to swim with dolphins, you must know how to swim well and be complying with every order given to you by the dolphin keeper. For snorkelling, I always advise you to go in a group with an expert, especially if you are not used to breathing. If you want to see the dolphins, you also need to have some patience, because they are not always the first to arrive. Also note that most dolphin tours start from Puerto del Carmen, so you can look there if you want a tour.

Also, depending on the season you will sometimes need a wetsuit to protect you from the cold and other animals that may harm you once you are in the sea. It may be optional, but I advise you to use it if the temperatures are low. Finally, don't forget your camera, but make sure it is waterproof or has a camera protector.

What do you need to know if this is the first time you see dolphins in Lanzarote?

Never swam with dolphins before? No problem, because there are many like you every day in Lanzarote. You don't need any previous training to see dolphins and you don't have to be a specialist to swim with them. To begin with, the first thing you should know is that dolphins are cetacean animals that swim and come to the surface constantly, so you can see them while they do that process, but it will be difficult to see them from another perspective.

In Lanzarote you can swim and interact with the dolphins and other marine fauna species in Rancho Texas Park, so if you want a closer experience on your first time seeing dolphins, I recommend you go for that one. But keep in mind that if you see them in the sea, the dolphins go very fast, so you must be very attentive, especially if you want to take good pictures.

Also, it is important to know that in the whole area surrounding the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura there is a significant presence of dolphins. If you are in this area for the first time seeing dolphins, you will notice that several of the excursions take into account the entire coastline of the island, bordering it, so you will be able to identify the best places for the best hiking routes in Lanzarote and even going a little deeper to make more effective sightings.