Kayaking and Snorkeling With Turtles in Tenerife

Kayaking is a fun activity to enjoy the sea and discover the amazing marine fauna of Tenerife. Discover the best excursions on the island!

Alex Grande

Alex Grande

5 min read

Kayaking and Snorkeling With Turtles in Tenerife

Sailing among turtles on the coast of Tenerife | ©Yang Liu

If you've never been kayaking before, it's an experience I highly recommend and even more so during your trip to Tenerife. It's not for everyone, and paddling continuously for a couple of hours can be a bit demanding, but if you're one of those people who seek adventure wherever you go, this activity is perfect for you.

What's so special about kayaking in Tenerife? Its incredible marine life where you can see dolphins, turtles, fish, birds and hopefully a whale in the distance. Read on and I'll tell you everything you need to know about kayaking in Tenerife.

1. Options for a kayaking activity in Tenerife

Kayaks on the sand| ©Nareeta Martin
Kayaks on the sand| ©Nareeta Martin

2. Sea kayaking and snorkelling adventure with turtles and dolphins

Watch turtles swimming in Tenerife waters| ©Philippe Guillaume
Watch turtles swimming in Tenerife waters| ©Philippe Guillaume

Departing from the beach of Los Cristianos, one of the best known beaches in Tenerife for whale and dolphin watching, you will travel along the coast of the island until you reach the cliffs of the Guaza mountain, a privileged natural environment for the view, both above and below the water: beyond the sea surface, you can look out to see life in its most exuberant expression with a huge number of marine species.

The guide will always be on the lookout for any possible sightings of whales or dolphins, which are very common throughout the year in the island's waters. You are also very very likely to see turtles under the sea during the kayaking activity, and with some luck some rarer species such as Bryde's whales or blue whales.

Why I like this experience

This is a very comprehensive excursion that fits perfectly into any trip to Tenerife, whether it's a short break or a week-long holiday.

In my opinion, discovering the island's marine life is a must, whether by kayak or boat, and the advantage of this experience is that it also gives you the opportunity to do a physical activity to add variety to your trip.

Another reason (for me, something very important) why I recommend this experience is because the maximum number of people in your group will be 10, which is a far cry from other more crowded activities for tourists.

More info

  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Price: 60.
  • Minimum age: 14 years old
  • What's included: Wetsuit, booties, lifejacket, snorkelling gear, photos of your group, kayaking instruction session.

3. Sea kayaking and snorkelling excursion

Enjoy snorkelling| ©Jakob Owens
Enjoy snorkelling| ©Jakob Owens

Unlike the first tour, this sea kayak snorkelling tour focuses more on the whale, dolphin, turtle and other marine species watching part of the tour, although it is a very similar kayak tour.

What it consists of

You will kayak from Los Cristianos beach, which like the experience above is a perfect starting point to reach the natural habitat of Tenerife's marine life, and you will be sailing out to sea in search of whales, dolphins, turtles and other marine life.

This experience also includes snorkelling, so you won't miss out on the myriad of fish and other marine life beneath the surface of the sea.

Why I like this experience

It offers a kayaking experience in the morning, which is key to ensure you have maximum visibility on a marine animal sighting.

As in the previous case, there is a maximum of 10 participants in the group for this experience, which ensures you get close and personal attention from your guide, something quite important in an activity of this nature.

More info about it

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Price: 39.
  • Minimum age: 6 years old
  • What's included: Wetsuit, lifejacket, snorkelling equipment, kayaking instruction session.

4. Frequently asked questions about kayaking in Tenerife

Get close to the dolphins| ©Danny UK
Get close to the dolphins| ©Danny UK

Is it allowed to swim with dolphins?

Swimming with dolphins is strictly forbidden in Tenerife, so it is only possible to get close to them in an organised experience. Kayak activities are the best option to get as close as possible to these marine animals.

How hard is the physical experience?

No. The routes chosen for these activities are of low difficulty. Kayak paddling can get tiring, especially after a couple of hours, but you don't have to worry about being in spectacular physical shape to enjoy this experience.

What if I need to rest?

At all times, a boat accompanies your group during the activity in case you get seasick or need to rest.

What if I have never kayaked before?

It doesn't matter if you've never been kayaking before, you'll receive an instruction session before you start the experience, and the pace is always adapted to suit you, taking breaks when necessary.

Do I have to know how to swim?

What is absolutely necessary is that you know how to swim, as if your kayak capsizes you'll have to turn it around on your own from the water or wait for help. Besides, the experience is much more enjoyable if you snorkel and see the marine life.

Can young children participate?

There is a minimum age to participate in this excursion: if you are thinking of doing this activity with your family, bear in mind that for the first activity you need to be at least 14 years old and for the second one 6 years old.

Will there be changing rooms or appropriate places to change?

At the kayak stand there are changing rooms and lockers where you can leave your backpack if you wish.

When do I need to book?

I recommend you book a place on a kayak tour as soon as possible, as it is one of the most popular experiences for locals and visitors to the island and depending on the time of year they can even have a waiting list.

5. About marine animal sightings

Nature in its purest form| ©Jakob Owens
Nature in its purest form| ©Jakob Owens
  • Tenerife is one of the main places in Europe to see dolphins, whales and other marine animals. You are practically guaranteed to see them any day of the year, as both the island's temperatures and its location make it the ideal habitat for cetaceans in the Atlantic.
  • During the night, the animals hunt in the deep sea and during the day they come up to the surface to rest, so during the day you are more than likely to have the opportunity to observe these animals.
  • One thing that is a must for me about the two experiences I have told you about is that they are totally respectful of the local marine fauna, and you will approach the animals carefully and at a safe distance from them.

6. What to take in your backpack for this experience

Enjoy the sun and the sea in your kayak.| ©Thom Schneider
Enjoy the sun and the sea in your kayak.| ©Thom Schneider
  • Towel
  • Swimming costume
  • Sun cream
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle

7. Other interesting activities in Tenerife

Teide landscape| ©Maria Lupan
Teide landscape| ©Maria Lupan

If you're planning a trip to the island, you'll know that you can't miss the climb up Mount Teide. The scenery from the volcano is breathtaking: you'll see the vegetation change around you as you enjoy a unique natural landscape in Spain.

On the other hand, make the most of your time in the Canaries to visit some of the other gems the archipelago has in store for visitors: the islands of La Gomera and El Hierro are much smaller but just as charming, so I encourage you to read more about visiting La Gomera from Tenerife or taking a trip to El Hierro.