Lanzarote Dolphins and Whales
Searching for the marine mammals
Whale Watching Lanzarote
This should really not be missing on any holiday wish list: Watching dolphins in Lanzarote. And it is also not uncommon to even see whales off the coast of the island. Whales and dolphins are among the most fascinating creatures on the planet for most people. You have the opportunity to find many of these impressive marine mammals in freedom in the sea around the beautiful Canary Island. To be able to observe these creatures out in the open sea in the wild certainly belongs to one of the most moving moments in life.
You can tell from the animal’s behavior that they enjoy their free life in their natural habitat. The dolphins always seem to be in a good mood and often interact with their visitors on the boats. On top of that, they love to swim in the bow wave of the boats and impress with their spirited jumps. Do you want to know what types of dolphins and whales you can see on the island? Are you interested in what you should consider when choosing the Whale Watching Tour? In this article you will find the most important tips and information about whales and dolphins in Lanzarote.
- The species of whales and dolphins in Lanzarote
- The best whale watching season in Lanzarote
- May you swim with dolphins
- Is it allowed to feed dolphins
- Licenses for whale and dolphin boats
- The different types of dolphin tours
- What to have on the tour
- Our whale watching excursions in Fuerteventura
What Types of Whales and Dolphins Can Be Found Off Lanzarote?
So far, a total of 27 different whales and dolphins’ species have been registered in the Canarian waters. Some of them are even native to this region. This makes the Canary Islands one of the areas with the highest population of these animals in Europe. The great biodiversity is almost a guarantee for seeing dolphins during a boat trip. And with an extra bit of luck you will even meet a whale that is roaming the waters off Lanzarote.
The most common types:
- Common Dolphins,
- Bottlenose Dolphins,
- Common Pilot Whales,
- Sperm Whales and
- Furrow Whales
And if you're lucky, you'll also see:
- Borneo Dolphins,
- Blue and White Dolphins,
- Killer Whales and
- Blue Whales
Orcas (killer whales) and blue whales are not native to Lanzarote. But in recent years, these have also been spotted again and again when they pass the Canary Islands on their forays through the world's oceans. Meeting these rather rare specimens is a particularly moving experience.
What Is the Best Season For Dolphins and Whales in Lanzarote?
The Atlantic Ocean around Lanzarote is native territory for some whale species and quite a lot of dolphin type. Consequently there can be no question of a best whales and dolphins watching season. You can be sure that there is a consistently high probability of seeing the marine mammals throughout the year. However, you must consider that they are free animals in the wild. Their behavior is neither predictable nor can it be controlled. For this reason, no operator can guarantee you a sighting. The crews on the whale and dolphin boats have many years of experience with the animals, so they know their habits quite well. They know where they are most of the time and do everything necessary to enable you to experience this extraordinary encounter. The probability of seeing dolphins in Lanzarote is much higher than seeing whales. Dolphins are sociable, curious and seem to be looking for fun. The animals often come quite close to the boats to reach its bow wave for some enjoyment. You will definitely be thrilled by the spectacle. Whales, on the other hand, are extremely shy and prefer to keep their distance; therefore they are usually only seen from a distance.
Swimming With Dolphins, Is That Possible?
The intrusion of humans into the natural habitat of the dolphins undoubtedly means a form of intervention of their natural habitat. The government is therefore strongly committed to avoiding any adverse effects on the animals in all circumstances. For this reason, for example, swimming with dolphins is expressly prohibited in Lanzarote. This rule certainly also applies, to your personal protection. You have to keep in mind that these are wild animals whose behavior is unpredictable. It is not clear under what circumstances they may feel harassed or threatened and how they will react. In this context it should also be mentioned that you should never touch whales or dolphins.
Is It Allowed to Feed Dolphins and Whales?
Feeding is strictly forbidden, because the dolphins should only eat what they need. Other food that is not suitable for the species can endanger their health and thus also the life of the animals. Furthermore, repeated feeding by humans also leads to the dolphins getting used and don’t feel the need to hunt, thus forget how to provide for themselves. And this is very dangerous because as a result, they will lose their ability to survive in the wild.
Why Do Tour Operators Need a License?
In order to keep the disturbances of the natural habitat of whales and dolphins as low as possible, the observation tours are strictly regulated by the Canarian government. The operators are only allowed to offer this type of tour if they receive the corresponding permit. This license is also subject to strict rules of conduct to guarantee the protection of whales and dolphins of Lanzarote at all times. After all, the encounter of the tourists and the animals should be a great experience for both.
The demand for whale and dolphin watching tours in Lanzarote is extremely high, especially throughout the summer months. Nevertheless, the licenses are only issued in very limited numbers. In this way, the Canarian government wants to control, but above all reduce the number of excursion boats that enter whales and dolphins territory every day. Too many of them would ultimately disturb or even drive the animals away. Just as any possible misconduct, such as tracking the animals, results in pure stress, which leads to a drastic reduction in the population.
Despite all the laws and controls, there are still tours that are being operated without a license. With these operators you certainly must also assume that they do not comply with the standards for the protection of animals. Therefore, in order to protect the animals, please avoid such providers. When choosing your excursion boat, you should strictly make sure that it has the “Barco Azul” sign is visible as a flag or sticker attached to the boat. Only these operators actually have the license and are committed to comply with all the rules in dealing with the animals. CANCO Travel Services exclusively works with providers that have a license.
The rules for obtaining the “Barco Azul” license are:
- No persecution of the animals.
- The boat must keep a minimum distance of 60 meters from the animals. This distance can only be undercut if the animals decide approach.
- If there are whales or dolphins nearby, the boats must reduce their speed significantly.
- Concentration of too many boats must be avoided.
- Any interaction with dolphins and whales may only originate from them.
- The observation time of the animals is limited to a maximum of 30 minutes. This does not apply if the animals chose to accompany the boat.
- If it is determined that the animals are in a resting phase, the boats must leave the area immediately.
Are There Different Offers For Dolphin Tours?
Pure Observation Tours
There are boat tours in Lanzarote that are exclusively designed to watch dolphins and whales. These excursion boats leave the port, search for the animals and return when the tour time ends. These tours are offered in different lengths up to a maximum of 2.5 hours. In addition to the duration, these tours also differ in the type and size of the ship used. The cost of the tour can also vary widely. It can be assumed that the price will decrease the more participants can get on board. The larger ships will certainly also ensure that all passengers will have a great event. The prices for smaller boats or even rubber boats are accordingly higher. But with the smaller boats you also get the feeling to be much closer to the whales and dolphins.
Excursions That Combine Observation and Additional Activities
In addition to the exciting viewing experience, you will also be offered other services during these whale and dolphin watching tours. Such tours are combined for example with a bathing stop. In some cases, guests can also enjoy food and drinks and can book additional water sports activities such as jet skiing. The total duration of these combined excursions is about 4 to 5 hours, with the observation part taking up a maximum of 2.5 hours.
What Should You Have With You?
- Sunscreen: Sunscreen with high SPF is an absolute must at sea. Even if it is cloudy.
- Tablets against seasickness: If you know that you are suffering from seasickness or if you have not yet tested it, you should take such a tablet a few hours before the tour. Keep in mind that the observation boats have to go very far out into the open sea to meet the sociable marine mammals and the waves are higher there.
- Jackets: You should not underestimate the cool breeze on the sea. Especially in the months from October to May, we strongly recommend that you take your jackets with you.
- Cameras: For afterwards. This way you can capture the beautiful moments and share them with others.
- Swimwear: If you want to go snorkeling, swimming or take part in a water-sports activity on a combined tour.
Dolphin & Whale Watching Lanzarote
In the north, in the center and in the south of the island. Find the excursions in your area.