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Tenerife Whale & Dolphin Conservation

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Tenerife Whale & Dolphin Conservation

Explore the beautiful island of Tenerife and gain valuable experience in conservation whilst working to protect these majestic species in their natural habitat.

Prices from US$295

Tenerife is the largest of the seven stunning Canary Islands, which form this Atlantic Ocean archipelago. From the golden sandy beaches in the south to the dramatic lunar landscape of Mount Teide National Park and everything in between, Tenerife is a must see.

The Canary Islands are part of a community of Island chains situated in the mid-Atlantic Ocean. Along with Madeira, Cape Verde, the Azores and the Savage Islands, the Canaries are known as Macaronesia which literally translates as ‘Islands of the Fortunate’. The Canary Islands certainly are fortunate as they boast over 1700 species of plants and an assortment of animal, insect and marine life and out of the seven Canary Islands, Tenerife is the most biologically diverse due to its extraordinary climate and geography.

This little Island is home to two world heritage sites, one national park, the world’s third largest volcano and 42 natural protected spaces making it jam packed with places to explore. The enormous variety of activities and sites such as the medieval castle, unspoilt villages and fantastic diving will make your time in Tenerife a truly unique experience. 

As one of the top whale and dolphin watching destinations in the world, the south-west coast of Tenerife is a truly outstanding location for the observation of free-living whales. 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.

This project will give you the perfect opportunity to learn more about these fascinating creatures and gain valuable experience in conservation as you spend your days working alongside the Island’s threatened whale and dolphin populations.


  • Make a valuable and significant contribution to the conservation of vulnerable whale and dolphin species 
  • Gain hands-on marine conservation experience
  • Explore incredible Tenerife
  • Create unforgettable memories and make lifelong friends


  • Good quality camera is essential!
  • Pair of binoculars
  • GPS application (for a smartphone)





Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain


Visual surveys on board whale watching boats.
Take part in coastal expeditions in search of dolphins and monitoring boat traffic.
Maintenance of cetacean identification catalogue. Identification of marine fauna.
Raise public awareness of conservation issues in the Tenerife whale watching community.
Matching of sighted whales and dolphins with cetacean catalogue.


Airport pick up available (extra cost applies)


Volunteer house



Before you go

Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Advice on visas & equipment
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt(UK only)


Two meals a day during weekdays
Project orientation and training  
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ backup
Airport transfer available (extra cost applies)




A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.


Whales and dolphins are a natural resource in the Canary Islands, as is highlighted by the presence on more than 84 whale watching boats in the Islands, and about 500,000 whale watching tourists every year. Whales and dolphins are both beautiful species and have been around for millions of years so it is of extreme importance for humans to conserve and respect these creatures. 

Currently, the whales and dolphins face a number of threats including habitat degradation, injury from ships and commercial fishing equipment, prey depletion caused by overfishing, and noise and health effects resulting from increased in-water pollution rates. 

There are still a number of populations that are resident and reproduce in the region, and so the protection of these magnificent creatures is paramount. We need volunteers to join the project who are committed to ensuring the conservation of a number of endangered cetacean species. The baseline data you collect will contribute towards the long-term management of the area and assist in promoting marine conservation in the wider region. So if you are a marine life enthusiast and want to contribute to the important work of conservationists in Tenerife, then this is the project for you!


After initial training and induction, volunteers will be taking part in three main project activities that combine to build Frontier’s conservation efforts in Tenerife. These activities are:

1. Cetacean Surveys on local ethical whale watching boats where volunteers will collect data and photographs of the local populations of cetaceans. The data being collected includes population numbers and population health, interactions with other vessels and other animals, behaviour patterns, habitat conditions and effect on animals and fin identification. This information is then inputted into our database which supplements our knowledge of cetaceans and holds growing record of each individual on numerous species in Tenerife waters.

2. Community Outreach of the conservation efforts for cetaceans both in Tenerife and around the world by speaking to and informing tourists on the ethical whale watching boats, working with the local whale watching industry to inform and raise awareness of the issues threatening whales and dolphins in Tenerife, informing tourists and other interested parties of the impact of tourism on the wildlife and overall working towards ethical tourism in the area. We also carry out extensive beach cleans in multiple areas around Southern Tenerife, often in conjunction with other volunteer or tour organisations. This is an excellent opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment – fishing nets and rubbish are a critical threat to the marine life in this wildlife hotspot area. See previous media posts for turtles that have been rescued from fishing nets in the area – this is what we want to prevent!

3. Volunteers will also take part in Coastal Surveys in the local area to monitor boat and other vessel traffic, population numbers and behaviour, weather and environment conditions and impact, habitat health, fish farm activity, fish farm dependency by cetaceans and interactions between vessels and wildlife. This data helps to create a wider overall picture of the state of the whale and dolphin populations in Tenerife and the impact of tourism.

Frequency of these activities is dependent on season and volunteer numbers but every volunteer will get the chance to take part in each of these crucial activities that help to build a whale and dolphin-friendly Tenerife. 

As we have formed partnerships with local ethical organisations, we must respect their procedures and act like the conservationists (not tourists!) we are.  These activities contribute to Tenerife’s expanding knowledge of the whale and dolphin populations, informing tourists and industry members and build Frontier’s on going conservation efforts on the island.


The project is located in southern Tenerife in Oroteanda Baja, a short journey from Tenerife South Airport. If you have arranged an airport pickup, you will be met on arrival by a Frontier staff member and escorted to the project site. If you have chosen to make your own way to the project, you can use our easy to follow instructions which will be emailed to you by the Project Manager. We will provide you with all the information you need prior to your departure to enable you to plan your journey.  Upon arrival at the project site you will be met by a friendly Frontier representative from the research team and taken to your accommodation.


During your time on the project you will be staying at our 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 (bus stop 10min from house), including the harbour, supermarkets, bars, restaurants and banks.  The house is not meant to be luxurious, so do not expect things like maids or air conditioning! We are a conservation organisation and aim to minimise our usage of energy, water and resources as much as possible. All volunteers are expected to maintain the house while they are here, making sure that their personal areas and rooms are cleaned and help with the weekly chore rota. 


You will be provided with 2 basic meals a day on weekdays as part of this programme consisting of breakfast and an evening meal. Weekend and lunch are self catering. Volunteers typically work together with the research staff to cook and complete all house-keeping duties. Make sure you come prepared with some recipes you’re comfortable with cooking for everyone - you may even pick up a new dish or two during your stay to wow your friends and family back at home! The vast majority of cooking is vegetarian or vegan, as we want to minimise our impact and often have various dietary requirements to cater around – if you are here when we have BBQs or extra food from boats then you may get meat but don’t expect it. Alternatively the local village also offers a choice of inexpensive and traditional restaurants for you to sample authentic Canarian cuisine. Why not try some Pancho Canario (a soup consisting of noodles, meat and vegetables) with some Bienmesabe for dessert (a puree of ground almond, egg yolk, sugar, lemon rind and cinnamon) and tea with a slice of lemon to wash it all down.  

Ten Most Recent Reviews for This Project

The atmosphere in the house is so homely. Once everyone settles in it is really easy to chat to a...

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An absolutely amazing experience volunteering for Whale and Dolphin conservation in Tenerife. E...

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Upon my arrival at the volunteer house in Tenerife I was welcomed in straight away by my fellow v...

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Friendly staff  | 17 Nov 2019
The staff were all very friendly, easy to talk to but still professional. The boat trips were all...

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I Volunteered with frontier after finding them online as i wanted to do something exciting with m...

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I'M SO GLAD I TOOK PART  | 13 Aug 2018
When i first landed in Tenerife i was nervous and excited, it was my first time going abroad alon...

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TENERIFE WHALES  | 25 Jul 2018
  I spent two weeks on the Tenerife whales project. Really enjoyed it! The staf...

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Unique Experience  | 20 Jul 2018
Overall the experience was unique and one I will never forget. I had a great time volunteering an...

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I participated in a week long project in Tenerife, more specifically the Whale and Dolphin Conser...

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I spent two weeks in Tenerife over summer volunteering for the project on dolphin and whale conse...

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In your spare time make sure you take the opportunity to explore the islands hidden secrets and sample the traditional historic towns as well as the stunning natural landscapes which you may recognise from Star Wars and Clash of the Titans. Maybe even pay a visit to the Teide National Park and climb a live volcano. Don’t forget to stop off at the beautiful Renaissance town of La Orotava at the foot of the mountain and explore the old narrow streets and quaint churches.

Tenerife also offers everything you would expect from a fantastic tourist location, including scuba diving, quad biking, festivals and great nightlife to help unwind at the weekend.

Frontier can help you organise a variety of activities in Tenerife, whether it is salsa lessons or learning how to windsurf!


1 week US$645

2 weeks US$1,095

3 weeks US$1,445

4 weeks US$1,795

5 weeks US$2,245

6 weeks US$2,545

8 weeks US$3,195

10 weeks US$3,845

20 weeks US$6,545

Extra week US$495

Christmas week US$295

Sunday Airport pick-up US$34

Additional Optional House costs: (Wifi – 10 euro) (Bedding + Towels – 10 euro) (Washing Machine – 3 euros) (8l water bottle – 2 euros) (Excursions – prices vary, please inquire!)


This project runs throughout the year with start dates every Sunday.


You can join this project for a minimum of 1 week


This project is available for the special price of US$255 per week over the Christmas period. Placements starting on the 21st or 28th of December 2020 are eligible for this price, subject to availability. Please apply using the orange button below and then tell your volunteer advisor that you wish to take part over Christmas.


Before you go

  • Pre-departure support & documentation
  • Travel and medical advice and documentation
  • Advice on visas and equipment
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier T-shirt(UK only)


  • Accommodation
  • Two meals a day during weekdays
  • Project orientation & training
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ backup


Nearest airport(s): Tenerife South (TFS)


  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Insurance

For detailed information on flights, visas and insurance, click here.


Please read our legal statement regarding the running of NGO projects.

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

Apply Now Call me back