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Frontier

Whale & Dolphin Conservation in Tenerife

Las Chafiras, Spain

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

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 forty two 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.

Typical day

Volunteers can expect to join tourist whale watching boats 3 times a week. After your initial training, your role will cover three equally important areas:

You will be on whale watching boats, undertaking important observation and monitoring work. Here you will be taking photographs of the whales in order to help grow the catalogue of whales in the area - a good quality camera is essential for you to bring for this work! This enables us to improve our knowledge of family and community groups, and whether the population is expanding or not. You will also be observing behavior and recording it, to determine if behaviour is dependent on group size as well as monitoring the impact of the whale watching industry on the cetaceans. 

You will act as a guide on the whale watching boats and interact with the tourists on board, raising awareness about the resident cetacean population as well as the migratory species they can expect to see at that time of year. You will supplement the work of the boat guides, perhaps helping out with English translations. This is crucial as with this education they can inform others and so the knowledge spreads and can help improve conservation attitudes globally.

Up to twice a week you will go on coastal expeditions in search of dolphins feeding around the fish farms. From a high point on mountains or cliffs, you will use binoculars to scan for dolphins and any passing whales. You will learn how to calculate the distance to the animals and record their geographic position. Throughout the survey you will take notes of observed species, group size and their behaviour, as well as recording the boats present in the area, and their impact on the dolphin behaviour.

After each survey, back at the volunteer house you will enter the collected data into the research databases. You will be taught how to correctly prepare digital photos of the whales and dolphins for subsequent identification, and learn how to match these using the catalogue of known individuals. If you are willing to get stuck in and engross yourself in the valuable work of contributing to these charismatic and enchanting species, then this project is perfect for you.

Details on Arrival

Possible start dates for this program are always on Sundays. It is an ongoing program that is available throughout the year.

Free-time activities

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!

Water Sports
Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Climbing
Hiking

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 16 years old on the program start date. Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
required
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 14:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Any questions? Just ask. We at Frontier are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Included Services

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We refund your fees if Frontier cancels your trip
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We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Frontier.
Services by Frontier
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
In-country
  • Accommodation
  • Two meals a day during weekdays
  • Project orientation & training
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ backu
Airport Pickup at Tenerife South Airport

You will be met at the local airport by a Frontier staff member and escorted to the volunteer house.

Accommodation

Shared rooms in a quiet, spacious villa.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

Varied western diet.  Most special dietary requirement can be catered for.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Tenerife South Airport (TFS) in Tenerife. We assist you to find cheap flights to Spain.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Spain provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Spain you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Spain.
Costs (Prices in USD)
1 week (min. stay)
$733.00
2 weeks
$1,183.00
3 weeks
$1,583.00
4 weeks
$1,983.00
5 weeks
$2,283.00
6 weeks
$2,633.00
8 weeks (max. stay)
$3,283.00
Average fees
$572.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Las Chafiras/Spain between 1 week and 8 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Frontier will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Spain.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Frontier during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
Europe Southern Europe Spain Las Chafiras, Guargacho
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