Atlantic Whale and Dolphin Foundation

A Masca Adventure!

masca trek

One of the many ‘Fam’ trips we organise here at the Atlantic Whale Foundation is The Masca Trek! There are so many beautiful places around the island to explore, some of our volunteers took on the challenge and told us this tale…

“Yesterday we went to Masca to hike. We started in the town of Masca to walk down the canyon. In the town of Masca we saw and learned about the beautiful history of the town itself. It really is a beautiful town to go sightseeing. Next we walked to the canyon looking at beautiful views and exploring the tunnels and caves. During the 3 hour walk we saw different species of birds and found waterfalls! Later, we arrived at the ocean where the walk ended. Here we went for a swim and went snorkelling where there were many types of interesting fish. The Masca walk really is recommended for people who enjoy outdoor physical activity and beautiful views.”

The Masca trek is a physically demanding trip, and is not just simply a light stroll, but for anyone who enjoys panoramic views, climbing, canyoning, and generally exploring like a big kid, its perfect and lots of fun, we’ve never had a bad review! You are also provided with a boat taxi back to Los Gigantes port, which is also a beautiful place, with local shops and restaurants. Ready to be collected by one of our drivers.


-Jess, AWF Coordinator.


Cultural Trip: Garachico

A new Cultural Trip offered by AWF is the day trip to Garachico.

In the fertile lowlands of Tenerife’s North West tip, Garachico is officially one of the unluckiest towns on the planet. In its short history Garachico has endured Bubonic plague, floods, storms, fires, plagues of locusts and volcanic eruptions, the worst of which in 1706 destroyed a large part of the town and the source of its wealth; the harbour.

What remains is one of Tenerife’s prettiest destinations with cobbled streets, beautifully restored churches, two fabulous hotels, coastal sea water swimming pools hewn from volcanic rock and a steadfastly traditional Canarian character.


Mirador de Garachico

The first stop on this cultural trip is a popular vantage point where you can soak up the brilliant morning views of Garachico from high above the town. This spot is situated on the TF-82, on route towards the Parque del Drago (Dragon tree).

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Plaza Juan Gonzalez de la Torre

“Quaint little park in the heart of Garachico”

The whole square is full of character with a warming atmosphere and boasts lots of historic buildings to meander around. There are tapas bars, public toilets and a café all in and around the square. This plaza is situated just a short walking distance from the fort (Castillo San Miguel), the natural pools (Piscinas Naturales El Caleton) and restaurants including a pizzeria.

Castillo San Miguel (Fort)

Tardis like castle with exhibits tracing Garachico’s history. Great views over the pools from the battlements.
Entrance = €0.50.


Convento de San Francisco

“Well worth the two euros to enter! This is a lovely old convent with internal courtyards and suspended wooded balconies. There are many old and interesting photos from the last 150 years of Canarian history. Not more than 15 minutes to take in the lot, but well worth doing”.

There is also an amazing collection of fossils and shells from all over the world and a display which shows the history of the volcanic eruptions that have made the town what it is today.


Piscinas Naturales El Caleton (Rock pools)

These free natural pools make a great place to swim and relax in the heat of the sun. This area of Garachico used to be a successful fishing port until 1590 when Teide volcano erupted and filled the harbour with lava, the result is what you see; numerous natural pools formed from cooled lava flow, extending into the sea. These natural swimming pools have had some manmade enhancements such as ladders, steps and walkways for easier access.


Changing facilities and showers are provided, with a café nearby. Toilets can be used by customers of the bar. Just don’t forget your towel and a snorkel (sign them out)!

A Day in the Life of an AWF Volunteer

Cultural Trip to Santa Cruz

Cultural Trips are important excursions organised by the AWF for our volunteers. Our founders want all volunteers to have the opportunity to see some of the important historical and cultural spots of the island. One of the cultural trips is a day trip to visit three important sights of Tenerife: Candelaria, Güimar and the capital, Santa Cruz.




The trip begins in the little town of Candelaria. Start the day with the coffee in the plaza, of views of the ocean, the beautiful church and the famous Guanche statues.


Candelaria is a nice town to make a quick stop in on the way to Santa Cruz. It has a lot of Catholic significance, as it is seen as the place of the veneration of the Virgin Candelaria.

The church is a beautiful stop to do a brief tour through, and there are many cafes surrounding the main plaza, where the Guanche men statues stand in front of the sea.



After the stop in Candelaria, the trip drives further north to Güimar, where volunteers can visit the famous pyramids of Güimar. 


Santa Cruz

The capital city of Tenerife and 1/2 the capital of the Canary Islands (the other half is in the Gran Canaria, the 2nd largest of the 7 islands) is Santa Cruz. Located in the north of the island, Santa Cruz is a beautiful city to spend an afternoon in to see a bit of the island different from the endless beaches of the south.


The main Plaza de España in Santa Cruz is right next to the commercial streets with shops and restaurants.


Overall, Santa Cruz is a small, vibrant city with a much more “Spanish” feel to it than the tourist traps of the south. It is a beautiful spot overlooking the ocean, and a good place to see during a stay in Tenerife.


Kayaking w/ Teno Activo

Ocean Kayaking is a popular activity among volunteers that come and work here at AWF.

We have partnered with Teno Activo  based in Los Gigantes in Tenerife for our kayaking excursions. For a very reasonable price, volunteers receive a two hour kayak rental, complete with a guided tour and photographer as well as a beer or non-alcoholic drink halfway through the journey.


Each kayak had two people paddling, the seats were comfortable with back rests and came with one life jacket per participant. The guide also brings masks and snorkels, but we advise our volunteers to bring the ones we have at the foundation, so that they can fully enjoy a little swim during the break.

The water in this area of the island is really crystal clear, and swimming beneath the giant cliffs is an incredible experience. The ocean conditions are fairly mild, but it is a good workout for active volunteers!



A popular and frequent trip put on by AWF is a trip to El Medano beach to go surfing! El Medano is a well-known surfing beach famous for having great waves and wind for water sports.


There are plenty of surf and watersport vendors in El Medano, and we have partnered with Red Rock Surf Academy for providing our volunteers with surfboard rentals and lessons. For a very reasonable price, volunteers can have 2 hour group lessons, or just rent a board if they want to try to learn themselves. The surf shop has a huge selection of different sized boards for people of all abilities.


Parasailing is one of the many activities frequently organized by the AWF. It is an experience that every volunteer will have the opportunity to participate in, because the company we work with is located right in Puerto Colón near our visitors centre.

We are very fortunate to work with companies that give us great discounts for our volunteers to enjoy all Tenerife has to offer.

Our volunteer Gemma wrote this about her experience parasailing:

“This was an amazing experience as we were able to see the landscape of Tenerife and even some jumping dolphins were spotted by another volunteer whilst we were in the air. Not only did we get to parasail, but we also had a great mini boat trip around the coast. The parasailing was great fun and I would recommend it to anyone coming to volunteer with us.”



Puerto Colón

Our Visitors Centre, which is our primary operating base for our boat trips, is located in Puerto Colón in Tenerife. Puerto Colón is a great area to be based in, as it is the host of many different activity companies, restaurants and bars, and a nice beach, giving our volunteers access to many different great things when they are working down in the port.

It is also close to a shopping center and a big Mercadona supermarket, so volunteers are able to buy groceries if they choose to during their breaks in between boat trips.



Zion Bar

Right next door to our visitor centre is Zion Bar, an amazing Italian restaurant. They do a menu of the day every day, and for 5 euros customers can have a first and second plate and a drink.


Cafe Victoria

Located right on the marina, this cafe is our primary meeting point and our favorite spot to get breakfast. They offer a full English breakfast for €3,75 and coffee for a euro. This is where a lot of volunteers grab a bite to eat or a coffee in the morning, and where we meet for the van pick-ups at the end of the day.


The Beach

Located just a three minute walk from our Visitor Centre, the beach at Puerto Colon is a nice spot for volunteers to take a little break, soak up some sun or go for a swim to cool off during the hot summer months here in Tenerife.


Scuba Diving

One of the activities we most encourage our volunteers to try while they are here in Tenerife with us is scuba diving. For volunteers who have never been diving, we are able to schedule try dives through Zero Gravity, a dive shop right in Puerto Colón by our Visitors Centre.


Try dives are an excellent way for volunteers to become familiar with scuba diving. The dive masters start the session with a briefing in the dive centre so the divers understand basic functions of the equipment. They are then taken to El Puertito, the same location of our snorkelling trips, in order to see the turtles. El Puertito is a sheltered bay, so it is never rough or dangerous conditions for the divers.


Once in the water, the dive master holds onto the diver as they descend 5-6 meters to become acquainted with the incredible sensation of breathing underwater. In the bay, divers can see the turtles and different beautiful fish species.


After completing the try dive, volunteers have the option of completing a PADI course through Zero Gravity. Completing the Open Water Diver or Advanced Open Water Diver is a very feasible task that a volunteer could do during their time at AWF, even if they are only here for a week. We make sure to take their diving priorities into consideration when making our schedules, so that they will be in the port at the correct time.

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Image from Zero Gravity



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