Tenerife, Canary Islands

Volunteer in Tenerife

Join dolphin and whale conservation projects on the megadiverse island of Tenerife.

Few areas match the expanse of sea stretching between the island of Tenerife and the coast of Morocco for diving, swimming and viewing marine megafauna. As a volunteer in Tenerife, you will spend most days on boats with the sun on your skin and in the company of dolphins and whales.

Critical science

Critical science

You'll contribute to vital conservation research targeted at protecting the earth's most valuable ecosystems.
Ethical engagement

Ethical engagement

Using the UN's SDGs as a framework, we've made a commitment to positive, constructive and sustainable impact.
Beautiful adventures

Beautiful adventures

You'll spend your days exploring some of the world's most breathtaking, exhilarating and remote wildernesses.

Tenerife volunteer projects


Tenerife is the largest of seven islands located off the south-west coast of Spain and north-west coast of Africa. These islands form the Atlantic Ocean archipelago known as the Canary Islands. 

Tenerife’s diverse landscapes of sun-soaked sand and pebble beaches, and towering snow-capped mountain peaks make it a spectacular location to call your base.

Volunteer in Tenerife with GVI and get the opportunity to enjoy the warm, tropical climate that the Canary Islands is so well known for. With average temperatures of 18–24 degrees Celsius in the winter and 24–28 degrees Celsius in the summer, you’ll be treated to near-perfect conditions no matter what time of year you choose to volunteer in Tenerife.

But this destination offers more than just wandering the narrow streets of Old Town and sipping sweet sangria in the Spanish island sun. Tenerife volunteering will give you the opportunity to meet the island’s friendliest residents – bubbly bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales. These are some of Tenerife’s resident cetacean population, and can be spotted all year round. 

A further 24 migratory cetacean species make their way to Tenerife’s tropical waters throughout the year – this is the perfect spot to volunteer on dolphin and whale conservation projects.

Whether you’re under 18 or over 50 and in Europe on a gap year or career break, becoming a volunteer in Tenerife is the perfect move for those looking to make an impact.

Marine conservation

When volunteering in Tenerife with GVI, you’ll make an impact by contributing directly to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). You’ll assist local people and organisations to achieve the long-term objectives of each project. The main UN SDG we work on at GVI Tenerife is Goal 14: Life Below Water. 

Choose from a variety of volunteer projects in Tenerife with GVI. You can contribute to projects focusing on:

  • whale and dolphin conservation 
  • marine biology research and conservation.

Because of its tropical climate and varied topography, Tenerife is the most biologically diverse island in the Canaries – making it a popular tourist destination that sees upwards of five million tourists a year.

And, while this is great for the economy as tourism is the island’s largest source of income, there are definite environmental downsides to the massive influx of tourists that Tenerife has started to attract. 

Boat traffic, overfishing, and excess waste are just some of the side effects that have pointed to a greater need for marine, and whale and dolphin conservation efforts on the island. 

Our impact

GVI Tenerife works with local organisations and whale-watching companies to monitor the effects of tourism on the surrounding marine environment. Data collected by our volunteers in Tenerife is submitted to help with local decision-making and resource management on the island.  

Each day offers a different learning experience when you volunteer in Tenerife. Participants could start their day with early morning project-specific training, whale and dolphin conservation surveys, or work on base with the data collected on previous days. Other days could be spent doing beach surveys and cleanups, or cetacean conservation and environmental awareness work with tourist groups. It all depends on the local stakeholder needs at the time of your project. 

GVI is committed to upholding ethical best practice on all of our programs and focus areas, including Tenerife volunteering. This is illustrated by our badge of ethics and child and vulnerable adult protection policy.

Join a program abroad and save up to 15%!

Book by 30 September
Included in your program, at no extra cost

Make the most of our unique programs with these exclusively curated local adventure and wellness experiences.

Offered once a month, expand your adventure with GVI Experiences. These are just some of the activities offered on your program!
Learn to make delicious Canarian dishes
Tour Old Town Tenerife's 15th century port
Learn about the our galaxy
Bike across an active volcano
Kayak and snorkel in paradise
Hike prehistorical micro-climates and laurel forests
Cable car up an active volcano
Explore an ancient tropical forest