Published: December 1, 2022

Location: Tenerife


Closing Date: Ongoing

Dolphin and Whale Conservation Teen Volunteering in the Canary Islands

Programme overview

Explore the island of Tenerife when you join a group of like-minded teen volunteers working to conserve the whale and dolphin species of this Spanish archipelago. Record the activities of the marine mammals which live in the tropical waters off the coast of the Canary Islands. You’ll have the opportunity to help to identify and collect behavioural data on cetaceans and other marine creatures.


GVI Canary IslandsGVI Canary Islands


About the organisation

At GVI, we have been connecting thousands of change-makers, like you, with impactful environmental projects in some of the most vulnerable habitats all over the world, for over two decades. We offer an extensive range of nature conservation programs through which people from all walks of life can volunteerintern and study. Our programs are led by our partners who are local to the communities we’re based in, and focused on making a data-driven, sustainable impact. With GVI, you get access to real-life practical experience to kick-off or advance your career. We also offer immersive social development programs in communities and cultures all over the world.

We know that creating lifelong connections with like-minded global change-makers is important to you. That’s why we go to great lengths to set the scene for you – so you can enjoy the most memorable experiences together. Just ask our alumni. You’ll see that we’re serious about ethics and sustainability – we partner with expert locally-led organisations and align ourselves to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Over the years, we have been moved, educated and impelled by our many conservation partners. Our work with them has won numerous awards and has been featured across global media. Whilst you’re immersed in the abundant ecosystems of our locations, we don’t want you to worry about a thing. That’s why our team offers support every step of the way, taking care of the admin, logistics and health and safety on your behalf. You’re in good hands.

With the climate crisis intensifying, GVI is more determined than ever to follow our mission. By joining a GVI program, you’re not only contributing to positive change on the planet, but also within yourself. This we can guarantee: you will never be the same again.


About the programme

The Canary Islands is known for its tropical climate, incredible landscapes and spectacular biodiversity both above and below water. It is here that you’ll join other teens to gain an introduction to what life might be like if you choose to pursue a career in marine biology and conservation.

If you have a special interest in cetacean conservation and marine species, then our dolphin and whale conservation teen volunteering program in Spain’s Canary Islands might be just what you’re looking for.

On this program, you’ll learn about how conservationists tackle environmental issues such as climate change and plastic pollution, as well as how they collect data on key species like whales, dolphins, rays and sea turtles.

You’ll travel the waters around Tenerife with other teen volunteers, searching for whale and dolphin activity. You’ll gather data on their health, population numbers, behavioural patterns and take photos to help with identifying specific individuals. You’ll also conduct surveys of the waters and beaches, recording factors such as boat activity and coastal erosion. In the process, you’ll learn more about the field of marine science and gain new skills.

You and our other teenage volunteers will share important information about sustainable travel and conservation with overseas visitors and the local community. You’ll also participate in other activities such as collecting plastic pollution from beaches and helping to educate tourists about the importance of choosing ethical whale and dolphin watching tours.

After volunteering, you’ll join a guided tour of the island, learning more about the unique local habitats and conservation efforts, while taking part in adventure activities around Tenerife.

Throughout the project, reflection sessions will also be held to facilitate learning and contemplation. You’ll also receive training and be supervised by world-class leaders in the field, who have been chosen for their mix of relevant experience and ability to mentor and inspire young adults.

GVI has successfully been operating ethical and responsible programs for under 18s since 2012. Since then, it has treated health and safety as a number one priority and takes extra measures for its under 18 programs. As such, it is also a British Standards 8848 compliant provider.

Please note that this is not a diving program.


  • Live, volunteer and explore with other teens from around the world who share your interest in marine conservation and adventure travel.
  • Find out if marine biology is a career you might like to pursue.
  • Successfully complete this program and get a professional reference from your program manager. You’ll also have the option of earning a certificate endorsed by the University of Richmond if you choose to complete our included online leadership course, which is valued at £295.
  • Contribute directly to effective, local marine conservation efforts.
  • Contribute to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal, #14, Life Below Water and #13, Climate Action.
  • Take an adventure hike through the unique biomes of Tenerife or maybe even hike to the top of Spain’s highest mountain, and visit some of the islands most beautiful beaches.



Our base in the Canary Islands is located on the island of Tenerife. With amazing views and waters teeming with megafauna, there are loads of hikes, as well as dormant and active volcanoes. The island itself is home to a variety of microclimates, such as cloud forests, jungles, deserts and tundra.

A 3-minute walk from the marina of Puerto Colón, our base overlooks the ocean, has loads of nearby amenities and facilities, as well as many restaurants and bars. From the harbour visitors can board one of Tenerife’s famous whale and dolphin watching tours. We’re situated near the town of Costa Adeje, an area popular with tourists. There is also a large shopping mall called Siam about 20 minutes away.

The base is basic but comfortable and is split across two apartments, with ample space for training, working through project data, or just relaxing after a busy day. We cultivate a family atmosphere on base. Cooking and tidying duties are shared on a rotation basis amongst staff and participants. There is also a pool on base.



2 weeks.


Costs and pre-requisites

2 weeks – £2,595.

No prior knowledge or experience is required – our trained field team will provide you with all the training you need when you join your project. Some of our diving programs require participants to be PADI Open Water certified prior to joining, please contact your enrolment manager for more information. There is no age limit to join our projects and in fact, our oldest participant to date was 80! Our projects do have a minimum age of 18, with the exception of our under 18 projects that are specifically designed for 15-17 year olds and our family programs for 14+ when accompanied by a guardian.


What’s included

  • 24-hour emergency desk
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All project equipment
  • Food (except on long-term internship placements
  • Safe and basic accommodation (usually shared)


How to apply

To find out more and apply, please visit the GVI website: Dolphin and Whale Conservation Teen Volunteering in the Canary Islands | GVI Planet