Top things to do in Tenerife, Spain. Volunteering with AWdF.
The thought of going to Tenerife, this lovely island in Spain, was good enough for me, but actually doing something to save the whales and dolphins and also, raise awareness about the problem with the plastic pollution, it was just a dream came true! I wrote this post to share with you, some of the things that I learned and show you some of the top things that I would personally recommend when visiting Tenerife, Spain.
So, I was supposed to leave from Birmingham, UK on the 30th of December, meaning that I will spend the New Years in Tenerife (Yeey!). I had to pack for 2 weeks in only one 10kg bag and a small rucksack, so it was a little hard for me, because I didn’t know what to expect when I get there and also, because only my MacBook and my DSLR with the accessories is enough to fill a bag, but I didn’t want to give up on these things. I manage to pack everything in one baggage that my roommate called the Mary Poppins bag!
Getting there I got the chance to meet some amazing and crazy people. The house was old, composed by three little houses in a hostel style and the main house was my favourite one, because of the terraces and lounges decorated in a very personal, kind of hippie style. We also had three lovely cats and it’s impossible not to be happy if you have cats!
Every day that we spent there was different. We had days doing activities like kayaking, pottery, horse riding, paragliding, snorkeling, scuba diving, etc., days working on projects, days on the beach, days discovering the island and some of the best ones, days spent on the boats watching whales and dolphins.
The days spent discovering the island were some of my favourites, because we were doing cultural trips and these trips are essential to AWDF because they care about people seeing the authenticity of the island, not only the typical tourist’s attractions. Because the house was in the south, we had the chance to see a lot more in that area. I will show you some of the places that I saw and I would definitely recommend when visiting Tenerife.
Top things to do in Tenerife:
1. Playa de Las Teresitas and San Andres village
My favourite day trip was around Santa Cruz, where we drove the car up to the north at Playa de las Teresitas, the most iconic beach of Tenerife, where the view was just stunning with the ocean, the mountains and the palms creating a perfect scenery. We had a coffee, but we didn’t spend the day on the beach because we wanted to see as much as we could from the Northside in one day. Just 10 minutes walking and we stopped in a village on the hill, called San Andres, went to the top, between those typical Spanish streets around the houses and the view was totally worth the climb.
2. Santa Cruz
From San Andres we took the car and went back to the city of Santa Cruz. We had time to wonder a little around and would definitely recommend seeing:
Plaza de Espana- it’s a small place with pubs, a lovely pond where you can relax and enjoy some time and of course, the Santa Cruz lettering that everybody should have a photo with when you go to Tenerife;
Parque Garcia Sanabria– it’s a beautiful and exotic park, similar to a botanical garden and it’s the biggest in the whole Canary Islands;
The municipal market “Nuestra Senora de Africa”– visit this market to get a feeling about how the locals shop for fresh fruit, vegetable and fish, but be careful that is open every day, except for Mondays, but only until 2 pm.
Old Town and Conception Church – Walking around the picturesque streets of the old town can be a perfect way to spend your evening, enjoying the pastel-painted buildings, listening to people speak in Spanish, eating some traditional food and drinking Sangria. The Conception Church is the representation of the old town and it’s impossible to miss its characteristic bell.
3. National Park of Teide
For those who are into trekking, going up to Teide is a must in Tenerife, because Teide is the highest mountain, so it has the most amazing views. Except for trekking, we went on a short trip with the car around the National Park of Teide and the timing couldn’t be more perfect, because we got to see everything at sunset, so the lighting was incredible. (Photo was taken by lovely Emma)
4. Las Galletas
We spent a week in cabins in a camping place on the coast, so we were close to the beach. We actually wanted to see how far it is, so we started walking on a weird pathway in the middle of nowhere and we got there in half an hour, walking. The walk took us to a small town called Las Galletas, that felt very authentic because it was not a touristic place, with a small and lovely beach, a 10 minutes’ walk around the Marina and the best paella that we had in Tenerife at Romoletto’s.
5. Los Cristianos
This area is dedicated to people who are coming on holiday only for the beach, the sun and the party. Most of the tourists in there were English or people from Nordic countries, having fun, watching football games, spending their days in the pubs, relaxing.
6. Los Gigantes
I think my favourite view from Tenerife, was this massive rock in Los Gigantes, that it’s awe-inspiring and accessible to see from a lot of places in the South. We did kayaking in Los Gigantes with Teno Activo and going so close to these hills made them look even more amazing, seen from their base. Because there is no pathway for walking around these rocks, the best view is from a boat or a kayak.
Check some great deals for your next visit to Tenerife!
Volunteering with AWdF
Whale and dolphin watching
Going on the boats was one of the activities that we all enjoyed doing. We were monitoring, researching and learning a lot of things about the resident Pilot Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins and the Migratory species, raising awareness about the conservation issue and the plastic pollution. Seeing these lovely animals and learning so many things about the qualities they have, how smart and friendly they are it’s impossible not to fall in love with them and try to do something to save them.
Did you know that the life span of the dolphins living in captivity is less than half of a dolphin living in the wild?
Did you know that the whales ingest kilograms of plastic that lead to their death, by blocking their digestive system?
Did you know that the sonar of some animals can confuse plastic for squid or jellyfish?
Captivity, plastic pollution and so many others are real problems that we see every day, but most of us are just ignoring them because we think that it’s impossible for one person to do something. This way of thinking is wrong! If you believe that you don’t have the time physically to do something, support others that are trying to make the world a better place.
What can you do?
Most of you are probably aware of the plastic problem, but I am sure that you cannot see how big the problem is actually. I was the same! So, I did this post to show you a little of what I learned. And if I only get to one person that is still progress, because that person will share this to somebody else and so on, creating an unbreakable chain to save these amazing creatures. This is how you can actually change the world! (Tell me that you see these photos and you don’t fall in love instantly!)
Now, I am inviting you to join the Social Plastic® movement by going Plastic Neutral. Plastic bank is an organisation who is doing a lot about this issue all over the world. If you want to know more and join them, go check their website: https://www.plasticbank.com. With only a donation, you can do something today, for the future of our planet. Also, check this powerful TED Talk for more information.
I would also, recommend these organic reusable food wraps, that I use now for a while and it makes a big difference! I, personally, use these wraps and I don’t use any plastic, especially to preserve the food, because it’s highly toxic. Just check the video below because they explain everything perfectly: CLICK ME!
We can all change something in the world, starting today!
I had the opportunity of going to a volunteering programme where I knew that I could do something. Two weeks was not enough to change the world, but it was a good start. I am still processing the information that I received and digesting all the things that happen around the world. If you would like to do some volunteering with dolphins and whales, check Atlantic Whales and Dolphins Foundation’s website for more information: www.whalenation.org !
After this experience, I just want to do more, to learn more, to contribute to a better world. Something small like this can change your perception about the world around you, so don’t miss any opportunity to see and help this amazing world that we live in! Check some more photos in the gallery below: