1996 - 2011 Some words about our 15th Anniversary

15 years of Whale and Dolphin Watching in the Strait of Gibraltar

15 years of dedication on the protection of the whales and dolphins in the Strait of Gibraltar. The main target of Whale Watch Tarifa since its foundation on January the 19th of 1996 in Madrid was the protection and observation of the Iberian Peninsula cetaceans. We start our trips from Tarifa in Andalucia, the southernmost port of Europe. We enter the Strait of Gibraltar southwards with the morrocan Rif Mountains on the horizon, sailing in the area of the encounter of 2 continents and 2 seas, the Med and the Atlantic Ocean. This unique region, recently declared UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is the habitat of 4 resident species: Common, Striped and Bottlenose Dolphins and the Pilot Whales forming family groups integrated in schools and interacting in the sea. These animals are gentle and confident sharing their daily lives with killer whales, sperm whales and fin whales. The large whales and small dolphins approach us with a curiosity and the desire to communicate and play with our boats. Whale watching is the activity Whale Watch Tarifa launched in the Strait of Gibraltar as a way to discover the fabulous world of these magnificent marine mammals. From the first passenger to the thousands of them engaged in these 15 years, nobody can believe the spectacle in front of their eyes. The animals around us, bow-riding, spying, splashing water onto the people on board, ... clearly showing their daily life just a few miles from our coast. As president of Whale Watch Tarifa I`ve written many times about my fascination with the sea, and its human and animal inhabitants. It's in my blood as the daughter of a spanish navy submarine captain. Without the sea I can not live, nostalgia overwhelms and paralysizes me and its absence will not let me write or dream. Therefore, seeing a dream come true for as long as 15 years does mean to have succeeded, to recognize that we have done well, that our way of tourism is sustainable and a educational method to spread the knowledge about that sensitive ecological system. Our boats leave from Tarifa into the Straits of Gibraltar to meet the dual task of displaying the grandeur of the sea and the rich biodiversity of the UNESCO Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve.

Mrs. Lourdes Isasa Lopez

President Whale Watch Tarifa

We are celebrating the anniversary with our exhibition:


on the Paseo de Alameda of Tarifa, in front of Café Continental. The activity is presented in form of 4 panels, gathering many years of work to teach people that the sea is not just a body of water, but the house of thousands of species of animals, including the whales and dolphins in the Strait of Gibraltar. Come and meet them.

It is an unforgetable experience!

What is Whale Watch Tarifa

Whale Watch Tarifa is a non-profit organization, created in 1996 with the purpose to protect the cetaceans in the Iberian Peninsula.

The study and the protection of the cetaceans is made going to the sea to search and view the dolphins and whales in liberty. By taking data, we can collect a scientific approximation of the populations of the cetaceans in the open sea. These observations give us bases for the population studies that help guarantee the sustainability of this activity and the conservation of this resource.

With the duration of two to four hours, and with 97% success, we encounter the Common Dolphin, Striped Dolphin and Bottlenose. These are the resident species that live in the Strait of Gibraltar. The Pilot Whales are also residents, permitting us contact with complete families nearby. The Sperm Whales arrive in the Strait in spring, giving us the opportunity to see from a long distance their characteristic oblique spout, and their tail as they submerge. The Fin Whale, which once populated these seas more profusely, are now sighted less frequently. With their great size and their characteristic flipper, they permit us to identify them easily. The Killer Whale offers us one of the most impressive spectacles on the open sea. The fishing of the tuna by the fishermen of Tarifa. With their fishing lines, they avoid and wait for different groups of Orcas.

It is a unique experience to relate to the animals at liberty, and to verify the beauty of the sea in this marvellous and surprising Intercontinental Reserve of the Biosphere and Nature Reserve of the Strait of Gibraltar

We invite you to meet the dolphins and the whales and to help to protect them.


Our philosophy…

Whale Watch Tarifa is based on a sustainable tourism that is assured as a respectful and responsible activity of the animals and the marine life, as an essential base of conservation. This place is such a productive resource that year after year, it attracts thousands of people from all over the world interested in observing these special animals in their natural environment.

After 10 years of this activity in Tarifa, our experience give us the need to inform about our knowledge throw different kinds of specific programmes directed to schools and institutes.

The team

Whale Watch Tarifa is a great family. Our team works to give our visitors the best attention, always trying to make the experience of relating with dolphins and whales in liberty unforgettable.

We speak Spanish, English, German, French, Dutch and Italian, for all the people to understand our explanations, and to have a place within us.

Whale Watch EquipoLourdes Isasa López
President y guide
Languages: Spanish, English and French
670 796 508