Last week, I spent six days in the wonderful Costa Adeje, Tenerife. Let me take a moment to tell you about one of the best nights on our trip.
Let’s set the scene. A few weeks prior to getting on the plane, I was looking around online for fun things to do while we were on the island. I already booked our tickets to Siam Park, a water park located literally minutes from our hotel. And as fun and exciting I knew that was going to be, I wanted to explore more options on the island. My mother suggested that maybe a look into a boat trip, so I did just that.
After a quick Google search, it didn’t take a long to find Big Smile Luxury Charters, as I came across their page on TripAdvisor and found lots of favourable reviews. I meandered over to the website to take a look. A lot of the descriptions were in Spanish, but it’s nothing Google translate couldn’t fix.
It all sounded very appealing. They have so many different packages to choose from, from private to shared, for groups, couples, birthdays, anniversaries… the variety was astounding. The private charters were a little bit out of my price range, and since it would only be myself and my boyfriend Matt, and not a big group of us, it seemed pointless to throw away the money. So, we looked into the shared charters they had available.
They have three shared charters, which were the Whale Watching Excursion (a three-hour trip), the Sunset Charter (two-hour trip), and the Masca trip (a six-hour trip). The former two cost 60€ per person, and the latter, being a full-on day trip, cost slightly more at 80€ per person. From what I could see, the Whale Watching and Masca charters involved not only sailing around the coast and watching for whales and dolphins, but they actually offered you the option to snorkel and swim in the sea. The Sunset Charter, on the first impression, seemed to have a more laid back approach, and the Cava and apertifs sounded more than tempting.
I won’t lie, the prices put me off a bit. I know holidays are about throwing caution to the wind and enjoying yourself, but I consider myself a fairly frugal person, and want to spend my hard-earned pennies wisely. My thought process went like so: “Okay, so what’s the best value for money here?” My first reaction, the Masca trip. At only 20€ more per person, you get longer on the boat, more activities, and lunch, as well as the added Cava, wine and aperitifs. But I’ve never been on a boat before, do I really want to risk spending six hours on one with a bunch of strangers? What if I don’t like it? What if I get sick? I can hardly tell the captain to turn back around half way through if I’m not enjoying myself.
So upon consultation with Matt, we agreed to book the two-hour Sunset Charter for the Wednesday, the second night of our trip. And let me tell you, we were not left disappointed.
Puerto Colón, where the Big Smile boat was docked, was easy to find. Only half an hour away from our hotel, we literally just walked along the coast until we hit the marina. The different ports in the marina were clearly labelled, and the Big Smile was the very last boat on Pantalán 2.
Danny, our host and captain, was very accommodating. He greeted us with his own big smile and politely helped us onto his boat, offering us champagne as soon as we were on deck. The little table in the seating areas was ladled with fresh fruit; melon, watermelon, grapes, bananas, you name it.
Upon speaking to Danny, we found out that he had been doing these trips for around a year and a half, and you could tell he was very knowledgable about the island. He told us about the volcanos and the best spots to find whales, which was around the midway point between two lighthouses on the island. This is because this is where the water ran the deepest, and he told us that the whales favoured this spot as this is where they came to eat calamari, so our chances of seeing whale was very likely.
And he was right! Within 45 minutes of being out at sea, we did see some short finned pilot whales, which are black and a little bit bigger than a regular dolphin. It was amazing, especially since right before we saw the whales, we encountered a school of dolphins jumping alongside the boat. It was really amazing seeing these creatures out in the wild, in their natural habitats, rather than cooped up in aquariums. The way they almost danced next to the boat was really spectacular, it was like being in a movie, except it was real life! I was really experiencing this first hand! I won’t lie, a tear did come to my eye at the time, and now again as I’m writing this, reliving the moment.
The sunset in itself was also breathtaking. I think often, in our busy day-to-day lives, we often take things like sunsets for granted. After all, they happen everyday, so you just assume, “Hey ho, I’ll catch the next one.” It’s one thing catching a sunset as you’re walking down a city street, but it’s a completely different kettle of fish once you’re out in the open sea, breathing in the fresh air and watching the clouds slowly turn pink. I remember at one moment, looking at the golden sun on the horizon on one side, and the tiny, far away island on the other, and feeling truly blessed to be alive. It’s moments like these that you want to bottle up and keep forever.
I would definitely recommend this kind of excursion if you’re off on an island holiday. If you happen to find yourself in Tenerife someday, definitely seek out Big Smile Luxury Charters for an unforgettable experience.