Las Grietas Excursion
NOTICE: Las Grietas has reopened with vast improvements!
Hike through a forest of enormous cacti and over rugged lava rock formations to one of the most unique swimming holes in the Galapagos islands. Las Grietas, which translates literally to mean "the cracks," is a series of volcanic crevices that were formed during the cooling of molten lava. The porous lava stone of the island allows water to filter down from the highlands into Las Grietas where it mixes with sea water filtering in from the ocean. The resulting azure waters are crystaline and refreshing. Las Grietas is a popular swimming destination for locals and visitors alike. Float blissfully in the cool water -- or get your adrenaline pumping by jumping from the new wooden platform. A Naturalist Guide is not required to visit as the trail has been improved, but it is not recommended to travel alone as the jagged lava rocks en route can be tricky.
Tour Highlights and Inclusions:
- Hike over lava rocks and past colorful salt lagoons.
- Climb down wooden stairs and lava rock into the crevice (grieta).
- Swim or snorkel in the crystaline waters of Las Grietas.
- Watch (or join) the locals leaping from the new wooden platform.
English Name: Las Grietas Spanish Name: Las Grietas
Location & Geography: Las Grietas is a series of deep volcanic fissures that collect a mixture of filtered fresh water from the highlands and tidal seapage from the sea.
The trail to Las Grietas is accessible by water taxi from the embarcadero. The trail passes German Beach and some commercial properties before branching into the national park. It is very important to be surefooted as you meander through the colorful salt water lagoons, volcanic fissures and lava rock formations as one misstep on the sharp lava rock could have some nasty consequences. The salt water lagoons are habitat for a variety of migratory and coastal birds. The giant cacti found along the trail show evolutionary adaptations unique to the Galapagos.
The new staircase and diving platform allow for easy access for a swim or snorkel in the cool rock filtered water. A side trail leads along the rim to a couple of viewpoints of the Las Grietas and Finch Bay below. Use caution on the trail, in the water and especially in the air!
Wildlife: Black-Necked Stilts, Whimbrels, White-cheeked Pintail ducks, Lava gulls and Ruddy Turnstones.
Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous: Due to terrain and exposure. Exposed hiking over varied terrain including wet rocks and wooden stairs.
You will need: Closed shoes, hat, water, sunscreen, snorkel gear, and wear your bathing suit.
|Start time: am or pm||Duration: Half-Day||Origin: Santa Cruz||Embarcation Point: Main Pier|
|Group Size: n/a||Vessel Type: water taxi||Activity level: Moderate||Total Tour Time w/taxi: ~4 hrs|