Las Grietas Excursion
Hike through enormous cacti and over the lava rock formations to one of the most unique swimming holes in the islands. Las Grietas, which translates literally to mean "the cracks," is a geologic formation unique to volcanic islands. This deep brackish canal forms between the steep lava rock cliffs on either side. Float blissfully in the cool water -- or get your adrenaline pumping by jumping from the rock ledges.
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 the locals leap from the cliff walls.
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 brackish waters are refreshing and Las Grietas is a popular swimming destination for locals and visitors alike. A Naturalist Guide is not required to visit as the trail is well traveled.
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 rough. 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.
A scramble over slick lava rocks allows for a swim or snorkel in the cool rock filtered water. Often there are kids leaping from the cliff walls so there is usually some form of aerobatic entertainment. 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|