Getting to Las Grietas and Playa de las Alemanes (Santa Cruz Island)

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Getting to Las Grietas and Playa de los Alemanes (German Beach) is very easy. In fact, you’ll pass the beach on your way to Las Grietas.

These are excursions that anyone can take – without needing a national park approved and trained guide. It is a great way to spend a few hours exploring independently.

Here’s how to get there:

Getting to Las Grietas and Playa de los Alemanes (German Beach)

  1. Go to the main wharf in Puerto Ayora. It is directly behind the volleyball courts in the center of town.
  2. On the wharf, hire a water taxi to take you across Academy Bay to Angermeyer Point. The ride lasts just a few minutes and you’ll get off on the other side of the bay.
  3. Now on foot, you’ll pass the Angermeyer Waterfront Inn (on your right). There is no road – just a footpath. Although the sign states a distance of 662 meters to Las Grietas – my measurements put it at just over 1 kilometer (1050 meters) – one way.
  4. After 150 meters, the path will split. Go left. To the right, you’ll see homes and developments. Follow the path to a boardwalk – roughly another 150 meters.
  5. The boardwalk wraps around Playa de las Alemanes (German Beach) – a small white sand beach. It is also known as Playa Punta Estrada.
  6. To continue on to Las Grietas, walk to the far end of the beach. You’ll see a sign, and a path that goes to the right. Follow the path to the salt lake.
  7. Depending on the time of year, the salt lake may be full or almost dry. Continue walking with the lake on your right. The path gets rougher from here to the end. You’ll walk across lava fields full of cactuses. Just 250 meters across the lava fields and a small section of woods until you arrive at Las Grietas.
  8. You should now be able to see the fracture full of crystal clear water. To the right you’ll find a wooden staircase down to the water level. Be careful on the rocks – lava rocks are extremely sharp.

Why You Should Visit Las Grietas & Playa de los Alemanes

Las Grietas

Las Grietas is a special place where you can go for a swim in brackish water in an earth fracture – with no ocean in sight. The water is cool and very clear.


Playa de los Alemanes

Playa de los Alemanes – or German Beach – is located on the way to Las Grietas and is a nice white sand beach.

It isn’t what you’re used to seeing in the Caribbean – it is small and there are a few rocks. And it isn’t as nice as Tortuga Bay (which is almost perfect). But it is easy to get to, with significantly less walking.

And it makes a great spot to cool off on your way to Las Grietas.

Parent tip: If you have small children, be sure to hold their hands as you approach the fracture. It is an actual cliff and a child could run right off. Really, once you pass the beach, it would be a good idea to either carry them or hold their hand. The lava rocks are very sharp – and unforgiving.

Meet the Author

Hi, I'm Bryan Haines! I'm a traveler, photographer and Canadian entrepreneur. I'm a partner at Storyteller Media, a content marketing company for travel brands. I blog at GringosAbroad (Ecuador travel) and Click Like This (How to Use a GoPro).

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