Las Grietas: A Galapagos Swimming Excursion on Santa Cruz Island

Places to See, Santa Cruz Island, Things to Do

While exploring the Galapagos Islands we went on an excursion to a place called Las Grietas on Santa Cruz Island.

Las Grietas is one of the places in the Galapagos that you do not need to have a Naturalist Guide to visit. We went with Bolivar because it was our first visit and we didn’t want to get lost.


Las Grietas did not have the same type of  constructed path that we had seen on our other excursions. To get there we hiked for about a half hour on uneven volcanic rock. At the end of the path the land rose up and then just fell away into a deep fracture.

las-grietas-full-view-crystal-clear-water-galapagosAs we walked up to look down into this huge crack I was surprised to see crystal clear, emerald green water at the bottom. The contrast of the clear emerald water surrounded by rugged volcanic cliffs was beautiful. There were wooden steps leading down into the fracture and at the bottom there were large volcanic rocks lining the water.

I realized that good sturdy hiking sandals would have made a better choice than sneakers because I could have just left them on. It was a little tricky getting into the water with bare feet because of the rough rocks.

las-grietas-galapagos-swimming-hole las-grietas-santa-cruz-island-galapagos-aerial-map

I had never snorkeled in a place like that before, the rugged cliffs sides were clearly visible all the way to the white sand bottom. It was really easy to see the fish because the water was so clear. I had only ever snorkeled in the ocean or a lake, so this setting was really interesting. This brackish body of water was over 10 meters deep, about 100 meters long and 7 meters wide.

There were people climbing the cliff sides and jumping in, others were snorkeling, swimming or sunning on the large rocks. It was a very unique atmosphere.


Have you been to Las Grietas, or a similar place? Please share your experience with us by commenting on this post.

Meet the Author

Hi, I'm Dena Haines! I'm an 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).

1 comment… add one
  • Rickandlisa Apr 21, 2012, 11:58 am

    What an awesome place to swim or snorkle!  So unique.  Thanks for sharing.  Take care.

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