Las Grietas is one of the best swimming holes at the Galapagos Islands. Three crystal clear pools lie sandwiched in a crevasse between high volcanic walls. Locals and tourists alike flock here to cool off while enjoying the spectacular views. Whether swimming, snorkeling or cliff diving, Las Grietas is a wonderful spot to wile away a few relaxing hours!
Read on for everything you need to know to plan your visit to Las Grietas Galapagos. How to get there? When to go? What to take along with you? Plus lots of other interesting information about Las Grietas.
In English “Grieta” translates as Crevasse. So Las Grietas is a long crevasse, or fissure canyon, with high volcanic walls, filled with ermerald green waters. Quite the dramatic setting!
The water at Las Grietas is a mix of seawater that enters from one end, and freshwater that filters in from the other. The protected walls mean that the water is crystal clear and very calm with no current – perfect for a relaxing swim.
Due to the brackish water there is not much marine life to spot here, but there is plenty of other Galapagos wildlife along the path. The mangroves and Opuntia cacti along the path are buzzing with activity, so keep your eyes peeled. Busy little Galapagos finches flit from plant to plant, while flycatchers and woodpeckers do their thing. Galapagos Hawks and Short-eared owls may be tougher to spot, but they do like to frequent this area. Pelicans are a far more common sight.
The most beautiful thing about Las Grietas is that it is so easy to visit. This is a pristine site where no tour guide is required. Just pack your swim suit and towel and head on out.
Getting to Las Grietas is part of the fun. You’ll need to take a short water taxi ride across the bay, then trek a short trail past beach and cactus.
The first step is to head down to Puerto Ayora’s municipal pier. Regular water taxi’s ferry people to the other side of the bay for 50 or 60c per person. Follow the signs to Finch Bay Hotel, keeping the ocean to your left. From there pick up the trail that is signposted to Las Grietas.
This trail leads through varied habitats, from beach to lava field and cactus forest. It should take about 15 minutes at a regular pace to reach Las Grietas. Wooden steps then lead down into the crevasse straight to the inviting water.
There are three consecutive pools to explore. Most people hang out at the first pool, which can become crowded. So head on over to second pool by swimming to the far end and climbing over some rocks. Getting to the third pool is more of a challenge. Again swim to the far end, then look for the hole to swim through – it’s about 1 meter from the bottom on the right hand side. This tunnel is just over 1 meter long, so hold your breath and you’ll be straight through to the final pool. You’ll often have this area to yourself, so enjoy this peaceful setting away from the crowds.
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In conclusion, Las Grietas is a beautiful Galapagos swimming hole and well worth the effort to get there. This is a trip for those who want a genuine Galapagos experience enjoying a day out with people from all over the world. So take your time to appreciate the spectacular Las Grietas scenery, and above all enjoy a relaxing swim.