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Las Grietas of Galapagos are a place of crystalline waters and volcanic wall. It offers all its visitors a refreshing excursion. This natural hideaway is located in the middle of Santa Cruz Island. Here you can witness the spectacular scenery while swimming, snorkeling and watching sea life. 

The Cracks are full of brackish water, so don’t worry, despite their depth and dark bottom there are no sharks. 

It’s ideal to visit this attraction either in the morning or afternoon and enjoy a few hours before continuing to explore the beauties of the Galapagos. 

Continue reading this post, and find out everything you need to know for your visit to Las Grietas in Galapagos. How to get there? What to bring? and more.

Las Grietas in Santa Cruz Island
Las Grietas, Santa Cruz


They were formed by a volcanic fracture that extends from Punta Estrada to the west end of Academy Bay and extends for several kilometers from Santa Cruz Island. 

In the middle of the large volcanic walls lie the emerald green waters. They are a mixture of seawater entering from one end and rainwater seeping in from the other. Creating a brackish ecosystem and suitable for swimming, being calm waters, without current. 

Due to its brackish waters, there is not abundant marine life, but you can observe flora and a variety of birds. Along the road to Las Grietas are surrounded by mangroves and Opuntia cactus. Small finches, flycatchers and woodpeckers perch and flutter here.  

Other birds frequently seen here include Galapagos hawks and short-eared owls. Large brown pelicans are also the most commonly spotted, as well as lava lizards that hide among the rocks. 

Las Grietas
Las Grietas best spot to swimming


Las Grietas are an accessible place. So, you don’t need to go with a guide, you can visit this wonderful natural attraction on your own. 

Where are located?

They are located on Santa Cruz Island, 3 km from Puerto Ayora, west of Academy Bay. 

How to get there?

To get to this natural hideaway, you will have to take a short water taxi ride from the Puerto Ayora pier to Finch Bay. You will then have to walk for about 15 minutes along a trail of saltwater lagoons in the wetland habitat. As you walk along the trail you will be able to observe Galapagos migratory birds. 

Once you finish this trail, you will find wooden steps that lead directly to the crevices. There are a total of three pools to explore. The third one is the most recommended if you want to have a more private area to swim. 

Las Grietas natural pools


  • Las Grietas are very attractive for visitors, so it is advisable to visit this place early in the morning. 
  • Visiting Las Grietas is a quick excursion, so all you need to bring is a bathing suit, towel, sunscreen or hat and money for the water cab. 
  • It is important to take into account that the path to the cracks are lava rocks and some of them are sharp and pointed. It is advisable to wear close-toed shoes. 
  • Remember, the depth of Las Grietas is 10 meters, so you can only enter if you know how to swim or with a float. 
  • Avoid jumping from the cliffs into the water, as it can be dangerous. 
  • At the top of the canyon there is a trail, from where you can observe splendid landscapes

Without a doubt, Las Grietas is a must-see place for visitors to the Galapagos Islands. After reading this guide you will surely want to go diving in these natural pools. Contact our experts to plan your trip to the enchanted islands.

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