Las Grietas, Santa Cruz
The snorkelling at Las Grietas came highly recommended. This is a rocky gorge (grieta in Spanish means fissure or cleft) formed from volcanic eruptions and its water, 12 metres deep, is a mixture of sea water and fresh water which comes down from the highlands via underground filtration. Its popularity is such that it’s very busy, especially at the weekend, so an early start was on the cards.
We took a water taxi to Finch Bay and followed the short trail, only to find the way barred by a pad-locked gate and a barbed-wire topped fence. A local guy, Miguel, told us it should have been opened an hour and a half earlier at 6 a.m. and advised us we had a choice – to wait for a park official to arrive or to clamber over the fence at its lowest point. No contest for our rules averse skipper, with the added incentive of having the place to ourselves. It was only after finishing our snorkelling that Miguel told us he’d been waiting some time and hadn’t wanted to commit a criminal offence on his own! Oh well, nothing ventured…
We arrived at Las Grietas, quickly donned snorkelling gear and went exploring with Miguel, who’d been here many times before, showing us the way. This was quite unlike any other snorkelling we’d done before with the sheer rock face of the gorge towering above us. The gorge consists of three main pools with dividing rocks over which we had to clamber, but it was well worth the effort and when the sunlight shone on the water the underwater sights were at their best. An incredible morning’s snorkelling indeed.