See vivid colors at the Caño Cristales

See vivid colors at the Caño Cristales

If you explore Colombia, you will see that there is a river that actually has five colors. The beautiful coloration in this river is not really related to the color of the water, but to the rocks and sediments in it.

Caño Cristales is a river in Colombia known as "the river of five colors".  Many consider it the most beautiful river in the world and it has been called the "liquid rainbow".  The river is located in the Serranía de la Macarena province of Meta.  The best time to go and enjoy the mesmerizing colors is during the months of July through November.

The vibrant colors seen in the river include red, green, yellow, blue, and black hues, in a hypnotic array that probably does not happen anywhere else in the world. The river is part of the Serrania de la Macarena National Park. The red coloration is produced by a plant called Macarenia clavigera, that grows in the riverbed.  The other colors are produced by green algae, black rocks, yellow sand, and blue water, which produce an effect that provides the beautiful characteristic colors. 

Considered one of the most biodiverse areas of Colombia, Serranía de la Macarena is located where three major Colombian ecosystems meet:  the Amazon rainforest, the Andes mountain range and the savannah plains of the East Llanos.

Not only is the river rich in beautiful coloration but it also features waterfalls, pools, and caverns.  It is a river with relatively fast currents.  It is usually closed to tourists from December through May to allow the ecosystem to reach equilibrium.  

To visit this beautiful river, you need to travel to the closest town, La Macarena, Colombia.  The best way to get to the river is by air. There are seasonal 1-hour flights from Bogotá. You can also hire a chartered flight. 

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