Caño Cristales*, which has been called by many travelers as the most beautiful river in the world, has a branching structure that seems a candelabra-shaped plant with tributary streams that look like a tree nestled in the surface of a plateau. Visiting Caño Cristales is a unique opportunity to recognize, in only one region, the four worlds of Sierra de La Macarena: Guyanese massif, the Colombian plain, the forest and the Andes.
What makes Caño Cristales so special
Caño Cristales’ beauty lies specially in the variety of colors offered by both the aquatic plants and the bedrock. This river owns natural elements like the Macarenia clavigera, an endemic aquatic plant responsible of providing the spectacle that makes people call Caño Cristales as The River of Five Colors (red, yellow, green, blue and black, mostly).
How to get to Caño Cristales
Caño Cristales, located in the town of La Macarena, in the Meta province, is an unmatching scenery for ecoturism and sighting of the prodigious biodiversity that Colombia has. The urban area of La Macarena is one hour far away from Bogota, Medellin or Villavicencio. The flight is followed by a twenty-minute boat tour through the Guayabero river and a pleasant two-hour walk through rocky outcrops and shrubs. Vehicle or bicycle services are also offered.
What activities can be done in Caño Cristales
Activities allowed in Caño Cristales include swimming in some parts of the river, hiking, relaxation and yoga, landscaping, flora and wildlife sighting, photography and filming. The best-suited places for bathing here have been chosen by tourist guides and local experts. It is important to know that flora and fauna sighting does not consider, in any case, taking biological data nor sample collection without a biodiversity research permission issued by the National Parks of Colombia. Moreover, there are three trails in Caño Cristales currently available for ecotourism activities: Salto del Aguila, Los Pianos and Los Pailones.
Why to come to Caño Cristales
Its high-value landscape has placed Caño Cristales as one of the top 10 tourist destinations in Colombia. As it is the main tourist spot in the province of Meta, its beauty has been promoted in more than 29 countries worldwide, which has increased the arrival of national and international visitors. Live a magical and colorful experience in Caño Cristales, the place defined by poets as the river which escaped from paradise and the melted rainbow.
(Adapted from A, B, C to visit Caño Cristales, by the tourism entities and communities of La Macarena).
*In the forest, short length and width rivers are called “caños” (pipes). Compared to giants like Amazon, Guaviare, Caqueta and Putumayo, Caño Cristales does not reach 100km long nor exceeds 20m wide.