An extraordinary river that, for a brief period of time every year, blossoms into a rainbow of colors ~ shades of yellow, blue, green, black and red. It’s been called as the river of five colors, the river that ran away from paradise, and even the most beautiful river in the world. This is Caño Cristales, located in a remote place near Serrania de La Macarena National Park in Colombia. A unique phenomenon that’s definitely a must-see for any adventurous traveller.
During Colombia’s wet season, the water flows too fast and deep, obscuring the bottom of the river and denying the Macarenia clavigera the sun that it needs to turn red. During the dry season there is not enough water to support the dazzling array of life in the river. But for a few weeks from September through November, the river transforms into a veritable living rainbow.
The site was effectively closed to tourists for several years because of guerrilla activity in the region along with concerns about the impact of unregulated tourist traffic. It was reopened to visitors in 2009, and today there are several Colombian Tourist Agencies that will fly travelers to La Macarena. From there, they must make their way to the river site on horseback (or donkeyback) and by foot as part of a guided tour. Visitors are not permitted to stay overnight or cook.