Why You Should Be Amazed By Cano Cristales, Colombia's Colorful River?

Sep 24, 2014 by     No Comments    Posted under: Blog


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Caño Cristales – Panorama 4 from megavas

Many rivers might claim to be the world’s most beautiful.  However, if there is any one of them that has sound reasons for being able to truly hold the title, it’s got to be Colombia’s Cano Cristales.  The Cano Cristales, also referred to as River of Five Colors, justly deserves its description.  The river is a reflection of several amazingly vivid colors, including dark orange, blue red and deep green during specific times of the year.  It is an incredible sight to see the river bursting with such bright colors when its clear waters are touched by the sun.  It is definitely worth traveling from both near and far to see such as amazing sight.

The vibrant colors of Cano Cristales are not seen all year.  These take place during the summer, between the wet season and dry season, and at a time when the temperature and water level conditions are ideal. It is actually the Macarenia clavigera, a distinct plant species, that is responsible for these vibrant colors.  The plants grow on the floor of the river and emit a brilliant red color.  They interact with green and yellow sand, the blue water and other natural hues to create a multi-colored and very unique river.

Caño Cristales - Panorama 5 from megavas

Caño Cristales – Panorama 5 from megavas

This world-renown river in Colombia is situated in the Meta province in the region called Serrania de la Macarena.  The Cano Cristales is 20 meters wide and 100 kilometers long and flows into Guayabero River.  In order to witness this incredible phenomenon, you should plan on visiting the area sometime between June and the middle of December.  You may also want to consult with one of the area’s reputable tour companies to find out when the best dates are for visiting.

Cano Cristales isn’t easily accessible, especially compared to other rivers.  The journey for most tourists usually starts in Bogota.  You can then travel to Villavicencio by bus. It is the capital city for the province of Meta.  Then you need to take a chartered plane to La Macarna.  It is a very scenic one-hour flight, taking you across the Llanos plains that connect with Amazon river tributaries.

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Caño Cristales – Panorama 10 from megavas

Next you need to go to the national park, hiking on unmarked trails through thick jungle.  However, the hiking makes this a really challenging yet very satisfying experience.  Hiring a guide is a very good idea so that you don’t get lost or suffer any other difficulties.  While you are hiking over to Cano Cristales, make sure to bring lots of liquids with you and wear suitable clothing.  During the day you will need light layered clothing.  However, you will also need warmer clothing to wear at night.  In the event of rain, it’s also a good idea to bring along a waterproof coat or rain jacket.

A very diverse array of fauna and flora reside in National Park.  Many of them are native to the area.  Walking across or around the river will provide you with an amazing and memorable experience.  When visiting, try to count all of the different colors that you see.  There are some visitors who have claimed to see more than five different colors at the same time.  In addition to the vibrant colors, the area also features naturals pools and waterfalls, along with intriguing rock formations.  The beauty of the Cano Cristales is sure to have you enchanted.  After capturing the river’s beauty on camera, you can relax and swim in the pools underneath the waterfalls.

Start your journey to Cano Cristales from Bogota by comparing hotel prices here

For cheap flight to Bogota, click here



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