Caño Cristales | The river of the 7 colors of Colombia

Sometimes, nature is capable of surprising us with authentic explosions of colour. Caño Cristales, the “river of the five colors” is one of those wonders. Located in the Sierra de la Macarena, in Colombia, its barely 100 kilometers are spectacularly beautiful and absolutely charming. It is not for nothing that it is considered the most beautiful river in the world. An opinion that can only be confirmed by visiting it. It is a modest river in length, but it offers a spectacular image to visitors. Let’s learn a little more about this incredible multicolored paradise in El Viajero Feliz. You sign up?

Why is the Caño Cristales river colored?

The secret of this magnificent beauty is little known. All the water that runs through Caño Cristales is absolutely pure, clean and crystalline. You will then wonder where their striking colors come from. The explanation is simple. It is about algae and corals that give those tones to the river bed. Native algae that range from the most singsong yellow to the most intense red and mix in perfect harmony with the green of the moss and the vegetation that accompanies the river on its course. Colors that the water reflects in an incredible way, leaving behind a visual spectacle that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

One of the curiosities of Caño Cristales is that it is the home of the iguanas. Indeed, it is a very common species in the area, but it is wary of the presence of people. The level is such that if he feels a certain danger, he will dive into the water no matter where he is. Also, another very common animal is the hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoatzin), which is known as the stinking guan. This is because its interior houses a bacterial complex that is responsible for breaking down all the vegetables you eat. For this reason, its smell is quite intense.

Where is Caño Cristales?

Caño Cristales, river of 7 colors, It is exclusive to Colombia, and is a tributary of the Guayabero River, more than 100 kilometers long. Its depth in the widest part barely reaches 20 meters. However, it is distinguished by presenting a great variety of waterfalls, which favors areas of rapids and circular wells, also including beautiful natural pools. The entire river passes through the ancient rocks of the Sierra de la Macarena, which are thought to be the oldest in the world, reaching 1,200 million years old. Today it is home to more than 1,600 species of flora and 770 of fauna, making it a true paradise of nature.

The location of Caño Cristales is in the Serranía de la Macarena National Park, which is located in the Meta department of Colombia. For its part, the Serranía de la Macarena is a protected national park in Colombia with more than 6,200 square kilometers of extension. It has three large ecosystems in Colombia, where each one has an immense diversity of flora and fauna. We are talking specifically about the Amazon jungle, the Andes mountain range and the savannah plains of the Eastern Plains.

How to get to Caño Cristales?

How to get

Described by many as the most beautiful river in the world, and even by the Colombian journalist and explorer Andrés Hurtado He has defined it as “the river that escaped from paradise”. What else can be added? They are really right, this river is an incredible succession of waterfalls, rapids and pools where the view is lost among its incredible colors. Yellow, blue, green, black and red in its most diverse shades make up this spectacular landscape. Therefore, it is important to know how to get to this impressive destination.

How to get to Caño Cristales from Bogotá?

One of the main ways to get to Caño Cristales very quickly is through the state airline Satena. This company has direct flights that depart from Bogotá and arrive at La Macarena.

The flight usually lasts 1 hour. On the other hand, the price of the ticket depends on the season in which you visit this idyllic setting. Indeed, roundtrip tickets range from $135 to $400. The value becomes so high due to the high demand that exists to reach one of the most beautiful rivers in the world, even the best of all.

How to get to Caño Cristales from Medellín?

Another way to get to the most beautiful river in the world is from Medellín, although with a much longer journey, around 475 kilometers. The flight is the fastest way, whose ticket has an approximate price of 120 USD and 220 USD, even more depending on the season. The duration of the trip is more than 7 hours, including transfers.

When to visit Caño Cristales?

Caño Cristales is a spectacle of colors where there are no fish, algae have colonized the entire river. But do not think that you will not be able to admire a fauna as incredible as this place. The Serranía de la Macarena, through which this river flows, is the habitat of numerous types of reptiles and amphibians, as well as more than 400 species of birds. You are probably wondering what is the best season to go to Caño Cristales. Between January and mid-May it is not possible to access Caño Cristales. In the first months of the year the plants that give the river its fantastic appearance are in full reproduction. It is between June and December when you can enjoy the explosion of color in all its glory and wonderful corners such as the Cascada de los Cuarzos or the Stairs.

Visiting Caño Cristales: useful information

Useful data

Many people are dying to visit Caño Cristales, river of 7 colors because of how magnificent it is. For this reason, it is important to know several useful information that will make visiting one of the most incredible places on the planet more pleasant.

How much does the entrance to Caño Cristales cost?

Many people wonder how much it costs to travel to Caño Cristales. The vast majority of answers are often confusing and never quite clear. However, an average of all package prices is approximately 899,000 pesos, which would be 280 USD.


Tourists who want to know Caño Cristales, as well as national travelers, can do so between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. It can be from Monday to Sunday. Because it is a protected landscape with tight environmental control, only a certain number of people are allowed in per day. For this reason, it is advisable to make a reservation in advance, so that you can fulfill your goal of knowing the most beautiful river in the world.

What clothes to take to Caño Cristales?

It is advisable to wear comfortable, cool clothing that is easy to dry. Because, the best option is long pants and blouses or long-sleeved shirts, since they will also protect you from bites. In the latter case, repellent cannot be used, since chemicals are prohibited to preserve the environment. On the other hand, the shoes must have great grip, be able to cover the entire ankle and have no problems if they get wet.

Can you swim in Caño Cristales?

You can swim in Caño Cristales

Due to the great visual spectacle that this great river offers, many people wonder if it is possible to bathe. Fortunately, it is possible, but only in areas designated for such use. For example, the Tourist Pool, the Cascada de los Cuarzos and the Carol Cristal Pool are the most frequented since they have little presence of aquatic plants.

How safe is it to go to Caño Cristal?

La Macarena is not just another municipality in Colombia. For a long time, it was the home of Mono Jojoy, and it was part of the demilitarized zone. However, it was a victim of institutional abandonment, which served to demonstrate the great will of the community. Proof of this is Caño Cristales, a completely secure site, although in the thinking of Colombians it continues to be a dangerous destination. However, the change in the conditions of the site have allowed the number of visitors to increase, making it one of the most touristic spots in Colombia and around the world.

Now that you know more about Caño Cristal, we are sure that with the images you want to visit it at this very moment. Relax, you are not the only one. If you have already gone through this experience, or if you are considering visiting this wonderful river, leave us your thoughts in the comments.