Caño Cristales - The most colourful river in the world

Caño Cristales - "The River of Five Colors"                                                               < >

In the Macarena National Park Colombia, one of the most beautiful and untouched national parks of Colombia, the Serranía de la Macarena, one finds a colourful natural spectacle that is extraordinary and fascinating at the same time. It is the river Caño Cristales - "The River of Five Colours" or also called "Rainbow River". It is a colourful spectacle of nature that is second to none and offers you unique impressions. In 2011, Forbes magazine selected the Caño Cristales as one of the 10 most beautiful rivers in the world.


With a length of approx. 100 km and a maximum width of approx. 20 m, it is one of the smaller rivers in Colombia, if you compare the "Río Magdalena", the longest river in Colombia with approx. 1,538 km, with the "Río Magdalena".


But it is the most beautiful. The Caño Cristales rises in the south of the national park behind one of the oldest table mountains that characterize this region and finally flows into the Río Guayabero. The "Table Mountain Region" in the Serranía Macarena is still one of the unexplored and interesting areas in terms of its archaeological history. There are ancient cave paintings, the age of which has not yet been determined. The magnificent and constantly changing colours of the Caño Cristales, yellow, ochre, green, blue and red, are caused by algae. Depending on the amount of precipitation, water and solar radiation, the algae can unfold accordingly and thus produce the intensity and quantity of these colours. The uniqueness of the river lies not only in the colours it presents, but also in the corals it contains, which shimmer through the crystal-clear water in all their facets. The river's course through this beautiful landscape and the rock formations it contains also make it so attractive. The waterfalls created by the rock formations form natural swimming pools, which invite you to jump into the refreshing water here and there and thus ensure bathing fun. The harmonious interaction with the local fauna and flora also lends the river its uniqueness.



The region is home to about 420 bird, 10 amphibian, 43 reptile and 8 primate species. Thus nature observers get their money's worth.


The climate in the area is tropical, warm and humid, and there can be heavy rainfall.


The travel season is June to November. During these months the river unfolds its full beauty. Nevertheless, you can also visit this region of the national park outside the mentioned time. We offer an alternative program to San José de Guaviare.


Its impressive and untouched landscape with its impressive fauna and flora as well as the peace of nature make this an unforgettable experience. It is one of the top sights in Colombia.