The Caño Cristales is also known as the river of five colors. This truly spectacular river is an unofficial natural wonder of the world. Truly mesmerizing and a geographical feature of dreams the river of five colors should feature high on every traveler and avid naturalist’s bucket list.
Where is the river of five colors?
The river of five colors or Caño Cristales can be found South American nation of Colombia. The source of Caño Cristales can be found at Serranía de la Macarena and the river of five colors reaches its mouth just 100km away at the Guayabero River, thus making the Caño Cristales a tributary of the Guayabero River.
The Guayabera River is part of the Orinoco River basin. This river is home to the Guayabero people of which there are only 2000 community members and only 1000 who natively speak the Guahiban language. The Guayabera River is an impressive 930 miles in length.
Why Go to The River of Five Colors?
Why not! The Caño Cristales had been referred to as the most beautiful river in the world and it is not hard to see why. When we talk about the river of five colors we are not talking about five different shades of murky green or crisp blue there are five very distinct different colors along the
When to Go to The River of Five Colours?
The best time of year to visit the Caño Cristales is in the summer months. Any time from July right through August and September and well into the fall months of October and November the colors are at their most vivid and vibrant. During the winter months, it is possible to witness all five colors but not to the same degree of splendor than in the summer and autumn.
How to Get To The River of Five Colors?
As with many wonders of the world, they are only accessible by those who really wish to find them. One does not simply stumble across such magnificence, one must work hard and show a real desire to observe such wonder.
Getting to the river of five colors is a rather challenging task but not an unattainable feat. You must first travel to Villavicencio. The best way to get to Villavicencio is to catch a plane, or a bus if you are on a tighter budget, from capital city Bogota. From Villavicencio, you should then catch a plane to La Macarena. This may seem a little round the houses but the view is totally worth it. Once in La Macarena, it is highly recommended to hire a private tour guide or join an existing tour group who are visiting the river of five colors. If you have trouble finding a guide who understands what you mean by the river of five colors remember that this is an informal name and that locals refer to it by its real name of the Caño Cristales.
Can I Swim in The River of Five Colours?
Yes, you can and what a joy it is. As there are no fish or aquatic animals living in the river of five colors you are free to enjoy the water at your leisure. Remember that local people dress quite modestly so be respectful when stripping down to your swimming attire.
Why are There Five Colours in the River of Five Colours?
That is a very good question, there are five colors in the Caño Cristales due to a rare plant called the Macarena clavigera. The Macarenia clavigera provided the hues and tones or red to the river of river colors.
The green algae provide the shades of green beneath the blue water. The river bed is made up of yellow shades of sand and the brown rocks appear black when the water flows over the top of them.
The high quality of the water and lack of pollution is what makes the colors in the river of five colors so vibrant and clear.
The river of five colors changes greatly over its 100km course. Although you will not be able to cover the full length of the river in a one day tour you will be allowed to experience a vast section of the river and see how the five colors vary in tone and intensity along the river’s course.
Featuring magical waterfalls the Caño Cristales appears to come to life as the fast flowing water crashes into the cooling pools below.
Other geographical features like rock pools and little caves can all be seen along the course.
What Should I Bring to The River of Five Colours?
Without a doubt bring your camera. Even if you are not an avid photographer you will regret not bringing along a camera of some description to capture the amazing colors of the Caño Cristales to share with your friends.
Bring plenty of water to drink and sturdy hiking boots too. Suncream and a hat are advisable in the summer months when the weather is most hot.
The River of Five Colors