CANO CRISTALES is located in the Serrania de la Macarena National Park in Colombia. It has been described as the most beautiful river in the world, due to the many colors that can be sometimes be seen through the water. These colors are created by different plants, algae, sand, and rocks in the river. Most noticeable is the bright red, caused by a plant called Macarenia clavigera.

How to get there

The closest town to Caño Cristales is La Macarena. The easiest way to get to the town is by plane. You can fly from either Bogotá or Villavicencio. Once you arrive in La Macarena, you will need to book a tour with a local tour guide, as tourists are not allowed to enter the national park by themselves. You can also book a tour from a tour agent in Bogotá.

What to consider

  • The colors can only be seen at a certain time of year, from mid-May to early December.
  • Most tours range from 2-4 days and will also take you to other areas of the national park.
  • You will be asked not to wear sunscreen or insect repellent when you swim, in order to protect the aquatic plants.
  • Make sure you have your yellow fever vaccine, as you may be asked for proof before you board the plane.
  • There is only one ATM in La Macarena. Bring all the cash you will need for the trip before arriving, just in case.

What it will cost

The price of the tour ranges from about $80-$400, depending on how many days you would like to spend exploring the national park, as well as how many are in your group.