Caño Cristales, located in the Colombian National Park of La Macarena, has been called the most beautiful river in the world, and the river than escaped from heaven, because of its incredible red color. It is one of Colombia’s most unique and exciting tourist attractions.
During several months each year, Caño Cristales becomes a rainbow of vibrant colors including red, green, yellow, blue and black hues in a natural display which is an ecological phenomenon that happens nowhere else on Earth. The main reason for the colors is an endemic aquatic plant called Macarenia Clavigera. Most notably, this plant requires precise conditions, including the right water level and just the right amount of sunlight, to take on its bright hues.
The season for Caño Cristales normally runs from the beginning of June to the end of November. And some years, it’s also open in early December. Normally from mid-December to May, the river is closed to tourists to give the area’s ecology a break. Visitors are not permitted to stay overnight or cook. Swimming is permitted only in designated areas. Swimmers should not wear sunscreen as to not destroy the fragile ecosystem.