At the time of the change of seasons every year, the river water shines with colorful colors that captivate people’s hearts.
The Cano Cristales River is located in the Macarena National Park, Colombia, east of the Andes. This river is a tributary of the Guayabero River and is about 100 km long. Geological tectonics of Cano Cristales has many sediments, the rock formations here are about 1.2 million years old.
In addition to the name Cano Cristales given by explorer Andres Hurtado in 1980, the river is also known by tourists with many different names such as “rainbow river” or “river of five colors”.
At the change of seasons of the year, this river will bring different colorful colors such as red, yellow, green, blue, black, creating a magical and rare scene in the middle of South America. These colors stand out against the yellow background of the sand in the riverbed, the green of the moss, the water and the dark patches from the rock holes that have given this river its beautiful name. This unique color is produced during the reproduction of aquatic plants in the river, scientifically known as Macarenia Clavigera, a species of the river seaweed family Podostemaceae.
This aquatic plant is the reason that sometimes the river is green, sometimes it turns bright red, yellow orange and even dark brown. The outstanding colors have created an interesting picture of nature that makes those who come here and witness this scene firsthand, amazed and admire the magic of nature.
Locals say the best time to observe aquatic species is after a storm, when their colors are at their most vibrant.
The Cano Cristales River is located in a rather remote area and is almost completely isolated from the outside. Therefore, this river still retains its wild and poetic beauty.
Besides admiring the strange scenery of the river, visitors here are also attracted by the rich flora and fauna. Serrania de la Macarena National Park is home to more than 400 species of birds and many rare animals such as turtles, iguanas and aguilas – the bird is the national symbol of Colombia.
Every year, this place welcomes millions of visitors. However, the Cano Cristales River only welcomes visitors from June to December. From January to May, this area will be closed so that the ecosystem here can “rest” and be preserved.