Caño Cristales is a special gift from Mother Nature. A colorful river that local people also call the Liquid Rainbow runs through the province of Meta, Colombia, and it is one of the best-kept secrets in the country.
The riverbed of Caño Cristales is painted in five different colors, including red, blue, black, green, and yellow. The catch here is that the colorful magic only lasts from June to November, so if you come here at any other time you might be disappointed.
The red color visible at the bottom of the river comes from Macarenia clavigera, a unique plant that only flourishes for a couple of months. When you look at the water from above, you can notice how the red plant goes around the black rocks and mixes with the yellow sand. When you add the green algae and the blue water on top of the palette, the result is a treat for the artistic eyes.
What's important to note is that the red plant visibility is mostly possible when the water level is low. Macarenia clavigera needs a lot of sunlight to display its bright colors.
The water of Caño Cristales carves natural swimming pools on many spots, and they are safe for swimming. So, after spending a long hike to reach the site, you can freshen up in one of the rocky pools.
The rock bottom of the river formed billion years ago, provides the water with clarity and purity that you rarely see in other places. Besides the Liquid Rainbow beauty, you can also enjoy the area's vivid flora, as well as many bird, reptile, and primate species.
The remote location of the river is not accessible by vehicles, but you can always hire a guide that will take you to this natural spectacle by foot. If Colombia is one of your must-visit destinations for this season, don't miss the chance to swim in the Five Color River.
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