There are many beautiful feats of Mother Nature in the world and this is one of my favorites. These river waters are breathtakingly beautiful and naturally occurring (no color agents have been added ). The river is officially known as the Cano Cristales which translates as Crystal River and originates in the south of the Macarena mountain range in Colombia. But it also goes by the nickname 'River of Five Colors' - (I can spot yellow, blue, green, black and red) as well as "the river that ran away from paradise" and "the most beautiful river in the world."
It flows eastward to its confluence with the Guayabero river. The rich rainbow of colors are due to the plant life. However the river's stunning explosion of colors apparently only occur at certain times of years, at other times it appears like your average river. Between the wet and dry seasons (September to November) when the water is at a certain level, a unique species of plant called the Macarenia Clavigera on the river bed turns a beautiful shade of red offset by yellow and green sand, blue waters and an array of colors in between.
During the wet season, the water flows too fast and deep preventing the sunlight from reaching the plants while during the dry season, much of the river dries up.
As with most untouched natural sites, Cano Cristales is not easily accessible by road and is not frequented by many tourists. In fact there's very little information about it on the internet. I guess that's what makes it so special. The region was only opened to tourists in 2009 as before there was a lot of guerrilla activity in the area. You can now fly to the town of La Macarena and then join a guided tour and travel by horseback and by foot to the national park "Serrania de la Macarena".
I reckon it has to feature high on my list of things to see before I die. If I was an artist then it would certainly inspire me to paint. I wonder if you can go swimming there?! I imagine they don't allow humans to dirty the natural beauty of the waters.
Has anyone ever been? Is it as spectacular when you see it for real?
Sources of Information
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