The River of Five Colors

Cano Cristales is located in the Sierra de la Macarena. For most of the year, Cano Cristales is indistinguishable from any other river, however, for a brief period of time every year the most amazing transformation occurs – the river blossoms in a vibrant explosion of colors.

Caño Cristales


During the short span between the wet and dry seasons, when the water level is just right, a unique species of plant that lines the river floor called Macarenia clavigera turns a brilliant red. It is offset by splotches of yellow and green sand, blue water, and a thousand shades in between.



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