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Caño Cristales, the river that escaped from heaven

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Nalynn Dolan Caine ▼ | September 4, 2019
Caño Cristales, a Colombian river located in the Serrania de la Macarena province of Meta, for about six months of the year, looks like any other river.
Caño Cristales
Colombia   One of the most beautiful rivers on earth
Caño Cristales is a famous river in Colombia known as the "River of Five Colors" or the "Liquid Rainbow. It is also considered by many to be "the most beautiful river in the world".

Caño Cristales is a fast-flowing river with many rapids and waterfalls that for about six months of the year, looks like any other river. But from about June to early December the river comes alive with red, green, yellow, blue and black hues.

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.

You can see the river in its amazing striking colors between late May and late November, but the peak time is between July and October.

If you want to see Caño Cristales in all its glory, make sure to plan your trip at this time.

Note that you cannot visit the river itself without being accompanied by a licensed tour guide and you will need to apply for a permit to visit the park from the National Parks Office in advance.

Also be aware that the beauty of the red river is strongly impacted by weather and climate conditions.

The river is located in the remote Sierra de la Macarena National Park in Colombia.