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The river Caño Cristales. Colombia

This amazing colorful river is in the National Park Serranía de la Macarena, Columbia, South America. It is known as the “River of five colors”, “Liquid Rainbow”, “the river that ran away to paradise”, “the most beautiful river in the world”; its official name is Caño Cristales.

“Caño Cristales” can be translated from Spanish as “crystal stream” – the water in it is really crystal clear. It is almost free of impurities, as well as salts and minerals, so there is no fish in it.

This unusual river is famous for its colorful waters. The period from June to November is a time of the colored diversity of the river shades, which attracts great amounts of tourists. This biological wonder is explained by the presence of various algae and moss of blue, green, yellow, red and black colors visible even in the depth of one meter.

They show their color only at certain time between the dry and wet seasons, and before that they are rather pale. To be precise, the waters of the river have a bluish color, green and yellow are the shades of its bottom. The red color appears due to algae Macarenia clavigera.

The bottom of the river is speckled with various potholes and wells. Bathing in the wells of the River Caño Cristales is a standard tourist attraction. The expedition along the river, which length is about 100 km, takes about four days.

Thanks to this water transparency, we can see all its shades and consider the whole underwater world. Water in the river is very clean, almost distilled, but it is undrinkable because of its lack of nutrients.


The river Caño Cristales, Colombia

The river, Colombia

The river in Colombia

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1 comment

  • Joyce Metzger

    A truly spectacular river. Five colors grace this wondrous setting between the dry and wet seasons, but the water is crystal clear. The colors are actually the bottom of the river bed and reflections make it look like the water. It is almost totally free of impurities and would be a perfect vacation for visiting tourists. There are tours and excursions. Amazing photographs enhance our viewing pleasure.

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