Caño Cristales, located in the municipality of La Macarena, Meta is also known as the most beautiful river in the world?and it is true! Its five-colored clear waters (red, yellow, black, blue, and green) give the appearance that a rainbow has been merged with the water, making it a nature unique and natural spectacle that can only be witnessed in this place.
Undoubtedly, Caño Cristales is one of those destinations that everybody has to visit once in a lifetime, however, due to its location, getting to Caño Cristales is not that easy. Because of this, we will leave you with some practical tips to travel to Caño Cristales and live the full experience in the rest of the article below.
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How to get there?
To get to Caño Cristales, you must first get yourself to La Macarena. From there, you can take a boat that will take you across the Guayabero river. You can then take a jeep, and finish your journey by walking for about an hour to arrive to Caño Cristales.
The best option is to book a tour package to get to Caño Cristales. (If you want to know the prices click here) Yes, it is true that they can be expensive, but take into account that they include plane tickets in a small aircraft (commercial airlines do not travel to La Macarena), hotel, food, land transport, river transport, insurance, guides, logistics, etc., so overall, the prices tend to be pretty fair.
It is also possible to go to Caño Cristales by yourself; however, it is a bit complicated since, as we already told you, it is necessary to take a plane to La Macarena and you must buy the tickets many months in advance to find availability at a reasonable price. Another option is to get to La Macarena by land, but it will take you a couple of days.
It is also worth it to mention that Caño Cristales is a National Natural Park, and that the number of visitors to the park is limited, so, even if the entrance is free, tickets can only be acquired via tourist operators authorized by the Ministry. For this reason, upon your arrival in La Macarena, you must go to any community tourist operator where you will need to pay for insurance and a guide to Caño Cristales. Remember that it is important to call many months in advance since the demand is high and entrance tickets are sold quickly.
While it is true that you can save some pesos if you go on your own to Caño Cristales, it is also true that it can take you three times as long (usually the cheapest options are the longest), and it can be exhausting. For this reason, our advice would be to spend some extra money and take the package, that way all you have to worry about is enjoying the trip. There are more affordable 2-days packages, but our recommendation is the 3-days one.
When to go to Caño Cristales?
You can only visit Caño Cristales the second half of the year. It is closed the first half of the year since the plants that give the river its enchanting look are their reproductive stage. The enterance to Caño Cristales is reopened starting on the first days of June, which is also the best moment to go since the colors are at their most vivid, and when we say vivid, we mean in HD.
What to see in Caño Cristales?
We mentioned before that we recommend to go to Caño Cristales for 3 days, so you are probably wondering what you are going to do during those three days, just the river? Obviously you will have plenty of time to see the river, but with your extra time, you?ll be taken to know different parts of the area every day you're there, such as Caño Escondido, Cascadas de la Virgen, Paso Mojado, Taopetes (where the river holds an intense red color, as if it was a carpet), Los Ochos; one of the most representative places of Caño Cristales, the Tourist Pool; where you can enter the water, El Pailón, Estrechos, and Montes de las Marimbas, just to mention a few.
Overall, from the beginning of the tour, you will have the opportunity to see animals typical of the region; the Vaeelossea, a typical flower of the area; big dark rocks, vestiges from millions of years ago that emerged from a volcanic eruption, and of course, mind-blowing landscapes that will make paying for the whole trip worth it.
Finally, remember that here, in Baquianos, we are more than willing to take you to Caño Cristales.