Amazing “Liquid Rainbow” River Phenomenon in Colombia
If you visit Caño Cristales from June to November, you will see amazing natural phenomena there. In the Serranía de la Macarena national park, Meta Province, Colombia, there is a river known as the “five-color river”. The 62.1-mile river gets the nickname “liquid rainbow”. River water looks bright red, yellow, green, blue and black for several months. If you want to see bright colors that are striking, you can see the river in June and November. Hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to witness the phenomenon every year. However, this raises concerns among scientists because it is claimed to be threatened with over-tourism.
Nevertheless, the Head of the Colombia Tourism Board, Flacia Santoro, said that his party had taken various steps to protect the river and the surrounding area. “We severely limit the development of infrastructure there and the tours available in the park are exclusively run by local residents”
Colombia has also imposed a visit limit for tourists to the river with a maximum of 200 visitors per day and in one group of visitors no more than seven people. There is a special pool area on the river, but visitors are not allowed to swim using solar creams or insect sprays because the plants there are sensitive to chemicals. In addition, tourists can also see the abundance of wildlife such as turtles, iguanas, Aguilas (Colombian national birds), and some endemic species.
Entry Access Although it is possible to visit the river without ordering through a travel agent, you cannot visit it without a government licensed tour guide. Permission to visit the park must also be submitted in advance through the national park office and most permits are allocated to tourist agents. So, it is advisable to order tour packages through travel agents. A three-day tour departing from Bogotá starts from 750 Colombian pesos, including riverbank picnics and airplane tickets or can order from The Colombian Way, a domestic tour guide with prices ranging from 635 Colombia pesos.
Most tours mostly last from two to four days to see other areas in the park. The closest city to Caño Cristales is La Macarena. Make sure you bring enough cash because the city only has one ATM. You also need a yellow fever vaccination or take an anti-malaria tablet.