The Caño Cristales is a river in Colombia that some call the “Liquid Rainbow.”
But before you start planning a trip to the Colombian National Park of La Macarena, you should know that it’s rare to see all of these colors together. For the most part, the river looks red.
What causes the colors of the Caño Cristales?
The water of the river is actually crystal clear. It’s what lies beneath that brings the river to life – quite literally.
The Caño Cristales lies at the center of three distinct ecosystems, so it’s hard for flora or fauna to thrive there. But one organism has managed to get the hang of it –
is quite clear due to a lack of biodiversity. The colors are caused by red algae called Macarenia clavigera that cling to the rocks beneath and reflect different hues depending on the depth of the water and time of year.
Care for a visit to Caño Cristales?
If you do want to visit the Caño Cristales, it’s most colorful during the algal bloom and will turn red from late May and late November, but the peak time to see the colors is between July and October.
But you cannot visit alone – it’s just too hard to get to. You’ll need a guide for the park. You also cannot swim or be anywhere near the river if you’re wearing sunscreen or any body cream, since it may kill the algae.
But according to Culture Trip, “In spite of that, there is a lot more to see and do on a tour to Caño Cristales than just seeing the red river. The river itself is located alongside the huge La Macarena National Park, which is a vast area home to savannahs, incredible rock formations, jungles, and bird and mammal watching. Most tours last three to four days and take in a variety of sights.” – WTF fun facts
Source: “10 Things to Know Before Visiting Caño Cristales, Colombia” — The Culture Trip