Caño Cristales, located within the Sierra de la Macarena National Natural Park, is one of the unique experiences in Colombia. It has been classified as the most beautiful river in the world and the river of the 7 colors thanks to the Macarena Clavijera, an endemic aquatic plant that turns into different colors depending on the environmental conditions. The color season begins on June 15 and ends on November 15 approximately, when the river bed is abundant and the algae are at their maximum splendor.
Day 1 - Caño Cristalitos: upon arrival at La Macarena airport, you will meet your assigned guide to go to receive the induction talk by National Natural Parks (PNN). At the end, and according to the departure time assigned by PNN, you will go to the port to take a boat that will take you for about 20 minutes on the Guayabero River to Cristalitos, to start a 30-minute walk approximately until you reach Caño Cristalitos where you can enjoy of small natural pools. In the place, you will take lunch to continue the tour and return in the same way to La Macarena to rest and have dinner.
Day 2 - Caño Cristales: after having breakfast, you will go to the port to take the boat and cross the Guayabero River for approximately 25 minutes until you reach Puerto Los Mangos where you will board a 4x4 vehicle to the entrance of the trail to Caño Cristales. From this you will start the walk to visit different attractions such as Los Hoyos, Los Pianos, the Tourist Pool, Los Cuarzos and Paso de la Danta, among others. where you can face, swim and take recreational baths. During the tour, you will take lunch to continue and return to La Macarena for your dinner in the middle of the parrando llanero, a cultural sample activity where there will be live llanera music, dances and local food.
Day 3 - Color Crystals: after breakfast, you will go with the guide to the port to take the boat with the same route as the previous day. This time, the trail will take you to Pailones, where the Macarenias have a green color that you will want to see and photograph. You will have the morning to enjoy recreational baths, photography, fauna and flora observation; at the end of the afternoon you will return to La Macarena to rest and have dinner.
Day 4 - Caño Piedra: in the morning, in a van or motorcycle taxi you will go to Caño Piedra. On the tour you will enjoy the landscape of the region, the plain savannas, the Serranía de La Macarena and the Guayabero river. It will be a morning of rest in this small river with crystal clear and warm waters. You will return to La Macarena around 10:00 a.m. to go to the airport and end your trip by returning home.
The best option to get to Macarena is by air.
Air: you can connect to the Javier Noreña Valencia airport from Bogotá or Medellín.
- Bogotá: you have the option of charter flights that operate on Monday, Thursday or Saturday. Another option is through the Satena operation on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
- Medellín: it is possible to connect with charter flights that operate directly on Monday or Friday; Also with Satena there is the possibility of flying from Medellín with a stopover in Bogotá.
By land: This option is not recommended. It is a long route, about 12 to 14 hours approximately, since there is no delimited road, but there are trails, which under adverse weather conditions can increase the time and difficulty of the road.