Caño Cristales
Community tourism
Natural Parks
River & Jungle
Single destination
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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.

*Departures on specific dates 2021
02 to 05 July
August 13-16
October 15-18
October 29 to november 01
November 12-15
3 nights - 4 days


Travel Equipment:

  • Sunscreen and lip moisturizer (ideal if natural).
  • Sunglasses.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Reusable water bottle.
  • Towel for personal use to use during walks.
  • Carry your luggage in a medium backpack. Additionally, bring a small backpack to use during the day's activities.
  • Basic elements of personal hygiene.
  • A good flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Documents of the traveler: passport, identity card or citizenship card, military passbook and medical insurance card.

Travel clothing:

  • It is important to wear comfortable clothing, preferably synthetic, quick-drying clothes and light colors.
  • Long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
  • Waterproof boots, not slippery.
  • A pair of comfortable closed shoes.
  • Lightweight raincoat.
  • Dress or swimwear, water shoes, pareo.
  • Water resistant hat or cap.


  • Because it is a national park, it is mandatory that you get the yellow fever vaccine. It depends on the airline, the presentation of the vaccination card is required.
  • National Parks, prohibits the entry of children under 5 years of age to the park to carry out trails.
  • It is important to know that during the tours you can take recreational baths in designated places, which your guide will always let you know.
  • The itinerary could have modifications due to the load capacity of the trails, which are assigned by local environmental entities.
  • Lunch during the tours is served in cold cuts (wrapped in banana leaves), since being a protected area does not allow the entry of plastics or styrofoam.
  • If you have any dietary restrictions (allergies, restricted foods) or you are a vegetarian / vegan, please let us know once you have made your reservation.
  • In Macarena, there is only a Bancolombia and a branch of Banco Agrario. Still, we recommend you bring cash.
  • The telephone signal is poor, the only operator that works (intermittently) is Claro.
  • The Caño Cristales ecosystem is very fragile, so keep in mind that for the visit to the Cristalitos, Cristales and Pailones trail, the use of sunscreen, creams, repellents or any other chemical that alters the water is prohibited, affecting the plants.
  • Likewise, the entry of plastic bottles and disposable containers is prohibited. Take a reusable bottle (not disposable).
  • The season when Caño Cristales is open is winter (rainy) season. The weather is very varied, which could alter the schedule of flights or tours.
  • La Macarena is a safe municipality. In the evenings, you have free time so that you can enjoy local spaces such as the plaza, yew rooms and pool billiards, dancing, etc. Ask your guide at the destination. He will recommend the best activities and places.

What does it include and what doesn't?


  • Airport reception and baggage handling
  • Internal land and river routes to comply with the proposed itinerary
  • Visits to Caño Cristalitos, Caño Cristales, Pailones, Caño Piedra, Parrando Llanero
  • 3 nights accommodation in a standard hotel (single, double or triple rooms with private bathroom, fan or air conditioning - subject to availability)
  • 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners. Hydration and snacks during the tours. (Lunch on the last day is subject to the flight departure time)
  • Travel insurance during the expedition days
  • Local guide for every 7 people

Not included

  • Transport: air transport to arrive or leave La Macarena, it is possible to fly from Medellín, Bogotá. 
  • Accommodation: additional nights. Hotel accommodation different from those already established, which generate a difference in rate.
  • Food: breakfast the first day. Dinner on the last day.
  • Activities: tours or activities not mentioned and contemplated in the itinerary.
  • Others: personal and unspecified expenses. Local entrance fees Cormacarena and National Parks. Entrance fees of the Macarena Mayor's Office and airport fees. Bilingual guide (available in English or French)


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.

How to arrive?

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.

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