Rainbow River in Colombia: The Most Beautiful One• Lulo Colombia Travel

Rainbow river in Colombia: get to know the most beautiful river in the world

Colombia is a top destination for nature lovers. Its biodiversity sets it aside from all other countries worldwide. In the heart of one of its jungles is Caño Cristales, dubbed the most beautiful river in the world. Find out why the rainbow river in Colombia is something you just have to see.


Rainbow river in Colombia: why, when, and how to see it 


Caño Cristales is known as the most beautiful river in the world for a reason. During certain months, every year, its waters seem to become a flowing rainbow of red, yellow, blue, green, and black. The incredible effect comes from the aquatic plants that grow in the riverbed.


The river area welcomes visitors from June to November. If you want to see it at its peak, you must visit between July and October. That is the time when the plants are in full bloom and color the water.


The rainbow river in Colombia runs for 62 miles through the municipality of La Macarena, in the department of Meta. It is part of the National Natural Park Sierra de la Macarena, which is a protected area due to its ecosystems. In this magical place rainforest, dry forest, and shrub-land savannas converge.

The best and basically only way to reach the closest town is via aircraft, either from Bogotá or the city of Villavicencio. There is a road between the latter and La Macarena, but it is not in any good condition. Plus, it is a long way due to the fact that it was built around many natural reserves.


From the town itself, travelers ride 4×4 vehicles as far as the road allows, and then hike it for about an hour. Then they follow the bank to arrive at the river’s most stellar zone. The duration of the hike depends on the pace of the group. It can take from two to six hours.

But, ‘why a group?’, you ask. Well, the area cannot be accessed without a licensed tour guide. This rule is in place to help reduce tourism’s harmful impact on the local environment.


This leads us to some top recommendations for you to fully enjoy the rainbow river in Colombia. 

Tips to explore Caño Cristales 


Appreciate one of the jewels of Colombian tourism to the max with these tips:


  • La Macarena is hot (80 °F / 27 °C.) and humid throughout the year. Since you will be hiking to explore it, remember to stay hydrated for a better experience.
  • Wear comfortable shoes intended for walking. Sandals or flip-flops are not the best choices, because for some parts of the way you will be hiking on wet rocks. Also, an extra pair of shoes may come in handy. Chances are yours will be wet by the end of the trip.
  • Visiting the rainbow river in Colombia calls for proper clothing. Think light-weight, long-sleeved shirts. Long pants are also a sensible choice. The hot climate can compel you to wear t-shirts and shorts, but continued sun exposure may cause damage to your skin. Moreover, they will not be of much help in keeping bugs at bay.
  • La Macarena is considered a high-risk area for yellow fever in Colombia. It is therefore strongly advisable to have a yellow fever vaccine before visiting. You should have it administered at least 15 days in advance. Remember to bring along your International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP), or yellow card.
  • Bring enough cash. There is only one ATM in La Macarena. If your luck runs out and it is out of service, you will not be left with many options.

Other activities around the rainbow river in Colombia 


As we mentioned, Caño Cristales is inside the Sierra de La Macarena National Park. As it is secluded, the place encloses astounding biodiversity, including endemic species. It is home to over 2.000 species of plants, 550 species of birds, and 1.200 species of insects, as well as deer, monkeys, jaguars, and anteaters. Even though most of it is not open to visitors, for conservation purposes, flora and fauna observation services are still available in permitted zones.


Do not miss out on the archaeological sites nearby the Duda and Guayabero rivers. There you will be able to observe petroglyphs and pictograms of indigenous cultures that used to inhabit the area. You can also go on walks through eroded rock formations.

An experience you cannot miss


The rainbow river in Colombia makes for an incredible travel destination. Come over and discover this magical location!


If you need help or guidance with the planning process of your trip to Colombia, don´t hesitate to contact us. We have a team of travel experts looking forward to help you have the best holiday of your life.

RNT # 41503 Lulo Colombia | Travel Agency - Handmade @ThePappCorn