During this tour in Colombia, you will learn about the life and traditions of the eastern region of the country and will get immersed in a wonderful adventure to a natural paradise away from modern life.
Caño Cristales is also known as "the river of five colours", "the river that escaped from paradise" and, some people deem it as the most beautiful river in the world. During your trip to this unique natural place you will see by yourself if these denominations are correct. Just get ready to discover it!
Experience Type: Eco-tourism and Eastern Region Traditions
Trekking along Caño Cristales:
Caño Cristales is a river located inside the National Natural Park La Macarena in the department of Meta in the Eastern region of Colombia - The Plains. The natural park is located in the Serrania de la Macarena, which is an isolated mountain range separated by about 40 km from the Eastern Andes.
Caño Cristales is a unique natural wonder due to its outstanding combination of colours like yellow, green, blue, black and specially the red colour given by the sub aquatic plant "Macarenia clavigera". This plant lines on the floor of the river and turns red during the wet season (from July to November); when the water flows too fast and deep, obscuring the bottom of the river and cutting off sunlight that turns the Macarenia clavigera red. The other colours are given by the minerals found on the rocks of the river.
The view of the river is also adorned by a succession of rapids, waterfalls and natural pools running across the old rocks forming the canyon.
Experience the eastern region of Colombia:
The eastern region of Colombian or Los Llanos (The plains) is a vast plain area crossed by many rivers and lakes that turn it into a spectacular mix of landscapes, flora and fauna. "Los Llanos" is recognized by its extensive hatos and beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
"Llaneros" is the name given to people from this region. They are the Colombian cowboys as cattle and some minor agriculture activities are their main economic activities. Llaneros are skilled horsemen, experts at rounding up and corralling cattle on the hatos as well as on the open range. They wear a distinctive starched hat, appear impervious to heat or cold, and often go barefoot. They love eating mamona (tender beef) and listening and dancing their traditional music "Joropo".
Duration: 3 days
Departure dates: Tours available only from July to November on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays
Day 1: Travel to La Macarena and first day trekking to Caño Cristales
Very early in the morning, we will fly to La Macarena, the small town near the National Natural Park La Macarena where Caño Cristales is located.
On our arrival to La Macarena, our local guide will take us to the hotel to check in and get ready for our first trekking day to the river. Our journey we will start with a 20 minutes canoe trip along the Guayabero river towards the Verada Cachivera. During this short trip along the river you will start getting the first impression of how beautiful this part of the country is. At Vereda Cachivera, we will take a jeep ride to go to the point from we will start our trekking adventure to Caño Cristales.The canyon is divided into three branches. During the next three days we will be visiting one branch per day. Today we will be visiting the central branch.
The trekking journey to the river will be framed by the stunning and peaceful landscape composed by a mix of valleys and hills full of a extensive diversity of fauna and flora. Then, when we arrive to the river, you will finally see the unique the explosion of colours given by the Macerenia clavigera plant that lines the river floor and the spectacular succession of rapids, waterfalls and natural pools running throughout the old rocks of the canyon. There you will have plenty of time to take pictures, swim, have a nice traditional lunch and enjoy the astonishing view. Around 3.30 pm we will start our journey back to La Macarena.
Day 2: Second day trekking to Caño Cristales
Today, we will visit the left branch of the Canyon. We will repeat the same journey from the hotel to Vereda Cachiviera as the day before. Our journey today will be a bit longer as we will be visiting four sites along the river: The Cascada de Quarzos (Quartz Waterfall), Los Pianos (another waterfall), Pozo del Amor (a natural pool) and Cascada de la Virgen (The Virgin Waterfall). We will spend about one hour on each place to relax, eat or swim.
Around 3.30 pm, we will start heading back to La Macarena. Back at the hotel, we will have some time to relax before going to a "Parrando Llanero", a traditional local party style with live music and local dances. We will also have the traditional food served in these parties called "Manona"(Local grilled style lamb).
At the end of this parrando we will go back to the hotel to relax and recover energies for the last trekking journey.
Day 3: Last trekking journey to Caño Cristales and trip back to Bogota
After breakfast, we will visit the right branch of the river. We will go to a great spot with natural pools to have the last contact with this beautiful river. Around 11am, we will go back to La Macarena for our return flight to Bogota.
Meals plan: Breakfast
Single Room Option:
This tour is based on customers sharing double or twin-bedded rooms. If you are travelling alone or with your friends but want to have your own room, we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement for a single room. If, for any reason, we are unable to provide a single room during some nights of your trip, we will refund the relevant proportion of the supplement paid to us for the Single Room Option.