In a remote corner of Colombia we find the River of Five Colours. For many years, the spectacularly beautiful Caño Cristales was off-limit to travellers due to security issues. Greatly improved security in the area meant that in 2009, the river re-opened to visitors. This location offers spectacular scenery and rightly so, it is regarded by many as the most beautiful river in the world.
For half of the year, Caño Cristales looks like a rather normal river. However, for a brief period of time every year, the river blossoms in a vibrant explosion of colors. We owe this dazzling display of colour to Macarenia clavigera, an endemic aquatic plant that blooms in a wide range of green and red shades that contrast beautifully with the colours of the rocks and sands and is th erefore without a doubt, unlike any other river - and definitely a real privilege to see.
In this tour, we will fly into the town of la Macarena in the department of Meta. From there we will cross the Guayabero river each day to visit various locations. The river crossing will take only 20 minutes but in this short time span we will be able to see the rich wildlife that inhabit the lush riparian forests, including turtles, birds, and iguanas and monkeys. Once we reach the other side, a jeep will take us to the park boundaries where we will begin our hike towards the first part of the stream. In our hikes, we will see the landscape change and make way for a different set of plants with incredible adaptations that allow them to thrive in rocky conditions.
We will have the opportunity to swim in several crystal clear pools and have our lunches near spectacular waterfalls. After each day we will return to town to our rustic but comfortable and clean lodgings in town and enjoy traditional meals. We will also have the opportunity to see locals put on a joropo dance show. Joropo is the typical dance of the plains and is sure to amaze you!
Day 1. Bogota- Transfer to La Macarena.
We will take a short flight from Bogota to La Macarena, a small isolated town deep in the plains of Colombia. Once we arrive, we will get settled in our lodgings and . Here we will spend the day exploring the surroundings and enjoying the cuisine of the plains.
Day 2. Caño Cristales
Visit a different arm of Caño Cristales to enjoy the gorgeous waterfalls and geological formations in the river. We will have a typical lunch by the river. Upon our return we will have a typical dinner and watch a show of Joropo, the plains' typical dance.
Day 3. El Mirador
On this day, we will walk to "El Mirador", a rocky outlook that will allow us to appreciate the vastness of the plains. On our return, we will stop briefly at a riverside farm and have a good cup of coffe with the owners. We will have an opportunity to navigate the Guayabero River and see the fauna that inhabits the lush riverside vegetation, including Hoatzin, Turtles, and Squirrel and Howler Monkeys and others.
Day 4. Macarena-Bogota
We will rise at leisure and head out to the airport to return to Bogota for international connections or to other destinations in Colombia.
WHAT TO EXPECT AND WHAT TO BRING:
When visiting the Macarena, you can expect hot humid days. Accommodations are basic but very clean and are equipped only with ceiling fans. In order to be comfortable, we strongly recommend that you dress with light, fast-drying clothes. The sun is strong in the plains, therefore a good hat, sunglasses, and good sunscreen are a must.
Other items to bring include: