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Liquid Rainbow River Colombia (Caño Cristales) – 3 Day Tour

Discover the astonishingly bright colors of the liquid rainbow river, called Caño Cristales, on this 3-day trip. Stay in La Macarena and get to know the local culture.

USD $861.00

Per Person
Number of TravelersPrice Per Person
1USD $861.00
2 - 8USD $835.00

Marvel at the Colors of the Liquid Rainbow River

Embark on a wonderful and colorful adventure to the liquid rainbow river: Caño Cristales. From June to November, the plants in this crystal-clear river make the water run with five colors: black, red, yellow, blue, and green, giving the river its name of “liquid rainbow”. Enjoy three days of beautiful scenery and relax, as we take care of all the logistics. On this trip, you will stay in the lovely village of La Macarena in the southern region of Colombia. You will get to try a traditional Colombian beef meal called “Ternera a la Llanera” and dance to the fast-paced and melodic local “joropo” music.


  • Be astounded by the liquid rainbow that is Caño Cristales, one of the most beautiful rivers in the world
  • Get to know the local culture of La Macarena with an evening with a traditional meal and music
  • Go on scenic hikes to different river sections and through a canyon to Los Pilones

Tour information

Duration: 3 days
Start and end location: Bogota
Availability: June-November recommended


Day 1 – Fly to La Macarena and Hike to the Colorful Natural Pools of Caño Cristalitos
Get up at first light, have breakfast and meet our driver at the hotel entrance to take you to the airport by 9:00 am. You will fly for about an hour to La Macarena, a village located in southern region of Colombia. It was once unthinkable to visit this village, due to internal conflict, but it has now become an important travelers’ hub. La Macarena is a good example of a community that has managed to work together to preserve and benefit from the natural treasure they have just a few miles away: the liquid rainbow river of Caño Cristales.

After being picked up at the airport by your local guide, you will be taken to a mandatory 30-minute brief given by Cormacarena, the location’s tourism bureau. After that, you will walk for 10 minutes through the village to La Cascada Hotel: a clean and basic hotel with friendly staff and comfortable rooms.

Put your hiking shoes on because the action starts from now on! After you settle in, you will have lunch, your local guide will pick you up, and you will board a boat that will take you up the Guayabero River for 25 minutes. After that, you will walk for about an hour to reach Caño Cristalitos, an amazing natural spa of small ponds filled with the characteristic algae that give this river its liquid rainbow look.

For those in better physical shape, the visit will continue on to El Mirador, a point where you will enjoy an amazing view of the wild savanna bordered by the Macarena Mountain Range (1.5-hour hike up to the top of a mountain). In the afternoon, you will go back to the hotel and have dinner at La Macarena.

Day 2 – Hike to and Swim in the Gorgeous Caño Cristales River
Today you will visit the main sector of Caño Cristales River. After having breakfast at the hotel, your guide will pick you up and take you on an hour-long ride by boat and jeep to the starting point of your hike to Caño Cristales. This hike is flexible in terms of difficulty level and can be from 30 minutes to 4 hours.

Once you reach the river, you will visit many different spots. You will have the chance to swim and relax at the Willy Wonka-like ponds and enjoy your box lunch at the site. In the afternoon, you will have time to rest at the hotel before the dinner event. For dinner, you will enjoy a “ternera a la llanera,” a typical beef dish of the Colombian flatlands, while listening to a live “joropo” band playing characteristic music of that part of Colombia.

Day 3 – Admire a Stunning Canyon Hiking to Los Pilones or Take a Refreshing Dip at Caño Pedra
On your last day at La Macarena, you will visit Los Pilones on a scenic hike through a stone canyon with lush green vegetation. This is a true delight for nature lovers. Alternatively, you will visit Caño Pedra, another good spot for taking a dip in the crystal-clear river water in the in the middle of the vast savanna (this option doesn’t involve hiking).

At the end of the Los Pilones hike, you will visit a new section of the river and be back at La Macarena for lunchtime. In the afternoon, you will go back to Bogotá. Upon arrival, a driver will pick you from the airport and take you to your Bogotá hotel.

What’s included

  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Travel insurance
  • Round trip airplane tickets between Bogotá and La Macarena
  • 2 nights at Hotel la Cascada
  • All meals
  • Transportation in Jeeps
  • English, Spanish and French-speaking local guide
  • All described tours
  • Entrance fees

What’s not included

  • Food or beverages not specified in the tour information
  • Tips

What to bring

  • Hiking Boots
  • Additional pair of hiking shoes in case the first ones get wet
  • Rain jacket
  • Canteen
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Long pants (not jeans)
  • Hat
  • Light towel
  • Swimsuit
  • Small backpack for daily hikes

Important notes

  • Please keep in mind when you are planning your trip that the plants that give Caño Cristales its colors only grow from June to November, which is the rainy season. We don’t recommend travel to Caño Cristales before June or after November because you probably won’t enjoy the scenery as much (the river will be dry and without plants).
  • This tour has a maximum of 8 people. If you have more than 8, contact us at and we will try to find a group for you. You will be assigned to a group that has the same hiking level as you.
  • In Caño Cristales and Caño Cristalitos, it is forbidden to use sunscreen and mosquito repellent, but you can use them for the rest of the trip.
  • The program on all three days will be adapted according to your hiking level. For example, the routes on Day 2 (Caño Cristales) vary in length and the route you take will match your hiking level.
  • If Day 3 is a Wednesday, the flight back to Bogota leaves at 10:00 am. For this reason, the activity offered for the day is a sunrise trip at the Guayavero River.
  • Don’t expect luxury, as services in this area are very basic. All meals are provided by the restaurant of the hotel and there are no hot showers.
  • There are 3 taxes that must be paid that are not included in the price:
    • $37,000 Colombian pesos (about $12 US dollars) upon arrival to the airport
    • $87,000 Colombian pesos (about $29 US dollars) at the operating office next to the hotel
    • $6,000 Colombian pesos (about $2 US dollars) to depart from the airport
  • Changes on the tour may occur due to external factors. You will be notified of these changes in advance.
  • SPECIAL NOTE: Please note that as of Nov 2019, plastics are forbidden in all national and natural parks in Colombia. Plan accordingly.


Caño Cristales, La Macarena, Meta, Colombia

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Caño Cristales, La Macarena, Meta, Colombia 2.261492, -73.790352

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