Caño Cristales: “The River That Ran Away to Paradise”

Extra resourcesIn the Sierra de la Macarena, Colombia, there lies a breathtaking anomaly of nature’s unrelenting beauty.  The Caño Cristales is a river unlike any other in the world. Due to unbelievable algae blooms, this river seems to carry all of the colors of the rainbow, and is truly a wonder to behold.

From Atlas Obscura:

“Caño Cristales has been referred to as the “river of five colors”, “the river that ran away to paradise,” and “the most beautiful river in the world.” It is indeed a unique biological wonder. For most of the year, the Caño Cristales is indistinguishable from any other river, with a bed of rocks covered in dull green mosses and a cool dark blue current. However for a short period each year the river blossoms in a rainbow of colors.

During Colombia’s wet season, the water flows fast and deep, obscuring the bottom of the river and denying the mosses and algae that call the river home the sun that they need. And during the dry season there is not enough water to support the dazzling array of life in the river. But during a brief span between the wet and dry seasons, when the water level is just right, the many varieties of algae and moss bloom in a dazzling display of colors. Blotches of amarillo, blue, green, black, and red–and a thousand shades in between–coat the river.

A number of the more adventurous Colombian tourist agencies will fly travelers to the nearby town of La Macarena. The river, which is roughly 20 meters wide and runs for 100 kilometers, is rather remote. Without any roads leading to the river, the Caño Cristales must be accessed by horse.” – Continued

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This lovely place has just been added to my Bucket List/Legend Tripping Dream List. (To see the other items on this list, click here:  Legend Tripping: Natalina’s Chosen Destinations).

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