Caño Cristales, the river of 7 colors: a natural paradise

The Caño Cristales is a river in the Sierra de la Macarena, in Colombia , in the municipality of the same name in the department of Meta that has become one of the most curious rivers in the world. Let us now know in detail this natural paradise popularly known as “the river of 7 colors.”

Caño Cristales, the river of 7 colors: a natural paradise

Nature lovers have no doubts: the Caño Cristales is the most beautiful river in the world. A title that, in addition, has also officially recognized the magazine Forbes. This wonder is located about 170 kilometers from the Colombian capital Bogotá , hidden in the Serranía de La Macarena National Park. For a short time during the year, between the wet and dry seasons, From July to November, Caño Cristales is an explosion of color. Everything Thank you freshwater plants known as Macarenia clavigera, a particular alga endemic to this area. When the sun shines, algae transform this river into a thousand shades various colors such as red, yellow, green, blue, white and black that unravel for almost 100 kilometers between plains and steep slopes.

But it’s not just the colors that leave you speechless: the rocks of the Macarena are 1,200 million years old and form the western extension of the Guyanese Shield of Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil, whose rocks are considered the oldest in the world.

The Serranía de la Macarena is also a place rich in flora and fauna, the icing on the cake of a place that exudes charm and magic. More of 420 species of birds, 10 of amphibians, 43 of reptiles and 8 of primates they make their home here. The fishes, on the other hand, they are almost nonexistent, due to the absence of materials and sediments. The Caño Cristales is considered a biological wonder but above all the most beautiful river in the world.

The «threats» of Caño Cristales

Caño Cristales is known among the locals as the “liquid rainbow” or “river of the 7 colors”, but together with the curiosity of its colors, it is also surprising that until a few years ago this was a territory in the hands of the Farc and an inaccessible place for tourists. But everything changed when Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signed a peace agreement with the guerrillas (for which he also received the Nobel Peace Prize) in August 2017, which allowed the inhabitants of this region to finally receive to the many visitors who wanted to see firsthand the beauty of this natural paradise.

However and unfortunately, These waters are now threatened by another danger: the oil industry. In fact, black gold deposits have been found in the vicinity of Caño Cristales and, obviously, many fear that any drilling could jeopardize this miracle of nature. Years ago, the Colombian Environmental Authority (Anla) granted a license to the US oil company Hupecol for the exploitation of an area of ​​the municipality of La Macarena, near the river. After the clamor of environmentalists and citizens, President Santos withdrew that permit, but the threat has continued Although many other oil companies have been interested in establishing themselves in the area.

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Caño Cristales, the river of 7 colors: a natural paradise