Also known as the "River of Five Colours", this liquid rainbow boasts the deepest shades of red, yellow, green, blue and black. The natural palette is caused by the flourishing of macarenia clavigera, an endemic species of aquatic plant that clings to rocks where the river's current is at its strongest.
The Caño Cristales carves its way through the Sierra de la Macarena's National Park, the meeting point of the Amazon, Orinoco and Andes regions where attractions extend far beyond kaleidoscopic waters. A tour here may take in majestic waterfalls, wild-swimming spots, ancient rock formations and treks across biodiverse jungle, where lucky visitors will spot rare wildlife. Be warned: in a bid to protect the environment, sun cream and mosquito repellent are prohibited here.
Where to stay
What to pack
To experience the Caño Cristales at its most intense hue, visit in the summer months - anytime between July and October, when the algae will have absorbed plenty of sunlight.
How to get there
There are several tours of the Sierra de la Macarena's National Park, including a Viator three-day package that departs directly from Bogotá.