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Discover the rainbow river of Colombia


Known to be the ‘River of Five Colours’ and ‘Liquid Rainbow’, the Caño Cristales river is situated in La Macarena in Colombia. The river dons many colours in which is below the crystal clear waters or the flowing river. Bright reds, yellows, greens and purples flow with the current.

Depending on the both the water conditions and light, the colours can appear to be different in some times. The river can also appear a hot pink, orange, maroon and bright blue on certain days.

As much as we would love to think that the river is magic, it is unfortunately not. What gives the river its vibrant colours is a particular aquatic plant, the macarenia clavigera plant, different from any other algae or moss.


With the right weather and water levels, the colours of the river would be different. The plant is very sensitive to its environmental conditions. If you wish to see the river with full vibrant colours, the best time to go would be during a bright and sunny day so that the sun can reflect the colours much better. The plants are said to be the most vibrant between July and November.

The water levels should also be just high enough to have the plants thrive, at the same time the water should be low enough for you to see the bottom of the river. If the conditions do not meet, the plants would die and turn brown.

In addition to being an amazing photo opportunity, visitors are also allowed to swim in certain parts or the river. However, in order to protect the plants, only 200 people are allowed to enter the river for a swim each day.

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