Caño Cristales reabrió sus puertas a los turistas: recomendaciones para viajar

In the image, Caño Cristales, a natural tourist attraction in Colombia, located in the municipality of La Macarena, in the department of Meta. Photo: National Natural Parks

After staying closed to the public since last November 22, 2021, Caño Cristales reopened its doors to ecotourism thanks to the management of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, National Parks of Colombia, Cormacarena, the Government of Meta and the Mayor of La Macarena.

Also know as the river of seven colorsCaño Cristales is located in the municipality of La Macarena, in the department of Metaand has been closed since last year due to the beginning of the dry season in the region.

In dialogue with the newspaper El Tiempo, the biologist and guide of the region, Kreyssig Abaunsaexplained that the closure of the area is carried out every year, since during the dry season the flow of the tributary decreases, leaving it exposed to the Macarenia clavigera, the endemic aquatic plant of La Macarena that gives Caño Cristales its particular colors.

“The season begins with the rainy season since the flowering of the plant strictly depends on this phenomenon. In this region we have a monomodal rainy period, that is, six months of winter and another six of drought. The latter, in general, begins in December, for this reason Caño Cristales closes at the end of the year,” the tour guide told the Bogotá newspaper.

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With the reopening, travelers will be able to enjoy the natural wonders that Caño Cristales has to offer, in addition to other tourist attractions such as: hiking, fauna and flora sighting, ecological horseback riding, recreational bathsamong others.

Photo from July 17, 2021 showing tourists visiting the Caño Cristales river, also called the "river of the seven colors"in the rural area of ​​La Macarena, department of Meta (Colombia).  Photo: EFE Mauricio Dueñas Castañeda/Archive
Photo taken on July 17, 2021, showing tourists visiting the Caño Cristales river, also called the “river of seven colors,” in the rural area of ​​La Macarena, department of Meta, Colombia. Photo: EFE Mauricio Dueñas Castañeda/Archive

To visit Caño Cristales you must take a flight to Javier Noreña Valencia Airport, in the municipality of La Macarena, in the department of Meta. To date, direct air routes depart from Bogotá, Medellín and Villavicencio.

Once in La Macarena, you must go to Puerto Inderena where you will have to take a canoe that will transport you through the Guayabero River to the Sierra de La Macarena National Natural Parkspecifically to the sector Port of Los Mangos. There, you can start a walk of about an hour or travel for half an hour in a 4×4 truck until you reach Caño Cristales.

“We have this natural wonder divided into two sectors, which in turn have five trails. Here we have colored Caño Cristales, which is located in the upper part, and Caño Cristales jungle, which is the area of ​​​​the green macarenias, which have that color because little sunlight reaches them, “he told El Tiempo, the Asonavi tour guide, Carlos Eduardo Sterli.

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According to Señal Colombia, for this year it is expected that Caño Cristales (La Macarena) will receive more tourists than those reported during 2021: 6,609 Colombians and 773 foreigners. It should be noted that, in the municipality, travelers will find 29 local tour operators and more than 25 hotels.

“Tourism is one of the few economic activities that benefits and boosts the economy of all sectors and strata of the municipality, so we hope that all activity will be generated without any mishap”, The secretary of Plameación of the municipality of La Macarena, Hernando Hernández, told the radio station.

If you travel to Caño Cristales: Remember that the use of sunscreen, repellents and makeup in the area is prohibited, because the chemical components of these products can affect the Macarenia clavigera. Likewise, it is forbidden to entry of single-use plastics, liquor or cigarettes.

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