Colombia

Caño Cristales River Trip - 4 Days

Rainbow River - "The most beautiful river in the world"

Caño Cristales River Trip - 4 Days

Rainbow River - "The most beautiful river in the world"

Caño Cristales Tour, (aka the most beautiful river in the world) is an exceptional and surprising natural beauty. Its unique ecosystem is very fragile and now belongs to the Sierra de la Macarena Natural National Park.

Season: June - November

Trip ITINERARY

DAY 1: Caño Cristiletos (smaller Caño Cristales River)

  • Flight from Bogota to La Macarena (1 hour flight) OR from Villavicencio (3 hour taxi from Bogota to Villavicencio airport) if flights are not available from Bogota that day
  • Greeted at La Macarena airport by FlashpackerConnect guide/representative
  • Mandatory Information session with National Park Sierra de la Macarena (video and talk with park representative).  Here you will receive all passes needed for the parks.
  • Check in to hotel. Depending on how far in advance you book, a/c rooms are available upon request  
  • Please note that La Macarena is a very remote Amazon town and while comfortable, accommodations come with only the basic amenities.  Most do not have hot water.
  • Transport to Caño Cristalitos (a smaller Caño Cristales) or Caño Piedra depending on water conditions
  • Lunch at the river. In an effort to preserve the natural beauty of the parks, all lunches are packed in banana leaves to prevent any trash from ending up in the parks.
  • Return to La Macarena and rest before dinner
  • Dinner at a local restaurant with your guide
  • Please note that your guide will be with you during all excursions and meals.​


DAY 2: Caño Cristales Full day Tour

  • Breakfast at a local restaurant with your guide OR at homestay depending on day 1 excursion
  • Launch from La Macarena boat ramp for a 30 minute boat ride.
  • Along the way, you have the opportunity to see monkeys, and exotic bird species such as the prehistoric Hoatzan
  • Transport in 4x4s from the La Cachivera district to Caño Cajuche
  • 1-2 hr walk from Caño Cajuche to Caño Cristales.
  • Your route through the park is assigned the morning of your trip by Cormacarena and the National Park. While the park admits up to 350 people per day, you will most likely see no more than 20 people due to these planned trails.  All routes will end at Los Ochos or "The 8s" which is considered the most picturesque location throughout the park.
  • Enjoy hiking and exploring for around 6 hours.  While this will include many breaks for pictures and swimming, it is often very hot so please bring an ample supply of water.

At this point in the day you will have 2 different options:

TRIP OPTIONS:

Homestay at Silent Lake

  • Following you day spent at Caño Cristales you will be picked up on horseback for an evening at Silent Lake. Enjoy a horseback ride through the amazing La Macarena jungle to your overnight accommodation at Silent Lake.
  • Explore that evening with a canoe ride around the lake, and enjoy the company of your new family!
  • Dinner will be cooked in Colombian fashion

Redal jungle full day hike (day 3)

  • Return in 4x4s to the Guayabero River and back to La Macarena
  • Rest at your hotel and meet for dinner with your guide.  
  • There is often salsa dancing each night at a locals house. Be sure to ask you guide about this if you would like to join in the fun!

Day 3: Choose your Adventure

Homestay at Silent Lake with Horseback ride:

  • You will enjoy a early breakfast with your local family, before heading off on a horseback ride back to Caño Cristales where you will explore another section of the river than the day before. This is an amazing opportunity to visit another branch of the colorful river, and provides you a second chance to view the river in case bad weather was experienced the day prior.
  • Return to La Macarena for dinner

Redal jungle full day hike:

  • Breakfast at a local restaurant with your guide
  • ​Launch from La Macarena boat ramp for a 1 hour boat ride
  • Along the way, you have the opportunity to see monkeys, exotic bird species such as the prehistoric Hoatzan, and many more
  • As you venture down river, you will notice the transition from a middle climate of where the Andes and Amazon meet to a complete Amazon environment.  Fresh water dolphins, anacondas, crocodiles, and many other species can be seen on the way down
  • Arrive at La Ciudad de Piedra or City of Stone. Here you will be able to see Pre-Colombian rock carvings and paintings. Your guide will educate you on the history of the indigenous tribes and unique rock formations.
  • Return to La Macarena for dinner

Day 4: Morning Boat Ride - Departure

  • Sunrise wildlife boat ride
  • Breakfast, at the Farm and back to hotel at 9am to pack
  • Return to Bogota. Flight out between 10am and 2 pm depending on availability and flight schedule that day. (Lunch included if you have an afternoon flight.

Additional Trip Info

  • Round trip flight - Bogota* to La Macerena
  • Fully guided tours - Spanish speaking guide. English guide by request(additional cost)
  • All meals (from lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day) in local restaurants in La Macarena (typical Colombian dishes served in banana leaves when on excursions)
  • Accommodation in single/double (according to preference) in local hotel
  • All transfers while in La Macarena (boat & 4x4)
  • National Park Entrance

*English guide available upon request ($75 usd per day)

*If flights from Bogota are not available we will transport you to the Villavicencio airport (3-5hrs from Bogota) for a charter flight (hotel transfer included)

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