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"

Embark on a captivating 4-day guided tour to discover the beauty of the world's most stunning river, Caño Cristales. From June to November, witness the vibrant hues that paint the rivers, showcasing exceptional and surprising natural beauty. This unique ecosystem, now part of the Sierra de la Macarena Natural National Park, awaits exploration. In addition to the mesmerizing river, your journey will lead you to one of the planet's most impressive waterfalls—a remote gem that has been a local secret for years. Immerse yourself in the wonders of nature and uncover hidden treasures on this unforgettable adventure.


  • Explore the stunning Caño Cristales river, renowned for its vibrant hues and unique aquatic plants.
  • Witness the breathtaking beauty of the Sierra de la Macarena National Park.
  • Discover a hidden waterfall nestled deep within the jungle.
  • Encounter diverse wildlife, from colorful birds to playful monkeys.
  • Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of local communities.
  • Indulge in delicious traditional cuisine sourced from the region's bounty.

Season: June - November

Departure Locations & Days:

  • Bogota - Direct Flights: Most Days depending on flight availability.
  • Medellin - Direct Flights: Monday & Friday
  • All days - By land from Bogota to Villavicencio (3.5 hours driving) and charter plane from Villavicencio
No items found.
No items found.

Trip Itinerary

DAY 1: Caño Cristiletos (smaller Caño Cristales River)

Commence your Bogota adventure by independently reaching the airport for your flight to La Macarena, which takes approximately 1 hour. Be prepared for an early presentation time, possibly as early as 5:00 am*. Upon your arrival at La Macarena airport, a FlashpackerConnect guide/representative will warmly welcome you. Following this, engage in an informative session with a representative from the National Park Sierra de la Macarena, featuring a video presentation and talk. Subsequently, you'll be transferred to your hotel for check-in.

Today's expedition takes you to Caño Cristalitos, a smaller branch of the Caño Cristales river. Here, you'll have the unique opportunity to witness a conservation project dedicated to local wildlife and gain insights into the rich cultural heritage of the region. Lunch will be served by the river, emphasizing environmental responsibility by utilizing banana leaves for packaging, ensuring no waste enters the parks.

Post-lunch, return to La Macarena for a well-deserved rest before an evening meal. Tonight's dinner will be at a local restaurant in the company of your guide, who will accompany you during all excursions and meals.

Important to note, your flight itinerary will be sent to you approximately one week before your reservation. Additionally, be aware that La Macarena, despite its remote Amazonian setting, offers comfortable accommodations with basic amenities, and most establishments do not provide hot water.

Please note that specific presentation times may be communicated closer to your travel date.

*Your flight itinerary will be emailed to you about 1 week prior to your reservation. 

**La Macarena is a very remote Amazon town and while comfortable, accommodations come with only the basic amenities. Most do not have hot water.

DAY 2: Caño Cristales Full Day Tour

Kickstart your adventure with a satisfying breakfast at a local restaurant. Following this, embark on a 30-minute boat ride launching from La Macarena's boat ramp. As you cruise, seize the opportunity to spot monkeys and exotic bird species, including the prehistoric Hoatzan.

Transitioning from the La Cachivera district to Caño Cajuche in 4x4s, your journey to Caño Cristales begins. The trek will take you through the captivating landscape, with the route culminating at Los Ochos, renowned for its picturesque charm and distinctive geographic features resembling the number eight (approximately 6 hours in total). Throughout the hike, frequent breaks for photography and refreshing swims are encouraged, considering the often warm temperatures—remember to carry an ample supply of water (no single-use water bottles allowed).

Post-hike, return in 4x4s to the Guayabero River, tracing your path back to La Macarena. Take some well-deserved rest at your hotel before joining your guide for a delightful dinner. The evening promises an immersion into local culture with traditional Joropo music and the chance to learn and partake in local dances.

It's important to note that the specific route through the park is assigned on the morning of your trip by Cormacarena and the National Park. Although the park accommodates up to 350 people daily, the carefully planned trails ensure that you'll likely encounter no more than 20 fellow explorers, preserving the tranquility of your journey.

Day 3: Raudal Stone City

After enjoying a hearty breakfast, embark on a boat journey to El Raudal. This natural marvel was sculpted by the Guayabero River as it meandered through Tinigua Park, dramatically narrowing its course from 200 to just 30 meters. The result is a breathtaking display of rock carvings etched by the water's passage. As you navigate the waters, be prepared to witness a diverse array of wildlife and picturesque landscapes.

Following the boat excursion, embark on a hike along the Miradores trail. Here, you'll encounter ancient petroglyphs and have the option to continue your exploration towards the city of Piedras or the Aguas Claras trail (availability subject to confirmation the night before, as determined by local authorities). Enjoy a recreational bath, savor a delicious lunch, and then return to your hotel.

The return journey to La Macarena involves a combination of horseback riding and a scenic boat trip. Your evening will culminate with a guided dinner, offering a perfect opportunity to reflect on the day's adventures.

Day 4: Sunrise in Embrujo sabanero - Departure

Rise and shine early as we embark on the journey where a breathtaking sunrise awaits. Dive into the daily tasks of the llanero, gaining insights into their typical activities. Following this immersive experience, savor a regional breakfast accompanied by the soulful melodies of llanera music. Concluding our adventure, we return to the hotel and prepare for the homeward flight.

Additional Trip Info

  • Round trip flight - Bogota* to La Macerena
  • Fully guided tours - Spanish speaking guide
  • 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, motorcycle, & 4x4)
  • National Park Entrance

*English translator headset available upon request (+$150usd)

*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)

Have Questions?

Interested in building a custom trip? We want to help you travel to places you have dreamt about.

Build a Custom Trip