Travel for three days to the stunning Caño Cristales from Bogotá. Don't miss out on visiting the famous Rainbow River and enjoy all the wonders and display of biodiversity it has to offer.
Deep in the Sierra de la Macarena mountain range of Colombia lies a place where one of the most astonishing natural wonders on Earth rises: Caño Cristales “the five-color river.” Don't miss the opportunity to witness the uniqueness of its beauty by yourself to make new indelible live experiences. Also, get to know the locals of La Macarena who cooperate to preserve this natural treasure and bring peace and prosperity to the region.
Get up at first lights, have breakfast, and meet your driver at your place of stay in Bogota to take you to the airport. You will fly for about an hour to La Macarena, where you will be picked up at the airport by your local guide. Then, you will take a mandatory 30-minute brief given by Cormacarena ( the tourism bureau of the place). After that, you will be taken to your local accommodation.
Once on your hotel, put your hiking shoes and be ready to start the adventure. After you settle in, you will have lunch, and then the local guide will pick you up to embark a boat to take you to the Guayabero River for 25 minutes. Afterwards you will walk for about an hour and reach Caño Cristalitos, a fantastic place with small ponds filled with the characteristic algae that give this river its rainbow-like look. For those with a better physical condition, the next stop will be El Mirador, a fantastic place where you will enjoy an amazing view of the wild savannah bordered with the Macarena Mountain Range (1.5 hours hike up to the top of a mountain). In the afternoon, you will get back to the hotel and have dinner at La Macarena.
On this day, you will visit the main sector of Caño Cristales River. After having breakfast at the hotel, your guide will pick you up, and after about an hour transport by boat and jeep, you will get to the starting point of the hike that will take you to Caño Cristales. Once you reach the river, you will visit many different spots according to your hike level. In these places, you will have the chance to swim and relax at the Willy Wonka-like ponds and enjoy your lunch box. In the afternoon, you will have time to rest at the hotel before the dinner event, where you will enjoy a “ternera a la llanera”( a typical beef preparation of the Colombian flatlands) while listening to a live band of “joropo”, fast-paced folk music of that part of Colombia.
On your last day at La Macarena, you will get to experience the magic of this biodiversity hotspot, by taking a river ride before first light to the point where Losada river meets the Guayabero. At this time in this place, birds of hundreds of different species are visible and audible, and there are great chances of spotting river dolphins, caymans, and other wildlife. After getting back to the hotel, you will have time to relax and possible have lunch depending on the time of your flight back. We will pick you up and take you to the local airport to board your flight to Bogota.
Our upfront price does not include flights for two reasons. Every season there are different companies and charters with different frequencies, and second, because the price can vary a lot according to the travel date. Managing flights directly is very tricky, even for the most seasoned travelers, this is why we offer our travelers to help them book their flights with a 10% fee on the final price. The average price for a return ticket from Bogota is US$200, if you travel in week days we can get better deals. Once you book, one of our travel consultants will give you the options available for your travel dates.
The season where the plants that give Caño Cristales its color only grow from June to November, which is the rain season. We don't recommend traveling to Caño Cristales before June or after November because you probably won't enjoy the scenery (the river will be dry and thus without plants). Please keep that in mind, when you plan your trip!
In Caño Cristales and Caño Cristalitos, it is forbidden to use sunscreen and mosquito repellent but you can use them for the rest of the trip.
A yellow fever vaccine certificate may be required by authorities. We strongly recommend getting the shot.
Trip Option and upgrades
The default version of this trip is a group tour and the accommodation is at a small hotel at La Macarena village. The tours are run on small groups of 8 participants max. You will be assigned to a group that has the same hiking level as you. The program on day 1 and 3 will be adapted according to your level. On day 2 (Caño Cristales), there are several routes in the reserve that vary in length. You will be assigned to a route according to your hiking level.
The add-on version (book this option on checkout or ask a travel consultant), includes an upgrade in lodging at an eco-lodge, 25min drive from the village, and all the excursions are private.
We have an optional 4-day trip with an extra day to visit Laguna del Silencio. If you are interested, please contact us.
Don’t expect luxury. The highlight of the trip is 100% nature! All meals are provided by the restaurant of the hotel and there are no hot showers and no AC (rooms have FAN and electricity, wifi is present but unstable).
AVAILABLE TO BOOK FROM JUNE 16th 2023
Things to bring:
For land (hotel, transfers, experiences, meals). You can cancel anytime and get a refund according to the time you cancel.
- Up to 15 days before the trip: 100% refund.
- 10 to 14 days before the trip: 80% refund.
- 5 to 9 days before the trip: 40% refund.
- 0 to 4 days before the trip: non-refundable.
In case you get covid. Impulse has flexible policies in case you or any traveler of you group has covid. With a positive test, you can claim a 50% refund with a last minute cancellation and the remaining part will be kept as a credit valid for 2 years.
For Air: Cancellation policies will depend on the airline or charter service. If you book through us and cancel, we will keep the 10% fee we charge for air, and we will represent your interest to get the best possible outcome of a cancellation.
Rain or shine: We don’t consider rain as a valid reason to cancel. Excursions might be rearranged for meteorological reasons.
Our adventure to Cano Cristales, the “rainbow river” was nothing short of AWESOME!!! Our bi-lingual guide, Pedro H., was absolutely wonderful, knowledgeable, thoughtful and so helpful. We are an older couple, who had always dreamed of seeing the river. Pedro was so patient and caring with us and it was very much appreciated. We felt safe at all times. The people who live in La Macarena are friendly and welcoming. We loved the boat rides down the Guaviare River to get to the park and all the wildlife you saw along the way. The “dinner show” was so fun and a delightful cultural experience. We HIGHLY recommend this tour!
Booked through Tripadvisor with service through Impulse Travel. Laura was great at communicating with me the whole time about flights, hotel pick up and questions i had.
Vladamir was my tour guide and was great. He explained the history or the area and answered all questions that were asked. In addition to taking photos for us solo travelers. Overall it was a great experience at the river and with Impulse travel.
The only hickup was the initial booking. I picked my dates of the tour from what the TripAdvisor website said was available and based the rest of my trip to Colombia around those dates. Thats when Laura had contacted me and said that there were no flights out on the day i picked and the next one was 3 days later. So i had to make adjustments to my trip in order to be able to go. This seemed more like a TripAdvisor error on their website than on Impulse Travel. But it was still a great experience!
Amazing experience! Nelson was a fantastic guide and made sure everyone had the experience they wanted. I was traveling solo, but placed in a group with a slightly older couple for the first two days of the trip. They were very serious about photography and Nelson made sure they were able to stop and get all the shots they wanted while he made sure I was still having a good time by making sure I had time to swim and offering to take photos of me in various spots. On the last day, I had Pedro as my guide since the other couple had a different itinerary. Pedro was also fantastic and made sure I got to my flight and helped me when my charter flight was delayed.
All in all this was a fantastic experience with amazing sights you can’t see just anywhere in the world. It was a bit expensive because this area is very remote so very difficult to get to, but everything was included so it was nice to not have to figure out where to get food or water for a few days, plus all transportation was included including hotel pickup and dropoff. I only had time in my schedule to do the 3 day tour, but I highly recommend to others to stay longer if you can. There is so much to see in this area! I was unfortunately not able to spot any pink dolphins on my trip, but nature is unpredictable so I knew that part wasn’t guaranteed. Impulse Travel did a great job responding quickly whenever I had questions and they were also very flexible with me when I had very inflexible travel dates to work with. I would recommend them to anyone!
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