The Caño Cristales river in Colombia

The Caño Cristales river in Colombia

From July to November, visitors to the Serranía de la Macarena National Natural Park are likely to see the riverweed bloom in the rushing waters of the Caño Cristales. When the water level is just right, the normally dull green plant that grows on the riverbed blooms in a fantastic burst of red, purple, orange and gold. The park is an unusual meeting of three distinct ecosystems: the Andes Mountains, the Amazon rainforest and the Eastern Llanos. Recently, the Colombian government has limited access to the river, and now visitors must book guided tours – it’s an effort to preserve this strange scene for generations to come.]

Caño Cristales (English: Crystal Channel) is a Colombian river located in the Serrania de la Macarena province of Meta, and is a tributary of the Guayabero River. The river is commonly called the “River of Five Colors” or the “Liquid Rainbow,” and is noted for its striking colors. The bed of the river from the end of July through November is variously colored yellow, green, blue, black, and especially red, the last caused by Macarenia clavigera plants (family Podostemaceae) on the riverbed.

flashpackerconnectcanocristales
One of the many beautiful waterfalls of Cano Cristales. I, Mcleods08, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the following license: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Geology

The quartzite rocks of the Serrania de la Macarena tableland formed approximately 1.2 billion years ago. They are a western extension of the Guiana Shield of Venezuela.

Caño Cristales is a fast-flowing river with many rapids and waterfalls. Small circular pits known as giant’s kettles can be found in many parts of the riverbed, which have been formed by pebbles or chunks of harder rocks. Once one of these harder rock fragments falls into one of the cavities, it is rotated by the water current and begins to carve at the cavity wall, increasing the dimensions of the pit. [….]

By Peter Fitzgerald, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22897670

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caño_Cristales

 

Author: Andrew Blair

Living in Maroubra Australia. Carer for my wife Jessica. Simple web designer and Administrator; photographer, artist and theologian. We now attend the Uniting Church in Maroubra Junction where we are very happy. My greatest desire is to serve God in the capacity of an Interfaith dialoguer since this seems to be my calling since 1997

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