The Cano Cristales river, or the five color river, as the locals call it, starts its journey at the foot of a Colombian mountain range – Micarna. It continues flowing eastward to meet with the Guivero river. A traveller happening upon the crystal river may find five different colors in its waters: yellow, blue, green, black and red.
The reason for this fiesta of colors is actually biological. It is caused by the materials the many types of algae living in the river produce. The hue of the colors depends on the time of year and the swiftness of the current.
The river, which does look as if it was a path to paradise, is truly an ecological wonder, and while most of the year it hides behind a costume of dim greens and cool blues, for a short time each year it blooms with a rainbow of dazzeling colors.
During the Colombian wet season, the water flows too quickly to hold the color, and during the summer there isn’t enough water, but for a short few months between these two seasons, there are many types of algae colonies that for thousands of years have continued to give the river its name.