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Unfortunately, the severe droughts that affect the Meta region (Colombia) have lowered the flow of the "most beautiful river in the world" and the environmental authority of the La Macarena region suspended visits until further notice.
Very close to the municipality of La Macarena, in the department of Meta (Colombia), is what today is considered by many to be the “most beautiful river in the world”: Caño Cristales. It is also known by the name of the "River of the five colors" (yellow, blue, green, red and black), because in its transparent and pure waters you can see aquatic plants, sand and the beautiful rock formations of its bed.
This river that is born in the southern plateau of the Serranía de La Macarena, in the Meta, is not very wide or mighty, that is why the local people call it “Caño”. Its widest part barely exceeds 20 meters and extends for about 100 kilometers.
Last Friday, the environmental authority, CORMACARENA, which is in charge of managing the river, reported that this tributary is suffering from the drought caused by the scarce rains, and decided to suspend all tourists from entering Caño Cristales.
A technical visit showed the decrease in flow, caused by the change in the weather conditions of the dry season. This flow has a direct impact on the natural processes of the aquatic plantMacarenia clavijera which has pink, red and fuchsia tones, which together with the yellow sandstones, the quartz and the rocky river bed give it the 7 colors that amaze everyone.
Access to the river will remain closed indefinitely until climatic conditions improve and allow the recovery of plant species that generate the particular characteristics of Caño Cristales and ensure that visits do not negatively impact this fragile ecosystem.
Faber Ramos, coordinator of the Park's ecotourism program, explained that “since there is no rain, the plants go into a period of decomposition that can cause skin irritations for people who come into contact with them. In addition, the human presence in this context can also impair the reproduction processes of algae. That is why we decided to implement that restriction ”.
Caño Cristales is one of the tourist gems of Colombia and humanity. It had remained "hidden" because of the war with the armed groups that had taken over this area, but with the peace agreement generated with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), this tourist destination became increasingly popular.
However, human activities such as cattle ranching and illegal logging are putting the conservation of this earthly paradise at risk. If laws that protect this area are not managed together, along with ecological and sustainable tourism, the future of Caño Cristales is uncertain.
Watch the video below to know the charm of Caño Cristales until they open it again:
Photo: Photography by Mario Carvajal, Licensed with Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.
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