The village of La Macarena is located south of Bogotá. It is accessible by plane (about 1 hour) or by land for those who have the time and love adventure! This village is not known and yet it is the starting point of one of the most famous wonders of Colombia. Indeed, the site of Caño Cristales which shelters the famous river of the 5 colors is a few kilometers away.
This marvelous natural phenomenon, caused by the appearance of aquatic plants during the rainy season, can only be observed from June to November. If you absolutely want to enjoy the show and make it part of your itinerary in Colombia, plan to leave on the right dates.
There are also other places of interest in the surrounding area, so I advise you to stay at least 3 nights. The Llanos culture is very present there and you may have the chance to hear and see traditional music and dance.
The fauna and flora are specific to this region and you will be able to observe the tropical savannah that stretches as far as the eye can see, the jungle, and the less dense vegetation of Caño Cristales.
Go up the Guaviare River and keep your eyes open for caimans, turtles, iguanas, prehistoric-looking birds and other animals along the river.
Important tip: if you don’t have a lot of time, go through an agency to organize your stay there. They arrange charter flights and take care of everything once you get there.
If you decide to go on your own, be aware that the organization, once you get there, is complicated. Moreover, you will still have to visit Caño Cristales with a guide, it’s mandatory. Last but not least, there is a limited number of visits per day. Please take this into account if you’re planning your stay there on your own.
Articles you must read before coming to Caño Cristales:
Getting to La Macarena?
From Neiva to La Macarena:
- Bus from the Neiva terminal to Florencia. Departures every 30 min. | Coomotor | 5 hours
- Shared jeep from Florencia to San Vincente de Caguan. Departures every 20 min till 8 pm | Cootranscaqueta | 3 hours.
- Shared jeep from San Vincente de Caguan to La Macarena. 4 departures per day: 7 am, 8 am, 9 am & 12h30 pm. Schedules may change! | Cootranscaguan | 6 hours
From San Agustin to La Macarena:
- By bus or shuttle: there are many departures throughout the day from “4 Vientos” in San Agustin to Pitalito | Companies: Cootrans Huila, Cootrans Laboyana & others | Duration: 30min – 1h depending on the transport chosen
- Then by bus from the terminal of Pitalito to Florencia | Companies: Pony Express and others | Duration: 3hrs.
- Finally, from Florancia to the Macarena (see explanation above)
From Bogota to La Macarena:
From Cali & Medellin to La Macarena:
- Only by charter. You will have to buy a travel package through a local agency. We love Geotour.
Where is the airport?
La Macarena airport is located in the centre of the village. You won’t be disturbed by air traffic as there are only a few flights.