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Eagle jump route in Caño Cristales, Colombia

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A few weeks ago we commented on our trip to Caño Cristales in Colombia, one of the most beautiful rivers in the world. A wonder located in the department of Meta very close to the town of Macarena. Today's article refers to one of the most popular routes in the area, the eagle jump route, a walk of 16 kilometers and that crosses the most spectacular places of the place.


Eagle jumping route in Caño Cristales - Colombia

Eagle jumping route in Caño Cristales - Colombia

In the area of ​​Caño Cristales there are dozens of routes to take. We have crystal spout, from where we have very good views of the Guayabero River, the own glass channel where getting there is relatively a walk and if we want to do something more intense the most interesting option is to make the eagle jump route, route that we show in the following photograph.


Eagle jumping route in Caño Cristales - Colombia

The route starts from the town ofthe Macarena, where it can be reached by plane or road. It leaves from the jetty located to the east in theGuayabero River, where we will have to take a boat west of the river until we reach an access where there is a dirt track. However, at all times we will be accompanied by a guide (mandatory on any route through crystal channels) so all this transport will be included.


Eagle jumping route in Caño Cristales - Colombia

We take a boat along the quiet Guayabero River and start it along its right fringe. This river is like a small road and is used for transportation between different locations and even as a settlement area for the Colombian army with the aim of protecting this tourist area from the influences of the FARC.


Eagle jumping route in Caño Cristales - Colombia

During the short tour of the river for about 15 minutes, we can see different animals such as iguanas, crocodiles, turtles and even several families of monkeys. Therefore it becomes very enjoyable and interesting.


Eagle jumping route in Caño Cristales - Colombia

After reaching a bend in the river where a dirt track leaves, we take an all-terrain vehicle towards the starting point of the route. This journey takes approximately 45 minutes / 1h and is quite uncomfortable due to the poor condition of the track. Track that for another thing was created by the FARC a few years ago.


Eagle jumping route in Caño Cristales - Colombia

We will arrive at a post with several wooden buildings and run by the army. There they will review our permits and we will begin the route, traveling a few hundred meters along a dirt track that will give way to a narrow path.


Eagle jumping route in Caño Cristales - Colombia

After deviating from the road we will arrive at one of the rivers that converge in crystal channels and where we will see that characteristic algae that gives a special color to this area. In addition we will see the first of the waterfalls, a real curiosity since to reach its base we had to enter through a rock tunnel.


Eagle jumping route in Caño Cristales - Colombia

The next stop took us to the first bathing area. Another heavenly waterfall where we do not hesitate to get under it and enjoy an outdoor jacuzzi.


Eagle jumping route in Caño Cristales - Colombia

Although in the previous photographs we do not see the river with very fluorescent colors, that does not mean that it does not have them. A little later we took the next picture.


Eagle jumping route in Caño Cristales - Colombia

In this area most of the rivers are crossed by modern wooden bridges that have been recently built. Before in all this route we had to derail and cross the rivers in the middle.


Eagle jumping route in Caño Cristales - Colombia

The route continues until you find the main head of the Caño Cristales river and find a gigantic waterfall. The river has grown from the last rains and approaching the edge of the ravines becomes a risky task.


Eagle jumping route in Caño Cristales - Colombia

The colors return reappear before our eyes and these could have been much more colorful if the river did not come so emboldened.


Eagle jumping route in Caño Cristales - Colombia

He gave us time for another bath in an area of ​​much deeper water. Right there we stop for about 45 minutes and take the opportunity to have lunch and others even to take a mini nap.


Eagle jumping route in Caño Cristales - Colombia

Finally we reach the most famous area of ​​Caño Cristales and where is the bulk of tourists. Here the area is beautiful and there is a great place for bathing. This was banned a few years ago because of the excessive use of sunscreen and that damaged the river algae. Today the use of the protector is strictly prohibited and the bathroom is allowed.


Eagle jumping route in Caño Cristales - Colombia

Too bad that during the day the sun did not accompany, in addition to the fact that the river was higher than normal. But the photos would have been many more colorful.


Eagle jumping route in Caño Cristales - Colombia

At the end of the bathing area there is a series of waterfalls, many of them with restricted access due to their danger. A few years ago there was a fall with fatal result.


Eagle jumping route in Caño Cristales - Colombia

From here you walk 5 minutes until you find the Don David's house. Only place where we can eat and buy soft drinks in this area. From here to the starting area there are only 15 minutes where we will have to take the tortuous off-road vehicle again to the Guayabero River.

Practical data

Before leaving for Colombia

  • Guide of the Lonely Planet of Colombia
  • Airport Transfers
  • Car rental in Colombia with a 15% discount

Is Macarena and Caño Cristales safe?

Absolutely yes. The tourist will not observe any problem of insecurity. However we will see that everything is shielded by the army. The FARC has not disappeared and is still latent in the area. In fact it is not advisable to talk about it with the locals unless they bring up the subject. There are very painful wounds that will take years to heal.

What can we do in La Macarena

The town is not very big, but the square where the church of La Macarena stands and the areas adjacent to the Guayabero river are interesting. There we can rent a boat to explore different areas of the river.

There are several establishments that offer dinner plus show, where elJoropo, a traditional llanero dance is the star. It is worth observing the speed with which the feet move, from vertigo.

How much does it cost to go to Caño Cristales

Any trip requires to associate it with a tour of tourism. The prices are generally similar since they make use of the same hotel establishments, vehicles and boats. For example, a 2/3 day trip costs just over 1 million pesos, not counting the plane ticket. To this we must add a tourist entry and exit fee of 6000 pesos.

Example of costs for basic foods:
  • Ham and cheese arepas at 2500 pesos.
  • Soft drink from 300ml to 3500 pesos,
  • Empanadas at 2000 pesos.
  • Beers at 4000 pesos

It is necessary to make a reservation in advance?

It is not mandatory, but recommended. The number of visitors is limited per day, as well as the number of flights arriving in Macarena. Hotels for example are not usually full.

Is the use of a guide mandatory?

Yes. Caño Cristales and surroundings require an official guide. Without the proper guidance, the entry points run by the Colombian national army will restrict our passage by requesting a special permit.

What do I have to take to Caño Cristales

It is recommended to bring plenty of water in a canteen, long-sleeved clothes and a cap. The use of sunscreen is prohibited and this will be requisitioned at the entrance during the review of the backpacks. The same with water bottles or soft drinks,

You can bring food and it is advisable to take it wrapped in palm leaves and not in plastics.

It can rain at any time. An umbrella or a raincoat is recommended.

As there are bathing areas, or you take a bath or wear a swimsuit. The clothes dry very quickly, but not the boots that we will wet for sure at some point.

How to get to Caño Cristales

All tourists arrive by plane, on charter flights or with Satena. It is the safest and fastest way to arrive. La Macarena is 1h from Bogotá. If we go by road it would take more than 24 hours, having to pay revolutionary taxes in several sections. Several tourists have been stopped and forced to pay large amounts of money, so it is a lottery. To this add that the roads are dirt roads in very bad condition, where passing 20 km / h is impossible on many occasions.

Where to eat in La Macarena

Next to the soccer field, between the airport and the Plaza de la Iglesia de la Macarena, there is a small market with establishments made from wooden boards and selling food / drinks at good prices.

Restaurants for tourism where there are shows of Joropo do not offer great food.

Where to sleep in Caño Cristales

Numerous hotels have risen in recent years. None luxury, but if any has a pool and even jacuzzi.
  • Casa Real: next to the church of La Macarena. Simple rooms, with internet, pool and jacuzzi.

More information about Caño Cristales

Travel insurance

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