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Caño Cristales

Caño Cristales, river, c.62 mi (100 km) long, central Colombia, rising in Serranía de la Macarena National Park and flowing SE to the Guayabero River. Also known as the River of Five Colors or Liquid Rainbow, the river, whose waters are clear, appears red, yellow, green, blue, and black between the wet and dry seasons. The coloration comes mainly from a plant, Macarenia clavigera, that grows in the riverbed and turns from green to shades of red under the right conditions, and from rock in the river. A popular tourist attraction, the river also has deep pools and waterfalls.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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