Natural phenomenon of Quebrada las Gachas in Guadalupe, Colombia.

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Las Gachas


Santander's answer to Caño Cristales, Las Gachas is a clear, shallow stream that emerges from a spring in lush countryside and runs along a red stone riverbed falling into dozens of individual-sized swimming holes – or jacuzzis as locals call them – along the way. Unlike its spectacular rival in the Macarena, the red color here comes from mineral deposits on the rocks rather than algae, but it is still an impressive sight and a delightful place to relax.

Las Gachas is best early in the morning when there are few other visitors around. It's about a 45-minute walk from town along a trail that begins just past the gas station on the road to Oiba. The path is paved in stones in parts and in other areas is a bit muddy. You'll come to a couple of other streams before reaching Las Gachas – don't deviate from the path; when you reach the real deal you'll see two of the swimming holes just to your right.

Don't jump into the first two holes: they are somewhat dangerous and difficult to get out of. When walking up the river, socks work better than sandals or shoes for maximum traction – bring an extra pair.

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