las coloradas mexico pink lake

How to Visit Las Coloradas Pink Lagoon in Yucatan, Mexico

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Today, I will take you to Las Coloradas, a small fishing village in Yucatan known for its stunning pink lagoons, the reason why so many visitors come every year.

These vibrant bodies of water result from the high concentration of algae and other minerals in the water, and they are a sight to behold.

In this post, we will take a closer look at the unique beauty of Las Coloradas and share some tips for visiting this fantastic destination.

So sit back, relax, and join me on a virtual tour of Las Coloradas, Mexico!

How to get to Las Coloradas pink lagoon in Yucatan Mexico

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The fastest way to go to Las Coloradas Yucatan is to travel by land to Merida or take a flight to the Manuel Crescencio Rejon International Airport in the Yucatan capital.

The land trip from Merida to Las Coloradas is about 250 km (152 miles).

You can also fly to Cancun International Airport and take a 288 km overland trip to Las Coloradas.

Las Coloradas is on the north coast of the Yucatan peninsula in the municipality of Río Lagartos.

Best things to do in Las Coloradas, Mexico (pink lagoon)

las coloradas yucatan mexico pink lake
Source: Marry Potter / flickr.com

The first thing to do in Las Coloradas is to walk along the sandy paths and admire while taking pictures, the unique spectacle of pink water in Yucatan.

Las Coloradas is a simple town that lives mainly from salt extraction and fishing.

Unfortunately, it still lacks tourist infrastructure (there are no hotels or restaurants), which has slowed its growth in this regard.

After admiring and photographing the pink beach in Yucatan, you can swim and sunbathe at Las Coloradas beach, located in the open sea.

Take a boat ride in the Ría Lagartos park and its estuary to admire the biodiversity, especially reptiles, birds, and the striking pink flamingo, which owes its coloration to the waters with a high concentration of salt and halobacteria that it drinks and eats.

What is the best season to visit Las Coloradas pink lake?

The best period to observe the pink flamingo is April – June and the ideal time to travel to Rio Lagartos and Las Coloradas is May – June.

The best time of the day to observe the pink coloration is when the sun gains intensity, from 11 am onwards.

Flora and fauna of Las Coloradas

In Las Coloradas, the salty waters of the sea converge with the water from the phreatic mantle, and its flora is characteristic of the coastal dunes, including mangrove forest formations.

The fauna consists mainly of seabirds such as gulls and pelicans.

Occasionally you can see some pink flamingos that nest in their sanctuaries in Rio Lagartos.

Can you swim in the pink lagoon in Las Coloradas, Mexico?

The lagoons here are not suitable for swimming due to their high salt content. However, if this is not a problem for you, you’re welcome to take a dip.

While you can take a boat tour of the lagoons and observe the pink waters from a distance, it is not recommended to swim in them.

Why is the water pink in Las Coloradas?

Every tourist who sees the lake asks the same question: why is the seawater at Las Coloradas pink? The reason is accidental as a result of an industrial process.

The Las Coloradas area is a vital sea salt production sector, which means that the extraction waters and the terrestrial mantle have high salinity.

You may want to read: 10 Best Yucatan Beaches in 2023: Unwind in Paradise

Salt-saturated aquatic environments are conducive to the proliferation of halobacteria, microorganisms that release bacteriorhodopsin, a pigment that produces red tides and gives the Yucatan’s pink lake its beautiful color.

Where to stay in Las Coloradas, Yucatan

las coloradas yucatan pink lagoon
Hotel Rio Lagartos – Source: Booking.com/hotelriolagartos

As I mentioned earlier, there is not enough tourist infrastructure in Las Coloradas so you won’t find any lodging options.

However, in Rio Lagartos, 38 km west of Las Coloradas, tourist services have been developed that include lodging for visitors to the Rio Lagartos Natural Park Reserve.

In Rio Lagartos, near Las Coloradas, you can find the following hotels:

1. Río Lagartos Hotel

2. Hotel Villa de Pescadores

3. Tabasco Rio Hotel

4. Yuum Ha Boutique Hotel

What to wear to Las Coloradas

Since Las Coloradas has a tropical climate, you should wear light clothing and comfortable shoes.

Don’t forget a towel, bathing suit, and biodegradable sunscreen.

Bring plenty of cash because most places don’t accept credit cards and there aren’t ATMs.

Hiring tours

Tour arrangements and prices to Las Coloradas will depend on the point of departure, return (Cancun, Merida, Playa del Carmen, Valladolid), and the scope.

Excursions to the pink beach from Merida and other Yucatan and Quintana Roo locations usually include other attractions such as the Ria Lagartos Natural Park Reserve and the archaeological site of Ek Balam.

Visit Rio Lagartos

las coloradas pink lagoon
Source: Armando Moreschi / flickr.com

Rio Lagartos is the capital of the Yucatan municipality of the same name, located on the east coast of Yucatan.

There are around 2500 inhabitants that have benefited from a stream of ecological tourism, which goes to the Rio Lagartos to observe the animal biodiversity, especially the pink flamingo, and to the town of Las Coloradas to see the sea or pink lagoon.

Rio Lagartos is a wetland environmental reserve with more than 60,000 hectares, including territories of the Yucatecan municipalities of Rio Lagartos, Tizimín, and San Felipe.

The estuary is the main nesting sanctuary for the Caribbean pink flamingo, a bird with beautiful pink plumage.

Rio Lagartos was designated a Ramsar Site as a wetland of global importance in 1986, making it the first Mexican ecosystem to obtain this recognition.

Explore some of Yucatan’s Cenotes

pink lagoon mexico
Hubiku Cenote (Mérida – Mexico) – Source: Jorge Sanmartín Maïssa / flickr.com

There are several thousand cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula, and some of these beautiful bodies of water of karst origin are near Merida.

One is Xlacah, near Dzibichaltún, a Mayan site 17 km from Merida. As it is an open-air cenote, you can swim in its waters, which are more than 50 meters deep.

Read more about the best Cenotes in Mexico

Forty-four km southeast of Merida is Cuzamá, with several incredible cenotes such as Chelentun, Bolonchoojol, and Chansinic’che.

Other cenotes relatively close to Mérida are Ik-Kil, near Chichén Itzá, and the Zací, Samula, and X’Keken cenotes, located in Valladolid.

I hope that very soon, you will be able to visit Las Coloradas Yucatan, Rio Lagartos, and other fantastic places of interest on the northern coast of the southern peninsula.

Please share this article with your friends on social networks so that they also know everything about Las Coloradas and the famous pink lagoon. Vamonos!

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