Mexico Travel Guide
Pink Yucatan Lagoons

Las Coloradas, those Yucatan lagoons that are as pink as flamingos

Rutopía editorial team
Rutopía editorial team
- min read

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It’s not a filter on the photos or one of those fixed images. Instead, Las Coloradas lagoons are pink, so pink that they resemble flamingos. Located in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, these strange water eyes are the only pink ones in the country.

However, their name comes not only from the color but also from a small town located on the state’s north coast, 120 kilometers from Valladolid. In this stretch of land, which separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Río Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, the people are dedicated to fishing, but not only…

The mind-blowing scenery offered by Las Colaradas is not only a wonder for the eyes but also provides a livelihood for the communities in the area. These lagoons are a collection of saltwater pools that span several kilometers along the coastline. This site is the primary salt producer in Mexico and the country’s second most crucial salt producer.

The mind-blowing scenery offered by Las Colaradas is not only a wonder for the eyes, but they are also the means of subsistence for the inhabitants of the surrounding villages. For that and other reasons, we should not swim inside.

What are Las Coloradas and why does the water turn pink?

In fact, Las Coloradas is a collection of saltwater ponds that span several kilometers along the coastline. Today it is Mexico’s primary salt producer.

But in addition to being the livelihood of the local communities, Las Coloradas also makes us see life in pink. Its shallow ponds offer an incredible and unique spectacle in Mexico because the tone of its water varies from light to intense pink, almost fuchsia. Several factors explain the unreal but actual pink color of Las Coloradas. The high concentration of salt in the water is the first. Halobacteria are microorganisms present in very salty water and have purple membranes that increase due to this element.

Therefore, according to the Secretariat of Tourism Development of Yucatan (Sefotur), and even though it is incredibly tempting, it is forbidden to swim into the water at Las Coloradas. The salt is for human consumption in Mexico and elsewhere, and it would not be hygienic to dirty it with sunscreen or other substances. In addition, salt water is very irritating to the skin.

What to do in and around Las Coloradas?

Does it sound weird to go to a beach in Mexico and not go in the water? You have to see it to believe it. To stroll along the water’s edge and watch the pink reflections is worth a visit to Las Coloradas. Touring the ponds by boat with local guides on an excursion is like traveling in a dream.

Mainly because this phenomenon is as incredible as it is ephemeral, it occurs only a few months of the year: in summer (between July and August) and in March. If the pink reflections are lovely because they are rare, the ponds are no less attractive in the other months of the year or when there is less light. They also have turquoise and emerald colors, less-known but equally beautiful.

Besides, nature is well made and Mexico has treasures all year round. In fact, Las Coloradas borders the Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve where the largest colony of flamingos in the country has settled. And the months when the lagoon is not pink are those during which you can observe these magnificent birds of the same color. The flamingo’s nest season is in April, May, and part of June.

The Rio Lagartos protected reserve, 30 minutes from Las Coloradas, is a wetland area that apart from flamingos and other types of seabirds is home to crocodiles, sea turtles, and jaguars. It is one of the most suitable places in Mexico to discover the fascinating biodiversity of the country’s ecosystem among the mangroves.

Live an experience that goes beyond a beautiful postcard and a boat ride.

You can’t miss visiting this magical place on a trip to Yucatan. For this, Rutopia takes us on an experience that begins in Las Coloradas, just 30 minutes from Río Lagartos. Once there, local guides will be waiting for us to show us around. Upon arrival, we marvel at the contrasting colors of the landscape, the salt, and the flamingos.

During the tour, you can walk on the salt-producing islet and enjoy a Mayan bath – a custom our ancestors used to protect themselves from the sun and mosquitoes and exfoliate their skin. Then, when the mud dries, it’s time for a dip to wash it off, and what better place than on a quiet beach. So here ends the first part of the tour that continues in the afternoon, exploring Yucatan’s other natural and cultural wonders.


Live a magical experience and connect with nature!

Las Coloradas is one of those places that we can only enjoy with our eyes. But that leaves memories that will stay with us forever. Memories like the pink of Las Coloradas, mixed with the white sand of the beaches. Or the fauna that inhabits the nearby reserve.


If you were interested in this article, also read:

Mexico, home of the monarch butterfly

Edzná: Get to know the archaeological site

Teotihuacan: Discover the culinary wonders and the land by bicycle

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