The Pink Lagoon is not a miracle or a science project gone wrong. It might feel like right out of a fairytale full of magic, but it’s just nature in it’s purest form.
Red plankton and shrimps color the water at these salt mining lakes in all rose and pink tones you can imagine. It’s like a dream come true and at the moment where you think it’s actually too good to be real, along comes a group of flamingos. Yes, you can believe your eyes!
You might have heard about the reason flamingos have pink feathers: It’s because they feed on those red shrimps and plankton. It’s like an all natural circle of pink color, although I haven’t found out if flamingos also poop pink 😉 At Las Coloradas they have found a perfect habitat with enough food for big colonies. So you’ll easily spot Flamingos there without having to search for too long.
What you need to know
Here’s a few things to consider before you plan your visit to Las Coloradas:
- There aren’t any hotels close-by.
- We recommend staying in Valladolid or Mérida and doing a day trip by car to Las Coloradas. Alternatively you could also stay in Río Lagartos, which is about 25 minutes away from Las Coloradas. Just let us tell you that this town isn’t really that picturesque…
- For your day trip pack something to eat and enough to drink! You will want to spend a couple of hours here.
How to get to the Pink Lagoon
You can use Google Maps to point you in the right direction, when you enter “Pink Lagoon Las Coloradas”. This will guide you directly to the entrance of the “fun park” (which is not officially one). Once you pass by the salt production, the road makes a slight turn to the left and on the right side you’ll spot the first pink lake.
Pass by the salt production facility to reach the pink lagoon.
After the left curve there will be one road going straight ahead to the village and a sand path turning right along a fence right next to the pink lake. It might not look like an official road, but that’s the one you’ll have to take. You’ll probably be greeted by locals on their motorcycles right away.
This is the correct road – and on the right side is the first pond.
The local boys will immediately try to sell you a private tour of the flamingos. If you want to be kind and spend a couple of Pesos you can follow them and let them guide you to the flamingos, but you can also easily find them by yourself.
Pink lagoon photos
So as you can see the pink lagoon is truly pink. You can stand at the shores and just marvel at it, but don’t try to go in. There are guards everywhere and they will stop you immediately. Although they don’t tell you the reason we suppose it’s due to the still active salt production – they don’t want any contamination of the water.
Around noon ist the best time to see the pink color. The lower the sun gets, the less visible the pink color will be. We recommend a visit at mid day!
How to find the flamingos at Las Coloradas
If you want to spot the flamingos you’ll have to drive alongside the road at the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico. This road starts directly behind the first pink pond at the Pink Lagoon and follows the coastline for at least 10 minutes.
This sandy path directs you to the flamingos.
After approximately 10 minutes of driving the path takes a turn to the right and from that moment on you’ll be right next to the ponds where the flamingos gather and feed. We followed this street for at least half an hour without reaching the end.
Here’s our rental car on the sand path (you don’t need a 4×4). On the right side there are all the flamingos.
How to take great photos of the flamingos
As you can see you’ll be nearly alone on that road. The later the day gets, the higher chances are that you’ll be completely alone with the flamingos. In the sunset hours there will be more and more flamingos closer to the shore and your chances of close-up encounters will rise.
Flamingos are extremely shy. As soon as you’ll get out of the car they will start their escape. So bring a long tele or zoom lens and take photos from inside your car if possible!
The flamingos will almost immediately try to escape when you get out of your car.
Fun fact: The flamingos at Las Coloradas are mostly to be found in the turquoise and blue ponds and not in the pink ones. Somehow they prefer the less pink water! We couldn’t find out the reason for this, but it must have to do something with the amount of live animals to feed on.
No flamingos at this pink pond
This was by far one of our favourite moments of our visit in México!
Read more about how to explore Yucatán: