Las Coloradas: Mexico’s Sparkling Pink Lakes
Things to Do

Las Coloradas: Mexico’s Sparkling Pink Lakes


Nested on the tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, the sparkling pink lakes of Las Coloradas look like they were picked straight out of a fairy tale. No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you and it isn’t Photoshop, this cotton-candy-colored natural wonder really does exist.

Why Is Las Coloradas Pink?

Translating as ‘blush red’ in Spanish, the small fishing village of Las Coloradas is also part of a working salt factory. Dating back thousands of years to Mayan times, locals discovered that the salty ocean water from mangroves created shallow lagoons and evaporated in the sunshine—leaving an abundance of natural sea salt behind. Add in the high concentration of red-colored algae, plankton and brine shrimp and it creates the glimmering pink color you see today.





What to Do in Las Coloradas, Mexico

Sit back and admire the spectacular scenery dotted with long-legged flamingos, then take photos of the dramatic landscapes on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. After you marvel at the pink-hued natural beauty of Las Coloradas, take a tour around the nearby biosphere of Rio Lagartos—a protected wetlands area that covers around 150,000 acres. This way, you also explore the region’s diverse wildlife of birds, horseshoe crabs, sea turtles and crocodiles. Afterwards, soak in a mud bath or bathe in the salt water.

Fun Fact: Flamingos normally have white feathers, but the pink microorganisms they eat in the lakes turn them bright pink!





Where to Stay in Las Coloradas, Mexico

Accommodation options in Las Coloradas are limited, but just 30 minutes away, Rio Lagartos has hotel options for every type of traveler. Stay at Hotel Villa de Pescadores for luxurious private balconies and spacious Family Rooms or Hotel Tabasco Rio for a more budget-friendly option.

How to Get to Las Coloradas, Mexico

You’ll find Las Coloradas easily accessible from Mexico’s major cities, including Cancún, Merida, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Rent a car and make the two to three hour drive, stopping at small towns and white-sand beaches along the coast or hop on a tour offering transportation to Las Coloradas combined with a boat tour. As a bonus, Cancun Adventure offers a day trip including a visit to a 16th-century estate in nearby Valladolid.



Make a difference with Beach.com

Sign up for news on local beach cleanups, ocean conservation and more.