The Pink Lagoon at Las Coloradas in the Yucatan Peninsula might feel like a fairy tale; but in fact, this is just a beautiful natural phenomenon. This magical place is located about three hours from Playa del Carmen by car, which is perfect for a weekend getaway to Merida or Valladolid. The place is an ideal birdwatching destination, being home to 350 different species of birds. It was designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 2004. The sights here are unreal.
Visiting Las Coloradas
Due to Las Coloradas being such a small fishing town, there are no hotels or restaurants in sight, so make sure you drive up from Merida or Valladolid to see the place. Likewise, bring enough to drink and eat during the day as you will probably spend about 3 hours there. The best time to see the bright pink color pop is at noon, so make sure you plan accordingly. As the sun beings to set, the colors are lost. The reason the lagoon is pink (and why the flamingos turn pink from feeding from it) is due to the many microorganisms that live there. This includes red shrimp and plankton.
On your way to Las Coloradas, you might want to make a quick stop at the salt production plant. It will also feel like a page out of a fairy tale with its mountains of salt laying around. Once you reach the pink lagoon you will be able to see that the water has a high concentration of salt. That is what makes it so easy to float in. However, locals and guards will not let you actually swim in the lagoon, so make sure you don’t try to go in to avoid getting into trouble.
spotting the flamingos
It is rather easy to find the flamingos, which is the bird most people want to see. They will flock away when too many people are around, so creep up carefully. Funnily enough, these tall birds tend to stray away from the pink waters when not feeding. So you will have better luck finding them in the other ponds. However, there are thousands of them and you will surely spot them in one place or another. Many locals will try offering you tours to see them. If you want to spare some pesos you can go with them and help out the local community. Otherwise, you’ll find the flamingos on your own.
The lagoons are an amazing day trip to take whether you’re living in Mexico or just visiting. Don’t expect too much to do there other than visiting the lagoon. Enjoy your weekend getaway to this amazing natural wonder.