“Los Coloradas” Means “The Colored”
A collection of lakes tucked into a paradisiacal part of the Yucatan Peninsula are often called the pink ocean. But they’re actually a gathering of salt lakes which are man made.
The landscape is mesmerizing, and attracts visitors from all over the world. Water at Las Coloradas Mexico is a cotton-candy pink. In addition, the skies look pastel blue, and the sand is a soft white powder.
The name of these lakes is “Los Coloradas” which translates to “the coloured”. And coloured they are. So how exactly does this body of water take on the colour of candy? And how can you get this spectacular view in your life?
How Do Lakes Get Their Pink Hues?
The most obvious question, of course, is how on Earth do the lakes take on this glorious hue?
There’s an abundance of red and pink marine life. This includes red algae, brine shrimp, and a special kind of plankton. All of these organisms thrive in an environment that’s rich in salt.
Additionally, the lakes are actually man-made. Because of this, they’re extremely shallow. As a result, the marine life becomes highly concentrated as the salt water evaporates. Then, as the sun reflects light off the water, it in turn magnifies the pinkish colours beneath the surface.
The Area Is Rich With Wildlife & Natural Beauty
The region where you’ll find the lakes is part of the Río Lagartos Biosphere Reserve. A protected wetland area that’s home to all sorts of animals, it’s thriving with life and nature.
You can see animals like flamingos, crocodiles, sea turtles, jaguars (JAGUARS!) and many different sea birds. The reserve itself covers over 150,000 acres of beautiful wetlands. It’s well worth the trip if you’re heading to Playa Del Carmen.
How To Visit The Pink Lakes
There’s a lot to consider if you want to visit the Pink Lakes. Things have changed quite a bit there in recent years. You can no longer go in the water, for starters. It’s a salt factory, after all.
The lakes themselves are more crowded. You’ll also be charged an entrance fee. There’s now a parking lot, and be prepared. If you go during high season or popular times, you may have to contend with bus loads of tourists.
Getting there is easy. They’re off the beaten track, but if you’re up for a 3-hour drive from Cancun or Playa del Carmen, you’re good. You can, of course, also hire a car to take you there. Or you can join one of the bus tours.
Where To Stay
A great place to start if you want to spend the night near ‘the pink ocean’ is a hotel in Rio Lagartos. This small town is about 30 minutes away from the lakes by car.
If you’d like to check out some hotels and motels in the area, check out this link.
Can You Swim In The Lakes?
Nope. There’s no swimming in these lakes.
Apparently you used to be able to, but now there are security guards there making sure no one goes in to ‘the pink ocean’. They’ve also built small ‘moats’ around the lake to try and ward off potential rule-breakers.
What Is There To Do In The Area?
The road to Las Coloradas runs along the coastline. Because of this, it’s a beautiful drive. You also have places where you can turn off and explore the incredible beaches that the area has to offer. There you’ll also find the exquisite white sand and breathtaking turquoise waters.
But they’re not pink! So make sure you add this unique stop to your bucket list when you visit Quintana Roo, Mexico!