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All about Las Coloradas in Mexico

Updated: April 6, 2024

Main Category: Day Trips


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Author: Tobias

Las Coloradas is a beautiful biosphere area characterized by it's pink lagoons, mangroves forests and flamingos. Las Coloradas is about 230km away from Mérida. The journey by car takes about 2h 30min from the city center of Mérida and the place is most of the time very busy.



Day Trips


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Las Coloradas, Yucatán, Mexiko







230km from Mérida

Travel Time:

2h 30min from Mérida


No entry fee

Price Level:




Google Rating:

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Las Coloradas

Las Coloradas is the name of a small fishing village on the north coast of the Yucatán Peninsula with about 2000 inhabitants, few streets, houses and huts, a handful of hotels and restaurants and a small church.

The village belongs to the municipality of Río Lagartos. The Spanish word "Coloradas" means red or reddish and when Las Coloradas is mentioned, it is usually not meant the village, but the lagoon: "Las Coloradas Parque Turostico".

The inhabitants live from fishing and from the salt mines, which are among the largest in this region. About 700,000 tons of sea salt are produced every year.

In this part of the biosphere reserve, the water actually glows pink, apparently making the place "Instagrammable" for tens of thousands of visitors - at least there are tens of thousands of posts about it on Instragram.

Coloration of the water

The unusual coloration of the water has a natural background. Microorganisms, algae and saltwater crustaceans, some of which produce the dye beta-carotene, color the water of Las Coloradas Lagoon.

However, this effect varies in intensity at different times, so sometimes there are disappointed visitors when the unusual coloration is only faintly visible.

Flora and fauna

The area is also home to flamingos, which get their color from feeding in the lagoons. The beach is beautiful and its almost white color creates a great contrast along with the pink water of the lagoon and the blue water of the sea.

Close to the mangroves you can observe native animals and the flora. There are some alligator farms that you can visit. An as almost everywhere on the Yucatán Peninsula, you will find some beautiful cenotes around Las Coloradas.

A small group of flamingos
A small group of flamingos

A few tips

The biosphere reserve Río Lagartos is a great place for nature and animal lovers and it is only a few kilometres away - so you should definitely combine the two destinations.

As already written, you should pay attention to the travel time, depending on how important the bird life is to you. Another tip: You should use insect protection, because especially in the mangroves there are a lot of mosquitoes.

If you want to photograph the flamingos (or animals in general), you should use a zoom lens. The boats stay at a safe distance to avoid disturbing the birds and without a decent zoom lens, the impressive flamingo will otherwise become just a pink blob on the photo.

And on the other hand, of course, an ultra-wide angle (12-24mm full-frame) lens is a good choice for the landscape shots.

How to get to Las Coloradas from Mérida?

With public transportation Las Coloradas is a bit difficult to reach because from Mérida there is no direct connection to Las Coloradas. You have to take a bus at the Noreste terminal in Mérida to Tizimin and change there.

Getting there by your own car is also a bit of a hassle. From Mérida, drive east on highway 176 to Tizmín, then north on highway 295 to Las Coloradas. So a good way to visit Las Coloradas is by booking a organized tour.

Combine a tour

The road to Las Coloradas passes by the Río Lagartos (Reserva de la Biosfera Ría Lagartos), another well-known destination. Río Lagartos Reserve is especially known for its diverse bird life, which includes more than 350 different species.

Both places are only a few kilometers away from each other. Therefore, when you book an organized tour, the two locations are often combined.


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Best Mérida Day Trips

If you would like to explore the Yucatan Peninsula and Mérida with a guided tour, there are wonderful experiences from Viator. We have selected the three best tours for you.

You save time and nerves, get all the insider tips you need from an expert tour guide and can join up with others if you wish. And it's also safer to travel in a group.

Chichen Itza, Private Cenote, Food Experience & the magic Izamal

My Top Recommendation (likely to sell out)

Chichen Itza, Private Cenote, Food Experience & the magic Izamal

The very best Chichén Itzá tour and free cancellation. It starts from US-$97

average rating is 5 out of 5
Best Mérida Day Trips

Another very special experience

Tour to Cenote of Santa Barbara and Acanceh area from Merida

This! Super beautiful cenotes! You have free cancellation. It starts from US-$114

average rating is 5 out of 5
Best Mérida Day Trips

Not either/or, but also!

Celestun Beach Mangrove Boat Ride from Merida

One more must-have. You also have free cancellation. It starts from US-$122

average rating is 4.5 out of 5
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Viator Travel Promotions

Our partner and market leader, Viator, offers a wide range of exciting Thing to do in Mérida and on the Yucatán Peninsula.


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