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All about Xtampú, Xcambó and pink lagoon in Mexico

Updated: April 6, 2024

Main Category: Day Trips

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Author: Tobias

Combine the beach of Xtampú with the pink lagoon, the saltworks and the Mayan archaeological site of Xcambó. Xtampú, Xcambó and pink lagoon is about 60km away from Mérida. The journey by car takes about 55min from the city center of Mérida and the place is most of the time tranquilly. The admission fee for foreign adults is about 90MXN. Different prices may apply for residents or children.

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Address:

Xcambó, Yucatán, Mexiko

Website:

Category:

Trip

Phone:

-

Distance:

60km from Mérida

Travel Time:

55min from Mérida

Admission:

Mex$ 90

Price Level:

Inexpensive

Since:

-

Google Rating:

average rating is 4.5 out of 5, based on 1752 votes, Ratings

Opening Hours:

• Monday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
• Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
• Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
• Thursday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
• Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
• Saturday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
• Sunday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

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Xtampú, Xcambó and pink lagoon

About 30km east of Progreso on the Emerald Coast is Xtampú just before Telchac Puerto, the next small harbour town. Highway 27 from Progreso in the direction of Telchac Puerto leads past various small coastal villages and regions between the beach and the Laguna Rosada lagoon.


Opposite Xtampú and the Laguna Rosada you will find the "Zona Arqueologicá Xcambó" - the Mayan ruins of Xcambó.


The beach of Xcambó is comparable to the beaches of the neighbouring villages, the Laguna Rosa is smaller and less impressive compared to Las Coloradas, and the Xcambó excavation site is not very big either.


The trip from Mérida is therefore not worth it to see just one of the things. But it is worth the drive if you want to see everything. And if you're lucky, a few flamingos will fly by.


Between Progreso and Xtampú are the coastal towns of Chicxulub and San Benito. Telchac Puerto and San Crisanto and others follow behind Xtampú. This means you can also use the trip for beach hopping and scouting out your favourite beach.


The Emerald Coast


The Emerald Coast (Costa Esmeralda in Spanish) is an unofficial name for the the 98 km long coastal area in the north of the Yucatan Peninsula. The name comes from the emerald colored water.


Some interesting figures:


 
Figures about Emerald Coast
Figures about Emerald Coast
 

The Emerald Coast
The Emerald Coast

Xtampú


Xtampú is a small region between the coastal town of San Benito to the west and Telchac Puerto to the east. There are only a few roads and a few houses here. Most people refer to Telchac Puerto, the next small port town, also with only about 1,700 inhabitants.


Laguna Rosada


Near Xtampú you will find the Laguna Rosada. Depending on the time of day, the lagoon shimmers pink, similar to Las Colerados. The pink color happens when the sun is over head. In the summer it turns pink from approx. 11:00 am and it needs to be a fairly clear sky.


However, since a bridge and canal was built in the area, connecting the lagoon to the sea, the seawater mixes with the water from the lagoon. This unfortunately seems to lose the effect.


Las Salineras de Xtampú


At the lagoon there is also the saltwork "Las Salineras de Xtampú", here pink salt is extracted. This is another opportunity to see the pink water. However, not all year round, but typically in the dry season, which starts from November/December.


The Laguna Rosada and the saltworks are different things. In many travelogues on the internet, the information and pictures about this are unfortunately mixed up.


Xcambó Mayan archaeological zone


Xcambó originated during the Early Classic period between 350 and 550 A.D. as a trading post. In fact, it was the main and largest commercial port on the north coast during the Classic Period.


Probably about 6,000 people lived there at its height. In the 16th century, the Spanish built a church on the foundation of an old Mayan ruin. The foundation walls are still standing today. The old Mayan ruins next to the ruins of a Christian church is an unusual and interesting sight.


The world of archaeology


Some interesting figures about Mayan archaeological sites on the Yucatan Peninsula:


 
Figures about Mayan archaeological sites
Figures about Mayan archaeological sites
 

How do you get to Xtampú from Mérida?


You should use a car for the trip if possible. The journey by public transport is time-consuming and takes a long time and there are not a lot of departures for getting back. From Mérida, highway 166 heads northeast past Xcambó and Laguna Rosada directly to Xtampú.


Coming from Progreso on highway 27, a road branches off at the Salineras Xtampú, which leads from Xtampú to the Mayan ruins of Xcambó. From Xtampú, on the right side of the road, you will see a wooden hut and your entrance to the salt flats.


For a small fee, you can enter the salt works, see the salt production and the pink lakes. On the other side of the lagoon, the first turn-off on the right leads to a narrow road to Xcambó, which is only a few hundred metres further on.

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