The Salt production Pink Lakes
Las Coloradas pink lakes is the place to go while you are on holidays in the Peninsula of Yucatan! Located at approximately 170 miles/3h30 driving from Cancun or Playa del Carmen, Las Coloradas, known as well as “pink lakes” are lagoons close to the ocean with bright pink color.
Las Coloradas are the place of the production of a daily basic condiment, the salt. Salt was extremely important in the Mayan culture for the preservation of the food as well as a nutritional need. Once produced, it was shipped by canoe or transported via the mayan roads (Sac be) to get sold and exchanged in all Mayan cities. Ek Balam was one of the cities that controlled the salt production of las Coloradas.
Mayans, like several ancient cultures, produced salt by the natural process of evaporation: salty ocean water from the mangroves nearby floods onto hard flat salt plains, creating shallow lagoons. The sun then slowly evaporates this water, leaving fresh sea salt behind.
While this “solar salt” production process is a natural one, the large pink lakes of Las Coloradas we see today were constructed by a company who produces salt on a much larger scale (500,000 tons per year). Las Coloradas is one of the biggest salt area of Mexico, making the country 5th largest salt exporter of the world.
Why Las Coloradas are pink?
The vibrant pink color of these lakes is due to red-colored algae, plankton, and brine shrimp that thrive in the salty environment. As the water evaporates, these organisms become more concentrated, glimmering pink in the bright Mexican sunlight. In other hand this shinning pink is transferred to a special guest in the complementary stop of our private tour, is a beautiful bird… do you guess… of course flamingos!
Because it is a long ride from the Riviera Maya to Las Coloradas we recommend you add to your trip a stop at a beautiful and peaceful town in Yucatan called Rio Lagartos (Alligator Reserve) where you can find flamingos and more!
Rio Lagartos is a small village approx. 1000 habitant. It is a Unesco Biosphere Reserve and an International Important Bird Area (IBA), with more than 350 species of birds (flamingos, herons, eagles, ospreys).The place is small just as 120000/150000 acre (50000 hectares!). Taking a boat tour is the best option to observe the flamingos, many birds and species live in the national park.
Meanwhile you explore this National Park, you will find around the mangroves alligators and perhaps horseshoe crabs that are ancient animals from the Paleozoic. On top of that you can get a special mud therapy making your skin softer than ever, with the salty mud of the lagoons!
Every time we go to this place we discover more natural wonders. Don’t hesitate to book a private tour to better enjoy this amazing destination!
NB: its is strictly forbidden to swim in the lakes of Las Coloradas and it could hurt your skin due to high level of salt and chemicals.