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This Gorgeous Cancun Day Trip Is So Stunning It Doesn’t Seem Real

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Did you know there’s a place near Cancun where you can see pink flamingos in the wild and also pink lakes? Yep, your Instagram is going to be glowing!

Young couple looking at las coloradas lake in mexico

If you’re heading to Cancun and on the lookout for an unforgettable and unique day trip for your next vacation, then the stunning pink lakes of Las Coloradas and the majestic flamingos of Rio Lagartos are waiting for you…

@marieletanneur 📍Rio Lagartos 🦩🇲🇽 #riolagartos #lascolorados #mexico #quintanaroo #riolagartosyucatan🐊 #riolagartosadventures #riolagartosyucatán #pinklake #crocodiles ♬ original sound – Owen

Rio Lagartos

Rio Lagartos is a small and quaint fishing village, which translates to “alligator river”, and is located at a lagoon called the Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, which is a protected wetland area, naturally home to a beautiful array of flora and fauna.

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@_reisscah_ Uma das coisas mais lindas que já vi na vida 🦩 #mexico #viagem #travel #cancun #viajar ♬ Forever – Labrinth

You can enjoy the area by taking a boat tour through the reserve to witness its mangroves and diverse wildlife, such as crocodiles, sea turtles, and over 380 species of birds, including the iconic pink flamingos – why not also explore the local fishing village, enjoy the culture, and delicious seafood!

How To Get Rio Lagartos?

Rio Lagartos is located on the northern coast of the state of Yucatán in Mexico, around 105km north of the city of Valladolid — your closest airports would be Cancun and Merida.

It’s a 3h 15 drive from Cancun or a little less from Playa Del Carmen. From Cancun, the journey takes you down the 180D to Valladolid, then north on the 295 straight up to the coast, so it’s two straight roads essentially.

Rio Lagartos sign in Mexico

It is said that you can find collectivos to get you there, alternatively if you are the kind of traveler on a budget but perhaps with the availability to stay there longer, you can get the bus from Cancun to Tizimin.

This would take 3h 30, then a 1h bus from Tizimin to Rio Lagartos. Bear in mind the Tizimin-Rio buses aren’t as frequent, but you can take a look at Rome2Rio to figure this out.

Las Coloradas

This destination is famed for its pink lakes and speaks for itself – it’s not every day you get to witness a pink lake, so it’s no wonder Las Coloradas is getting increasingly popular at the moment!

The lake’s pink color comes from a high concentration of salt in the water, making it extremely unique, however, do note that sources have said that some months the color can be brighter than others — plus you can even float in the water, which is known to have healing properties.

@kimaroundtheworld_ 📍Los Colorados, Mexico #mexicocheck #pinksaltlake #traveltiktok #cheaptravel #traveltips ♬ This is heaven – Nightshade

How To Get To Las Colorados, And What Tours Can I Take?

You can either rent a car or take a taxi and drive along the 16km beach road east of the town, which roughly takes 30 minutes; you might also want to check local bus schedules if you don’t fancy taking the car.

boat tour in the mangroves of Mexico

Alternatively, one of the easier routes to take is a boat tour, it departs from Rio Lagartos, from the boat dock, and there are usually lots of boats waiting to take visitors out. The tour generally costs around MXN 300, which is about $15 USD, and typically lasts around 3 hours.

From the dock, it’s a 10-minute drive to Las Coloradas, a 30-minute visit to the pink lakes, then a 1h 30 tour through the mangroves to see all of its beautiful wildlife. Visitors can take also enjoy a guided tour of the salt flats and learn about the salt extraction process.

When To Go?

Flamingo season in Rio Lagartos begins around March and typically ends in June – since spring and early summer are the breeding seasons for the birds.

flamingos in Mexico

Sources seem to say that the Las Coloradas lakes are at their most pink between July and August, and March also, so these are the best times to visit. However, you will have a great time regardless of when you visit the lakes.

@iamdestinyadams Pink Lake In Los Colorados Mexico 🌸💖 #loscolorados #pinklake #pinkbeach #loscoloradosmexico #pinklakemexico #blackgirltravel ♬ original sound – presidential

You can also find many day tours online from Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and the Riviera Maya area, where they can pick you up from your hotel – meaning you can tie both experiences into one day, making it a great way for you to combine it all into one trip if you are shorter on time.

These destinations are two hidden gems of Mexico just waiting to be explored, both experiences are natural wonders and a chance to connect with nature, learn about the culture and create long-lasting memories!

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Sunday 2nd of April 2023

Yeah, the only problem is that there is no guarantee it will be pink, because this is a salt producer, if they decide to drain the water that week all you are left with is just murky water puddles, not the exciting vision I paid for