It’s the post we’ve all been waiting for…
Shall we have a chat about these PINK BLOODY LAKES? I think we should. Imagine all the time I spent editing these photos so they were even half as pink as the actual lakes for me not to share them on here? A scandal. An outrage.
I landed in Mexico (Cancun) on the Monday afternoon, met Ollie in the car park, and we hopped on a bus to Valladolid. I slept the whole way in the freezing cold air con, and we arrived at around 9pm. From the bus stop we headed to our AirBnB (which I cannot recommend more) and before we knew what was happening we were chugging ice cold water and chatting pink lakes with our host. I’ll be honest – it was the main reason we were in Valladolid for two nights. That and a trip to Chichen-Itza, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. There’ll be a post up later about that!
I’d been researching Las Coloradas for weeks. Weeks and weeks. I’d looked up how to get there in a million different ways from a million different places. I’d looked up car hire in Cancun, how scary the Mexican roads are (not scary, tbh), and I’d downloaded maps and routes. I’d looked up the public transport vibe from Valladolid and where we’d have to change buses and where we’d have to get taxis. I was more prepared for these lakes than I’d ever been for any exam.
I needn’t have been It couldn’t have been easier.
After chatting with our lovely host, we booked a taxi. She had a great guy that she always used, and he had done the lakes before and was happy to take us. Overall, I think it worked out to be £30 each – which is more than you’d pay for the bus by a long way, but on my first day in Mexico, having researched for weeks, we were happy to pay it. To hire a driver from 7:30am to around 1pm was ideal.
Sure the lakes are pretty in the middle of nowhere – there’s literally nothing at Las Coloradas except some residential streets and the lakes – but the roads are chill. It’s a bit of a trek from Valladolid, and we had to be up and ready to leave for 7:30am, but nothing that can’t be done in a morning. We were back in time for some lunchtime tacos with time to spare. So as I say, not the cheapest, but definitely the easiest and worth it for the peace of mind as I was still knackered from my flight.
A pro-tip for taking a trip to the lakes from Valladolid is to avoid Rio Legartos if you have a private car/taxi. Rio Legartos is a lovely little fishing town on the coast, and they run tours into the lakes and into the flamingo grounds and it’s wonderful if you fancy a full day out: food, boat trip and pink lakes, etc. As we were only really on the hunt for the lakes, Rio Legartos proved a little less helpful.
As we stopped there first we were immediately set upon by tour operators telling us that it was impossible to go to the lakes without them. While this isn’t untrue, it’s also not true. A lot of the lakes are closed to the public because of the nearby salt mines, but you can definitely access a few either by grabbing a super cheap local guide to walk you through the lakes or by being a sneaky sneak and parking on the side of the road and heading over yourself.
Luckily Ollie speaks enough Spanish to be able to convince our driver that we didn’t need to take a tour and that we could get there ourselves, so it was chill.
I used to get so annoyed at Ollie when I lived in Paris because he doesn’t speak French and I never really understood why he couldn’t just infer from context or whatever… Not so much after our Central America trip. I felt like a fish out of water the whole time and take back any negative feeling I had against Oliver in France. Bloody hell.
Languages may be hard but they’re the most important thing in this world. As native English speakers we are incredibly priviledged and we need to check that, pull up our big girl pants, and learn as many languages as our European neighbours. Hell, our guide in Belize spoke English, Spanish, Creole and Mayan. Sort it out, British education system!!!
Anyway, the lakes…
Wow. That’s all I can really say, and I really wish these photos did them justice. When I close my eyes I can see them and they’re just so much pinker than these photos could ever suggest.
Perfect pink water, caused by the bacteria in the water, clear blue skies and white sand. A real picture and honestly just unbelievable. For an excursion on the very first day of our trip, it was definitely one of the most amazing sites. The flamingoes on the sea next door were also such a highlight. I’ve never seen flamingoes in the wild and they were cooler than I could have imagined. x