How to get to Las Coloradas on Budget?
June 10, 2021
There are several sights in the beautiful Yucatan. In the following, I will briefly describe how you can get to one of the highlights in the north of Yucatan quickly and cheaply, namely the pink lakes and the flamingos in Las Coloradas.
My bus journey from Palenque/Chiapas took me first to the beautiful and quiet town of Mérida. Besides Valladolid, Mérida is a nice starting point for trips to the surrounding area. For example, excursions to one of the numerous Mayan ruins (e.g. Chichen Itza), to the countless cenotes or to the flamingos and pink lakes in Las Coloradas. Organised tours to the latter place are usually expensive, but it is still quite easy to do the whole thing independently. In the following, I will briefly discuss the journey from Mérida as well as from Valladolid. By the way, both are also possible as a day tour. Before I talk about the tours on offer, I’ll describe how to get there. If you don’t feel like reading about all the timetables and details and think “wow Tobi, I just want to read about your stupid boring trip”, then jump straight down, I’ll tell you a bit more about my experiences there :P.
How to get from Mérida to Las Coloradas?
There is no direct connection from Mérida to Las Coloradas. You have to take a bus to Tizimin and change there. The bus terminal in Mérida is located here:
Buses leave from here five times a day. At 06:45, 10:00 (the display board in the bus terminal says 09:00, but this is an old indication. Departure is at 10 am!), 12:00, 14:00 and 17:30. The bus ride costs 180 pesos and takes about 2 hours. I recommend taking the bus at 06:45 or 10:00. Around the corner of the bus station there are also vans which leave ones they are filled up in case you miss one of the buses.
At the bus stop in Tizimin, two official buses run directly to Las Coloradas with a short stop in Rio Lagartos. Both take about 1.5 hours, cost 65 pesos and leave at 10:30 and 13:00. If you miss the last bus, you can also take a shared taxi that leaves from opposite the market. You just have to wait until it fills up.
How to get from Valladolid to Las Coloradas
There is also no direct connection from Valladolid to Las Coloradas. You have to go to Tizimin first. From Valladolid, the easiest way is to take one of the shared taxis that fill up as soon as there are enough more passengers. The shared taxis leave 1.5 blocks away from the Parque Principial Francisco Canton Rosado for 60p.
In Tizimin you can then go to the bus terminal and catch the same bus for 65p at 10:30 or 13:00 to Las Caloradas, which also makes a stop in Rio Lagartos; or you can take a shared taxi directly opposite the market for around 90p.
What do you do in Las Coloradas?
As soon as you arrive in Las Coloradas, the first tour operators are lurking on their motorbikes to offer you an expensive tour. You should be careful to negotiate a fair price. There are two different tours. The first is the tour to the pink lakes. You do this tour on your own anyway. If you don’t want to go to the viewing platform, you pay about 180 pesos for the entrance fee (with viewing platform about 100 pesos more) and get a guided tour of about half an hour. The guided tour is already included in the price. To do this tour you can just go directly to the entrance. Don’t pay any money in advance to the motorcyclists!
After you have seen the pink lakes, taken some great photos and learned a little about how they were formed, you can now take a tour on the motorbikes for about 1.5-2 hours. The cost is about 200-300 pesos per person without the boat tour. There is also the possibility of a combination with a boat tour, which I did not do and therefore cannot give you a price. The tour on the motorbikes takes you to the flamingos and two or three other stops in the wonderful nature.
After a total stay of about 2-3 hours in Las Coloradas, you can start your way back. The last bus from Las Coloradas to Tizimin leaves at 4 pm. Alternatively, you can share a shared taxi to Tizimin. From there you will find the same connections to Valladolid or Médira. There are also a few places to stay in Las Coloradas and you can also stay here for a night. However, most restaurants close at 9 pm at the latest. I stayed here for one night with my two great travel buddies Francisca and Jessy and we were able to marvel at this beautiful sunset.
All in all, a really nice trip. We took our time with two days, but it is definitely doable as a relaxed day trip. For me, it’s now on to Bacalar, where I will soon tell you about the beautiful Laguna of Bacalar, sailing trips and stand-up paddleboarding. I have also decided to travel to Alaska in July. My first year of traveling will be over by then and time to celebrate that in a different country. If Alaska… then probably in summer, right? :P.
Hugs and see you soon