The salinera is very important to the flamingos.The salt factory maintains and protects the barrier between the Gulf of Mexico and the salt marshes.The flamingos need the highly saline water for the food it provides(artemia-
brine shrimp) and the habitat for nesting. The salinera needs the the extra salty water to start the salt making process.Without the barrier the number of flamingos would be greatly reduced. Nearly all of the Yucatan’s flock of 40,000 flamingos nest here. It is also the most important feeding area.
Respecting the rules of the salinera helps to protect the flamingos. A healthy and prosperous salinera is necessary for the flamingos.
The rose colored water is the result of the tiny marine micro organisms. As the water in the salt ponds evaporates their concentration increases and the water becomes redder. The organisms have two important functions in salt production. To control other more harmful organisms and to increase evaporation because of the darker color.The Salt factory carefully monitors the organisms because of their importance.
. On our boat trips for Birdwatching and Flamingos we can only reach the outer ponds of the Salinera (salt factory).Toreach the reddest portions of the ponds it is necessary to go by road. ( 20 kilometers).The best time is from 12.00 -2.00pm. Light from directly above is the best for seeing the maximum red color and making photos.
When planning your tours do the flamingo or birding tours early in the morning or late in the afternoon and this tour at mid day. Los Colorados is a company town and all the property is owned by the Salinera and leased to the inhabitants who mainly work at the Salinera. There are 60 kilometers of beach in Bio reserve but only few kilometers of buildings in the villages the Bio reserve surrounds.
The water is slightly pink in the outer ponds but is at its reddest closest to the Salt factory. The salt ponds are a series of connected ponds used to evaporate water as it is moved closer to the salt factory. The water they start with is already twice as salty as the Gulf of Mexico. The salt ponds are 30 kilometers from the nearest opening to the gulf of Mexico.Because of this the water is not easily exchanged with the Gulf waters and is much saltier. Much less effort is needed here produce dry salt .This is the reason the area has been producing salt since the times of the ancient Mayas
As the interest in the pink water has increased the Salinera has needed to close the access roads to the ponds. Possible contamination to the ponds and problems with vehicles being driven on the separations between the ponds has forced them to do this.
Please do not enter or drive on the separations between the ponds.These are private property and you are endangering your vehicle and you can be fined! Don’t enter the water and be careful not to contaminate.Suntan lotions,repellents and cosmetics can have a harmful effect on the organisms that cause the pink water.
Mid day is the best time to photograph the ponds. When the sun is directly from above the color shows best.
Copyright Rio Lagartos Adventures 2010-2017. All rights reserved.All photos copyright Jim Legault(unless noted by watermark) Diego Nuñez 986- 862- 0045 986 862 0452 9am-9pm FOR English 52 1 986 100 8390 (from US) 986 100 8390 (cell in Mexico)
If you are interested in seeing the pink water in Los Colorados it is necessary to drive there. Stop by Ria Maya Restaurant for directions and also to find out if there is pink water in the ponds.The ponds are drained to harvest the salt a few times per year. Remember that the ponds are private property and you are not allowed on the roads and you can see them only from roads in the village.
The ponds are not alwaysbright pink and at times are dry. They are reddest just before the salt is harvested when the water is most saline
The ponds are reddest in July, August and September and January, February and March. Check with us about the current condition.