The Best Pink Lakes in the World

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Adventure, Africa, Australia, Europe, North America, Oceania

Pink lakes are some of the most amazing natural wonders and a must-see for nature lovers. Discover the very best pink lakes in the world!

I first saw a pink lake during my second Australia trip and fell in love with this natural wonder right away. And knowing that Hutt Lagoon is one of the best pink lakes in the world only made the experience more exciting. Seeing the bubblegum-pink water and the salt crush at the shore was such a magical experience.

As it is, I did not even get to visit it when I first saw it, as we were en route to one of the national parks in Australia. But it was already on my itinerary and I could not have been more exciting when I finally got to see it two days later.

After dreaming of visiting a pink lake for years and googling ‘where to see pink lakes‘ several times, I could not believe my luck to finally get to marvel at the sight. As it is allowed to enter the water, I even got to splash around in the shallows! And upon leaving the water, the remaining salt caused my entire arm to sparkle in the sun like a Twilight vampire. An amazing experience that more people should add to their travel bucket list.

Pink Lakes in the World Map

The Best Pink Lakes in the World Map

The Best Pink Lakes in the World

After visiting my first pink lake, I decided that I wanted to see more of them. I knew that there are around thirty pink lakes of varying sizes and shades and that some of them were more accessible and worthwhile than others. So after further research, I decided to ask others to share their favorite pink lakes. After all, the experience of others is the best way to determine which of them are the very best pink lakes.

The Best Pink Lakes in Australia

Hutt Lagoon, Western Australia

With its bubble-gum color and size, there is no denying that the Hutt Lagoon in Western Australia is one of the best pink lakes in the world. With a length of over 14 kilometers and a wide of around 2 kilometers, it offers plenty of stunning views to everyone that visits this pink natural wonder. Therefore, it is no surprise, that it is one of the most popular Western Australia photo motives.

Hutt Lagoon is a marine salt lake that is fed through springs and is separated from the ocean by a beach barrier ridge. It receives its pink coloration thanks to Dunaliella salina algae that produce beta-carotene.

While it is always some pinkish hue, it might look lilac and in some cases even red. The best time to see the lake is around mid-day when the direct sunlight hits the water. Hereby, clear days make the color seem more saturated.

bubblegum-pink water of Hutt Lagoon Pink Lake in Western Australia

Visiting Hutt Lagoon around sunset is also great, as doing so allows you to see the pink lakes’ colors change as the sunlight fades. The lake is pink throughout the year, so there is no specific time of the year that is best.

It is possible to enter the water, but keep in mind that the ground can be slippery and that the salt can be sharp. Walk slowly if you enter the water. It is not possible to swim in Hutt Lagoon as the water is too shallow.

Hutt Lagoon is around 6 hours north of Perth and is close to one of the best Australian National Parks, the Kalbarri National Park. If you want to visit the lake, it is the easiest option to drive there. The best observation spots are the unsealed Pink Lake lookout on Port Gregory Road or somewhere along Gorge Grey Drive.

If you want to see this pink lake from above, you can book a scenic flight with Shine Aviation, Kalbarri Scenic Flights, or Geraldton Air Charter.

Pink Lake & Serpentine Lake, Rottnest Island, WA

Rottnest Island is located off the coast of Perth in Western Australia and is a great destination for day trips from Perth. The island is known for its beautiful white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and pink lakes.

Pink Lakes Rottnest Island

These salt flats have a pale pink color, which can best be seen when the lakes have a lot of water. During summer they tend to dry up so try visiting between March and October for the best chance of seeing the beautiful lakes.

They are located in the center of the island and there are several of them. The Pink Lake and Serpentine lake tend to have the brightest pink color. Make sure to visit on a sunny day so you can see the brightest pink possible.

The lakes are pink for several reasons but mostly due to a certain type of algae that grows here. These pink lakes in Australia are very shallow, and since they are salty, there are few living creatures in the water.

The best way to see the lakes is to rent a bike and ride around the island. There are very few cars allowed on Rottnest Island, so this is the most popular form of transport. A trip to Rottnest Island is worth it to see the pink lakes alone, but the beauty of the island will convince you to come back over and over again.

Explored by Victoria from Guide Your Travel

Lake Bumbunga, Lochiel, South Australia

South Australia is home to some of the best pink lakes in the world. One you can’t miss is Lake Bumbunga alongside the tiny township of Lochiel. This impressive bubblegum-colored lake is just an hour and a half drive from the city of Adelaide. Although this is one of South Australia’s most impressive sights, it flies under the radar as a tourist destination so you will sometimes find you have the whole lake to yourself. This lake is a real hidden gem in Australia.

This candy-colored lake is usually dry throughout the summer months but still makes an impressive sight. The roads which criss-cross the lake make satisfying patterns and the “Loch-Eel Monster” – a sculpture made from old tires makes for an interesting photo.

Lake Bumbunga is pink due to a combination of bacteria & algae producing a red pigment named beta-carotene which thrives in salty environments. Weather and rainfall can result in different hues of pink. The best time to visit is in Spring or late Autumn and it is most impressive on a sunny day.

There is limited public transport in regional South Australia. You can travel to Lochiel by bus which is currently $39 one-way with Premier Stateliner. If you can drive, this would be the cheapest and easiest option to see this spectacular natural phenomenon.

The pink lake in Australia was recommended by Alice Kuersch of The Green Adventurers

Pink Lake in South Australia

Amazing Pink Lakes in the Middle East

Maharloo Lake near Shiraz, Iran

Maharlu Lake (Maharloo Lake) is the largest of two pink lakes in Iran. The lake can be found roughly 27 kilometers south of the city of Shiraz. The size of the lake depends on the time of year and – not surprisingly – on the amount of rainfall. On average, the water is about 3 meters deep, and it is at its widest in the springtime.

The best time to visit the lake is in the summer. The body of water evaporates under the scorching summer heat ensuring the potassium and salt turn the lake into a deep shade of pink. If you do visit the lake during the summer, be respectful of salt workers who will be experiencing the busiest time of year (as there is more salt to mine).   

As the lake is a natural phenomenon there is no entrance fee to visit it. The easiest way to get to the lake is to hire a taxi from Shiraz. Do not pay more than IRR 9.070.000. Make sure to get the driver to wait for you to ensure you have a ride back as the lake is in a rather remote location.

Upon getting back to  Shiraz, be sure to add the Nasir-Ol-Mosque (pink mosque) and the historic ruins of Persepolis to your bucket list!

Visited by Caroline from VeggieWayfarer

The Best Pink Lakes in North America

Las Coloradas, Mexico

One of the best things to do in Merida, Mexico is to visit Las Coloradas, the famous pink lakes. A true Mexico bucket list experience, they are located in a remote part of the Yucatan Peninsula, so easiest to access from Merida, Mexico, the closest big city to the lake. 

Las Coloradas means “the blush,” in reference to its pink color. The pink lakes get their color from red algae, plankton, and tiny brine shrimp that live in this salty water. Because the water is so salty, visitors can’t swim in it. To see Las Coloradas in its full pink glory, you will need to visit on a very sunny day. If it’s not sunny, the lake won’t show in a pink color — and might actually look more dark red or even brown. Most people have the best luck at about noon when the sun is directly overhead.

The easiest way to visit is in a rental car, which takes about 3.5 hours from Merida. If you go by bus, you have to stop in the town of Tizimin and catch a second bus, so this trip can take 5-6 hours. If you’re coming by bus, you’ll need to stay overnight in Rio Lagartos, the small town next to Las Coloradas.

Las Coloradas is only accessible by boat. To get there, you will depart on a boat tour from Rio Lagartos, which means “Alligator River.” There is a boat dock along the river with boats waiting to take visitors out; tours cost about $300 MXN pesos ($15USD) and last about 2.5 hours.

From the dock, it is only about 10 minutes to Las Coloradas. You’ll get to stay at the pink lakes for about 30 minutes. After that, there’s a 1.5-hour boat tour through the mangroves of Rio Lagartos, where you’ll see a variety of birds, and yes, alligators!

Mexico's biggest pink lake
Las Coloradas

Pink Lake visited by Travel to Merida

Xtampu Pink Lakes, Mexico

Though Las Coloradas are the most-visited pink lakes in Mexico — there is another pink lake. Called Salineras de Xtampu (AKA Xtampu Laguna Rosada, or just Xtampu), this smaller lake is located near Puerto Telchac Beach and the ruins of Xcambo, which are some of the best Mayan Ruins in Mexico.

Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, about an hour from the city of Merida, Mexico, you will need a rental car or taxi to get to Xtampu, as there’s no public transportation. Coming from Merida, it makes a nice day trip to visit the beach in Telchac, Xcambo Ruins, and Xtampu pink lakes in a single day.

Pink lake in Mexico

Similar to Las Coloradas pink lakes, you need to visit Xtampu on a sunny day to see it in a vibrant, bright pink. On cloudy days, or in the morning when the sun’s not out yet, the lake can look dark red or brown. Visitors should aim to arrive when the sun is directly overhead, from about 12 PM to 2 PM.

The local Maya people use Xtampu as a salt farm, where they collect and sell salt. As it’s free to visit Xtampu, you can support the local community by buying some salt from the small shop at the lake, or just leaving a donation.

The Xtampu pink lake has a very high salt content, so visitors can’t go in the water. Much like Las Coloradas, Xtampu gets its color from the tiny brine shrimp, red algae and plankton living in the salty water. 

Recommended by Travel Mexico Solo

Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA

I’m going to let you in on a little secret that most locals don’t even know about – the Great Salt Lake in Utah turns bright pink every summer. This unique phenomenon makes it one of the best places to visit in Utah. Because the lake is saltier than the ocean, not much can survive here except for brine shrimp and some salt-loving micro-organisms. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the brine shrimp but the microbes that turn the water pink.

Only some parts of the lake are pink because it’s saltier in certain places than others and after the long, hot summers there is one area of the lake in particular that turns a bright, saturated pink color. At Promontory Point, about a two-hour drive from Salt Lake City to a very remote part of the lake, there is a railroad causeway that divides the lake in two.

One side gets fed with fresh water from the Bear River and the other side is several times saltier than the ocean. It is, however, private property and you won’t be able to venture near the water. So if you want an Instagram-worthy shot of this place, make sure to bring a drone.

If you want to wade into the pink water there are two other places you can experience it. One is near Stansbury Island, on the West side of the lake. You could pair this with a visit to the Bonneville Salt Flats for another otherworldly experience.

The other is at the far North end of the lake at the famous Spiral Jetty, an earthwork sculpture from the artist Robert Smithson. Whichever spot you choose, seeing the pink water at the Great Salt Lake is a bucket-list-worthy experience. 

Explored by JJ Haglund  The Minivan Bucket List.

The pink area of the Great Salt Lake in the USA

Beautiful Pink Lakes in South America

Laguna Colorada – Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

Laguna Colorada, one of the best pink lakes in South America, is a shallow salt lake in the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve in the southwestern altiplano of Bolivia. The lake is located 14000 feet above sea level, close to the border with Chile. The color varies from pink to a bright orange and red. This spectacular color is the result of red mineral sediments and reddish algae growing in the lake.

Laguna Colorada Bolivia

The most popular way to visit this pink lake is to join a 4×4 Salar de Uyuni salt flats tour for 3 days. Uyuni can be reached by road or a short flight from La Paz.

The landscape around Laguna Colorada is spectacular with the massive Andes mountains as a backdrop and small bright white islands spread through the lake forming a stark contrast with the colorful water. The perfect white color of the little islands is the result of borax deposits.

There is a variety of wildlife that lives around the lake such as Andean foxes, pumas, viscachas, as well as herds of llamas and alpacas. A highlight of Laguna Colorada is seeing the pink wildlife. From December through April hundreds of endangered puna flamingos congregate at the lake to feast on plankton, a photographer’s dream.

Visited by Campbell and Alya from Stingy Nomads

Pink Sea – Galerazamba, Cartagena, Colombia

On Colombia’s Caribbean coast lies a pink lake, or perhaps better termed a pink sea, worth visiting. Located about 45 minutes north of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia’s most well-known destination is the town of Galerazamba. On the edge of town, bordering the Caribbean Sea is a sea salt mine.

The high salt concentration of the waters is the perfect environment for micro-algae to grow, which in turn impart the pink color to the water. It is a gorgeous sight and is one of the more interesting things to see near Cartagena. The pink color is strongest on days where the sun is brightly shining and there is a strong breeze.

There are, however, periods, where the pink sea is not so pink. Rainfall and the harvesting of the salt itself cause the phenomenon to temporarily go away. The best times to see the pink sea are from the months of December to March and from August to September. 

It is also possible to see this natural phenomenon in June, July, and November, but only if there have not been frequent rains in the days leading up to your visit. Meanwhile, the frequent rains of March, April, and October make them poor months to visit.

Pink Sea in Colombia

The easiest way to visit the Pink Sea of Galerazamba is with a tour, many of which also include the nearby Totumo Mud Volcano.  It is also possible to hire a taxi to take you, wait while you see the sea, and then take you back to Cartagena.

Recommended by Adam McConnaughhay from Cartagena Explorer

Stunning Pink Lakes in Europe and Asia

Laguna Rosa, Torrevieja, Spain

Torrevieja is home to one of the best pink lakes and visiting it is a real bucket list experience in Spain. In Spanish, this bubble-gum pink-colored salt lake is called Laguna Rosa and gets the color from algae and bacteria that grow in salty spaces.

Torrevieja Pink Lake in Spain

The best time to visit the Torrevieja pink lake is late spring or early summer. The lake doesn’t look very pink from afar, but the color is more noticeable as you get closer to it.

You can visit the lake from Torrevieja town itself or as a day trip from the nearby city of Alicante. However, the best way to get to the lake is via car, as there is no public transport going directly to it. Alternatively, you can take a bus to Torrevieja and then catch a taxi to take you to the lake.

The Laguna Rosa is extensive, with several entrances listed on Google Maps. Verde de Torrevieja and Calle Munera street junction is a pretty comfortable entrance as the coast is clearer and enables you to get closer to the lake. Other entrances might have bushes blocking the area from walking to the lake.

Visiting the lake is free of charge. However, bathing in these salty lakes is forbidden, and you might get fined if caught. So be cautious.

Recommended by Baia from Red Fedora Diary

Lake Atanasovsko, Bulgaria

Lake Atanasovsko is one of the best pink lakes in Europe and among the best things to do in Burgas, Bulgaria. Located some 2,5km from the city, you can easily get there by walking along the Black Sea coast – it is a pleasant stroll.

Lake Atanasovsko is a fairly large lake, known for its diverse flora and fauna, but a small part of it is pretty unique since the water there is pink. That’s so-called Burgas Saltworks, the area that is used for healing and therapeutic purposes. You can float in the pink water and afterward cover yourself in mud to get a better healing effect.

This pink lake is interesting to visit even if you don’t plan to take advantage of the healing features. You can wander around the pink lake and take some nice pictures of the place.

Pink Lake Lake Atanasovsko

To enter the Burgas Saltworks part of Lake Atanasovsko you need to pay 2 leva (a bit over 1 USD) to the machine (it accepts coins of 0,50, 1, and 2 leva) and then go through the reel. The area is open daily from 8 in the morning to 8 in the evening. The place is never overcrowded so you don’t need to worry to wait in line for the best picture of the pink lake.

This great pink lake was explored by Kami from My Wanderlust.pl

Lake Tuz near Cappadocia, Turkey

Lake Tuz is located in Turkey close to one of the country’s must-see regions, Cappadocia. After a few days exploring the many amazing and unusual stone formations in Cappadocia, Lake Tuz makes for a perfect day trip with its colorful scenery.

The lake is one of the largest hypersaline lakes in the world and the pink color comes from the Dunaliella salina micro-algae and Halobacteria found in the lake. The colors are at their best when there is a bit of water in the lake. In the summer months the lake dries up and due to climate change, this is getting more pronounced every year.

Spring and autumn are the best times to visit both Lake Tuz and the region in general. However, both areas are worth a visit at any time of the year. Even if there is no water in the lake the pink tint is clearly visible on the salty expanse that stretches into the distance.

A rental car is the only way to get to the lake. From Goreme, it is a two-hour drive to Lake Tuz. The easiest place to access the lake is from the visitor center at Tuz Golo Tesisleri. When driving from the visitor center to Aksaray the lake will be on your right and for a more peaceful experience stop along the road and walk down to the lake.

Recommended by Kristin from Adventures with Ensuite

Pink Lake Tuz Turkey

Heniches’k Lake, Ukraine

Heniches’k Lake is on the Arabat Spit in Ukrainian-controlled Crimea. It’s a very salty lake that is pink almost year-round due to the salt-loving algae in the brine. There used to be a salt factory whose remains you can still see that produced quality pink salt until the Soviet Union’s policy of perestroika

The lake reaches its maximum pinkness in August and September after a few months of hot and sunny days in summer. This increases the concentration of salt in the water and lets the algae feast. That’s also when villagers, as well as visitors, come to harvest the salt for culinary purposes and the pink mineral mud for cosmetic purposes. If you don’t trust your own harvesting skills, just invest a few Hryvnen (₴) into a bag of salt from a local.

The best vistas are from the little dingy wooden walkways into the lake, but you can also take nice photos from the sandy cliffs at the main viewpoint. If you intend to harvest some yourself, know that walking onto the pink lake can be a bit tricky since its depth varies and the salt crystals are very sharp. Bring a change of clothes if you plan on venturing out.

Arabat Spit Pink Lake Henichesk Lake Crimea Ukraine

If you speak Ukrainian or Russian, you can join a tour. Your host at your hotel or guesthouse will also know how to visit any time of year and could arrange transportation for you. You can also self-organize a trip by taking a bus along the main road of the Arabat Spit and then walking or hitchhiking to the lake.

Heniches’k Lake isn’t the only pink lake in the area between Kherson and Crimea, but it is the best pink lake because it’s one most easily reachable.

Visited by Iris, Mind of a Hitchhiker 

Incredible Pink Lakes in Africa

Pink Salt Pans of Walvis Bay, Namibia

Namibia is a country with dramatic landscapes: mountains, canyons, craters, and deserts make this country one of the most exciting to explore on a road trip.

In addition to all of those stunning geological features, you can also find a series of pink lakes, just south of Walvis Bay, on Namibia’s Skeleton Coast.  Although they are found in an area of natural wetlands in the Kuiseb river delta, these pink lakes are not natural: they are man-made evaporation pools created to harvest salt.

The Walvis Bay Salt Holdings Company’s pans extend over an area of 5000ha and produce 900,000 tonnes of salt each year.  The varying hues of pink come from the algae Dunaliella salina, which accumulates the red carotenoid pigment, beta-carotene, at high levels of salinity.

Most people experience the salt pans on their way to Sandwich Harbour, which is a spectacular spot where the towering sand dunes of the Namib Desert meet the ferocious Atlantic Ocean – this is one of the best things to do in the Namib Desert.

Pink Lake Walvis Bay Namibia

The route to Sandwich Harbour involved driving off-road through the network of pink pools. You can visit year-round, but only experienced drivers who know the area should attempt this route, so it is advisable to go with a licensed tour operator. 

Explored by Martha from May Cause Wanderlust 

Lac Rose, Senegal

Senegal’s Lac Rose is a salt lake known for its lovely pink color and is located around an hour up the coast from Dakar. Algae give the lake its rose color, which is darker when it is sunnier or when the water level is low and the algae more concentrated. Lac Rose’s salinity is so high, that a fair amount of salt settles at the bottom, where local villagers collect it.

For a fun day of exploring the lake, head to the Bonoba Café, on the shore that is closest to the coast.  Have grilled chicken or fish for lunch, then ride in a 4X4 around the lake. You will see the Senegalese harvesting salt in small pirogues and the salt drying in mounds along the shore.

Lac Rose Senegal Pink Lake

Be sure to make use of the Bonoba’s changing rooms to take a plunge. You will bob like a cork in the saltwater, and it feels thick to swim through. Your best bet is to sit up lotus-style and paddle with your arms. Wash off the salt after swimming in the pink lake; the salt can quickly dry and irritate your skin.

The last stop before you leave is a shack where you buy pictures of the lake that artists make by pouring different colors of sand through their hands. It’s a type of art you’ll find along the coast and a cool reminder of your visit to Lac Rose.

Explored by Eileen Gunn at FamilieGo!

Pink Lakes FAQ

What causes pink lakes?

The unique coloration of the pink lakes is caused by the Dunaliella salina algae and/or the archaea halobacterium cutirubrum. The green algae synthesize the orange-red beta-carotene to protect themselves from the sun, while the archaea halobacterium grows within the salt crust at the bottom of the pink lakes.

Are pink lakes safe to swim in?

It is safe to swim in natural pink lakes. However, the pink lakes tend to be shallow which means that there is oftentimes not enough water to actually swim there. Additionally, it is forbidden to enter some pink lakes.

Which country has pink lakes?

Several countries all over the world have pink lakes including Australia, Mexico, and even the USA. There are also pink lakes in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

Where can you find pink lakes?

Pink lakes can be found all over the world. They are lakes with a high level of salinity that is in part caused by high temperatures, so pink lakes can usually be found in warmer climates.

Planning a trip soon?

Check out these useful websites and resources I use to plan my own adventures.

Flights: Kiwi

Accommodation: Booking.com

Rental Car: RentalCars.com

Day Trips & Tours: Get Your Guide —or— Klook

Travel Insurance: World Nomads —or— SafetyWing

Airport Lounge Access: Priority Pass

Wanderlust edited
map of the best pink lakes in the world

Roundup: The Best Pink Lakes in the World

If you were wondering ‘where to find pink lakes‘, this list hopefully answered your question. And maybe you even discovered that one of these natural wonders is closer than you think. But even if none of them is a day trip option for you: be sure to add visiting at least one of the best pink lakes to your travel bucket list.

More Natural Wonders

If you love pink lakes, you might also want to see these other natural wonders:

Glow Worms in Caves
Bioluminescent Beaches

Have you already visited a pink lake?

Let me know in the comments down below!

Planning to visit one of these amazing pink lakes?
Pin this list for later!

Magical pink lakes
Amazing pink lakes and where to find them

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Steph Kloeckener

I am the founder of A Nomad's Passport and a solo traveling digital nomad, photographer, and writer. Originally from Germany, I have lived in several countries around the world. My goal is to explore every country in the world while promoting ethical and sustainable traveling. And of course to write as many destination guides, itineraries, road trip guides, and content about scuba diving.

1 thought on “The Best Pink Lakes in the World”

  1. Wow, I had no idea there were so many pink lakes! They all look magical – I love pink! I’d love to see Torrevija Pink Lake and Great Salt Lake. They both look so pretty! Thanks for the great guide!

    Reply

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