Laguna Colorada

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South America, Bolivia

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  • Laguna Colorada is a shallow lake located around 14,000 feet above sea level within the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve in southwest Bolivia, on the border of Chile.

    The lake is famous for both its unusual colouring and for the rare breed of flamingos which flock here. Much of the lake is coloured red or deep orange as a result of the algae and other microorganisms which thrive in this salty water. Within this orangey red lagoon, however, are large white pools which are caused by massive borax deposits on the lake's surface. Seeing the colourful lake against its backdrop of rocky shores and mountains is a beautiful and unique experience.

    Indeed the sight of the Laguna Colorada on its own would be worthy of any bucketlist but the lake is known for more than its natural beauty. Laguna Colorada is home to a range of birds, including the incredibly rare James Flamingos – the rarest flamingo species in the world. These birds were actually thought to be extinct back in the 1950s but thankfully a pack of them was found roaming around South America. Even today these birds are classified as an endangered species and their habitat is frequently threatened. It is for this reason that we recommend travelling to Laguna Colorada with guides from the nearby towns of Uyuni or San Juan rather than heading here alone. Over 40,000 people visit Laguna Colorada annually and the guides are vital in ensuring that visitors do not inadvertently disturb the nesting colonies or ecosystems of this area, thus helping to protect the habitats of these rare and wonderful birds.


    Photo by Andrey Stekachev License CC BY 2.0

    Photo by Madeleine Deaton License CC BY 2.0

    Photo by funkz License CC BY 2.0

    Photo by einalem License CC BY 2.0




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General Information
Type of Activity: Nature
Activity: Rivers & Lakes
Area: South America
Country: Bolivia
City: Uyuni
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