Welcome to a natural landscape that appears positively extraterrestrial. Laguna Colorada, meaning red lake, is a shallow salt lake in Bolivia’s Altiplano (high plains), more than 4,260 metres above sea level. The lake is less than a metre deep and owes its unusual colour to red minerals and algae, which lure flocks of rare species of flamingo.
The name is no exaggeration – the water ranges from hues of salmon pink to blood red, which, when contrasted with the white borax islands, snow-capped Andes in the distance and vivid blue sky, creates a magical effect. Come here for a close-up look at the distinctive landscape and to snap brag-worthy photographs. No filter required.
Tour companies do visit here, but they often only spend an hour or so at the lake. To really experience the area’s beauty, come here on your own steam (well, with a car) and stay for the day to watch the colours change with the light.
The lake sits more than 4,260 metres above sea level, so unless you’re used to altitude, you’re likely to experience some minor symptoms of altitude sickness.
It gets freezing at night, so layer up.