Best time to travel to Bolivia

Flamingos in Bolivia 2024-2025

The seemingly lifeless blood-red lake, plain rocks, and salt deposits may surprise with rare flamingos and other wildlife

Best time: December–April


Laguna Colorada is also called "the red lake" due to the high content of minerals and algae. However, it is also believed that water is actually the blood of the gods. Laguna Colorada is located in Potosi ​and belongs to Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve. Spanning 6000 hectares, this shallow salt lake is less than a meter deep, and it is dotted with white borax. Photographers from all across the globe flock to Laguna Colorada to witness this spectacular scarlet lake contrasting to the white snow on the distant mountains and the cloudless blue sky high above.

Three different species of flamingo gather on the shallow lake to feed on plankton, which is also abundant in these scarlet waters. The best time to observe the birds is during the wet summertime from December through April. However, occasional flamingos might be spotted in the area year-round.

The lake is set amidst desolate rocks and salt deposits, which do not seem to be particularly habitable. Nevertheless, the area has a surprising amount of fauna, including Andean foxes and ​cats, pumas, llamas, alpacas, and many more native species.

Practical info

What is the best time of year to visit Laguna Colorada, Bolivia?

Laguna Colorada showcases its unique beauty between December and April during the rainfall period. The lake transforms with distinct red hues, and its shallow waters welcome three species of flamingos that feed on an abundance of plankton. Witnessing this spectacular scene is breath-taking and worth visiting the area during the mentioned months. Show more

Where is Laguna Colorada located in Bolivia?

Located in the Potosi region of the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve, Laguna Colorada is a shallow salt lake that resides on 6000 hectares. The lake is embraced by barren rocks and salt formations. It is nestled in the southwestern corner of Bolivia and shares its border with Chile. Show more

What kind of wildlife can be spotted around Laguna Colorada besides flamingos?

Laguna Colorada's surroundings, despite its arid landscape, are abundant with various animal species. You may spot Andean foxes, cats, pumas, llamas, and alpacas, among others. Visitors should approach with caution and respect the animals' territorial habitat during their trip to the area. Show more

Why does the lake appear blood-red in color?

The content of algae and minerals in the water of Laguna Colorada, also known as the red lake, is high. These pigmented algae and plankton are the reason why it displays its rich red tint. Legends say that this eerie lake holds the blood of the gods, adding to the lake's sinister appeal. Show more

Can flamingos be observed in the area surrounding Laguna Colorada year-round?

While December to April is the best period to enjoying the presence of three different flamingo species, visitors can still observe flamingos all year round in the area surrounding Laguna Colorada, although it may take some patience. Some tour operators can assist in finding these beautiful creatures and share their knowledge with visitors regarding their habitats and behavior. Show more

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