The Mystic Desert of the Tatacoa
Tatacoa Desert Plan

He Tatacoa Desert it is definitely a tourist destination with a special air, located in the department of Huila; This place being a tropical dry forest, naturally refers to a prehistoric environment, which keeps inside, an archaeological history of high draft for Colombia.

He Tatacoa Desert, is divided into two zones; one, the Cuzco area, with reddish and ocher tones, characteristic for its dunes; and the area of Los Hoyos, a place that is distinguished by its grayish color, since it is mostly rocky. There, the cacti that stretch in the form of a candlestick make up an arid landscape that is ideal to explore during the day and see the stars at night, due to the cleanliness of the sky and the absence of artificial light.

& #x1f30e; Where is the Tatacoa Desert?

The Tatacoa Desert is located in the department of Huila in Colombia, 40 kilometers from the city of Neiva; This destination is located in the rural area of the municipality of Villavieja. The desert has an extension of 330 km2 .

According to scientists, El Tatacoa Desert It was several thousand years ago a fertile land, with a variety of species of flowers and trees in the form of gardens, which progressively dried up to become the landscape that we can appreciate today. This desert is perhaps one of the hottest places in Colombia after La Guajira; reaching over 45 ° C at noon and at night the temperature drops to 18 ° C.

If you want to know this place with an all-inclusive tour from Pereira/Manizales click here!

& #x1f697; How to get to the Tatacoa Desert?

To get to Tatacoa Desert, you can reach Neiva, the capital of the department of Huila, either by air or land, and from there you have two options; one, from Aipe, heading to the port on the Magdalena river that will take you in chalupa to Villavieja, where you can spend the night if you wish, this road is only for people and motorcycles; and the second option is from Neiva until Villavieja by landway.

If you do not have a car or a transport service hired to reach the Tatacoa Desert, in Villavieja There is a motorcycle taxi service to the desert area.

  • By air: the flight from Bogotá to Neiva It lasts approximately 30 minutes.
  • By land: the car trip from Bogotá to Neiva It takes approximately 5 hours.

From Neiva to the municipality of Villavieja, the trip takes 45 minutes by road and from that place to the desert entrance there are about 15 minutes of travel.

& #x1f3cd; Tatacoa Desert by Motorcycle

Traveling to the Tatacoa Desert by Motorbike is an experience at another level that will allow you to live this destination more closely, in this way you can make stops everywhere, feel the heat and wonderful atmosphere of the desert; In addition, if you have an adventurous spirit, you can take your own tent and camp in the middle of the desert, yes, not anywhere, but in the places established for this.

The Tatacoa Desert by car, motorcycle or bus, is undoubtedly a wonderful experience that will allow you to see the best landscapes, spend unforgettable nights and enjoy the nature in a completely different way.

& #x1f335; What to do in the Tatacoa Desert?

This place has multiple possibilities for exploration and enjoyment, which both alone, as a couple, family or friends can enjoy; Here are some of these options:

Cusco Trail Tour:

On this path, the estoraques (brittle and eroded landscape) stand out, with spaces created by labyrinthine formations, narrow and fossil sites.

Los Hoyos Trail Tour:

Its gray landscape distinguishes it, this trail is ideal for bird watching and hiking where you can see places such as the matamochos jump and Los Hoyos Pool.

Tatacoa Desert Plan - Colombia - Group Departure from Pereira
Tatacoa Desert Plan & #8211; Colombia & #8211; Group departure from Pereira

Star Observation:

The Tatacoa Desert is considered one of the best destinations for stargazing because it is located in a natural area removed from light pollution, which is why the Tatacoa Astronomical Observatory (OATA) operates there.

Natural Pool in the middle of the Desert:

After an intense walk through the desert, a refreshing swim in the pool of Los Hoyos will always be good, the entrance has a cost of $8,000 Colombian pesos and there is also a natural spa where you can relax and exfoliate your skin with mud.

Tatacoa Desert Plan - Colombia - Group Departure from Pereira
Tatacoa Desert & #8211; Los Hoyos Trail & #8211; Natural pool

Chalupa ride on the Magdalena River:

This activity is an adventure, it will allow you to see the beautiful river and see some species of the place, in addition it is an unusual activity, if you go by motorcycle you can pass your motorcycle in a boat along the river, a thing at another level, it really is the sorrow.

Tatacoa Desert - chalupa ride - Rio Magdalena - Travel in Colombia
Tatacoa Desert & #8211; chalupa ride & #8211; Rio Magdalena & #8211; Travel in Colombia

Paleontological Museum:

This is a must stop if you travel to the Tatacoa Desert, in this museum the entire history and heritage of the region is condensed, consisting of three main rooms: Mammals, Reptiles and Environment.

Paleontological Museum - Tatacoa Desert - Viajes Colombia

Paleontological Museum & #8211; Tatacoa Desert & #8211; Colombia Travel

& #x1f6cc; & #x1f3fb; Where to sleep in the Tatacoa Desert?

Sleeping in the Tatacoa Desert is an experience, you can decide how you want to do it, that depends on the type of traveler you are, if you are adventurous, if you come as a family, as a couple, in short; For each one there is a type of accommodation, from camping, to hammocks, hotels and exotic lodges. It all depends on the type of experience you want to live and of course it is budget, but in the Tatacoa Desert there is everything for everyone.

You must keep in mind that you can stay in Villavieja or directly in the desert; In Villavieja you have the possibility to find rooms with more comforts such as air conditioning, ideal for families with children, also in Villavieja you have more possibilities to find shops and restaurants. Sleeping directly in the Tatacoa Desert is a more exotic experience and allows you to connect with the destination and its magic, here the possibilities are more varied, you can find camping areas from $10,000 to glampings for $500,000 per night.

& #x1f516; Tips for traveling to the Tatacoa Desert

This destination is beautiful and is a place worth knowing for the nature of its territory; For the same reason it is necessary to go well prepared and take into account some things.

Don't forget to bring

  • Sunscreen.
  • Buso long sleeve comfortable for walking.
  • Hydration.
  • Hat / Cap / Cap.
  • Hiking clothing
  • Compass.
  • Bags to collect the trash that is generated.


  • Do not affect nature, although it is commonly known as desert there lives flora and fauna that are worthy of respect.
  • The trash you generate deposit it in bags and find the right place to deposit them.


  1. Yeison Gomez Yeison Gomez October 25, 2019 Reply

    Every day you improve your Post, I find this very nice to read, it is a very complete water for anyone who wants to go to the Tatacoa Desert

  2. Avatar Matthew October 25, 2019 Reply

    Colombia as always full of beautiful places to know and without a doubt this is one of those places that we can not miss in this beautiful country, I'm dying to step on this desert.

    • Angela Aragon Angela Aragon October 25, 2019

      Thanks Mateo for your comment, I hope you can meet the Tatacoa Desert very soon.

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