Tatacoa desert

Tatacoa desert

On your vacation to Colombia discover a desert and a sky full of stars

El Desierto de la Tatacoa or the Tatacoa desert is known for its special rocky formations in red and gray tones and for the many cacti you will find there. The landscape is mysterious and it is one of the hottest places in Colombia: the temperature can reach 40 degrees during the day.

By the way, the name Tatacoa desert is not quite correct because it rains more than in a desert. But desert or not, the landscape is beautiful and ideally suited for a nice walk. You prefer to make these at the end of the afternoon when the sun goes down. It is then no longer as strong and the colors of the formations are at their best. Stay overnight in Tatacoa and enjoy the unique starry sky.
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During the day the temperature can reach 40°C, but at night it can be cold.

Recommended clothing

Comfortable shoes for walking and summer clothing for the high temperatures.

How to get there?

From Bogotá you fly to Neiva, where you take a bus or taxi to Villavieja. From there you drive to the desert, for example by taxi. Of course you can also choose the car for the entire route.

What does this place offer you?

• A desert-like environment with beautiful whimsical “sculptures”.
• Special fauna and flora (cacti!).

What to do?

• Take a walk through Cusco, the characteristic reddish zone of Tatacoa.
• Ride a bike or horse to Los Hoyos, where you'll find a swimming pool in the middle of the desert landscape.
• Enjoy the truly beautiful sky at night.

Typical local dishes

• Cactus wine: wine made from the cactus that is common in the region.
• Cabrito: marinated sheep or goat meat that is stewed or baked.


• Visit this special place with a local guide.
• Stay on the trails and don't climb the small special hills. They are weak and can collapse easily, which can change the ecosystem.
• Make sure you have enough water with you as temperatures can be very high.
• If you stay overnight at Tatacoa, wear warm clothes as the temperature can drop significantly at night.

What else to see and do?

• Neiva is the capital of the Huila department where you will find restaurants, shops and nightlife.
• Palermo is a great place for adventurous tourism – 58 km from Villavieja.
• Rivera is a village with many hot springs where you can relax – 61 km from Villavieja.

Other recommended destinations

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Together with you we design your perfect trip to Colombia.



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