Visit the Tatacoa desert: a beautiful place in Colombia

The great diversity of the Colombian territory includes landscapes with snow, paradisiacal beaches, huge deserts and even mangroves. Any corner of this beautiful country makes the trip a true adventure. Yes, To visit the Tatacoa desert is to know one of the most impressive natural settings in Colombia.

Do you like unrepeatable landscapes? Do you want to know the history and culture of a unique place? Are you a lover of Colombian food? In that case, stay with us! We tell you everything you need to know to organize your trip and visit the Tatacoa desert in Colombia.

Visit the Tatacoa desert: a beautiful place

Tatacoa Desert - Alexander Schimmeck /

Of course, reaching the destination will be an adventure, but you can do many activities already in place. We recommend you start this trip with lots of information. So you can move to the desert without problems, organize your visit and schedule schedules.


The Tatacoa desert is located north of the department of Huila, less than 40 kilometers from Neiva and just 10 from Natagaima, two really beautiful Colombian towns known for their natural landscape. Another municipality near the desert is Villavieja, a great tourist destination.


The region to which the Tatacoa desert belongs is really arid, but the truth is that it is not a desert, but that it is a tropical dry forest.

Desert vegetation of the Tatacoa

This place is very eroded, there several very dry canyons cross. The surfaces are clayey and create a landscape labyrinth of gullies that can reach 20 meters deep.

In fact, In the Tatacoa desert there is very little animal and plant life. And the species that live there have had to adapt to the harsh conditions of the place: high temperatures and minimum humidity. Some of the animals that we can observe are turtles, snakes, scorpions, lizards, eagles and spiders.

On the other hand, in addition to cactus 5 meters high, we will find plants that have also developed a great capacity for adaptation. In fact, its roots can measure between 15 and 30 meters to access the water.

What to do in the Tatacoa desert?

That landscape full of ocher and gray tones makes up one of the most spectacular corners of Colombia, after the peninsula of La Guajira. This environment is decorated with the small green brushstrokes of the huge cacti that grow on it.

Los Hoyos and Cuzco are some of the most beautiful areas. But there are many more options such as the astronomical observatory, San Nicolás, La Venta, Las Lajas, Doche or Cardón.

Explore the Cusco area

Tatacoa Desert - Marialegria. /

Cuzco is the part of the red desert. No doubt, you will think you have reached Mars. It is one of the hottest areas, the temperature can exceed 40 ° C, so it can be dangerous.

We must consider the extent of the desert, because it is easy to get lost in its 300 km². Therefore, it is advisable to tour the place accompanied by a guide. In this way, you will meet many curiosities and walk the safest path.

Bathe in the pools of Los Hoyos

In the holes we can observe how the landscape varies according to you walk. The red gradually fades so that the gray color is the protagonist. One of the almost mandatory activities when visiting the Tatacoa desert is swimming in the natural water pools of Los Hoyos.

Get to know the Valley of the Ghosts

Valley of the Ghosts

This place is only 30 minutes walk from Los Hoyos and It is the most gray area of ​​the desert. Its name comes from the incredible rocky forms that we find in the landscape, since they resemble a ghost.

Visit the observatory

Light pollution in the Tatacoa is practically non-existent, so It is the ideal place to observe the sky. When darkness falls in the desert, numerous constellations and the vastness of the Moon can be observed. Such an experience is truly unique.

Make a wish

There is a ritual that tourists always dare to do. In order to make a wish and thank Pachamama for his work, we must stack stones creating a beautiful mound. Most travelers ask for protection for their adventures in Mother Nature.

Video: COLOMBIA - TATACOA DESERT PART 1 - Full HD (October 2019).