Tatacoa Desert: A landscape carved by the nature

tatacoa - desert - colombia

Tatacoa Desert: A landscape carved by the nature

Location: Colombia

Tatacoa desert is around Villaviaja, 1 hour trip from Neiva, Huila Department.

My Experience

The first time I saw a picture of the Tatacoa Desert on google I thought I was seeing a place located somewhere in USA or Australia. Tatacoa Desert is another kind of landscape to add to Colombia’s already impressive list. Actually the 330-square-kilometre area is technically not a “desert,” but a tropical dry forest. Tatacoa is a unique and incredible place, renowned for its majestic landscapes and crystal clear sky.

tatacoa desert - colombia

Cactus and a wonderful sunset in the desert


tatacoa desert - colombia

Another area of the Desert

This beautiful spot is often overlooked by travellers rushing by on their way to the glitz of the big cities of Cali and Medellín, or hustling to make it to the nearby archaeological ruins of San Agustín, but it’s much more than just a scenic stop for a photo op.

You need to spend a couple of days minimum to explore the best parts of the desert. This arid zone is made up of about half a dozen different regions. The two most distinct and popular ones are the Los Hoyos section, characterised by its dark gray clay; and the Cuzco area, with reddish-orange dirt and striking erosion formations that are a bit reminiscent of the Turkish region of Cappadocia.

tatacoa desert - colombia

Impressed!! Tatacoa Desert, Colombia


The second day we spent there it was probably 40/42 degrees outside. We spent 2/3 hours in a natural swimming pool in Los Hojos area, admiring the beautiful landscape and relishing in the comfort of the relatively cool water.

tatacoa desert - colombia

Relax, beer and love! what a nice combination

What’s the best part of Tatacoa Desert?!?! Its unrivalled view of the night sky, people can see dozens of different constellations, depending on the time of year, as well as planets and sections of the Milky Way. Near the entrance of the desert, in the Cuzco section, there is a small observatory open to the public. During the day, visitors can look at the basic selection of astronomical artifacts and equipment in the main room and climb up to see the telescope and observation deck. However, the best time to visit the observatory is after sunset.

Find out a guide and talk with him where you want to go, or visit in bicycle / car and you will see easily the best location in the desert. People can get lost and you might miss excellent hidden paths if you do not go with someone who knows the place.

tatacoa desert -colombia

Here how to discover South America in 2 minutes! Me and my wife in our best 120 shots of 6 months of travel… Enjoy


  • It is very very hot here, best to come for a walk around 4 pm as it starts to cool off a bit.
  • The observatory was packed at 7 pm and we couldn’t get in, so get here and queue early if you want to go up and look up the stars.
  • There really are not many places to eat either, just a really small restaurant near the observatory. Almost all the hostel serve all meals during the day.
  • My last tip: Don’t get stuck with the thing that ruins your day, life is too short to be wasted in your crap. Smile and be positive because there are so many beautiful reasons to be happy, one of those is travelling.

Author of this post:  Davide
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my name is Davide and I’m Italian. I’d always loved to explore far away places and someday, planned to travel the world. But like always, it was a case of when and how. I did a lot, and now I am ready to write, to tell and to share the tips I’ve been learning, feelings and emotion of years of travelling.


  • Hafiz

    Thank you for the tips

    December 3, 2016 at 6:45 pm
    • Davi85travel
      Davide Fancellu

      No worries and keep following us around the world!!

      December 3, 2016 at 8:02 pm
  • Romana Pintea

    Wow, it’s a great place! And really not so advertised, at least I haven’t heard anything from it. Thanks for presenting it!

    December 3, 2016 at 9:17 am
    • Davi85travel
      Davide Fancellu

      I found it taking all the pictures about Colombia, at the time I saw one picture of Tatacoa I just felt in love and….took a bus from the North of Colombia to reach it! thanks for your comment, 😀

      December 3, 2016 at 10:15 am
  • Loudy

    This post really made me buy a flight and get here

    December 2, 2016 at 11:37 pm
    • Davi85travel
      Davide Fancellu

      thank you so much Loudy! Tatacoa is sooo beautifull, you really have to visit!!

      December 3, 2016 at 12:02 am
  • Marco

    Foto stupende!

    November 23, 2016 at 3:19 pm
    • Davi85travel
      Davide Fancellu

      grazie mille marco, continua a seguirci!! 😀

      November 23, 2016 at 10:30 pm
  • Manon_travel

    Amazing ☺️

    October 14, 2016 at 5:30 pm
  • Bakkali Med

    amazing destination <3

    September 13, 2016 at 2:16 pm
    • Davi85travel
      Davide Fancellu

      Just go there and enjoy your time! Life is one…:-D

      September 14, 2016 at 7:56 am
  • Alexander van vianen

    Articulo muy intersante, me gustaria ir y conocer este paraiso. Ya que soy de cartagena, Colombia pero no tuve la oportunidad de viajar por mi pais. Cuando vuelva seguro que el desierto de tatacoa estara en mi camino para ver esos hermosos paisajes y las estrellas cuando se haga de noche. Un saludo y gracias por compartir este lugar con los demas viajeros.

    August 26, 2016 at 3:16 pm
    • Davi85travel
      Davide Fancellu

      Exatcly, when u ll be back there don’t forget to take a tour on Tatacoa Desert!! We had a great experience… thanks for your comment! Enjoy 😀

      August 27, 2016 at 2:07 pm

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