The Tatacoa desert is in the “top 10 things to do in Colombia” of every travel guide book and most of the travel blogs.
I don’t agree with it, and I consider the La Guajira desert as a much better experience. However, I have to admit that the most famous part of the Tatacoa desert is quite photogenic. Hence, all the Instagrammers running there to take the perfect shot.
You can add it in your Colombia circuit if it’s on your way, but you shouldn’t make a large detour to visit it.
Once in Neiva, take a bus in the direction of Villavieja. Then, you will be able to find a Tuk-tuk to drive you to the Tatacoa desert.
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Villavieja is the closest town to the Tatacoa desert. Every day, many tuk-tuks leave from the main square to bring the tourists there. We discovered there are many illegal accommodations in the Tatacoa desert - as it's a reserve, it's forbidden to build anything there. Moreover, these establishments dig swimming pools in Tatacoa. It makes no sense to us. Therefore, we recommend you to avoid picking an hotel/hostel in the desert. Let's protect our environment!
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Things to do in Tatacoa
The Tatacoa desert is split into 2 main parts: Cuzco (The red desert) and Hoyos (the Grey desert). The most beautiful part is Cuzco. It's also the closest and the smallest part. 1.5 hours is enough to enjoy it. Then, you have to decide if you want to do the loop and explore the other "less" photogenic areas of Tatacoa.
For us, good restaurants and exciting nightlife are important while traveling. We gathered our favorite picks on an interactive Map. Look for "Colombia Insider - Eat and Party like a local in Colombia" on Mapstr!
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