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.

Tatacoa desert
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Where to stay in Neiva

To stay in Neiva could be a good option if you wish to save some time on your Colombia Itinerary. Pick a lovely place and book a reliable partner to visit the desert in 1/2 or 1 day.

  • B. & travelers


    B. & travelers

    Economical options, "near" the airport. They offer good tours to the desert. Great value.
    Get the best price
  • La Cabrera


    La Cabrera

    Modern design. Large bedrooms with comfy beds. Perfect location. Good service.
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  • Rosales



    Modern boutique hotel with a nice rooftop and a view of the park. Great facilities.
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Where to stay in Villavieja

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!

  • Villa Paraiso


    Villa Paraiso

    Standard hotel with a pool and a garden. Good value for money, although rooms are basic.
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  • Casa del angel


    Casa del angel

    Peaceful hotel with a superb courtyard. Rooms are vast and well decorated. Great service.
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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.

  • Cuzco



    The most photogenic part of the Tatacoa desert. A short walk and some good viewpoints.
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  • Hoyos



    The Grey desert is the largest part of Tatacoa. It's also called the "ghost" area. 1.5h hike.
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  • La Ventana


    La Ventana

    A lovely viewpoint where travelers can try to spot animal shapes. Would you be able to find them?
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  • Picilodo

    Natural pool


    A peaceful place where you can cover your body with mud and get to a natural swimming pool.
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  • Astronomy



    Observe the stars at night in Tatacoa. Great explanation in Spanish & English. 2 telescopes.
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