The Tatacoa Desert, in the South of Colombia, is in the “top 10 things to do in Colombia” of all travel guides and most travel blogs.
I disagree! In particular, I think that the La Guajira desert offers a much better experience with more variety.
However, I must admit that the most famous part of the Tatacoa desert is beautiful and rather photogenic. In fact, all Instagrammers go there to take the perfect picture. But beware of this type of photos, often modified, they can make disappointed people.
Even if, the landscapes are unusual, I do not find it wise to make a detour only for the desert of Tatacoa.
On the other hand, it is a destination that can fit into your itinerary in Colombia if it is on your way when you move from one city to another. For example, if you travel from Bogotá to San Agustin. In this case, you can even add a stop in Paicol to split your journey in two.
To get to the desert, you must first reach the city of Neiva. There, take a bus to Villavieja. This village is at the gates of the desert. There you will find tuk-tuks and guides who will take you on a tour of this vast plain worthy of a Star Wars setting.
Getting to Tatacoa? (+)
From Neiva to Villavieja:
- Many buses from 5 am to 5 pm from the main terminal | Coomotor | 1 h
From Bogota to Neiva:
- Many buses from the main station (Salitre) | Coomotor & Lineas Verde & Expreso Bolivariano | 5-6 hours
- A few flights per day from the airport | Avianca | 1 hour |
From Armenia to Neiva:
- A few buses per day from the terminal. Schedule – double-check with the bus company | Cootranshuila & Coomotor | 7 hours
From Pereira to Neiva:
- A few buses per day from the terminal. Schedule – double-check with the bus company | Cootranshuila & Coomotor | 8 hours
- Flights from the Pereira airport but with 1 stopover | Avianca & Easyfly | 4 – 5 hours |
From Cali to Neiva:
- Bus at the main terminal. I recommend a night bus. Schedule – Double-check with the bus company| Flota Magdalena & Coomotor & Expreso Bolivariano | 11 hours
- Flights fom the Cali airport with 1 stopover | Avianca | 4 – 5 hours |
From Medellin to Neiva:
From Cartagena to Neiva:
From Santa Marta to Neiva: