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Tatacoa desert in Colombia

Tatacoa desert in Colombia

March 2019 · 3 min read · Huila


Did you hear about the desert in Colombia? Yep, that’s what we thought. Even many Colombians don't know it. To be honest this isn’t a "real desert" like Sahara or Gobi. It’s a tropical dry forest! Can you believe, that millions of years ago this terrain was full of colourful flowers, abundant trees and was much wetter than is now, can you? Within all years the climate has been more and more dryer and Valle of Sorrows (as it was called by conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada in XVI century) became what is now – a desert.

We heard about this place for the first time from our German friends who came here a few weeks before us. Getting there is fairly easy and reachable from Bogota by bus, just 315km, pretty close, but considering colombian roads travel might take up 8 hours, so don’t be so optimistic about the distance. From the capital, you’ll have to take a bus to Neiva, the biggest city in the region and from there jump into a pick-up going to Villaieja, little town literally few kilometres from the desert.

You have to be careful with tuk-tuk and taxi drivers because they love to rip you off from pesos for this short ride. We couldn’t negotiate appropriate price, so we start to walk and tried to hitch-hike, which worked pretty well and both ways 😊 So remember thumbs up! Saved money we spent on snacks and beers, anyway, let’s come back to the desert.

Daniel’s hat got blown away during the ride to Villavieja on a back of a pick-up, so he had to protect his head from sun wearing his t-shirt. If you decide to stay overnight you can go for night sky watching in the observatory. We heard that is worth it, but we planned just a day trip only.


We walked down and followed the path to not get lost and we couldn’t stop to admire landscapes, which are absolutely amazing and breath-taking. Luckily we were the only ones walking around. Would you like to join us then? Let’s put your hats on, sun cream and hop into comfortable shoes.















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Huh, how did you like the walk? Tired, thirsty, happy? So, let’s sit, have a sip of water and try to imagine a juicy green, fresh, full of animals tropical forest.

Unfortunately, the time to come back has arrived. Take a last look ahead and go back on the road. For your life, for adventure, for anything you want and need! See you at the finish line 😊

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Thanks for a walk,
M & D



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Flights: We recommend checking to find the best and cheapest flights to Colombia.

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Transportation: Use 12go and Omio to find detailed bus and train schedules, making travel planning easier.

Car Rental: For hassle-free car hiring, DiscoverCars is our trusted choice with a wide selection of vehicles.

Internet: Got an eSIM compatible phone? Airalo is perfect for reliable internet access during your trip. Just install it before you go, and you're set!

Day Trips & Tours: We recommend GetYourGuide for a variety of well-organized and enjoyable activities.

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