Tatacoa desert

Country: Colombia
Region: Huila, Tatacoa Desert
Activity: hike, horse riding, bike
Duration: 1 to 3 days
Cost: free for non guided hikes

During our trip to Colombia we have chosen to explore the desert of Tatacoa, the second most arid region of the country with spectacular rock formations.

tatacoa-desetTo get there we chose the economical bus option from Popayan, but we regret it and definetelly not advised it!The ride to Neiva lasts between 8 and 10 hours on an unsealed mountain road !

Better opt for the plane from Bogota. It won’t cost you much more and that will be quick and pleasant. There is also the option of the bus starting from Bogota (count 5 hours) but we do not know if the bus is more comfortable.

Once in Neiva you can take one of the shuttles that leave from Neiva bus terminal and take you directly to your accommodation in the desert. The price of the shuttle in 2016 was 15,000 pessos per person. Usually they wait until the last bus and flights.

hike-colombia-tatacoaAlthough on Google there is very little choice, you will definetley find accommodation once you arrive at Tatacoa. ( More than 12 posadas)

hebergement-tatacoa-desertOur host at the  Guaca Estadero preparing a delicious sugarcane with lemons  juice . They offer as most of the fincas housing and a camping with views over the red desert.

tatacoa-red-desertHiking in the red desert:
1 hour hiking and 3 liters of water consumed 🙂

tatacoa-huila tatacoa-desertWith every step the rocks invite us to continue this lunar stroll even if the  heat was almost unbearable.

desert-de-tatacoaBreathless!!! I am in one of Clint Eastwood’s westerns! tatacoa-desert-colombia tatacoa-desert tatacoa-colombieSurrounded by cactus and solitary birds in the middle of red desert.

desert-wildlifeSecond hike option in the gray desert!

This fossil-rich region dating back several million years is popular with geologists and palaeontologists but also with tourists especially between November and March. But if you choose wisely you won’t come across many tourists. tatacoa-colombia randonnée-desert-de-tatacoaNormally a guide is recommended for this second part of the desert but the 1hour circuit can be done independently.

To get there from the observatory you can opt for an one-hour tour with a guide, hitchhiking, rent a bike, take a motorcycle taxi, or, for the Sportrotters what better than a 1h30min hike.

grey-desert-tatacoa desert-gris-tatacoaUnfortunately this part of the world do not escape pollution with plastic bags and bottles thrown by careless tourists….

dechets-desert-de-tatacoa tatacoa-desert-hikeYou can also opt for a horse ride. We would have liked to test it but time was running out!

 Very nice too, the natural pools throughout the hikes in the desert. Also one can buy water almost everywhere so no need to bring in too much because it heats so quickly that it seems to drink hot tea 🙂

We recommend to start very early (the sun rises around 5.30). We were blessed with clouds during our stay 🙂 so the heat was bearable but without the clouds, it’s very hot in the desert!

parots-tatacoa peroquet-tatacoa

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