While traveling in Southwest Colombia, you hardly expect to find a desert. Mixed in among the lush green mountainous landscape is a 330 square kilometer region packed with interesting formations, canyons, and incredible scenery. Desierto de la Tatacoa is an unusual place that in fact is not even a true desert. It's a dry tropical forest.
Named the "Valley of Sorrows" in 1538, Desierto de la Tatacoa is much more than just a dead zone. It's rich in plant and animal life and is also a phenomenal place for stargazing.
A tour in Tatacoa starts with the gateway town of Villavieja. You can visit the colonial church and the local Paleontology Museum. The small museum contains fossils from several animals found nearby, including giant land sloths.
Next, you can start exploring the different sectors of the desert. The most scenic part is El Cuzco, which is an amazing place to walk. It involves about an hour of walking into a small canyon and the landscape is like something out of Star Wars.
The next stop is La Ventana (The Window). It's a lookout point where you're able to see out over a vast gray landscape, hence the name "the window".
At Los Hoyos, you can hike through interesting formations and climb a small mesa for breathtaking views.
The best attraction at Tatacoa might not be the landscape at all! An astronomy center gives nightly talks under a clear starry sky, and allows you to view planets and stars through telescopes.
Visit Tatacoa Desert on our Complete Colombia tour, or add it to any customized tour.