Tatacoita, the hidden ‘cold’ desert near Bogotá that attracts tourists from all over the country

Tatacoita, the hidden ‘cold’ desert near Bogotá that attracts tourists from all over the country
Tatacoita, the hidden ‘cold’ desert near Bogotá that attracts tourists from all over the country

Tatacoita is considered a ‘cold’ desert because it has the characteristics of these areas, but is located 2,800 meters above sea level – credit @alsidero/X

Just two hours from Bogotá is La Tatacoita, a cold desert located in Nemocón, Cundinamarca, within the Finca Los Ciros, 2,800 meters above sea level. The magic of the place that experienced erosion for hundreds of years resulted in sandy formations such as labyrinths, gullies, sinkholes, estoraques and a canyon.

The process of erosion of the rock bodies by the felling of a native forest, the cultivation of trees such as pine and the variety of sand next to the sunset reflect a palette of colors that when combined create a visual mosaic in the labyrinths, offering a natural and unique spectacle.

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Those interested in visiting the site will also be able to enjoy a seven-kilometer (km) ecological walk, which takes three and a half hours. During the tour, visitors will be delighted by the beauty of the landscape and the historical and archaeological wealth of the place, since in La Tatacoita there are several fossil remains of mammoths and numerous archaeological remains, including sets of cave paintings and vases.

The tourist experience includes the guidance of guides who at different stations will tell the story of La Sábana de Bogotá and they will learn about the dynamics and customs of the indigenous tribes of the region that inhabited the territory for thousands of years.

For thousands of years the area was inhabited by indigenous tribes – credit @alsidero/X

Although hiking in the Tatacoita desert does not represent a danger for tourists, several recommendations must be taken into account to ensure a good experience.

The climate in this area is cold, so it is advisable to bring warm clothing to protect yourself from the low temperatures. It should also be noted that the walk is long, so it is advisable to wear comfortable clothing and tennis shoes with good grip, extra change of clothes, include tennis shoes, large bags, towel, sunscreen, cap, and raincoat in case it rains.

Hydration is also essential for the route. In addition, alcohol and caffeine-rich beverages should be avoided.

La Tatacoita is two hours from Bogotá – credit @alsidero/X

Even though the desert does not have a sunny climate, tourists should have sunscreen on hand, since at 2,800 meters above sea level the sun’s rays are stronger and more damaging to the skin. Therefore, you should use sunscreen with a high SPF, sunglasses, and light-colored clothing that covers arms and legs. It is also important to keep in mind that it is not advisable to be exposed to the sun for several hours, since there is a possibility of ending up with sunstroke.

Another key recommendation for the tour is to wear appropriate footwear. Guides suggest wearing boots or closed, comfortable shoes, preferably with good traction for walking on sandy and rocky terrain. Also, consider that you will get hungry throughout the day. To avoid running out of energy, it is advisable to bring snacks and foods that do not require refrigeration, such as nuts and energy bars.

It is essential that tourists respect the environment, do not leave litter and follow the rules of the place, since conservation depends on the responsibility of those attending.

Finally, guides recommend always having a survival kit on hand in case someone gets lost or strays from the established route. The kit can include a flashlight, spare batteries, a map, a compass and a first aid kit.

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