Colombia: Tatacoa Desert

One wouldn’t associate Colombia with deserts, but surprisingly there is a fairly large area of surreal desert landscapes in the rain shadow of the Andes east from Villavieja – Tatacoa Desert. It’s truly spectacular and full of eroded badlands, bright ochre and red in color, with twisting canyons and buttes (almost like Utah or Arizona). There are also many cacti – from giant cordon towers to small and round melocacti on the ground. Technically, Tatacoa is not a desert but an arid area receiving very little rain. But – surprise surprise! – the morning we got here was right after a torrential downpour of a rain shower. The rain turned the red and ochre powdery clay into vicious glue powder – just a couple steps on this and we were carrying pounds of soil attached to our feet and literally getting stuck. Nevertheless, we try to explore everything in full, shoes and car interior be damned!