(Last Updated On: July 31, 2017)
Going back to our fabulous trip to Colombia this spring, Frank and I had a little stop over at the famed Totumo Mud Volcano when we drove from Cartagena to Minca. Totumo is a volcano full of mud – but whether the “volcano” is actually real or simple a manmade tourist trap is actually a subject of debate. Nonetheless, it’s growing in popularity and was even featured in an episode of the Amazing Race. And why wouldn’t you want to go romp around in a mud pit when it’s right on the way to your intended destination? So, to Totumo Volcano we went.
The mud pool is actually not that large, but it is sunken within the crater. So, you get to climb the slipperiest ladders in the world to bath in the mud pit right next to people who you don’t know but suddenly become your best friend for the moment.
Next to Totumo Volcano is a large lagoon of sorts called Cienaga del Totumo which people use to bath in after covering themselves in mud.
A view of some of the restaurants and small shops that built themselves around the volcano.
The best thing we did was to hire a local “assistant” or “guide” of sorts. I think we paid him about $10 for a couple of hours of his time. But, we needed him. He kept our things safe and took pictures while we bathed in mud. He guided us to the right place to wash off in the lagoon where he also continued to watch our stuff and take pictures. He even washed our flip flops free of mud while we bathed in the lake. If you go to Totumo, hiring a guy like this will make your experience so much more enjoyable….
Here, Frank contemplates whether it’s a good idea to actually be going into this mud pit or not.
The ladder would not pass OSHA requirements here in the US. But, it was fine. I mean, it didn’t fall apart on us 😉
Bathing in mud like this is actually really kind of crazy. No matter what you do, you can’t sink. And it’s really quite difficult to move from point A to point B compared with doing so in water. It’s better to just lay there and enjoy the mud.
People in the mud bath will want to massage you for a fee. We opted not to partake in that.
Yep, the ladders are something else, especially because they are covered with extra coats of slimy mud.
But, all in all, it was fun. And definitely worth it.
We then headed over to the lagoon to rinse ourselves of mud. That mud ends up everywhere, so it took awhile. If you want, you can even pay a woman to help you bath. Again, we decided we could bath eachother, rather than have someone help us.
There are a handful of restaurants that surround Totumo Mud Volcano, so we picked one and ate some pretty good fish. It was a pretty traditional meal we found here in both Panama and Colombia – fish with rice and patacones (fried plantain).
Totumo Mud Volcano is certainly a unique experience that is worth the time if you’re visiting Cartagena. You’ll certainly have stories to tell after!