One of the absolute highlights of our trip to Colombia was a stop at the mud Volcano, El Totumo. It was our last stop before leaving the country, and definitely the kids’ favorite memory! We had a driver for the 4+ hours from Santa Marta to Cartagena and we asked him to stop there on the way. It’s not far out of Cartagena. We pulled into a dusty parking lot and our driver parked while we made our way towards the hill. Two guides immediately joined us, and offered to hold our things and take photos for us. They were very friendly and helped us navigate the small crowd at the top and descend into the mud pit. Once in, we had a blast! The mud was thick and sticky and warm, like a bath. Our feet didn’t touch the bottom; we were buoyant enough to just sort of float on the surface. There was a very insistent gentleman who kept sneaking up and trying to give us massages, even after we tried to politely convey that we weren’t interested. Maybe that would have been a time to be less polite and more forceful, but overall he was harmless.
When the wind hit us after we got out it was a bit chilly. Once we got to the bottom again the wind subsided and the sun warmed us. Then it was time to walk down to the river to get rinsed off. There are some local ladies who do the job for you for a small tip. I had read ahead of time that they were very thorough, and that turned out to be the truth! They were very business-like and no part of me was missed…I was certainly mud-free when they were finished. We paid the typical tips to the ladies and the two friendly guides who had taken photos for us and walked back towards the car to change into dry clothes. Standing there waiting a bit creepily by the car was the massage guy from up top, clearly expecting a tip for his “services”. He must have been following us. We tossed him a tip and jumped in the car. Back to Cartagena for one night’s sleep before our flight out to Panama early in the morning.