Volcan de Totumo is a day trip from Cartagena. It is highly reviewed and recommended in TripAdvisor and other travel sites, so it first came across as a tourist trap. We resisted but in the end were very happy we tried it out. Let me start by saying it is touristy but well worth the experience.
Approximately a one hour drive from Cartagena, the “volcano” is a giant mound of mud. It is claimed that the mud has therapeutic qualities and hence is very popular. You have to climb up a few steps and then down into the mud using the ladder. The locals help you into the “volcano” and offer massages. May sound creepy but it isn’t and they just help cover your body with mud. You can choose to decline and spend time on your own, like we chose to do. The feeling of weightlessness you experience is unique and for us the most exciting part of the day. The mud pit is quite deep and even though your feet never reach the bottom, you stay afloat and bob around. Great fun!
We were lucky it wasn’t very busy and so got a little more time in the mud. The locals limit the amount of time to keep crowds moving so recommend going early in the day. The locals also clean you up as you leave the mud pit in order to preserve the amount of mud. You can see clearly that the levels have reduced over the years.
Once you leave the “volcano”, time for cleanup. Nothing can prepare you for the thorough cleanse the local ladies will give you to clean all the mud of you. They walk you down to the river and may even pull your swim gear off. Just soak in the experience 🙂