Volcan de Lodo El Totumo (Mud Volcano), Cartagena
(3.4/5 based on 1,000+ reviews on the web)
Take a rejuvenating dip into the pool of Volcan de Lodo El Totumo (Mud Volcano), one of Colombia's dirtiest--but healthiest--attractions. According to legend, the 15 m (49 ft) mound was once a proper volcano, spewing lava and frightening the villagers. In order to protect his flock from the obvious work of the Devil, a local priest sprinkled the crater with some holy water, turning it instantly into a mud pool. Today, the volcano's claim to fame is the therapeutic properties of its mud, which attracts huge numbers of tourists. Access the mud pool via a staircase. Consider getting a massage from one of the pool's attendants, or just head straight for the mud. Follow up with a bath in the nearby river, where another group of attendants can help you rinse off. Many hotels and hostels in Cartagena offer organized tours to the volcano. Work out when and for how long to visit Volcan de Lodo El Totumo (Mud Volcano) and other Cartagena attractions using our handy Cartagena travel itinerary planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • very good experience of bathing in mud at him crater of the volcano with the massage including a unique experience
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  • This is about 45mins away from the city center of Cartagena. This was something I really wanted to do after seeing it on the Amazing Race TV show. It was quit a different experience. I skipped the who...  more »
  • This place is definitely a stop more than obliged. They are 45mins of travel, and to get there, everything is very rustic. I have to pay for 3 (optional) services: take you photos, that you take showers and give you massage in the mud. We pay for the first 2 because if you need someone to take photos inside the volcano and that someone you bathe to go back more comfortable. Truly amazing!
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Google
  • Amazing unique experience. Make sure to keep your balance or you'll get a mouth full of mud! :) visiting this place is a must. We took a tour down there, but if you have the chance of taking a bus or a taxi you'll find less people there and get more time and space in the vulcano. Only down side to that is that you may have to pay for someone to keep your belongings.
  • Ejejejej. Guerra de. Barro , jejeejej
  • Step away if you're not ready for a unique / exquisite experience. Tl;Dr version: Choose a company that seems more organised Take cash in small bills and coins 40,000 COP - Tour Optionals (but not so much) 10,000 COP - lunch 4,000 COP - Massage 4,000 COP - Clean up service 4,000 COP - Picture taking service ----------------- Full review: To go to Totumo you'll have to either find a company that takes you there, or go by car. It's 40,000 COP without lunch and an additional 10,000 for lunch. The company we went with had tours leaving at 8:30, but went around the whole city picking up more tourists, so it took about an hour or so for us to really leave. It takes you around an hour to get there and when you do, you're taken to a changing room to get dressed (or undressed ;p) and store your backpack in their "locker", which is really just a table. This looks unsafe, but really wasn't. You can give a camera to one of the "staff" there and he will take rather good photos for 4,000 COP. He can really remember which camera belongs to each person and you can expect tons of pictures to look at. The staircase to climb is rather steep, but doable and when you get to the top you will have to wait, depending on the number of people already in the "volcano". When you go down, a guy helps you out and already sends you to another one that will massage your body with the mud. This is supposedly optional, but can hardly be avoided, as the guy sort of controls where you "land". They will charge you 4,000 COP later. You get to hang out there for quite some time after the massage, depending on the amount of people waiting outside. I would say most people stay there for 15-20min. The exit might be tricky, as the staircase is muddy and slippery. After exiting, you need to remove the mud by going to the lake, where a lot of women will ask to bath you. The lake was pretty dry in our visit, so we didn't have much of a choice and let them clean us up, which is actually nice, since you need lots of water to do so. They also charge you 4,000 COP. After getting cleaned, you return to get tour stuff or do a refined cleaning process in the showers. Beware because this showers are very weak and you will have to struggle to clean yourself if you do not opt to pay the women. This is also where paying a good your company is handy, because although ours didn't offer a proper locker, it did offer lunch, a place with showers, bathrooms, tables and such. Others might be a lot simpler. It's when you're packing up to go that all the cleaning ladies, massage guys and photographer will appear to charge you. Do take cash in small bills, as they often don't have any change. The lunch is in the return trip and rather simple: fried chicken or fish, grilled chicken or a vegetarian option. The lunch took some time to be ready and we did wait a lot to go back of Cartagena, which was a little upsetting. In the end, it is a fun experience, which might be somewhat expensive compared to the fare to do a boat tour, but it is worth it if you're up for the experience.
  • My trip to El Totumo was the best thing I did in Colombia by far. My friends and I took a local bus for a few hours from Cartagena. It was a beautiful ride and once we were dropped off the middle of nowhere, we paid a few dollars to a motorcyclist to take us to the volcano. Once there, we paid a small few to climb the stairs to the top of the mud bath to enjoy the most silky mud bath you'll ever experience. It seems small, but it does fit a lot of people in there. One thing to beware of is there are men in the mud bath who will give you a massage for a fee. Just ask them not to and you should be good. The mud is so think you float. When you're done (You can pay someone to take photos using your camera as you bath), you walk (or slide) down the volcano to the lake. There old women will wash you off (Warning: They'll take off all your clothes without asking so be warned of that) clean. They have buses that will take you back to Cartagena. It's definitely an adventure and worth the trip!
  • If you don't mind getting dirty I would definitely recommend this experience. It is such a peculiar experience to be this buoyant.