One of the essential tourist stops in Cartagena, Colombia is the Volcan Totumo, or more commonly called "The Mud Volcano". This mud volcano resembles a giant anthill located about 45 minutes outside of Cartagena. Tourists from all over come here for the experience of bathing in a giant pool of mud...with 25 or so other strangers.
Before my dad and brother arrived in Colombia (blog post to come!) I spent two days in Cartagena with fellow teachers Rob, Mike, Mandi and Sam. The mud volcano was on our list of "to-dos" because of all the reviews we heard from friends about the unique experience. I mean, when else are you going to go swimming in a volcano of mud?!?!?! Thus, after organizing the day trip through our hotel we set off for a day of mud-bathing, lunch and swimming afterwards. The trip to the mud volcano was kind of long because we picked up others along the way, so by the time we arrived I was sleepy from the bus ride, but still psyched to try it out.
As you get off the bus this giant mud structure looms in front of you and the line of "swimmers" snakes down the side of a rickety set of stairs. We lined up and waited our turn! Finally at the top we noticed how many people were in the mud at one time and realized we were going to get quite close to everyone around us! Inside the mud was super weird...it didn't really feel dirty, but more a weird sense of buoyancy. In general you floated in the mud, but you sort of had to work to stay upright and not get kicked by someone else moving around. And then sometimes you just got kicked anyway. :)
Looking up at what was to come!
Our whole group in front of the volcano! From left to right: Rob, Mandi, me, Mike and Sam.
Waiting our turn to get in!
Loving it. :)
After a ten to fifteen minute stint in the mud we got out and made the walk down to the river where woman washed us off, cleaned our suits (yes, we awkwardly took them off in the river and sat under the water until we could put them back on!), and sent us on our way.
After the volcano we had some lunch and swam in the ocean for a bit before returning to Cartagena. I definitely enjoyed the swimming part as it felt good to swim around and be clean again. Overall, the mud volcano was definitely a unique and funny experience with some priceless photos!