What can be more soothing and calm than a face mask? Your body immersed in a volcano mud bath! On my recent trip to Colombia, one tour my husband and I really wanted to take was the El Totumo tour.
Located 45 minutes outside of Cartagena, Colombia this little volcano at aprox. 49 feet tall is a tourist attraction. Tourists emerge themselves in a volcano mud bath for a total body spa experience. However, don’t expect luxury.
We booked our tour with our hotel, Arsenal Hotel, and they had the tour company Mary Tours pick us up at our hotel in the afternoon. Once you arrive you can either lock up your personal belongings in a locker or leave it on the tour bus which the driver locks. You proceed to the stairs, leave your flip-flops at the bottom, and wait your turn to enter the mud bath. Depending on how many tourists are there you can have a bit of a wait. About 30 other tourists end up in the mud bath at one time, which gets pretty cramped. But nonetheless hilarious as you try to balance and float yourself upright expect to get knocked around.
Part of the tour includes a body message in the mud-bath by locals. And pictures are taken by one local who holds every camera and somehow is able to remember which camera belongs to which tourist. Bring change for tips as these locals survive on El Totumo’s tourism.
After the mud bath, which lasts about 30 minutes, depending how many tourists are in line. You descend the volcano from another set of stairs and proceed to the lake where you can have a local help you wash off the mud.
After, you proceed to the tour bus. There is a unisex change area and outside shower, but not much time is given to dry off. Hence, bring a towel and cotton beach clothing that is easy to change into.
TIP: take the afternoon tour as less tourists
Overall, the El Totumo tour was one of our highlights of our trip and would highly recommend the tour to anyone in the Cartagena area.
How to get there:
- take one of the tours that the hotel offers, price $30 cdn (approx)
- a taxi is also another option but make sure you ask the driver to wait for you as you won’t be able to get a taxi afterwards as in a remote area
What to bring:
- towel and beach attire (bring a bikini that you don’t mind getting stained as it took me a few days to get the mud out of mine)
- change for tips
- and no valuables (other than the camera) which I had no problem, give it to the local who is in charge of the cameras
Have you ever taken a volcano mud-bath?