You can not leave Cartagena without experiencing the mud massage and being bathe in the lagoon.

You are probably thinking she is loco? I am not getting in a mud.

However, let me give you the official terminology and explanation.

El Totumo Mud Volcano (Spanish: Volcán de Lodo El Totumo) is an active mud volcano located near sea level in northern Colombia in the municipality of Santa Catalina. 

It is a local tourist destination, popular for its alleged healing mud.

Now, here is skinny on the mud bath.

Distance from Cartagena

To get from Cartagena to Santa Catalina is between 22 to 28 miles depending on what area you are located.

Guide

Recommendation is sign up with a tour guide/company that provides hotel pick up and drop off.

Cost

Average price is about $70 for a private guide. Less expensive if you go with a group

Mud Massage, Photographer, and Bath guides

The guides are not free. Per person is about 10 million pesos is about $4 USD. You will pay less than $20. Tips are at your discretion.

Attire

For the mud bath, you can wear a bathing suit or workout shorts and sports bra. Just make sure that you are comfortable.

We already knew that we planned on being in the mud, so we packed clothes that we were willing to throw away. However, we didn’t have to do it.

Hair

To my African American women, don’t get your hair done if you plan on doing this activity. Also, schedule the mud bath at the end of your trip to Cartagena.

You WILL get mud all over your hair.

Arrival

When you arrive to volcano, you are assigned guide who will take your pictures. You will need to hand over your phone to the guide. Don’t worry. The guides are friendly and with you the entire time. Just think they are your professional photographer.


The mound is about 15 m (49 ft) high and it is accessible via a staircase that leads to the crater.

Once you reach the top, you will go down a ladder about 16 ft (6m) There is a guide guiding your steps. It is very safe.

Once in, the guide will immediately place you on your back and you float. Knowing how to swim is NOT a requirement. The mud is extremely buoyant.

The crater can only hold up to 15 people. So try not to go with a boat load of people as you will wait. For our trip, we arrived around 9 am on a Sunday and we had the crater to ourselves.

As you notice, we all had a male guides who gave us massages. If you have had a massage at home, it is the same with the exception of mud.

The mud bath and massage is very relaxing. Afterwards, you can just hang around in the mud.

Once you have finished playing in the mud, you then will ascend up the ladder. Your guide will wipe you down your legs and remove the excess mud. For women, you will wipe down your front area.

Once you are at the top, you pose in the glory of the mud.

Remember, you went up to access the lagoon and now it is time to go down 😁

Afterwards, it was time to go to the lagoon to wash of the mud.

Bathing in the Lagoon

Now the last time I was bathed by an adult was when I was child. I really wasn’t expecting this. However, it was very refreshing.

Be warned, the water over your head is initially shocking not because it was cold more of not expecting it 😆

When I tell you that “mama” bathe me, she made sure the majority of the mud was off me.

They even rinse out your clothes especially if you decide to wear shorts and a tank top.

Finally, just sitting in water and just talking with friends is an extra bonus.

Lastly, make sure to bring a towel. You will need to dry off 😁