After driving about an hour from the touristy downtown of Cartagena to the middle of nowhere we approach a muddy hill with stairs leading to the top, this is really a Volcano? As the car doors open the locals begin to bombard us, overwhelming yet it gave us many options to pick from for a "tour guide". From his broken English and our broken Spanish we understand that he wants to take pictures for us and lead us on this tour of a lifetime. We've handed over phones, cameras and polaroid and hope for the best! As we climb to the top of the volcano we hear utter nonsense!.People were screaming at each other(or just speaking REALLY loudly), some were struggling to get in, while others were struggling to get out of this pit of mud six feet under. We all looked at each other unsure that we made the right choice choosing the Volcan over a beach day. There was so much anxiety over this cluster f*%! but what came next made up for it.
We were each nudged down this slimy ladder where at the bottom we were greeted by another local, only this one gave us a massage. As he led us to a corner we realized we were floating! If you have been to the Dead Sea you may understand what this feeling is like, except this mud volcano is more bottomless than a mimosa on a Sunday and salt isn’t stinging every empty pore of your body.
Once we relaxed we began to feel incredibly comfortable and lost all sense of our surroundings. This natural mud volcano we were in could possibly be better than one of those pretentious spas where you pay hundreds for a mud bath. Just close your eyes and enjoy! Also smile; up top our local guide was taking pictures of this glorious experience!
After floating around and becoming a raisin from head to toe we were directed to the lake a few feet away. The stairs down was a great candid moment, our guide made sure to get a picture of us all muddy (make sure to do this!) Down at the lake some local women greeted each of us, led us into the water and began to wash us. Don’t be alarmed when they ask you to take off your bathing suit, nudity is natural, and they’re just doing their job. Afterward each local that helped us followed us to our car and basically demanded for a tip. Expect to tip around 2500 to 5000 pesos per person. All in all we probably spent $10 dollars a person for a massage in a mud volcano, a “professional” photographer capturing this moment, cute local old women giving us their version of a sponge bath and unforgettable memories. We would definitely say this was one of our favorite parts of our trip! If you’re ever in Cartagena do NOT miss this.