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EL Totumo Mud Volcano

A not-to-be-missed messy treat just 50km northeast of Cartagena, the El Totumo Mud Volcano features an impressive ‘mud vent’ that goes some 2300m beneath the earth, and acts as a channel for hot mud to rise to the surface of a 15m-high mud cone.

Located in the Ciénaga de Totumo (Totumo swamp), the ‘volcano’ is reached by ascending a rickety bamboo staircase, from which you can observe plenty of mud-clad travellers, rolling around in the apparently therapeutic volcanic mud, happy as a pig in proverbial shit.

According to local legend, the volcano used to belch out lava, fire and ashes, but it was turned into mud by a local priest who believed it was the work of the devil, and sprinkled holy water into the crater.

Afterwards, rinse off in the nearby lagoon and enjoy a cold beer with the other gringo pigs.

Be careful when arranging transport to the volcano – local cabbies have been known to try charging hundreds of pounds for the ride. Book a tour with your hostel instead, which shouldn’t set you back more than about £13.


KEEP READING for our insider's guide



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