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“OMG!!! This was sooooo much fun!!!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Volcan de Lodo El Totumo (Mud Volcano)

Volcan de Lodo El Totumo (Mud Volcano)
Cartagena, Colombia
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Ranked #20 of 37 Attractions in Cartagena
Type: Volcanos, Spas, Outdoors
Attraction details
Toronto
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
“OMG!!! This was sooooo much fun!!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

I think we laughed the whole time from when we descended into the warm mud "volcano", got manhandled/massaged, bobbed around in the mud, slithered out, and flopped down to the lake where ladies wash you off (take off your suit and everything - don't worry the water is murky enough for modesty - and bath you like a baby including cleaning out your ears, hilarious!). Trust me, you want these ladies washing out your suit after it's been soaked in mud! This is a seriously fun thing to do and the mud is a crazy feeling ... warm, mineral, unsinkable. You leave feeling very invigorated! Getting all the little extras like the massage, wash-off and photos (guy will take photos for you with your camera if you bring it to the top with you ... he's juggling about a dozen cameras at any given time and takes great photos) is totally worth it. The fee is about $1.50 per service, so for two people it was $7.50 total: seriously, why are people complaining about this? These are locals doing the work they can to earn a living.

Yes, the stairs are a bit rickety but nothing dangerous. Just be careful.

There is a little cantina where you can get beer and other refreshments afterwards. Bathrooms are *basic* with no TP ... but you knew that, travelling in Colombia ;)

We went with a tour bus of about 20 people and had lunch included at a local beach cafe on the way back to Cartagena with a few hours to relax on the beach. All in all, it was a very nice way to spend the day for 40,000 pp.

Couple of tips: Wear and old bathing suit and wear it under your clothes there (change rooms are not great) ... I think I washed mine about 15 times when I got home to get the last of the mud out of the lining. We were able to leave our bags on our tour bus which was great. Bring a towel. Take your camera to the top and the guy will take photos for you.

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
70 attraction reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
181 helpful votes 181 helpful votes
“Amazing Experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014

I went here while visiting Cartagena with a friend and her daughter. Her daughter is only 3 years old, so I knew if I wanted to try this, I would have to go alone. After talking to some friends who had done it last year, I knew it would be worth it! Let me tell you about my experience.

Know what to expect going in. I paid 38,000 pesos (about $15) for the afternoon trip (which does not include lunch). What a reasonable price considering it includes taking me from my hotel to the volcano, the experience itself, and the trip back.

I will tell you upfront that the bus is nice, clean, safe, and there is a guide, but the guide knew only limited English (this is why it is important to know what to expect going in). The drive is about an hour long from Bocagrande.

When you arrive, you go into a little building and change into your bathing suit, then you basically leave your bag and clothes in a little room (there are some lockers, but nowhere near enough...so only bring the basics!) Give your camera to the guy who works there, he will take pictures of you!

Next, you climb the mountain. Now, the stairs are rudimentary, but do-able. There were lots of elderly people in my group and everyone was ok. Then you climb down this ladder into the mud. There is a guy to help you onto the ladder and a guy to help you into the mud at the bottom. Now you will get covered in mud and given a massage!!! Very nice!!

Then you enjoy the mud as long as you want and then you climb out on a different ladder. The guys will help you up to steady you and get rid of the excess mud.

Next, walk down the stairs and head to the lagoon where the local ladies will wash you. They wash everything, your hair, your bikini, and your shoes! They are great!

Now, head back to the main building to get your towel, dry yourself off and get dressed!

While you wait for everyone else, grab a beer or pop or whatever to drink and relax. When they are done with everyone else, the men and women who work there will come to get paid for the excess services:
massage - 3000 pesos ($1.50)
wash you, your bikini, and your shoes - 3000 pesos ($1.50)
pictures - 3000 pesos ($1.50)

Amazing. Beer, also 3000 pesos. I basically brought exactly that much money because I read everyone`s reviews and I knew what to expect. Then we all got back on the bus and brought back to our hotels. Amazing.

An extremely good experience for me. Unique, special. I would recommend it to anyone coming here. Please just know what to expect.

Bring:
- about 15000 pesos ($7.50) to pay for the extra stuff
- a towel
- your camera
- wear shoes you don`t mind getting dirty
- wear a bathing suit you won`t mind if it gets stained...it is hard to get it completely clean again
- don`t bring valuables...you will be leaving everything in a room while you go get dirty!!

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prague, Czech Republic
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
31 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Unbeliavable natural phenomen”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014

This mud volcano is something I really was impressed with. We were told it was 2000 m deep, which is hard to imagine. Nobody can drawn in it, though, as the mud upholds your body.
And there is a lot of fun when rolling in.
What is unbeliavable, too, is the state of this attraction. Steps up and down the volcano are in bad shape and people must walk barefoot over rough terrain. Ladders inside the pit are very crudely made. And a lot of rubbish is visible everywhere around. Why local people, whose income depends on tourism, don´t improve whole area, beats me.

Visited February 2014
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Fordingbridge, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
61 attraction reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
“HUGE FUN”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2014

I booked my trip with great trepidation as I had read lots of negative reviews. However, I had a FANTASTIC TIME.
You could go in a private taxi but I think you probably wouldn't have as much fun - in my opinion.
I had booked a tour (small minibus of approx. 18 people). There were the usual 'pick ups' from all around the hotels/b & b's etc which was a bit of a drag. However, everyone on the bus was friendly & introduced themselves & we felt as though we were 'all in it together'. This definitely helped once we were in the mud volcano as it got 'very friendly'. It was hard to keep yourself upright - once you lost your centre of gravity & toppled over, you needed a 'friend' to manhandle you upright again.
I'd recommend having the brief 'massage' - you got more space & more special attention. Then, once you were suitably massaged, you moved over to the other area of the mud to 'wallow'.
Everyone's moans about the propinas (tips) are really exaggerated. These people are just trying to earn some sort of wage - they are not begging!! There is the 'camera man' who takes your camera to the top (along with half a dozen others) & then takes loads of photos for you. He then returns your camera to you when you are cleaned off & ready to leave (cost £1 - for goodness sake, what is the problem here!!).
Then there are the ladies in the lake. One of them will get all the mud off of you & wash your costume out. You really do need some help - trust me! (cost £1). The massage cost £1 (I think). This was totally optional.
There was also a small cost to the lad who looked after your flipflops & washed them (60p I think).
These people are hardly making a fortune. They are just trying to work to provide for their families.
The whole experience was totally surreal & I was so glad that I did it.
My tour included a trip to the beach & a very nice lunch so it was a brilliant day out.
I am happy to recommend it.

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Balneario Camboriu, SC
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Weird but nice”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2014

The volcano is not in Cartagena city itself but in a nearby village. It's not exactly what you see in the pictures, the mud is around 2 meters below the crater and you have to descend by stairs, but it's deep and you can't touch the bottom.

It's a weird feeling to stand there without touching anything and unable to dive, but it's nice.

In the volcano there are some men to make you massage with the mud and you stay there around 30 minutes.

After that you walk to the lake and take a bath, again there are some people there to wash you, take your cloths off and wash then too.

You pay for every service done there but the values are around U$1,00, U$1,50.

Visited January 2014
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