Squeezing the most out of life | An Aussie and a Colombian living life with a wandering spirit. Eight years together & over 60 countries up our sleeves, we're sharing the love |

Watching the world go by in Mompox

Leaving the Caribbean Coast behind and heading East, the Colombian landscape changes rapidly. A green world unfolds as the environment and the communities that live there become all about the mighty Magdalena River. It´s an area of perpetual rain in Northern Colombia that has seen the river swell with the worst floods in over 40 years. With a sticky climate and soggy roads the river provides an essential transport system reminiscent of the Amazon.

The main attraction for us being the town of Santa Cruz de Mompox, part of an island community within the Magdalena River. Besides the gorgeous architecture, the true heart of the place belongs to the people. Walking around the historic streets locals invite you in to their homes, greet you with a smile and go out of their way to make sure you have everything you need. It´s not a popular tourist destination for backpackers so you get the sense that people aren´t worn down from prying eyes and curious questions. It feels incredibly safe and after the heat of the day the atmosphere of the place comes in to it´s own.

Huge colonial houses open their doors and windows, rocking chairs take pride of place on porches and the salsa taps it´s way in to the night. Under the swollen cloudy skies people play dominoes, sip sugar and lime drinks and knock back a few beers. Monkeys chase each other in the swampy fig trees and tree iguanas make their move down to the streets searching for food. Mompox has such a unique architectural history that UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1995.

Staying at La Casa Amarilla is as much a part of the Mompox experience as strolling the streets. The staff there are incredibly nice and the Hostel is set in a restored building that feels straight out of a Gabriel García Márquez novel.

Mompox seems very out of the way compared to other destinations in Colombia, but any effort to get there is completely worth it. I loved it!

Getting there is an adventure in itself. After a long and windy drive from the coast to Magangué you need to catch a motor bike to the local port, jump on a ferry carrying cars and cargo and watch the world go by for 40 minutes or so. Then it´s a taxi or motorbike for 38 kilometres to Mompox. Heading out of Mompox you need to get to El Banco and the roads are a mess of unpaved clay which can take up to 3 hours to get to a river bank, then a quirky little crossing on three canoes strung together with some planks and onward to the bus terminal. If you´re going to Bucaramanga the journey is meant to take 7 hours but with one way bridge crossings, wet roads and loads of trucks it took us 12 hours. Take a good book!


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There are 2 Comments to "Watching the world go by in Mompox"

  • Karla says:

    Absolutely enjoy reading your blog and looking at your photos. You definitely have an art for capturing the essence of each place you visit. Thank you for sharing.

  • kris says:

    Thanks so much Karla, appreciate the feedback. Are you travelling in Colombia now or hoping to go? Mompox really is worth a visit if you can make it there.

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