Colombia 9: Santa Cruz de Mompox (Mompos)

We had heard about a town in the central swamps of Colombia that has a historic centre and an annual jazz festival -and known for its rocking chairs. Sounds kind of relaxed. This prompted us to detour despite the expected bad road conditions due to rain.

Santa Cruz de Mompox hat einen Namen, welcher zu einem Besuch einlädt. Und wenn es dort auch noch Jazz Konzerte gibt, kann dies einen Besuch Wert sein -und so nahmen wir diesen Schlenker in Kauf.

We continued on Ruta 45 until we turned off to the west at El Burro. The closer we got to our destination, the swampier the surrounding area became. First we witnessed cows grazing in water, however they started making way for water buffalo. It was a pleasure seeing the huge trees and the many birds and butterflies in the region.

We crossed the Rio Magdalena, passed Margarita and San Fernando before finally reaching Santa Cruz de Mompox, which is also called Mompos.

Here we found accommodation inside the courtyard of the Hotel Santa Cruz de Mompox, it fitted a maximum of 3 vehicles. Across the hotel locals offered us parking and we could camp – however the area was not fenced in and we were a little concerned about the security during the day, when our vehicles would be left unattended. At the hotel we had access to a bathroom in one of the rooms.The hotel was a good choice indeed as we had nightly downpours of rain.

In Mompos everything was accessible on foot from the hotel. It had various plazas, each with its own old church, some dating back to 1540 AD.

The town stretched along the Rio Magdalena where boat trips were offered. It was also a good place to spot the iguanas that mainly live on the trees along the river.

The town itself had a few restaurants, quaint craft shops, especially the Joyerias (jewellery shops) that sell intricate silver jewellery handcrafted on site. This is a speciality craft in Mompox.

Note the way the streets are constructed -all shops are high above the regular flood line.

The small cemetery was a special sight.

At time of our visit preparations were under way for the annual jazz festival – unfortunately we could not stay.

When visiting this area be prepared for mozzies, high humidity and uncomfortable temperatures – it is a marshy area. Colombia is re-developing its tourist industry and the tourist police interviewed visitors to ensure they feel comfortable and feel welcomed in Mompos.

This post covers 9th-11th October 2016


Author: Dieter

A passionate traveller and photographer with an urge to share the beauty of our planet.

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