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Swimming in the Mud Crater of Volcano El Totumo

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Have you ever wanted to get up close to a volcano? Well at volcano el Totumo, not only can you get up close, but you can actually go inside! This isn't any old volcano, but it is a mud volcano!

That's right. This volcano has thick mud with healing powers that you can swim and float inside. Sounds messy, but it is probably one of the most unique and fun things that you will ever experience! Keep reading to learn all about visiting Volcano el Totumo in Colombia.

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About Volcano El Totumo

Is the mud volcano El Totumo a natural volcano? This is a question that we asked ourselves for quite a long time. Let's be honest, when you see pictures, or videos, about a tiny volcano that has some magical mud in it, where you can literally stay afloat, it doesn't look particularly natural.

Well, it turns actually is! This incredible spot has definitely some magic, and visitors always leave with a smile on their faces. That's why today we'll tell you everything you need to know about Volcano El Totumo.

Volcano El Totumo Danni & Fede

Totumo is the most unique volcano you'll ever visit!

How to Get to Volcano El Totumo

Well, we're not going to lie...If you don't have a car, getting here may be a little more complicated than just getting a ride. Cartagena and Barranquilla are two hours apart, and Totumo is literally in the middle of the two.

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If you're traveling by car, you can go either from Cartagena or Barranquilla and get there super fast. The entrance is actually just off the side of the main highway. After 5 minutes, you will be looking at a natural mud volcano in front of you!

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Volcano el Totumo stairs

Public Transportation

If you are using public transportation to get here, unfortunately, there are no direct buses that can drop you at the main entrance.

There is one bus leaving Barranquilla that will drop you off at "Sombrero Vueltiao", a restaurant on the side of the road that leads to Santa Verónica. But afterward, you won't find buses to complete the trip.

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Volcano el Totumo Pin
Volcano el Totumo Pin

The good thing is that many locals have realized this, so they will be waiting for you at the bus stop, to offer you a private trip to the mud volcano El Totumo. The price per person shouldn't be more than 6,000 COL (a little less than 2 USD). If they try to charge you more, they're trying to take advantage of you, so be sure to bargain the price.

No matter which option you choose here's a map to easily find mud volcano El Totumo: Map to the volcano

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Want to take an excursion from Cartagena to Totumo Volcano? Here are a few that you can book:

What Will You Find at Volcano El Totumo?

The main feature is, of course, the mud volcano itself. The best thing about it is that...YOU CAN SWIM IN IT! Yes, swim (in mud).

It's a small volcano (only 49 feet tall) with the particularity of having a pool of mud inside of it. Locals have built a set of stairs for people to be able to reach the top, and some of them even offer to take pictures for you (considering that you will be covered in mud!).

Volcano el Totumo mud Danni

Totumo is a volcano that you can swim in!

The volcano is a very old formation, but it only became popular a few decades ago. The ritual is very simple. You pay the entrance fee, you walk up the stairs, and once you're on the top you simply jump into the mud. It is so dense that you will literally stay afloat without even trying.

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You can stay in the mud volcano for as long as you want. You can float, swim, and draw in the mud until you get tired of being completely covered by it. Now it's time for the next step...getting rid of the mud!

Volcano el Totumo mud bath

You can easily float in the mud volcano.

What If I Can't Swim?

The thought of jumping into an endless pit of mud might sound scary! Honestly, it seems like it might be similar to quick sand, but because of the consistency, it is literally impossible to sink! So whether you're a strong swimmer or not, you can still swim in the mud volcano without worrying.

Washing Off

There's a second set of stairs in the volcano that lead to a big body of natural water. This is simply the easiest way of getting rid of the first thick layer of mud and come back like a normal person.

There's even a local tale that gives volcano El Totumo its magic. According to it, the volcano used to spew fire, lava, and ashes, but it was turned into mud by a local priest who believed it was the work of the Devil and endeavored to banish him by sprinkling holy water into it.

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Amenities at Volcano El Totumo

Volcano El Totumo is not just a place to visit in itself, but it also has some great amenities on site to make your experience even better.

Volcano el Totumo Amenities


This is one of the most important things that people ask once they arrive. Even though you can wash off in the river for free, if you plan on going somewhere after or want to really feel extra clean, there is another option.

The locals offer showers for a small price. They also have soap, although we did bring our own shampoo and conditioner. Make sure to bring an extra clean towel to dry off though!

Food & Drink at Totumo Mud Volcano

There are actually a couple of locals that offer food & drinks at Volcano el Totumo. We personally loved the restaurant on the right that was closest to the volcano, because we were able to shower while they were preparing our lunch.

They offer great options for local seafood, and at very affordable prices! Not only that. but they have fresh coconuts wish are perfectly refreshing for that Colombian heat. Just keep in mind that there may be flies or bees in the area that you will have to fan away.

fish Volcano el Totumo

You can get fresh fish right next to the volcano.


Want to bring home a small memento? Well there is a small souvenir shop that offers some small keepsakes that you can bring home with you.

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Other Things to Consider for Volcano El Totumo

We covered almost everything you need to know, but here are a few other things to keep in mind before your visit.

Bring an extra change of clothes

This may sound obvious, it's always good to keep in mind. Even if you find yourself on a gorgeous day out, and your bathing suit dries fast under the sun, there may be still some mud leftovers.

If you truly want to have fun with the experience and come out the way you came in, bring a change of clothes to shower after jumping into the mud volcano El Totumo.

Wear a bathing suit you don't love

We personally didn't have any issues with removing the mud, but that can't be taken as a guarantee. The color of the bathing suit you choose for the mud volcano El Totumo doesn't really matter, as it will be 100% covered by mud.

So give that old, abandoned bathing suit in your house the last ride, or use the one you were planning on getting rid of. Trust us, the color or state of that won't really make a difference.

Have some cash on hand

Everything around the mud volcano El Totumo is paid in cash. If you're getting there by public transportation, you will need cash. The entrance fee? only in cash. The shower? Still cash. Even the food is only paid in cash. So make sure that you start your day with enough bills to cover the basics.

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Ask a local to be your photographer

If you like having pictures of your experiences, if you are an influencer sharing your passion for traveling, or even if you want to have a fun memory of your time in the mud volcano El Totumo, you will need someone to take pictures for you.

And we don't say this just because a little mud can get your phone dirty. When you're at the top, there's no faucet for or anything to get rid of the mud with. If you want to go in & out of the mud, it will be virtually impossible to use your phone or camera.

Volcano el Totumo stairs

Many locals around the area will happily take pictures and videos for you, in exchange for a tip. This saved us a ton of time and effort, so we really think it's something you should consider.

Packing for a Visit to El Totumo Mud Volcano

Here are a few things that we suggest taking with you to El Totumo Mud Volcano:

  • Bathing Suit (preferably a darker color)
  • Change of Clothes
  • Flip Flops (we personally always get Havaiana flip flops, as they are comfy and long lasting)
  • Toiletries for the shower (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and loofah)
  • Reusable Water Bottle (we use this water bottle from Cafago because it holds the temperature)
  • Towel 
  • Power Bank (we use Anker power banks as they are super long lasting and durable)

 Things to bring to El Totumo Mud Volcano for Pictures:

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The experience of swimming in a natural mud volcano is pretty unique. The good thing is that Colombia has so many more things to offer to its visitors! If you want to plan a bigger trip to the land of delicious coffee, make sure to check out our other Colombian guides!

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