Since the first time I heard a word about this town, I learned that “beautiful” was associated too many times with it… it really intrigued me since I knew little (actually nothing) about it from my previous investigations about Colombia’s main destinations, what a surprise I got from my quick visit to his place, for sure I will never forget about Mompox.
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This World Heritage Site since 93, is a land of beauties, the Magdalena river and the vegetation around it is fantastic and offers a well-deserved rest for the tired or stressed traveler that is looking for some peacefulness or a romantic gate away. Travel tip: bring lots of insect repellent, since Mompox in located in the middle of the jungle.
This town has remained the same since the 19th century, it is so clean and quiet, its picturesque streets only compared in beauty with the river that surrounds the town, woww..
Land of prodigious artisans, Mompox specialty is the Filigran, a fine jewelry work that consists of converting the silver into fine threads (equal to a hair) and make fine earrings, rings and all kind of beautiful things. The best part is the price, Mompocino artisans keep prices low to promote their art, for example, a pair of earrings cost from 20 to 30 dollars only, for a work that can take about 1 week or even more.
The store I visited was Tierra de Mompox, conformed by young Mompocino entrepreneurs and artists, offers all kinds of jewelry, and are now so prestigious that are requested to make crowns for Colombian beauty pageants. The store also offers a complete explanation of the process of filigree making step by step. If you are around, pay them a visit to see their work.
One curiosity is that Mompox is actually an island, formed by two arms of the river Magdalena this situation has isolated and protected this town over time, the only two ways to get into this town are by crossing a long bridge that goes above the River (located about 20 minutes away from the town), or by boat.
How to get there? You can visit this place easily by bus departing from Bogota (the bus terminal in the capital city is modern, clean and fantastic, fear prices (about 20 US dollars) and the buses are wonderful), or by plane first to any big city in the north of Colombia: Cartagena, Barranquilla, Santa Marta, Sincelejo, Valle Dupar, and then taking a private transport called Door-by-door, they pick you up from your hotel and leaves you in your Mompox hotel, receptionist of hotels usually have the contact info of reliable drivers . Travel tip: Make sure you request with the same person the way back and arrange price and departure time with anticipation, the return can be back to your hotel of the airport.
Once in Mompox:
There are some important activities you can do there, but first you need a great local guide, the one I had was fantastic (trust me, I am very picky with guides) his name is Luis Alfredo and you can contact him through his website clicking Here, this son of Mompox is in love with his culture and history. Travel tip: guides in Mompox are not fluid in English, this will be a great opportunity to practice your Spanish!
Restaurants, hotels, drinks, and food:
My number 1 option for a great coffee and ambiance is the guesthouse Sol de Agua, they have everything in one same place offering coffee, drinks, and food, and have as well rooms on rent for travelers, comes highly recommended, the owner and staff is kind, friendly and speak English.
Their coffee is fantastic (they even have a cappuccino machine) and offer sandwiches and other things, their location is beyond perfect, the best part of all for me, the front door looks directly to the river. Relax taking a book from their collection and enjoy a moment of peace. By the way, they have a system if book exchange, take one and leave one for their free communal library. One more thing, if you ever go there try their sour cream of cheese, it comes with the sandwich and is yummy!
Another highly recommended hotel, this time by our local guide (and the most luxurious of Mompox) is the Hostal Doña Manuela, located in a colonial house is maybe the most romantic location in the whole town.
Street food is my delight, local tamales and cheese in layers is typical in this region:
And talking about drinks, it was a big surprise the local wine, not of grape, of Corozo, the palm fruit.
Mompox is not a big town, the walking tour consist we visiting the 7 churches of the town, got to try local food and wine, learned about the filigree, visit the town’s cemetery (where dozens of cats are now residing, and are fed by visitors and neighbours ) were given all kinds of recommendations and tips , and all of that in 3 hours. Our guide was a great ambassador for his beloved town.
I hope to come back soon!
Photo credits: Vanessa Vasquez
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