Places You Can’t-Miss of Santa Cruz de Mompox
Santa Cruz de Mompox is the perfect destination to discover a colonial jewel, authentic and free from the masses of Cartagena. You will be taken back in time to live the dream of a life long ago.
Mompox (also known as Mompós) is a charming colonial town that once was the main river port and a vital connecting link between the interior of Colombia and the coast. Its architecture and churches are outstanding and wonderful places to visit off the beaten path.
Located some 272 km/170 miles southeast of Cartagena among mangrove swamps, Mompox is a historic gem well worth visiting, built on an island in the middle of the Magdalena river. It is one of the most picturesque towns in all of Colombia, rivaling even Bariacha. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also a Pueblo Patrimonio.
Apart from seeing the spectacular architecture and imagining yesteryear, the surrounding mangroves and rivers make for a wonderful boating experience. The Jazz Festival in September and Semana Santa (Holy Week) are famous events.
*Interested in visiting Mompox from Santa Marta? Check out our 2-day Mompox tour from Santa Marta.
A stroll through the colorful streets will take you past many colonial churches, including Santa Barbara. It was built in 1613 and is on a large plaza and is especially pretty at night.
In the main plaza, you will find the Church of the Immaculate Conception. There is quite a history to this church worth looking into.
The red-colored San Francisco Church is a couple of blocks off the main plaza near the waterfront. This is very attractive at night also.
Other churches of note include San Agustín, Santo Domingo and San Juan de Díos.
You can start your trip to Mompox from Cartagena. See our tour and transportation options in Cartagena here.
Without a doubt, visit one of the many goldsmith workshops and admire the super quality of jewelry made locally.
Mompox is the site where the Declaration of Absolute Independence from Spain was made on 6 August 1810, so the Plaza de La Libertad is interesting.
Ciénaga de Pijiño
The Ciénaga de Pijiño is an area of inland lakes and marshes with an amazing ecosystem. It is a haven for various species of birds and reptiles. The wetlands (ciénagas) support iguanas, howler monkeys, herons, and many others. Local fishermen can be seen landing catfish and bocachicos, two local specialties.
Tourist boats depart from Mompox Pier and are mostly motorized fiberglass canoes. The cost starts at 35,000 COP/US$9. It is a wonderful way to pass some hours, offering a spectacular sunset on the way home if you go late afternoon.
*Planning on touring Colombia, and need to find the best tours and transport for your travels? Check out all the options of day tours and private Transporation right here!
Places to stay in Mompox
Most of the best places to stay in Mompox are converted historical buildings.
Down by the river is Portal de la Marquesa, very traditional and only a short walk to the center.
Likewise, Casa Amarilla is a beautiful place and very popular.
Hotel La Gloria is great for families and Hostal Doña Manuela good value.
*Are you starting to plan your trip to the Colombian Caribbean and don’t know where to begin? Check out our 8-day Caribbean Express
For dinner drop by the main plaza where the locals eat from street vendors before heading to the riverside bars.
Great places to dine also include El Fuerte near the Santa Barbara Church, which serves super pizza and pasta dishes.
Ambrosia on Calle 19 is popular for Caribbean & Colombian cuisine and Santa Coa on Calle 16A for the fusion of local specialties with a Caribbean twist.
In truth, there are many good and affordable places, but these three are especially good.
You absolutely will not be disappointed with Santa Cruz de Mompox. Relaxing, enthralling and so beautiful.
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