Squelch mud through your fingers and feel it ooze between your toes inside Colombia’s El Totumo volcano. About an hour’s drive from Cartagena, this pillar of goop promises a soothing and somewhat bizarre activity for travellers willing to slither into its embrace. To give it a go, cough up some pesos, strip to your togs and clamber up a rickety wooden ladder to the top of the volcano’s cone. Once you are immersed in the warm slop, a masseuse will offer to pummel your shoulders and massage the sludge into your scalp, all in the name of relaxation.
The experience doesn’t end when you emerge resembling a concrete-clad monster. Hand yourself over to one of the local ladies, who’ll scrub you squeaky clean in the nearby lake. Just get ready to temporarily part with your swimsuit; the women are very, very thorough.
You can reach the volcano in an hour by bus from Cartagena. Alternatively, many hotels can arrange private pick-up and drop-off services going door-to-door.
Day tours with Viator start at US$94.
Climbing up the slippery stairs may be a challenge for some, but well worth it once you’ve reached the top!
All people providing services such as massages, photos and holding your clothes expect to be tipped, so don’t come cashless.