Mompox: Home of Magical Realism
The colonial town of Santa Cruz de Mompox is truly a sight for sore eyes. Mompox is situated on an island on the Magdalena River, around 240km upstream from Cartagena. The town is renowned for the preservation of its colonial architecture and in 1995 UNESCO named it a world heritage site. Even today a lot of the buildings are still used for their original purposes which means holidays in Mompox can leave you feeling like you have been transported back in time.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez & Mompox
The town prospered throughout the Spanish colonisation as it was used as a shipping port for gold and jewel shipments as they were transported from Cartagena up-river and into the central parts of the country. As a result a royal mint was built in the town to protect the countries riches from the pirates that plagued Cartagena and in turn, it soon became famous for its gold and silver workers. Even today many of the locals have continued silver working and the town has become world renowned for its silver jewellery.
The town has also gained notoriety through the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who used Mompox as inspiration for the fictional town of Macondo, made famous in his surrealist masterpiece ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’. Marquez grew up in a town close to Mompox and in his work he reflects on lazy days spent floating down the Magdalena and aptly described Mompox as the perfect place to watch the world float by.
Once you’ve enjoyed your tour of Mompox itself you can hop on a boat and start exploring everything the Magdalena River and surrounding wet lands have to offer. The area surrounding Mompox is a bird watcher’s paradises so don’t forget to bring your binoculars! As well as being able to see numerous different birds and Iguanas you might get the chance to see some Spider Monkeys.
Transport: Getting to and from Mompox
The conventional way to get to Mompox is via a fairly long road trip (around 4 hours) from Cartagena to the north, but for our money the best way by far is to get there the old-fashioned way... by boat. Sadly, there is no longer a regular riverboat service so you need a reasonable number of passengers to make it economical, but if a group of you fancy a riverboat pilgrimage to the home of magical realism, just let us know!