Mompós Travel Guide

  • more detail of the interior
    more detail of the interior
    by richiecdisc
  • Colonial Mompos from the Magdalena River
    Colonial Mompos from the Magdalena River
    by Kindra
  • Santa Barbara Church
    Santa Barbara Church
    by Kindra

Mompós Things to Do

  • Plaza Real de la Concepcion

    While Mompos does not have lots to do or see per se, it does have lots of atmospheric places to hang out and also take photos. One of these is its main square, Plaza Real de la Concepcion. Its key feature may be its namesake church but equally stunning is the very run down old building complex directly across from it which acts as the backdrop for...

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  • the riverfront

    The riverfront area that runs along Rio Magdalena is Mompos' most charming feature. The river itself is a lazy meandering affair but wide and strewn on either side with gorgeous trees that will have you imagining you are in an even more exotic locale awaiting Humphrey Bogart's African Queen to come up and whisk you off to points unknown. It's a...

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  • Kingfisher vs. the Great White Heron

    Mompos was a surprisingly great place for bird-watching. We may not have seen the sheer variety of other places along our Colombian travels but they were some of the best up close encounters. Mornings were best but later afternoon was not bad either. We saw a stunning Great White Heron fishing on the banks of the river, quite a few colorful smaller...

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  • Cemeterio Municipal

    Perhaps the most interesting “sight” of Mompos is its Cemeterio Municipal. This is one of the most atmospheric cemeteries I've ever seen, with great white-washed above-ground tombs with “hotel-like” filled and ready-to-be filled slots. There is a tiny chapel in the center but most intriguing are the large group of cats that seem to call the...

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  • two other church gems

    There are two additional colonial churches in Mompos. There is little information about them and though we enjoyed their exteriors, we never saw either open so not sure they are still operational That said, their exteriors were well-preserved and it's a shame the town does not promote them if they are now not in use as many visitors would likely...

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  • Iglesia de la Concepcion

    The most central and certainly biggest of Mompos' six churches is Iglesia de la Concepcion which is right on the main square of town. It sits across from the open air market that serves up breakfast foods early in the morning so a church you will see quite often if eating there. Though you would imagine it to be the most popular place to worship,...

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  • Iglesia de San Francisco

    The oldest church in town is Iglesia de San Francisco which was built in 1530 and is one church you will want to make an effort to get into as it features the most ornate interior with lots of carved wood and one very pretty wooden pulpit. The feel reminded me of a Baptist church in the Southern US most likely due to the simple wooden walls and...

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  • La Iglesia de San Agustin

    Though its exterior is no match for La Iglesia de Santa Barbara's, the rich interior of La Iglesia de San Agustin more than makes up for it and perhaps more importantly, it houses the richly gilded Santo Sepulcro. This is one of the most important parts of the precession during the Semana Santa or Holy Week that Mompos is most famous for.

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  • Iglesia de Santa Barbara

    Mompos has its share of well-preserved colonial churches and perhaps most stunning is Iglesia de Santa Barbara which sits prettily on the Rio de Magdalena on the edge of town. The 1630 beauty is yellow with ornate white trim featuring native plants and features a baroque octagonal bell tower with an odd wooden balcony half-way up. It is something...

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  • Colonial: Mompos-style

    While there are few real sights in Mompos, it does not fall short in the realm of colonial charm and wandering its quiet streets is pure joy if one gets out of bed early and enjoys the architecture during the coolest hours. The style is pure Mompos and is a bit unlike anywhere else in Colombia. In fact, it reminded us more of Laos at times and for...

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  • Plaza Concepcion

    This is a very large, and mostly empty plaza that is made up of an abandoned market building on the riverfront, the large Iglesia Concepcion and a few restos and bars with tables on the plaza itself. A nice place to soak up Mompos.

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  • Town of Pijino

    This small town is located amidst the river cenotes that filter into the Magdalena River nearby Mompos. It is probably reachable by a mix of canoe and car but we arrived by boat and strolled through town. Not much to see here but its interesting to soak up the town's atmosphere and watch the locals going about their day. The children are often...

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Mompós Restaurants

  • eating well & cheaply on the riverfront...

    Comedor Costeno is a place we would have likely checked out even if not in our guidebook due to its scenic riverfront location but perhaps not as early in our stay. We were very glad we did go there for our first lunch as we returned each day not just for the view but also for the cheap tasty food. Right on the Rio Magdalena, this is one choice...

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  • keeping hydrated is easy but necessary

    In a town as hot as Mompos, it's important to keep properly hydrated and that proves no problem with many vendors selling juices. Next to the Costeno Comedor restaurant along the river was a nice little place that had very nice fresh squeezed juices served with a fantastic few, a very slight breeze, and played some cool African music. We had huge...

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  • in search of butifarras

    Our last night in town, we would have liked to eat at Comedor Costeno but unfortunately it's not open in the evening. Dely Bross was good but we wanted to try something different and there were many street vendors, especially at the corner of Calle 18 & Carrera 3. We were hungry so decided to split half a chicken at a local rotisserie place on...

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  • a bit more upscale with A/C

    Dely Bross would have likely escaped our business if not in our guidebook. It looked a bit strait-laced from the outside and much more upscale than we normally go for. It did however had air-conditioning so possibly we might have given it a try! It was actually a nice quiet place and the service was quite good. It was also good to get out of the...

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  • the arepas con huevos master

    One thing that's good about traveling all night to get somewhere is you get to have breakfast as your first meal in a town and there's something really exciting about that for me. Hey, it's the first meal of the day and though one of the hardest to entirely screw up, not an easy one to make a lasting impression with either. We walked into town from...

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  • a long meal en route to Mompos

    Though this meal was technically not in Mompos, it will forever associated with it in our memories as it was most certainly en route to Mompos. We bypassed Bucamaranga for a number of reasons but to be honest it was mostly due to it being so far from the bus terminal. It was going to be a pricey taxi trip to and fro and aside from the colonial town...

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  • Good cheap meat

    Ok so its not quite a steakhouse but a simple (asadero) restaurant held in an outdoor courtyard where you seat yourself and choose between chicken or beef, which is then grilled on the spot and served with onions and peppers on a cutting board. A couple beers to wash it back. And its all for a few bucks (6000 pesos). Only complaints was that the...

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  • Breakfast at Plaza Bolivar cafe

    There is a little bakery and cafe on the southend of Plaza Bolivar where you can pick up some pastries to go or take a seat at one of the tables in the courtyard and have an inexpensive breakfast of eggs, bread, tinto and cafe con leche. Lovely! They were even open on Easter Sunday.

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  • Air Conditioning and Good Chicken

    This appeared to be the only restaurant in town with air conditioning and with the stifling Momposian heat, it was a WELCOME respite. And the food is good too! They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and offer Colombian classics at a reasonable price. We really enjoyed the chicken plates (I liked the fried chicken with honey) served with rice and...

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Mompós Nightlife

  • the spot on the river

    The reported cool nightlife option in Mompos is Luna de Mompos. It does have a few riverfront tables but the interior looked particularly interesting and seemed to have a French Quarter flair that seemed so very appropriate in steamy Bayou-esque Mompos. We walked by on our first night but it was very dark on the surrounding streets and we just did...

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  • a beergarden in Mompos?

    Having lived in Munich, we are big fans of beer gardens but never expected to find one in Mompos of all Colombian places. That's just what we did find and very conveniently right in front of our hostel. Ok, it's not a beer garden in the strict Bavarian sense but it does have tables albeit plastic ones and you do go up and get your beer...

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  • La Zona Rosa

    On the river across from the Iglesia Santa Barbara are a number of small outdoor bars with competing sound systems that sell beer for cheap (like 900 pesos) and offer little but a refreshing place to enjoy the sounds of the river. I recommend to stay in the bars closest to the Church. We winded up at the bar the furthest down since there were no...

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Mompós Transportation

  • the "road" to Cartagena

    The trip from Mompos to Cartagena is a lot easier and more straight forward than to Bucamaranga and many travelers just go round trip from there to avoid the hardships but must say I am glad we did it from Bucamaranga as it was an interesting and very scenic trip. It also is a nice easing in to the coastal life if you are coming from the mountain...

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  • Getting to Mompos is part of the fun

    Getting to Mompos is part of the fun. It is not on any conventional tourist route. In fact, it is not on any kind of typical transit route either. We had come especially far as we'd done it from San Gil. Many make a stopover in Bucamaranga which breaks the journey up but we found it easier to not have to go into Bucamaranga proper and just go from...

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  • From El Banco to Bucaramanga

    The tip from above continues...In El Banco the pick-up stopped outside the bus station. The next bus to Bucaramanga was leaving at 8am and it was with the company Cootransmagdalena and the ticket was 25 000 pesos(after some negotiation). It turned out it was not leaving from the station, but first we had to take a taxi to the river and from there a...

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Mompós Local Customs

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    by richiecdisc Written Oct 27, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Going to Mompos during Semana Santa or Holy Week is surely a highlight of any trip to Colombia but due to the elaborate procession and religious nature of Colombians, the town is packed during the proceedings so room rates sky rocket and are hard to come by unless reserved in advance. This pre-Easter week is Mompos' main tourist season so plan in advance if visiting the town during it.

    Mompos' main street NOT during Semana Santa
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Photography

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Mompós What to Pack

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    by richiecdisc Written Oct 27, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Getting to Mompos is no easy task and you'll want to travel light. A backpack will make such a trip easier it's not like you're going to be on one mode of transit the whole way through if coming from the east!

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: This is a hot town and you'll be happy wearing nothing but light breathable cotton. Sandals are a must but if you forgot them, plenty of stores sell them at low prices.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sun block is another must in this hot steamy sunny town.

    Photo Equipment: A wide angle lets you bring the foreground into your photos, making them more interesting and a zoom is great for not only getting good shots of the abundant bird life but watching them too!

    Miscellaneous: Thanks to D for being the perfect person to share this romantic town with.

    D captures the cemetery small lizard with zoom lizard vs the butterfly wide angle of the Rio Magdalena lazy cat at cemetery
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Road Trip
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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Mompós Favorites

  • eyes wide open

    It's not unusual for something you've read about for awhile to disappoint you especially when it comes to the world of travel but that usually confines itself to destinations, places you have to see or even a local delicacy. It does not generally apply to the transportation getting there but that can be the case when getting there is a bit of an...

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  • Dropping the Water Bag Mompos Blues

    Mompos does not have many sights per se but it does have lots of atmosphere to soak up. There's no better way then getting out early morning and enjoying the quiet streets of this steamy town. You might catch some local cats enjoying the same wrought iron windows you are trying to get photos of if you are lucky. One of our fondest and surely our...

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