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Santa Cruz de Mompox

Located on the banks of an island in the middle of the Magdalena river at 248 kilometers by road south of Cartagena de Indias is the city of Santa Cruz de Mompox, known to all simply as Mompox. During the colonial era Mompox was an important trading center, upriver from Cartagena, via the Dique Channel, and far enough from the coast to discourage raiders, yet close to Santa Fe de Bogotá, the capital of the New Kingdom of Granada. 

In the midst of a violent era, when pirates, corsairs and buccaneers often ruled the seas, Mompox developed slowly but surely into a sophisticated regional capital, a riverain gateway and transport point for gold flowing out of Eldorado.

Goldsmiths from Andalusia, trained in the difficult art of filigree, flocked to Mompox and turned the city into a center of excellence in artistry, a tradition that lives on until this day. And while the Spanish Crown invested heavily in fortifying its Caribbean port of Cartagena de Indias, the colonial government, along with the city fathers and the local ecclesiastical authorities, set about creating in Mompox an enviable oasis of civic and religious architecture in the style of Seville, which is still very much in evidence today.

It’s a city that time forgot. A magic city, redolent of the nostalgia and romanticism of the imaginary city of Macondo in Garcia Marquez’s 100 Years of Solitude, and a window into an epic past.

The broad streets by the river are flanked by colonial-era mansions, its squares reminiscent of Spain, with baroque churches, an esplanade running the length of the river, in such a tranquil setting that you’ll soon be seduced into just walking about, and looking and listening and taking it all in.

The river-bound island of Mompox and environs are also a natural sanctuary for white herons and other wildfowl, and a tour by small boat through the river’s backwater channels at sundown affords the contemplation of a natural world virtually undisturbed by civilization.

SINGULAR LTD designs special visits to this marvelous gem of a destination at the confluence of history and nature. We’ll custom-tailor your tour, including transport to and from Cartagena de Indias, with the highest-quality accommodations, meals and beverages. Mompox is unique. A must for the romantic in you, and a delight for the adventurous soul.        

In 1995 Santa Cruz de Mompox was decreed a UNESCO Historical and Cultural Heritage Site of Humanity.