Getting to and from:
Mompox is about an 8 hour bus from Cartagena or an 11 hour bus from Medellin. If you are coming from somewhere else, Magangue is the nearest large transport hub. To get from Magangue to Mompox you need to take a panga (or small boat) up the river to Bodega, and from there take a collectivo taxi to Mompox. That journey is done the same in reverse when leaving Mompox. There are a couple of bus companies in Mompox, one is located near the Mercado Nuevo, another is about a block east of the botanical garden; the connections they offer are limited. (Note: Mompox is also known as “Mompós” and “Santa Cruz de Mompox”)
We really enjoyed our time at Hostal Majestic Plaza and recommend staying there. Our double room with air conditioning was 40,000 COP. Right next door is Hostal Kimbay which also has good reviews. There are A LOT of accommodation options in Mompox that aren’t online or in your guidebook so if you get into town early enough we would advise you to walk around a bit before choosing a place to stay. We originally were at Hospedaje Mompox based on Trip Advisor reviews but it had the worst service and a less than ideal location.
Eating and Drinking:
There is SO much good food. Check out the smoothie ladies in Plaza de Bolivar for breakfast (and grab an empanada or arepa too), then go down to the river for lunch (try Jhon’s Grill or Comedor Costena) – Bocachica Fish is a specialty. Hit the Plaza de Comidas (right beside Iglesia Santo Domingo) for dinner where a dozen street food vendors set up each evening. Another option for dinner is the Plaza de Imaculae Concepcion where a number of restaurants set up tables in the plaza at night. Finding booze can be tough in Mompox. There is a 24 hour liquoria on calle 14, other shops may have rum or aguardiente, you’ll have to ask around. The only beers available in town are Aguila Light or Club Colombia Gold (neither of which are very good in our opinion). Wine is non-existent except for the local Vinomompox which is an 8% sweet cherry “wine”. If you’re a lover of full-bodied reds, this isn’t for you. It would be great in a Sangria though.
Sites worth seeing:
Walk everywhere, the whole city is a sight to see. Take in the architecture. Houses in Mompox are known for their intricate wrought iron window coverings. Their are 6 impressive cathedrals. The river side atmosphere is relaxed and a great place to hang out. The cemetary is pretty neat as well. At night thousands of bats come out of the terracota roofs and fly around town; if your hostel’s roof is accessible, climb up there for sunset, you might just see some howler monkeys jumping from roof to roof as the pale orange clouds fade to darkness.
Sites not worth seeing:
Jardin Botanico was dry and overgrown when we went, in wet season it might be nicer. The Museo Cultura was an old home of Simon Bolivar. It’s kind of cool and has some interesting artifacts but is definitely skipable. Mercado Nuevo has a couple of little shops and restaurants but nothing you can’t find in the centre of town