Mompós was founded by the Spanish in 1537 on the banks of the Rio Magdalena, and quickly became an important port through which goods passed from Cartagena to the interior of the Colombian colony. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mompós is a charming town and well worth a visit despite the hassle getting there & away.
When the Spanish diverted their trade route to the other branch of the Rio Magdalena at the end of the 19th century, Mompós declined in importance and what you find today is a town where time seems to have stood still.
Mompós lies 230km southeast of Cartagena, and the journey there involved a series of boats, buses & taxis taking most of the day.
Famous for its locally made rocking chairs (in evidence all around town from about 5 pm when the locals emerge to sit out on their porches), Mompós has developed its own unique form of architecture.
The town has a beautifully laid-back riverside atmosphere (as the Lonely Planet describes it: "It may feel more like Mississippi"), making Mompós one of those places ideal for ambling around not doing very much at all. Which is how I spent my time.
Getting away from Mompós was troublesome to say the least. I ended up in the back of a pick-up sucking in dust for 4 hours, on unsealed roads. It broke down twice, and one night bus and 36 hours later, I arrived in Merida, Venezuela.