Santa Cruz de Mompox – Where History Meets Tranquility

Mompox – a place of history, literature and imagination. Gabriel García Márquez is said to have used it as a reference for Macondo, the main town of his classic novel 100 Years of Solitude (defitine reading recommendation by the way!). Visitors of Mompox can easily imagine sitting here, right next to the beautiful river, letting themselves be inspired by the beauty and tranquillity, writing a novel…

Typical street in Mompox’ old town next to the river

However, Mompox was not always such a quiet, romantic place. It was founded in 1540 by the Spanish and soon became an important trade town and port through which all products from Cartagena passed that had to go deeper into the country. It also become famous for its gold mints and gold smiths. Traces of this can still be seen in town today since there are countless silver jewlery shops and workshops everywhere.

One of many “everything shops” in the city
Mompox’ unique cemetery, this is as close a tourist attraction as can be found here

Mompox was also the first city in Colombia to declare independence against the Spanish in 1810. It lost its prime trade status towards the end of the 19th century though when shipping was diverted to a different river.

Incredible afternoon light…
Looking for some prime real estate in Colombia?

We certainly had a fantastic and relaxing time here. The old colonial city center has beautiful houses and churches and is UNESCO World Heritage. We spent hours sitting in a café right next to the river, simply enjoying the view. There are not many main touristy sites and if you stick to the old center, things are very tranquil – the perfect place to hang out for a while and chill… The actual city though is a completely different matter, bustling with activity as any other Colombian city we have been to… 🙂

Saturday afternoon in Mompox…
Chilling at home – the lady sold us dulce de limon & piña

Practical tips


We stayed in the boutique hotel Ana Lorenza right next to the river. Even though it was a bit above our budget it was definitely the right choice. Just next to the river, it is in the perfect location to relax and have some quiet downtime.


Right next to our hotel was the Sol de Agua Café. It has amazing lemonades and surprisingly decent coffee, the best part is its prime location right next to the river.

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