Our first foray inland took us to Santa Cruz de Mompox, also known as Mompos. On an island in a large area of wetlands, Mompos became an important port in the 1600's as merchandise from Cartagena passed into the interior of Colombia. With that trade came wealth and the development of the colonial town, known for its six churches: Santo Domingo, San Juan de Dios, San Francisco, Inmaculada Concepcion, San Agustin, and the prettiest, Santa Barbara. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The town is full of old merchants' house, with lovely hidden patios; places to escape the stifling heat as there is no wind here and the daily average was about 37 degrees. We were lucky enough to see inside one such place. Nick, who we met in Taganga, is setting up his second hostal in Colombia in one such beautiful house and we managed to catch up with him to enjoy dinner one evening, after a boat ride up the Rio Magdalena to the Cienaga de Pijino, a freshwater fishing lake, with an amazing variety of wetland birds.