Board your air-conditioned transportation for the approximately 45-minute drive to the infamous mud volcano. On the way to the volcano, pass by the imposing San Felipe de Barajas Fortress situated outside the walled city. Here, you'll have the opportunity enjoy a panoramic view of the old city. Upon arrival at the mud volcano an orientation to the rustic facilities will be provided. A mud volcano is created by natural gases emitted by decaying organic matter underground. As the mud is pushed upwards by the gas, it deposits and hardens above ground and forms what appears to be a huge anthill. As more mud oozes out and spills over the edge it grows in size, gradually forming what you can see today: a miniature 50-foot volcano with a rich, creamy, mud crater at the top. If you have never been in a mud volcano before, then the initial feeling of mud on your skin is unusual to say the least. When you feel like you are about to become one with the earth, just climb back down the staircase and stroll down to the nearby freshwater lake where you can wash the mud off.
Note: The temperature of the mud is very warm to hot, therefore those who are susceptible to heat must not participate on this tour. It's said that the mud has healing properties; however the truth to this statement is not proven. To reach the top of the mud volcano where the pool of mud is located, requires the negotiation of numerous, steep steps. Wear a swimsuit and bring a towel and adequate sun protection.
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We just returned from a 14 day Panama Cruise on Pearl. This excursion is different and probably not for the squimish and certainly not for anyone who is unable to walk well and unable ascend and descend rough inconsistent stairs. First the mud was NOT hot by any stretch of the imagination. Nor was it cold. Don't wear your best swimwear. The guide is well informed and shares great information during the 45 minute ride to the volcano. Once you arrive you will be asked to climb a fairly steep set of rough inconsistant stairs. At the top your camera & shoes will be taken by one of the helpers and one by one each person of your group will step in to the mud which has the constentcy of pudding. You lay back into the mud while you are rubbed down and massage. When you massage is finished you can get right out or you can lay in the mud for awhile. Somehow the guide with your camera (along with everyone else's) is taking pictures and doing a great job. We had about 15 pictures of my husband and I and there wasn't a single one that was of someone else. I'm not sure how they kept it straight, but they did. We you get ouf of the mud you are wipe down (slightly) and then you must descend down some uneven steps with bare feet. You then go to the river? and more helpers rinse you off with the river water. After you are rinsed your towels & shoes are waiting for you to put on and then you can head back to the bus. Please remember to take some extra change to tip the workers at the end of the event. They work very hard.