The main gates of the Hacienda Nápoles theme park, featuring Pablo Escobar’s smuggling plane
In one corner of the 3,700-acre park, a bright pink hippo statue poses on a plinth; in another, dinosaurs are frozen in time. Elsewhere, a giant octopus emerges from a swimming pool with waterslides wrapped up in its tentacles.
As far as theme parks go, there isn’t really anything too surprising or out of the ordinary going on here. Yet this is no ordinary tourist attraction. The Hacienda Nápoles theme park is situated on grounds that once belonged to Colombia’s (and perhaps the world’s) most famous drug lord: Pablo Escobar, whose abandoned island getaway we explored in a previous article.
Image: Pete Hottelet
Yep, nothing out of the ordinary here…
Even when the estate belonged to Escobar, Hacienda Nápoles was not your average house and garden. For one, Escobar’s estate included a private zoo stocked with elephants, giraffes, antelope, hippos and other exotic creatures. Still, before you think the wealthy drug lord had a soft spot for animals, Escobar also built his own private arena for bullfighting.