Notorious Colombian cocaine lord Pablo Escobar once lived in this sprawling estate, spending his days riding his hovercraft over its many lakes, wandering among his collection of vintage cars, and strolling through his zoo filled with hippos and exotic birds.
Escobar was killed in a hail of gunfire by the Colombian police in 1993, and the Hacienda retreat became dilapidated. It has since been revived — this time as a theme park. There have been some problems, however. People have been known to sneak in — on one occasion with a backhoe — and dig up the lawn and floors in search of treasure they believe Escobar buried there.
Meanwhile the four hippos Escobar imported have thrived and, in one case, escaped the confines of the estate. In 2009, a hippo named Pepe was found 100 kilometers away and was killed by the Colombian military. The group of wild hippopotamuses is now estimated at around 40. They are ruled by an alpha male nicknamed Pablo.
Know Before You Go
The hacienda is 100 miles east of Medellin on Route 60. Visitors can feed baby hippos, tour the drug baron's personal effects, and even see the Cessna that carried Escobar's first load of cocaine to the USA.