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From terror to joy
Hacienda Nápoles is located in the department of Antioquia, in the municipality of Puerto Triunfo, in the Magdalena Medio Antioqueño region of Colombia.
It was a property of 3,000 hectares, but 1,600 hectares have been set aside for the park. The owner of this hacienda was Pablo Escobar Gaviria, leader of the Medellín Cartel. Today some value Pablo Escobar’s fortune at 25 billion dollars.
It had its greatest splendour with Pablo Escobar.
With much less than that amount you can do almost anything, and that is what Escobar did with this hacienda. The estate was bought in 1978, and during its period in Pablo’s hands, it had its greatest splendour, until his death in 1993.
After his death, the hacienda fell into neglect and was looted by people who were sure that there was money hidden somewhere on the estate.
The main gate used to have a Cessna plane on top of it. That plane was a symbol of Hacienda Napoles for decades and represented the first shipment of cocaine that Pablo sent to the United States. It was originally blue and white and then the park operators decided to paint it with white and blue stripes in the manner of a zebra. Today the plane has been removed from the main gate.
From the city of Naples in Italy, the name was taken.
To get around the park there are motorbike taxis painted as zebras, perhaps, as the locals say, because the police once took some zebras from Pablo, which he later recovered, and in their place they left the police some donkeys painted as zebras.
It all started with the purchase of 4 hippos from the San Diego Zoo, three females and one male. After so many years, there are now 40 hippos. Escobar liked European culture and, on a trip to Italy, to Naples, he fell in love with the city and that is where he got the name for his hacienda.
Around 1,000 animals live at the Hacienda Nápoles.
In Europe, he also developed a love of bullfighting, which led him to build his own bullring at the Hacienda Nápoles. The park is home to around 1,000 animals of more than 40 different species.
How to get there?
There are several ways to get to the park, so we leave the link to the park for you to evaluate if you are coming from Medellin, Bogota, Bucaramanga, Ibague, Cali, Pereira and Barranquilla here.
What’s in the park
There are several options within it, from animals to water parks, from Jurassic experiences to museums, so it doesn’t matter where you start.
As the name suggests, this is a tour featuring life-size animatronic figures that move and make sounds that resemble those of creatures that lived 65 million years ago.
A number of different species, both large and small, are exhibited in the old hangar of the hacienda.
World of Birds
A place where birds of the savannah, nocturnal birds, birds of prey, and where you can see Tuky, an animatronic toucan.
This museum pays tribute to the victims of violence in Colombia and, of course, the victims of the Medellín cartel.
It was a bullring that Escobar used for events, many agree that artists such as Vicente Fernandez and Jose Luis Rodriguez sang in this bullring.
Start with the Victoria Falls, which are the largest man-made waterfalls in the world located inside a park. They are inspired by those found between Zambia and Zimbague.
Here you can enjoy jacuzzis and water slides. You can also find in this area the so called “Wild River”. It is a journey that allows you to appreciate different forms of water. It has three water slides, 2 pools and a lazy river.
There is a representation of the “Guácharos” cave, where there are aquariums with species typical of the region. There is an area called “Aquasaurus”, where there are water curtains, slides, where the decoration is inspired by dinosaurs.
The park was listed by TIME magazine as one of the 10 most exotic theme parks in the world. It represents the largest nature reserve in Colombia and South America.
Due to the size of the park, it is preferable NOT to do the whole tour on foot. Here you will find the most representative animals of Africa, some of them rescued from mistreatment or cruel treatment.
After Escobar’s death, the only animals left inside the hacienda were the hippopotamuses. The idea of the park is to guarantee at least one hectare for every adult animal it has.
Among the animals you can see are zebras, hippopotamuses, tapirs, elephants, chiguirs (capybaras).
There are also llamas, ostriches; there are collections of primates, collections of felines where there are Bengal tigers, African lions, ocelots, jaguars.
Among the birds are the flamingos, and you can also see collections of turtles, collections of butterflies.
There are 4 options;
Wild; 45.000 pesos which includes the entrance to the park, but without aquatic attractions.
Adventure; 62,000 pesos and you have access to 2 water attractions.
Safari; 90.000 pesos and you have access to everything.
Safari Plus; as above, but is unlimited for three days.
To find out in detail what each option includes, we leave you the link here.