Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012

Hacienda Napoles

Visitors make their way into Hacienda Napoles, a museum and exotic animal park located in Colombia, by passing through an archway decorated with an old airplane. But that's not just any old airplane — it's the same plane that transported the notorious Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar's first load of cocaine to the U.S. The park is located on the grounds of the former drug lord's ranch. Before police shot and killed Escobar in 1993, Hacienda Napoles served as his home and a playground full of life-sized dinosaur sculptures, vintage cars and more than a dozen hippos. Though the property initially fell into disarray after his death, a group of businessmen turned the site into a full-fledged tourist attraction for those eager to see the remnants of the cartel boss's home. Today, the park features guided tours, horseback riding, a swimming pool and a zoo and attracts upwards of 50,000 visitors per year.