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Parks & Nature

Hacienda Napoles

Puerto Triunfo, Doradal
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Entry Fee

Starting at $67,000

Location

Medellín-Bogotá
Puerto Triunfo, Doradal

3 hr 52 min from Medellin
176.9 km (110 miles)

Office Hours

9am to 4pm
Monday to Friday

Park Hours

9am to 5pm
Monday to Sundays

Holidays
Closed

Whatsapp

(+57) 313 628 6931

Official Website

haciendanapoles.com

Table of Contents

One of the largest theme parks outside of Medellin.

Hacienda Napoles, once the luxurious country estate of the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar, has undergone a remarkable transformation into a popular theme park known as Hacienda Napoles Theme Park (Parque Temático Hacienda Nápoles). Located approximately 4 hours east of Medellín in a town called Puerto Triunfo, the estate spans an impressive 7.7 square miles (20 square km) of land.

Despite efforts to distance the park from Pablo Escobar’s name, his legacy still draws tourists to the region. His influence on Colombia endures, and visitors flock to Hacienda Napoles, partly out of curiosity about the man who once owned it.
Pablo Escobar’s legacy lives on in this part of Colombia. Some individuals have even been caught attempting to dig up the lawn in hopes of finding any hidden treasures he may have left behind. The presence of the hippos and the plane replica at the entrance stand as reminders that. Despite its transformation into a family-friendly theme park, Hacienda Napoles owes its existence to Pablo Escobar.

The History of Hacienda Napoles

After Pablo Escobar’s death in 1993, the estate underwent significant changes. Many of the original buildings on the site were either demolished or repurposed for different uses. Even Escobar’s mansion, once a symbol of his power and wealth, partially collapsed in February 2015 and was subsequently demolished.
In 2014, a private company leased the grounds and introduced a “Jurassic Park”-style theme park, marking the beginning of its transformation into the popular attraction it is today. Following Escobar’s demise, a legal battle ensued between his family and the Colombian government over ownership of the property. Ultimately, the Colombian government prevailed, and the estate, valued at around $2.2 million at the time, passed into government hands.
Maintaining the vast property, especially the zoo and its animals, proved costly for the government. Consequently, many animals were donated to international and Colombian zoos. The story of Escobar’s escaped hippopotamuses, which multiplied and roamed freely in the nearby countryside, became a unique challenge and added to the property’s mystique.

Things To Do in Hacienda Napoles

Hacienda Napoles Theme Park offers an array of exciting attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy during their stay. With its vast expanse of 3,953 acres (1600 hectares), it dwarfs even Disneyland in California, making it a truly immersive destination. While it is possible to explore all the attractions in a single day, many people opt to extend their visit to take full advantage of the park’s offerings.

Water Park

Hacienda Napoles has an impressive selection of water attractions, providing visitors with thrilling experiences. These include Aguasaurus, Cobras, Octopus, Savage River, and Victory Waterfalls. Whether you’re seeking exciting water slides or a float down a lazy river, the water park has something for everyone.

Wildlife Sanctuary

The park’s wildlife sanctuary is home to a diverse range of animals, providing an opportunity for visitors to get up close and personal with fascinating creatures. Here, you can encounter crocodiles, elephants, hippopotamuses, lions, playful meerkats, monkeys, tigers, and even zonkies (half zebra, half donkey), among other species.

Educational Attractions

Hacienda Napoles also offers educational attractions that are both entertaining and offer a learning experience. Explore the African Museum to learn about the continent’s history and culture. Bird enthusiasts will appreciate Bird’s World, while the Butterfly Vivarium showcases the beauty of, you guessed it, butterflies. For those intrigued by prehistoric creatures, the Jurassic Adventure is a must-visit. Additionally, the Memorial Museum offers insights into the property’s intriguing history.

Antique Car Collection

For history and automobile enthusiasts, remnants of Pablo Escobar’s antique car collection can still be seen on the property. Although some of these vintage vehicles have succumbed to Father Time, they offer a glimpse into the extravagance of Escobar’s past.

Pet-Friendly

Visitors can bring their pets to Hacienda Napoles, but they must be on a leash at all times. It’s important to note that pets are not allowed in the waterpark area, so plan accordingly if you’re bringing your furry friends.

The Hippo Controversy

One of the most intriguing and unexpected aspects of Hacienda Napoles is the presence of hippos all across the surrounding areas. When the Colombian government took control of the estate, they managed to relocate most of its animals. However, they faced a unique challenge with Pablo Escobar’s four beloved hippos. These massive creatures were not only difficult to capture but also managed to escape the property at some point.
Remarkably, these hippos began to multiply at an astonishing rate, and today, no one knows precisely how many hippos roam the local area. Researchers estimate that there may be a population of up to 100 hippos.
Most of these hippos reside on or near the Hacienda Napoles property, but some have ventured as far as the Magdalena River basin, a significant waterway that cuts through the western half of Colombia. Reports even indicate sightings of hippos nearly 100 miles away from the estate.

Getting There & Parking

Hacienda Napoles is located approximately 93 miles (150 km) to the east of Medellín and about 155 miles (249 km) from Bogotá. If you’re planning a visit to this unique destination, here’s how you can get there from Medellin:
Bus: You can opt for a bus journey from Medellín to Hacienda Napoles. Begin your journey at the North Bus Terminal in Medellín, where you can catch a bus heading in the direction of Hacienda Napoles. Buses are known to drop passengers off on the road that leads to several hotels situated just outside the park’s entrance.

Taxi or Private Transportation:  Because of the distance between Medellin and Hacienda Napoles this is a much more costly option, which makes it somewhat unpopular. But of course, if you have the money and you prefer the convenience you can always choose this option.

Last-Mile Transport: Once you’ve arrived on the road leading to the park, you’ll find that the entrance is still a considerable distance away. Fortunately, you have convenient options for covering this last stretch. Inexpensive tuk-tuk transport is readily available to take you from the roadside to the park’s entrance, saving you from a lengthy walk. Additionally, for those who prefer a more chill approach, bicycles are available for rent within the park, allowing you to explore at your own pace.

Day Tours from Medellín: If you prefer a guided experience to Hacienda Napoles, consider booking a day tour from Medellín. Many agencies offer day tours that depart from Medellín as early as 5:15 am. These tours typically include transportation, a guide, and the park entrance fee, simplifying the logistics of your visit.

Visitors staying at select nearby hotels, such as Hotel El Lago Azul, Hotel La Colina, Hotel Doradal Mediterraneo, Hotel África, and Hotel Casablanca, can enjoy a 15 percent discount on entry tickets if paid in cash. Additionally, there is a parking fee.