Hacienda Napoles was a luxurious country estate built and owned by Pablo Escobar that has been transformed into a popular theme park with a waterpark and zoo.
Hacienda Napoles Theme Park is located about four hours east of Medellín and it covers about 7.7 square miles (20 square km) of land.
After Pablo Escobar’s death in 1993, the buildings on the site were demolished or repurposed for other uses. Also, Escobar’s old house on the site partially collapsed in February 2015. So, it was demolished and is no longer at the site.
In 2014, a “Jurassic Park”-style theme park started operating on the grounds of Hacienda Naploles, which were rented by a private company.
Hacienda Napoles Theme Park (Parque Temático Hacienda Nápoles) comes complete with a waterpark with multiple attractions, a zoo without cages and much more. Also, there are five hotels nearby associated with the theme park.
Several Medellin Guru readers asked about Hacienda Napoles and I have seen several posts on the Internet about Hacienda Napoles, which are out-of-date. So, this is an up-to-date guide to Hacienda Napoles.
Hacienda Napoles has been completely transformed from Escobar’s former mansion/cocaine palace into a popular family-friendly theme park. In addition, Hacienda Napoles Theme Park was even named one of 10 most exotic parks in the world.
Hacienda Napoles Reopens on September 25
Several Medellin Guru readers also have asked if Hacienda Napoles has reopened.
Hacienda Napoles has been closed for over five months due to the coronavirus pandemic. But this large theme park located about four hours from Medellín reopens on September 25.
There are a number of biosafety protocols that must be used by amusement parks. These include:
- There should be hand wash dispensers every 330 feet (100 meters) in common areas.
- Use of face masks is required.
- Upon entry, hand disinfection is required and the temperature is taken of each customer.
- Social distancing of 6.5 feet (2 meters) between each person in common areas must be guaranteed
- A reservation system should be available, if possible, that allows visits to be scheduled in advance.
- Each visitor must bring a personal kit that must include a mask, 60% glycerinated alcohol, toilet paper or disinfectant towels, a bottle for hydration and bags for waste disposal.
- During the stay, visitors will not be able to shake hands, or give kisses or hugs.
- For group tours, these must be done in one direction only. The minimum distance between one group and another must be 13 feet (4 meters).
- Attendees should wash their hands every three hours.
Entrance to Hacienda Napoles
The entrance to the theme park was decorated with a replica of a Piper PA-18 plane, which transported Escobar’s first shipment of cocaine to the U.S. But the plane is now painted with zebra stripes reflecting the safari theme of the park.
However, this plane was removed in early 2019 and moved to another part of the park and this old arch entrance was removed.
Hacienda Napoles History
When Hacienda Napoles was originally built in the early 1990s Escobar spared no expense. So, it included a Spanish colonial house, a sculpture park, a private airport and a zoo with animals from several countries.
Animals in the zoo included antelopes, birds, elephants, giraffes, hippopotamuses, ostriches and ponies. Also, the estate had lush lawns, swimming pools, a bullring, go-kart-racing track and a collection of luxury cars and bikes.
After Pablo Escobar was shot and killed by Colombian police in 1993, Escobar’s family entered into a legal battle over the property with the Colombian government. The Colombian government prevailed and the property valued at about $2.2 million at the time passed to the Colombian government.
The cost for maintenance for the zoo and the animals on the property was too expensive for the government. So, it was decided that many of the animals would be donated to international and Colombian zoos.
In addition, Escobar’s hippopotamuses on the property escaped. And by 2011, there were at least 30 animals roaming wild in the nearby countryside. In addition, zoo homes couldn’t be found for all the hippos.
The property is managed by the Puerto Trinufo municipality, which leases land for the Hacienda Napoles theme park now operating on the property. And now that Hacienda Napoles is a theme park with a zoo, more animals have been reintroduced on the property.
The theme park is now one of the biggest employers in the nearby region. Also, around the theme park, there are many other businesses such as hotels, gas stations, and restaurants that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the large theme park and all the visitors.
Hacienda Napoles Theme Park
Hacienda Napoles Theme Park is a large amusement park with a total size of 3,953 acres (1600 hectares). In comparison, Disneyland in California is tiny with only about 85 acres.
It’s possible to see all the attractions in the theme park in one day. But many families stay for multiple days to take advantage of the water park with their children.
Attractions in Hacienda Napoles include five aquatic attractions: Aguasaurus, Cobras, Octopus, Savage River and Victory Waterfalls.
Also, there is a zoo they call the Wildlife Sanctuary with crocodiles, elephants, hippopotamuses, lions, meerkats, monkeys, ostriches, tigers, zebras, zonkies (half zebra, half donkey) and several other types of animals.
In addition, there are other attractions including the African Museum, Bird’s World, Butterfly Vivarium, Jurassic Adventure and the Memorial Museum.
Also, you can see some remnants of Escobar’s antique car collection with several rusted out antique cars.
The Hacienda Napoles theme park accepts Colombian cash and Visa and Master Card credit cards and debit cards. There is a ticket booth at the entrance to the theme park.
The entrance fee in 2020 varies from 41,000 to 133,500 pesos per person depending on what you have access to, as seen in the following table:
Also, if you are a guest on any of these five hotels: Hotel El Lago Azul, Hotel La Colina, Hotel Doradal Mediterraneo, Hotel África and Hotel Casablanca, you can buy entry tickets (passports) at the hotel’s reception and get a 15 percent discount if you pay with cash.
Also, there is a parking fee at the amusement park. For cars, the parking fee is 16,000 pesos per day. And for motorcycles the fee is 8,000 pesos per day.
In addition, pets are permitted at Hacienda Napoles but must be on a leash at all times. Also, pets are not permitted in the waterpark area.
Where to Stay
There are several hotels near Hacienda Napoles and camping is also available. Five of the nearby hotels are associated with Hacienda Napoles and enable you to get discounts on entrance fees to the theme park.
- Doradal Mediterraneo Hotel – rooms start at 132,000 per night (for 2 people)
- El Lago Azul Hotel – rooms start at 153,000 pesos per night (for 2 people)
- La Colina Hotel – rooms start at 204,000 pesos per night (for 2 people)
- Casablanca Safari Hotel – rooms start at 233,000 pesos per night (for 2 people)
- África Hotel – rooms start at 353,000 pesos per night (for 2 people)
When I went to Hacienda Napoles, I stayed at La Colina Hotel , which is located in front of the entrance to the park. This hotel has a restaurant, small gymnasium, pools with a jacuzzi and all the rooms have air-conditioning.
Also, tent rentals for camping are available for 58,000 pesos per person per night with the tent provided. And space for tents is available for 35,000 pesos per person per night if you have your own tent.
How to Get to Hacienda Napoles
Hacienda Napoles is located about 93 miles (150 km) or about four hours east of Medellín near the town of Puerto Triunfo. It’s also about 155 miles (249 km) from Bogotá.
It is possible to catch a bus from the North Bus Terminal in Medellín to Hacienda Napoles. The bus fare is about 27,000 pesos and can drop you on the road where several hotels are located outside the park.
From the road to the entrance to the park is long way to walk but inexpensive tuk-tuk transport is available. Also, bicycles are available for rental in the park.
In addition, day tours to Hacienda Napoles that leave Medellín at 5:15 am are available from Turism en Medellín starting at 169,000 pesos including the park entrance fee.
Address: Kilometer 165 of the Medellín-Bogotá highway (or 259 km from Bogotá)
Phone: +57 4 444 2975
Email: [email protected]
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday including holidays: 9 am to 5 pm, closed on Mondays for maintenance. The aquatic attractions are open from noon to 4 pm during low season and open from 10 am to 5 pm during high season or on the weekends during low season.
In addition, the Rio Claro Nature Reserve is located nearby. It’s only about 25 miles from Hacienda Napoles to the Rio Claro Nature Reserve. So, it is possible to combine a trip to Hacienda Napoles with a visit to the Rio Claro Nature Reserve.
Is Hacienda Napoles Part of Pablo Escobar Tours?
Some foreigners who visit Medellín are interested in Pablo Escobar due to the very popular Narcos series. So, going on a Pablo Escobar Tour in Medellín has unfortunately become popular with foreign tourists. And we previously looked at 7 Pablo Escobar Tour alternatives.
Visiting Hacienda Napoles is not part of the typical Pablo Escobar Tour. And since Escobar’s old house at Hacienda Napoles collapsed and was demolished and the plane with arch at the entrance is gone, there is less of a reason for Pablo Escobar tours to visit.
Haciendo Napoles is completely transformed into an amusement park. So, there not very much related to Pablo Escobar remaining at Hacienda Napoles.
There is are some rusted out antique cars plus information at the small museum. But that’s about it. So, not many Escobar tourists make it to Haciendo Napoles.
Kid Friendly Things to Do in Medellín and Nearby
On the Medellin Guru website we have looked at 17 different things to do in Medellín and nearby that are kid-friendly:
- Parque Explora – Medellín’s Interactive museum and aquarium.
- Hacienda Napoles – Escobar’s former estate located about 4 hours from Medellín that has been transformed into a family-friendly theme park with a waterpark and zoo.
- Medellín’s Christmas lights – the world-class Christmas lights in Medellín are very popular with families.
- Parque Norte – Medellín’s amusement park.
- Guatapé – a very popular pueblo near Medellín known for its huge rock and lake.
- Barbosa, Antioquia – a pueblo located less than an hour from Medellín. It’s a great getaway from Medellín with streams, waterfalls, hiking, a waterpark and many other things to do.
- Piedras Blancas – an ecological park in Santa Elena near Medellín with a lake, insect museum, hotel and more.
- Zoológico Santa Fe – Medellín’s zoo.
- Parque Arví – a very large ecological nature reserve, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Medellín.
- Rio Claro Nature Reserve – the perfect place to unplug from hectic daily life and enjoy a picturesque crystal-clear river, canyon and tropical rainforest.
- Museo del Agua – Medellín’s popular water museum.
- Jardín Botánico – Medellín’s botanical gardens are popular with families.
- Bowling in Medellín – there are four bowling alleys in Medellín.
- Movie Theaters in Medellín – we provide a guide to the movie theaters in Medellín where ticket prices are less than half the U.S. price.
- Museo El Castillo – Medellín’s Gothic-style castle that is a museum.
- Planetario de Medellín – Medellín’s planetarium.
- Parques Del Río (River Parks) – is an important project of urban transformation in Medellín and the first phase of this park is open.
The Bottom Line: Hacienda Napoles – Pablo Escobar’s Former Estate Turned Theme Park
Hacienda Napoles has been completely transformed from Escobar’s opulent country estate into a family-friendly theme park.
The old entrance arch with Escobar’s replica plane, which was repainted with stripes to reflect the safari theme of the park was removed in early 2019. This arch was part of the opening title sequence of “Narcos”.
But this old arch entrance is now gone and a much larger arch welcomes visitors to the Hacienda Napoles Theme Park. So, tourists looking to take a photo with this “famous” arch with the plane seen in Narcos will now be disappointed.
I went to Hacienda Napoles about two years ago and had a good time. It’s a nice amusement park with a safari theme with many attractions. And it’s very popular with families with children.
If you have kids, this amusement park is highly recommended. And it’s recommended to spend at least one night and two days there to enjoy the zoo and the water attractions.
Sign up for the Free Medellin Guru Newsletter – You can see all of the previous Medellin Guru weekly email newsletters and sign up here.
Editors note: updated on February 7, 2019 with information that the old entrance arch to Hacienda Napoles with a replica plane from Pablo Escobar has been removed and also added updated 2019 lodging rates.
Editors note: updated on September 13, 2020 with 2020 entrance fees and information that this theme park reopens on September 25 with biosafety protocols in place.