In the late 1980s, drug kingpin Pablo Escobar was worth an estimated $30 billion and owned a number of truly ostentatious properties. His mansion in Puerto Triunfo, Colombia, where rhinos and elephants roamed freely, is the most infamous, but his party palace on a remote island off the coast of Cartagena, is no less grandiose. Indeed, the La Isla Grande property is a giant concrete complex with over 300 rooms in individual chalets, bathrooms with golden showerheads, and a helicopter-landing pad in the middle of the jungle. A writer for Atlas Obscura recently broke into the long-abandoned outpost, and found a pastel blue and coral pink-painted ruin that looked like a "strip from Miami's South Beach" but with a "family of giant wild pigs."
On foot, the party palace is nearly impossible to get to, and requires hours of trudging through mangrove swamps. But by speedboat, it is quite easy to reach; Escobar smuggled around 15 tons of cocaine to the U.S. each day, some of which almost certainly moved through here. However in his heyday, there were numerous armed guards with orders to shoot any trespassers on sight. "Like some kind of coke-fueled Xanadu, the sprawling complex was already being reclaimed by nature," writes Atlas Obscura. There are now a few squatters that hang their clothing around the giant, drained pool. Take a look:
· Exploring the Ruins of Pablo Escobar's Secret Island Mansion [Atlas Obscura]
· All Abandonment Issues posts [Curbed National]