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Inside Pablo Escobar’s haunting $10m abandoned mansion with toxic swimming pool & double-thick walls for hiding cocaine

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ONCE a luxurious hideaway, Pablo Escobar’s mansion is now a haunting abandoned site covered in vegetation.

Nestled in the tranquil resort town of Guatape, Columbia, La Manuela sits on the shimmering man-made lake.

La Manuela, the $10 million mansion, sits on the lake in Guatape, Columbia

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La Manuela, the $10 million mansion, sits on the lake in Guatape, ColumbiaCredit: Getty
The mansion was blown up with 200kg of TNT by a vigilante group in 1993

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The mansion was blown up with 200kg of TNT by a vigilante group in 1993Credit: AFP or licensors
The villa belonged to a notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar

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The villa belonged to a notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar
Today the estate attracts tourists looking for hidden treasure in the walls

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Today the estate attracts tourists looking for hidden treasure in the wallsCredit: Getty
The pool's waters are now too toxic to swim in after years of neglect

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The pool’s waters are now too toxic to swim in after years of neglectCredit: Getty

For years, people were terrified on setting foot in Guatape – terrorised by the drug kingpin who was behind thousands of murders.

The “King of Cocaine” was the leader of the powerful Medellin drugs cartel, notorious for smuggling over 80 per cent of all cocaine into the US.

During his reign, he amassed a huge wealth worth billions and stopped at nothing to protect his drug trafficking business.

Escobar flaunted his fortune, splashing eye-watering sums on villas, planes, helicopters and even two submarines for transporting cocaine.

The kingpin even opened his own zoo, smuggling various animals like hippos – who to this day roam around the country, proving difficult to catch.

Many of his properties had hidden stashes of cash and cocaine, and La Manuela isn’t an exception.

The villa’s double-layered walls were specifically created for the purpose of concealing the treasure.

But all that remains of once a stately mansion now is a carcass covered in soot.

In 1993, a vigilante group funded by a rival cartel planted 200kg of TNT into one of the bathrooms.

When The Los Pepes – People Persecuted by Pablo Escobar – blew up the villa, only the walls remained intact.

Inside Pablo Escobar’s mansion as it’s seized by Colombian authorities after being turned into a tourist attraction-

Eight months later, Escobar was gunned down by authorities in a shoot-out in Medellin.

After his death, his gardener looked after the grounds of La Manuela for 30 years until he was finally evicted in 2019.

Who was ‘Cocaine King’ Pablo Escobar

Born on December 1, 1949 in Colombia, Pablo Escobar, the “King of Cocaine” was the third of seven children and his parents were a farmer and primary school teacher.

He grew up in Rionegro, known as the Cradle of Democracy to Colombians for its importance in its battle for independence.

His notorious cocaine smuggling operation began in 1975, when he’d fly the drugs between Colombia, Panama and into the US.

By the time he was 35, Escobar was one of the world’s wealthiest men, making an estimated $420million (£300million) a week in the mid-1980s: nearly $22billion (£16billion) a year.

He infamously spent $2,500 (£2,000) on rubber bands each month just to tie up his cash.

Escobar made the Forbes’ list of international billionaires for seven years straight, from 1987 until 1993.

By the end of the 1980s, he supplied 80 per cent of the world’s cocaine.

In 1991, he cut a deal with the Colombian government to be imprisoned in his self-designed private prison, “La Catedral”.

It boasted a football field, barbecue pit and a personal compound for his family nearby.

The Colombian authorities were not allowed within three miles of it.

Escobar gave out rewards to hitmen who killed policemen, and says he killed around 300 people himself.

He is thought to have coordinated the murders of over 3,000 people – most of them civilians.

La Manuela – named after Escobar’s daughter – now attracts tourists curious to take a peak into the drug lord’s past.

Some come looking for treasure, poking holes in the walls in hopes to find the hidden money – alas, to no avail.

The grand villa once boasted a tennis court, football pitch – which doubled up as a helipad – stables, motorcycle tracks and an 120-man strong security force.

The $10 million property spanned across a wide territory of 20 acres and was the drug lord’s second-favourite house.

As a result of looting and years of neglect, La Manuela – surrounded by lusciously green mountains and turquoise water – is now only a shadow of its past glory.

Most of the home is covered in vegetation, which grows through the roof and the deteriorating exterior.

The massive blue pool is too toxic to swim in as its waters turned murky brown colour covered with moss.

La Manuela – much like many of Pablo’s millions-dollar properties – lies in limbo while the government attempts to navigate the ethical and practical maze of its future.

Choosing what to do with drug-funded property and the proceeds from its sale is a sensitive and intricate legal matter.

The Colombian government has cracked down on narcotourism, destroying Escobar’s former properties to discourage tourists coming to the country for its drug trade and history.

Authorities previously raided a £2million mansion that was turned into a tourist attraction by the notorious drug lord’s brother.

Around 120 guard men used to man the villa

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Around 120 guard men used to man the villaCredit: AFP or licensors
It's surrounded by beautiful green mountains and blue waters

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It’s surrounded by beautiful green mountains and blue watersCredit: AFP or licensors
La Manuela was Escobar's second-favourite house

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La Manuela was Escobar’s second-favourite houseCredit: Getty

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